Article Comment: UHF Radio

Hi all,
Looking at purchasing my very first UHF Radio and just starting out. Whats peoples reccomendations on fixed mount radios please? Not wanting anything too flashy or cheap - just easy to use and good quality.
Cheers guys.
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Reply By: Member - Roachie - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 11:45

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 11:45
I've used a couple of different brands over the years and would unhesitatingly say that GME is the best one. There are several types but given the limited dashboard space in most vehicles I would suggest a model where the controls are all in the microphone piece. That way the main box can be hidden behind the dash or under a seat.
AnswerID: 603808

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 12:25

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 12:25
I second Roachie's comment.

I have a GME TX3350 which is a super compact 5 watt with Speaker control Microphone head.

The cable from the control box terminates in a socket that can be mounted anywhere conveniently located, to which the microphone lead plugs into.

GME TX3350
Bill


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Follow Up By: MEMBER - Darian, SA - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 13:18

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 13:18
Ditto too...GME products are a very safe bet (and they are Aussie ! ...er...but where they actually manufacture is another thing...). As mentioned, their model that is controlled from the handpiece while the main box is tucked right away (eg: under the dash) makes a lot of sense.
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FollowupID: 873411

Reply By: Member - mechpete - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 13:01

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 13:01
I would go the GME path as well had them for yrs
an not had a problem
cheers mechpete
AnswerID: 603811

Follow Up By: Member - Alastair D (NSW) - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 17:07

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 17:07
Ditto. Gme in 3vehicles and no problems. The handset controls are the way to go. Save dashboard space for more important things.
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FollowupID: 873433

Reply By: Dean K3 - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 17:15

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 17:15
Ok firstly I will explain this first I have had over 8 years worth of experience in radio comms industry note not a qualified tech but experience never-less helps and willing to provide suggestions or confirm what other have said. But when I find people rubbishing input or suggestions (as recently occurred on subject about fold-up solar panels ) I get rather annoyed !

First thing to ensure you get is a 80 channel capacity radio with narrow band capacity maximum allowed is 5watt output, its now illegal under ACMA regulations for a wideband 40 ch to be operated on citizen band radio system (CBRS)

If you want a standard CB radio no thrills does the job then line of order is following:

1st GME - they have remote head display mic fixed head etc It should also be noted that cost of "repairs" you might as well purchase a new unit if it fails as pricing is similar. Replacement mics depending on spec level $50-$80 as a rough idea

2nd Uniden - GME did its homework and made them lower std so kind of forget them

3rd Oricom only been around for 3-5 years tops and haven't heard much about them so can't really comment.

downside to them all NO time out timer (TOT) which according ACMA maximum is 60 seconds and anybody who has listened to somebody with a sticky mic or mic under their arse know what i am referring to can't get two words in sideways !

IF YOU WANT decent equipment the ability (usually at dealership) programing to receive freqs or have short keys ie direct ch 18 or direct ch 40 and in some cases have land mobile freqs then the following is suggested they are based on low tier commercial radios just dumbed down to 5 w instead of land mobile at 25w and well do pay a premium but in my mind sound cleared less distortion etc

Icom
Vertex - now part of Motorola group

After that then your into full high tier commercial radios is Phillips/Simoco Tait Motorola and prices exceed 1K and most will also be digital variants and useless on CBRS which is still analogue - don't be surprised in within 5-8 years CBRS moves to digital system bit like TV and fm radio has

I have the "older" Vertex vx2200 which i programmed up with 80ch NB (narrow band 12.5 khz channel spacing) and had direct 18/40 buttons so i can easily change between the two useful when dealing with caravans and oversize loads when they both on different channels - a important thing to remember !

Now onto my biggest bug bear

ANTENNAS - most people will buy whatever is in a kit as package deal and honestly I have found GME (with respect) don't make the grade if you mount on bullbar or roof rack it needs to be ground plane independent (GDI) easily tell them apart as has a coil enclosed inside plastic/metal at base before the screw on antenna bit - if you mount directly into roof like taxis and some govt department use then its ground dependent (GD) antenna

Personally for 6 years I used RFI CD 51-68-73 not affected by winds and been used by mining companies couriers etc for many years (no longer made but without coax is still being produced CD51-68-70) trick is to know how to terminate it with coax cable easy per say if your competent

i only changed over after a tree vs bolt on antenna mount bent around bullbar and after assessing damage to that figured weld on was better option (i had them on original bar but that another issue) downside was when having tabs welded on TA ground out coax cable and could i get new RG58 c/u coax in Broome -nope if i could then i could have reused the original antenna so thus my experiences with GME antennas

I purchased a elevated feed antenna with a black steel antenna (in Broome) fitted up (myself competent techie stores guru) in Derby 2014 after a tree vs antenna incident and hated driving naked with no comms - it lasted me 1 1/2 days out to Winjana gogre (along gibb river road) then not even 1/2 way to tunnel creek and damn thing snapped and flew off onto other side of road. The spring elevated section and steel wire antenna creates its own sine wave and will just break sooner rather than later.

Halls creek got hold of a small stainless steel that got maybe 1/4 way too wolf creek crater and simply fell off screw section..

Went back to the local supplier and they looked shocked when i showed them and gave me cost price another fibreglass antenna which lasted but has a bit of movement at base just above where it screws onto elevated feed -suspect another crack and spotted another 4wd with one cleanly snapped off so guess similar would occur later on.

So any rough roads forget any antennas from GME apart from the very big white sticks even then for size they are built a bit light on compared to "commercail antennas" ie POLAR Bushcomm JBA

Suggest look at Benelec as a antenna option compared to gme they are substantially heavier in construction compared to gme variant. Other look ins (commercial side ) would be Polar Rojone just to name a few around (polar used by WAPOL)

Hope that enlightens you, maybe scares you but if in doubt strongly suggest talking to a radio communications company who deals with "commercial radios and equipment" i often find when i ask a sales person I have more knowledge on product than they do esp when it comes to 4wd accessory shops -names not mentioned as like hard wares stores they just sales people not techs or tradies


AnswerID: 603823

Follow Up By: Member - Roachie - Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 19:34

Thursday, Aug 25, 2016 at 19:34
Crikey Dean!!! That's a VERY comprehensive answer and I would say the OP has now quite possibly gone away from the idea altogether.... hahaha.

Yes, antennae can be an issue and I have (eventually) broken my fair share over the past 45 years of outback driving. However, for average Joe, any antenna will do the job. If it's to be mounted on a bullbar then a spring base would be advisable and you can watch it dance around on the corrogations.

Roachie
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FollowupID: 873448

Follow Up By: Joker - Monday, Aug 29, 2016 at 11:39

Monday, Aug 29, 2016 at 11:39
Just to clarify. 40 channel 25khz cbrs radios are legal until the end of June 2017 as per the class licence. You can no longer buy 40 channel radios from retailers. I would also consider Icom who make quality radio equipment.

Cheers Joker
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FollowupID: 873566

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