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Anybody knowledgeable on two-way radios?

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Anybody knowledgeable on two-way radios?
Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:56 pm
  • Thinking about getting my dad and brother a set for Christmas. But I need to be sure they have a legitimate 6-7 mile range and either use replaceable batteries or have individuals chargers so they don't have to be charged together. And I like to keep it under $150 if at all possible. Is this at all realistic? I've done a ton of googling but I'd prefer to hear from somebody who has actual experience.
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    Zebulon Dak
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  • The range will depend quite a lot on where they are being operated. The companies that manufacture these radios tend to use a lot of marketing speak and will throw numbers out there like "22 miles range!" when in reality you'll be lucky to get further than 4-5 city blocks before the signal drops beneath the noise floor.

    If you need a legit 6-7 miles of range, you'll only achieve that with FRS/GMRS tech in clean spectrum with perfect line-of-sight. This is because both radio technologies use microwaves (UHF in this case), which is quite directional, requires a lot of relative power to propagate, and is sensitive to atmospheric interference such as rain fade. GMRS tech also requires a license from the FCC, though I'm not sure if that cost is rolled in to the price of the device.
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    SmokinHawk
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  • Ok. Thanks for the info. I'm thinking what I was hoping to accomplish just isn't realistic.

    So, for actual long distance radio communication, what are the options? Ham radio? I'm really thinking mostly emergency situations, if the cell networks become unreliable, and I want my dad and brother to be able to get into contact with each other. I don't think either of them are interested in obtaining a license or doing it as a hobby. I just want them to be able to communicate if shit goes down, you know?
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    Zebulon Dak
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  • With a couple of hand-held CB radios you can get maybe a mile with the little rubber antennas that come with them, and maybe 4 or 5 miles with a really good antenna on each (and the SWR minimized using a meter). Maybe you could get directional antennas and permanently mount them pointing at each other which would really increase the distance, but that would take some extra research to find a practical-sized one. And extra money. And it kind of defeats the purpose of a hand-held radio, but then you could get 2 base station CBs and get better performance.
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Anybody knowledgeable on two-way radios?
Fri Dec 08, 2017 6:49 am
  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Ok. Thanks for the info. I'm thinking what I was hoping to accomplish just isn't realistic.

    So, for actual long distance radio communication, what are the options? Ham radio? I'm really thinking mostly emergency situations, if the cell networks become unreliable, and I want my dad and brother to be able to get into contact with each other. I don't think either of them are interested in obtaining a license or doing it as a hobby. I just want them to be able to communicate if shit goes down, you know?


    Zeb, I’m not a radio expert by any means.

    Having said that I’ve used professional grade radios at work for 25 years.

    We are currently using top of the line, state of the art Motorola sets like these.
    Image

    With all the “Bells&whistles”, even in quantity they are about 5k each. I’m fairly certain that you aren’t looking for something in that range but I wanted you to know, the last two times we lost radio communications due to weather/disaster, we still had cell phone communication, and I’m talking about regional area, not just a small “one cell tower” area.
    Again I’m not an expert, and I don’t know the technical reasons we lost radio comms but we did still have cell phone when it happened.

    Good Luck in this endeavor.
    Cheers.
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  • Zebulon Dak wrote:Ok. Thanks for the info. I'm thinking what I was hoping to accomplish just isn't realistic.

    So, for actual long distance radio communication, what are the options? Ham radio? I'm really thinking mostly emergency situations, if the cell networks become unreliable, and I want my dad and brother to be able to get into contact with each other. I don't think either of them are interested in obtaining a license or doing it as a hobby. I just want them to be able to communicate if shit goes down, you know?


    As suggested by GeekHawk, a CB radio is a good bet, but results may vary as if I recall the CB band is around the 10/11-meter area and is greatly affected by ionospheric disturbances such as solar wind, sun spots, and other magnetic storms. It has good range and under the right circumstances can "skip" off of the ionosphere and travel vast distances. It takes special gear to make that work, though. The downside is that the distance it will propagate is not reliable and one day it may only go a couple miles while the next day you're able to skip all the way to China.

