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Old 05-05-2008, 18:02   #1
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2-Way HANDHELD Radios

Does anyone know a good 2-way handheld radio with a huge range that would cover, say... a small city or two?

Maybe a 10-20 mile range?
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:06   #2
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One of the HAM bands, 2meters, will cover that distance with repeaters but you need a license. I think a cell phone family plan might be what you are looking for.
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:15   #3
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One of the HAM bands, 2meters, will cover that distance with repeaters but you need a license. I think a cell phone family plan might be what you are looking for.
Close...

And very perceptive of you.

At $150/mo, a cell phone family plan represents a waste of $18,000 over 10 years I could have in my retirement fund.

I am looking for the radios to replace paying to use what is basically a handheld radio.

How expensive are licenses? Are renewals expensive?
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Old 05-05-2008, 18:54   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssullivan View Post
Close...

And very perceptive of you.

At $150/mo, a cell phone family plan represents a waste of $18,000 over 10 years I could have in my retirement fund.

I am looking for the radios to replace paying to use what is basically a handheld radio.

How expensive are licenses? Are renewals expensive?
This is ham radio: What Is Ham Radio? and this is a sure fire way to smoke ANY level of licensing: HamTestOnline™ . Not expensive. Labor intensive: You have to learn stuff. And it opens a whole 'nother world.
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Old 06-05-2008, 04:20   #5
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This is ham radio: What Is Ham Radio? and this is a sure fire way to smoke ANY level of licensing: HamTestOnline™ . Not expensive. Labor intensive: You have to learn stuff. And it opens a whole 'nother world.
You mean there is another world out there apart from the forum? ha ha

Thank you for these links. I am going to look into this pretty seriously to see if it makes sense. I enjoy learning, so the "labor" isn't so bad. Also, it might be nice, since the range is far superior to 10-20 miles, from what I understand already.
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Old 06-05-2008, 10:27   #6
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Sean,

Check out Tracfone. Prepaid, no monthly fee.
We have a couple of their phones, and are happy with them.
AT & T is the carrier and there's good coverage.
I have no financial interest in it.

Steve B.
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Old 06-05-2008, 12:09   #7
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Aloha Sean,
A Ham Technicians license is pretty easy to get. I got one so it can't be that hard. That's all you need for 2 meter operation. If you'll be talking with your family member then they also need the license and a 2 meter radio.
How was your transit on your new boat?
JohnL
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Old 21-05-2008, 19:19   #8
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VHF/UHF Repeaters

If you want to be a cheapskate, you will find yourself right at home in amateur radio. They are the original juryriggers of electronics.

The amateur radio repeater system will accomplish what you want. The coverage depends on the what the hams in your locale have set up. Some areas link repeaters to cover ranges of hundreds of miles, but these advanced systems typically require some patronage, which is still much less than a cell phone plan.

Many repeaters have an "autopatch" for making local phone calls. This is normally half duplex operation, where like a radio, you can't hear the other party while you are talking.

Bear in mind the major differences between a cell phone and a radio: You have zero privacy. Your whole (ham) neighbordhood will be listening to your conversations. The other, possibly more painful side of that is that you have to listen to everyone else's conversations as well, if you don't want to miss a call from someone. There are technologies for selective paging if you have the right (interoperable) equipment. If not, it's like listening to VHF16 for calls but longerwinded.

This can also be an advantage if you want a group conversation. People can jump in to help you unexpectedly. You jest about it being a different world from a forum, but in fact it is a bit like a forum, but in real time. This also adds a big emergency application component to it.

Amateur radio repeater - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 21-05-2008, 19:47   #9
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14 bucks to take any or all of the 3 tests one time, and the license is good for 10 years at which point you have to pay another 14 dollars... old radios can be had for under 100 dollars or under 200 for new radios. Definitely worth it in my opinion. Plus Hams are sometimes entertaining to listen to.
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