what do you use for outback comms?

edpdx

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I have been drawing hunting tags for some remote places in my state. I have been considering a SAT phone rental... just in case.

Recently I read about the FCC or some other agency refusing to prosecute an unlicensed radio operator for using a VHF radio. He apparently used it call for help because he was in a jamb. I don't know what all the circumstances were but I understood it to be that he was not the licensee of said radio, only that it was in his possession and it was available and he needed help.

My rig has a forty channel CB. I have a 3G phone; but I know that neither are reliable in the sticks.

Is there a good alternative to SAT phones? What about VHF? Is it something to look into? Not looking for chit-chat radio like a CB; only to be used to call for help in the remote places one might break down in.
 

wallew

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HAM license is so easy to get these days, you really should NOT be without one.

Tech license is the first step. You should be able pass the test (I had to take it twice) fairly easily. I think the cost for the test when I took it was $35.

then get a radio or three and you should have plenty of comm...
 

truck1

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I bought a Motorola Iridium Sat phone used from a Marine back from deployment. Paid 400$ including AC/DC chargers. New they are around 1200$ with all accessories. Basic service is 35$ per month, 1.19$ per minute anywhere worldwide. I only use it in emergencies or hunting trips to check in with my wife. It has saved my rear on vehicle breakdowns in the back country en route to my country property. Good insurance if you can afford it.
 

Flyingvan911

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Unlicensed use of a radio to make a distress call is legit. Chit-chatting is not and if caught usually results in a fine. Several in our local group are hams, including me. We use the RT-524's in the 50 Mhz (6 meter) ham band. It depends on how far you need to communicate.
 

oilcan

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Depending on how remote we're talking, you'll likely need HF with a license. I don't recommend just buying the gear and stashing it "just in case" because you won't have a clue how to operate it when the time comes. There is a learning curve.


By the way, VHF works line-of sight. Not the best when you're way out there.
 

hunderliggur

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Is this CUCV related??

You can buy the SPOT SPOT SATELLITE MESSENGER :: HOME PAGE I think this would be good enough.


Or you can Buy a used SAT phone and get enough pre-paid minutes for emergengy.
http://www.globalcomsatphone.com

Agree on the SPOT - I have a friend that uses one for backcountry solo backpacking. Good for position updates to loved ones and emergency rescue.

Amateur Radio is good, but you are talking HF (unless there are VHF repeaters that cover your area). License exam price ranges from free (our club) to whatever. Check out arrl.org for licensing requirements - no morse code and pretty basic stuff, mostly rules and operating procedures not electrical engineering.

And yes, this belongs in Military Radios/Amateur Radio thread or Conversations.
 

Skinny

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If you don't plan on using the radio for communication, only in an emergency, it seems like a waste to do everything and not use it. I would like to obtain my HAM license and get the equipment so I am not going to say no to doing that but an emergency transponder seems like a better fit for what you are trying to accomplish. Every emergency response agency on foot, boat, or plane knows what a 121.5 MHz and 406 MHz distress beacons are. Just be ready to pay a hefty bill if the helicopters are circling:shock:
 

foxmike

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Without a doubt, some type of SAT phone. Why spend all the money and time for ham radio when the only time you may use it for is an emergency? Plus, with HF you'd need a decent antenna and pray that the propagation gods are smiling.
 

Mainsail

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I got my ham ticket because I hike to some remote places, often well off the trail system. I have a dual band (2 meter/70cm) in my jeep that can be set up as a cross band repeater. If my handheld radio doesn't have enough punch, I can try to hit the jeep and use the 50 watt radio to push the signal.

I've been in some pretty remote places and have managed to hit a repeater on 2 meter or 70cm pretty reliably. Washington has a really good repeater system. I've gotten 40 miles on simplex with my 5ish watt handheld, and with a repeater hit almost anywhere in Western Washington. I plan to install a ham radio in my M1009 soon.
 

wallew

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I got my ham ticket because I hike to some remote places, often well off the trail system. I have a dual band (2 meter/70cm) in my jeep that can be set up as a cross band repeater. If my handheld radio doesn't have enough punch, I can try to hit the jeep and use the 50 watt radio to push the signal.

I've been in some pretty remote places and have managed to hit a repeater on 2 meter or 70cm pretty reliably. Washington has a really good repeater system. I've gotten 40 miles on simplex with my 5ish watt handheld, and with a repeater hit almost anywhere in Western Washington. I plan to install a ham radio in my M1009 soon.

Congrats, you just made this CUCV related. GOOD JOB.

And yeah, you got the right idea. Having a hand held is great and having a CUCV mounted radio and antenna DEFINITELY are the way to go. That way, no matter where you are you can pretty much 'get out'...

just sayin...
 

SCSG-G4

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Get one of the green radio HF backpack/vehicular rigs and either a BuddiPole or other NVIS (look it up) antenna's. With your HAM ticket and a setting on 20 meters you should be able to reach out as much as 400 miles in any direction. If there is someone on the other end within that area, you can communicate!

An emergency beacon that can transmit short messages (IE, what type of emergency) may be a better fit for your purpose. But, it would not involve MV accessories!
 

4x4 Forever

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If in the mountains, remember that Marine VHF is line of sight. Also, unless you are around the coast or frequently travels water routes, you will be talking to no one.

Best thing to use would be a portable SAT unit or a HAM band set up. You also might consider getting a personal 406M EPIRB

We use these in a "FAST DITCH BAG" offshore, you can also use this in one of your MVs.
 
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cucv1833

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Congrats, you just made this CUCV related. GOOD JOB. QUOTE]
[thumbzup]

Best thing to use would be a portable SAT unit or a HAM band set up. You also might consider getting a personal 406M EPIRB

We use these in a "FAST DITCH BAG" offshore, you can also use this in one of your MVs.
We have a personnel EPIRB for our Offshore fishing boat. But it cost $800 never had too use it. Still thinking of a Sat phone though.

The OP wants this for Hunting so most probaly will be away from the vehicle while doing this. Thats why I think The SPOT will be the best method. $100 for the device and $100 a year if needed. And it fits in you pocket and you can send text to your loved ones to check in every now and then. 2cents
 

edpdx

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Wow, lots of opinions on what is best here. I did primarily want to be able to get help incase of a breakdown. I wiould hate to have to leave my vehicle and expensive gear while I walk out for help. Having said that, a breakdown way well mean having no juice to run a mounted radio. So in addition to having a mounted unit, I would like to be able to have a portable that would be in my pack.

The SAT phone option looks pretty good when you comapre to SPOT:

You can give directions to those whom you make contact- giving them vital info on where, what problems, medical condition (if warranted), parts needed to fix, and get updates for ETA or for clarification of what your needs are.

SPOT is great, I think, for letting someone know you are in extreme peril. It is inexpensive on the front end; but I have to assume that big bills will likey follow if you activate it- although what price do you place on your life?

So VHF may not work well in the mountains- I did not know that. HF is better. This is the only option that competes with SAT so far. From what I am hearing, you can get a portable and a truck mount as well. The initial cost compared to a SAT phone can be similar if you shop well. There is no cost per minute; but again if it gets you out of a jam, it's worth every penny, no?

Took a break just now to look up HF radios- some yaesu "portables". Very interesting. I may go this way.

Q: Is a HF handheld realistic for my purposes? One youtube vid touts the Yaesu FT-60R as a good starter radio.
 
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