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Discussion Starter #1
I’m currently running a Kenwood handheld radio connected to the Rugged intercom. It works great but I was looking for a higher powered alternative. For the guys that aren’t running a mobile radio from the big companies, what are you using and how durable and reliable is it? I’m looking at the QYT KT8900D specifically but needing some real world feedback.

Don’t get the wrong idea, I’m not at all bashing the big 2 companies here, they are both excellent. Just looking for alternatives that don’t cost a small fortune.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Are you running one in your car? Has it held up well and no issues with the radio itself?
 

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Holding up very well. No issues. I have bought more of these as replacements for my other radios.

I did run an external speaker to get it up nearer to my ears as I have it mounted down in the area below the starter button.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Ok thanks. So you’re not running the radio with an intercom I take it. One of the issues I’m running into is dealing with the interconnect from the radio to the intercom. I can build one but have you ever tried to solder up the 5 pin connector? I think brain surgery is easier!
 

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Nope just a kenwood with an external speaker and mic. Work great . I have no reason for intercom for passenger and I. Mainly ride solo with my group


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Nope just a kenwood with an external speaker and mic. Work great . I have no reason for intercom for passenger and I. Mainly ride solo with my group


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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I am running the radio above. No issues. As a matter of fact 4 in our group also run it and no issues. I used a flag mount and rugged radio antenna. I have also pressure washed the hell out of it and it works fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I appreciate all the replies. For those running the TYT, are you using it with an intercom or just the radio alone? I get that these radios are inexpensive, which attracts attracts me to them but the interconnect with the intercom will probably cost as much as the radio. I can make the cable myself but not wanting to invest the time and money if the radio fails in a few months.
 

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I appreciate all the replies. For those running the TYT, are you using it with an intercom or just the radio alone? I get that these radios are inexpensive, which attracts attracts me to them but the interconnect with the intercom will probably cost as much as the radio. I can make the cable myself but not wanting to invest the time and money if the radio fails in a few months.
Why dont you just get kenwood radio? I got an almost new 50 watt 7360-H for a $200 then I sent it to PCI and had them do the intercom racer conversion and channels for $75. Or another option would be to buy the radio and buy programming software( its cheap) and I will send you the kenwood channel files that PCI loaded on my radio.
 

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Typically you can add an intercom to most any radio. For portables it would need a speaker and mic jack and you would utilize that. Mobiles typically have ways to add accessory jacks if they don't have one or you could utilize the mic jack and the external speaker jack.

As far as radios, find a local 2-way radio shop and see if they have any old UHF wide band radios they want to sell or look on eBay. You should be able to find them all day long for about 30 bucks. Then have the radio programmed for the GMRS frequencies. (You need a license to use these frequencies legally) They are wide band so these old radio are great for this since they can no longer be used for most frequencies due to the rebanding to narrow band.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
The reason I wasn’t looking into the Kenwood was size and single band. The small dual band radios will fit nicely on top of the dash forward of the cigarette lighter plug. The Kenwood are too big. In addition, here in AZ there are many UHF repeaters that can be used free of charge all over the state. Once I get my Ham license taken care of I can also use the VHF repeaters as well. I can program the radios myself, that’s the easy part. As for the intercom wiring, it can also be done as the pin out charts are available. It’s the time, effort, and cost to build the cable for the intercom that was at the root of the first post. Why spend hours soldering and buying the connectors if the radio won’t hold up to the environment we ride in with the car? Yes the Kenwood / Icom / Yaesu radios are the best, but so is the price tag, not to mention how physically large they are. I’m not trying to communicate with the Space Station, just have the flexibility to communicate with whomever we ride with. I appreciate all the responses and still looking for someone that has one of these radios hooked to their RR intercom that actually works and has been for some time to decide whether I’m going to spend the time and money.
 

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Not to create any havoc, but do be aware that many of the quality amateur radios have detachable front heads and extension data cables with them. This allows the bulk of the radio to be located elsewhere/anywhere, and the small head unit and mike only is dash mounted.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
No havoc created as far as I’m concerned however the cost for those radios, however awesome they are, is too much for a car that gets subjected to all the harsh elements (especially in the desert). I wouldn’t think twice about putting one of those in my truck where it’s mostly protected. Basically, cost prohibitive for the application but I appreciate the suggestion.
 

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Just an FYI. VHF is basically useless for the purpose that you want to use the radios for. The reason being is if you use them you are most likely using frequencies not legally for you to use. The only VHS channels you can use without a license are mirs channels and they are limited to 2 watts. Not saying you can't get your own channel licensed for an area but everyone you ride with would have to program that channel in their radios to be legal. The VHS channels that come programmed from these companies are not doing this legally. I think only one or two are itenerate frequencies which can be used for this but you still need a license to use them or have permission to use them from someone that has a license for the area you are riding at, the rest are used by companies that have license them for their use and are for a geographical area and if you interfere with them can get you in to hot water especially if the FCC finds out you personally programmed the radio. To be legal your best bet is to use the UHF GMRS frequencies but you still need to get a license for that but that is easy and covers your entire family. I am just trying to be informative because their are a lot of people that don't know this and let them choose how to proceed and use these channels legally or not. The chances of getting caught are slim you but if you do it's no small fine, we are talking thousands of dollars depending what you interfered with. Lots of Police and Fire Life Rescue use VHF frequencies and you never know if they are using these preprogamned frequencies in the area you are riding.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
While I appreciate the time you took for the post above, it’s not exactly correct. I already have a GMRS license and will have my Ham soon enough. VHF is by far the most widely used for car to car probably because the range is better in most terrain. GMRS are UHF and are less effective in dense areas. Now, there are lots of UHF repeaters being used legally all over the country to help boost range but that solution requires that everyone in your group have the radio programmed properly. Not practical in most instances. While you are correct that police, fire, etc use VHF almost all of them have gone to digital and analog use of the frequency isn’t even an annoyance because the radios reject the signal completely. Lastly, even if you’re using an unlicensed frequency (which I am not advocating) you would have to be causing such a ruckus as to create an interference with legitimate traffic on those bands on a scale large enough to get any FCC involvement. Quite frankly the FCC doesn’t have the time or resources to chase these minor infractions. I’ve been programming radios for years. If the FCC was so concerned about us off-readers, they would take steps to sanction the vendors of these radios, marketed specifically to us. Look how long it took the FCC to make the rule banning the sale of the radios that violate their rules. Those radios are still available as we speak and I suspect they will continue to be available. Again, thanks for your concern but my post was very specific and wasn’t posted to get into the legal issues. This has been beaten to death in many prior posts.
 
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