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They use GMRS over FRS because GMRS has more power and more specific frequencies
I know you said you're going to avoid being technical, but just for others that will find this, GMRS allows more power on channels 1-7 and 15-22.

There aren't "more specific" frequencies between FRS and GMRS. The frequencies are the frequencies.

You can use DCS or CTCSS encoding (also called "privacy codes" in bubble-pack radios), but those aren't private like a cell phone call. Anyone on the frequency/channel without encoding enabled will hear everything you say. Again, just writing this so others don't think they can pick up a GMRS radio and have private communication outside of cell phones.

BTW, a GMRS radio license allows you to operate a Part 95A radio. The Btech GMRS-V1 is Part 95A compliant and requires a GMRS license (like yours) to legally operate it.

The UV-5RTP is not Part 95A compliant and thus requires an amateur radio license to legally operate it. Your GMRS license will get you out of exactly 0 trouble should someone actually pursue that avenue.

Realistically, it's highly unlikely that you will be prosecuted given the limited resources of the FCC, unless you do something really stupid like talk to Air Traffic Control or police dispatch.
 

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Nice.

Do you plan to program in any ham repeaters in to your radio? I know you said you have no interest in the license (I also have no interest in chatting with local hams), but, in an emergency no one is going to call the FCC on you if you were to hop on and ask for help. The reach of the repeater can be pretty significant. The local repeater here in the Twin cities metro from north to south covers a good 130 miles. I can be up near Pine city and be able to talk loud and clear to someone just north of Owatonna with my radio on low power.

Also (feel free to stop me any time) but have you thought of also getting a mag mount antenna to attach to the Baofang? I have one for mine and it also helps quite a bit with range. They sell an adapter that adapts the SMA plug of the radio to a standard UHF cable connector. A mag mount on the center of your roof is a mad good antenna setup.
Not really, to be honest - I don't go off-road alone. Also the crew I roll with, two of them have HAM and one has an InReach, so we're all pretty much covered in case of an emergency. So for me, this Baofeng is really just for vehicle-to-vehicle comms, and nothing beyond that.

I did actually shop around for a mag mount antenna! When I removed the Midland CB from my truck, I also removed the CB antenna cable I fed through into the cabin, and that led to me removing my custom CB antenna mount and Firestik antenna. I put the OEM radio antenna back in the stock location (so basically I erased the previous CB antenna mod) and then I got to thinking about "What if I added an external antenna for the GMRS?" I found a few (including the SMA to UHF adapter, of course) but I just added them to the list of "maybe later" things. Right now the way I'm using the Baofeng (close-range vehicle-to-vehicle only), I have more than enough range with the stock antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,023 ·
I know you said you're going to avoid being technical, but just for others that will find this, GMRS allows more power on channels 1-7 and 15-22.

There aren't "more specific" frequencies between FRS and GMRS. The frequencies are the frequencies.

You can use DCS or CTCSS encoding (also called "privacy codes" in bubble-pack radios), but those aren't private like a cell phone call. Anyone on the frequency/channel without encoding enabled will hear everything you say. Again, just writing this so others don't think they can pick up a GMRS radio and have private communication outside of cell phones.

BTW, a GMRS radio license allows you to operate a Part 95A radio. The Btech GMRS-V1 is Part 95A compliant and requires a GMRS license (like yours) to legally operate it.

The UV-5RTP is not Part 95A compliant and thus requires an amateur radio license to legally operate it. Your GMRS license will get you out of exactly 0 trouble should someone actually pursue that avenue.

Realistically, it's highly unlikely that you will be prosecuted given the limited resources of the FCC, unless you do something really stupid like talk to Air Traffic Control or police dispatch.
I did my homework. I'm fully aware of the output limits for each set of GMRS frequencies (we use channel 15 for the full 50w). And my use of the word "specific" was a reference to the different output wattage, but like I said: didn't want to get all technical. And I don't think I even mentioned anything about privacy (?)

