Recommendations on a good 2-way radio .

Discussion in 'Gear Talk: What to Buy? and Gear Evaluations' started by Eternal Student, Apr 19, 2019.

  1. Eternal Student

    Eternal Student

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    Thanks for taking the time to read. I was about to purchase some radios for shooting/hunting/stalking and wanted to hear what some of you had to say. I'd like the option to attach headgear for hands free at times. 2-4 miles would be good enough range maybe a bit farther.
    Your input would be appreciated. Thank you
     
  2. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    You can buy the Chinese Personal Band radios on Amazon for really low prices. I saw an add for 6 for $55.00. I have one of the Chinese under $50 Ham Radios, and was shocked how well they copied others technology and WAY undercut the price. The translations in the operating manuals are tough to follow though.

    If you want a real quality hand help Personal Band Radio (no license required) then Motorola and ICOM are my pick. Yaseu also has some good ones. Much depends on your budget.

    All of these radios operate as Line Of Site due to the frequencies they use. When the space shuttles were going up on a regular basis, there was always at least one Ham Radio operator on board and I have a QSL (confirmation of contact) card from working the Shuttle with a 5 watt hand held radio and its rubber duck antenna. That same radio may not work over 100 yards if the terrain or conditions are bad. High tension wires, iron deposits in mountains etc. That is why most commercial and Ham radio use in these bands are through Repeaters that are on mountain tops and redirect the signals from line of sight input to another.

    Places like HRO, Ham Radio Outlet and other amateur radio discount houses will have all levels of personal band radios available.

    73 - Bob - WA2YDV
     
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2019
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  3. Eternal Student

    Eternal Student

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    Copy that. Thank you.
     
  4. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    And, all of them have jacks that allow you to purchase a headset or ear bud to both listen and talk, some with both VOX (Voice operated Transmit) or a PTT (Push to Talk) switch.

    Bob
     
  5. MihiT

    MihiT

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    I use a GME 5watt UHF and get perfectly acceptable range and quality, and the battery lasts for ages, even with the stock "dummy load" antenna.
    It does have the FME fitting and if i plug a decent whip into it (in the truck, for example) that gives it some serious legs.
    I also have old Uniden handheld AM CB radios, dinosaurs, but effective none the less.

    VHF will propagate further, if it's legal to use on land where you are.
     
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  6. Jefferson

    Jefferson

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    Motorola 6 watt I,think. We use them incorvette cruises and they work great
     
  7. chevytruck_83

    chevytruck_83

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    We use radios often at work for signaling cranes and general communication. Though we rarely need to use them past 3/4 mile there is usually structures in the way. The Motorola is the standard. Occasionally a company shows up with cheaper models that seem to work well for the price however the durability definitely isn’t the same as the Motorola.
     
  8. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    Motorola has always been considered the Cream of the Crop. Usually much more expensive, but you can use them as a hammer to drive in nails in a pinch and then communicate on them. (A little exaggerated, but you get the idea). For those that watch football, take a look at the radios they use to communicate.

    Bob
     
  9. alintx

    alintx

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    Motorola is by far the best in sending / receiving signal. Even their phones talk and receive where allot of em wont. They been doing it along time !
     
  10. Papa Charlie

    Papa Charlie Gold $$ Contributor

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    You may want to consider duplex radio sets. We use them on the boat to talk between me in the pilothouse and the wife on the stern when docking and departing in tight quarters. Nice thing is you don't have to push any buttons, just talk. They send and receive simultaneously. These have head sets so you have your hands free at all times. Great for handling lines, controls or guns.

    The only thing you have to be careful of is not to say something about the other person out of frustration out loud. It can create a bad moment really fast. Don't ask me how I know. :(
     
  11. michaeljp65

    michaeljp65

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    Icom or GME.
     
  12. msinc

    msinc

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    I had Motorola's and they worked excellent, but.....the on-off/volume knobs fell off of them and I could not get replacements. I now have Cobras. They say "GMRS" on the radio and they are supposed to go 37 miles. I don't know about that, if I gotta talk to someone 37 miles away....well, I just don't need to talk to anyone that far out there. They wont go that far in the mountains, and you probably have to be on top of the only mountain in the state to do it, but they will definitely go 7-10 in fairly lever terrain. These are rechargeable and they are waterproof and float. This is handy when you fish and/or coon hunt. I am standing in water 90% of the hunt.
    Radios are like digital cameras...you better buy one that's "water proof", not water "resistant". Drop one in a stream or puddle and it's done. To me, what's the sense of bothering to carry it if it cant get wet??

    Edit: if the info you have received is appreciated and don't get me wrong, I am sure it is and you mean it, but you might want to like the posts you have received as well.
     
  13. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    GMRS Radios - General Mobile Radio Service, will operate at 35 or more miles, but only through a REPEATER. The radios can operate in Simplex (receive and transmit on the same frequency) or Duplex, with the radio transmitting to a repeater and them listening on a different receiver frequency (called a split) to the REPEATED output of the Repeater.

    Keep in mind to be legal though you have to have a license to operate a GMRS radio. Like Ham Radio equipment, most sellers will not ask if you have a license to buy one, but that does not mean you don't need one. For simplex operation, you probably would never encounter and FCC "Listeners" especially if you are using them out in the woods. But through a repeater, you might as the repeater operator / control operator is supposed to keep track of who uses is and you need a CALL Sign, which can easily be looked up and verified.
     
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  14. msinc

    msinc

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    Is it still that if you are under so many watts you're not required to have a license?? Don't get me wrong, I like doing things right and legal, but I don't know how they would ever stop you..."they" whoever they is, are not coming out in the woods to issue some kind of warning or ticket{???} Pretty sure "they" cannot trespass, at least not legally.
    There is what you are supposed to do and then there is what everyone does any way. I just don't know how anyone expects to regulate a pack of hillbillies with guns talking back and forth on handheld walkie-talkies, especially at night. I don't see any law that says you cant talk on a radio that you can easily buy/obtain being successfully enforced. That's about like the law that says you cant possess a 30 round magazine unless it was made prior to 2013. Again not about breaking the law, but I bought and have used these things for two years going on three...the word license never came up. Tomorrow I'll still need one.
     
  15. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    As long as you are not using one of the repeaters, no one would probably ever know. Same thing with using Ham Radio gear in Simplex mode. There are Volunteer FCC listeners out there though and repeater "Control Operators" that do monitor from time to time. Out in the woods I would think it would probably never be an issue. Next time I see a Forest Ranger, I will ask them if they monitor.

    Bob
     
  16. L W P

    L W P

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    You may want to look into MURS? Some fairly inexpensive rigs on Amazon.
    BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) 8-Watt Dual Band Two-Way Radio (136-174MHz VHF & 400-520MHz UHF) Includes Full Kit with Large Battery
    by BaoFeng
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,429 customer reviews
    | 939 answered questions
    Amazon's Choice for "bao"


    Price: $62.89 & FREE Shipping. Details
     
  17. L W P

    L W P

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  18. theallcineyes

    theallcineyes

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    I have one of the higher end motorolas. I think it was around ~$200. Like Jfronk said they definitely work better than any of the cheapos. We've used them coyote hunting and they easily cover several miles. Wherever it was we ordered them from programmed our selected frequency and also set them for max watts.

    The only downside is they are heavy.
     
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  19. rkittine

    rkittine Gold $$ Contributor

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    Will be at least 25% higher this week, though still cheap enough to be a Throw Away.
     
  20. butchlambert

    butchlambert Site $$ Sponsor

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    Cell phones work great.
     

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