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What to get first?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio - CB - Trail Communications' started by PeteT, February 24, 1999.

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  1. PeteT

    PeteT Guest

    I think that a radio is a good idea and even indespensable in certain cases. I would like to get something and have considered everything from a Motorola talk-about, to a CB, to a HAM radio. For most of what I am doing now, it is more for just keeping in touch with fellow road trippers, getting conditions etc., and for emergency use (however I also carry a mobile cell phone for that).

    I do not want to take up a lot of space or incur huge costs. What do most of you guys use and what do you recommend?


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  3. denton

    denton Guest

    I have an Icom 2700H, a dual band vhf/uhf
    amateur radio transciever install in my 98
    Explorer. It has a remotable head (the head
    can be removed so the body can be installed
    in another location). The transciever body
    is bolted to the passenger side in the back
    of the Explorer, and I found a spot just under the normal radio on the consol to mount the head. I use one of the cubbyholes just under the head to install my transcievers speaker. Hope this helps....
  4. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Guest

    How much did all this stuff cost you, If you don't mind me asking. [​IMG]

    Happy Wheelin'
    Ray L. :)
  5. denton

    denton Guest

    The Icom was about 300 bucks...a dealers demo, and I don't remember what the extension kit was.
  6. Rick

    Rick Guest

    My wife just bought an Alinco dual band mobile new for 349.00 from Tech America. It also has remote mount capabilities. I like the Alinco radios. I have had my DR600 for about 5 years now with no troubles at all.

    A good 5/8ths wave antenna mounted near the center of the roof will help maximize your signal.

    For offroading and hiking I really like a mobile to have crossband repeat capabilities. This way you can go hiking with an HT and use your truck as a repeater. It will greatly extend the range of your HT. You can get ultra small dual band HT's for under 200.00 by themselves they are very low output, but crossband them through your mobile and they'll get out like gangbusters.

    Depending where you go fourwheeling cell sites may not be as easily accessed as ham radio repeaters. Here in Arizona there are many valleys and dry washes which are not in the path of a cell site. In a true emergency, such as widespread power failures, earthquakes etc. Cell phones are useless. Their circuits quickly overload wfrom excessive use and sometimes they are removed from public use altogether such as immediately after the Oklahoma City bombing. In cases like that only emergency personal can use their cell phones.

    Ham Radio repeaters and autopatches are often backed up by solar power and are available for hams to use during emergencies.

    Rick Horwitz
  7. Ray Lobato

    Ray Lobato Guest

    Rick / Denton,

    Can you guys direct us to some web sites for this equipment? [​IMG]

    Happy Wheelin'
    Ray L. :)
  8. Rick

    Rick Guest

  9. PeteT

    PeteT Guest

    Rick, That is some good information and good logic to get a HAM radio. I guess one of my considerations is that I have some friends who use the FM type (motorola) radios, and some others who have CBs in their trucks. Can HAM cover these frequencies or would I need to decide between one of these 3 formats?

    For emergency use it is obvious that the hands down winner is HAM.

    Thanks, PeteT [​IMG]
  10. Pete,

    The only problem with Ham radio is the compatability issue with non-Hams. They are legally prohibited from using frequencies set aside by the FCC for use by licensed amateurs. If you wish to talk with them on the Motorolas or CBs, you need to purchase their equipment as well. Or better yet, get them into Ham radios as well [​IMG]

    I agree with everything Rick said, as well. Additionally, in many parts of the country, Hams with 4x4 vehicles organize to help their communities during emergencies and natural disasters. This is one great way to show people in our communities that we are not a bunch of Bubbas who just like to tear up the forest, as the radical eco-fringe would have them believe. Good PR is good PR.

    PS pick up a copy of QST or CQ magazines to get an idea of retailers and available equipment.

  11. Sandy

    Sandy Guest

    PeteT - Hello, nm hr is Sandy and I have been a HAM for only 8 years. It has been a great experience and communication on FM is FAR superior to AM, that we will not even get into.
    The problem is and it is not a big problem, but you will require an Amateur Radio License for use of HAM gear. The No-Code Tech license requires a little studying but the pay off is great. Enough said...

    Where I was going is for now the most common type of communication on the trail is CB. A good, small CB is inexpense and easy to hook up. The most important part of a CB is the antenna and placing the antenna in the best location for your vehicle. To tell you the truth, on the trail, I use a six inch rubber duck CB antenna. It is not much more than a dummy load, but it work great for talking just ahead and just behind and I can hear just fine. I carry a larger antenna in the box just incase. So if you can not afford too many different radios, find out what the majority of your trail buddies are using and go with the majority. At least you will know there will be someone there to listen.
    Good Luck, Sandy, N1MAU

    [This message has been edited by Sandy (edited 03-16-99).]

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