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TomH

Walkie Talkies

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Hey all: 
Looking for some advice on walkie talkies.

Was out hunting this weekend with Luke and we were suppose to meet at a certain spot at 1. Well 1 came and went  and about 1:30 we found each other. My fault. The spot we were suppose to meet at was on the other side of the big hill!
Needless to say, all sorts of things start going through your head....both our heads! Broken leg, broken hip, heart attack....... So, we are looking at getting some walkie talkies.
What I would like to know is...........

Do all of them not work (like the ones we have) when your down in washes and such? 

Are the longer range ones more powerful and will over come the hills and valleys?

Do any of you use one that works good out in the hills that you could recommend?
Thanks

Tom H. 

 

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As having humped quite a few different radios in the service, none of the civilian ones I tried from Cabelas come close to an older military handheld radio, like the PRC-68.  That being said, I have one of the better Midlands, the GXT1000.  Also has an alert mode which gives a warbling sound to get someone's attention if they can receive you.  It has a built in Wx radio, a little higher power to get you to 36 miles, theoretical range.  In actuality, won't transmit from inside the house to outside.  Just like the different options for CB's base stations and higher antenna sighting is about all you can do to extend range.

There is some over the hill capability.  I left a radio on the truck in the wash for someone who drove to meet me, walked 200 meters away up and then down to another wash, and could hear him when he arrived.  Walked back to the same point and then we could not establish coms.  So just like all coms, seems to be magic.

The midlands are really all that's out there.  Dolan Dave was selling a radio compatible to mine that had a built in GPS, which is also available for sale in the sporting goods stores.

The midlands can be good, but the truth is if you are really separated and not that close, line of sight will likely interfere.  If you're on the same 20 acre claim, maybe you can keep good coms, but on a 160 acre claim, not that much of a chance.

To get a good safe system, you'd need some sort of radio relay.  Either that or one of the new press a button and come rescue me subscription service.

There is a scan mode, but it takes perhaps a minute or two to scan through all 50 channels.  I can usually hear someone else out there, so I'm not all alone.

 

Edited by chrisski
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Not sure what your budget is? But we use this radio https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/p/533999 at work for back up comms when our service radios cannot hit a repeater. Nice thing is you can get position reports from other users. I've also used a Gotenna tied to a cell phone for comms/position reporting in cell denied areas. https://gotenna.com/ Part of my current job is building and maintaining comms/datalinks in the desert so drop me a PM and I may be able to find a solution for you and Luke.

Edited by Desertpilot
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One other thing....I dont need a GPS in the unit...just two way communication.
Tks

Tom

 

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well shoot, 

Id just go with what Chrisski suggested that would be the cheapest route. 

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47 minutes ago, TomH said:

One other thing....I dont need a GPS in the unit...just two way communication.
Tks

Tom

 

Well....   maybe a GPS wouldn't be a bad thing?  :inocent:

Then I can see where you've been.  :4chsmu1:

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Why don't you guys just use your cellphone's to communicate??  They don't work out in the field???  I'll give you my number and you can call me when you're ready to go and meet somewhere!!!!!!!!!  Gary  

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Use the GMRS channels in the little radios, its got more power on those channels. FRS channels not so much. I get a mile or two out of my little micro cobra gmrs/frs radios depending on terrain and trees.

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Another (more expensive) option are satellite phones like Iridium, Globalstar, etc. Can be anywhere without issues.

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3 hours ago, LowPoint said:

Why don't you guys just use your cellphone's to communicate??  They don't work out in the field???  I'll give you my number and you can call me when you're ready to go and meet somewhere!!!!!!!!!  Gary  

I dont have a cell phone....probably never will. Im stuck in the 70s :) 

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2 hours ago, TomH said:

I dont have a cell phone....probably never will. Im stuck in the 70s :) 

"WOW";...My wife makes fun of me because I only have a cheap-o flip-phone (Tracphone from Walmart),..and usually only use it "should" an emergency :barnie: pop-up while out in the hills,..which it hasn't thus far in over ten years of packing it with me. ,...........But, ya never know when something will break down ( including you and I);.. and like ET,.. need to call someone  :th_panic:for help.        

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25 minutes ago, LowPoint said:

"WOW";...My wife makes fun of me because I only have a cheap-o flip-phone (Tracphone from Walmart),..and usually only use it "should" an emergency :barnie: pop-up while out in the hills,..which it hasn't thus far in over ten years of packing it with me. ,...........But, ya never know when something will break down ( including you and I);.. and like ET,.. need to call someone  :th_panic:for help.        

Carry a SPOT in case something goes wonky :) 

Tom H. 

 

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11 hours ago, TomH said:

My fault. The spot we were suppose to meet at was on the other side of the big hill!

