UHF Radio's

My very old GME has just died.

I was looking at getting a little unit to sit under the dash, as I was thinking about getting a double din head unit (double as a screen for a reversing camera). I was looking at a TX-3100. They are a cheap little 80 channel unit. Are there any negatives about using one of these? I don't need anything fancy but will be doing a lot of desert driving.
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Reply By: Idler Chris - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:44

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 13:44
I have a TX 3345 which is mounted out of sight under the steering wheel as all the controls are on the mike. The reasons are this,
1. The radio is out of sight giving less clutter and a very easy installation and no holes to be drilled.
2. Never found a UHF radio where you could hear it clearly with the window down let alone a CD playing. Their speakers are small and behind the dash usually. I have a cord stung between the grab handle behind the front seats and I hang an extension speaker from this right near my left ear. I can clearly hear the UHF with the window down and even a CD playing provided it is not really loud.

Tip;
It is best to have a cable with no joiners from your aerial to the UHF unit. When installing a new radio make the aerial cable an extra metre (i did 2 metres) or more so that in the future if you have aerial problems and have to cut some of your cable off you have some spare to pull through and so avoid having to put in a joiner. The excess cable you just cable tie in some convenient location out of site.
Hope this is helpful.
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Follow Up By: AlbyNSW - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 16:48

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 16:48
Agree with what Chris has said, I had the same/ similar as his ( can't remember the model) with remote head and in my current vehicle have the GME 3100 with extension speaker
Both units have been great and highly recommend for simple usability.
I would choose based on mounting location and whether you want to see the unit or not
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Follow Up By: Member - Bruce C (NSW) - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 17:30

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 17:30
Actually guys I have found that the speakers fitted to GME units to be pretty dam good for a small speaker. They must be very good quality. I find them to be very clear. My unit with its built in speaker is fitted at about knee height just inside the door low down on the dash in the cruiser, in fact just in front of my knee so it is easy to get to. It is a TX 3500, a smallish unit and its location means it would be affected by road noise but I turn it up a little if needed when the window is down. I have been impressed with both the GMEs I have or had, only ever had 2 UHF, this one and previously a GME TX 4400 fitted in the dash in the 80 series.

As a main communication unit I would not have anything else but a GME and I can highly recommend them. Please note though that I have never tried any other brand of fixed UHF so cannot speak re others.

Cheers, Bruce.
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Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 22:22

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 22:22
Yes, I agree Bruce,

I have a GME remote head unit with the transceiver box (with built-in speaker) mounted under the dash up against the firewall.

I can hear quite well, even though my hearing is not as good as it once was. (I normally wear hearing aids)

Bill


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Reply By: Robin Miller - Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 15:16

Sunday, Feb 23, 2014 at 15:16
There are definately reasons why some of the radios are cheaper IronJosh.

However you may never know or be affected by those reasons.

They include simple things like electronically poor ways to internal regulate power so radio uses more than than a better design does - but would that worry you ?

Other things include the fact that they might be only 1/2 as sensitive as others and you would never know - why because more and more no longer include specifications in there user guide . A friend just got a sub minature TX 3100 for xmas but I haven't followed it thru just yet to see how it stacks up apart from fact that it communicates quite well in convoy stuff.

I needed some more junk UHFs the other day and brought there competitor the Oricom UHF300 - these sell for around $145.

1 failed out of the box as was replaced and now I have 2 good ones.

I was interested to see how they cut corners and one of the tricks is with the scanning.

With 80 channels scaning is more of an issue these days as it takes longer.

This radio takes around 10 seconds to scan the Band in OS mode.

Now like most radios they have the ability to scan selected channels - this sounds good as out in the dessert I often like to monitor just 3 or 5 main channels.

So if you thought it would be a lot faster to scan 5 channels instead of 80 you would be wrong.

Because of low grunt processors etc when it scans it still scans 80 when set to 5 however it just doesn't stop on the other 75 if they have a signal.

Hence it still takes 10 seconds and you loose lots of ability to hear other traffic.

Note - others may bring up GS mode scanning , in this mode they check for a priorty set channel which will be found quicker but rest of scan still takes 10 secs.

Still the UHF300 delivers what I wanted for the cheap price.
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