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CB Radios?

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CB Radios?

Postby Taum Sauk » Thu Mar 13, 2008 7:24 pm

I'm looking for a good handheld CB radio to use on some bigger expeditions (such as Denali) and found that most product reviews online are very hit or miss...has anybody used one or could anyone make a recommendation about what to look for?
Thanks a bunch!
Civilization is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there.
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Re: CB Radios?

Postby jdorje » Sat Oct 06, 2012 6:11 pm

Bump.

I'm looking for a radio pair to use for mountain communication. I've seen many people refer to these on trip reports. What's good?
-Jason Dorje Short

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Re: CB Radios?

Postby mtnjim » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:12 am

I did a bit of research on this topic before my trip to Denali in 2004. For size & weight, features and reliability, Yaesu seemed to be everyone's choice. Some models had short wave reception as well so you could keep up with the news and listen t music too. Maybe fm reception also? But they're pricey. If you're planning on using it over several trips, i think one would be worth the $200+ you'll spend.

I bought a Midland 75-810, used but perfect, off of ebay or Amazon for $35 or so. It was the best rated cheap model I could find, though it was a discontinued model even then.

JimS

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Re: CB Radios?

Postby Doug Shaw » Sun Oct 07, 2012 9:52 am

If you're looking to climb local mountains where you just need to communicate with part of your group that is lagging behind, just get a set of FRS radios. They have a range of ~2mi (dependent on a lot of factors), are cheap, and don't require any sort of license for use.

If you're looking to communicate with someone over a few miles away (say, at home in Denver from your position on Sneffels) then you're looking at probably needing to move into amateur radio which will be generally far more expensive and requires passing the "HAM" licensing test for use, understanding how repeaters work, etc.

Of course it's 2012; once you're up high there's a decent chance you could just use a cell phone.

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Re: CB Radios?

Postby pvnisher » Mon Oct 08, 2012 2:14 am

I saw a set of FRS/GMRS hybrid radios with NOAA forecast reception on sale at Home Depot a few years back and grabbed them for $25. Work decently, although the NiCad batteries were shite. Using them with lithium AAAs makes them serviceable.

Primary uses have been whilst driving cross-country (or cross countries), listening to NOAA forecast whilst hunkering out a storm on Rainier, and some "you go that way and look for the (trail, campsite, lost pack) and I'll go this way"-type talking. Also used once on a rope team so the last guy on a team of 4 could talk to the leader.

So none of those have really been high-mileage uses, but in the tests around my house (in either FRS and GMRS modes, and no, I don't have a license, sorry [-X ) the longest distance I could get was around 3 miles.

Here's more info on range.
http://www.popularwireless.com/gmrsrange.html

Re: CB Radios?

Postby FireOnTheMountain » Mon Oct 08, 2012 10:12 am

Sorry for the life story but it displays the effectiveness of these walkies:

Couple weeks ago went camping with a good buddy who wouldn't be caught dead hiking up a mountain so he chilled at camp and I went and did my thing. He had Midland GTX Pro series walkie talkies and gave me one.

These things were badass! I was way high up on the ridge and the camp was nestled across another drainage basin over a ridge crest (~4 miles away as the crow flies), well out of sight range and we could hear one another very well. If our camp was in the drainage basin below the ridge I was on I'm certain we would have had perfect reception.
Everyday is a G r A t E f U L Day here in the CO

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Re: CB Radios?

Postby jdorje » Mon Oct 08, 2012 11:28 am

Doug Shaw wrote:If you're looking to climb local mountains where you just need to communicate with part of your group that is lagging behind, just get a set of FRS radios. They have a range of ~2mi (dependent on a lot of factors), are cheap, and don't require any sort of license for use.


This.

Doug Shaw wrote:If you're looking to communicate with someone over a few miles away (say, at home in Denver from your position on Sneffels) then you're looking at probably needing to move into amateur radio which will be generally far more expensive and requires passing the "HAM" licensing test for use, understanding how repeaters work, etc.

Of course it's 2012; once you're up high there's a decent chance you could just use a cell phone.


Yeah, for distance communication cell phones are great these days. They aren't so hot for on-mountain communication though because the chance of both parties having reception at the same time is lower.

Picked up a pair of Midland X-TRA TALK GXT1000VP4 for about $50. Midland was recommended above and these get the highest rating of any low-cost FRS set. There were some complaints about the batteries, so we'll see how it goes. (EDIT: the specs list them at 1.25 pounds each, also a concern.)

EDIT: P.S. thanks for the replies.
-Jason Dorje Short

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