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Old 03-13-2011, 10:31 PM   #21
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That Galaxy looks enticing, that should go well in the BOT. I also like the options of handhelds y'all have shown me. So many choices.....
I have a Midland 75-822 CB, which is really very nice for what it is. It comes complete with a car adapter which lets you hook up a full-size antenna AND power it from the vehicle, as well as a rechargeable battery pack (with recharger) and a separate AA battery pack. It comes with a rubber ducky antenna, but I use a Cobra collapsible antenna when it isn't in the car. The older 75-822 models could be modified easily to get you SSB (40 channels lower sideband, normal FM CB, and 40 channels upper sideband) with increased wattage.

But HT generally don't output in high wattage for obvious reasons: you don't want to cook your head holding something that powerful up to your ear.
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Old 03-13-2011, 10:42 PM   #22
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But HT generally don't output in high wattage for obvious reasons: you don't want to cook your head holding something that powerful up to your ear.
Yeah true, that's why I'm iffy on satellite phones.
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Old 03-14-2011, 09:46 AM   #23
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Yeah true, that's why I'm iffy on satellite phones.
What's the wattage output on those things? It's probably not very high since the signal just has to go a few miles (up) with no obstructions, so it's probably not too bad. If you can afford one and can arrange to be able to use it any time you want, it might be a good option. But then, you're still dependent on satellites that the government can control and possibly disable for civilian use.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:08 PM   #24
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What's the wattage output on those things? It's probably not very high since the signal just has to go a few miles (up) with no obstructions, so it's probably not too bad. If you can afford one and can arrange to be able to use it any time you want, it might be a good option. But then, you're still dependent on satellites that the government can control and possibly disable for civilian use.
I'm not sure about the wattage. Another reason I'm iffy on the SP.
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Old 03-14-2011, 06:55 PM   #25
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I used satellite phones in Baja (for the 1000 off road race) a few years ago and at that time the were for crap. I only completed one single phone call in the week or so I was there. We were sposered by Globalstar (one of the premier satellite phone service providers) so the equipment was top of the line at the time. My HT performed much better than the satellite phones did. Things have undoubtedly improved since then though. Oh, and there is the cost. The satellite phones themselves cost a lot and the air time is astronomical.

Regardless of whether you use a CB or HAM radio the most important component is the antenna and making sure it is properly tuned, this requires an SWR meter and is pretty simple to do. Using a properly tuned antenna on 10 meters my buddy has talked to people all over the globe and I have listened to people frequently all over the globe. It is more in the antenna than the radio itself. The antenna I use is 30 meters long and sloped towards the East, and we have communicated clearly with HAMs in New Zealand and other smaller islands in the South Pacific (I am in the San Francisco Bay Area) as well as communicating with HAMs in Europe (granted, closer but not an ideal direction given my antenna orientation.

As far as repeaters are concerned, all of the ones I know of have redundant backup systems in place, including solar, battery and generators. One near me (WR6VHF (Loma Prieta) S.F. Bay area [131.8 Hz]) is (I believe) completely off-grid so it relies entirely on on-site power generation. This repeater is within a mile or two of the epicenter of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 and remained operational throughout that disaster.

It is important to have several emergency power options available, as evidenced by the current earthquake in Japan. People's cell phones are running low on batteries and if they cannot charge (power is out all over due to the nuke plant meltdowns and many don't have a car anymore) they will be completely out of comm. Japan is going through a real "Sierra has Hotel Tango Foxtrot" right now. Keep your eyes on that to learn what you can from it.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:12 PM   #26
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Baja Race? Pictures?
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Old 03-14-2011, 08:45 PM   #27
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I used satellite phones in Baja (for the 1000 off road race) a few years ago and at that time the were for crap. I only completed one single phone call in the week or so I was there. We were sposered by Globalstar (one of the premier satellite phone service providers) so the equipment was top of the line at the time. My HT performed much better than the satellite phones did. Things have undoubtedly improved since then though. Oh, and there is the cost. The satellite phones themselves cost a lot and the air time is astronomical.

Regardless of whether you use a CB or HAM radio the most important component is the antenna and making sure it is properly tuned, this requires an SWR meter and is pretty simple to do. Using a properly tuned antenna on 10 meters my buddy has talked to people all over the globe and I have listened to people frequently all over the globe. It is more in the antenna than the radio itself. The antenna I use is 30 meters long and sloped towards the East, and we have communicated clearly with HAMs in New Zealand and other smaller islands in the South Pacific (I am in the San Francisco Bay Area) as well as communicating with HAMs in Europe (granted, closer but not an ideal direction given my antenna orientation.

As far as repeaters are concerned, all of the ones I know of have redundant backup systems in place, including solar, battery and generators. One near me (WR6VHF (Loma Prieta) S.F. Bay area [131.8 Hz]) is (I believe) completely off-grid so it relies entirely on on-site power generation. This repeater is within a mile or two of the epicenter of the Loma Prieta Earthquake in 1989 and remained operational throughout that disaster.

It is important to have several emergency power options available, as evidenced by the current earthquake in Japan. People's cell phones are running low on batteries and if they cannot charge (power is out all over due to the nuke plant meltdowns and many don't have a car anymore) they will be completely out of comm. Japan is going through a real "Sierra has Hotel Tango Foxtrot" right now. Keep your eyes on that to learn what you can from it.
Thanks, Vikingdad -- that's good info to know.
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Old 03-15-2011, 04:39 PM   #28
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Baja Race? Pictures?
Sorry. I only save stories, but here is a link to the photo page on the teams website Phoenix Racing Team Photo Gallery

I was driving a 30 foot box van support truck and setting up pit stops all down the course. Did it for a couple of years. Lots of fun but I wouldn't go down there these days. Too dangerous and you can't bring along your "Little Friends". It is really scary pulling up to the Federale checkpoints and there are a bunch of snot-nosed Mexican kids in uniform with fully automatic rifles walking around the truck asking if you have any guns or drugs on board (Survival tip: DO NOT REPLY IN SPANISH "Why senor? Are you out?").
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Old 03-15-2011, 05:05 PM   #29
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(Off subject)Here is a great documentary on the Baja 1000 race

Dust to Glory (2005) - IMDb
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:03 AM   #30
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Thanks, Vikingdad -- that's good info to know.
Very good info.

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Sorry. I only save stories, but here is a link to the photo page on the teams website Phoenix Racing Team Photo Gallery

I was driving a 30 foot box van support truck and setting up pit stops all down the course. Did it for a couple of years. Lots of fun but I wouldn't go down there these days. Too dangerous and you can't bring along your "Little Friends". It is really scary pulling up to the Federale checkpoints and there are a bunch of snot-nosed Mexican kids in uniform with fully automatic rifles walking around the truck asking if you have any guns or drugs on board (Survival tip: DO NOT REPLY IN SPANISH "Why senor? Are you out?").
Sounds awesome. Yeah I wouldn't be around the without a "friend" or two either. Lol bad experience at a checkpoint?
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