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Thread: two way radio recommendations

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    two way radio recommendations

    I went out scouting for elk last weekend and the moterola two way radios that I was using didn't work past 600m even with a clear line of sight. These were a friends and the range rating was for 18 miles. I am going to get a set this week. What are some of your recommendations. My max limit is around 150. I have only used multiple versions of moterolas.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    I don't have a specific recommendation for you but we used cheapo FRS radios exclusively on our RAAM team last year and found the Midland radios to offer a max of 1.6miles and min of around 0.5miles when in hilly terrain.

    I have used the Motorolas also and had reliable comms beyond 2miles in rolling terrain while out hunting.. I'd stick with the Motorolas personally..

    RJ

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    If you want to get serious about radio communications get your amateur radio license.
    Sum dominus fati: sed sum princeps meae.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    I have some of the oooh ahhh Motorolas with the charging bases that work decent. Couldn't tell you how far. I know my real real real old talkabout 250, which happens to be on my desk right now, used to work for at least a mile, sometimes 2 in town. We used them a lot for some, uhhh, Friday and Saturday night motor sport activities on certain roads in town.

    I've used the Midlands and such also and the Moto's always seem to do a little better.

    That being said, I got my HAM license a little while back and have a 5w handheld and a mobile installed in my rig. No more of this messing around and it seems more and more friends are doing the same. Fortunatly for me the local repeater is a very strong one and happens to be in view of my house and my stomping grounds so even my HT works good with it.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Longshot38
    If you want to get serious about radio communications get your amateur radio license.


    like a ham radio operator?
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Maybe I have just had some bad sets I will give them one more shot
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: gunswanted
    Originally Posted By: Longshot38
    If you want to get serious about radio communications get your amateur radio license.


    like a ham radio operator?


    Bingo. FRS is alright. But if you really want to get good gear and have the flexiblity to get the most out of it HAM/amateur radio is the only way to go.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    so if a ham license allows a 5w hand held, what does a maritime radio opperator's license allow [img]<>/smile.gif[/img]
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    A ham is allowed much more then that and he/she is not restricted by type of radio they are operating. At the technician level (lowest level license) we are allowed 1500 Watts regardless of if the radio is handheld, mobile, or base station. And the part that allows you get the most out of the rig is the fact that we are allowed and encouraged to play with antenna design and propagation. There are a bunch of HAM guys that talk thousands of miles with under 50 watts of power.

    As for business and marine licenses they don't allow or encourage the level of experimentation that amateur radio does. Thus things like radio modification, antenna construction, and radio wave propagation aren't part of the licensing procedure.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    CB hand helds come pretty cheap.
    http://www.midlandradio.com/CB-Radio.WYQ/75-822

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    longshot,

    I've been hunting with guys that use icom frequency programable hand helds for their business. They called them FM radios. Great range on them. What kind of license for those?

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    maritime radio for hunting. If caught it allows you time to get a good lawyer. FCC will hammer your ass and hang it on the door. They caught some boys using them at night bear hunting and took no pity on them fellows at all. Go get a tech study guide or look it up on line, study it and take your test if you pass you are good to go and no it aint that hard. Kids as young as 6 have them and there is NO mores code. Go to ARRL on google and check it out
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Midland radios are better than motorola: owned both but still own Midland. That said, these type radios are not super-reliable...more best effort. Work great sometimes, ok others, and suck if you are in the wrong terrain.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    The technician class amateur radio license is the best bet and get a few handheld radios. The test is not hard. I got my ticket when I was 12 years old. Test is even easier now.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Scooter-PIE
    Midland radios are better than motorola: owned both but still own Midland. That said, these type radios are not super-reliable...more best effort. Work great sometimes, ok others, and suck if you are in the wrong terrain.

    I use the midlands rated at 32 miles and they work in heavy trees out to 4 miles. I have gotten eight miles when on a hill over looking the valley where the other radio was. Two miles in heavy trees and hills. Waterproof and never failed for me.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Ham License is the the way to go for communications... not only can you talk with your buddy you can call for help when you can't reach your friend... and if you can hit a repeater you can sometimes make phone calls if they have an autopatch setup.

    qrz.com, look for the study guide... take the tests they have online until you can pass them with at least 90%... then go take the test, it's $14, and last 10 years.

    Technician class is all that is required to get a good 2m radio and use it... one in the truck and one in the backpack and you are set.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Longshot38
    A ham is allowed much more then that and he/she is not restricted by type of radio they are operating. At the technician level (lowest level license) we are allowed 1500 Watts regardless of if the radio is handheld, mobile, or base station. And the part that allows you get the most out of the rig is the fact that we are allowed and encouraged to play with antenna design and propagation. There are a bunch of HAM guys that talk thousands of miles with under 50 watts of power.

    As for business and marine licenses they don't allow or encourage the level of experimentation that amateur radio does. Thus things like radio modification, antenna construction, and radio wave propagation aren't part of the licensing procedure.


    As Lngshot stated, if you want to get serious, Ham radio is the way. The handheld(HT) rigs are great and allow more power and better chances of propagation between hunters/shooters.

    As far as ham radio, nothing like making a contact to russia on 25 watts. Its awesome!!

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    I think the best you will do for under $200 and a HH is with a 2W MURS band. Flat & wooded, should get you a "reliable" mile from my experience with a set of Kenwoods and up to 3mi max non-ideal but hill-hill. It's hard to state any absolute range given various conditions and absolute max range never means everything in-between is reliable.

