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Another B2B FRS/GMRS Question


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We had been having trouble with our B2B which runs on Midland FRS/GMRS units. These run through a Starcom1 integrator along with an mp3 player.


We were getting a lot of drop outs, unpredictable delays in channels opening on reply, and sometimes no channel at all. We weren't sure if it was the Starcoms1's or the radios. After a series of trails we have now pinned the problem to the radios and determined that it only occurs when privacy codes are enabled.


The radios offer 104 DCS and 38 CTCSS privacy codes. The systems work flawlessly with the privacy codes disabled, but work miserably with either type enabled.


On doing some reading I find that all these privacy things do is filter out unwanted chatter and spurious noise from incoming signals, but do not encrypt your signal to prevent eavesdropping or prevent you from interfering with those that may be on the channel that you can not hear with the codes enabled.


I've pretty well decided to just leave the codes off, since we rarely pick up anyone else anyway, but wondered what others have found.


Do your radios work well with the privacy on, or do your have problems?


Is it worth switching to another radio to get working privacy codes, e.g. are riders having problems without privacy codes turned on?





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IMHO, the "privacy codes" (squelch codes, actually) also add a delay that's likely to clip the first word or so off a transmission if the sender doesn't wait just a bit after keying the mike. Not what you want when that word is "radar" or "bambi" or "gravel" or "sand". Plus, with the code on, you don't know whether somebody else is using the channel, but with another code, which may block your transmission or theirs. You do have to put up with occasional noise and "outside" conversations when you don't use the code, though. I can live with that.

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I'm not sure the codes really have a place in the B2B world. As rapidly as the surroundings change, we're past any interference almost as quickly as it happens.


Also, working with an open frequency is a simpler (safer) way to operate the radio - especially at speed where every distraction can be your last distraction.


The codes are fine if you're using the radio in a busy mall or amusement park and there are hundreds of people competing for the same frequencies. Out on the open road there really isn't an advantage.

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