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Old 07-30-2009, 10:37 AM   #16
Yankee Dog
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Personally I like CB. Of all the non-ham riadios, CB has the best range. There are plenty of antennas available and shops that will tune your attenna to your radio for cheap. Tuning your antenna is very important by the way. It can double your range and keep you from frying your radio.

I used a handheld CB with a Firestyk 4' antenna on a home built mount. The key is getting a good ground to the motorcyle frame. Dont count on getting one through the mount. I used a seperate lenght of copper wire.

Unless you hang out on channel 19 there is very little traffic on the CB channels. And even 19 is pretty dead unless you are on the freeway.

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Old 07-30-2009, 01:02 PM   #17
SnowMule
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamReader
RF radiation can cause problems at higher powers. Operating a 40w radio while riding a scooter could cook your guts. Here is some detailed info on the subject;

http://www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/hbkrf.html

With that said I use a Yaesu FTM-10R and a Diamond NR-770HB, 2m/70cm Radialless Mobile Gain Whip Antenna. I also often carry a Yaesu XR8 handy-talkie.
Nice... i've been contemplating either the FTM10 for the bike/sled or the 857D. And +1 for RF safety. VHF + high power = bad things happening to your body. Not to mention the electrical load on the bike.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rodr
Well I seem to have talked myself into getting an amateur license now... just because I can. And it might be good for evening entertainment when motorcycle camping and such.

The FT-60 looks nice, and reasonably priced for what it does. Do you have any riding buddies also using an amateur unit? If so, what sort of range does that get you? If not, what's the appeal to you?

Problem with FRS is, I don't think I would be satisfied with just line of sight.
FT60's by far the best bang-for-buck as far as i'm concerned. The UI could use a lot of work, but that's VS for you. The hardware's solid, highly water resistant and durable.

Amateur lets you do far more than any other license. Easy enough to obtain.
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Old 07-31-2009, 11:46 PM   #18
Double Phister
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FRS is free.
GMRS requires a license.

Some of the GMRS frequencies overlap FRS. As long as you are following the FRS rules (1/2W, no removable antenna, etc) you dont need a license to use these. If you start using the GMRS rules (>1/2W, removable antenna) then you will need a licesne and also need to follow the GMRS rules (ex. using call sign)

Radios that do both FRS (not just the overlapping frequencies) and GMRS generally need a license to use the dedicated GMRS frequencies and are cripled by the FRS rules that don't allow a removable antenna. They also usually only transmit 1/2 watt on the FRS/GMRS overlaping freq's.

Stick with FRS or a combo FRS/GMRS and don't use the GMRS only freq's or go with a GMRS only setup and get a license. Then get a better antenna.



BTW, modding a HAM radio to use GMRS freq's isn't allowed even if you have GMRS and HAM licenses. When you get any license you agree to all of the rules. Some of wich include the devices allowed.

Not preaching. Just want people to be informed. Now go do what you want.
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:00 PM   #19
HaChayalBoded
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamReader
RF radiation can cause problems at higher powers. Operating a 40w radio while riding a scooter could cook your guts. Here is some detailed info on the subject;

http://www.arrl.org/news/rfsafety/hbkrf.html

With that said I use a Yaesu FTM-10R and a Diamond NR-770HB, 2m/70cm Radialless Mobile Gain Whip Antenna. I also often carry a Yaesu XR8 handy-talkie. You will need a Ham/Amateur radio license for these radios. You would be operating on the 144 and/or 440 amateur bands. These bands provide repeaters that cover just about everywhere you could get to on a motorcycle in the US.

Both of these radios have bluetooth and can be connected via bluetooth to my J&M Integratr system. Using VOX you can both monitor and talk using these radios. Both are weather proof to MilSpec standards. They also provide AM radio receivers incase you want to listen to some talk radio.

I mount the FTM-10R head on a Ram mount, put the body of the radio in my tank bag, the antenna is mounted on a bracket hung on the pannier frame.

I would like to build a push to talk switch to eliminate the need to use the VOX method, I also connect a Garmin 660, iPhone and either a FRS/GMRS radio or a CB through the J&M Integratr.

The Garmin is hardwired to the J&M, the iPhone bluetooth links to the Garmin for phone use and is hardwired to the J&M for music output. The FRS or CB are hardwired to the radio port of the J&M. I would like to develop a cable to hardwire the FTM-10 through the radio port on the J&M. That would allow better control of communications.

Here are links to info on these radios

http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Dis...5&isArchived=0

http://www.yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd...5&isArchived=0
Can we get some pics of your setup? I was looking into the FTM-10R as well. I tseems they actually have two models. a 50w and a 10w model, and only one of them actually has a mountable front face.

