Handheld UHF recomendation?

#1
hi guys, is handheld uhf good enough for casual 4wd ing activity? I am not keen in drilling holes on my dash. Any recomendation for a good handheld?
Thank you
 
#2
I originally used 2x Icom41's ... one for a vehicle radio hooked up too an external aerial using a bnc connector and one for out the vehicle.. they've been fantastic over the years although i use a GME for inside now.

Icom are a complex radio, If i needed a handheld radio now I'd go GME , great service , Easier to use and Australian

cheers
 

Mr Rum

4x4 Earth Legend
#5
I’ve got a GME TX6150 in my glovebox that’s worked flawlessly for years.
It seems to be well built. Hasn’t been babied at all, and nothing on it has broken.
I like that it’s waterproof too. Don’t have to worry when walking around creeks and rivers, or in the rain.
We do have a mounted unit for day to day stuff, and only use the handheld when one of us is outside the vehicle (gone for a walk, spotting, etc).
If we’ve been travelling with someone that doesn’t have a UHF, we’ll loan them the handheld, and it’s more than adequate for most vehicle to vehicle communications while in convoy.
 
#6
Would a couple of handheld uhfs be any good for communicating for up to say 3kms along a creek in country which has a fair bit of vegetation and the creek is in a reasonable valley? Or would the twists & turns of the valley plus the trees mean line of sight is lost, so even a 5W handheld would be useless?
 

Bomber2012

Well-Known Member
#7
Would a couple of handheld uhfs be any good for communicating for up to say 3kms along a creek in country which has a fair bit of vegetation and the creek is in a reasonable valley? Or would the twists & turns of the valley plus the trees mean line of sight is lost, so even a 5W handheld would be useless?
It really depends on the terrain but at a guess i reckon you would be ok .
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
#8
Would a couple of handheld uhfs be any good for communicating for up to say 3kms along a creek in country which has a fair bit of vegetation and the creek is in a reasonable valley? Or would the twists & turns of the valley plus the trees mean line of sight is lost, so even a 5W handheld would be useless?
Terrain like hills/valleys etc affect UHF greatly, with a 5W radio if you were 3km away straight up a hill then you would probably have pretty good signal, if you were 1km away 2 valleys away & at the base of it then the signal would be very scrambled.

Unfortunately this doesn't matter if you have a $200 radio or a $50 radio, radio signals don't go through hills.

OP, if its just for talking between vehicles or someone assisting with winching then cheap 3W units will do the job, I have a couple of 3W unidens for that but I also have a 5W GME TX6155 for on foot hiking.,
 

Petunia

Active Member
#9
Hand held radios.

come in 1watt to a max of 5watt
5watt, is the Most Power allowable by law for a citizen band radio, most hard wired CB radios are 5watt, I would be buying a 5watt for myself if I was to buy one even given the cost.

Hand held are no different to hard wired, AERIAL AERIAL AERIAL.

How deep are your pockets? and how important is communication? A handheld has the Roger Rubber Duck, and these in some radios are upgradeable, and/or have a jack or connection for an external aerial, some the rubber duck unscrews to reveal the jack for an external aerial or upgraded aerial.

Have I mentioned the word Aerial enough yet? I still have a 13.5db custom made that will carry a 5watt signal 120klm, first world problem though it is 4.7 meters long. Same with a handheld, as range of aerial increases so does length, this however is a third world problem as an original rubber duck may be 6 inches long, a better range aerial my be a foot long.

Generally speaking, UHF signal is so easily interfered with when an aerial moves, even in convoy one truck has a bendy aerial whipping round he is the one who 'breaks up'.

I can't say yay or nay on the area you wish to use a radio in will or won't work, I can however say I have made them work, AERIAL AERIAL AERIAL.:cool:
 
#11
Hand held radios.

come in 1watt to a max of 5watt
5watt, is the Most Power allowable by law for a citizen band radio, most hard wired CB radios are 5watt, I would be buying a 5watt for myself if I was to buy one even given the cost.

Hand held are no different to hard wired, AERIAL AERIAL AERIAL.

How deep are your pockets? and how important is communication? A handheld has the Roger Rubber Duck, and these in some radios are upgradeable, and/or have a jack or connection for an external aerial, some the rubber duck unscrews to reveal the jack for an external aerial or upgraded aerial.

