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1940 posts

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  # 956040 22-Dec-2013 06:36
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For cheap communications with our kids we used 0.7W and 1W radios in Wellington CBD and at Mystery Creek near Hamilton. Sometimes we could only manage to get reliable signals at 200m. The worst was 30m. Even in flat residential streets we've been disappointed with similar range but on occasion we have got well over 2km. The difference can be due to small changes in our position so if you want to confirm a reliable signal then you need to test the radios exactly where you will be using them.

From memory, we used rechargeable batteries and the lower battery voltage made a noticeable difference on the cheap Uniden units we were using.

There are useful webpages with info on using PRS in NZ e.g. http://www.nscbrc.orconhosting.net.nz/info/index.html

FYI, there's also lists of NZ PRS repeaters that might help you. I used them several years ago and found they were generally accurate. Here's a couple from a search but I note neither indicate a repeater in Wellington. However, there appeared to be private repeaters that seemed to be turned on intermittently for specific purposes. We also found that many people using PRS were businesses:
http://www.mobilesystems.co.nz/news_and_publications/id/67/PRS%20Repeater%20Channels
http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/alambie/NZ_PRS_Repeaters.html



33 posts

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  # 956142 22-Dec-2013 12:23
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Thanks. If there are no repeaters in Wellington does that mean that only line of sight will work?

Another thing - what is the difference between '80 channels' and '80 narrowband channels'? Is that something different? Are narrowband channels better?

 
 
 
 


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  # 956163 22-Dec-2013 13:29
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we can pick up the Maungaraki repeater with 0.5W radios from wellington CBD. Still, for your purposes, you shouldn't really use that channel - it's more for enthusiasts. it took a lot of money to build that repeater and out of courtesy it shouldnt be used for personal things. You shouldn't need to though - any channel should work fine for you along Wellington waterfront with an appropriate radio.

If you are interested though, their site is pretty inforomative :)

http://prs8wellington.webs.com/

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  # 956165 22-Dec-2013 13:41
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noob: Hi

Is Uniden the best way to go? (And if so, which model would be best?) Or would something else be better?



I bought 2 handsets from DSE for around $250 and both failed after about a year. The failure was serious, and googling showed many other people had the exact same problem.  So, I binned them as I'd lost the receipt.   So, personally, I'll never buy uniden again.

I bought a replacement pair from jaycar that were cheaper , came with a charging dock, and use standard AA rechargeables. They've been rock solid so far.



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  # 956168 22-Dec-2013 13:44
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sonyxperiageek:

And Uniden are one of the best in handheld CB radios me thinks!


Not in my case. 

Google "uniden rx stuck"

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  # 956188 22-Dec-2013 15:22
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noob: Thanks. If there are no repeaters in Wellington does that mean that only line of sight will work?

Another thing - what is the difference between '80 channels' and '80 narrowband channels'? Is that something different? Are narrowband channels better?


It was originally a 40 channel system with wider channel widths. Each channel was effectively divided by 2 a few years ago, so highlighting that it's an 80 channel unit means it's working to current spec. They are all 'narrowband'.




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  # 956232 22-Dec-2013 16:57
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surfisup1000:
sonyxperiageek:

And Uniden are one of the best in handheld CB radios me thinks!


Not in my case. 

Google "uniden rx stuck"


I think they have improved considerably over those few years now.




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  # 956265 22-Dec-2013 17:48
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noob: Thanks. If there are no repeaters in Wellington does that mean that only line of sight will work?

Another thing - what is the difference between '80 channels' and '80 narrowband channels'? Is that something different? Are narrowband channels better?


It's partly line of sight but I understood that most of the signal received is usually reflected. They certainly work around corners inside malls and outside around buildings in the city. The problem is, I think, called fading. It makes it hard to hear because of a) what I presume are multiple reflected signals destroying a clear signal or b) lack of a reflected signal when there is no line of sight.

I'm no radio tech so I guess that narrowband probably mean 80 'narrow' channels rather than the 40 'wide' channels used in the past. But it also has a more technical meaning which describes the ability to get the radio signal through in an environment where bandwidth is limited (e.g. by objects blocking the signal, destructive reflections, electro-magnetic interference from machines, etc). In that sense, narrowband means that signals are more reliable as they are less likely to fade.

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  # 956269 22-Dec-2013 18:18
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Unless you are doing things which you'd ideally not want people to be listening to, you'd need to pay for a service like TeamTalk or similar, but even then, the costs would far outweigh the benefits in your situation IMO.


What I'd suggest is getting a couple of radio's (My preference has been GME for the PRS band, or Motorola[far more expensive, though]) and use either CTCSS or DCS. While people may be able to listen to your conversations, they won't easily be able to interrupt it. 


It may have been answered already, but how far are we talking between all the users? (1km? 2km?) If its not much more than 1km or so, .5w would be the minimum I would go, but given the UHF band is quite dependant of line of sight and can be affected by surroundings quite easily, I would probably suggest going for a minimum of 2watts. 


Unfortunately as far as repeaters go, you also have to understand that these are public and can be used by anyone with a PRS radio - it would also mean you wouldn't be able to use CTCSS or DCS, as the repeater won't be able to translate it. 


