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Radios a few Questions.
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 12:43 pm    Post subject: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

So I think next thing I do will be to get a GOOD radio for the outdoors. I settled on a Yaesu VX-7R radio. Its expensive but its one of the best I have been told. So it will be a while for me to save for it.

Anyways I was wondering. I have been looking around for emergency radio frequencies. I have found a few important ones that are used by SAR agencies both in the US and Canada but as well as World Wide/NATO frequencies.

I was wondering if any of you knew any good ones I should know incase something were to happen in the outdoors?

Dimitri

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lesterg3
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 16, 2009 2:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Dimitri

Excellent question, but I am no help. Sad

Looking forward to the other guys answers. Bought Miz Dee an emergency radio, but do not seem to be able to find any emergency stations.

Also interested in what the guys suggest for walkie-talkies? The ones I have are way too noisy when hunting. I am not trying to steel your post, but it reminded me, thanks.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 5:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Lester,

The more information spread here the better so I'm glad you are asking questions. Smile

Most Emergency channels need VHF radios, and licenses, but you can always buy a "legal" non-license radio that can be uncapped and go that route, using that area of the frequencies only in a emergency. Smile

Dimitri

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popgun
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Most aircraft monitor 121.5 that is the air emergency frequency. I am not familiar with the radio you listed. Does it have transmit capability? Got a link for the radio?

I did find a little info at this link.
www.egr.msu.edu/~volzm...radio/vx7/

Apparently it is an amateur band transceiver that requires a license to operate in the US. I have no idea about Canada licensing but I bet it is required there too. From a quick read at the above link it only has transmit capability on amateur frequency bands only. Being able to listen to emergency channels does not help you if you can not transmit on those frequencies. Most of these radios operate off a repeater tower. So if you are in the backwoods needing help and you are out of range of the repeater you are just crap out of luck.

If an emergency radio is what you want there are several costly satellite options available but the cost my be worth it in an emergency.

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Last edited by popgun on Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:46 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

radioworld.ca/product_...ucts_id=62

Does not broadcast at the frequencies required unless you "modify" the radio itself. As far as I know this one and the VX-8 can be modified in the same way to allow the proper channels to be used.

Dimitri

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popgun
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 6:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

I added info to my previous post while you were answering me.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:19 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Gidday 'Mitri. Not familiar with the radio communications setup in Canada, but out here in the wide open spaces of Oz, HF is the accepted mode of radio communication.

There are a number of Government and Private organisations that monitor and also provide radio scheds for HF users.

In the "big smoke" UHF is the norm, with smatterings of VHF. I am assuming that the radios you are looking at are small handheld models, and if so be aware that they have extremely limited range for both transmit and receive. They really are designed for maintaining contact between 2 people over 3 - 5 kilometres in ideal conditions only. Also, I think you will find that these little handheld models operate in the 27 meg band of frequency which technically makes them Citizens Band radios.

If you want to be able to transmit over long range mate...and lets face it, as Popgun says, "Being able to listen to emergency channels does not help you if you can not transmit on those frequencies." , you really need to consider a larger VHF or HF radio.

I think you will find that most, if not all, of the emergency frequencies fall into the HF range, and that means...amateur radio...base station style set and antenna...big bucks, and most likely a licence to maintain a callsign. Not impossible, but it means that you will need that base for the radio.

One thing you haven't mentioned, and should be considered as a handy and useful means of communication is the humble cell phone. You are more likely to have better phone reception than you will radio communication over a long distance...assuming you are in range of a repeater tower.

Cheers, Vince

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

This radio can transmit:

50-54 MHz (MAIN & SUB)
144-146 MHz or 144-148 MHz (MAIN & SUB)
222-225 MHz ((MAIN, USA version)
430-450 MHz (MAIN & SUB)

Near as I have figured out I don't need a license to own and use one of these radios in Canada based on a few phone calls I made to radio suppliers (didn't contact the one I linked to however).

However these radios can be adapted to broadcast additionally on these channels which are license required:

40.000Mhz - 224.995Mhz & 300Mhz - 579.995Mhz

Yes I wouldn't use any of the channels you need a license for except in a REAL emergency.

Remember normal FRS radios (operating at 462-468Mhz) are limited to 500 miliwatts of power. This is a "true" 5 Watt radio, or 10 times the signal strength so ideally the 3-4 miles becomes at least 20 miles or so.

As for cell phones, when I go camping and hiking in the woods I got a rule, far enough from human contact cell phones don't get a signal. However there are generally Forestry related workers and Government workers listening in on the radios in these areas hence the need for a radio that can pick up and talk back to them. Smile

Vince,

By the way looking it up online apparently radios in Australia and New Zealand with the 40 channel system in the UHF Citizens band at 476.425Mhz to 477.400Mhz. Smile

Dimitri

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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

I was just looking at the Universal Radio website and at the specs for the Yaesu VX-7R radio.

It doesn't look too bad, and it appears that you have the ability to connect to a larger antenna. It is not difficult to carry a dipole type antenna with you, or even a sloping wire or inverted "V" antenna, which should extend your range a bit.