I'm also fully aware that sure, I have the GMRS license, and I've seen all the discussions and videos about the Baofeng not being Part95A compliant. This post was "hey I got a radio for my truck" - not, "hey I got a radio and let me tell you how to use it and what's legal and what's not" :cool:

Are you a HAM guy? JUST KIDDING 😝
...unless you are. Then... 🙃
 

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I did my homework. I'm fully aware of the output limits for each set of GMRS frequencies (we use channel 15 for the full 50w). And my use of the word "specific" was a reference to the different output wattage, but like I said: didn't want to get all technical. And I don't think I even mentioned anything about privacy (?)

I'm also fully aware that sure, I have the GMRS license, and I've seen all the discussions and videos about the Baofeng not being Part95A compliant. This post was "hey I got a radio for my truck" - not, "hey I got a radio and let me tell you how to use it and what's legal and what's not" :cool:

Are you a HAM guy? JUST KIDDING 😝
...unless you are. Then... 🙃
Understood; I don't want others to find this post and think they just need a pay-and-play GMRS license to legally operate a UV-5RTP.

Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse. But since you know the law and willfully choose to ignore it, well that's on you.

I'd wager that almost all the desert prerunner guys buy radios from Rugged Radios or PCI Race Radios, get them programmed by someone, and go play. Like I said, the likelihood of ever getting caught is next to nothing unless you cause problems for others. If I were in your shoes, I wouldn't even bother with the GMRS license since it's not applicable to that radio. Well I guess you get to say "This is <callsign>" legally.

I was going for the technician license but life got in the way.

On another note, I'm halfway waiting for you to get the Rago ditch light brackets since I'm sure you'll do a much better write up than anything on the Internet so far. And your attention to detail seems on par or more than mine. I'd be mildly annoyed if I had to trim the windshield cowling or push the fenders to get them to line up!
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,025 ·
Understood; I don't want others to find this post and think they just need a pay-and-play GMRS license to legally operate a UV-5RTP.
Im pretty sure I never said anything stating that, but okay

Ignorance of the law isn't an excuse. But since you know the law and willfully choose to ignore it, well that's on you.
I'm sure you've gone over the posted speed limit before :D

On another note, I'm halfway waiting for you to get the Rago ditch light brackets since I'm sure you'll do a much better write up than anything on the Internet so far. And your attention to detail seems on par or more than mine. I'd be mildly annoyed if I had to trim the windshield cowling or push the fenders to get them to line up!
Ah yeah... in that other thread there's conflicting info about the Rago brackets and the installation. I did email Rago for their official reply and they said no mods needed, so we'll see if it is truly "bolt-on" without having to hack anything important. My main concern is fender alignment after adding the brackets; I don't want to install them then have my fender sticking out away from the A-pillar like something is jammed in there... but I have a lot of other things on my plate right now so don't wait, I don't plan on jumping into the Ditch light project right away (y)
 

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Im pretty sure I never said anything stating that, but okay
You did not, but you did post a picture of your GMRS license then post the radio you bought. Someone scrolling through the pictures will see that and go "Oh, that license is what I need for that radio."

I'm sure you've gone over the posted speed limit before :D
Pshhh...I did triple-digits on my motorcycle on a surface street past a cop. This was like at midnight with no one on the road. I didn't even wait for him to turn around. I pulled over, turned the bike off, took off my helmet, sat on the curb and waited for him. He rolled up, rolled down his passenger side window and said, "Don't do that again. Have a good night." And left.

I don't want to install them then have my fender sticking out away from the A-pillar like something is jammed in there... but I have a lot of other things on my plate right now so don't wait,
Same here. My other concern is having to trim plastics and/or having them be misaligned or forced on.

I'm thinking I'll knock two birds with one stone and install repeater (turn signal) lights on the ditch light brackets along with pod lights, especially since it's a straight shot across the engine bay to the front turn signals.
 
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I've got the same or similar baofeng I haven't even really used it yet. But it's more of a bad things are already happening item for me... Not going to stress about a license if I'm in a situation a cellphone won't suffice for lol
 

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Such A Hard Case - Air Comp Project, Part 1 (01.24.2021)
This isn’t exactly “Frontier specific” but it’s something meant specifically for my truck, so here it is.

