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Discussion in 'Survival & Sustenance Living Forum' started by bizy, May 9, 2011.
How many of you have 2 way walkie talkies and/or 5 band shortwave recievers? What would you suggest?
I use MURS (vhf) for when in the woods , frs/gmrs ( uhf ) for city's and CB for skipping .
Depends on what you want. For security, Trisquare's eXRS radios are excellent - they channel hop in a pseudo-random way over 10 billion channels. But they're limited in range to a couple miles tops.
CB will get you more range, but no security.
Something like the Puxing 777+ is a Ham unit requiring a license but may get you talking on the other side of the world assuming relays are up.
I bought a some 2 ways from the bass pro shop a few years back came with head sets, has a range of about 5 miles, 10 different channels.
i use a HAM radio that requires an amateur radio license, it is a Yaesu VX5R. If I were to buy another one today I would probably get a VX6R. If you don't want to get a license I would look into an FRS or GMRS. Any radio you get will not be "secure" since there are always people potentially listening in. There is an outfit called Amateur Electronics Supply (AESham.com) that sells all of these and much much more. One of the most important things on any radio is the antenna, I replaced mine the day I bought it and I have made a few better ones for different scenarios. One very versatile one is the wire J-Pole that rolls up and fits in a pocket. Bring that out into the woods with a roll of string and you would be surprised at how much further you can communicate. by tossing the string up in a tree and hoisting the J-Pole up as high as you can. If you can replace the antenna on the radio you choose you can make a J-Pole for it.
frs/gmrs ( uhf ) for city's and CB for skipping. Also Vhf Marine Band.
Do you have any insight comparing the Yaesu, Icom, Puxing and Kenwood handheld models? Thanks for the tip on the VX6R.
There's nothing wrong with those except the range is often terrible if you're not going to be relatively close to the individual you're trying to talk with.
The reason I mentioned the eXRS is their frequency hopping spread spectrum over 10 billion channels. Changing channels a few times a second makes it tricky to listen in unless you have the channel-hopping algorithm and key. I'm sure it's not impossible to do it, but most people aren't going to have the technology to do it.
I've got several extra feet of antenna wire on my car's cb antenna. Is it best to coil it, wad it, spread it around or snip the excess?
I'll handle these one at a time.
"Do you have any insight comparing the Yaesu, Icom, Puxing and Kenwood handheld models? Thanks for the tip on the VX6R."
Not really. They are all good radios and come with a price tag to match. My choice (the VX5R Yaesu) was based on the recommendation of the guy at the local HRO (Ham Radio Outlet, hamradio.com) and it has been a good radio.
"There's nothing wrong with those except the range is often terrible if you're not going to be relatively close to the individual you're trying to talk with."
No argument there. I have had them work for over a mile on my ranch. I hear you can open them up and get more distance out of them but since those radios fulfilled my needs (unlicensed operators) I never opened them up. I should though just to see what I can get out of them. You need to know that the radios you buy at Costco say "up to 5 miles range", which is true, but that is direct line of sight. Again, you can open them up and get more range out of them. Also, I think you do need some sort of license or registration for the GMRS radios.
"The reason I mentioned the eXRS is their frequency hopping spread spectrum over 10 billion channels. Changing channels a few times a second makes it tricky to listen in unless you have the channel-hopping algorithm and key. I'm sure it's not impossible to do it, but most people aren't going to have the technology to do it."
Don't be so sure about that. There are scanners that can scan and decode damned near anything these days. Not too long ago a buddy of mine tried to sell me (damn near give me) a scanner he picked up in Japan that would scan many frequencies I know are "secure" (I listened to some) but they were as clear as a bell.
Fact is anything that is sent via radio waves or land line can be compromised. That's why bin Laden had no phone and no internet in his hidey-hole.
Unless you are comfortable having what you say posted on a billboard in Times square, don't say it. (that goes for pictures too!)
"I've got several extra feet of antenna wire on my car's cb antenna. Is it best to coil it, wad it, spread it around or snip the excess?"
Wad it up. Coiling it acts like a choke and you lose your transmitting output. The length is critical. Take a look here
The Ultimate Guide to 11 Meter CB Antennas
You also absolutely MUST get yourself a SWR meter and tune your antenna!!!!!! This can make all of the difference! You can have a crappy-ass CB radio from Wal Mart and it will work just as well as the top-of-the-line big dollar radio if the antenna is tuned to the specific radio as installed in the vehicle. The main thing is what is the maximum output of the radio.
All you need to get is the SWR meter and a pigtail to put it in-line, tune the antenna so you have close to a 1:1 match (or lower than a 1.50:1 match) with your radio, antenna and antenna feed line all installed as it is in the car.
Also, for CB's the best place for an antenna is in the center of the roof of a metal skin car (Corvettes need not apply) and grounded to the body. you can use a through-the-roof mount (which should ground right there where it goes through the roof) or a mag mount but ground the coax to the body of the car or you will screw it all up. I use an ohm meter to check for a good ground.
Mounting your CB antenna on the bumper will work as well, but it will be somewhat directional depending on where the mass of the "ground plane" (the car) is. If you mount your antenna on the trailer hitch the radiation will be biased to the rear of the car (the metal mass "ground plane" of the car drives the radiation through the antenna).
Nuff for now?
By wadding it up I mean make it a rat's nest. You can also spread it around (make a loop around the car) but it depends on how much you have. Just DO NOT coil it up! And do not make a bend tighter than about 3/4 inch.
You might want to read through this similar thread on the forum "Radio communication when cell service is down"
(Sorry, I don't know how to make a proper link to it.)
Cool, thanks. I'll just undo what I've got bundled and wrap it around a tennis ball randomly so there are no tight bends.
SWR meter should be on its way soon.
NO no no no! Wrapping it around a tennis ball will make a choke. You need to literally wad it up in a mess so it doesn't screw you up. What you are tying to avoid is having any parallels in the coax. Randomness is what you are looking for. It sucks because you have to accept a wadded up bunch of coax in your car somewhere, but the benefits in performance in both receiving and transmitting are worth it. One of my old bosses had a Jeep with a CB and he had his excess coax coiled up under the seat, his radio was absolutely worthless transmit or receive for more than 100 yards line-of-sight (no exaggeration). I tuned it up by wadding up his carefully and neatly coiled coax and adjusting the SWR and now he can communicate for a mile or so.
Did you go to the reference site I posted? If not then go there and read up on feed lines.
I was going to use a tennis ball to ensure there were no tight bends but otherwise make it random like a ball of yarn.
I'll go take a look in the other thread.