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walkie talkies


Trigger Mike

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looking for a walkie talkie for 4 wheeling and as a side for my kids to talk to their friends down the road a piece. what walkie talkie really reaches about 10 miles to someone else's house and from my house to 100 acres away in the woods?

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Most non license wt's are good for a mile or two in typical conditions.

 

You could get 10 miles with a commercial high power unit, but that will require you to get a commercial license (or everyone who might use one get a ham license), and you're looking at serious dollars for radios.

 

The product that would be most accessible for you at 10 miles would be a cell phone. For the 100 acre forest, ordinary wt's would work.

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You can only get 10 miles out of a walkie talkie if you are on a tv series.

Best range you will get is if you're on a boat in open water. 10 mi through the woods or rough terrain? Not gonna happen.

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Only way your going to get more than about a mile out of walkie talkie is with a repeater. You should be able to set up a nice 800 mhz digital trunking system for around $12,000,000 depending on the area you want to cover.

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There are FRS radios that have an... ahem.... advertised range of 30 miles.

 

http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-Rechargeable-HandsFree-Operation-Carabiner/dp/B00BFILMK8

 

No license needed.

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A hundred acres away?? An acre isn't a measure of distance, exactly, but of area. A rectangular piece of ground "one acre wide" by "one hundred acres long" would be one hundred acres and measure about four miles long and 210 feet wide. A square piece containing one hundred acres would be about four tenths of a mile each way. A 32' wide rural right-of-way consisting of one hundred acres would be about 26 miles long... I think.

 

"A hundred acres away" depends on the shape of the hundred acres.

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A hundred acres away?? An acre isn't a measure of distance, exactly, but of area. A rectangular piece of ground "one acre wide" by "one hundred acres long" would be one hundred acres and measure about four miles long and 210 feet wide. A square piece containing one hundred acres would be about four tenths of a mile each way. A 32' wide rural right-of-way consisting of one hundred acres would be about 26 miles long... I think.

 

"A hundred acres away" depends on the shape of the hundred acres.

 

Especially when you remember a section is 640 acres and that's 1 mile by 1 mile. 100 acres isn't all that big even if it were a square 100 acres. Now 10 miles is a ways away for the standard WT. Best ones I've ever used in the woods were good for about 2+ miles if you found the right spot.

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FRS ( Family Radio Service) are the least expensive but will have limited range figure less than a mile under most conditions.

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) capable radios will have a better range say 2 miles under most conditions. You need a license from the FCC for GMRS radios which is as easy as filling out a form. It will cover you and your family.

The best radios will be commercial grade GMRS radios. You have to be a little tech savy with these as they require programming with a computer.

Oddly the commercial radios are not as expensive as some of the blister pack radios. For the blister pack radios be sure to get ones where the rechargeable batteries can be replaced with AA batteries in a pinch. Stay away from ones that use AAA batteries.

Ignore range ratings on the package. That range is for ideal conditions say talking between two mountain tops with nothing but blue sky in between, an unusually low noise floor, and perfect atmospherics

Best range and coverage will be Amateur radios especially if there is a repeater nearby. Range can be more than 5 miles using a repeater. I have used mine to work repeaters that were over 10 miles away. However to use the amateur band each person has to have a license issued by the FCC. The Technician class license test is not that hard to pass but you do have to study. Fortunately there is a plethora of study guides available and you will have access to the entire question pool. Amateur radios tend to be more expensive but good used radios can be had at very reasonable prices.

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FRS ( Family Radio Service) are the least expensive but will have limited range figure less than a mile under most conditions.

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) capable radios will have a better range say 2 miles under most conditions. You need a license from the FCC for GMRS radios which is as easy as filling out a form. It will cover you and your family.

The best radios will be commercial grade GMRS radios. You have to be a little tech savy with these as they require programming with a computer.

Oddly the commercial radios are not as expensive as some of the blister pack radios. For the blister pack radios be sure to get ones where the rechargeable batteries can be replaced with AA batteries in a pinch. Stay away from ones that use AAA batteries.

Ignore range ratings on the package. That range is for ideal conditions say talking between two mountain tops with nothing but blue sky in between, an unusually low noise floor, and perfect atmospherics

Best range and coverage will be Amateur radios especially if there is a repeater nearby. Range can be more than 5 miles using a repeater. I have used mine to work repeaters that were over 10 miles away. However to use the amateur band each person has to have a license issued by the FCC. The Technician class license test is not that hard to pass but you do have to study. Fortunately there is a plethora of study guides available and you will have access to the entire question pool. Amateur radios tend to be more expensive but good used radios can be had at very reasonable prices.

Good post.

 

Radio coverage distance is very dependent on line of sight and what is or isn't (mountains, vegetation, buildings) between the two radios. Generally, standing flat footed w/o elevation advantage, about a mile, perhaps a bit more, unless one is over the ridge and down in a canyon.