Switching to the topic of airing down/up during off-road excursions, leave it to me to come up with a DIY project that could have been easily avoided if I had just decided to buy the $375 ARB CKMP12 Portable Air Compressor – you know, the cool looking one that sits inside a toolbox. However the more I looked into that unit, the more I was reading that a lot of owners weren’t exactly thrilled with its reliability (something not normally associated with the ARB brand). Personally I thought that the grey plastic toolbox had thin walls, and the plastic (!) latches felt flimsy for something priced that high (my cousin actually broke a latch, had to jump through hoops to get a replacement under warranty). So when it came down it, I decided to pass on paying $375+ tax just because it was branded “ARB”… and instead, I decided to make my own version of the hard case air compressor, DIY style.



To get started I needed an air compressor, of course. I already had a reliable Viair 300P for a few years now, but it did not have the auto on/off function that the ARB had (where it will only turn the air on when you need it, and automatically turn the air off when you don’t). I really liked my Viair compressor, so the first thing I started to do was look into DIYing my own pressure switch/auto on and off contraption for my 300P, until I discovered that Viair already had the 400P-Automatic! that was the first piece of the puzzle. The 400P-Automatic not only had the auto on/off function I was looking for, but it was also rated for larger tires (up to 35″, vs. maximum 33″ for the 300P) and more powerful (read: faster) than the 300P. I sold the 300P quick and ordered up a new 400P-Automatic:


Fresh out of the box, brand new Viair 400P-Automatic Air Compressor.

More fun facts: It turns out that the 400P-Automatic has a higher maximum output rating (150-psi vs. ARB’s 100-psi) and a claimed faster fill-up time than the ARB for similar sized tires. So far so good; once the 400P-Automatic arrived I took dimensional measurements and started the search for a good sized tool box with a reasonable price. My criteria was something around 18″ long (the ARB for comparison is 17.3″ long); something that had much thicker, stronger walls and floor (unlike the thin ARB tool box) with reliable, heavy duty metal latches (unlike the ARB’s plastic ones); something within a reasonable price (under $50) . My first stop was Harbor Freight, where I ordered a “Voyager” 20″ Stainless Steel tool box for $30 shipped:



Big Mistake! This thing looked good on the website but boy was I surprised when I saw it in person! The walls were stainless steel… thin stainless steel – as in “poke it with your pinky and it will flex” thin. The plastic parts were brittle and creaked when any pressure was applied to them. There was zero internal reinforcement, and there was no way I was going to even try to build my own hard case compressor with this thing. I immediately returned it, and a few days later I found this:



This is a Craftsman 18-in. tool box that features thick, heavy duty composite walls and top; two large, lockable rust-proof metal latches; and an IP54 rated water resistant seal around the opening to keep water and moisture out. It also had a pair of neat sliding drawers, but for this project I removed them. The build itself was composed of a lot of spare items I had in the garage (hardware, wires, connectors, etc.) and I tried to order anything else, as little as possible, to keep the final cost down as low as possible. I did have to pickup some small specialized tidbits from McMaster-Carr, but aside from that I used what I had:


I buy a lot of hardware from McMaster-Carr, and good thing they’re local!

Starting with mounting: my plan was to remove the 400P-Automatic’s standard base so that I could mount it to the inside floor of the new tool box. After some brainstorming I settled on using M6 hardware, rubber isolators, and low-profile stainless steel flush nuts to serve as mounting points for the air compressor:


I trimmed the bolts down so that they sat below the bottom of the tool box, ensuring that the tool box could still sit flat.


Rubber isolators installed, these will keep vibration down and not make the tool box move around while in use.



Next, I trimmed an unused plastic paper tray straight down the middle, trimmed it down to size, filed the edges, and mounted it as a divider for the tool box. This would allow me to store the air compressor hose on one side of the tool box without the hose touching the air compressor’s metal body (which will get hot under normal use). I used two of the rubber isolators as mounting screws for the divider, securely sandwiching it down to the floor of the tool box:



Next, I started working on the “control panel” for the left side. I wasn’t sure yet what things I was going to put on this panel, but I knew that I wanted something that looked better and was more functional than the little metal plate that the ARB had. The inner shape of the Craftsman tool box made it a little complicated; I used cardboard and a lot of trimming to match the inner shape of the tool box walls, transferred the shape to the other half of that same paper try I used earlier, and did a lot of Dremel work and hand filing afterward to create the panel:


The Dremel is still faster than a hot knife… just wear eye protection and be careful of hot plastic bits flying everywhere.