Most importantly, learn how your radio works, be very aware of its capabilities and shortcomings. Learn all about antenna propagation for the type of antenna you choose to carry, and be aware of the effects of the terrain on your ability to send and receive transmissions.

However, I would still be more comfortable with a radio that does not require compromise. As for cell phones...never write them off mate. You will be surprised just how much coverage you actually get with the humble cell phone.

When it is an emergency, anything and everything that you can use to contact help is an asset mate...even a smoke signal. You do carry fire lighting gear and a heliograph or signal mirror with you in the bush don't you mate? I also carry an emergency strobe light.

Cheers, Vince

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)



Last edited by Vince on Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:52 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Vince wrote:
You do carry fire lighting gear and a signal mirror with you in the bush don't you mate?

Tell you what Vince, just for you I'll start another thread with whats in my P37 pack as of yesterday, which is the same set up I'll be using for the next year or so while out in the bush hiking. Will answer that question quite well. Smile

Dimitri

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Vince
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 10:59 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Haha Haha Haha Haha

No need mate...I woz bein' facetious. I know you carry all the survival gear.

Cheers, Vince

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Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 17, 2009 11:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Vince,

By the time I saw that I was too close to being done I just finished anyways:

www.huntingnut.com/ind...pic&t=5472

ROFL

Dimitri

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A thousand hills, but no birds in flight, ten thousand paths, with no people's tracks. A lonely boat, a straw-hatted old man, fishing alone in the cold river snow.
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Arron
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 2:09 am    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

WOW!!! I am out of action for a while working with IowaCarry.org for shall issue in IOWA and they come out with a quad band!

6 mtr 2 mtr 1.25 mtr and 70cm

I would not be so sure about not needing a license! These are internationally recognized Amatuer Radio frequency ranges and they are STRICTLY covered by international covenants and legal agreements through the ITU(Internatinal Telecommunications Union). You had better contact the Communcations division of your national government(not sure if you call it federal or not up there, oh forgot... up Dare.) To make sure if you plan on USING THIS RADIO! My longest contact on 2mtrs (145.520MHz Simplex) was from Missouri Valley, Iowa(about four hours north of KC, MO) to a fellow on a C130 transport plane at 30k feet over Wyoming! I was using about 2.5 watts at the time with I think a 9Db gain dual band antenna and probably only about a watt was getting to the end of the antenna from my Alinco DJ580T. Oh "simplex" means to transmit and recieve on the same freq. for those who are not familiar with the term.
Most reapters use a "duplex" system, one freq in and another out at roughly the same time. And there is a guy I personally who has a WAS on 6mtrs - worked all atates including Alaska and Hawaii. So this will transmit LONG ways. I can ruotinely get into a repeater down in Kansas most any night wiht a dual band mobile. Dang I need to get a linear amp for my handheld and get active again on the bands! By the way do not forget the Marine band E-Channel No. 16. I do not remeber the freq right at the moment but I do know my 580 and Icom T7H can run the marine radio band as the radios have been modified to do it. Those little FRS radios are great for short range stuff but you some wattage and better antennas when you start talking longer ranges. Oh and there is a NO operation zone like 20 to 40 miles either side of the US and Canadian border on the north side of the 48, for usage of 70cm ham band. I really do need to get active again!!!!


Addition: down here in the states if you operate on those E freq.'s you may not be charged for operating without a license if it was an emergency, but you can be charged with radio type not approved and interfering with official communications and or business or possibly obstruction, Not to be done lightly but if it is life or death then throwing out that MAYDAY three times will be worth it my opinion. You say MAYDAY on voice comms. for an emergency call.
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 6:43 am    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

If I were concerned about getting lost, needing emergency help, or just wanted the ability to stay in touch, I would do the satellite phone thing.
Doing a rather quick search on the net I found rentals for under $10 a day.

Have you thought about SPOT, it’s a personal tracker device. ( it’s a “I fell and can’t get up !!!” device) Help
www.findmespot.com/en/

They cost just over $100. There seems to be user fees with it so check that out too.

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Dimitri
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 18, 2009 4:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Radios a few Questions. Reply with quote

Life or Death otherwise the radio would be set to transmit only on the FRS channels since no one else I know would consider this kind of radio anyways so I'd have to talk to them on their FRS radios anyways.

I've looked at the SPOT and the ACR versions. Still unsure if thats the way to go. Reason I was looking specifically for a radio is that I can use it for my normal radio and in the emergency make contact to the local PD, SAR, etc agencies using the Emergency Frequencies.

Emergency stations that I know of:

Canadian InterAgency SAR Operations = 149.08Mhz
American Universal SAR/PD/Medical = 155.16Mhz

The International/NATO frequencies as well:
SAR Operations = 123.1Mhz
Life Boats, Survival Crafts, etc = 8364Khz
Voice Distress = 2182Khz
Aeronautical Voice Distress =121.5Mhz
Joint Aero & Survival Craft Emergency = 243.0Mhz
Marine Channel 16 Ship station Distress = 156.8Mhz
Marine Channel 16 Land station Distress = 161.4Mhz

Dimitri

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