Hand Held VHF radios

Submitted: Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 00:39
ThreadID: 96838 Views:2268 Replies:7 FollowUps:14
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I am crossing the Nullabor in both directions with a caravan before the end of the year and am considering buying a hand held radio so that I can keep an ear open for nearby trucking activity. I dont want to permanently install a radio. The radio I am considering has a range of 4km, line of sight. I would like to be able to communicate with trucks, if neccessary, within a range of 1km or less. any comments, positive or negative, will be appreciated.
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Reply By: Life Member - Phil B (WA) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 04:05

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 04:05
Hi Keith
Firstly you say VHF I presume you mean UHF.

The problem with handhelds is power up to them. You'll soon get fed up with flat batteries and recharging, unless of course you can get a 12 volt adaptor that plug into the side.


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Follow Up By: Keith Q - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 10:04

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 10:04
Thank you all. I expected some excellent advice and I was not disappointed!
Happy Travels!
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Reply By: Member - Bucky - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 04:26

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 04:26
Keith
These are real little rippers

Right price too !

Make sure that you get the Aussie Range 400-480Mhz and 80 Channel

Click here

Cheers
Bucky
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Follow Up By: Member - Tony V (NSW) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:59

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 12:59
Bucky,

These radios have 25kHz Channel Spacing which only match with the 40 channels currently available. (Known as wideband).

To get the 80 (77) channels the set needs to have 12.5kHz channel spacing. (Known as narrowband).

The specs show 99 channels over the 400-480MHz range, for Australian CB only 476.4250 to 477.4125 is used for the 40/80 channels. The rest of the range is commercial and may require licencing to use.

All information from http://www.uhfcb.com.au/
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 00:51

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 00:51
They do not state any Australian approval number. I would steer clear of them. It is an offence to have any non approved working radios in your possession. It is also an offence to have in your possession any radio fitted with working channels that you do not have authority to operate on.


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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:20

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:20
Peter

Opps ......!........Sorry about that

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2-FM-UHF-transceiver-400-480MHz-Walkie-talkie-headset-/120716948752?pt=US_Ham_Radio_Transceivers&hash=item1c1b4a7510

This is the mob I have used, and with a mate, from am electronics shop, we have ordered 25 units, so far

Cheers
Bucky



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Follow Up By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 02:54

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 02:54
Hi Bucky. I ended up with FDC FD68 models when i bought mine a couple of years ago now when you recommended them or a similar model and they are great radios.They say they are VHF and UHF but all i know is that they came programmed and work great.Also put in an arial on the bull bar and just take off the hand held one and screw that on for extra range if ever needed.

Cheers Graeme.
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Reply By: Sand Man (SA) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:41

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:41
Keith,

A 2 watt handheld would be sufficient for your needs.
Just be aware that UHF radios are in the process of changing from 40 channel to 80 channel frequency ranges. If you buy a 40 channel unit, it will eventually only transmit and receive on half the available channels in the same frequency range.

I have a Uniden 2 watt handheld which runs on AA batteries that last a considerable length of time. It doesn't replace my vehicle mounted 5 watt GME unit, but is handy for external vehicle use.
I have also lent it to someone for "convoy use", to be able to communicate with other vehicles travelling together and it is adequate for this purpose.

Prestige Communications are hard to beat on price for reasonable quality units and the GME 2 watt unit featured in the link is only $88.00 for an 80 channel unit powered by 'AA' batteries.


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Reply By: PJR (NSW) - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:42

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 07:42
We have a pair similar to these two second hand ones that are for sale on ebay:GME 2nd hand for sale

We also carry a small inverter to charge them up if needed. But in the last three years we have only had to recharge them at home.

The charge lasts for days if you do not use them.
AnswerID: 490781

Reply By: Motherhen - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 15:56

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 15:56
Hi Keith

It is a good option. I cannot see any wattage written on mine, but i think they were a middle of the range at about 3 w. They were however only cheap Uniden ones from eBay purchased quite some years ago for farm related work.

The only disadvantage i find is that clarity of sound may not always be good, but they come through clearly on the inbuilt. Hence i am usually in the lead with a good inbuilt set, and someone younger can cope with the hand held.

They are satisfactory and give us good coverage between vehicles up to a few kilometres apart, and the transmission is excellent. Once when escorting a convoy of four vehicles towing wide load farm machinery, with around a kilometre or so between each of the five vehicles, daughter-in-law in the last vehicle was reaching me clearly on my inbuilt set to warn of any vehicle approaching from behind. I was not even aware that she was using one of my hand helds which i had allocated to my daughter in a vehicle within the group. D.i.l’s inbuilt UHF failed to work and my daughter had given her the hand held at our first checking stop as her rear guard role was vital.

