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Btech GMRS20V2


holyford86

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Anyone ever run one of these? I know they're not top of the line but the ability to stick the radio somewhere I can't see it is attractive to me. Does anyone know of anything similar that may be better?
 


Uncle Gump

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I don't have any use on it yet... but I bought a Midland MXT 275.
 

holyford86

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Those look nice as well,
I'm thinking about one of the ghost antennas too.
 

sgtsandman

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Those look nice as well,
I'm thinking about one of the ghost antennas too.
I have the same thing as Uncle Gump has. You'll want to hard wire the radio to the battery to avoid ignition and alternator noise. The cigarette light method doesn't isolate any of that and makes your riding companions grumpy. Otherwise, it seems to do the job. The only time you would want something with more power is if you don't stay together as a group. Even then, GRMS isn't really a long range bandwidth. At an off road park, you could probably cover most of the park with 15 watts.

As far as the antenna, the ghost antenna will do ok, not the best but ok. The only one that I've seen that has consistently decent reviews the the Midland Ghost antenna. I want to get one of those to run in the winter so I'm not bashing my antennas off the carport anymore or having to take them off. The ghost antenna will clear the structure but the Midland MXTA26 performs better and reaches out further since it is a better match for the band.
 

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I went with that one because a good deal popped up. Also Midland is/was a TRS vendor. I had several other things I needed to buy for requirements to go Vagabonding so it just checked 15 watt minimum GMRS off the list. The bundle came with the extended range whip antenna. We shall see how it works.

I want to say @Shran had decent things to say about BoFang or something like that. Maybe he has something to add here.
 

holyford86

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I have the same thing as Uncle Gump has. You'll want to hard wire the radio to the battery to avoid ignition and alternator noise. The cigarette light method doesn't isolate any of that and makes your riding companions grumpy. Otherwise, it seems to do the job. The only time you would want something with more power is if you don't stay together as a group. Even then, GRMS isn't really a long range bandwidth. At an off road park, you could probably cover most of the park with 15 watts.

As far as the antenna, the ghost antenna will do ok, not the best but ok. The only one that I've seen that has consistently decent reviews the the Midland Ghost antenna. I want to get one of those to run in the winter so I'm not bashing my antennas off the carport anymore or having to take them off. The ghost antenna will clear the structure but the Midland MXTA26 performs better and reaches out further since it is a better match for the band.
I had heard the the placement and ground plane of the ghost antennas is crucial for good communication and not so much for the more standard antenna styles, so that's definitely something to think about.

The area I wheel frequently is roughly 5600 acres in a mountainous square and would like to be able to transmit from side to side without too much issue. I know the 30ish watt cb I also have struggles to do this, dependent on my location and it is not clear.
 

holyford86

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I went with that one because a good deal popped up. Also Midland is/was a TRS vendor. I had several other things I needed to buy for requirements to go Vagabonding so it just checked 15 watt minimum GMRS off the list. The bundle came with the extended range whip antenna. We shall see how it works.

I want to say @Shran had decent things to say about BoFang or something like that. Maybe he has something to add here.
I have two of the Btech gmrs pro handhelds and they seem nice but the mobile units don't seem to be reviewed nearly as well. They're kinda under the same umbrella as Baofeng as well.
 

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I had heard the the placement and ground plane of the ghost antennas is crucial for good communication and not so much for the more standard antenna styles, so that's definitely something to think about.

The area I wheel frequently is roughly 5600 acres in a mountainous square and would like to be able to transmit from side to side without too much issue. I know the 30ish watt cb I also have struggles to do this, dependent on my location and it is not clear.
The best placement is the center of the roof because the antenna uses the roof of the vehicle as a ground plane. You can make other locations work but the middle of the roof gives the best reception and transmission of the signal from all directions. Mounting it to the rear, like on a third brake light mount, creates lobes with the strongest to the front of the vehicle. Mounting it on the side of the roof creates the strongest lobe toward the opposite side of the vehicle depending on where it is mounted. You can still transmit and receive from other directions but not as well as from where the main lobe is pointed.

