5W hand held vs car mounted UHF

Submitted: Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 22:57
ThreadID: 56221 Views:13389 Replies:8 FollowUps:3
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I'm sure it's been covered before but what are people's preferences of 5W hand held vs permanently installed UHFs?

With using a permanent antenna wouldn't a hand-held UHF be more versatile, plus not being attractive to theives? Plus you can use the hand0held in other cars as well.
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Reply By: Muddy doe (SA) - Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:16

Wednesday, Apr 02, 2008 at 23:16
If you can afford it then go with both.

I have an Icom IC400PRO installed in the vehicle as well as having a Uniden 5W waterproof handheld in the console. Best of both worlds.

Installed radio is easier to use on the move and don't have to worry about charging and with having the hand-held unit as well you can monitor a channel around the campsite or go walkies and still communicate back to your partner at camp.

Also handy to be able to loan out the handheld in convoy work when you get visitors or newbies on club trips. Convoy trips are so much better when everyone can hear what is going on!

I had a 1W handheld but it was pretty useless beyond a few hundred yards. With the 5W I can still hear and talk to vehicles a few km's away that are approaching camp and need a guide in to the campsite without being tied to the vehicle.

5W hand-helds aren't cheap but they make such a difference over the 1 and 2W units.

AnswerID: 296273

Reply By: Motherhen - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 00:35

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 00:35
Hi Ben

The clarity over the distance will be better with the built in, as well as a much greater range. We use the cheaper 2-3 km hand helds when we have a vehicle without a working unit, and it is better than nothing, but harder to understand what is being said when you have the hand held at longer distances. They still all need an unimpeded line to work; we loose contact when someone goes down into a dip and we are over the next hill. The built in ones can be heard for many kilometres, particularly in flat country.

If you just want be able to contact a vehicle you are travelling in close proximity to, they will be OK.


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AnswerID: 296285

Follow Up By: Member - Kiwi Kia - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:15

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 07:15
I agree with Motherhen.

FollowupID: 562346

Follow Up By: traveller2 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 08:11

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 08:11
The 1w handhelds virtually unless you can see them you can't talk to them, obviously better in open country but in the hills and thick bush then a full power car mounted is the better way to go.
I carry both, handy for lending to non equipped vehicles and when out of the truck during track clearing/recovery operations.
FollowupID: 562355

Reply By: ben_gv3 - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:02

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:02
I already have a few 0.5w hand helds but am looking for better range.

I just figured that a 5w handheld with a permanently mounted external antenna, car kit and speaker/mic would be more verstaile then an in-car unit.

I'm looking at the OMDI 5w hand helds due to their price and OK review.
AnswerID: 296308

Reply By: Member - Douglas M (SA) - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:33

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:33
Hi ben_gv3.
A 5 watt hand held has the same performance as a 5 watt fixed UHF connected to the same antenna. I did a trip in 2006 with another vehicle with a similar set-up (both Uniden 5 watt hand-held connected to external antennas) and in good conditions got a range of 20 kilometres in open country near Kununurra. The rest of the time the performance was good and we never lost contact when we were within about 5 kilometres.
There are two issues that you may wish to consider when making your decision.
1. Having a hand held radio in the vehicle connected to an external antenna, the charge cable and possibly a remote speaker-mike is a pain in the a-s.
2. Keeping the battery charged is a problem, the Uniden units must not be used to transmit while on charge, and there is no such thing as a 12 volt regulated supply for a vehicle unless you build your own or have have a 24 volt system. The chip in my charge cradle got blown either from using it in this way or from a voltage surge from the vehicle while on charge I'm not sure which. The new charge cradle was difficult to get although Uniden did manage to find one for me in the end. The alternative is to use the plug-pak that came with the radio and a 240 volt inverter (another pain). I have since bought a fixed UHF (not yet fitted and will probably ditch the hand-held.
AnswerID: 296309

Reply By: DIO - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:52

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 09:52
I use a GME TX6200 (hand-held 5w) and when mobile, I connect it to a GME AE409L (roof mount adjustable 6db - 9db). Great distance and clarity. Plus, added benefit of taking radio with me when leaving vehicle and added security by not leaving it in vehicle. Also use a plug-in speaker/mike that makes the whole process whilst driving a whole lot easier and safer. I believe that it is frowned upon by some manufacturers to use radios within the vehicle that aren't connected to an external aerial. Something to do with energy field conflicting with vehicle electronics. Beats me, perhaps someone with greater technical understanding can elaborate.
AnswerID: 296314

Reply By: CJ - Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 21:32

Thursday, Apr 03, 2008 at 21:32

A number of answers above mentions the security of being able to take the radio with you.

How many FIXED radios get stolen? I have not heard of any. GPS's and sunglasses yes, but has anybody ever had a security problem with fixed radio's?

AnswerID: 296485

Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 23:08

Sunday, Apr 06, 2008 at 23:08
Ben you will get the same respone on this forun as you have on the other 4wd forums you have posted this question to!

Do you think other forums will tell you something differant.
AnswerID: 297081

Follow Up By: ben_gv3 - Monday, Apr 07, 2008 at 10:00

Monday, Apr 07, 2008 at 10:00
Geez mate, you really should lighten up a bit.

Do you only read one newspaper or only watch one news channel? Life must be pretty easy for you getting only opinions from one group of people.

One thing I've noticed is that 4WDers are different then caraveners etc.
FollowupID: 563146

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Monday, Apr 07, 2008 at 08:19

Monday, Apr 07, 2008 at 08:19
One point that no one has mentioned in the handheld /fixed Uhf disscusion is that using a fixed vehicle unit is legal where as using a handheld can and is considered by mr plod in the same light as using a handheld mobile phone ,,, driver beware
AnswerID: 297116

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