Two way radios

Several years ago I had (still have) some Motorola talkabouts to use for skiing. Brushed them off this year for riding and found one does not receive audio anymore. It got me thinking about a new set for riding. I hate that feeling of not knowing what happened to the other guy, or if I went down the wrong trail. I'm conscientious when I'm leading about stopping every few minutes but I've found that sometimes stuff happens even if you are pro-active and have a plan. Some guys I ride with are a lot better at looking out for each other than others and this may mitigate some of that. Are any of the low level user products worth a damn in real world conditions on a bike in the mountains? 2 miles seems like it comes up a lot as a real world distance In varied terrain. is that even worth it on a bike? At 15mph you eat that up in 8 minutes. (obviously trails are not straight, so this would add effective range). Was looking at something like this and I'm not not interested in totally nerding out for a professional model/license. Any experience and/or advice?

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT1000VP4-36-Mile-50-Channel-Two-Way/dp/B001WMFYH4?SubscriptionId=0K76CZ6RCX2Y05HSNPR2&tag=frp-tower-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B001WMFYH4&ascsubtag=two-way-radios

I do two-way public safety radio systems for a living.

That said the ones I utilize are quite a lot more expensive and of course require the equivalent of system lisences (called RFA for gov).

Anyway, the GMRS have more power and range but requires a license. (UHF)

For better range, the HAM VHF bands (lower frequency) will go further out in the woods.

But require even more license requirements and usually cost more.

Othe rain and heavy timber the radios will loose range- tall hills will cut down also.

Here are things I would look for.

Waterproof.

Bright colours (easier to find when you drop Em)

GMRS/ FRS combo, but try to go with GMRS.

Hold the radios vertical, 3-5" away and speak with a good voice, clearly. The guys on TV hold them sideways, but because of the radiation pattern of the antenna (think squashed donut) they will be more effective vertical --and don't move all over.

I think a great idea. We have somehow managed to loose people on rides before and this would help. We always try to keep track of everyone, but sometimes people make mistakes.

Mark

I checked your link, you'll never get 36 miles out of GMRS unless it's totally line of site.  I would have to recommend 2 meter radios from personal experience.  I was injured in a remote location while riding alone in June.  I've always carried a 2 meter radio with me when riding, either a Vertex VX150 or Yaesu FT250.  No usable phone signal where I was.  I was able to reach a friend 24 miles away through woods and hills.  Saved my ass that day.  

Plus with 2 meter you can remove the stock antenna and use a telescopic 4 ft job that will really extend it's reach.  I have a license, it's not too hard to get.  You can also access state wide repeater systems, there's always people listening in case of an emergency.  

The FT250 very durable and is $126 at gigaparts.com

http://www.gigaparts.com/store.php?action=profile&sku=ZYS-FT-250R&gclid=CNSLsM6azrkCFc5FMgodQiUAtA

.  Headsets are available to fit in a helmet if you wanted to use while riding.  

You can find some cheap chinese radios on ebay for $50 bucks.  I've seen those but they don't look like they are built tough. 

I prefer smoke signals.

But you can't make them on a four stroke.

Seriously though, Motorola's handheld radios are nice. We use some with a 30 mile range at work. Yes they are license required.

I was going to get my HAM radio license for a near space balloon next summer, but my buddy on my design team got it and there wasn't a need anymore. Mostly I don't want to drop lots of cash on a radio that needs a license if a consumer level one will be adequate.

Talks to my buddy, sounds like the HAM radio license is easy enough. I just don't want to drop too much on the unit itself.

Just mount CB's to the bars!

Breaker breaker!

FRS blister-pack radios are fine.  Some work better than others.  For the price, carry spares.  Motorola makes decent hardware.

 

Amateur radio license is about $14.  Question pool and practice exams are available online.  There's chinese radios out there with fairly decent reviews for about $50.  A good VS/Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood is $200+.  With the ham radio you get all sorts of cool shit ... repeaters (and networks of repeaters), all the power you'll ever need, IRLP, autopatch, digital modes, slow-scan TV, satellite operation, low-power, DX... take your pick.  That license is worth it if you have any interest in radio.

 

CB sucks ... big radios, big antennas, skip issues, obnoxious users on the other end.... I don't recommend it.

 

GMRS ... Yes, owning a GMRS-capable radio means you legally should have a GMRS license (~$80, no exam) to operate at 5 watts.  GMRS does offer repeater capabilities, I have yet to see a consumer-level radio capable of repeater shifts though.  That, and I've only encountered one GMRS repeater.  Ever.

 

MURS... VHF license-free band... Good for some applications, but I'd suggest going FRS instead.  Why?  Because the radios are cheap and everyone has them.  You take your MURS radio riding with a group, and you're the only one with a MURS radio, it's really not very useful.  I have a few I use on rare occasions, once every year or two, but most of my comms when I'm riding is done on FRS channels.

 

Pic related.

 

DSC00068-M.jpg

Several years ago I had (still have) some Motorola talkabouts to use for skiing. Brushed them off this year for riding and found one does not receive audio anymore. It got me thinking about a new set for riding. I hate that feeling of not knowing what happened to the other guy, or if I went down the wrong trail. I'm conscientious when I'm leading about stopping every few minutes but I've found that sometimes stuff happens even if you are pro-active and have a plan. Some guys I ride with are a lot better at looking out for each other than others and this may mitigate some of that. Are any of the low level user products worth a damn in real world conditions on a bike in the mountains? 2 miles seems like it comes up a lot as a real world distance In varied terrain. is that even worth it on a bike? At 15mph you eat that up in 8 minutes. (obviously trails are not straight, so this would add effective range). Was looking at something like this and I'm not not interested in totally nerding out for a professional model/license. Any experience and/or advice?

http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT1000VP4-36-Mile-50-Channel-Two-Way/dp/B001WMFYH4?SubscriptionId=0K76CZ6RCX2Y05HSNPR2&tag=frp-tower-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=2025&creative=165953&creativeASIN=B001WMFYH4&ascsubtag=two-way-radios

I use a similar set of radios.  I also use these:  http://www.amazon.com/Midland-AVPH3-Transparent-Security-Headsets/dp/B000CNAEEW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1379342372&sr=8-1&keywords=midland+radio+ear+bud

 

I use wire loom to customize the exact setup for my riding gear.  I use the PTT function and mount the mic close to my jaw on my jersey or flight vest.  Radio goes in my vest or camel back.  Completely self contained and easy to use while moving if necessary.  You can dismount the bike, remove your helmet, etc., and it's still functional. 

 

 

 

Pic related.

 

DSC00068-M.jpg

You must have done the out of band mod to get that FT60 to do the FRS frequencies.   Legal grey area but we all do it.   

You must have done the out of band mod to get that FT60 to do the FRS frequencies.   Legal grey area but we all do it.   

The chinese brands (Woxoun, baofeng) come unlocked from the factory.

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