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Budget portable walkie talkies

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by Roaster, Sep 16, 2009.

  1. hey netriders. Am going in a team cycling event (Scott24hr) and was contemplating getting hold of a good (but cheap) set of walkie talkies, capable of line of sight communication over about 3-4km. Anyone had any experience with this and able to reccommend any particular brands?

  2. have a look at Jaycar, 40 channel UHF radios, cheap as.
  3. UHF line of sight is very powerful. I've over powered 5W base units with a 0.5W hand held line of sight to a repeater tower.

    UHF with clutter limits very quickly, less then a kilometer in the bush for 0.5W hand held's, they also chew batteries very quickly... (well mine did anyway, uniden units).
  4. The Uniden UHF units are good value in general. I would be looking at 1W handhelds for 3k without using repeaters, although if there is a regional repeater then use it. This Uniden 2 Pack Kit seems like good value. May be a little large for you though in which case 0.7 watt kits such as this. The second unit comes with headsets which may be useful for your situation.
  5. What he said! I have used 1W hand held units in reasonably thick bush/forest with quite a range. Wouldn't go smaller than 1W.
  6. If you aren't going to be too far apart the low powered units quoted above should be OK. Radio placement so the antennas can work proper is important just like mobile phones work better outside of a building or car and even better if you are on top of a hill.

    How to use them is the biggest problem. Voice activated (VOX) doesn't work well on moving vehicles due to wind noise triggering the VOX all the time.

    I strongly suggest you suss out the area you will be in and look for a disused channel or you will upset the locals by hijacking their channel (don't use 5 or 35 either which are allocated to emergency use only).

    You should also activate the CTCSS sub audible tone on the chosen channel, this means the radio will ignore calls from radios that don't transmit the tone so if you do end up sharing the channel with others nor involved in your ride they wont anoy you withtheir chatter.
  7. ...but they will still hear yours so don't say shit you don't want heard by others. :wink:
  8. thanks very much for the info guys - much appreciated.

    I saw the uniden set on ebay for $120 so i might grab me some.
  9. Spot on browny but at least you cant hear them complaining about it :wink:
  10. yeah $400 is not the sort of budget I had in mind. it looks sweet though.

    I was hoping to get a "recreational" (as opposed to professional) pair for under the $70 mark.

    don't need anything too fancy it is just to notify the team when they need to get ready at the transition area. It is at mount stromlo so there is clear line of sight which will maximise transmission distance out of a cheaper pair (as far as I understand).
  11. Can't go wrong with UHF and either Uniden or GME Electrophone are top quality units. Most have VOX headsets available for them too so you can use it inside your helmet.
  12. Tends to be too noisy for VOX to work properly