2 way radios - Kawasaki KLR 650 Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 02-21-2020, 10:25 PM Thread Starter
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2 way radios

I need advice on a 2 way radio. I'm hiking in the mountains along and need a emergency radio. It can't be a "line of sight" radio since I'm in the mountains. Cell is useless. I'd like something light and rechargeable that doesn't cost a bunch. I had a spot brand emergency GPS unit years ago but I really don't want to pay their yearly fee. I'm not riding so it would just be for "lost, snake bite, heart attack, etc" I have a GPS with me and could tell someone my location if I could get someone on the radio. Maybe a handheld ham?

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens
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post #2 of 23 Old 02-21-2020, 11:46 PM
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A handheld is going to be line of sight because it is going to be VHF or UHF. No way around it, except to use repeaters. Repeaters mean using the 2-meter (144MHz) amateur radio band or joining up with a GMRS repeater group in the area that you frequent.

The GMRS repeaters work the same as the amateur repeaters do. They have an input frequency, an output frequency, and some sort of PL tone that is required to access them. The difference is that there are far fewer GMRS repeaters and you usually need to ask for permission to use the repeater and will then be given the access codes. For example, there is one GMRS repeater near you, Sylva 600. If that repeater doesn't cover the area you intend to frequent you'll need to find another one that does and good luck with that.

The amateur repeaters are either open or closed. If open then the access data is published and you are free to use the repeater if you are a properly licensed amateur. There are also repeaters on other frequencies, most notably the 440MHz band and dual-band radios with 2m/440 are popular.

You have one local 2m repeater near you, KF4DTL on Kings Mountain. There are other repeaters nearby in adjacent counties, I am sure.

As to the radios, good radios are to be had from Alinco, Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood and the like. These will run from a coupla benjies to a grand. It pains me to say this, but Baofeng is your friend. Cheap Chinese radios of decent quality and indecipherable instructions, they work well and typically cover a wide range of VHF and UHF frequencies, have plenty of memories decent TX power and pretty much every feature you need. The venerable Baofeng UV-5R can be had, I shit you not, for $26 on Amazon. I have one permanently mounted to my KLR in a MOLLE pouch on the tank. I have it programmed with all the NOAA weather channels, all of the southern California 2m repeaters, Forest Service and BLM frequencies, All FRS and GMRS frequencies and all of the local GMRS repeaters, even the ones I don't have permission to operate on.

Every ham in the US looks down his/her nose at the Baofeng as a pukey piece of cheap Chinese crap that no self-respecting ham would stoop to using and every one of them has one, too. I haven't used my ICOMs or Kenwoods in years.

There's a lot to talk about on this, hit me up if you need to.
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post #3 of 23 Old 02-22-2020, 02:09 AM Thread Starter
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The Baofeng UV-5R is one I've been looking at.

UPDATE: Ordered. Might need advice on set up

“Take the risk of thinking for yourself , much more happiness , truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Hitchens

Last edited by Toney; 02-22-2020 at 08:32 AM.
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post #4 of 23 Old 02-22-2020, 07:29 PM
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Tom, I have been watching Dr. Carlsons Lab utube videos as don't watch 99% of the tv crap.

Think you might be interested plus:

If your Icon or Kenwood have some age on them you might want to replace all the capacitors to prevent any damage due to the problem where capacitors degrade and turn in to or act like resistors. (I have been wondering about the amp and receiver, stereo bought overseas in the late 70's).

Check out here: https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/s...d&action=click

He did work on a Kenwood amplifier (cannot find at the moment) that had 3,000 volts inside the case during normal operation.

Still tons of snow in WY .... take care. Mike
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post #5 of 23 Old 02-22-2020, 08:44 PM
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Hi Mike,

I think I might consider doing that work on my IC-707 HF transceiver if it became a problem, but the handhelds would be too big of a pain. It's kind of a bummer to realize that a radio I bought new is now considered 'vintage' and almost an antique.

Thanks for the video links; I'll be checking that out as his set-up looks pretty impressive!
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Tom [email protected]

“I still held his automatic more or less pointed at him, but he swung on me just the same. It caught me flush on the chin. It was meant to be a hard one, but a pansy has no iron in his bones, whatever he looks like.” -Philip Marlowe

“'Why' and 'How' are words so important they cannot be too often used.” -Napoleon Bonaparte

Sting like a butterfly.
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post #6 of 23 Old 02-22-2020, 09:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
Every ham in the US looks down his/her nose at the Baofeng as a pukey piece of cheap Chinese crap that no self-respecting ham would stoop to using and every one of them has one, to
I have 2

I use a VX-8GR on my adventure runs

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post #7 of 23 Old 02-26-2020, 05:43 PM
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link? on where to buy?
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post #8 of 23 Old 02-26-2020, 08:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Schmitz View Post
A handheld is going to be line of sight because it is going to be VHF or UHF. No way around it, except to use repeaters. Repeaters mean using the 2-meter (144MHz) amateur radio band or joining up with a GMRS repeater group in the area that you frequent.

The GMRS repeaters work the same as the amateur repeaters do. They have an input frequency, an output frequency, and some sort of PL tone that is required to access them. The difference is that there are far fewer GMRS repeaters and you usually need to ask for permission to use the repeater and will then be given the access codes. For example, there is one GMRS repeater near you, If that repeater doesn't cover the area you intend to frequent you'll need to find another one that does and good luck with that.

The amateur repeaters are either open or closed. If open then the access data is published and you are free to use the repeater if you are a properly licensed amateur. There are also repeaters on other frequencies, most notably the 440MHz band and dual-band radios with 2m/440 are popular.

You have one local 2m repeater near you, ...on Kings Mountain. There are other repeaters nearby in adjacent counties, I am sure.

As to the radios, good radios are to be had from Alinco, Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood and the like. These will run from a coupla benjies to a grand. It pains me to say this, but Baofeng is your friend. Cheap Chinese radios of decent quality and indecipherable instructions, they work well and typically cover a wide range of VHF and UHF frequencies, have plenty of memories decent TX power and pretty much every feature you need. The venerable Baofeng UV-5R can be had, I shit you not, for $26 on Amazon. I have one permanently mounted to my KLR in a MOLLE pouch on the tank. I have it programmed with all the NOAA weather channels, all of the southern California 2m repeaters, Forest Service and BLM frequencies, All FRS and GMRS frequencies and all of the local GMRS repeaters, even the ones I don't have permission to operate on.

Every ham in the US looks down his/her nose at the Baofeng as a pukey piece of cheap Chinese crap that no self-respecting ham would stoop to using and every one of them has one, too. I haven't used my ICOMs or Kenwoods in years.

There's a lot to talk about on this, hit me up if you need to.
Tom,

I hope I'm not hijacking the thread, but I know nothing about any of this stuff. On the biennial occasions where I am lucky enough to get time off from both work and family to ride far enough into the boonies where there is no cell coverage and very low human traffic, I take that time to enjoy the silence and solitude and don't listen to anything but nature.
I wonder if a UV-54 would be worth carrying just to check weather and have as an emergency contact device. I'm talking about the remote woodsy areas in the upper midwest. (MN, WI, MI, SD, ND, WY, MT) Or maybe I'd be better off with a Garmin InReach or Spot.
I'd appreciate hearing your opinion on this.

Thanks!
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post #9 of 23 Old 02-26-2020, 08:29 PM
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i use a spot sat messenger when i'm in the mountains. cell service non existent sometimes. has a cool tracking feature too. every ten min. sends off a gps coordinates of where u are.
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post #10 of 23 Old 02-26-2020, 08:31 PM
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looks like this
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