Vehicle Communications (CB?)

The Bronze

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I run two ham radios in my rigs (samurai and early bronco). I will be adding at least one to the Bronco as well. Much longer range, ability to use repeaters to carry your message much further, I can text or email through one of my radios and they also can beacon your location, direction, speed and even what frequency and offset you are on for those times where you could use a little help! The license was cheap, fairly easy (some memorization of frequencies, and such) and allows for much higher wattage to beam out. I also use a couple of handhelds (Anytone and Baofeng) but those have much lower ability to reach out and contact people at larger distances. It might not matter much going to the mall, but once you are wayyyyy out in bad weather, I like to be able to reach out for assistance. The mobiles I use run $400 and $500; cheaper than a Ford hitch. :)





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K8GTH

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This has been a toss-up for me. No doubt I'll be using a ham radio (legally).
For actual mobile/daily use.:
I'm very intrigued by the Vero VR-N7500, if the control app works in Android Auto then its a no-brainer.
The old-reliable backup would be an Icom ID-4100 and stash the control in the center console when its not needed.

As far as antennas... while Aluminum can act as a counterpoise, there really isn't an ideal placement on any aluminum surface of the bronco that is going to radiate well/safely. I have heard of people putting NMO's through fiberglass and then using stainless/aluminum self-adhesive strips (similar to what you use for HVAC stuff) on the bottom side with varying degrees of success.

As I plan on getting a roof rack, I'll probably get a diamond K9000 motorized mount and rig up the control to use one of the upfitter/aux switches to raise and lower it. The antenna itself will be some type of matched type to skirt the whole ground plane thing. I was thinking about making a j-pole but I'll probably be lazy and just use a Larsen NMOWB150B.

Since getting out and operating radio out in the wilderness is one of the reasons I'm getting a Bronco, I plan on putting in a bunch of provisions for field HF operation and other nerdy stuff. Since there is a 4" difference between the cargo area floor and the back seats, it would be awfully convenient to build a slide out drawer to house an IC-7300.
 

level3looper

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I have Motorola T600s. They're waterproof and float. I use them mostly for kayaking the Hudson River, Delaware River in NY and the Housatonic River in CT as well as hiking in the Catskills and Adirondacks in NY

Mototrola_T600.jpg
 

PaulW

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Hand held units are inferior. My Bronco will have a CB and a VHF unit mounted somewhere inside.
Antenna Fender mount just like the ones you see on F150s. And they work good.
 

Megawatt

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Had anyone thought about or seen an antenna for a CB yet? I hope to participate in some organized rides and I think CB’s remain a popular way to stay in contact.
In many organized rides a CB is required.
 

Gr8Hortoni

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I have Motorola T600s. They're waterproof and float. I use them mostly for kayaking the Hudson River, Delaware River in NY and the Housatonic River in CT as well as hiking in the Catskills and Adirondacks in NY

Mototrola_T600.jpg
These will interact with a GMRS setup, since they’re FRS radios.
 

JesseS

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you should be using boofungs ILLEGALLY while on the trail like all the cool kids
610BMG9oV7L._AC_SX569_.jpg
Just program it for the GMRS and/or FRS frequencies and you will be legal. Download the 'Chirp' program and get THIS cable, you can also program Police/fire/SAR channels, but be sure to disable 'transmit' on them (except SAR) or you could get into serious S%#T. I don't worry about it, N5CRK.
 

Gr8Hortoni

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Just program it for the GMRS and/or FRS frequencies and you will be legal. Download the 'Chirp' program and get THIS cable, you can also program Police/fire/SAR channels, but be sure to disable 'transmit' on them (except SAR) or you could get into serious S%#T. I don't worry about it, N5CRK.
that’s exactly what we did with ours. Is it a way around the HAM regulations? Sure, but if used responsibly and programmed to GMRS/FRS, you’re completely within your legal parameters.
 

JesseS

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@McCracken , I’ve had great luck with the uv5r. Cheap, easy to program. Interchangeable with the GMRS/FRS/HAM and doubles as a police scanner. Best bang for the buck, just stay off the HAM frequencies if you don’t have an operators license.
You can monitor any frequency, just disable the transmit option when you program them in, all except for SAR that is, good to have that fully duplex in an emergency.
 

Gr8Hortoni

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Yep, I use mine as a police scanner at home when I’m not on the trail (Old habit from when I drove a wrecker, plus the wife is a paramedic and I can see what kind of night she’s having lol.)
 

Phil_68w10

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I’ve got a baofeng that I need to play around with. Not sure about getting my ham license yet, but I’ll for sure set it up for GMRS and FRS.
 

JesseS

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I’ve got a baofeng that I need to play around with. Not sure about getting my ham license yet, but I’ll for sure set it up for GMRS and FRS.
I posted the link for the programming cable, and the app name, makes programming the Bafang radios a snap, and allows many options you don't get with keypad programming.
 

Phil_68w10

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I posted the link for the programming cable, and the app name, makes programming the Bafang radios a snap, and allows many options you don't get with keypad programming.
I bought the radio and the cable last year before they were banned. Kinda wish I had another to set up as a repeater. I saw someone here in Houston set one up as a repeater to listen in on the ISS when it flew over last month.
 

BroncoKong Jr.

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Just program it for the GMRS and/or FRS frequencies and you will be legal. Download the 'Chirp' program and get THIS cable, you can also program Police/fire/SAR channels, but be sure to disable 'transmit' on them (except SAR) or you could get into serious S%#T. I don't worry about it, N5CRK.
Unless something has changed, Baofeng HTs don't have Part 95 certification from the FCC and are therefore illegal to use as GMRS. There's pretty much no chance that you'll be busted, but it's worth noting.
 

K8GTH

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While I'm not normally the "get off muh spektrum" types, I do want to step in and say learn a little bit about what you're doing with these radios. Just as off-roaders get upset when other interests step on their toes, radio guys have their little slice of existence cut out for them and even that is a balancing act between the laws of both government and physics. There's other things at play as well, a lot of business, municipalities and critical functions also play in this space and it worth noting you could be unknowingly interfering with these things. You're average old man ham might scoff and complain but if you start doing stuff that is interfering with aviation or maritime operations expect to be treated "unforgivingly".


If you're buying equipment, doing research and setting things up and you find even a sliver of interest in doing so, get licensed. A lot of testing outfits (Laurel) are entirely free and others (ARRL) are pretty low cost ($15). While there is a small touch of learning laws and regulations, the technician class exam is largely about electrical and RF principals. You'll actually learn something and it's useful information that carries over into plenty of other disciplines.

A great way to get started is this guide here https://www.kb6nu.com/study-guides/.

I actually took my exam in one of his crash courses. If you're in or willing to travel to metro Detroit it's worth it.
 

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