For me, since I have roof racks, I can't use the center of the roof. So, all of my antennas are in compromised locations that don't give the best performance. The only one that is optimized is my CB antenna. It's on the right, rear corner of the truck so the main lobe is directed at on coming traffic. The rest work ok but since on are on the edge of the roof or the hood, they don't do as well as they could.
 

holyford86

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The best placement is the center of the roof because the antenna uses the roof of the vehicle as a ground plane. You can make other locations work but the middle of the roof gives the best reception and transmission of the signal from all directions. Mounting it to the rear, like on a third brake light mount, creates lobes with the strongest to the front of the vehicle. Mounting it on the side of the roof creates the strongest lobe toward the opposite side of the vehicle depending on where it is mounted. You can still transmit and receive from other directions but not as well as from where the main lobe is pointed.

For me, since I have roof racks, I can't use the center of the roof. So, all of my antennas are in compromised locations that don't give the best performance. The only one that is optimized is my CB antenna. It's on the right, rear corner of the truck so the main lobe is directed at on coming traffic. The rest work ok but since on are on the edge of the roof or the hood, they don't do as well as they could.
I'm rapidly learning I know even less about these things than I thought I did, haha. I'm in a similar position as you are, with a sunroof and also a roof rack. Running a small antenna on the right rear corner of the hood doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it seems like the only reasonable place I have, cb and fm radio antenna are mounted on support bars on each side of the flatbed so that area is used up, unless I could just add another one and start an antenna forest.
 

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I'm rapidly learning I know even less about these things than I thought I did, haha. I'm in a similar position as you are, with a sunroof and also a roof rack. Running a small antenna on the right rear corner of the hood doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it seems like the only reasonable place I have, cb and fm radio antenna are mounted on support bars on each side of the flatbed so that area is used up, unless I could just add another one and start an antenna forest.
Why not?

depositphotos_8073862-stock-photo-antenna-forest.jpg
 

sgtsandman

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I'm rapidly learning I know even less about these things than I thought I did, haha. I'm in a similar position as you are, with a sunroof and also a roof rack. Running a small antenna on the right rear corner of the hood doesn't sound like a bad idea, and it seems like the only reasonable place I have, cb and fm radio antenna are mounted on support bars on each side of the flatbed so that area is used up, unless I could just add another one and start an antenna forest.
I do have a bit of an antenna farm. I do eventually intend to install a low band HF radio. So, the antenna for that will be installed on the left rear bed panel. So, six antennas, including the factory radio. That's going to be the end of it. No more room and interference between one radio and another can become a problem.
 

holyford86

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I've got a large fm antenna for just typical over the air broadcasts. The cab I'm using was a radio delete truck and I didn't feel ambitious enough at the time to pull the dash to feed the wire through the cowl. The other side has a Wilson stainless whip antenna for the cb.
 

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I went with that one because a good deal popped up. Also Midland is/was a TRS vendor. I had several other things I needed to buy for requirements to go Vagabonding so it just checked 15 watt minimum GMRS off the list. The bundle came with the extended range whip antenna. We shall see how it works.

I want to say @Shran had decent things to say about BoFang or something like that. Maybe he has something to add here.
My club uses GMRS radios - mostly Baofeng. Btech is the same thing. I have a Juentai VHF/UHF radio in my Explorer... a QYT radio for my other Explorer... they are all the same really, just cheapo Chinese things with the same internals and various odd names.

They work fine, range on the handhelds is very limited. Line of sight is usually way less than a mile. Stationary/vehicle mounted ones with a good antenna can reach out a long ways - I could hear my friends talking on their Midlands from 20+ miles away and I could talk to them. Collectively the club has dozens of these things and I think we were seeing something like 10-20% failure rate. Usually the transmitter side would quit working.

Most of these type of radios can be programmed with Chirp and the appropriate USB cable. Be aware that it is easy to make these radios do illegal things... like transmit on high power on frequencies that are low power only and things like that. I programmed all of the GMRS and FRS channels into mine so that it's easy to talk to people using Midland radios.

Nothing wrong with Midland BTW - very high quality, reliable radios. I just wanted something a little more home brew and I was on a budget.
 

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I've been considering getting a gmrs radio.. been reading a little bit about how midlands don't really mix well with anything other than other midlands.. something to do with reception.
 

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