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  • Check out our latest Blog entries
    A blog is like a diary and below we share with you some of the latest public blog entries.  All members of Gear Crushers can create a site wide blog or club focused blog entries and if you have permissions (meaning you are a member of the club(s) that have blog entries) you will see them here as an option or just go to the club and check out the blogs they have.

  • Blog Entries

    • By wildweaselmi in What a Day
         5
      This blog will start as a story of how I use to have many jobs but life was passing me by as I was on a constant spiral down from any life whatsoever. Including missing my family and friends it just lost its appeal.  My thought process was work as much as I can while I can because you never know when you just can't anymore.  Well that was nice but all you do is spend more money instead of save the extra money or try to get ahead by possibly paying off the monster debt.  Not me, I apparently have a burning hole in my pocket when I put a dollar in it.  Lot changes with your perspective when you go down to one job, one source of income.
      Sooo, the hunt began to try and find ways to save money which started with moving away from Chase Bank which kept increasing interest rate on my credit card even though my credit score was in the high 700's and sometimes would hit 800 something.  Also odd since I've been with the bank forever but I'm learning slowly that I'm more of a credit union kind of guy so I moved 99% of my finances to a Credit Union where there credit card is only 5.9% and they are willing to give me great loan rates.  What?  And they are more than helpful.  I have tried this before but really really didn't like the web/app interface and since we do most of our banking online, it was rough. Chase has a great app and web interface but seriously there rates are way too high and no loyalty to customers that give them our money to hold onto.  So two words for ya Chase, "See ya"!
      Now finances moved over to a credit union, a little bit of savings is already working in my favor (wow was I paying a ton in interest with my chase card).  My next big expense is the house, gotta have that and no sense of changing the house payment since interest rates haven't really gone down and I really don't want to start over with closing fee's, reset the 30 year fix mortgage count down back to 30 years..  its okay.  Next would be my RAM truck payment which is no more than $700/month.  I had a 2013 RAM and loved it but it started to rust (which is pretty common in Michigan) but I couldn't take it so with less than a year to pay it off I bought a 2018 RAM 2500 Limited (so fully loaded).  I never really loved the truck but thought I would eventually.  Now its been two years and it tows just as good as my 2013 with that cummins diesel purring but way too many electronics for this guy. Its time to find something else that can tow our 10,500lb RV trailer and occasionally my car hauler trailer and even sometimes my excavator trailer but most often my 25' enclosed car hauler trailer that holds our ATVs and SxS.  I just don't like anything anyone builds today.  It feels and drives like garbage so went to google and started searching for tow vehicles and what is everyone most happiest with and just about every website kept popping up Suburbans with the 8.1L.  Similar torque and horsepower as the Duramax Diesel with a few mpg less in the 8.1L for fuel econonomy but let's be real, Unleaded will always be cheaper than diesel and every mechanic can work on a gasoline engine and probably has the parts at a local store but not the same could be said about a diesel.  Good luck going to anyone but a dealer to work on it, fuel is more expensive probably 90% of the time and repairs are monstorus.  Let's also not forget you have to put cow pee in called DEF unless you delete DEF from your truck but you'll loose any warranty.  So the negative to an 8.1L is crappy fuel economy and that's it.
      So I began my search for what year(s) are the best Suburbans and they kept coming back to the 2000-2006 years.  With the 8.1L you can pull 12,500lbs (DANG!).  Sometimes you are lucky and get the Alison Transmission but most of the time you'll end up with the heavy duty 4L80e transmission.
      I found a super clean 2003 in California at Affordable Imports Auto Sales so tomorrow I'm flying out of Detroit Metro International Airport and landing in LAX around 10:20am tomorrow and catching a Lyft down to Murrieta to pick up my new/used Suburban.
       
      I will keep adding to this blog as the trip progresses
    • By guru in GC Blog
         0
      We have a small bit of land in Davison, MI with a beginner offroad trail that at times requires some technique to get through some tight spots.  I had my wife drive our 97 Chevy 1500 pickup through the trail to see how these new blacklion tires do.  Not too bad but if the mud is thick they cake pretty bad and won't clear out.  So she got stuck

      So obviously I had to walk up to the house and get the K5 and pull her out which obviously the most difficult part was walking from the back of the property to the front.

      So now that I got the K5 out I can’t just drive it back and let her sit for the rest of the winter without a little fun. Not only that but a regular tradition for the past few years is going to the Mounds Thanksgiving morning for some fun while the Turkey is on the Big Green Egg smoking.
      So long story short, wanted to make sure the K5 is running ok. As my wife takes the bypass, I go through the more fun course and to be honest, no way was that 97 going to to make it through even though from the video it probably doesn’t look that bad but it was pretty slick and that mud that just sticks like a slimy booger.
       
