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Thread: Radios for highland stalking

  1. #1

    Radios for highland stalking

    Hi guys
    I am looking for info on what type of radios i would need to keep in touch with other stalkers who would be on the same ground stalking independent the ground is west coast ground steep n rugged
    this is for a safety point of veiwalso has any one used a SPOT gps tracker

    Amberdog

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Amberdog View Post
    Hi guys
    I am looking for info on what type of radios i would need to keep in touch with other stalkers who would be on the same ground stalking independent the ground is west coast ground steep n rugged
    this is for a safety point of veiwalso has any one used a SPOT gps tracker

    Amberdog
    Commercially available can do the job, but all VHF/UHF have their limitations. They are "line of sight", typically, with a decent power transmit, they will give you a 3 mile ...ish... range... any further than that and the cost is going to be increasing.
    Motorola all the way in my opinion though, don't think they can be beaten for rugged, decent range work

  3. #3
    Steep and rugged...UHF is really only good for just beyond line of sight...VHF will push it a bit more but probably not more than one fair ridge (and not valley or glen to another)...HF might work!!!
    What distances? Ever used "business radios" ? 5 watts in UHF and/or VHF?

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Amberdog View Post
    Hi guys
    I am looking for info on what type of radios i would need to keep in touch with other stalkers who would be on the same ground stalking independent the ground is west coast ground steep n rugged
    this is for a safety point of veiwalso has any one used a SPOT gps tracker

    Amberdog
    I am sure you need to apply for a licence to use long range radio's the authority would allow you a frequency to use, i am going back ten years ago when at the time i was secretary of a fishing club and it was paramount that our bailff team could comunicate with each other.
    ajr

  5. #5

  6. #6
    ICOM are pretty good.
    very rugged and I use the marine variants which are 100% waterproof

  7. #7
    There are a few options, but it really depends on where you're stalking in the country, and the topography that surrounds you.

    As you're talking about none commercial activity, you could explore Amateur Radio, which has a UK Network of Repeater Stations on voice in UHF, VHF, and HF bands. There's also the message sending APRS network, which may or may not be useful.

    In terms of an Amateur Licence, the actual Licence is free, and renewable online every five years, the initial Foundation Course can be completed on a couple of evenings or a weekend if preferred, and that includes the examination, so you'd be able to apply for the free licence and be given your unique M6xxx callsign within a few days.

    Being a licensed Radio Amateur or HAM as they say in the US, on a foundation licence, allows you to use up to 10 Watts of power on all frequencies available to Amateurs, and include the following useful bands on HF 1.81-2.0MHz (160m), 3.5-3.8MHz (80m), and 7.0-7.2MHz (40m), plus access to the 28.0-29.7MHz (10m) band to access fixed UK HF Repeaters. At VHF you'd have 50.0-52.0MHz (6m), 70.0-70.5MHz (4m), and 144-146MHz (2m), at UHF you'd have the 430-440MHz (70cm) band.

    There are fixed UK Repeater Networks on 6m, 2m, and 70cm.

    Take a Look here ukrepeaters HOME PAGE

    The reason I mentioned 160m, 80m, and 40m, is because these are all bands used for Near Vertical Incident Skywave (NVIS), which allows communications up to 200 miles in deep forest, or between mountain valleys, anywhere with no line of sight communications. However, antennas can consist of long wires for fixed stations, and loops or angled whips on vehicles. Antennas on foot might be a challenge, but certainly angled whips or small tuned loops could be fitted to an Argocat six wheel vehicle with some thought.

    You can read some useful information on NVIS propagation here

    Propagation | WWW.RAYNET-HF.NET

    Basically, you use the option that works for you in the circumstances.

    They don't call me wireless for nothing...
    There's always next week...

  8. #8
    I use Icom and they are suppliers to RNLI so figure they must be pretty waterproof.
    Biggest difficulty in the terrain you describe is the "line of sight" range. We used them in the Bowland Fells and even with a repeater base station and maximum legal wattage there were difficulties reaching the next valley or beyond a ridge.
    Useful but with limitations.

  9. #9
    Nothing stopping anyone wrapping their radio in cling film or a plastic bag to make it waterproof, although there's some interesting chemical fuming solutions to repel water these days from any equipment used outdoors, after treatment the kit will even work underwater.

    Currently, for Scotland, the best bet for a Repeater is on the 2 metre band, or using NVIS HF.

    Other than that I can only suggest a Satellite Telephone for each stalking party, at a rental of 5 a day, plus call charges.

    Satellite Phone Rental | Sat Phone Hire
    Last edited by Wireless; 13-03-2013 at 08:29.
    There's always next week...

  10. #10
    Fleabay "Radio-Tone Simplex Repeater Controller for Midland PMR" type of device could be a cheap option - It would need to be strategically sited between two users who would need to be roughly in line of sight though. It should double the normal PMR radio range also. I don't know if the authorities would like it too much or if you'd come within their permission licensing parameters. But maybe Wireless could tell us.

    Ian


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