Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

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2manygunz
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Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by 2manygunz » Sat Mar 06, 2010 12:35 am

I'm looking for a set of radios that will work over distance in wooded areas. I know this is not a radio's forte, but there's got to be something better than the "family-band" radios they sell in Walmart, or wherever. We've tried those and as soon as you are out of eyesight, they crap out...

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gunham
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Post by gunham » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:13 am

Ham Radio. It's the only way to be sure.




Impeach Obama.

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Post by finn » Sat Mar 06, 2010 2:20 am

Not sure what your budget is, but the garmin rino is nice, 5w on gmrs and the gps/radio integration is useful if multiple rinos are used.

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2manygunz
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Post by 2manygunz » Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:23 am

gunham wrote:Ham Radio. It's the only way to be sure.
Hmmm. Interesting. Does seem their are portable/handheld ham radios. Never knew that. Don't you need a license to operate them? If I had a license, can my wife or kids just grab it and use? Or is that going pirate?

The strongest one I found online was 5.5W, while the Rino suggested is 5W. Seems the Rino is pretty powerful as well, but with the GPS on it, it's about $300 more per unit.

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Post by Hermit » Sat Mar 06, 2010 9:44 am

2manygunz wrote:
gunham wrote:Ham Radio. It's the only way to be sure.
Hmmm. Interesting. Does seem their are portable/handheld ham radios. Never knew that. Don't you need a license to operate them? If I had a license, can my wife or kids just grab it and use? Or is that going Pirate?

The strongest one I found online was 5.5W, while the Rino suggested is 5W. Seems the Rino is pretty powerful as well, but with the GPS on it, it's about $300 more per unit.
The handheld VHF/UHF dual banders are 1-5 watts, they can TX and RX on simplex or repeaters. (Look at Yaesu FT60r for instance) If you get a mobile that mounts in your car it is about the size of a CB and you can get VHF/UHF and HF, those usually around 50 watts max. Don't worry about power, a 5 watt HF rig can talk all over the world. Yes you need a license but it is very easy and $14 to take 1 or all 3 tests at once. I took Tech and General the same day. Go to eham.net and arrl.com and look around. Take the practice tests, free. Get Gordos book on Tech, get a handheld and have a blast. 5 watt handheld can talk to the space station when it is overhead, bounce of satellites and go further than just repeaters. Handhelds also work as scanners, NOAA weather, even send an emergency signal if you are down and with a ham license you are excluded and not a criminal for having a "scanner" in your car (some states). Hermit
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2manygunz
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Post by 2manygunz » Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:51 pm

Thanks for the details. I'll look into it.

I do know a guy on our volunteer fire department whose radio will cut through the woods no problem. He let slide that one of the fringe benefits of being on the volunteer force is having the radios during hunting season! It's also great for calling the game warden, who is a cousin of his, if he sees others encroaching on his land!

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Post by Hermit » Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:25 am

2manygunz wrote:Thanks for the details. I'll look into it.

I do know a guy on our volunteer fire department whose radio will cut through the woods no problem. He let slide that one of the fringe benefits of being on the volunteer force is having the radios during hunting season! It's also great for calling the game warden, who is a cousin of his, if he sees others encroaching on his land!
HRO is online, good info on the site, good people, all kinds of brand radios from handheld to base. I am in the woods, cell phones don't work here but no real impediment to these radios. We have a ham club with an online meeting every week. From inside with a handheld and repeater I can transmit and receive to any others and some are 80-90 mi away. That's using the club repeater (most are left open to anyone, just need the access tone of course) which is maybe 15 mi as the crow flies.
If you have a true dualbander mobile, they will display 2 screens. One for 144 and 440 there is a way to set it up to receive on one band like 440 in your vehicle with a mounted mobile and decent antenna and transmit on 144 to your handheld while you are in the woods. Then 144 back to your mobile in the vehicle and out on 440. Very cool, but put your callsign out every 10 min on both bands as required (not hard). Hermit
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Post by silencertalk » Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:54 pm

All of the FRS ones claims 46 mile range and such when in fact they are all under 1 mile.

Get silencerresearch to debunk them.

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Post by finn » Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:55 pm

rsilvers wrote:All of the FRS ones claims 46 mile range and such when in fact they are all under 1 mile.

Get silencerresearch to debunk them.
I'd rather see him prove it is possible with passive amplification only. Mountaintop to mountaintop with handheld radios mounted to parabolic antennas maybe? There have been some impressive wifi links using old directtv dishes and off the shelf routers.

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Post by fstbk65 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:32 pm

I have some Rino's and love them for their versatility but I'm sure the range isn't great. I have friends with short wave and that seems to be the way to go to keep in touch at distance.

BTW I have 2 extra rino 120's for sale... :wink:

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Post by AngryFish » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:14 pm

Not trying to threadjack but what models of handheld ham radios would you guys recommend. I'm looking for something that's really rugged with decent range. Something to toss in my go bag. Budget is not really a huge concern. Just want something built like a tank with a decent feature set.