Much the same model can be purchased with a rechargeable battery and cradle, but for travelling i think to be able to change the batteries when needed is an advantage. Just take a supply of batteries as if being used quite a bit the batteries can drain quickly and you may not have a working unit at the time you need it. When not being used much, the batteries hold for ages. Mine take three AAA batteries and I carry plenty of rechargeable AAAs (and AAs) with a charger than can do either size.

Check if you can get a unit that you can put an external antenna on and you will have virtually as good as built in for on road purposes.

They are also a safety device is one of you goes bush walking on their own.

Motherhen
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Follow Up By: dbish - Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 20:38

Friday, Jul 13, 2012 at 20:38
These are worth a serious look. WOUXUN KG-UVD1P UHF/VHF dual band 2 way radios. On Ebay for a bout $115 + $10 freight from China. They can be programed 136-174Mhz VHF & 400-470Mhz UHF. UHF 4W & VHF 5W. 25Khz/12.5Khz. So they can be programed for UHF 80CH. There is an amzing aray of optional acessories & cheep. There is a 12V/24V DC power lead that clips in where the battery pack goes. The aerial can be removed & an external aerial conected. I have one & use it in the vehicle aswell as in the boat.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 00:57

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 00:57
See my followup in Reply 2 of 5. It's an offence to have unapproved equipment in your possession.



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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:25

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:25
dbish

Wow !

They are a nice unit
Interesting coverage too !
Might get one

Thanks for the tip !

Cheers
Bucky

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Follow Up By: dbish - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 06:43

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 06:43
Well Peter not suitable for use in Aus!!! They are used by a lot of Radio Amatures, & the local Sea Rescue have sold a lot of them to members pre programed with VHF marine & UHF chanels in them.
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Follow Up By: Nomadic Navara - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:59

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 11:59
dbish - It's just as well I am no longer in my former job or I would be pursuing you and your mates. Posting things like you have done on a forum does not mean that inspectors can not locate you.

Radio amateurs do not need type approved equipment provided they do not have channels programmed into their radios that are not within the amateur bands.



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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:03

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:03
Fair go, Peter. These blokes with their questionable equipment aren't going to do much harm. After all they're responsible EO members.

If inspectors were fair dinkum, they'd be hounding all those moronic, brain dead galoots that frequent nearly every channel in all capital, and major cities.

Bit funny really, one government dept allows this stuff into the country, so another gov. dept can prosecute all those that buy it.

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Follow Up By: dbish - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:49

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:49
Un less said equepment is causing interference on other services i doubt very mutch wheather any one is ever likely to see a radio inspector. They dont seem to have mutch sucess tracking down the morons in the city using Foul langage. Were basicly talking Citizen Band & there doest seem to be any interest in what hapens there. At 5 watts the range in UHF is somewhat limited, unless it goes through a repeater.
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Reply By: Member - graeme W (WA) - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 01:46

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 01:46
Hi Keith.

Bucky is on the money. i have two of those radios 80 channel with a 12 volt charger.Charger is stuck on with velcro and been in use for two years now.Use them when on the road for calling trucks etc and also for when we are bush walking looking for orchids.Had a situation last month north of Newman when it was pouring rain and the roadtrain went over to the right side of the road and let me pass on the left. The wind was blowing all the water to the right and visibility was nil on that side.The benifit of radios and those are good ones .Have all the features of dearer 5 watt radios with scan, lock, etc.
Cheers graeme.
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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:38

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 05:38
graeme
I brought my first set of 4, some 4-5 years back..and still going.
Was out on a hunting trip with a mate, who works in an Elactronics shop, and he was impressed, and I got 4 in for him.
They sold in 3 days, to the local Country Fire Association. Thay were so impressed they got the mate to order another 20 units.

They are selling like hotcakes at the moment, and why not.
I have programmed them up to 80 channels, which is very easy.

great little units.

Cheers
Bucky
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:10

Saturday, Jul 14, 2012 at 14:10
Keith,

I'd be buying a GME 5 watt unit, and you have the luxury of fitting an external aerial. This will extend your range considerably, and possibly improve the clarity of signal. As Motherhen said, the clarity on some is not the best.

I've got poor hearing, and have difficulting understanding much of the talk, with the small speaker in these. The other gripe I have is, just as you put the unit down, someone will talk, and you immediately have to pick it again to hear, or mutter "Eh, what's that? Didn't hear you...."

Bob.

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Bucky - Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 06:03

Sunday, Jul 15, 2012 at 06:03
Understandable...

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