I used some leftover 1/8″ rubber edge trim I found in the garage for the control panel and the center divider.



Now that I had a blank panel in place, I kept running through different layouts in my head of what I could install onto the panel. Everything from a quick connect cable socket, to some LED indicator lights, to separate switches for a possible fan cooler, and so forth… but since I couldn’t make up my mind, I decided for now to just install the quick connect cable socket (which I already bought) and do the rest later. After reinforcing the underside of the control panel with a pair of L-brackets (which bolt to the side walls of the tool box for a secure mount and solid support) I installed the quick connect socket, a temporary 12V/40A relay, and a quick-connect plug to lead to the actual air compressor:



likewise I also did some wiring modifications on the 400P-Automatic to get rid of the OE crimp connections, then while I was in there I also wired in its own quick connect:



Hardwired everything inside, and added in a 10-Gauge heavy duty SAE quick connector on the end.

With the wiring part done for now, I then took apart all the hardware, added a drop of liquid threadlock to each bolt, reassembled everything, and then finally – I reached the point where I could actually bolt down the air compressor into the tool box! The tight clearance meant it was slightly awkward to get the short bolts down into the lower bracket (I need a longer 4mm hex wrench) but with some patience I got the compressor attached to all four rubber isolators:



…and here it is. Not exactly the “final” version, but 100% fully functional:


A quick summary of the parts I used so far:

STUFF I HAD TO BUY
$221 Viair 400P Automatic Air Compressor
$25 Craftsman 18″ Heavy Duty Tool Box
$10 4-pcs. Anti-Vibration Mounts
$14 Misc. Hardware from McMaster-Carr
TOTAL $270

STUFF I ALREADY HAD
SAE Connectors
New, Unused Paper Tray
1/8″ Rubber Edge Trim
Some Wire and Solder

During this build there were more than a few things that I have kept in mind when I get around to revising it later:
  1. 10-gauge wire might be overkill, and it’s a pain to bend into tight angles.
  2. I’m going to have to monitor the wire temps when I use the air compressor in real world conditions to see if I can downsize it a little.
  3. For redundancy purposes I may incorporate either a replaceable fuse holder or a resettable circuit breaker into the control panel.
  4. Do I need a separate on/off switch on the panel?
  5. Should I install a voltmeter (for looks) or an ammeter (for data)?
  6. Maybe some LED lighting for night use?
So that’s it so far – part 1 is done, for now. The next part of this project will involve an add-on accessory that requires a lot of brass fittings… heh!



----------------------------------------------------------------
This can also be seen at project:KEIRA
 

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Such A Hard Case - Air Comp Project, Part 1 (01.24.2021)
This isn’t exactly “Frontier specific” but it’s something meant specifically for my truck, so here it is.

Switching to the topic of airing down/up during off-road excursions, leave it to me to come up with a DIY project that could have been easily avoided if I had just decided to buy the $375 ARB CKMP12 Portable Air Compressor – you know, the cool looking one that sits inside a toolbox. However the more I looked into that unit, the more I was reading that a lot of owners weren’t exactly thrilled with its reliability (something not normally associated with the ARB brand). Personally I thought that the grey plastic toolbox had thin walls, and the plastic (!) latches felt flimsy for something priced that high (my cousin actually broke a latch, had to jump through hoops to get a replacement under warranty). So when it came down it, I decided to pass on paying $375+ tax just because it was branded “ARB”… and instead, I decided to make my own version of the hard case air compressor, DIY style.



To get started I needed an air compressor, of course. I already had a reliable Viair 300P for a few years now, but it did not have the auto on/off function that the ARB had (where it will only turn the air on when you need it, and automatically turn the air off when you don’t). I really liked my Viair compressor, so the first thing I started to do was look into DIYing my own pressure switch/auto on and off contraption for my 300P, until I discovered that Viair already had the 400P-Automatic! that was the first piece of the puzzle. The 400P-Automatic not only had the auto on/off function I was looking for, but it was also rated for larger tires (up to 35″, vs. maximum 33″ for the 300P) and more powerful (read: faster) than the 300P. I sold the 300P quick and ordered up a new 400P-Automatic:


Fresh out of the box, brand new Viair 400P-Automatic Air Compressor.

