Radio for field use

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by TexasAggie, Oct 4, 2014.

  1. TexasAggie

    TexasAggie Monkey+++

    I need a couple of hand held radios for when I work in the woods. My wife does not want me in the woods with lousy cell phone coverage because of my age. She will probably be at her Mom's house which is about one to 1.5 miles from our wooded property. The property is 100 ac and the 2 miles would be a back corner.
  2. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    1.5 miles between two handhelds in a wooded area is a very long reach. I do not think there is anything that will reliably pull it off unless the terrain in your area is very favorable.

    Ham radio is your only real option and even then it will not work
    without at least one of the radios having a decent antenna. And by "decent" I mean not the rubber sticks that come in the box.

    Honestly, you might be better off taking your chances with the cell coverage.
    AmericanRedoubt1776 likes this.
  3. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++

    Radio Shack used to sell a small little simplex repeater that was handy for these situations. Many hand held radios use a 1/8 inch plug for the speaker/earphone and a 3/32" jack for a condenser microphone with PPT switch. These repeaters would work with most of the radios with those jacks for external mic and speaker. The repeater just plugged into a third radio and you parked it on a ridge, in a tree or just someplace midway between the two people wanting to communicate. It would record upto I think 30 seconds of a received transmission and then when the message was done, the repeater would key the radio to transmit and play the message it just recorded back. Cheap, simple and worked to close the gap.

    My experience with radios in heavy woods on search and rescue training and operations is the VHF ham (144-148 Mhz) and business bands (150s MHz) seemed to penetrate the heavy woods a bit better than the UHF frequencies such as the 70cm ham band and FRS/GMRS frequencies. YMMV. But often a couple miles in woods would be more than our 5 watt radios could muster even with fancy Diamond antennas. Other times it wasn't too bad if the terrain was flat but then throw in some hills and that flat didn't work.

  4. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I will say that my handheld routinely reaches 13 miles to the repeater off the stock rubber ducky antenna. Granted, I'm pretty high and the repeater is higher but there are heavy woods between here and there. Also, it's ham band, 2 meter. I encourage you to get the ticket, even tho' it won't likely be doable in time for this year. I have to agree with Tevin, take a walk in the woods and see if the cell phone will work in your hunting area with a very strict time table for contacts.
  5. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Ok, MURS (VHF) will do 2 miles thru woods, with not to much issues. This would be a bit of a reach for SECURE PHONES, unless one built a Cross-Channel Repeater out of two of them. That would do this job easily, as well.
    The biggest requirement to make this work is Frequency. Lower Freq, longer Range, for the same RF output. So, if you can get 6 or 10 Meter Commercial Band HandHelds, they will preform better than HighBand, and UHF units of the same RF Power.
  6. KAS

    KAS Monkey++

    vertex standard.... a little pricey
    and icom both work well for me !!!!
  7. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    Another factor is the density of and types of trees you have. Just as an example, long needle pines' needles are about a quarter wave in length on 70cm...degrades 440 signals a lot. On 2m though there isn't nearly the same level of attenuation.
  8. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    a portable transceiver with a wire strung low for NVIS maybe? Not sure the power level would be sufficient.
    Maybe put a repeater on the property on a tower or high ground and use VHF?
  9. TexasAggie

    TexasAggie Monkey+++

    The trees are some pine, oak, and sweetgum. Also, lots of tallow trees. My forester is ong to harvest what is harvestable and I am going to replant.
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