Codan and Barrett

Submitted: Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 21:26
ThreadID: 5939 Views:2640 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Codan or Barrett that is the question.

I am now starting to look at some outback communications and wondering about HF radio. If I buy this instead of SAtphone what is the difference between Barrett or COdan. I am very new to HF and have no idea really what they can do and to be quite honest it is scary. I have used Sat phones before so I really need to no what the basic differences are between theses HF’s. Is it features or what?
We have so little time to enjoy our land
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Reply By: Member - Leigh- Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 21:49

Friday, Jul 11, 2003 at 21:49
Hi David, not unlike yourself I know little about the difference in equipment. However after my research and taking into account where to mount all the equipment I took a que from am earlier post and bought a sat phone from telstra. They have them on special for just under $800 although the unit is now a discontinued item. I have decided to run with UHF and 27 meg SSB and sat phone if I really get into serious trouble. Will also keep the handbrake happy as well, not that I'll be in any position to help. I was reluctant to spend $3,500 on a radio that I wasn't going to be happy about, ie large mount on bull bar and a remote head that could only be fitted in a roof console. I wish you well on your deliberations. Check out all the earlier posts on this site with a search under "HF".

Cheers, Leigh
AnswerID: 24739

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 12:39

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 12:39
Friend of mine bought one of those antennas, mounted on rear wheel carrier. Only two days old and drove under a low branch smashing to smithereens.
What was worse, he had forgotten to add it on his insurance - another $$$$$$ thanks.
Another point is I can't see how those autotune bases can put up with all the dirt, dust, water and corrugations for extended times.Gibb River in July.
FollowupID: 16662

Reply By: Chris (W.A.) - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 06:27

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 06:27
Hi David,
We're going up the Kimberley this month and although there's generally people everywhere we're taking an EPIRB and Portable HF radio. We're not radio fanatics and in an extreme emergency I'll pop the EPIRB over the HF.
Hell, we come across a bloke with the hire autotune HF radio and he couldn't reach base at the arranged call in time which was part of his hire conditions.

HF is the most reliable in radio communications and they're supposed to contact anybody at anytime. Other day just for amusement got on the old AM/DSB radio(not HF) and picked up eastern states enthusiasts...and the day after...and the day after.

Although it's the ol' opening a can of worms routine I'd stick to your satphone + EPIRB.
Somebody posted a question in relation to what exactly is an emergency to activate an Epirb. Well, after speaking to some emergency personnel (WA), most they're epirb activations result in coming across bogged persons and it'll never change. Just buy them a carton. You don't have to be in the Simpson to activate it. Where I live, as well as a lot of other country towns, you can get 45C days and to have to walk 50kms or less to help without water...dream on. If you want social chitchat with friends, or play mortal combat with a friend in Vietnam(quote Carey) buy the $2000up HF. Remember, you don't need a licence if it comes to "emergency" calls only. ...Satphone and EPIRB....Pray Continue.-I'll probably regret this.
AnswerID: 24759

Reply By: Chrisp - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 15:23

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 15:23
HF has been around for a long time. It is still used in modern Commercial Aircraft for communications outside VHF coverage.

Codan and Barrett are both good units and when buying, if price is a consideration go for the Barrett. There are some attractive deals out there. I have found the people at Barrett very helpful and professional.

By the way you can send Email via HF and even access web pages with a HF Modem and a computer. Other services available include access to weather maps, HF broadcasts from Australia and overseas, and of course make telephone calls.

I have used Sat phones and they do not work in some places and situations (and expenive)

AnswerID: 24768

Follow Up By: Janset - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:54

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:54
Hi David.

The first 2 paragraphs-of the above I agree with. From there on I have not had any experience, so I can not comment.

I own a Barret, but forget the brand name, the issue is to own or not to own an HF radio.

I have owned a HF for over 6 years and I am a member of the VKS 737 Radio network (very strongly recommended).

I have been lucky in my travels and have not had the need to call for assistance, but here are a few facts not mentioned.

You can not make contact with who ever every time you want , due to atmospheric conditions. But you can in most times raise SOMEONE and your message will be relayed.

You can keep in touch with friends MOST of the time (Selcall is a big plus).