More fun facts: It turns out that the 400P-Automatic has a higher maximum output rating (150-psi vs. ARB’s 100-psi) and a claimed faster fill-up time than the ARB for similar sized tires. So far so good; once the 400P-Automatic arrived I took dimensional measurements and started the search for a good sized tool box with a reasonable price. My criteria was something around 18″ long (the ARB for comparison is 17.3″ long); something that had much thicker, stronger walls and floor (unlike the thin ARB tool box) with reliable, heavy duty metal latches (unlike the ARB’s plastic ones); something within a reasonable price (under $50) . My first stop was Harbor Freight, where I ordered a “Voyager” 20″ Stainless Steel tool box for $30 shipped:



Big Mistake! This thing looked good on the website but boy was I surprised when I saw it in person! The walls were stainless steel… thin stainless steel – as in “poke it with your pinky and it will flex” thin. The plastic parts were brittle and creaked when any pressure was applied to them. There was zero internal reinforcement, and there was no way I was going to even try to build my own hard case compressor with this thing. I immediately returned it, and a few days later I found this:



This is a Craftsman 18-in. tool box that features thick, heavy duty composite walls and top; two large, lockable rust-proof metal latches; and an IP54 rated water resistant seal around the opening to keep water and moisture out. It also had a pair of neat sliding drawers, but for this project I removed them. The build itself was composed of a lot of spare items I had in the garage (hardware, wires, connectors, etc.) and I tried to order anything else, as little as possible, to keep the final cost down as low as possible. I did have to pickup some small specialized tidbits from McMaster-Carr, but aside from that I used what I had:


I buy a lot of hardware from McMaster-Carr, and good thing they’re local!

Starting with mounting: my plan was to remove the 400P-Automatic’s standard base so that I could mount it to the inside floor of the new tool box. After some brainstorming I settled on using M6 hardware, rubber isolators, and low-profile stainless steel flush nuts to serve as mounting points for the air compressor:


I trimmed the bolts down so that they sat below the bottom of the tool box, ensuring that the tool box could still sit flat.


Rubber isolators installed, these will keep vibration down and not make the tool box move around while in use.



Next, I trimmed an unused plastic paper tray straight down the middle, trimmed it down to size, filed the edges, and mounted it as a divider for the tool box. This would allow me to store the air compressor hose on one side of the tool box without the hose touching the air compressor’s metal body (which will get hot under normal use). I used two of the rubber isolators as mounting screws for the divider, securely sandwiching it down to the floor of the tool box:



Next, I started working on the “control panel” for the left side. I wasn’t sure yet what things I was going to put on this panel, but I knew that I wanted something that looked better and was more functional than the little metal plate that the ARB had. The inner shape of the Craftsman tool box made it a little complicated; I used cardboard and a lot of trimming to match the inner shape of the tool box walls, transferred the shape to the other half of that same paper try I used earlier, and did a lot of Dremel work and hand filing afterward to create the panel:


The Dremel is still faster than a hot knife… just wear eye protection and be careful of hot plastic bits flying everywhere.



I used some leftover 1/8″ rubber edge trim I found in the garage for the control panel and the center divider.



Now that I had a blank panel in place, I kept running through different layouts in my head of what I could install onto the panel. Everything from a quick connect cable socket, to some LED indicator lights, to separate switches for a possible fan cooler, and so forth… but since I couldn’t make up my mind, I decided for now to just install the quick connect cable socket (which I already bought) and do the rest later. After reinforcing the underside of the control panel with a pair of L-brackets (which bolt to the side walls of the tool box for a secure mount and solid support) I installed the quick connect socket, a temporary 12V/40A relay, and a quick-connect plug to lead to the actual air compressor:



likewise I also did some wiring modifications on the 400P-Automatic to get rid of the OE crimp connections, then while I was in there I also wired in its own quick connect:



Hardwired everything inside, and added in a 10-Gauge heavy duty SAE quick connector on the end.