    • By guru in GC Blog
         2
      Ham Radio or CB Radio
      CB Radio
       
       
      Ham Radio
      License practice quiz https://myoffroadradio.com/courses/online-ham-radio-technician-license-class/
      Study Guides: http://www.w5yi.org/
      More Practice Tests: https://www.qrz.com/
       
      Here are some things to look for in a mobile ham radio for 4-wheeling:
      Dual band feature (2 m / 70 cm) - access any repeaters as you travel regardless if they are 2 meter or 70 centimeters. High output wattage - nice to have extra power to reach a remote repeater. There seems to be a tradeoff between power and dual band. Most single band 2 meter radios have more output power. Large memory capability - pre plan the repeaters for a long expedition and have room to store them all Easy to read display - size, contrast, back light, for driving safety and ease of use Removable control head - increases mounting options in the vehicle. The bulk of the radio and can go under a seat or in the trunk. Sealed radio - the cooling fan should not pull air (and, therefore dust) through the radio. NOAA weather alert - important to keep an eye on the weather when off road. Cross band repeater function - see above Ease of use. This is a bit relative. Today’s radios have so many functions, they can be challenging to program the first time. Another reason to get yourself a mentor (known as an Elmer). FRS
      Family Radio Service (FRS) is a low power, short range, radio system. FRS  walkie talkies are known as “bubble pack radios” because they are sold cheaply in the hang tab shelves of stores or in the toy section. They can be found nearly everywhere on the planet now, and are some of the most ubiquitous radio communication devices in the world. FRS radios are limited to a half-watt of output power (500 milliWatts) and have permanently attached antennas, preventing the addition of an external gain antenna. So, the normal range of FRS walkie talkies in a suburban environment is about a mile or less. FRS Frequencies are FM simplex, 7 channels at 462 MHz and 7 channels at 467 MHz in the UHF band. These channels are in between the GMRS frequencies. GMRS radios may also include FRS channels. The default PL tone for FRS is 67.0 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #1, or PL XZ, or Sub-channel CTCSS 01.
      GMRS
      General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is a local distance radio system in the same UHF band as FRS. GMRS radios can be capable of longer distance range and greater dependability than FRS. GMRS is becoming more popular  as bubble pack walkie talkies (HT) include both GMRS and FRS channels. GMRS-specific frequencies are FM simplex or duplex with 8 channels at 462 MHz and 8 channels at 467 MHz in the UHF band. The maximum power level of a GMRS is limited to 50 Watts. The most common GMRS mobile, base, or repeater radios use external gain antennas. GMRS walkie talkie handheld transceivers (HT) have only 5 Watts or less, commonly with a ducky antenna. Full duplex repeaters can be used with GMRS. GMRS Repeaters have their input channel at 467 MHz, and their output at 462 MHz. The offset is exactly 5 MHz. For repeater use, the field units transmit on 467 Mhz and receive on 462 MHz. Most bubble pack GMRS radios are simplex-only, so they do not function through a repeater. They operate only on the repeater output frequency (GMRS Channels 15 through 22). The default PL tone for GMRS simplex is 67.0 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #1, or PL XZ, or Sub-channel CTCSS 01. In a GMRS radio, the GMRS channel number is often the same for simplex and duplex, but a secondary (programmable) feature of the channel controls whether it transmits duplex +5MHz split or simplex. The GMRS simplex and duplex (repeater) channels are included in this list and programming file. In the Channel Name, they are programmed and identified separately; the repeater channel has an R in the channel name. For example as GMR 20 is the simplex channel, and GMR20R is the repeater duplex channel. PL tones vary among different repeaters in various geographic areas. The default PL tone for GMRS repeater channels is 141.3 Hz, but it can be changed in the user’s radio programming to another PL tone frequency as required to hit specific repeaters.
      PMR446
      Personal Mobile Radio (PMR or PMR446) is a low power, short range, radio system similar to FRS. It is very common in Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Walkie talkie bubble pack PMR radios are sold cheaply. PMR radios are limited to a half-watt of output power (500 milliWatts). So, the normal range of PMR walkie talkies in a suburban environment is about a mile or less. PMR frequencies are commonly FM simplex, 8 channels at 446 MHz in the UHF band. An additional 14 digital channels are available for PMR446, but are less common. In USA and many other places, the 446 MHz band is assigned to Amateur Radio Service (Ham) so, all the PMR channels can be used by hams in those areas. The default PL tone for PMR is 67.0 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #1, or PL XZ, or Sub-channel CTCSS 01. The PMR Prepper channel (PMR 3) (446.03125 MHz) is somewhat interoperable with the Ham UHF Prepper channel (HAM U3) (446.030 MHz).
      HAM
      Amateur Radio Service, widely known as Ham Radio, is an internationally allocated radio service for non-commercial radio communications. It has frequency bands in all areas of the spectrum. The ham radio frequencies in this list are only a few of the most common VHF and UHF channels used by ham operators for local FM simplex. Additionally the list includes the Prepper Ham VHF simplex channel (146.420 MHz), the Survivalist Ham VHF simplex channel (144.550 MHz) and the Prepper Ham UHF simplex channel (446.030 MHz) that is somewhat interoperable with the PMR Prepper channel 3 (446.03125 MHz). The default PL tone for Ham is 100.0 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #12, or PL 1Z, or Sub-channel CTCSS 12. Most hams also make use of repeaters in the VHF and UHF bands, but the channels for these repeaters vary according to geographic area. There is no universal repeater channel frequency or PL tone that is valid in all areas, they are all different. When programming your radio, it is advisable to include the repeater channels and PL tones in your area. See a repeater directory for more information.
      MARINE
      Marine radio service in this list includes the most common simplex VHF channels in use by boats and ships, for inter-ship and safety communications by FM voice. Marine VHF radio is used on the high seas, inland waterways, lakes, and rivers by vessels and shore stations. No PL tone is used by Marine VHF radios, it is all carrier squelch. The Marine channels have the transmit PL tone turned off, and use Receive Carrier Squelch. Most Marine VHF radios also have duplex channels for use when communicating with shore radiotelephone and port operations. The duplex channels are purposely not included in this list, in order to keep the total number of channels below 99.
      BUSINESS
      Business radio, or commercial VHF and UHF radio channels, are generally set up for specific companies in a local geographic area. There are also a few business radio channels, called Business Itinerant, that are devoted to operation anywhere. These are low power simplex channels, and only 2 of them are included in this list. The Red Dot (151.625 MHz) and the Purple Dot (151.955 MHz) channels are common Business Itinerant channels, and they are some of the most popularly used channels on VHF for commercial or rental HT walkie talkies. The default PL tone for the Business channels is 67.0 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #1, or PL XZ, or Sub-channel CTCSS 01.
      SAR
      For EMERGENCY ONLY, SAR is a service channel for Search and Rescue (SAR) or Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT) . The primary interoperability channel in USA for SAR is 155.160 MHz FM simplex. This is a very important channel to keep clear for emergency purposes, and should never be transmitted on for non-emergency communications! The purpose is to provide mobile, HT, and base communications for field operations of land or ground search and rescue teams, ambulances, and medical personnel at the scene of incidents. It is identified in the list as the channel name SAREMT. The default interoperability PL tone for SAR EMT is 127.3 Hz. It is also known as Privacy tone #19, or PL 3A, or Sub-channel CTCSS 19.
    • By wildweaselmi in GC Blog
         0
      I have two boys that love to run there four wheelers around our 9 acres but watching them drive reckless (like they are unstoppable) made me gather some videos I wanted them to watch to bring them back to reality and show them other kids that also thought they were unstoppable until they were stopped dead in there tracks.
      Girl, 12, dies after ATV crash Up North, organs donated
      https://www.fox2detroit.com/news/360778440-video
       