Also, you're carrying a separate FRS\GMRS radio with you? Doesn't the FTM-10R offer you that? Or am I just totally confused?
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Old 08-01-2009, 12:41 PM   #20
FidelisInv.
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Why bother getting a license? What type of enforcement is there? I've never seen the FCC out and about?
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Old 08-01-2009, 07:03 PM   #21
rodr OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelisInv.
Why bother getting a license? What type of enforcement is there? I've never seen the FCC out and about?
If you're talking about GMRS, I hear that direct enforcement is indeed poor (this happened also with CB, and the feds eventually gave up on licensing requirements for that). However I suppose you could get into some trouble if circumstances (e.g. a law enforcement action for some other reason) made it clear that you were operating without a license.

If you're talking about amateur radio frequencies, don't do it. Hams are very protective of their turf and will hunt you down.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:13 PM   #22
TeamReader
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Here is what the FCC can do if you are caught

I have XXXX'ed the names. You can read the letter the FCC would send you for transmitting without a license. You are required to respond and it is NOT UNCOMMON for the FCC to fine $10,000.00 and confiscate your equipment. The amateur radio community has transmitter hunting contest and if there is an unlicensed person transmitting it is easy to find you.

CERTIFIED MAIL RETURN RECEIPT REQUESTED

April 30, 2009

Mr. XXXX XXXX

Bozeman, MT

Re: WARNING FOR UNLICENSED RADIO OPERATION

EB-09-GB-0039

Dear Mr. XXXX:

It has come to the attention of the Federal Communications Commission that
at multiple times in the last several months you have made radio
transmissions in the 2 meter amateur band, for which a license is
required. You have no such license.

Operation of radio transmitting equipment without a valid FCC
authorization is a violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, and may subject the responsible parties to substantial
monetary forfeitures, in rem arrest action against the offending radio
equipment, and criminal sanctions including imprisonment. Because
unlicensed operation creates a danger of interference to important radio
communications services and may subject the operator to severe penalties,
this warning emphasizes the importance of complying strictly with these
legal requirements.

UNAUTHORIZED OPERATION OF THIS RADIO STATION MUST CEASE IMMEDIATELY.

You have ten (10) days from the date of receipt of this warning to respond
to this office. The response must contain a statement of the specific
action(s) taken to come into compliance with the Commission's rules and
should include a time line for completion of pending corrective action(s).
You are directed to support your response with a signed and dated
affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, verifying the truth and
accuracy of the information submitted in your response. Your response
should be sent to the address in the letterhead and reference the listed
case number.

In an inquiry of this type we are required to notify you that under the
Privacy Act of 1974, 5 U.S.C. S: 552a(e)(3), the Commission's staff will
use all relevant information before it, including information you disclose
in your reply, to determine what, if any, enforcement action is warranted
in this matter.

You may contact me at 717-338-2577 should you wish to discuss this matter.

Sincerely,

ZZZZ L. ZZZZ

Special Counsel

Cc: Seattle Field Office

Western Regional Director

47 U.S.C. S: 301.

Fines normally range from $7,500 to $10,000.

See S:S: 401, 501, 503, 510.
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Old 08-01-2009, 08:20 PM   #23
TeamReader
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Just got back from a ride, It'll try to get some pix tomorrow

Quote:
Originally Posted by HaChayalBoded
Can we get some pics of your setup? I was looking into the FTM-10R as well. I tseems they actually have two models. a 50w and a 10w model, and only one of them actually has a mountable front face.

Also, you're carrying a separate FRS\GMRS radio with you? Doesn't the FTM-10R offer you that? Or am I just totally confused?

I just got back from a scoot up to Palomar, when I go out to work on the bike tomorrow I'll take a couple of photos of the equipment. I haven't hard mounted the radios and communicator yet, I just toss them all in a BMW tank bag and mount the GPW on a RAM mount. The Yaesu head mounts on a RAM mount also, but I am currently using that mount for a VIO POV camera.
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Old 08-02-2009, 03:32 AM   #24
Axiom2000
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I think I have posted these pics before, but anyway. Here is my set up. I have a Kenwood 4 watt GMRS/FRS mounted in the top box and a 3dB gain non ground plane antenna mounted on the side of the top box. Everything runs through an Autocom Pro V Avi using Vox. This set up works great, I have no idea what my transmit range is but I have communicated with no problems at well over three miles.