    There is less path loss with lower frequencies but the radio receiver and modulation is also big factor... Not to mention antenna. All-else-the-same and analog 150MHz is 2x in range to 315MHz and 315MHx is 2x 900MHz, and 900MHz is 2x 2.4GHz as a rough example.

    Most of the quoted range for consumer products is ideal conditions and from a ill path-loss calculation with ideal propagation coeff. Much more varient than max range with a bullet in various US conditions.

    If you need more, base station CB with long ariel. If you need even more go with the above. There a quote a few threads on this in recent year.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Greedy
    longshot,

    I've been hunting with guys that use icom frequency programable hand helds for their business. They called them FM radios. Great range on them. What kind of license for those?


    If they are using the radios for business purposes they are business radios. HAM is restricted to strictly noncommercial use.
    Sum dominus fati: sed sum princeps meae.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Longshot38
    Originally Posted By: Greedy
    longshot,

    I've been hunting with guys that use icom frequency programable hand helds for their business. They called them FM radios. Great range on them. What kind of license for those?


    If they are using the radios for business purposes they are business radios. HAM is restricted to strictly noncommercial use.


    FMRS and GMRS technically does require a license, nothing at all like amateur though. Its not really paid much attention to though. The icom rigs used for business does require a station license for repeater, but the users dont have to technically be licensed. Sounds like they work well on simplex though.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Longshot38
    If you want to get serious about radio communications get your amateur radio license.


    that's the best advice!!!

    73,
    LM

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    I think i will stick with the midlands or motorolas for now. I have used Icoms alot in the past and they worked well for me. Maybe in the future I will get them.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Spotting with radios is not legal in all locations ...

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Gents,

    Did radios in the army so have been around the block or two with them!!

    HAM radios are great if the people who are going to use them are genuine enthusiasts, as HAM is a hobby in its open right.

    For the average hunter who wants nothing more sophisticated than push-to-talk, stick with FMRS/GMRS. CB radio falls sort of inbwtween the two..

    The problem with FMRS?GMRS is the frequencies allocated mean that they are essentially line of sight in hilly country. Sure you buy a 5 watt handset and it will work better than the basic 1/2watt models, but in hilly or difficult terrain, the improvement is often minimal, and those steep deep valley botoms will still be dead spots..

    CB radios on the other hand use different frequencies which are less "line of sight" and will cope with undulating terrain much better. Generally the handsets are slightly more bulky but you have the option of going with different styles of antenna. Plus you can get proper "rigs" for vehicle use, which at least in the UK are not legal for our version of the FMRS system.

    With regards HAM, the sky is literally the limit, and you are only restricted by operator knowledge/skill and $$$$$. To get the most out of HAM, you really need a degree of dedication, s think about it carefully before convincing buddies to go down that route...

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: mefly2
    Spotting with radios is not legal in all locations ...


    Maybe true, however using radios to keep track of eachother and general conversation is allowed were im at. They are great to use for safety reasons.
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Originally Posted By: Pete E
    Gents,

    Did radios in the army so have been around the block or two with them!!

    HAM radios are great if the people who are going to use them are genuine enthusiasts, as HAM is a hobby in its open right.

    For the average hunter who wants nothing more sophisticated than push-to-talk, stick with FMRS/GMRS. CB radio falls sort of inbwtween the two..

    The problem with FMRS?GMRS is the frequencies allocated mean that they are essentially line of sight in hilly country. Sure you buy a 5 watt handset and it will work better than the basic 1/2watt models, but in hilly or difficult terrain, the improvement is often minimal, and those steep deep valley botoms will still be dead spots..

    CB radios on the other hand use different frequencies which are less "line of sight" and will cope with undulating terrain much better. Generally the handsets are slightly more bulky but you have the option of going with different styles of antenna. Plus you can get proper "rigs" for vehicle use, which at least in the UK are not legal for our version of the FMRS system.

    With regards HAM, the sky is literally the limit, and you are only restricted by operator knowledge/skill and $$$$$. To get the most out of HAM, you really need a degree of dedication, s think about it carefully before convincing buddies to go down that route...


    getting the technican license (entry level) is really, really not that hard and it opens you up to a whole new world of comms. The problem with CB is the antenna, your statement is true on propagation (generally), but the antenna on a handheld (as well as the ground plane) will be a hinderance. Any time you go lower in the frequency (CB band compared to GMRS/FMRS) the longer the antenna needs to be to be resonant.

    I know you mentioned base operations and that can be a different game, but handheld is what most folks would use this for.

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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    i have 6 motorola ht1000 radios with a 6 bank charger, a couple of the radios need reprogrammed but they work great
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    Re: two way radio recommendations

    Our survey crews use radios almost on a daily basis. Some crews have the Midlands and Motorolas that come from Walmart, and others have various versions of the Motorola Spirit or SP21?. The Spirits range seems to be better, MUCH louder and clearer sound. I believe our good ones are 161.625?? VHF?? I can't hear crap on the little radios if I'm near a highway or CAT's pushing dirt.

    Wanted to add, I had a Motorola Talkabout that stayed tied to my Camelbak for two years surveying(all elements, rain, dropped in water, etc.) Being positioned on my shoulder I could hear adequately. The rechargables went out after about a month of daily use, but it was convenient to just pop in 3 AA batteries and keep on rockin!
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