      14-year-old boy dies in ATV crash
       
      Police: 14-year-old boy dies in Bethlehem ATV crash
      https://www.wtnh.com/news/police-14-year-old-boy-dies-in-bethlehem-atv-crash/
       
      14 year old dies in ATV accident
      https://www.kveo.com/news/local-news/14-year-old-dies-in-atv-accident/
       
      PGPD chief: This is a tragic situation | 8-year-old boy dies after ATV accident in Temple Hills
       
       
      7-year-old boy dies after ATV crash in western Kansas, highway patrol says
      https://www.kentucky.com/news/article228117694.html
       
      9-year-old girl killed in ATV crash
      https://www.fox13news.com/news/414328015-video
       
      Waverly boy killed Sunday in Schuyler County ATV crash
      https://www.pressconnects.com/videos/news/local/2017/08/01/video-motorcycle-deaths-numbers/104173498/
       
      12-year-old Belgrade boy dies in ATV crash near Three Forks
      https://gftrib.com/2Nh0vXd
       
    • By wildweaselmi in Cool Gear
         0
      No matter if you are into Nascar or Offroad racing or whatever we all need to communicate.  CB Radios are a thing of the past.  From reading articles, forums and other online research they all lead to either BaoFeng Radios or the more expensive Rugged Radios.  Pros and Cons to both.  They can both be programmed with the freeware software called Chirp (its available on Mac, Windows, Linux).
      BaoFeng BF-F8HP

       
      REFERENCE: MyOffRoadRadio.com for information on how to use
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