December 13, 2022
Midland Radio was a proud Platinum Plus Sponsor at the Midwest Jeepthing's annual Jeepstock event this fall. The club's president and treasurer share how Midland's new repeater drastically impacted the range of FRS and GRMS two-way radios.
Midwest Jeepthing is the largest Jeep-only club in the Midwest.
Based in the St. Louis area, Dave Cooley, the club's president, said the group has 780 active, dues paying members of the club. However, there are over 15,000 people that are part of the group's Facebook page.
Cooley said camaraderie amongst the group is something really special.
“I’ve seen so many people over the years that find their group of people and they become friends for life. All of that just started with buying a Jeep. It’s really cool to see these folks come together like one big happy family.”
The club has been around for about 25 years.
Jeepstock is the club's largest annual event, happening for about 18 years.
It takes place at SMORR- Southern Missouri Off-Road Ranch.
“It started out with just a handful of people and has grown over time. It’s such a homestyle event with such a friendly atmosphere. We really have a blast with that," Cooley said.
Jeepstock is a three-day event with trail runs, raffle prizes, and club meals.
There were 160 Jeeps and about 400 people at this year's Jeepstock. Over 20 different groups took to the trails.
“At this event we get everyone together. Friday night dinner, the club takes care of that so nobody has to cook. Everyone comes together under the pavilion and my motto is, 'There are no strangers out there and we get to know the new people," Cooley said.
Midland Radio donated 100 packs of X-Talker T51VP3 Walkie Talkies, 20 MXT115 MicroMobile Two-Way Radios, MXT275VP4 MicroMobile Bundle, MXT500 MicroMobile Two-Way Radio, MXT575 MicroMobile Two-Way Radio, and our not-yet-launched MXR10VP Repeater Bundle.
FRS and GMRS two-way radios are new to the club.
“We’ve been in the transition mode of trying to get out of CB and move towards something that is going to handle the quantity of Jeeps that we’ve got. Midland’s two-way radios were a big benefit this year," Cooley said.
Each Jeep was given a T51 FRS walkie talkie to communicate throughout their trail group.
“We didn’t have to worry about if everyone had radios or communicate.”
Each trail guide was given an MXT115 GMRS Two-Way Radio to communicate with other guides, the medical team, and recovery team. Cooley said GMRS radios made a difference at the event this fall.
“With the GMRS radios, the quality of the signal is much better and the distance is that much better too. At SMORR there are a lot of hills and valleys. CBs have just really been cutting out there.”
The use of the GMRS MicroMobile two-way radios were crucial for the team leaders- helping them avoid traffic jams, call the medical team, and coordinate recoveries.
“There was also one instance where there was a medical call, it wasn’t anything serious, but the medical group was standing by on the radio. However, the MicroMobiles were being used the most for groups announcing when they were about to go onto a trail, especially if it was one that wasn’t on their schedule. The radios were helping us avoid large traffic jams on the trails," Treasurer Randy Stroede said.
Cooley was even in a situation in which he had to use the radio to call for a recovery.
“I was also at one point buried in a six foot hole. I’ve got 43-inch tires on my Jeep and I got one tire in to see how deep it was, but the whole thing went down. Next thing you know, I’m on the radio and within five minutes I had several Jeeps right around me to pull me out. It was just so simple this year because of the radios," he said.
He said this event will encourage members of the group to purchase FRS and GMRS two-way radios after the success of communication.
“People realized the benefit of having two-way radios with them. It really opened peoples’ eyes to how easy it can be to communicate as some didn't have radios before this. We really appreciate Midland’s help in making this year’s event so successful.”
Midland Radio sent it's not-yet-released MXR10VP Repeater Bundle to Jeepstock to test out at the over 900 acres of SMORR.
“There’s a lot of terrain and we tried to find the highest point that was also central to all the trails we were running. Best we could tell, we had full coverage at the park," Stroede said.
The team set the repeater antenna on a flag pole to get it as high as possile, the repeater under a canopy, and ran it from a generator because there wasn't someone able to monitor the antenna throughout the event.
The entire club was impressed with the performance of the repeater at the event.
“As soon as people saw the repeater, it brought a smile to a lot of peoples’ faces because they knew it would work. We loved the repeater. Using the repeater to communicate was a highlight of the whole trip," Cooley said.
Stroede said the repeater brought constant, reliable communication to the three-day event.
“We had nothing but constant compliments on our ability to communicate. I know at one point I was at a very low spot and as far from the repeater as I could be, I did a radio check and people were answering me. I was hitting that repeater and it just worked really well.”
The repeater was essential in communication from trail guide to trail guide, trail guide to recovery team, and trail guide to medical team.
The profits from the event went to Code 3 Response.
The organization supports police and fire, something important to all members of the club.
“It’s an organization that benefits all of us. Helping fire and police is a cause that’s near and dear to us, but it’s also something that is of service to all of us.”
Stroede said the group raised $2,700.