Submitted: Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 at 01:00
ThreadID: 607 Views:2312 Replies:7 FollowUps:6
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I will be travelling around Australia in a Pajero and Caravan for about 12 months starting in april 2002, I am interested in finding out apart from a mobile phone, which I know will not work in all locations, what other form of radio I should put in my vehicle for emergencies etc. I know absolutley nothing about CBs of UHF Radios
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Reply By: Roger Lowry - Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 at 01:00
Travelling around the block is when using the major highways creates little risk however if you require comunications I would look into a sat phone, however they are very expensive, the best form of comunications is a uhf radio as most trucks use them on the highway channel 40. You are then able to assist these vehicles to overtake by letting them know that you can see them behind and when the road is clear. This sort of radio is also good for talking to other caravaners on the van channel 18. I have travelled most of Aus with the caravan attached and only bother with the UHF radio and my CDMA mobile phone.
AnswerID: 1596

Reply By: Pat - Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 at 01:00

Sunday, Dec 16, 2001 at 01:00
David : a Mobile is useless in the Outback ! A Sat phone is next to useless !! Get an HF Transceiver ( Barrett or Codan ) neither of which is 'cheap', and join the VHS 737 outback radio network and you can travel anywhere in the outback of Australia and be in touch with all you require--i.e. emergency services, road conditions updates and fellow travellers , all for free!!

This is the only REAL way to travel in the bush !!

AnswerID: 1599

Follow Up By: Grant - Monday, Dec 17, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 17, 2001 at 01:00
A Satphone is next to useless!!....Please explain.
FollowupID: 508

Follow Up By: P.G. (tas) - Monday, Dec 17, 2001 at 01:00

Monday, Dec 17, 2001 at 01:00
I have heard the Iridium system is back up and running and far better than Vodaphones offering. Much better.
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Follow Up By: Colin - Tuesday, Dec 18, 2001 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 18, 2001 at 01:00
UHF CB is great for traveling, especially if you are with other vehicles - where there are repeaters the distance can be 60 kms! On a trip down the CSR in August we had AM and UHF CB's, and a Sat phone which was fantastic, realy comforting to be able to 'ring home'. We also carried an old RFDS Codan 'just in case'
FollowupID: 523

Follow Up By: Pat - Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00
Grant: have a look at the section under Preparation on this site and see what other people say about Mobiles and Sat phones in the Outback....if you have ever been way out there on your own you may appreciate things that actually work as opposed to those flash ads and hype that only sets people up for and expensive 'roll'
FollowupID: 526

Follow Up By: Cairns Offroad Training & Tours - Thursday, Dec 20, 2001 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 20, 2001 at 01:00
We used a sat phone on our recent Simpson desert crossing and had no problems with it Called our local radio station every morning with a trip report live to air and checked in with our wives most nights it was only a cheap hired job and worked fine. I have used them on numerous occaisions now and had no problems other than operator error ;-) Cheers Rob
FollowupID: 533

Follow Up By: Grant - Thursday, Dec 20, 2001 at 01:00

Thursday, Dec 20, 2001 at 01:00
G'day Pat, I'm only too aware of mobile coverage as I live in the "populated bush" and we can't even get CDMA. I can't see where in the prep section it says Satphones are useless and wanted to know Your reasons why?! Are there spots on this dry brown land where HF won't work? Having a good working knowledge of UHF and where it won't work I know the principles of radio transmission and if a Satphone can't get a signal out then a HF unit probably can't either?
FollowupID: 536

Reply By: Greg - Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00
David I have used most systems and for the average person a uhf cb and a digital mobile is more than adequate. You can hire sat or radphones if required but there are not many places you can go in this country where you won't see someone every day. Always let somebody know where you are going if you travel alone.
AnswerID: 1634

Reply By: John - Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00

Wednesday, Dec 19, 2001 at 01:00
I used Iridium for work until it went belly up then switched to Vodaphone which was next to useless with dropouts. Back to Iridium now it is back on line, no problems with dropouts etc but do have to put up with a slight delay (1-2 secs) in Tx/Rx because of the system design
AnswerID: 1635

Reply By: Bill King - Friday, Dec 21, 2001 at 01:00

Friday, Dec 21, 2001 at 01:00
David. We have just returend from another 6 month travelling with 4x4 and van. Are members of the VKS737 and this is the saftest way of travelling. If you are a 4x4 club member you get a discount.
We also use UHF Ch18 for road information, dont' use the mobile phone much only works 25 Ks from a large town anway. Join the 737 club and meet fowlers travelers. Safe traveling Bill

AnswerID: 1640

Reply By: tim - Tuesday, Dec 25, 2001 at 01:00

Tuesday, Dec 25, 2001 at 01:00
David check out the trader section of this site,it has a reasonable priced codan set that will give radio and phone coverage almost any where at much less cost than sat phones
AnswerID: 1646

Reply By: Nigel - Saturday, Jan 05, 2002 at 01:00

Saturday, Jan 05, 2002 at 01:00
Don't leave home without a UHF. Even if you never talk on it it will still be worthwhile just for what you hear. The best basic unit is the GME TX3200 or get a TX4400 or TX3400 if you want to be able to listen to police frequencies as well. Put a sticker on your van showing what frequency you are on (these are available from Caravan World magazine I think). The trucks will be nicer to you if they can talk to you (mostly - there are always idiots in every type of vehicle). Apart from UHF you have to decide if you really need long range communications. If you are only following the major roads then you may not, but a HF (and VKS737 membership) is still useful to talk to other long term travellers who may be able to tell you of spots you would otherwise miss. Also useful for getting up the the minute road conditons/weather reports that are a lot harder to get hold of on sat phone. I have a UHF, HF, GSM phone with external antenna, and a personal EPIRB in case all else fails. A personal EPIRB is fairly cheap life insurance, but should only be used in a life threatening emergency otherwise the bill could be large. Happy travels.
AnswerID: 1684

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