See you won't even take my cheapy walkie talkies when we go out anymore.  Do you remember how it saved my ass when we first started to do the beeping thing?  We were supposed to turn the radios on at around 4:00 pm if not yet back in camp.  I got turned around and couldn't find camp so I climbed the tallest hill around and turned the radio on.  We did establish communications but we couldn't see each other and didn't know which direction I was from camp.  You told me to fire a shot in the air and you would listen for it.  You heard the shot way off and said you would climb a hill at your end.  You told me to fire another shot and you pin pointed me.  Then you told me to walk directly into the sun which was by that time was going down.  We couldn't see each other as I was more than a mile off in hills.  We did eventually bump into one another and thank God you brought me some delicious water to boot.  Made it back to camp and all was well.  Got a new direction finder and water backpack.  :Just_Cuz_06: 

If you do get a new set of hand helds You have got to remember to bring them with.  Also remember what I told you never leave home without?  :cowboypistol:

    Old Tom    

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I have a set of Cobra micro talk radios from Walmart that I use out here on the farm and get about half - to three quarter mile reception. But might not be good enough in the mountains. 

I just put a bright mini flashlight, ferro rod and loud whistle in my camelbak pack to keep with me. Of course will always be carrying my Garmin GPS with me for marking my vehicle and can backtrack my route if needed. 

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18 hours ago, TomH said:

Carry a SPOT in case something goes wonky :) 

Tom H. 

 

Alright Tom,...you will have to excuse my (possible-lack-of) technical knowledge here, but what is a SPOT ??,.......and if it is the answer to communicating with another out in the hills, why didn't it help you find Luke on the outing that you where referring to, as well as alleviate a communication issue when your dad got lost(?) (as he just posted)???  Ya know its one thing to say (as you stated above:  Im stuck in the 70s :)) to not want to use a cell phone to communicate, ......but as a result of not utilizing such technology, that may develope into a major issue to get stuck out in the hills do-to mechanical breakdown,or stroke, heart attack, broken leg, head fracture, gaul stones, not enough water, etc.,etc., etc. because of that "stuck in the 70s" frame-of-mind.  :4chsmu1:  Gary 

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SPOT is an emergency locator that sends a signal for search and rescue to follow, via satellite. It also sends a message to my wife and daughter as to my location with it pin pointed on a GE map.  Lots of places we go there is simply no cell phone service.

Tom

 

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23 hours ago, TomH said:

I dont have a cell phone....probably never will. Im stuck in the 70s :) 

Good topic, Tom.  

I'll have to review some of the suggestions.  I can tell you that most commercial Motorola phones won't go much over 1/4 mile.  

I can also tell you that the small GPS tracking units will affect the gpz.  Not sure about gpx units.  Nice thing about these, though, is that if you have a phone signal then you can see where your partner has gone.  But then you might as well use a phone.  I keep this in my truck for my wife to track me down as a last resort.  

Another option is to just give Luke or Old Tom a rape whistle.  I'm sure you will eventually find one of them..... after you stop laughing, that is.

Edited by Andyy
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I have a Garmin rino with Topo maps downloaded in it-its a GPS/2 way radio-it also has the ability to find someone else with a garmin via gps when linked together- it has a 5 mile range but unfortunately like most of the other 2 way radios  it struggles in the mountains as well-:pop: Mike C...:200: PS-forgot to mention you could carry a flare gun-make smoke signals or get one of those aresol powered horns or as a last resort follow the buzzards circling :idea:

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14 hours ago, Andyy said:

Good topic, Tom.  

I'll have to review some of the suggestions.  I can tell you that most commercial Motorola phones won't go much over 1/4 mile.  

I can also tell you that the small GPS tracking units will affect the gpz.  Not sure about gpx units.  Nice thing about these, though, is that if you have a phone signal then you can see where your partner has gone.  But then you might as well use a phone.  I keep this in my truck for my wife to track me down as a last resort.  

Another option is to just give Luke or Old Tom a rape whistle.  I'm sure you will eventually find one of them..... after you stop laughing, that is.

I actually carry a whistle.

I thought about blowing the whistle, but it didn't seem appropriate since I wasn't lost.  :)

Luke

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On 1/15/2020 at 1:15 AM, Old Tom said:

f you do get a new set of hand helds You have got to remember to bring them with.  Also remember what I told you never leave home without?  :cowboypistol:

    Old Tom    

WTG Dad! Tell the youngster to come into at least the beginning of the 21st century! And yes ... bring a compass and know how to use it! Electronic gizmos are great but they run on expendable battery life. A good compass is hard to kill! An Orienteering compass is the best. Be happy to show you why! :old:

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1 hour ago, Mike Furness said:

WTG Dad! Tell the youngster to come into at least the beginning of the 21st century! And yes ... bring a compass and know how to use it! Electronic gizmos are great but they run on expendable battery life. A good compass is hard to kill! An Orienteering compass is the best. Be happy to show you why! :old:

I knew my way back....I just didn't want to leave Luke out in the field with a broken hip :) 

Tom H.

 

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Hi Tom

Over the years I have had a few radios. Like Chrisski above I now use the Midland GXT 1000s. They have outperformed all of the previous ones. But when one of you is in a deep gully or canyon they still won’t penetrate earth.

I am one of the rare GPZ 7000 users that has the built in GPS function on by default. It provides a great bread crumb trail to backtrack to my Jeep.

Have a good day,
Chet
 

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