Are you able to list your requirements (and also your budget)?





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  # 956279 22-Dec-2013 18:46
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Hammerer:
noob: Thanks. If there are no repeaters in Wellington does that mean that only line of sight will work?

Another thing - what is the difference between '80 channels' and '80 narrowband channels'? Is that something different? Are narrowband channels better?


It's partly line of sight but I understood that most of the signal received is usually reflected. They certainly work around corners inside malls and outside around buildings in the city. The problem is, I think, called fading. It makes it hard to hear because of a) what I presume are multiple reflected signals destroying a clear signal or b) lack of a reflected signal when there is no line of sight.

I'm no radio tech so I guess that narrowband probably mean 80 'narrow' channels rather than the 40 'wide' channels used in the past. But it also has a more technical meaning which describes the ability to get the radio signal through in an environment where bandwidth is limited (e.g. by objects blocking the signal, destructive reflections, electro-magnetic interference from machines, etc). In that sense, narrowband means that signals are more reliable as they are less likely to fade.


Wow it's like i'm posting into a void that no-one can read. Please see my earlier post.

Narrowband means the channel width is narrow. That's all. It has nothing to do with signal reliability or fading.
The signals are all line-of-sight but their ability to penetrate solid objects is affected by signal strength and the frequency itself, part of why UHF is more often used in urban areas than VHF is.
You will get a small amount of reflection but more likely, you'll get penetration as well.  Thus the effect of the construction of a building (also look up 'faraday cage').

For PRS,
The emission type is 8K50F3EJN or 8K50G3EJN per the GURL (also linked in any earlier post).

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Types_of_radio_emissions and http://life.itu.ch/radioclub/rr/ap01.htm this means:

8K50F3EJN
8.5Khz Channel width
Emission type Frequency Modulation (FM), Commercial Quality Telephony. No Multiplexing.

8K50G3EJN
8.5Khz Channel width
Emmission type Phase Modulation, Commercial Quality telephony. No Multiplexing.

For comparison most telephony radio channels were 16Khz wide, 8.5Khz is considered 'narrow'.
For further comparison, broadcast audio channels are often as much as 180Khz wide.







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  # 956293 22-Dec-2013 19:57
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Distance will be under 1 km, the longest distance will be from Dixon Street to the waterfront. Lots of buildings in the way, of course. And I really need it to be reliable. Budgetwise, I'm thinking 200-300 for a pair. Also thinking at this point, after reading all the posts to date, that I'll go with a min of 2watts. I'd rather have physically smaller ones so maybe won't go with 5. I'm also liking the kind that you stick in a charging cradle (or maybe they all do that?) - can't risk running out of battery.

I don't mind if other people listen in, so CTCSS will be good, still trying to work out what VOX is though.

Thanks everyone, this is the first time I've posted on here and you've all been awesomely helpful.

Human
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  # 956294 22-Dec-2013 19:59
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noob: Distance will be under 1 km, the longest distance will be from Dixon Street to the waterfront. Lots of buildings in the way, of course. And I really need it to be reliable. Budgetwise, I'm thinking 200-300 for a pair. Also thinking at this point, after reading all the posts to date, that I'll go with a min of 2watts. I'd rather have physically smaller ones so maybe won't go with 5. I'm also liking the kind that you stick in a charging cradle (or maybe they all do that?) - can't risk running out of battery.

I don't mind if other people listen in, so CTCSS will be good, still trying to work out what VOX is though.

Thanks everyone, this is the first time I've posted on here and you've all been awesomely helpful.


Okay, I'll take a troll around online and see whats available. but to answer your question, VOX is voice activation. IMO it's completely useless most of the time. It's been on most of the radio's I've purchased and I've used it for a grand total of 1 time.










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  # 956295 22-Dec-2013 20:03
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Also - cue another silly question - are there good 'channel numbers' to use in Wellington? Or would I need to search for free channels afresh each night?

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# 2138175 2-Dec-2018 16:12
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Hello there. I have a similar question to the original poster: I'd like to buy a walkie talkie for my four-year-old boy for Christmas so he can radio me when I'm at work.

One of the earlier comments in this thread suggested this was foolish and possibly even illegal (chit-chatting on the radio). Is this true? If not, then I'm hoping someone might be able to help me.

I live in Napier, tucked into a limestone pocket on Napier Hill. I work in the CBD, about 1.2km from my house but, crucially, over the crest of the hill. So no line of sight.

Could a sub-$100 set such as these - www.noelleeming.co.nz/shop/phones-and-gps/gps-navigation-satnav/walkie-talkies/uniden-cb45-2-uh45-2-80-uhf-hand-held-radio-twin-pack-blue/prod169080.html - do the job? 

Forgive me if my question is a bit dopey - I'm a first-time poster (long-time reader), and not the world's greatest technological mind. But it would be lovely to talk to my son. eg.

Son: Rogue 1 to Rogue Leader, over.
Dad. Rogue Leader receiving etc :-) 


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  # 2138219 2-Dec-2018 19:33
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On the civilian bands, chitchat is totally fine.

It is extremely unlikely that a cheap radio set will do what you want.




Location: Dunedin

 

 


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