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walkie-talkie questions

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by pm666, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. pm666

    pm666

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    In light of Sandy, Katrina, etc. I would like to have some sort of mobille communication units available between my and my sister who live about 10 miles away. Obvioulsy, with the expection that POTS, cellular, etc. is down/compromised, etc.

    I'm not (nor would my sister) interested in getting a HAM license or anything like that. Also, I don't want to make a career or hobby out of this. I've done some internet research but I really haven't been able to determine where I need to start and at what point my search would end. I've come across D-star (whatever that is), satellite phones (seem expensive), etc.

    If the units had greater range and can do more things that would be great, but not to the point where I need a license/pass tests, or anyhing like that.

    Hopefully, someone can point me in the right direction and I'll research from there.
    Thanks,
    p
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2012
  2. cgwahl

    cgwahl Sheriffs a near

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    I think most walkie talkies give about a 20 to 40 mile range. Obviously that is under perfect conditions, but you might be fine with a cheap set of ~$30 Motorola walkie talkies.
     

  3. Bruce M

    Bruce M

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    My limted experience suggests that even ten miles can be a bit of stretch for walkie talkies with no infrastructure. If by chance you lived on top of a hill and she lived on top of a hill and there was nothing between you and her and it was a fairly rural area with few buildings and little vegetation to soak up the signal and little other radio spectrum in use in the area maybe. Otherwise I would be reluctant to bet on anything reliable at ten miles. If you were willing to go with a mobile/base station type radio with an external antenna of sufficient height, then it probably would be more likely.
     
  4. davew83

    davew83 hhhhhhhhmmmmmmm

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    Get your amateur radio license (ham radio).
     
  5. pm666

    pm666

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    OK, let's ditch the walkie-talkie idea.
    I'm looking for something more robust/professional/reliable anyway.
    What else is out there?
     
  6. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Old used CB's can be had very cheap. Heck new ones are very cheap. Magnetic mount antenna. Very easy to set something up in the house or you can just hook it up in the car when needed.

    Get yourself some of the small portable walkie talkies and try them out. If they cant handle the distance take them back to the store. I have a set of cheapies that work great between two cars when traveling down the highway.


    /
     
  7. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    CB all the way then. Either car, handheld portable or base station.


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  8. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    For a 10 reliabie mile range, , you will need about 50 Watts if you are using VHF or UHF.
     
  9. blackjack

    blackjack

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    Those two paragraphs essentially eliminate anything besides CB radio and it's not that reliable over your required range without fixed, directional antennas. By the way, D-Star is a digital technology in use on Icom ham equipment.

    BruceM gives an excellent summary of limiting factors and cgwahl's range estimate for 5 watts from a handheld radio is wildly inaccurate.
     
  10. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Look at these. Just ran across them while searching for CB radios.


    [ame="http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT1000VP4-36-Mile-50-Channel-Two-Way/dp/B001WMFYH4/ref=sr_1_19?ie=UTF8&qid=1352671693&sr=8-19&keywords=cb+radio"]Amazon.com: Midland GXT1000VP4 36-Mile 50-Channel FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radio (Pair) (Black/Silver): Car Electronics@@AMEPARAM@@http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/519b8SUhXBL.@@AMEPARAM@@519b8SUhXBL[/ame]



    /
     
  11. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    If you believe the advertising claim of 36 miles, no one can help you.
     
  12. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    I am hoping the 36 mile claim will at least get him the 10 miles he is looking for. My cheap set will do about 5 miles and thats in town with obstructions.


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  13. RonS

    RonS Millennium Member

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    Up to 36 miles?! More like up to 3.6 miles. Maybe if you both climb TV towers. If those are like my Motorola GMRS/FRS radios you will be lucky to get 2 standing on flat ground.
     
  14. Adjuster

    Adjuster

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    Just pulled mine out of storage. They are Midlands. Forgot about them since I have been in my new place. Will give them another go when they get charged up.


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  15. janice6

    janice6 Silver Member

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    I have been a ham for 60 years and a Physics engineer for 50 years. I worked 25 miles from my home and maintained constant communications.

    My home ran 100 Watts from a GE Master II Base station (commercial) to 2 10 element Yagis and the car rand 160 Watts with a 5/8's whip. I had a 115 Amp alternator to run things.


    You will need 50 Watts on UHF or VHF, and you will have problems with CB because of skip, weather and interference.

    Check the radio amateur sites for frequencies, propagation and power, versus distance. They have information.


    I have two sets of the type of walkie-talkies you are showing. I use them for 1 mile communications while boating.



    I ADDED:

    I am not trying to be pissy. But this conversation comes up as often as what is the "best" caliber.

    I give you the truth. I'm out.
     
  16. Breadman03

    Breadman03

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    Here in NEPA, my new $60 Cobra walker-talkies won't reach across town. They only make it about 4-5 blocks. They barely reach 1 mile with a clear line of sight in Delaware.
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2013
  17. pm666

    pm666

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    Would satellite phone work? I don't know how much they are.

    After that, I guess all that's left is HAM and I don't even know if hand-held HAM radios are powerful enough.

    Hard to believe that in this day and age something like this isn't available.
     
  18. ysr_racer

    ysr_racer

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    Not sure what the range is on these, but they're cheap

    [​IMG]
     
  19. HollowHead

    HollowHead Firm member

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    I bought some old 2 meter stuff at an estate sale that works perfectly. I don't use it as I have no license but keep it in working condition simply because if I ever do need it, the fact that I'm unlicensed will probably be both my and the FCC's least concern. HH
     
  20. gjk5

    gjk5 Pinche Gringo

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    the GMRS WILL NOT reach the advertised distance. You will not get 10 miles out of them unless conditions are PERFECT. I use mine in the mountains all the time and can sometimes get almost that far ridge to ridge.

    We use handheld and a base station at the ranch for long distance and it will go LONG with the relays.