UHF and Sat Phones???

I have purchased a 4x4 which came with a GME TX4000 UHF. Was wondering what peoples views or experiences are on these. Will be travelling Australia in the near future and want to know if the UHF would do the Job providing we got the right aerial. The UHF isn't hooked up in the 4x4 that I bought, but wouldn't be hard to see if it's gonna work. I realise that it's an older model, but i would like to use this one if i can than fork out for another if this TX4000 will do the job. Or am i just wasting my time????

The other debarkle I'm trying to sort out for our trip is what sort of communication to take for those areas out of UHF and normal phone range. I know there are Sat phones but was wondering if there is anything else out there on the market?? We will need to upgrade our normal phones before we go, telstra nextG as Kedron comes with NextG aerial, We run our laptop off of a Bigpond Ultimate - Telstra NextG Sierra wireless USB device. If Sat phones are the way to go, which ones would you reccomend?? Do they do any deals with NextG for phones and Laptop and maybe Satellite??? Any info would be appreciated.

Cheers

John.
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Reply By: racinrob - Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:47

Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 17:47
John. I have had a GME TX4000 for over 10 years and its proved to be a good reliable radio but remember it's only basically line of sight communications.

For longer (Oz wide) communications besides NextG have you considered an HF radio ? Substantial initial outlay but the benefits make it worthwhile in the long haul. In many trips to remote areas it's very rare I can't make contact with a base station or another member.
The HF Radio Club has just opened a base in Alice Springs and this is proving to give excellent coverage besides the bases on the east and west coast, just a thought.

Rob. VKE 237 Selcall 6678
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Follow Up By: nick b - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 22:52

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 22:52
Hi all ; has anyone looked at the gps "spot " tracker also know as "findmespot". they have a new one coming out used with new phones !!

your friends can follow you on the net , you can send sms , 911 calls to usa ,or send ok message , under $250 plus rego $ .... per year
Cheers Nick b

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Reply By: Member - John and Val - Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:23

Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:23
John,

First, 2 points re UHF. First, DON'T give it a try without fitting a proper aerial. It should be fine, but can be damaged if there is no aerial there to radiate the transmission energy. Second - be aware that there are changes coming for UHF. Present radios will be phased out over the next 5 years so if you are looking to replace it, make sure that either the replacement is already an 80 channel unit (not the present 40 channel) or is upgradable, preferably by the user.

Sat phone - the debate between sat phone and HF radio can become a battlefield here! My personal choice is HF, but many prefer sat phone. Costs are similar (thousands) but I reckon in remote areas HF offers more. Both would be good if you have unlimited funds!

For internet access we use a prepaid on the Telstra network (Telstra doesn't have many friends, but it does have by far the best coverage). The phone acts as a modem connected to a laptop. It isn't cheap for active surfing, but there isn't time for much surfing when on the road anyway, so no problem.

Cheers

John
J and V
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:28

Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 18:28
A UHF Radio such as you have mentioned will give you communication to other vehicles of about 20 kilometres or so with an antenna of 6db.
In addition, the use of repeater stations on channels 1 through 8 (channel 5 is the emergency channel) using duplex mode may extend your coverage further.
This is adequate for normal communications with other travellers in the general vicinity and to the various repeater stations dotted throughout Australia.

If you need communication with the likes of the Flying Doctor Service, or wider information, the use of a HF radio would be required, but they are not cheap.

NextG coverage is reasonable in many areas but limited in the outback areas of our country.

Basically, it depends on your exact communication requirements, but I find the NextG mobile and the UHF radio give me adequate cover. If I'm out of range of either of them for a few days, then I'm not going to lose any sleep over it.

For an absolute emergency situtation, we carry a GPS equipped EPIRB which can be activated and you will be found by the radio beacon and GPS co-ordinates.
This is a once off cost of around $300 and there is no ongoing annual costs.
The epirb is registered with the AMSA (Australian Maritime Safety Authority) and even for land use is an excellent last resort device.


Bill.
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Reply By: Motherhen - Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 20:04

Monday, Mar 28, 2011 at 20:04
Hi John

I have a short article on the various communications and options at:
What communications will you need?

Motherhen
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Reply By: Mike DiD - Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 18:30

Tuesday, Mar 29, 2011 at 18:30
If you're thinking of buying another UHF CB, keep in mind that EVERY 40 channel unit will have to be sold off as an obsolete model, when 80 channel units are released.
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