    A good HAM radio setup requires a license though I doubt anyone would bring down the almighty fist of regulation in times of an emergency. These would be ideal as the VHF and HF HAM bands can propagate tens to hundreds of miles, respectively, depending on output power. Handheld HAM radios aren't cheap, though, and would probably cost several hundred each.
    Feel free to contact me if you need legal assistance. I have a great lawyer that helped me with an ex who violated my privacy and kept harassing me on MySpace and Facebook. He's very good. And there is legal precedent. - linuxpro

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  • Goddam movies make it look so easy.

    Thanks for the info guys.
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    Zebulon Dak
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  • You can absolutely do this with inexpensive radios, as long as the antenna can be detached via BNC connector. Then it's just a matter of locating a whip antenna as high as possible at both locations via 50 ohm coaxial cable(ie on a roof) and you'll have reliable communications.
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    Palmegranite
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  • :?
    Palmegranite wrote:You can absolutely do this with inexpensive radios, as long as the antenna can be detached via BNC connector. Then it's just a matter of locating a whip antenna as high as possible at both locations via 50 ohm coaxial cable(ie on a roof) and you'll have reliable communications.


    Interesting. Would that work with something like the Baofeng uv-5r? Or would we need different/better radios?
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  • When the proverbial shit hits the fan, the Chinese will have disabled all non-authorized communications by backdoor disabling all devices that are running on circuit boards that were most likely manufactured in one of their factories.
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  • Best advice at this point is to find a bricks and mortar radio place and, armed with this info get some additional guidance. Good luck.
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    Palmegranite
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  • Anguish wrote:When the proverbial shit hits the fan, the Chinese will have disabled all non-authorized communications by backdoor disabling all devices that are running on circuit boards that were most likely manufactured in one of their factories.


    Then all hope is truly lost.
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    Zebulon Dak
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  • Palmegranite wrote:Best advice at this point is to find a bricks and mortar radio place and, armed with this info get some additional guidance. Good luck.


    Sound advice. Thanks!
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    Zebulon Dak
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  • Anguish wrote:When the proverbial shit hits the fan, the Chinese will have disabled all non-authorized communications by backdoor disabling all devices that are running on circuit boards that were most likely manufactured in one of their factories.


    Thank God not one of my Guns has a “circuit board”

    :{)
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    pmedic920
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  • In the event that there is a speck of believability to this paranoid delusional anguish, I would be more concerned about my refrigerator's electronics.
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  • Palmegranite wrote:In the event that there is a speck of believability to this paranoid delusional anguish, I would be more concerned about my refrigerator's electronics.


    Clandestine NSA projects have compromised the underlying platform on everything from Intel mainboards to just about all Android cell phones. Ten years ago this was the topic of wild eyed conspiracy theories, but now it's not just possible but plausible as well. Anguish isn't overly paranoid for thinking that some consumer electronic devices could be made to lock out the user upon receipt of a "magic signal" emitted from a satellite.
    Feel free to contact me if you need legal assistance. I have a great lawyer that helped me with an ex who violated my privacy and kept harassing me on MySpace and Facebook. He's very good. And there is legal precedent. - linuxpro

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    SmokinHawk
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  • My post was purely tongue in cheek, you people are far too serious.

    But, Anguish did spend 12 years in a lab at Intel working with embedded devices. Make of that what you will.
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  • Anguish wrote:My post was purely tongue in cheek, you people are far too serious.

    But, Anguish did spend 12 years in a lab at Intel working with embedded devices. Make of that what you will.


    Some time ago a guy claiming to be an engineer for Intel working on their "Management Engine" features for mobo chipsets hosted an AMA on 4chan. They provided a check stub demonstrative of a high level engineering job at Intel among other identifiers to validate their claim. In this AMA, they revealed that in order to work on this program they needed top secret security clearance and approval from the NSA. The reason? The "Management Engine" was deliberately compromised from the factory such that intel operatives could use proprietary malware packages to scrape system RAM without the awareness of the operating system. Who needs encryption when you can get what you want right from the RAM?
    Feel free to contact me if you need legal assistance. I have a great lawyer that helped me with an ex who violated my privacy and kept harassing me on MySpace and Facebook. He's very good. And there is legal precedent. - linuxpro

    He is hold back the legion of boom - skater18000
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