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Post by AngryFish » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:18 pm

Yaesu VX8-DR looks good. Not sure what is different on it than on the VX8-R

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Post by Silent Shooters » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:30 pm

Motorola XTS5000!

http://cgi.ebay.com/Motorola-XTS5000-As ... 27aff81985


You will need one with the FPP (front panel programmable) option.

they are available in VHF, UHF, or 700/800 mhz but no dual banders.

be sure to get the impres batteries and chargers.

i have two of these radios that i carry on a daily basis and they are the s--t as far a ruggednes. not to mention that you can easily get 6 watts on the vhf version. they transmit and receive better than any ham radio on the market. you can get digital encryption like all of the 3 letter agencies use(and me) . yes me and my wife use these high end radios with encryption to chase our cattle and communicate on the farm.

this is just my opinion and you know what they say about them.
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Post by Silent Shooters » Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:33 pm

AngryFish wrote:Yaesu VX8-DR looks good. Not sure what is different on it than on the VX8-R
The Yaesu VX-8DR is an APRS® enhanced version of the popular VX8R. Key additional features of the VX-8DR include:
Smart Beaconingâ„¢ Function.
Station List memories has increased from 40 to 50.
The number of APRS® Message Memories has increased from 20 to 30.
DIGI-PATH route indication function.
Heads up compass display to the GPS screen.
The Message received LED flashing rate is selectable.
The number of DIGI-PATH route settings has increased from 1 to 7.
www.silentshooters.com

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Post by 2manygunz » Tue Mar 09, 2010 12:46 am

rsilvers wrote:All of the FRS ones claims 46 mile range and such when in fact they are all under 1 mile.
I've learned this first hand. The "most powerful" you can get is fine for the beach, but barely makes it room to room in the house much less through woods.

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Post by Hermit » Tue Mar 09, 2010 8:49 am

AngryFish wrote:Not trying to threadjack but what models of handheld ham radios would you guys recommend. I'm looking for something that's really rugged with decent range. Something to toss in my go bag. Budget is not really a huge concern. Just want something built like a tank with a decent feature set.
Depends how fancy you want. Some upper end handhelds you can even plug a GPS in and show your position on a computer map. Old buddy spends all his time in the mountains alone, his wife can see at home if he is still moving, updates every 20 min. Think the newest Yaesu has it. The upper Kenwood has it. Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom, Motorola are all good. I use a FT60r yeasu, very rugged, water resistant, was less than $200 shipped ($160 or something like that) I haven't tried the new Yeasu but I'd buy any of their products. None of the handhelds will break a budget. Google island of misfit hams forum and ask them some questions. Good people, knowledge abounds. Eham has good info and people too and also a archive on mobile/handhelds/base etc which is great. Hermit
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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by dblas » Wed Mar 02, 2011 1:23 am

I know, I'm resurecting an older post (I may do that as a new guy, with updated info)

Check out MURS for unlicensed operation, similar to FRS but higher power and VHF.

A good durable BTSOOI radio for this band would be a Motorola HT1000. You can generally pick them up for $100 or so.

If you do decide to get an amateur hand held, also make sure that the radio has an alkaline battery pack for when you have no access to commercial power when you need to recharge the battery.

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by Sigproshooter » Wed Mar 02, 2011 6:45 am

Excellent thread. 8)
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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by US Ranger » Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:55 pm

Yes, MURS on VHF or GMRS on UHF. You're supposed to have an FCC license for GMRS ($85 for 5 years) No testing, just a fee. FRS and GMRS are in the same band. FRS no license required but they only operate max 1/2 watt and youre stuck with the antenna on the radio. GMRS can operate max 5 watts and you usually can switch out on some radios to a more efficient antenna.

Look for Bendix King portables on ebay. Military guys used them as PRC's or "pricks". I've found them for less than $50 each. You have to be careful on the model and what bands they are programmable in. One of their uhf models encompasses the GMRS band. They are field programmable (with a paperclip if you know how and have the password). Get a AA clamshell to power it (also on ebay).
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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by dblas » Wed Mar 02, 2011 11:20 pm

As for the OPs original question, any used commercial radio that does 110 watts from any of the reputable manufacturers (motorola, icom, kenwood, etc).

In a year or so, you will see a bunch of used VHF and UHF gear do to the narrow band requirements that will be in effect I believe in 2013.

The down side to 110 watt radios is size, they can't be dash mounted and are only remote mount. Radio body under the seat, control head and mic on/under the dash.

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by continuity » Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:29 am

dblas wrote:...The down side to 110 watt radios is size, ...
Yeah, but the up side is when you're usng one during the winter, you don't need a heater in the vehicle...
What amount of a man is composed of his own collection of experiences... and the conclusions that those experiences have allowed him to "know" for certain as "Truth"? :Ick

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by dblas » Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:00 am

continuity wrote:
dblas wrote:...The down side to 110 watt radios is size, ...
Yeah, but the up side is when you're usng one during the winter, you don't need a heater in the vehicle...
More so if you run 3 - 4 like I do... 8)

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by silencertalk » Mon Mar 14, 2011 3:45 pm

2manygunz wrote:We've tried those and as soon as you are out of eyesight, they crap out...
Umpossible. They claim a 28 mile range.

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by silencertalk » Thu May 28, 2015 4:47 pm

I just ordered an ICom 7200. Should be able to talk to China.

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Re: Most Powerful Mobile Radios?

Post by doubloon » Thu May 28, 2015 11:54 pm

Tell them to "Tear down this firewall!".

The Yaesu's have always gotten good reviews, I haven't taken the plunge yet.
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