Now here is the HUGE plus, especially if you are a member of the VKS network.

(1) Register with them and you do not need any other form of licence.

(2) I have listened to horror stories over the radio relating to major break downs in the middle of nowhere that require either towing or spare parts being transported to the stricken vehicle.

In most cases, there was either a vehicle on the network within a reasonable distance who was willing to make a deviation to deliver the parts, or tow the vehicle in. In other cases, the radio operators,( bless them all), they made all the necessary arrangements and local telephone calls to find the cheapest way out of the problem. They would then radio back to you and get your approval before organising the 'go ahead'.

How would you do that on a Sat phone? Take a phone book for all the states you travel in and make phone call after phone call until you get satisfaction, and at what price per minute?

An EPRB is good, but it is very limited in it's application. Once activated, and the search is initiated, usually with an aircraft, who pays for the aircraft, and then, can you communicate with the aircraft? What do you think the cost would be to you, especially if the problem was really quite small but just big enough to stop you from moving again?

What options have you?

With a HF radio all this can arranged before big costs are involved.

The choice is really yours, what price do you put on piece of mind and wallet expenditures in the middle of nowhere????

Food for thought don't you think?

FollowupID: 16674

Follow Up By: Chris (W.A.) - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 04:28

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 04:28
Could always phone VKS network and get them to broadcast a message that you're in the poo.
If you were ignored because you're not a member of the network...well, it's just not cricket, if you get the drift (mateship).Gibb River in July.
FollowupID: 16699

Reply By: Phil G - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:32

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 19:32
Hi David,

I fitted a Barrett 950 to my Prado a couple of months ago. The distributor in Adelaide was excellent and is probably the reason I went with the Barrett - included 5 hours of tuition, great service and he programmed a million channels into it so it picks up everything from Radio Beijing to the aircraft. The tuition was very important, otherwise I'd still be fumbling around.

I went with HF because I like to listen to the 4wd network when away to see whats happening around the country, and if the weathers turning foul, you can get great info. For $110 a year (+ calls) you can join a telephone network, and make calls from your set, but people can't readily call you (I like it this way!). I can also call other members of the club out in the bush for no cost.

I have the bracket on the tailgate - the tip of the aerial sits at the height of the roofrack, so its wel protected. Most of the time I put a $40 whip on, which is repairable should I break it. The main unit sits on a rear roof shelf I made up, and the head unit is velcroed to the console at present. If you want to have a look, I'll drop by CMI.
AnswerID: 24786

Follow Up By: Outnabout David (SA) - Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 11:34

Sunday, Jul 13, 2003 at 11:34
Thanks Phil,

I am on holidays this week but would like to catch up with you. Call by anytime to say hello.We have so little time to enjoy our land
FollowupID: 16711

Reply By: Martyn (WA) - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 21:23

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 21:23
I've recently joind the HF fraternity and I find it a great comfort t have it in the fourby, I have a Barret 550 with a remote head, plus a multi tap, I've joined the VKS 737 network and find all the operators very helpful and also willing to have a chat if they're not to busy. Snowy talks anyway... I went to Lake Jasper here in WA earlier this year, we were the only ones camping in this particular spot and at the time I didn't have HF, it was a very lonley night, the thoughts always cross your mind what if this happens?, what if that happens? No contact at all, the reason I bought an HF is the reason that has been mentioned before, when you call out everyone who has a radio, where as if you phone only the person you call can help. If you call on the radio there may be someone a couple of K's away who can help, if you phone the person a couple of K's way would never know you are there.
On the other side of the coin instead of you always thinking you maybe the person needing assistance you could well be able to render assistance to someone else less fortunate, always a good feeling.Keep the shiny side up
AnswerID: 24790

Reply By: Member - Raymond - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:08

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:08
Hi Dave
Another Unit to look at if size is a worry id Q-mac
Central Communications in Alice Springs uses them as hirer unit and are very impressed.
PS Just back with from the Kimberleys. The HF radio was a great assistance when the fridge broke, very quick advise to were to take it for a great repair.
AnswerID: 24794

Reply By: Stephen - Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:42

Saturday, Jul 12, 2003 at 22:42
"Codan or Barrett" ? : my answer is Barrett ...
AnswerID: 24801

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