Making this work so I could remove the top box easily was my main issue. That took a lot of effort since the cables for the radio run from the box to the Kenwood. Problem finally solved when I aquired a separate cable jack for a Kenwood and fashioned it as a panel mount inder the top box. Figuring out how to wire the thing took a few calls to Kenwood and some expert solder work. It works great and the main goal of having wires and cables running all over the place is solved. And yes I purchased the appropriate FCC license. I also hated the idea of the autocom helmet cables having to run from under the seat so after a great deal of effort I figured out how to make a panel mount for that also.

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Old 12-07-2009, 05:09 AM   #25
HaChayalBoded
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TeamReader
I mount the FTM-10R head on a Ram mount, put the body of the radio in my tank bag, the antenna is mounted on a bracket hung on the pannier frame.
Which ram mount? Is it the 1\4" camera thread mount?
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Old 12-07-2009, 05:18 AM   #26
Tor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom2000
I think I have posted these pics before, but anyway. Here is my set up. I have a Kenwood 4 watt GMRS/FRS mounted in the top box and a 3dB gain non ground plane antenna mounted on the side of the top box. Everything runs through an Autocom Pro V Avi using Vox. This set up works great, I have no idea what my transmit range is but I have communicated with no problems at well over three miles.

Making this work so I could remove the top box easily was my main issue. That took a lot of effort since the cables for the radio run from the box to the Kenwood. Problem finally solved when I aquired a separate cable jack for a Kenwood and fashioned it as a panel mount inder the top box. Figuring out how to wire the thing took a few calls to Kenwood and some expert solder work. It works great and the main goal of having wires and cables running all over the place is solved. And yes I purchased the appropriate FCC license. I also hated the idea of the autocom helmet cables having to run from under the seat so after a great deal of effort I figured out how to make a panel mount for that also.

Very nice setup. What Brand / Model antenna is it? Have been thinking about putting my Icom in the topbox. Yours (the radio) is still powered on battery, right?
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Old 12-13-2009, 06:06 AM   #27
backspinnn
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Go with the good quality motorola GMRS radios. They are pretty cheap but work well and you won't feel as bad when it get's destroyed like you will if you drop an amateur rig.
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Old 12-13-2009, 11:46 AM   #28
Axiom2000
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tor
Very nice setup. What Brand / Model antenna is it? Have been thinking about putting my Icom in the topbox. Yours (the radio) is still powered on battery, right?
It is a Maxrad, Non Ground Plane Mobile. I forget the model number, it was not real expensive it was recommended by the guy at the store who sells two way radios and equipment. Yes the radio is running off its internal batteries. Installing the antenna itself is no big deal once you get over the trama of drilling holes in your motorcycle. Figuring out how to make it EZ to remove the top box with the radio and cables installed was the hard part.
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Old 12-13-2009, 04:48 PM   #29
Tor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axiom2000
It is a Maxrad, Non Ground Plane Mobile. I forget the model number, it was not real expensive it was recommended by the guy at the store who sells two way radios and equipment. Yes the radio is running off its internal batteries. Installing the antenna itself is no big deal once you get over the trama of drilling holes in your motorcycle. Figuring out how to make it EZ to remove the top box with the radio and cables installed was the hard part.
Thanks a lot for the reply. I'll look into the Maxrad.
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Old 12-15-2009, 01:01 PM   #30
hpsVFR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FidelisInv.
Why bother getting a license? What type of enforcement is there? I've never seen the FCC out and about?
Without meaning to get too preachy...

There are advantages to being licensed beyond simple compliance with regulations, IMO. Preparing for my amateur radio exams (passed the tech/no-code in '98, and barely passed general a few years back) taught me a fair bit about radio technology and theory. That information served as a basis for my self-education about antennas, transmission lines, and related topics.

For example, several people here have mentioned the importance of proper antenna selection for good transmit/receive range (and audio quality). People who don't know anything about antennas might very well spend big bucks on a 50- or 100-W (or large) transmitter when they could have spent $20 and some time on the proper antenna.

I'll grant you that lots of the stuff you study for the amateur radio license you either don't need daily, or you end up programming into your radio and then forgetting (do I remember my frequency privileges on 40m? no, that's why iCom gave me a free reference chart to stick next to the HF rig. ) but other things, like the material on RF safety, radio theory, and operating procedure are good to know.

Finally, here's another way of thinking about it: using the material you learn while studying for your license as the foundation for a good practical education in RF, transmission lines, and antennas will allow you to set up your radio for maximum effect, using minimum dollars, and will let you change the setup in an emergency so as to give you the best chance of calling for help successfully.

If you think of licensing as a red-tape exercise whose only use is to keep the man off your back, IMO, you're wasting an opportunity to learn and have a lot of fun. You might even start using that license for non-travel activities, too!

Now go do whatever you like.
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