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View Poll Results: What band and/or digital voice codec do you use?
Analog - HF 2 13.33%
Analog - VHF (Assumed Dual Band) 14 93.33%
D-STAR 0 0%
DMR 1 6.67%
Fusion 0 0%
P25 0 0%
Multiple Choice Poll. Voters: 15. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old April 28th, 2016, 05:24 PM
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Ham Radio (Vehicle to Vehicle Comms)

What band do you use for vehicle to vehicle comms? If digital, what codec?

I'm having a lot of problems figuring out which radio to buy because I have no idea what people are using for vehicle to vehicle comms.

Note, I don't really care about SHTF, Zombie Apocalypse, or other male survivalist fantasies. Also I'm not talking about hypothetical expedition situations when crossing Africa or the remote jungles. This is purely vehicle to vehicle comms, repeater or no repeater, simplex or duplex.
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  #2  
Old April 28th, 2016, 05:44 PM
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Grab a dual band 2m/70cm rig and forget about it. Analog FM. If you want to go overkill grab something that'll do HF too (like the Icom 706), but you'd need a separate antenna for HF of course. But, unless you know what you're doing, it really won't perform well on HF anyway.

The digital modes are cool and all, but there's no reason to use them for vehicle to vehicle stuff. It's just another layer of incompatibility.

One thing to look into though is APRS. I know a lot of guys like to use that on trips as it lets you see other vehicle's locations.
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Old April 28th, 2016, 08:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonoronos View Post
What band do you use for vehicle to vehicle comms? If digital, what codec? I'm having a lot of problems figuring out which radio to buy because I have no idea what people are using for vehicle to vehicle comms. Note, I don't really care about SHTF, Zombie Apocalypse, or other male survivalist fantasies. Also I'm not talking about hypothetical expedition situations when crossing Africa or the remote jungles. This is purely vehicle to vehicle comms, repeater or no repeater, simplex or duplex.
Baofeng HT's because they are disposable and out perform my VX8DR ... You can afford to hand them out to your group.

They also cover 2m / 70 cm and FRS without modification.

I have an external antenna which helps but isn't essential.

Keep it as simple as possible and you'll get the most reliability.

No-one I've ever met has a properly working CB ...
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  #4  
Old April 28th, 2016, 09:20 PM
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A properly set up CB is pretty good for groups in close proximity. A group of us has often considered going ham. But it's difficult to see the benefit without investing a ton of time and money.
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  #5  
Old April 28th, 2016, 09:36 PM
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I have an Icom 2300h in the 110 that is about 3 years old. I have a 2200h in the truck that is 10 years old. Both using a 5/8s wave whip. Most all the people in my area only use 2m although some have a dual band. Both antennas have been tuned and out performs cb's by a long shot!
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  #6  
Old April 28th, 2016, 09:52 PM
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I got my ham because I wanted to be able to communicate with others in caravan, and I'm glad I did. It is superior to CB, and phone.

I also went with the Yaesu 2900 as it is simple but powerful. I figured I would rather need-out on the truck itself, than on all the cool stuff you can do with modern expensive radios.

I stay simplex, and I use relays on occasion. Nothing fancy. But very, very effective.

I also carry one of the Beaufang (so?) hand heads for cheap kicks. Can't be beat for the price. Very useful.
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  #7  
Old April 28th, 2016, 10:05 PM
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On my trips, I've mostly used UHF simplex because it works better with the HTs and stubby antennas that some of the guys run. If I'm rolling with trucks that have mobile units or HTs with external antennas, I prefer VHF simplex for the range. I've never used HF on a trip, not even once. It's a good option for emergency comms if you're traveling solo but most people you're going to wheel with won't have it.

I used to use a Yaesu VX-8R as my primary but the tangle of cables (power, antenna, mic) is a huge mess. Plus, the HTs often overheat if you're talking a bunch and the range is never great. A proper mobile unit is the way to go.

I use a Yaesu FT-2900R as my primary mobile these days. I will always use a Diamond Antenna NR770HB for 2m. I dragged mine through the tamarisk in a creek bed antenna in Idaho last year and the antenna base broke but the antenna survived.

IMG_1833.jpg by Chris, on Flickr
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  #8  
Old April 28th, 2016, 10:40 PM
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  #9  
Old April 29th, 2016, 01:15 AM
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What Chris said.

Please get on the VHF/UHF bandwagon so we can get some momentum on the East Coast going to get away from CB.

