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2 way radio recomendations? 2416

Full Member Posts: 177
2 way radio recomendations?
« on: February 27, 2012, 02:13:57 AM »
Im looking at getting a twin set of 2 way radios (walkie talkies) and was wondering if anybody had any experience with them or advice to offer. Im looking at leisure ones with a range of about 10km, weatherproof and easy to use interface.

Brands i have looked at include Binatone, Cobra, Motorola, Doro, iCom etc one in particular was the Doro wt91 x pro which looked pretty good. Ill be using it mainly for hiking, cycling and communicating when travelling to and from these activities via vehicle probably on the motorway.

Any reccomendations would be appreciated.     

Ps Ive not started many threads but i couldnt find one like this so i hope its ok
 :cheers:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,514 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 02:27:57 AM »
I would stick with either Motorola or Midland as those are the ones I have had the most experience with.  To be honest though I don't think there's a lot of difference from one model to the next- I would imagine these are more or less the same all across the board.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Hero Member Posts: 500
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 04:31:33 AM »
Icom is well thought of in the Amateur Radio community.Very high quality.
Admin Team Zombie Apprentice Posts: 10,576 Aggressive in defence
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2012, 07:42:50 AM »
 I've used Icom VHF marine radios for years and never had any problems .
No Life Club Posts: 2,062 When in doubt, use a bigger hammer.
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2012, 05:09:46 PM »
I have a set of cobra 2-way radios and they are crapping out after a few years of very little use. :/
I would go with motorola or a different well known brand.

Chuck Norris' preferred iron supplement is rebar.
No Life Club Posts: 3,414 You will not laugh! You will not cry!
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2012, 08:35:00 PM »
I have lots of experience with Yaesu radios and can highly recommend them. I myself have a Yaesu VX-170 that have been through hell and back, seen action in the mud and heavy rain, dropped it God only knows how many times on asphalt and concrete, the only thing I haven’t done with it is taking it for a swim, it is built like a tank and the battery is awesome, have used it for little over 24 hours straight with lots of traffic on the coms before I needed to change the battery. Modifying it so you can access the entire VHF band rather than just be stuck with HAM frequency is really easy. The VX-170 was discontinued in 2009 but you can find it on the used market for a nice price. The model that replaced the VX-170 is the FT-270R, I have handled it in the store but not tried it but I have heard that it is of the same quality as the VX-170, it sure felt like it also.
http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=DisplayProducts&ProdCatID=111&encProdID=87CE6C1FF54D5BBCA7F39179AB3B1511&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0

Have some experience with iCom and they make some great radios, the only thing that is a PITA with iCom is if you want to program the radio with your PC since the software is meant for companies and not consumers, that’s at least how it works in Norway.But I would hands down choose a Yaesu radio over any other brand any day since I have used Yaesu radios for 12 years now. The volunteer rescue team that I am a part of have Yaesu radios that is 18 years old and  it’s only for the past 3 years that we have started to experience some problems and needed to replace some of them.

What should you get? Either Yaesu or iCom and you will get a quality product.

PS: Motorola is also OK

There is no problem that cannot be solved by the use of high explosives.
Full Member Posts: 177
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2012, 02:15:48 AM »
The icoms do seem good but a little out of budget, i was looking at £150 or so for a twin pack, im not after anything too technical, mainly good range and battery life but also pretty tough to a degree, ill keep shopping and when i find some ill post pics. Thanks all for the advice  :salute:
No Life Club Posts: 3,414 You will not laugh! You will not cry!
No Life Club Posts: 2,901
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2012, 11:17:50 PM »
Keep in mind that the FMRS/GMRS radios and their advertised ranges are theoretical maximums and never reflect real world conditions.  So for a radio that says it has a 35 mi. range is basically assuming you're each on a mountain top with nothing in between you, good weather, clear air, etc.  In practicality their range is much less, even if you switch to the GMRS channels which send and receive with a lot more power.  We have a set of Motorola talkabouts for our family, and in places like Yosemite, even on the valley floor, they won't go more than a handful of miles.  I'd say we get effective use out of them there out to about 2, maybe 3 mi. away from each other, even using the GMRS frequencies.  Basically, unless you have a direct line of sight between the radios, they're only usable for when you are in the immediate environs to one another.  Forget about actually using them to talk to someone in the town on the other side of the mountain, regardless of how close it might be.

The first Noble Truth: life is suffering.  Only by accepting that fact can we transcend it.
Hero Member Posts: 618
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2012, 12:59:21 AM »
I've got a set of Cobra handheld CB radios and a set of Midland FRS. Despite the beating CBs take on line, we rarely have trouble communicating car-to-car on the road, and we've been badly separated. I also have long-range antennas for them. One nice thing about them: while they are perhaps not as clear as the FRS radios (I honestly can't tell the difference), the CBs have much less traffic on them in crowded areas. If you get the FRS/GMRS type, make sure you get some with privacy coding built in. We were using the FRS as we travelled a few years back. We drove through a couple of large tourist destinations. There were restaurants using the FRS band to communicate kitchen-waitress or manager to waitress. The utility workers were also using them. I had one waitress tell me to get off the channel as she was trying to communicate an order! :twak:
No Life Club Posts: 3,414 You will not laugh! You will not cry!
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2012, 07:23:29 PM »
Good point, FMRS/GMRS frequencies (UHF) are not the best band for long range communication, for that the CB frequency band (HF) is much better, but the downside with CB is if you have a lot of high ground around you it will be pretty much useless. But you also got to consider that using a hand held radio inside a car will also reduce the range a good bit. I would recommend in getting a VHF radio since that is good all round frequency band and is not as cluttered as the UHF band, you get baby monitors and wireless house phones on that band (God only knows how many phone conversations I have picked up scanning that band).
Also have in mind that weather also can affect the range.

There is no problem that cannot be solved by the use of high explosives.
Hero Member Posts: 618
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #11 on: March 04, 2012, 12:22:01 AM »
You'd laugh me off the mountain if you saw the long-range antennas Cobra sells for their handheld CBs. I ordered them as an accessory and when they arrived, they must be a meter long or more!  :o When we travel, I use the original flexible antennas on the CBs and they seem to communicate reasonably well. If I were getting a new radio, I'd definitely look at the GMRS. I've been wondering about the GMRS licensing issue in the US. Does Europe require licensing for this type of communication?

I don't know how necessary the license would be- but then FCC tracking abilities have probably increased a thousand fold from the CB days. I knew quite a lot of wildcatter CB enthusiasts in the 70's who were putting out more power than many pirate radio stations and they never got caught. They did ruin a few episodes of "Charlie's Angels", "Kojak" and "Happy Days" for their neighbors, though...
« Last Edit: March 04, 2012, 12:23:40 AM by Biru »
No Life Club Posts: 3,414 You will not laugh! You will not cry!
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #12 on: March 04, 2012, 01:04:27 AM »
The CB frequency is very low so it needs a longer antenna since the frequency wave (HF) is big and far apart making it very good for long range communication where there are no obstacles (se the pic below)


The  UHF/GMRS frequency wave is not that big and are closer together (se the pic below)


making it a better frequency band if you are in a building or the city with high concrete walls.

The frequency you choose decides the length of your antenna

There is no problem that cannot be solved by the use of high explosives.
Hero Member Posts: 618
Re: 2 way radio recomendations?
« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2012, 01:18:02 AM »
Since I didn't see them (there was no pic on the accessory sheet) I was hoping they might be a center-loaded type and cut down on the length. Instead they were standard telescoping leads. Still, if I decide to go into jousting or need an emergency fishing rod, I have just the thing!


 

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