With the wiring part done for now, I then took apart all the hardware, added a drop of liquid threadlock to each bolt, reassembled everything, and then finally – I reached the point where I could actually bolt down the air compressor into the tool box! The tight clearance meant it was slightly awkward to get the short bolts down into the lower bracket (I need a longer 4mm hex wrench) but with some patience I got the compressor attached to all four rubber isolators:



…and here it is. Not exactly the “final” version, but 100% fully functional:


A quick summary of the parts I used so far:

STUFF I HAD TO BUY
$221 Viair 400P Automatic Air Compressor
$25 Craftsman 18″ Heavy Duty Tool Box
$10 4-pcs. Anti-Vibration Mounts
$14 Misc. Hardware from McMaster-Carr
TOTAL $270

STUFF I ALREADY HAD
SAE Connectors
New, Unused Paper Tray
1/8″ Rubber Edge Trim
Some Wire and Solder

During this build there were more than a few things that I have kept in mind when I get around to revising it later:
  1. 10-gauge wire might be overkill, and it’s a pain to bend into tight angles.
  2. I’m going to have to monitor the wire temps when I use the air compressor in real world conditions to see if I can downsize it a little.
  3. For redundancy purposes I may incorporate either a replaceable fuse holder or a resettable circuit breaker into the control panel.
  4. Do I need a separate on/off switch on the panel?
  5. Should I install a voltmeter (for looks) or an ammeter (for data)?
  6. Maybe some LED lighting for night use?
So that’s it so far – part 1 is done, for now. The next part of this project will involve an add-on accessory that requires a lot of brass fittings… heh!



----------------------------------------------------------------
This can also be seen at project:KEIRA
For section of "don't know what to put here yet"
I have some Ideas for additions: Cup holder, Outlet's(2/3 prong or Accessory port), place to store flashlight, or even some auto lighting for when you open the case at night?
 
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That is a handy little setup, well done. Same compressor I've been thinking about picking up to replace my older smaller viair.
 
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I had previously installed a Midland CB Radio and custom antenna years ago, but I recently removed the CB

Do you happen to still have your antenna mount set up? If so, would you be willing to sell?
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,034 ·
For section of "don't know what to put here yet"
I have some Ideas for additions: Cup holder, Outlet's(2/3 prong or Accessory port), place to store flashlight, or even some auto lighting for when you open the case at night?
Yeah, I think some lights might be good for when I have to air up after sunset (y)
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,035 ·
Oh how I envy you.

Also, I'm loving my 400P, happily surprised at its flow rate.
The best part is, they're even open on Sundays... for that "need some parts now" end of the weekend projects

That is a handy little setup, well done. Same compressor I've been thinking about picking up to replace my older smaller viair.
The automatic feature alone is worth the upgrade, I was initially going to DIY an auto on/off for my 300P but the built-in feature on the 400P was what sold me on it
 

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Discussion Starter · #1,036 ·
Do you happen to still have your antenna mount set up? If so, would you be willing to sell?
You know, I can't remember... I have to check if I saved it in the "random truck parts" bin, or if I trashed it.
 

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You know, I can't remember... I have to check if I saved it in the "random truck parts" bin, or if I trashed it.
If you do have it and would be willing to ship I would seriously be willing to buy. If not I’m going to take a swing at making one and hope it turns out as good as yours.
 
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Discussion Starter · #1,039 ·
If you do have it and would be willing to ship I would seriously be willing to buy. If not I’m going to take a swing at making one and hope it turns out as good as yours.
I'll let you know, I have some garage sorting to do this weekend so I'll check then.

Maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention in class but was there enough room for a 12v battery so it could be self contained?
There might be room for a small AGM... after reading your comment I started doing some calculations - but then I realized that I can't imagine a scenario where I would need it self-powered, away from my truck (?)
 

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I'll let you know, I have some garage sorting to do this weekend so I'll check then.



There might be room for a small AGM... after reading your comment I started doing some calculations - but then I realized that I can't imagine a scenario where I would need it self-powered, away from my truck (?)
Just convenient is all. was kind of shocked you didn't mount it under the truck tbh. One of the rampage Jerry can tool boxes I have on the back of my truck has two of the smallish agm batteries in it, a compressor, and an inverter. It's wired to charge/power everything when it's sitting in it's holder via some home made pogo pins. I really wish the rampage Jerry can tool boxes were better made.
 
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