Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Central Florida
Congratulations, Don and welcome to the hobby.
The programming comments regarding those radios mainly pertain to manual input. Using software like CHIRP (free) and RT Systems (About $50 I think) makes it easy. RTS includes the cable. The program on the prize radio can be read by either product, saved, and then installed on the other radio, or multiple radios. That would transfer the tone info for the repeaters for you, but you should also gain knowledge of what those tones are.
The ARRL Repeater Book is handy to keep in the vehicle for reference regarding repeaters across the country. RFinder (fee) and RepeaterBook (free) are online repeater databases that RTS and Chirp can access to grab the repeater info and populate the radio’s program automatically based on location search. Cool stuff, and very handy.
As for national 2/70 chats, that requires internet connectivity at a repeater or personal hotspot. Analog radios can use protocols such as Echolink, Allstar or IRLP through repeaters setup for to do so. Digital radios are specific to one of several digital protocols such as D-Star, DMR, C4FM. The least expensive and currently very popular system would be DMR. There are now some hotspots that allow cross platform communication. I am not active with any of these systems, but others on the forum might be able to chime in with more specifics.
05 LJR Sahara #486, 2.5" OME, 285/75/16 BFG ATs, Warn VR8000, HighRock front Bumper, RockHard rear bumper, MORE MML, JKS BL, UCF Aluminum Engine and Transfercase Skids, MCAI, Savvy CAs, Currie Steering.