Updating mobile radio?

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The Lazy L

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Kawasaki Mule has a SSB CB installed in it. Limited space in the cab, radio seems to be always in the way. Time for an upgrade?

Recently I saw an ad for Midland GMRS MXT275 radio. Midland has the radio controls in the mike so the "brains" could be mounted in the glove box, out of the way and out of the weather. $150 including antenna. GMRS only channels 1-7, 15-22.

Or do I upgrade with the Baofeng UV-25x2 (same radio we use as a base) and still have a radio that would be in the way? But we'd have GMRS, FRS and amateur radio frequencies. $115 plus dual band antenna.

We use Baofengs as our primary handheld radios with channels matching GMNRS and FRS channels plus custom channels.
 

bkt

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I agree with dademoss - go with the 25x2. If you want to also have a CB, consider a Midland 75-822. All the smarts are in the hand mic. It comes with a cigarette adapter and external adapter. Or, you can put a collapsible whip antenna on it and plug in the rechargeable battery pack and use it as a mobile CB. I have one and it works great.
 

The Lazy L

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I agree with dademoss - go with the 25x2. If you want to also have a CB, consider a Midland 75-822. All the smarts are in the hand mic. It comes with a cigarette adapter and external adapter. Or, you can put a collapsible whip antenna on it and plug in the rechargeable battery pack and use it as a mobile CB. I have one and it works great.
Eliminating CBs as a primary communication source. Will keep one as a listen only base.
 

bkt

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Another possibility might be to get a UV-50x2 or UV-50x3 for your base station and move your 25x2 to the vehicle. Both the 50x2 and 50x3 put out 50+ watts. The x3 brings 1.25M into play which may or may not be of use to you.

If you're going to be using mainly GMRS, FRS or MURS, I suggest getting a tunable antenna and SWR meter to go easy on your radio.
 

The Lazy L

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Another possibility might be to get a UV-50x2 or UV-50x3 for your base station and move your 25x2 to the vehicle. Both the 50x2 and 50x3 put out 50+ watts. The x3 brings 1.25M into play which may or may not be of use to you.

If you're going to be using mainly GMRS, FRS or MURS, I suggest getting a tunable antenna and SWR meter to go easy on your radio.
50x2 is worthwhile considering. All of our communications equipment is powered by a 10 AMP 12V DC power supply backed up with a rather large UPS battery. We are operating at our safe power requirements now. The 50x2 would require a replacement of our current power. Range tests confirm the 25x2 covers our perceived operational area.
 
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kd4ulw

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Make sure you have a direct 12v battery to power the base radio if mains go down, then you won’t get the power loss of converting the UPS from DC to AC to then convert it back to DC. (In case you don’t have one, already)
 

Haertig

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I am surprised that there are so many recommendations for a radio that is illegal to use (transmit) on GMRS, FRS and MURS frequencies. Are we talking about receiving only and I missed that? Listening on a frequency is fine with any radio.
 

The Lazy L

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I am surprised that there are so many recommendations for a radio that is illegal to use (transmit) on GMRS, FRS and MURS frequencies. Are we talking about receiving only and I missed that? Listening on a frequency is fine with any radio.
The frequencies I am licensed for I use for "normal" communications, maintaining and testing my comms. Baofeng radios gives a person more frequency options for TEOTWAWKI and SHTF scenarios.
 

The Lazy L

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Ordered the Baofeng UV-25x2, antenna and coaxial cable. Following dademoss suggestion I'll sacrifice the weatherized glove box to mount the radio in. Current CB display had a sun glare problem and a driving rain would be a problem. Mounting the UV-25x2 in the glove box would solve both problems.

The current CB will be repurposed for my workshop.
 

Haertig

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Yes, FCC rules are quite different during life threatening and other severe emergencies. The FCC has a rule for those times, and the rule basically says "You can ignore the other rules" for the duration of the bonafide emergency. That's a good rule, well done FCC! But I don't agree with people who crank up their 50 watt Baofeng mobile rigs on FRS channels routinely, during non-emergency situations, just because they can (or because they're too ignorant and don't realize they shouldn't).
 

The Lazy L

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Yes, FCC rules are quite different during life threatening and other severe emergencies. The FCC has a rule for those times, and the rule basically says "You can ignore the other rules" for the duration of the bonafide emergency. That's a good rule, well done FCC! But I don't agree with people who crank up their 50 watt Baofeng mobile rigs on FRS channels routinely, during non-emergency situations, just because they can (or because they're too ignorant and don't realize they shouldn't).
We have Midland GMRS/FRS radios for family members (covered under our FCC license) for day to day activities.

Baofeng handhelds for those with amateur radio licenses. Transmit within their individual license requirements and monitor the GMRS/FRS traffic.

Baofeng 25x2 as a base. What frequencies the base will transmit on is dependent on the operators license and state of affairs.

Replace the CB in the Mule with a second Baofeng 25x2 gives those that are licensed to operate an extended area of coverage. Plus it could serve as a spare radio if the base 25x2 failed (one is none, two is one mentality).

The above provides us with comms until the budgets can provide for better quality equipment.

I agree 100% with you about the "because they can" and "ignore". They are the ones that killed CB for the rest of us.
 

The Lazy L

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Got the SSB CB removed along with it's antenna and coaxial cable.

Baofeng 25x2 is programmed (mirrored from the base 25x2) and installed. Powered from the ignition switched cigarette lighter power socket (25x2 has parasite voltage). The install will be finished when the coaxial cable and antenna is delivered. Will post before and after pictures.
 

The Lazy L

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CB radio and antenna before upgrade. Radio was a knee-knocker. Mike kept getting knocked off the magnetic holder. Antenna was taking a beating from exiting/entering my shop when I forgot to bend it down to clear.

01.JPG02.JPG

New radio and new antenna. Radio is no longer a knee-knocker and is 100% out of the weather.

03.JPG04.JPG05.JPG
 
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Haertig

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Nice job of mounting the new radio. I always wondered about radios in those open vehicles - can you hear them when you're moving? Do they have loud audio output? I'm thinking of when I try to use my cellphone with my car windows down. Almost impossible for me to do that.
 

The Lazy L

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Nice job of mounting the new radio. I always wondered about radios in those open vehicles - can you hear them when you're moving? Do they have loud audio output? I'm thinking of when I try to use my cellphone with my car windows down. Almost impossible for me to do that.
Thank you.

The simple plan: Driver and/or passenger has portable radio(s) with headset(s). Driver will be able to hear base calling and then responds via the mobile.

The complicated plan: External speaker mounted above and behind the Riders. Speaker will have a ON/OFF switch (shame to have speaker blare when ya trying to be sneaky) and port to plug in headset(s).
 

Bacpacker

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Mounting looks like the area was made just for that. Nice. Antenna is shorter also, shouldn't hit stuff as bad. The speaker is a nice idea too.
 

The Lazy L

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Mounting looks like the area was made just for that. Nice. Antenna is shorter also, shouldn't hit stuff as bad. The speaker is a nice idea too.
I compensated losing the glovebox storage by adding under the seat storage. New antenna misses the overhead door by a half inch.

I was able to "hit" the local repeater from inside my metal sided shop.
 

Bacpacker

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That is awesome. Missed it by that much, as Get Smart used to say.
Hittin the repeater from inside is very good. Those building are pretty fair shields.
 

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