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Choice of 2way radio depends on the group you want to talk to. Many are using good old CB. But in some areas there is too much interference. Several groups have gone to GMRS. Some, including Western Slope 4 Wheelers are going to business band. So now I have both CB & Dual Band VHF/UHF in the Jeep.
 

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I vote HAM. There are antennas that don’t need a ground plane. With the bottom license, I’ve talked to China and Europe from my Jeep via repeaters. I’ve talked to a buddy in the Mojave 150 miles away with 7000’ mountains in between via repeater. KN6AQC
 

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Discussion Starter · #23 ·
Well, heck, now I need 6 different radios...I already have the CB, of course, so that one is down...

Sorry in advance for the radio story: High school buddy, and radio wiz, sat me down in front of a ham set-up and talked to someone in New Orleans, I said, "how you do that?"...he said, "bounced it off the clouds"...ok, whatever, he later became a radio engineer so he knew something...got a job with VOA and went overseas, I said, "you're a spy"...he did not talk to me for a few years after that til along came the internet and email then we got back in touch...he was in Botswana.
 

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Here's a current pix of my ham shack. Security cam display on the left (large monitor) and the other monitor is a mirror of the Kenwood TS-890S operating display. I made the desks in my shop (and made the aluminum shelf supports), they turned out quite functional and not bad looking in my humble opinion.
Computer Personal computer Computer keyboard Furniture Computer monitor
 

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Discussion Starter · #27 ·
Here's a current pix of my ham shack. Security cam display on the left (large monitor) and the other monitor is a mirror of the Kenwood TS-890S operating display. I made the desks in my shop (and made the aluminum shelf supports), they turned out quite functional and not bad looking in my humble opinion.
View attachment 76364
I am impressed...what does all that stuff do?
 

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Ham radio. I can literally communicate around the city/state/world without the Internet :geek:. My station can run up to 1,500 watts which is the maximum allowed by the FCC for amateur radio.
 

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Discussion Starter · #30 ·
Wow, very impressive John.

We use these radios in my area.
BAOFENG BF-F8HP
and also FRS radios. Seems like no one uses CB's anymore in my area
Thanks for posting this elff, I suppose I need to know what folks around here are using...probably will join a 4WD club and go from there....
 

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I've exchanged contacts with over 100 countries via ham radio, some by phone (voice) and many are digital contacts.

FYI - The Baofeng talkies are.. how do I say this.. built to such a low price point the quality isn't very good (I have two of them.) I would never ever trust this brand of radio in an emergency situation. If you consider it basically a throwaway, that's appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #36 ·
I've exchanged contacts with over 100 countries via ham radio, some by phone (voice) and many are digital contacts.

FYI - The Baofeng talkies are.. how do I say this.. built to such a low price point the quality isn't very good (I have two of them.) I would never ever trust this brand of radio in an emergency situation. If you consider it basically a throwaway, that's appropriate.
What would you recommend for a radio out in the desert while exploring?
 

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Just a suggestion on the “communication” device.
Once you’ve decided on a club, get the radio they all use to communicate.

As an example, Lost Jeeps is now using Ham radios. They also typically have some hand held loaners for first time visitors.

FWIW, I have both. Uniden 510 CB and Kenwood TMV 71A Ham.
 

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What would you recommend for a radio out in the desert while exploring?
The major amateur radio brands for talkies are Kenwood, Icom and Yaesu, any one of those would be a good radio but I'm not sure if they make a FRS/GRS version. Your best bet would be to get your ham Technician license, then you can use one of the hundreds of repeaters scattered around the country. The mobile radio versions of these radios put out about 50 watts so you can reach out and touch someone.

About the 5 or 8 watt talkies - the transmit power needs to match your ability to receive. In other words the other end might hear you but you can't hear them. I call that the "alligator" syndrome - all mouth and no ears :).

My former 4x4 club finally settled on FRS/GRS radios. We made a years long effort to get the club members to get their amateur radio Tech license and we were fairly successful with about 1/3 of the members licensed. So if the people you are wheeling with are carrying FRS/GRS radios, I'd go that route. If you want to do solo expedition camping - get your ham Tech license.
 
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