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BTech GMRS-PRO Review

This is a quick review after a few months of use with the new-ish BTech GMRS-PRO. As backstory, we have been looking for a solid GMRS as well as a method to be able to use GMRS safely on motorcycles for a number of years. Picked this up to give it a shot. Yes, bought it myself. Not sponsored, paid, bribed, etc...



Links to stuff:


Amazon Links:







First Impressions:

Arrived packaged well with all the "stuff" required to assemble and charge it. There are a lot of directions but it does a lot of things. MB523 figured out the fast way to install the clip which did save some time. Key feature is the external USBC charge port on the battery (which can also be exchanged) - I can't stand special "docks" that radios need to be plugged into for charging especially when they are used in vehicles. The app downloaded quickly and everything powered up A-OK.



Programming:

This thing has some features so it took some time to set up the radio and app the way I wanted to. While most features are accessible on the radio, the smartphone makes it easier to read and to for most things. I named the radio since we have more than one so I know which one I am connected to. I then configured the settings for what I would normally want, again from the cell phone app. If you just want to turn it on and go to GMRS channels you really don't need to, but what is the fun in that.



GPS Location:

Another key features of these radios is GPS location. Location is available on the radio and on the app. There is actually a map which can show your current location on the map. It will also show location of other radios as sending of GPS location can be turned on as part of a trailer to any voice message. Hooray for data over GMRS! I have only tried this with 2 radios but have successfully noted locations of both on the app and the radio screen itself. For guided runs or group trips this is a really cool feature if people get split up. Or you need to find your kids.



Bluetooth:

This was really what drove me to try this solutions as I've never been happy with motorcycle comm sets due to distance and compatibility limitations. They rarely talk to each other so unless all your friends have the same stuff and can stay within 1/8 mi of each other its back to some other form of vehicle to vehicle communication. SENA makes a "bluetooth adapter" for about $300 but if its already included in a $150 radio that seems to make a lot more sense. I have successfully paired the radio with an Apple phone, a BTECH push to talk (PTT) button, as well as the SENA SRL2 motorcycle Comm set. And all at the same time. That means I can look at the app on the phone, push the button to talk, and then talk through the headset. The SENA recognizes the radio as a 2nd cell phone so it will interrupt whatever is going on in the headset when a radio communication comes in or the PTT opens the channel to talk. Its pretty cool. PTT button on the left side of the handlebar (or wherever you want) and it just works.



Range:

Seems at least as good as other 5W hand held radios in the GMRS thread. Not as good as the 25-50W fixed mount radios that some of us have in our 4 wheel rigs. Been plenty for vehicle-vehicle communication for most situations I have tried so far. On a motorcycle you can also mount it anywhere you want to get the best reception. If you have the app on a device you don't even need to have it accessible to the rider. It can be hanging out somewhere on the bike charging with the antenna pointed up and out of the way. Have taken it on some hikes and it goes well beyond line of sight.



Waterproof-ness:

Have not fully tested this yet, only in light mist and it did fine.



Channel Range:

It can access the full range of GMRS channels but also can monitor some other frequencies. Also a FM radio if thats your thing. Its nice that it has power ranges for the high-power channels so you don't have to use all the watts all the time if you are close to other people. I like that it can monitor 2 channels and talk on one of them. Its really easy to switch between either on the app or on the radio and it lets you know visually which channel is receiving.



Overall Impression:

Pretty happy with this as a multi-purpose tool. Its not the cheapest 5W GMRS. Its not the only waterproof handheld. Its not a "fully domestic brand". I could not find a solution that allowed hiking, driving, and motorcycle communication solutions for less than what I paid for the radio and the PTT button. They work really well together and this has really made me just a little bit more of a "Radio dork" than I thought I was capable of becoming.

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