Have I mentioned the word Aerial enough yet? I still have a 13.5db custom made that will carry a 5watt signal 120klm, first world problem though it is 4.7 meters long. Same with a handheld, as range of aerial increases so does length, this however is a third world problem as an original rubber duck may be 6 inches long, a better range aerial my be a foot long.

Generally speaking, UHF signal is so easily interfered with when an aerial moves, even in convoy one truck has a bendy aerial whipping round he is the one who 'breaks up'.

I can't say yay or nay on the area you wish to use a radio in will or won't work, I can however say I have made them work, AERIAL AERIAL AERIAL.:cool:
Yes, my research so far (before I started reading I knew sweet FA about CBs) also says aerials are King.

We mostly need them to communicate between 2 fishing guides who might be up to 3kms apart on a twisty stream at the bottom of a valley in case shit hits the fan.

So in reality, a Sat phone is probably smarter, but I was wondering if we could get away with UHFs? We will always be within about 100m of our vehicles, so could put a bigger aerial on the 4WDs that we could hook into. We can also drive to the top of a hill pretty quickly which may improve the range?

I guess the only way to really know is to bite the bullet, get a couple of 5 Watters and see how they go out there.

What about these repeater stations I read of? Will they help with the range?
 

Petunia

Active Member
#12
We can also drive to the top of a hill pretty quickly which may improve the range?
yes, no, maybe?

What about these repeater stations I read of? Will they help with the range?
Yes they do help with range, catch is you need to be able to access them, IE: within range of one. There are various web sites to help determine location of these repeaters. If you make it into a repeater, it then repeats your transmission for as far as it determined range, which is a damn long way.

I guess the only way to really know is to bite the bullet, get a couple of 5 Watters and see how they go out there.
Rent try buy, if 2 could be rented? loaned/borrowed? They still be a nice acquisition but if they are not useable? do you really want to buy them?

:cool:
 
#13
UHF is pretty much line of sight. More power or more antenna gain won't help much if the signal is blocked by terrain. A repeater only helps if you both have line of sight to the repeater. Baofeng UV-5R is the cheap tester option, *but* make sure it's programmed for Aus 80 ch UHF CB and you have an idea how to use it without broadcasting on frequencies you aren't allowed to (big fines possible).
 
#14
So I was able to borrow 2 Uniden 0.5W dinky little uhfs to test down there. Max range about 700m we discovered (not line of sight though, hills & trees inbetween).

The property owner has 2 GME 5W handhelds it turns out, and he is going to lend them to us to try, but reckon they will be good for a few kms & to reach his base station back at the house. He rates these as very good handheld uhfs - about $500 for the kit from Jaycar.
 
#15
Good stuff, it is mostly line of sight which is good to keep in mind if you have comms issues, but with luck you get a bit of ground wave and ducting through valleys, results will vary with hill heights and ground conductivity (recent rain etc).
 
#16
So I was able to borrow 2 Uniden 0.5W dinky little uhfs to test down there. Max range about 700m we discovered (not line of sight though, hills & trees inbetween).

The property owner has 2 GME 5W handhelds it turns out, and he is going to lend them to us to try, but reckon they will be good for a few kms & to reach his base station back at the house. He rates these as very good handheld uhfs - about $500 for the kit from Jaycar.

Id also suggest you get the model number and download the manuals,you don't want to accidentally lock yourself out...
 

Triton14

Well-Known Member
#17
When I bought my radio I knew I was going to be using it in mountainous terrain so I got it with an additional aerial package to try & extend the range, a bit like say a military radio set up.
I haven't had an opportunity to test it in a real life scenario yet but the idea was to have this aerial cable tied to my backpack & the radio in a molle pouch also on the pack.
I will be testing this on my next trip & hoping it will increase the range, but then again the person on the other end has to be able to get back to you as well so it could be a think that you both have to have this sort of set up??
Still could be of benefit anyway if you are contacting a vehicle based radio with a similar antenna?

GME.jpg
 
#19
I've got a 5w Baofeng chinese radio off ebay, bloody awesome, especially when you consider what you pay for it. Had to get a mate to download the 80 Aus UHF channels but all awesome!
 
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