UHF Radio

Thanks for your valuable feedback on the road from Cooma to Tumut, I now want to buy and fit a UHF radio before I head off, any suggestions on pitfalls, brumbies or capacity required.
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Reply By: Stu & "Bob" - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 09:47

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 09:47
If you have a look at WOW stores, yoiu will sometimes pick up a UHF bundle deal which includes an antenna.

Any standard vehicle mount UHF will be fine, although I prefer GME items.


AnswerID: 400810

Reply By: StormyKnight - Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 12:27

Sunday, Jan 24, 2010 at 12:27
You won't have any issues with any of the known brands....GME, Uniden etc..

What you will need to look at is features....

Front mounted speaker? Easier to hear what's going on rather than a bottom mounted speaker, especially if the unit is recessed in the dash.

Channel Scanning function - scan through channels so you can monitor more than 1 channel at a time. Handy if you want to monitor say the truckies channel, but also your convoy on another channel.

Radio Scanner - allows you to monitor services such as police/fire/ambulance or other services on the analogue UHF band. Note most capital cities now have the police on digitally encrypted channels so they can't be heard, but in regional & remote areas they are still analogue.

Mike controls - allows you to choose channel/volume etc from the microphone rather than having to reach the unit or see the unit - may or may not be handy?

Duplex should be standard on all units these days, this allows you to use a repeater. Your unit transmits on 1 channel to the repeater which transmits out on the 2nd channel so others can hear it. When they transmit, they also transmit on the 1st channel, the repeater transmits on the 2nd channel & your unit receives on the 2nd channel. There are quite a number of repeaters around the country for this purpose.

Aerial - the bigger the aerial the more gain & the more horizontal range......

This is an important thing to consider, on the plains it would be better to have a 9db aerial as it would put its power out in a large flat donut from your car allowing you to talk to the convoy over a large distance. Unfortunately in mountainous conditions, this aerial performs poorly up & down so as you vehicle pitches up & down, so does the radio signal.

The solution is to go for an aerial with less gain, it won't reach as far on the flat, but its donut is a lot fatter & so in mountainous country your more likely to be heard.

Usual suggestion is either 4.5db or 6db as a compromise. Some people have two aerials & change them depending on the terrain.

The other thing to consider is getting a ground independent aerial. Normally your car acts as the ground for the signal coming from the aerial. If you mount the aerial on the front of your car, it will transmit better behind you than in from because behind the aerial is the car which acts as a ground plane. To even up the transmission, a ground independent aerial helps with that.

Ok a few things to consider, but knowledge before-hand is always handy.


AnswerID: 400824

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