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cornholio1
09-30-2007, 10:01 PM
I went scoutin today and the FRS's I have did "okay". They went out past a couple miles in the hilly terrain. Is there something more "reliable"? I would like a radio that goes out to 5 miles even with this type of terrain. Thanks

CSDGuy
09-30-2007, 10:08 PM
There isn't much. Your best bet is either GMRS (requires a license) or Ham Radio (also requires a license). The reason is that the frequencies that FRS, GMRS, and most handheld Ham radios use are all "line of sight" and in hilly terrain, they're all going to have problems unless you can use a repeater. GMRS and Ham Radio can allow you to access repeaters for those services and may get you some significantly increased range. Simply increasing the power in a "line of sight" may get some increase in range, but it might not be all that much.

cornholio1
09-30-2007, 10:21 PM
I see...so i would have to place a repeater on top of a hill? I'll pass and use the FRS..lol

CSDGuy
09-30-2007, 10:29 PM
Not quite. It is possible that repeaters with the necessary coverage already are in your area. Most places I go to have at least one repeater that I can access and there's no cell service to be had anywhere.

FRS would most likely be cheaper, but w/o a repeater, your max range will be largely determined by the terrain.

bwiese
09-30-2007, 11:01 PM
Frankly, good ol' 40-channel CB (27MHz) has its uses for beyond-line-of-sight communications in hilly terrain.

"Low band" communications (30-50Mhz) with similar propagation to CB has been abandoned to a significant extent by public sector because their technically incompetent leaders were 'sold' on multimilliondollar UHF 'trunking' radios.

9/11 revealed the problems such systems have in peak conditions with node failure. Add to that lack of distance coverage (vs simple short-range line of sight) and you have a recipe for failure in crises.

SemiAutoSam
10-01-2007, 8:01 AM
CHP still uses 42 mhz so im sure at least they are aware of the qualities of this band.

Corn check this link out.
http://www.google.com/search?sourceid=navclient&ie=UTF-8&rls=GGLG,GGLG:2006-04,GGLG:en&q=LOW+BAND+PROGRAMMABLE+MOBILE+


Frankly, good ol' 40-channel CB (27MHz) has its uses for beyond-line-of-sight communications in hilly terrain.

"Low band" communications (30-50Mhz) with similar propagation to CB has been abandoned to a significant extent by public sector because their technically incompetent leaders were 'sold' on multimillion dollar UHF 'trunking' radios.

9/11 revealed the problems such systems have in peak conditions with node failure. Add to that lack of distance coverage (vs simple short-range line of sight) and you have a recipe for failure in crises.

N6ATF
10-01-2007, 11:50 AM
Ham radio: must have some aptitude to pass the test (all possible questions published on the internet and available in free practice tests)
GMRS: no test

Ham radio: FCC does not charge for license (unless you get a vanity callsign, like a vanity license plate)
GMRS: FCC charges for an expensive license to make up for no test

Ham radio: tons of repeaters free to use
GMRS: tons of private/member-only repeaters that are damn near impossible to figure out who to ask about joining

Ham radio: many frequency bands, different types of decent radio brands to choose from
GMRS: one frequency band, just a few decent radio brands to choose from

CSDGuy
10-01-2007, 12:18 PM
Yep. The CHP still uses the 42 MHz channels. Although they have access to other bands, the VHF-Low band is still very much in service as it sometimes is more reliable than the other bands, especially in rural areas.

Also, the Ham License is not FREE... but the cost of getting one is actually pretty low. I bought a book, read it a couple of times, went to a testing site that was open (you have to look a little), paid the fees and soon after, I was a licensed Ham. Renewals are free. My General Class license cost me around $20... maybe a little more or a little less. It is just the testing that costs. Also, there are online practice tests that draw from the exam question pool. If you take the practice tests enough times, you will eventually see ALL the questions in the pool (and ALL the answers). There no longer is a Morse Code requirement.

N6ATF
10-02-2007, 10:48 AM
Yes it is FREE. The FCC DOES NOT CHARGE for a non-vanity license.

This is NOT paid to the FCC, and is not a Ham License fee.

The fee you paid was a Volunteer Examination fee; you paid way more than what it should have cost the Volunteer Examiners to test you and mail your paperwork in. I paid $5 to the EXAMINERS, NOT the FCC.

http://www.arrl.org/FandES/field/regulations/news/part97/
97.527 Reimbursement for expenses.

VEs and VECs may be reimbursed by examinees for out-of-pocket expenses incurred in preparing, processing, administering, or coordinating an examination for an amateur operator license.

Californio
10-02-2007, 3:17 PM
Look at MURS radios and a Smiley telescope antenna

http://www.rkleef.com/handhelds/fostek/murs502.html

http://www.smileyantenna.com/


FRS does not allow better antenna's but MURS does.

5 channels at 2watts and no license.

pepsi2451
10-02-2007, 4:22 PM
I know some people that use VHF. They have handhelds and bigger ones in their trucks. It seemed to work good for them.

SemiAutoSam
10-02-2007, 4:25 PM
I use a Kenwood programmable VHF and UHF.

And a Bendix King Programmable handheld.

Nothing but praise for all of the above.

I know some people that use VHF. They have handhelds and bigger ones in their trucks. It seemed to work good for them.