December 12, 2023
Midland caught up with Joey Anderson about the family's efforts to install a GMRS repeater in rural Arizona.
Joey, his wife Robyn, daughter Jetta, son Bodie, and dog Luna are originally from the Big Bear Lake area in California. Two years ago they moved to Mojave Valley, Arizona.
“We were just kind of sick of the day to day 9 to 5 thing so we decided to start outfitting our rigs and we got a roof top tent and started hitting the trails.”
The family spends about 150-200 nights a year camping and guiding other overlanders. They give free guided tours and trips all over California and the Western United States. Those trips include a tour starting in southern California to Colorado. 90% of that trip is off-road.
“We just like getting out there with like-minded people and people newer to the industry to help guide them and achieve their goals. We want to help them figure out how to get off-road- do it right and safely," Joey said.
For half the year, the family is out exploring rural Arizona.
“In the area that we live in half the year, out in Arizona, it’s a pretty rural area. There’s a lot of off-roading enthusiasts out there- not only trucks, Jeeps, Toyotas, and those sort of vehicles, but also a lot of side-by-sides. Come winter time in the desert, it’s prime season for all of this.”
The rural environment directly impacts communication.
“Because it’s a rural area, there’s a lot of places that we explore that have no cellphone coverage. That being said, we decided we would put in a repeater and looked to Midland. We have a repeater with a designated channel out at the Colorado River Valley. We set it up for all the off-road enthusiasts have a reliable system that can give them communication when they need it and project that signal range further than they would get normally.”
Having reliable communication combines connection and safety.
“It gives people a safer and more reliable option for communication whether it’s for emergencies, for day-to-day vehicle-to-vehicle communications over hills or around bends. It’s a pretty diverse and dynamic set of trails up in the hills. We’re getting ready to install a second one near Lake Mojave. It will be a pretty large coverage area after we’re done here."
The Andersons turned to Midland's GMRS repeater for their communication solution.
The MXR10VP boasts 10 Watts of power and 16 channel repeater packs a punch and transforms GMRS two-way radio communication. The bundle includes the repeater, antenna, mount, and 50 foot cable ensuring users have everything needed for a seamless installation. It's something Anderson noted as he was getting the repeater set up.
“The best part is ease of use. The set up of the repeater and the install was so simple. The programming of it was also super straightforward.”
Anderson also said he's impressed with the durability of the repeater.
“It’s a really durable box too so you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged.”
He's worked with others in the area to ensure the repeater is up and running efficiently.
“We love it. It’s doing a really good job. We were blessed to have several veterans that are radio enthusiasts in the valley that we connected with through testing the repeater who have become huge assets to us. They’ve been really helpful with the clarity, getting the tone settings, and making sure we’re covering the right areas.”
The repeater and its antenna live on a building at the Tri-State Shooting Park, a community shooting club in the Mojave Valley of Arizona. The repeater is housed in a building. Anderson is thankful the park agreed to be home base for the system.
"They were just amazing to us to provide a location for the repeater.”
He couldn't be happier with the system.
“We’ve had absolutely no problems with it whatsoever. It’s been a pleasure to get it out there. I love it. It’s a great product.”
The challenging aspect of setting up the GMRS repeater was getting the word out and making sure everyone knew how to use it.
“Once we were able to get that education and training across to people, word started traveling pretty quickly and it worked so well.”
Next step was getting others set up.
“Once everybody got ahold of the privacy tone that we programmed in, we’ve been sending that out to all the local enthusiasts and the off-road community. We’ve had really great feedback.”
Anderson said the repeater brings the community connection and promotes safety in the area.
“Out in that area we have some pretty crazy weather during the monsoon season. Some of this weather will take out the power and cellular service out there so this adds another layer of communication for the community if and when that happens.”
It's been such a blessing that Anderson is installing a second repeater in the area.