 

Amateur Radio 2meter handhelds can be had with 5watts of power which helps. Better than 500mw. In addition, one can upgrade the antenna to enhance performance/distance. And again, the radios are better constructed and work better. But there is a cost to that (over the disposables) and with the invention of micro electonics, the cost has come way down too.

 

As been mentioned, the test for the Amateur license isn't bad.

 

Who knows, perhaps there is a 2meter repeater on a mountain/tower in your area of interest and thus, your coverage can well exceed the 1, 10, 40 mile radius.,,,, and most of the time, the usage of the amateur radio repeater is free.

 

And then there is the cell phone, which works about anywhere and everyone has one already.

 

UB, how far is Bajou Peak from your house? There is a repeater on it that has a huge area of coverage.

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2 meter radio is what you want. If I can pass the Tech class test anyone can. Around here there are some linked repeaters that give me over a hundred miles of coverage, then with Echolink, the world is at your fingertips.

 

Think about it and look into ARRL.

 

73's, KD2HQV

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I used to be a member of a dog driving deer hunt club and we used cb radios on our 4 wheelers and trucks. We had around 6500 acres and had no problem keeping in touch. it was pretty easy to make a mount to go on the center brace of the handlebars and mounted a 6 ft antennae on a spring base on the back rack. Go to any truck stop and purchase everything you need and if you ask around you can probably locate someone to "fine tune" the radio to really reach out there.

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There is one other service you could consider - MURS this was made up by FCC several years ago out of five chanels that had been used for commercial business radio frequencies. You can Google it for more info...it is an FM service near 2 meter and you have up to 2 watts power from the radio and are allowed to put better antennas on as well. This is a license free service so if you have kids or a wife who are unwilling to study for the license, you can still get good radios that will work to a reasonable range. Please note no repeaters are allowed in this service so you can't drop a mobile repeater on a nearby hill top to boost your range or use someone's open club repeater like is common on the 2 meter band.

 

If everyone in your group is willing to study for and take the license (which is pretty easy to do and there are a bunch of online study resources available free) then a license and 2 meter radios are the best choice, and amazingly cheap compared to when I first started messing with radios and antennas. Did I mention that even when you are out in the boonies where there is no club repeater nearby, you can set up your own router on a hill top, hoist an antenna into a tree and that will give you amazing range even with low power handheld radios.

 

Hope this helps,

Rusty

KI4GVR

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I was going to suggest the CB radio myself. They dont take much power to run them so will work on any 4wheeler. A small power supply could run one in the house...plus there are some good hand held units as well. Around here, you can pick up a Cobra 25 for about the same price as a pair of walkie talkies...and have much better range.

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Good post.

 

Radio coverage distance is very dependent on line of sight and what is or isn't (mountains, vegetation, buildings) between the two radios. Generally, standing flat footed w/o elevation advantage, about a mile, perhaps a bit more, unless one is over the ridge and down in a canyon.

 

Amateur Radio 2meter handhelds can be had with 5watts of power which helps. Better than 500mw. In addition, one can upgrade the antenna to enhance performance/distance. And again, the radios are better constructed and work better. But there is a cost to that (over the disposables) and with the invention of micro electonics, the cost has come way down too.

 

As been mentioned, the test for the Amateur license isn't bad.

 

Who knows, perhaps there is a 2meter repeater on a mountain/tower in your area of interest and thus, your coverage can well exceed the 1, 10, 40 mile radius.,,,, and most of the time, the usage of the amateur radio repeater is free.

 

And then there is the cell phone, which works about anywhere and everyone has one already.

 

UB, how far is Bajou Peak from your house? There is a repeater on it that has a huge area of coverage.

I get good range with my hand held here. It's only 40 acres. But the cellphone barely works at all till I get near the highway.

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Used a CB on tractor, combine talking to BlueJeans or vice versa on the 500 acres we farmed. Grain Elevator was 7 miles away, and we never lost communication. Did have a large antennae set at homestead. MT

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Used a CB on tractor, combine talking to BlueJeans or vice versa on the 500 acres we farmed. Grain Elevator was 7 miles away, and we never lost communication. Did have a large antennae set at homestead. MT

Its the antennas that really make the difference in range. Most hand helds have very inefficient antennas due to their physical size and lack of ground plane. A good base station or vehicle mounted antenna can compensate for a lot of that inefficiency. That is why a HAM radio a repeater provides such an increase in range. HAM repeater installations often utilize collinear antennas that have pretty good gain and are located on high ground so they have a nice unobstructed line of sight.

Know several people that have houses where the underside of the roof has that new foil backed insulation. Saves a bunch on heating and cooling but makes using cell phones or ham radios all but impossible to use unless you are standing next to an outside wall.

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