two way radios

barel74

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I'm in the market for some new 2-way radios. I fell in a river this year, and since then one of my radios has been pretty hit and miss. Found these in cabellas on sale for $25, regularly $99. In the description it says you must get a license from fcc? Anyone have any info on this or these radios?

Motorola T7400
 

suavegato

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from what I understand (correct me if I'm wrong) "technically", you are suppossed to have a lic. to operate any of the hand held GMRS radios but no one really gets the lic. do so at your own risk but I've yet to hear of the FCC "busting" anyone for not having the lic. If you use them responsibly and don't talk on the emergency channels, use profanity etc. I think you'll be fine... Or ge the lic. to be sure, sup 2 you. As for the radio you posted, there are MUCH better (range) "consumer grade" radios available for not much more cost. the one you listed is a "7 mile range" here is one from Midland that is "26 mile range" I use them and love them! http://www.midlandradio.com/comersus/store...?idProduct=5522 you can find them for about $75 for the VP4 (value pack) comes with recharable batts, charger, ear pieces etc... you could also find a really great deal on the GTX600 or 650's for probably about $40 - $50 for the VP4. they ar 18 mile range I think. As for the range, that is assuming BEST possible conditions of course... at sea level, over open water, clear skies whatever... but, for a consumer end radio, they work about as good as you can get for under $100. if you really want to be able to communicate in the mountains over rough terrain over distence, you will need professional, EXPEN$IVE gear. but these work well for that they are intended for...

good luck.

P.S. search www.sportsmansguide.com for some good deals on radios!
 

barel74

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thnx suave

Those Midlands look good. Waterproof is good for guys like me that tend to swim across rivers instead of just walking across
 

Speckmisser

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Motorola makes a good radio, but the cheap ones are just that... cheap. Check out the new line of H2O radios... waterproof and more powerful. But yeah, you're gonna pay more too.

I've been real happy with my Garmin Rino. The extra features of the integrated GPS make it a great tool for hunting with partners, since you can actually see one another's location in the field.

As to the FCC License requirement:

The law says a license is required. That should be the end of it right there. Your choice to obey or disobey the law is up to you.

Outside of that, this is a topic that should be addressed, in much the same way recreational boaters did it with VHF/Marine Radio. The recreational boaters' lobby, led by BoatUS and some manufacturers, successfully argued that Marine Radios were critical safety equipment, and as such should not be licensed for recreational boaters because licensing requirements meant that many boaters might forego having this important piece of equipment due to the burden of getting a license.

I'll add that in all my years on the water, I never saw the license requirement enforced on a recreational vessel, including during US Coast Guard boardings and inspections (both voluntary and mandatory).
 

BackCountryHNTR

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What I understood is that if you get the license from the FCC then you could "unlock" the whole range of the radio (+5 miles), but that may be just and old wife's tale...don't know for sure...
 

Speckmisser

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Yeah, that's pretty much a wives' tale. The reason you need a license is because it has the power... there's no locking or unlocking. The license is essentially a tax you pay to keep the FCC in business. As far as I can tell, there's not a heck of a lot else that it gets you.

Some of the HAM guys may have differing opinions, of course... they're a little more intimately involved than those of us who really just need walkie talkies.
 

MJB

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Speckmisser @ Apr 15 2008, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
I've been real happy with my Garmin Rino. The extra features of the integrated GPS make it a great tool for hunting with partners, since you can actually see one another's location in the field.[/b]
I'm looking at the Rino.....what do you think? I like the GPS to see my partners in the field. Does it work?
 

Speckmisser

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Mark, it works great. We used them in the swamps back in NC a couple years ago, and I was impressed. It took a little while to justify the cost to myself, but once I did it was definitely the right way to go.

