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FJ Expeditions R Us
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APRS is an outstanding way to keep track of folks. When we travel we have APRS running and our family and friends can look on the internet at Google Maps APRS, type in our callsign and see where we are, direction we're traveling, etc.

It would be very useful on trail runs, etc. to keep track of participants in case of emergency.

cheers and 73,

dale --W5WI
 

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I apologize if this has been said already, but here goes: in short, which radio to use depends on who you're running with the most.

At FJ Summit in a convoy of 10 trucks 7-8 will have CB and 1-2 will have HAM. Some of the Jeep groups here in Colorado require HAM, which is probably the best way to get everybody to on board. But then if you ever run with a non group member you're still back to CB.

If you only want one radio and you'll be running with a lot of different people, it has to be CB. Yes I understand that HAM is better technology but that doesn't matter if the adoption rate is so low that most of the trucks in your group don't have it.

Now all of that ^^^ must be very frustrating to the HAM crowd because it's basically an argument to avoid getting HAM yourself because nobody else has it (which only reinforces the problem) but that's the fundamental problem. Not enough people have HAM for it to be a viable group run comma method unless your group requires it.

Check my sig for a clean CB install using the Midland 75-822.
 

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Check my sig for a clean CB install using the Midland 75-822.
How well does your midland work? The first one I got was DOA. The second cant reach an interstate that is 50 yards away...

I came here to see if I should skip CB and go straight to HAM? Maybe I'm jaded by a crappy radio...
 

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I got my ham license before the Summit and installed a 2M radio. I did not have a CB. A CB would have got more use within the group we were on the trail with. I was able to use the 2M rig to communicate with distant trail teams where the CB was not suitable. I will install a CB soon.
 

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How well does your midland work? The first one I got was DOA. The second cant reach an interstate that is 50 yards away...

I came here to see if I should skip CB and go straight to HAM? Maybe I'm jaded by a crappy radio...
I can't speak for the DOA, but range issues are usually the antenna. Are you trying to run it as a handheld or with the antenna setup in my thread? The small antenna for using it as a handheld isn't that useful, but it's better than nothing. If you plan on using it in your truck a lot, run the wiring for the antenna.

As for HAM, on a trail run at Summit with ~10 trucks, 9-10 will have CBs and 1-2 (tops) will have HAMs. So unless you're friends with a bunch of HAM people that go wheeling, you'll want the CB to be able to talk to everybody anyway. HAM is better technology, without a doubt, but not enough people use it to be a good group radio solution. It's great if you plan on going remote places alone and want a way to get in touch with the outside world if you have to.
 

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How well does your midland work? The first one I got was DOA. The second cant reach an interstate that is 50 yards away...

I came here to see if I should skip CB and go straight to HAM? Maybe I'm jaded by a crappy radio...
What you have demonstrated in your statement is the same misunderstanding that so many have about CB radios and how they work. That Midland needs an external antenna on your rig to operate at its peak. The rubber antenna on it is borderline useless, especially from inside the rig. I have sold a bunch of the Midlands and ALWAYS sell an external antenna, be it a mag mount Wilson or a permanent mount like Bandi or Boztec. So, if you want to get the best out of that radio and be "un-jaded" finish the setup correctly and get an external antenna and get it tuned correctly.

Both radios have their place. What you find most useful is going to depend on what the others in your group have as well. I run BOTH in my rig. CB is pretty much the defacto go to tool for rig to rig comms in most groups. On any give trail run, we have three or so rigs with 2M radios. I encourage everyone to get their license. I enjoy making contacts on it when I am out.
 

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Man this is a great thread!

I will run both eventually. My wife feels it is necessary to load up the kids and drive to the middle of the west desert here in Utah to look for geodes. I want her to either have a SAT phone or a HAM. The HAM seems so much more practical in an emergency...

Thanks to the OP for bringing this subject to light and thanks to all the knowledgeable contributors!!

GREATGREAT info.
 

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We usually start on 146.520, then move to a different frequency when we are all together.
 

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For any newbies that are interested, larger towns have HAM groups that are usually chock full of folks that are very willing to help you understand HAM, select HAM equipment for purchase (new and used) and offer installation advise if not outright installation help. It is an interesting world with different sub groups for varied interests. Do not walk away from this thinking that it is "too technical for me". The HAM test is not hard and you can practice for free online to your heart's content prior to taking the test. Some folks do not "study" for the test, just keep on taking practice tests online until they start consistently passing the tests. The HAM license test uses questions that come from a larger pool of test questions and you will eventually run across all of the test questions in the pool and start remembering them as you continue to take practice tests. The "official" info/test study booklet is not difficult to read through and lets you know when they are telling you stuff for general info only and not required for testing.
 

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Free online test for HAM technician license just make user and login:

https://www.qrz.com/hamtest/

At Amazon for $25 the 4watt UV5R handheld is a great full featured HAM radio ($35 for 8watt). 2 meter 70 cm (most commonly used), FRS & MURS (no license rq'd), GMRS, weather channels.

This radio is superb on trail runs and will teach you what you need to know. You may never feel the need to install a mobile radio in the FJ. If you do they are still useful as loaners and out of truck radios. Pick up 2 so you can observe your own transmissions and cover others on runs.

That's less than CB and you'll have excellent comms. Avoid buying too much radio for your first, the features can be daunting to navigate in very primitive interfaces, think 1985.
 

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What do you guys think about this setup?

https://www.radioddity.com/radioddity-qb25-pro-quad-band-quad-standby-mini-mobile-car-truck-radio-vhf-uhf-144-220-350-440-mhz-cable-cd-50w-high-gain-quad-band-antenna.html

A knowledgeable guy I’ve seen on the trail a couple times is running this instead of spending the jack on a Yaesu 400, he said it’s pretty damn good especially for the cash. I was thinking about installing this in the FJ and going with a couple of the UV-5R’s for mobile units with larger antennas.
 

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There are a lot of 20-25w VHF/UHF radios out there right now at under $100.

One of the most important features for me is CHIRP software compatibility so I can copy/paste my entire programming to hand helds/mobile and not have to remember 2 systems. Chinese programing software is really bad.

Miklor Radio Information Site - Miklor has reviews and resources for many of these chinese builds, but they are making new models faster than site can keep up.

https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home CHIRP supported radio list.
 

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My truck has HAM radios, I mean hardcore mounted in the back with remote heads and holes drilled in the top with permanent antennas. Then I went to a meetup and could not talk to anyone because they all used CB...

So I ordered a CB from Bell's CB with the mod and a mic. It puts out 80 watts stock. I don't care what they say, every HAM started as a CBer, and I have a lot of fun with it.

CBs should be mounted in the CB position. I made and changed the bracket a few times before I got it right. The down angle was important to see the face well. Mounting points were behind the mirror and the first roof support rib. (pic)
 

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