rad phones - hf radios?

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 29, 2003 at 23:03
ThreadID: 3146 Views:3878 Replies:7 FollowUps:1
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i want to buy one of these i think...
are these both the same thing?...
i saw one where a phone call can be made and i dont think it was a sat phone...
are these phones calls charged???..
dumb questions i know but i have no idea....
is anyone selling something which may help me from non mobile phone areas to make phone calls??..
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Reply By: Peter S - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 08:17

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 08:17
Telephone over Hf has been around for quite a long time.
All you basically need is Radio with sel/tel call fitted and this programmed to the correct frequiencies and correct aerial

Then subscribe to one of the interconnect suppliers.

Another option is VKS737 or 4WD network.
They do message service and all sorts of good stuff

AnswerID: 12128

Reply By: Member - Chris - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 08:26

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 08:26
Despite some opinion regarding the value of satphones vs HF selcall units, the use of the radio/phone should be the prime driver. If you think you need one, first why do you. If for just emergency call in the scrub, in case of dire emergencies etc, then a HF radio may not be the best answer. The vagaries of HF require that you have some knowledge of operatiing it and frequency selection to get your point across.
For me and mine, I go with the 400MHz EPIRB and Satphone. Yes I'll carry batteries, and check numbers etc, but the flexibility is far greater.

Cost wise, a HF radio plus antenna, probably near $3K, trade in your mobile for a vodaphone/globalstar unit and initial outlay is about $900 and some $60/month line rental - works on GSM as well of course.

Of course, the luddites will rubbish satellite technology - but each to his/her own.

Good luck with your choice
AnswerID: 12129

Reply By: Darian - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 09:04

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 09:04
Amen to the above Voxson - phone call capable HF radios are around $2950 (Barrett) and $3500 (Codan).....second hand might be the go. One supplier of phone service for HF is Radtel.....had a look at their prices the other day .....basic service is around $120 a year and $1 per minute on air (I have not checked any others yet) - area coverage by the supplier network is of course very important......cheaper than Sat but not as reliable in ALL circumstances. There is a Radtel link at www.vks737.on.net
AnswerID: 12134

Reply By: Raymond Charlton - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 11:06

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 11:06
Hi Voxson
Having travelled the outback extensively over the last 25 years, I have found the HF radio to be great, first using Amateur Radio and now using VKS737. I have found that the fellow travellers have been willing to help out in an emergency, even travelling long distances with parts, and refusing to be reimbursed for their costs on the grounds "it might be us tomorrow". The service VKS gives of road and weather reports, message service and also phone hook up 24 hrs 7 days a week for emergencies is great. The radios with the right frequencies can be used for phone calls. The modern HF radios are excellent, easy to use and handy as you know were other travellers are. Sat phones are great, but they dont give free weather and road condition reports. Look to renting, or secondhand HF radios
Regards Ray
VKS737Victor 2010
PS an emergency beacon is great for lifethreatening occassions
AnswerID: 12144

Follow Up By: Member - Mike - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:27

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:27
I agree wholeheartedly with above. Remember a phone call is "discreet" and no one else is aware of your problem (should one occur). I find HF companiable as is Solo around the outbackj.
VKS737 service is brilliant (I declare an interest) and more to the point - reliable.
VKS737Sierra 95
FollowupID: 7048

Reply By: Kelly Green - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:06

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 13:06
hf and satphones each have there advantages, if you are looking at travelling the outback long term then I would suggest the hf. The Hf can be used almost like phone one of the previous replies refers to a link for Radphone info. The hf and connection to to the relative networks, ,will provide relevant weather and road information, the list of extras goes on. And if you did get stuck, you might find help if only around the corner, as others may hear and be able to provide assistance, a phone call make mean a more expensive recovery. There is a book available through exploroz "HF Radio for Travellers!" - A Guide to HF Radio by Chris & Michael Aulich it is easy and enjoyable read and pretty cheap considering hf's & Satphones cost big $$$'s.

AnswerID: 12160

Reply By: Member - Mal - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 14:59

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 14:59
Radphone is the name of the telephone connect service Telstra used to provide through HF radios. They weren't making enough money so they dropped it. There are now several companies providing the service both through operators and automatic systems. Personally, I love my HF radio, have an EPIRB and will now be purchasing a SAT phone which can be used away from the vehicle. The more safety gear I have the more adventureous I am allowed to be. I also have UHF, and VHF for the inflatable Zodiac. Hope that helps.
Mal T.
AnswerID: 12172

Reply By: Jim - Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 16:10

Thursday, Jan 30, 2003 at 16:10
I too use HF radio and VKS-737, infrequently as a telephone. More for the message handling, position reporting, contact for help in emergencies. The criticism of HF radios is valid, but information is available. Suggest have a look at the web site - http://www.vks737.on.net.

AnswerID: 12177

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