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JHrusky

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I am looking for information on 2way radios for my family to use in case the world goes totally 'south'. If our cell towers go down, I need to find something that I can communicate with my family. We are about 20 miles apart over flat terrain although there there many forests between us. Of course, should we have to 'bug out', I also need them to be hand helds.

Will ham work? Will ham repeaters remain up even in a disaster? Are there other/better alternatives?

I had one person suggest this:


but I'm not convinced something that cheap will do the job (and don't get me wrong, if it will I'm all for inexpensive)

I do have a newer shortwave radio to I can listen in on what is going on worldwide (hopefully) so that part I have. It's the 2way that I need to figure out.

Thank you.
 

JHrusky

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Thank you. Any advice on what to look for to upgrade an antenna, i.e. how to choose an antenna that will do the best/longest range?
 

Rellgar

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GeorgiaPeachie

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I am looking for information on 2way radios for my family to use in case the world goes totally 'south'. If our cell towers go down, I need to find something that I can communicate with my family. We are about 20 miles apart over flat terrain although there there many forests between us. Of course, should we have to 'bug out', I also need them to be hand helds.

Will ham work? Will ham repeaters remain up even in a disaster? Are there other/better alternatives?

I had one person suggest this:


but I'm not convinced something that cheap will do the job (and don't get me wrong, if it will I'm all for inexpensive)

I do have a newer shortwave radio to I can listen in on what is going on worldwide (hopefully) so that part I have. It's the 2way that I need to figure out.

Thank you.
I bought a bunch of these. They work well. Bought extra battery for all. Solar chargers for them and upgraded antennas.

 

GeorgiaPeachie

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JHrusky

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I bought a bunch of these. They work well. Bought extra battery for all. Solar chargers for them and upgraded antennas.


I am trying to figure out if the one you posted is the same one I posted at the top of this thread since the price is about $30 different. The description is similar, but I don't know if the one I posted is 3rd Gen or not.

NEVERMIND. Answered my own question. Found the one you mentioned on Amazon as well: https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-F.../B00MAULSOK/ref=psdc_2230642011_t2_B0772FYKK8
 
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JHrusky

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What is the reason for a programming cable? What would you program this radio (or any radio) for? I'm simply looking for radios to communicate with my family.

The other thing is distance: some of the comments say the 8 watt version will only get up to 3 or 4 miles. Others claim the radio is illegal to use in the US.

Sorry, I am brand new to this so need to understand.
 

GeorgiaPeachie

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What is the reason for a programming cable? What would you program this radio (or any radio) for? I'm simply looking for radios to communicate with my family.

The other thing is distance: some of the comments say the 8 watt version will only get up to 3 or 4 miles. Others claim the radio is illegal to use in the US.

Sorry, I am brand new to this so need to understand.
They are purchased non programmed. You have some choices. Use free CHIRP software to program the 128 channels (via Windows is best). Or do each channel manually. This is used if in the field and not near a pc. Here are directions for that...

How to manually program a simplex channel

  • Step 1. Press [VFO/MR] and enter Frequency Mode.
  • Step 2. Press [A/B] and choose the A Side (upper display).
    The A side must be used to program channels into the radio. Programming data entered on the B Side (lower display) will not be saved.
  • Step 3. Press [BAND] for the frequency band.
    Toggle [BAND] to choose 136 MHz (VHF) or 470 MHz (UHF).
    If the incorrect band is chosen for the frequency entered in Step 5, the radio will cancel the operation.
  • Step 4. Disable TDR (Dual Watch/Dual Standby).
    Press [MENU] 7 [MENU] [press up/down arrow keys] OFF [MENU] [EXIT]
    It is highly advised to turn TDR off when programming directly from the radio.
  • Step 5. Enter the frequency.
    Use the keypad to enter the frequency into the radio.
  • Step 6. optional - Enter the transmit CTCSS/DCS code.
    • CTCSS - [MENU] 13 [MENU] [enter/choose code XXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
    • DCS - [MENU] 12 [MENU] [choose code XXXXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
  • Step 7. Assign the frequency to a channel.
    [MENU] 27 [MENU] [enter channel number XXX] [MENU] [EXIT]
My understanding is that without repeaters they will not go past 4 miles. There are repeaters already active that you can join. The yearly fee is dirt cheap.

Yes, they are legal!
 
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JHrusky

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Another question on emergency communications. Is shortwave a viable alternative? I recall back in the 80s/90s I used to enjoy evenings turning an analog dial of a shortwave receiver I had to tune into radio broadcasts and ‘chatter’ all over the world. Back then it was Tom Valentine I listened to nightly (is he still around anywhere?)

I did recently purchase a Tecsun PL-880 but kinda stumped on how to find interesting broadcasts on it. I need to find a good shortwave group to assist with that I think. I didn’t see one here unless I missed it.

Can we transmit on shortwave? Is that part of Ham radio or an entirely different radio spectrum?
 

David SB

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Why not just study up and take the ham radio exams. You dont have to know Morse code anymore. If you stay on Technician (VHF/UHF) the test is super easy actually, the Test for General (HF) is super easy also.
If you stay with UHF/VHF dont count on all repeaters being up. Depends on the SHTF event.

However, you can put up you own simplex repeater easy like this


I highly recommend you spend one week reading the Tech exam study guide (check one out at the library) and taking free practise exams online then take the test. the test is only 18 bucks.
 
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Rellgar

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Why not just study up and take the ham radio exams. You dont have to know Morse code anymore. If you stay on Technician (VHF/UHF) the test is super easy actually, the Test for General (HF) is super easy also.
If you stay with UHF/VHF dont count on all repeaters being up. Depends on the SHTF event.

However, you can put up you own simplex repeater easy like this


I highly recommend you spend one week reading the Tech exam study guide (check one out at the library) and taking free practise exams online then take the test. the test is only 18 bucks.
Because our government is corrupt! Your put on another list in another data base.
 

ANACONDA

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I wouldn't mess with UV-5R.
Better pay extra and take it.
+

A continuous frequency range of 122-560 MHz for mine will not be superfluous.
The range is really continuous for both reception and transmission. And really wider than indicated in the description.
 

GeorgiaPeachie

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I wouldn't mess with UV-5R.
Better pay extra and take it.
+

A continuous frequency range of 122-560 MHz for mine will not be superfluous.
The range is really continuous for both reception and transmission. And really wider than indicated in the description.
Wish I knew about these before I bought the Baofeng Gen 3 ones. But I bought a bunch of them, so not going to buy more. Only need them for a mile or less contact anyway. The Baofeng cost more than the one you listed.
 

TexasFreedom

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I'll echo the baofeng comments. Cheap. But junk & fall apart if you look at them. For not much more there are much better choices. If you are going to want one that survives running around & getting wacked, consider something in the $200 range.
 
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