One thing to keep in mind is that if you can't get radio communication with your partners, you probably won't be able to update their locations either... so for example, in the steep canyons around Tejon you'll be in and out of contact, just like any other GMRS radio.
 

suavegato

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (MJB @ Apr 15 2008, 05:06 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (Speckmisser @ Apr 15 2008, 01:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've been real happy with my Garmin Rino. The extra features of the integrated GPS make it a great tool for hunting with partners, since you can actually see one another's location in the field.[/b]
I'm looking at the Rino.....what do you think? I like the GPS to see my partners in the field. Does it work?
[/b][/quote]
Yes, the Rhino's work well for that, most of the people who I know who use them like them. That being said, they aren't as good of a radio (range wise) as some of the other options available out there and they aren't as good of a GPS as some of the other options out there. I guess since they combined the two into one unit, some sacrifices had to be made. I would love to have an all in one GPS / Radio, esp. if I could see where my hunting partners were & vise versa but there are too many features on my GPS (Garmin GPSMAP 60Csx) that I don't want to do without and also want the longest range radio I can get / afford. If you hunt in relatively flat country, the Rhino radio might work well for you? But I hunt in VERY steep, rough terrain and need to be able to reach as far as I can.

Also consider this… the Rhino doesn’t really do you much good if your buddy doesn’t have one (or your whole hunting party for that matter). And they aren’t cheap either! You can get a Garmin GPS MAP60 Csx for under $300 and a pair of the Midland 26 mile radios for $60 and have the best of both worlds… the only draw back(s) are:
1) you can’t see your buddies on the GPS screen to know right where they are.
2) you have to carry 2 units. – not that big of deal unless you are going Ultra light. I clip both of mine on my chest strap of my day pack and don’t even know they are there til I need them.
But the bennies are you get both full featured units – no compromises etc. And, if you really need to know where your buddy is, he can tell you his co-ords over the radio, you punch them into your GPS and go straight to him. I have done this numerous times to regroup in the field, very simple, quick & easy… And think about this, you won’t be able to see your buddy on your GPS screen at all if the radio can’t reach him…

I was just at FRY’s Electronics today and they had the 26 mile range, camo Midland radios, with batteries & charger etc. for $54 a set! That is a smoking deal!

Good luck!
 

MJB

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So the Sat updates the location or is it a combination of the Sat and the radio?
 

jackrabbit

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I've got a rino. I did have to unlock the GMRS channels --- after I got the license. Its an honor system thing, you just press a button on the unit's menu. The GMRS channels supposedly broadcast further than the other channels, therefore folks say they have more power. Seemed to us that they really did. The buddy tracking system is ok, but it only shows the very last position of your buddies the last time they keyed up on the radio. It is not a silent or constant gps tracking system as I recall, the radios just transmit their gps location each time they are individually keyed up; but your buddies locations all show up on your maps on your units. The only handy thing about that feature for us was that we did not have to give a lot of verbal details on our locations, and of course we had a visual outlay of positions which was very handy if we were stand hunting for deer in the heavy forest areas and we moved around a bit every now and then. The handiest thing we liked about it for deer hunting was that we could all see our positions relative to the closest roads in the forest, and whoever was closest to the vehicle when time to head back could go to the vehicle and then go pick up the rest of the guys and give a lift back to camp. You could see everyone's positions as they made their way to the road and to the vehicle on the road -- really neat as it helped redirect the hunters in steep and heavily timbered terrain with lots of obstacles that we may have been unfamiliar with. That way both the hunters and the vehicle driver could change direction as obstacles had to be circled in the rough stuff. Of course this only works with guys on campatible units. I usually carry cheap spare radios, and a couple spare gps units for occasional buddies who do not own a rino, and for them we have to do the hor/whistle and "can your hear the horn/whistle?" routine to get them and the vehicle in the same spot. But all that really speaks to the great convenience of GPS, you can wander a lot more and still know where you are relative to camp, vehicle, or other necessary points for convenience, safety, and survival.
 

bpnclark

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What Rhino did you guys get? I bought the yellow one when they first came out and the radio on it is horrible. I was thinking of getting the newer one and letting people borrow my yellow one when I’m hunting with them. The radio is bad but you can’t bet the GPS function on them. Now I find myself carrying the Rhino and a radio.

