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  • #16
    The garbage they sell at walmart are toys that transmit a few hundred yards over open territory.

    For our communications, we have an ICOM 746 base station that puts out 100 watts of power.. It can transmit on all ham bands from 160 to 2 meters and with a 5 minute surgery to remove a single diode, it can also cover the CB bands.

    We also have several high quality (Yaesu, Kenwood, Icom) VHF/UHF hand held radios that can accept both the whip antenna's for ranges under 5 miles, or be hooked to elevated antenna's strung up in tree's for long range comms up to around 15 to 20 miles. We use $6 walmart slingshots and old fishing reels to launch wires over 100ft trees.

    Along with those, we also have high power VHF mobile units that put out 50 to 75 watts.

    The next thing I'm going to be purchasing are a bunch of the cheap Chinese UV5R radios to hand them out like candy to anyone I think might be useful. You never know when you might meet a doctor who lives just a couple miles away.. or some crazy old guy with a GE M134. LOL

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    • #17
      The plan to purchase some UV5R radios is pretty good, the rest is just grandstanding.
      Read through the postings that were made on this thread last September.
      Nothing has changed.

      Most important thing that I want to add, is to have a plan for how to use the stuff, and second, get a little practice.

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      • #18
        The antenna's that come with the Boafang radios, as well as even the higher quality units, are junk. If you purchase a hand held radio, make sure you go to Diamond's website and pick up one of their RH77 antennas.. its like $20 or something. Beware of the fakes on Ebay and stick to a reputable dealer.

        For longer ranges, you'll need an antenna that can be elevated... something you can throw up into a tree.. You can make a slim jim antenna from 450 ohm ladder line or just buy a pre-made unit from N9TAX ($20).. They are highly rated. I have two of them myself.

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Murphy View Post
          The antenna's that come with the Boafang radios, as well as even the higher quality units, are junk. If you purchase a hand held radio, make sure you go to Diamond's website and pick up one of their RH77 antennas.. its like $20 or something. Beware of the fakes on Ebay and stick to a reputable dealer.

          For longer ranges, you'll need an antenna that can be elevated... something you can throw up into a tree.. You can make a slim jim antenna from 450 ohm ladder line or just buy a pre-made unit from N9TAX ($20).. They are highly rated. I have two of them myself.
          I don't know too much about the particular companies you mention, but I do concur that a better antenna is a very good idea for the Boafang radios. Just be sure to try them out to insure everything works right and you know how to use them proficiently before you need to bet your life on them. The best radio isn't worth much if you don't know how to use it.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by TRex2 View Post
            I don't know too much about the particular companies you mention, but I do concur that a better antenna is a very good idea for the Boafang radios. Just be sure to try them out to insure everything works right and you know how to use them proficiently before you need to bet your life on them. The best radio isn't worth much if you don't know how to use it.
            That's good advice.. A lot of these radios are designed for repeater operations and will have the repeater off-sets preprogrammed and activated. This means that even if two people are on 145.500 Mhz and standing 20 feet apart, they won't hear each other because of the repeater offset frequency. If you don't understand what the radio is doing, it will drive you insane.

            For simplex operation (handheld to handheld), the first thing that needs to be done is to turn off the automatic repeater shifts that are programmed into the radio.

            Its also a good idea to purchase an SWR meter. If just using handhelds and antenna's you purchase from reputable quality sources like Diamond Antenna, you could get away without one. But if you're using a mobile or base unit or attaching coax cable to your radio, you'll need an SWR meter that can operate in the correct freq band to make sure your antenna is tuned to a low SWR. Transmitting with an antenna that is not tuned can burn out the finals in your radio and turn it into a paperweight. A best case scenario is that you transmit with a 5 watt radio and it only transmits one or two watts because of the high SWR.

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