I'm running a Yaesu 7900R in Coyote right now, will put another one in the LR3 when it hits CONUS, and also have a bunch of the Baofeng handhelds which are cheap and-in my opinion-superior to FRS.
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  #10  
Old April 29th, 2016, 02:27 AM
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I also vote for UHF/VHF analog. The Hams who use digital LOVE it but you'll find it very regionally limited. Analog is still universal and adding digital is still quite expensive.

Mike WH2M
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Old April 29th, 2016, 09:02 AM
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One other thing is FRS/GMRS handhelds. Just bring a couple and hand them out to the other trucks you're with. They work fine and you don't need to convince people to get a license. Just make sure to get the ones that don't have the obnoxious roger beep.

With GMRS you could even use an external antenna if you wanted. And 50 watts.
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Old April 29th, 2016, 12:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
What Chris said. Please get on the VHF/UHF bandwagon so we can get some momentum on the East Coast going to get away from CB. I'm running a Yaesu 7900R in Coyote right now, will put another one in the LR3 when it hits CONUS, and also have a bunch of the Baofeng handhelds which are cheap and-in my opinion-superior to FRS.
have a mobile and two portables in vhf for work with a license good for the DC area out to Cumberland
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Old April 29th, 2016, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
What Chris said.

Please get on the VHF/UHF bandwagon so we can get some momentum on the East Coast going to get away from CB.

I'm running a Yaesu 7900R in Coyote right now, will put another one in the LR3 when it hits CONUS, and also have a bunch of the Baofeng handhelds which are cheap and-in my opinion-superior to FRS.
This is pretty much it. A few guys need to put VHF radios in their trucks to get the ball rolling. The quality is so much better than CB. The effort to get the basic Technician ham license--which is all you need--is really minimal and well worth it.

It can be illegal but it's possible to "freeband" a UHF-capable radio to transmit on FRS/GMRS frequencies. With a freebanded radio, you can communicate with your buddies if FRS is all that they have. You just need to make sure that you're staying under the power emission limits. *cough*.
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  #14  
Old April 29th, 2016, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RovingRyan View Post
I have an Icom 2300h in the 110 that is about 3 years old. I have a 2200h in the truck that is 10 years old. Both using a 5/8s wave whip. Most all the people in my area only use 2m although some have a dual band. Both antennas have been tuned and out performs cb's by a long shot!
I hooked mine up to a whip on the Discovery, never tuned it, it still WAY out performed CB.

When I was camping with your dad and the others a few years back, I got to the camp first. So I pulled out the $30 hand-held and tuned to the freq they said they would be on -- caught them, and was able to talk/listen to them easily from more than five miles out. No external antenna.

And although it does take some time. I studied with a free iphone app, passed easily first try. Then I found the radio on Craig's List for something like $185. Maybe another $30 or so for the antenna set-up. It is worth the price.
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Old April 29th, 2016, 11:12 PM
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Gents,

Ham radio is superior to CB in every way. Higher power, higher audio fidelity and pricing is even close to CB.

The entire San Diego club has gone to amateur radio for the vast improvement in comms.

KI6TUC
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Old April 30th, 2016, 12:59 AM
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Originally Posted by 3rovers View Post
The entire San Diego club has gone to amateur radio for the vast improvement in comms.
What band(s) and/or digital codecs is the San Diego club using? Are they all using 70cm/2m? 10m? DSTAR, P25, DMR, Fusion? Inquiring minds want to know
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Old April 30th, 2016, 01:20 AM
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You can become the commo for the NVa/MD/DC crew, can you imagine the HH discussions now including HAM dialogue...Kilroys will def never be the same again.

In all seriousness, maybe it is time to get some momentum behind this and I'm onboard when I get back.

Pedro can be the base station...
r-
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Old April 30th, 2016, 01:51 AM
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I have a free whip antenna for anyone looking. Won't ship.
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Old April 30th, 2016, 07:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray_G View Post
Ed-
You can become the commo for the NVa/MD/DC crew, can you imagine the HH discussions now including HAM dialogue...Kilroys will def never be the same again.

In all seriousness, maybe it is time to get some momentum behind this and I'm onboard when I get back.

Pedro can be the base station...
r-
Ray
I'm totally in....planning to purchase the BaoFeng BF-F8HP (upgrading to the CHIRP software) just as a starting point for an HT, then move later to an in-cabin setup.
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  #20  
Old April 30th, 2016, 08:14 AM
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yes, just take the technician class license ham test (which doesn't take much prep) and get it going. you'll be glad you did.

CB is essentially AM radio, and operating 2 meter ham is FM radio. Just the sound quality alone will be much pleasing to the ears. FRS/GMRS can get busy depending on where you are (ever listen to these bands next to a ski resort during ski season? holy cow, what a mess). And with your tech class license, you can select any frequency available in your operating class to use.
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