Barel74 – I bought some Cobra radios from Costco for -$100 a while ago. They are the best little radios I have ever used.
 

suavegato

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<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (bpnclark @ Apr 15 2008, 09:39 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
What Rhino did you guys get? I bought the yellow one when they first came out and the radio on it is horrible. I was thinking of getting the newer one and letting people borrow my yellow one when I’m hunting with them. The radio is bad but you can’t bet the GPS function on them. Now I find myself carrying the Rhino and a radio.

Barel74 – I bought some Cobra radios from Costco for -$100 a while ago. They are the best little radios I have ever used.[/b]
If you love the GPS function on the Rhino, you'll be blown away by the function of a "fully functional" GPS... Color screen with contour shading, downloadable color maps, with contour lines, routable on the fly.... etc. good stuph!
 

spectr17

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Got tired of the short range of FRS and GMRS radios and broke out the HAM radios for last hunt. You need a license but one night of studying gives you 5 to 6 watts of TX in a small handheld. Battery saver gives you all day if you want to kick down on the TX power to half.

That and they don't make them infernal bleep bleeps when you unkey.

Alinco dual band VHF/UHF handehld was about $200 bills and change. Hi cap battery was a bit more. Comes with wall wart charger and belt clip.

Alinco is a lower priced Asian HAM company. Good commo but easy on the pocketbook. Which radio you want at midnight with a long haul? A 1 watt FRS/GMRS or 5x times the tx power HAM?

Alinco DJV5T/TH

http://www.alinco.com/usa.html

 

PowDuck

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Jesse, how does the HAM do compared to a hand held marine radio? We switched to marine radios a while back and really like the clear reception and good range in the woods. Still, they are hampered by hills and trees. Is the HAM line-of-sight or up-and-over?
 

barel74

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thnx for the input guys, lots of good info there
 

Archer32

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If you opt to get the FCC lisence, you'll need two if you buy two radio's and want to talk back and fourth with the GMRS mode. Each radio will need its own lisence. I checked into this about 2yrs ago and never did get it. It was more expensive then the radios themselves.
 

spectr17

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Powduck. Marine band handhelds are 5 watt usually and have a low switch for 2 watts I think it is for harbor use. FCC rules state you must be withing 2 miles of a coast or be on navigatable water to use Marine Radios. I've never seen a cite from the FCC for using marine radios inland but the goobermint could hang a fine on ya for it if they wanted to press the issue. Might check the regs, haven't read that part in a few years.

Plus HAM radios have many more bells and whistles that can come in handy in the outback. You can use repeaters to talk long range, make telephone calls, hail aircraft on the VHF emergency channel etc.

Everyone, cheap FRS radios have their place with mom and the kids in the mall but when it's part of your survival plan don't skimp. Save your beans up and get a good radio, it can and will save your life.

The claim about 27 mile range for a FRS radio handheld is crap, maybe in a test lab in perfect conditions. Rule of thumb is 1 mile range per TX watt with line of sight. I tune radios for a living so take this with the usual grain of salt.

KD6FKD is my HAM callsign and I carry a FCC General Radio Tech license for work. Gotta have that ticket to tweak and peak public safety transmitters, lest we melt down Mehico.
 

BackCountryHNTR

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Hey Jesse! What's the best way to get into HAM radio? I've always been curios but I know NOTHING about it or where to learn...any help will be greatly appreciated!

BTW, how/where you learn all that jargon and code talking? Or that just happens in the movies?

Thanks!
 

spectr17

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Backcountry, here is a thread in the Radio forum on how to get a HAM license. It's really easy now. Just holler there if you have any questions, there are some members here who have the license.

http://www.jesseshunting.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=1425

Powduck
<div class='quotetop'>QUOTE </div>
Still, they are hampered by hills and trees. Is the HAM line-of-sight or up-and-over?[/b]
Pine needles forests are the worst for soaking up a radio signal, specially the ones near Ft. Bragg NC.

HAM is line-of-sight and uses repeaters for the up and over relays. Some things I found over years in commo. VHF travels best, even further when the sun goes down. Radios signals do bend at the mtn ridgetops, it's call defraction. You won't know how it will bend until you're swingin off the mtn ridge. For fires we drop down porta-peaters on the nearest high ground to do the relaying into the deep canyons.
 

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