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834 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 69346 6-Oct-2010 20:12 Send private message

Hi Folks,

I am looking into two-way (walkie talkie) radios and am just wondering if anyone has any ideas on what to look out for?

Basically looking for two units
  - NIMH battery + charger (prefer dock type)
  - PTT + VOX (are there any that don't require a headset for VOX?)
  - 10mile range (whatever that is in KM)
  - water proof (optional)
  - UHF

I have been looking at Uniden or Motorolla so far.

Also what are the regulations? I think in america there is a requirement for a GMRS license, does NZ have anything similar.?

I don't really know much about these devices.




TwoSeven

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xpd

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  Reply # 388961 6-Oct-2010 21:41 Send private message

For a PRS device, no license required (AFAIK) - most of the units you see at DSE/Jaycar are generally around 5km range (LOS) - great for car convoys etc but not long distance unless they have a repeater option (Ive picked up users in the Waikato on my units and Im in Auckland).

BlakJak who pops in here occasionally is a walking encyclopedia on this stuff though, sure he can point you in the right direction ;)




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 388965 6-Oct-2010 21:49 Send private message

Erm... hi :P

Thanks XPD... ?

To answer your Q,

The PRS service is the closest thing to GMRS, it runs at 476Mhz, is subject to a General User Radio License (GURL) that allows access to 40 channels, usually with a max of 5 watts.

handheld-to-handheld typical range is in the couple-of-km's though technically full line of sight range will go out to perhaps 10mi, but that'd be pushing it. External antennas on fixed-station radios would give you that on a more reliable basis.

There's several varieties of radio available for PRS, www.dse.co.nz and www.jaycar.co.nz are likely suppliers, make sure you buy in NZ and from a reputable outfit - lots of crappy knockoffs coming in from asia, many of which aren't technically legal.

Oh and knock waterproof off your list as it is rarely found on PRS, though there are a few. www.uniden.co.nz might be worth a look, Uniden are one of the more common brands of radio seen in NZ and have a reasonable website describing their products, etc.

Hope this helps...




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 388968 6-Oct-2010 21:50 Send private message

What I didn't say was that the GURL in this case allows any type-approved radio to be used by anyone at all - no individual license required.

There's also conventional CB (26Mhz) that operates under the same GURL with similar terms, but isn't available handheld for the most part - and isn't really you're after.




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  Reply # 388977 6-Oct-2010 22:04 Send private message

... and as BlakJak says...
These types of radios are generally only good for line of sight communications, which means you can't talk thru hills, and range therefore varies greatly with user location and topography.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 389071 7-Oct-2010 10:13 Send private message

Have a look on unidens website at this model, this certainly fits your discription of what your after..

But it's not waterproof though - you'd be looking at around $450+ for this feature

Uniden uh064sx-2a two-way radio is the model

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 389074 7-Oct-2010 10:18 Send private message

If you want to "waterproof" them, then a sealed ortlieb bag or similar to pop in your wireless gear might do? That or the pelican case!

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  Reply # 389339 7-Oct-2010 20:51 Send private message

Go for Motorola. The motorola units have better frontend speakers, which filter out all the crap.

for example, if you are working/using them in auckland city, you'll know that the uniden units get a crap load of interference beyond usability. The motorola units don't have this problem.

I swear by the motorola units. (I am talking about the CBPro units, I cant verify this is the same for any cheaper models).




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834 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 389370 7-Oct-2010 22:24 Send private message

Thanks folks.

I had a motorola back in the 80s when I was dispatching in london. Think it had a 5 or 10 mile range or so. Was thinking something along those lines.

Not so fussed with waterproof as can always just put in pouch if needs be.

Any idea why they keep them down to 2W?

(I assume PRS here means UHF CBRS - Citizen Band Radio Service (476 MHz))




TwoSeven

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  Reply # 389399 8-Oct-2010 02:07 Send private message

PRS is UHF CB - 476-477Mhz

PRS = Public Radio Service
CB = Citizens Band
(and just for those who were also wondering, UHF stands for Ultra high Frequency) :)

Great for short distance unless you are using them through a repeater (eg, Ch 6 in Auckland, the repeater is on Klondyke, that can get right down to sometimes tauranga). The distance will always vary (especially if not line of sight, don't expect great results in heavily built up areas). With a 2watt unit, you'll be lucky to achieve 10 miles.

IMHO, You are best to go with something that is using the maximum allowed transmit power (5watt) and also a more expensive unit if you are running it in Auckland.

CTCSS may also be useful to you, if in an area where radio congestion could be an issue.

The GME radio's are also pretty good. I've had a couple of them as well, and they have worked perfectly every time.






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  Reply # 389400 8-Oct-2010 02:14 Send private message

Oh sorry I also saw you wanted VOX.


I am yet to come past a unit with VOX that actually REQUIRES a headset.

The GME radio's for example, you could turn it on even without a head and still function, though VOX has never been ideal on these radios. Unless you are in a quiet room, I really can't recommend the VOX'ing system built into the PRS radios.




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  Reply # 389464 8-Oct-2010 10:31 Send private message

I have a Uniden set that claims a 10 km range. I think they are 2 watt units.

When there is a hill in the way you're lucky to get 500m. Other than that they are not too bad but are badly affected by wind noise.

Definitely not waterproof (well not washing machine proof anyway).

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  Reply # 389524 8-Oct-2010 12:25 Send private message

the old man uses http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/Radio-equipment/Amateur-radio/auction-319768071.htm around a 2000Ha farm and they go about 30KM's line of site out of town.
dont know about in town tho.




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  Reply # 389686 8-Oct-2010 19:03 Send private message

CADMAX: the old man uses http://www.trademe.co.nz/Electronics-photography/Radio-equipment/Amateur-radio/auction-319768071.htm around a 2000Ha farm and they go about 30KM's line of site out of town.
dont know about in town tho.


Its also worth noting;

Distance also depends on how high you are, clouds, the list literally goes on.


Unless we know the actual intended use for these units, its pretty hard for us to give you any kind of helpful advice in buying a two way radio..






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Geek


  Reply # 389696 8-Oct-2010 19:30 Send private message

The Midland G7 ticks all the boxes.

http://www.atlasgentech.co.nz/products/index_dynamic/product/5877

FYI - The Motorola units are no longer available in NZ as the NZ distributor changed to the Midland range. You can find the motorola models at www.oricom.com.au who are the Australia agents



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 389738 8-Oct-2010 21:49 Send private message

No particular usage as yet - more just a geek looking at devices that go bing :)

Its looking like 5W is the way to go then, at least non-line of sight wise. I am not looking at getting max distance or anything, just something that would be of some use in a versatile manner.







TwoSeven

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