two way communications radio

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I am NOT interested in getting into any kind of HAM situation that requires a license or anything complicated. I am just looking for a two way hand held radio that can connect me with emergency services. I have a set of cabelas walkie talkies already.

Is there anything like that out there except for a satellite phone?
thanks
 

42!

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Marine radio, not much good away from the water. CB but there is no official monitoring so if no one is listening your SOL.
Only reliable is going to be the Sat Phone.

I suppose if there are emergency services in range and you call on their freq they'll forgive you if its a real emergency. But even this leaves you relying on someone being there when there is no requirement that the freq be monitored.
 
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Marine radio, not much good away from the water. CB but there is no official monitoring so if no one is listening your SOL.
Only reliable is going to be the Sat Phone.

I suppose if there are emergency services in range and you call on their freq they'll forgive you if its a real emergency. But even this leaves you relying on someone being there when there is no requirement that the freq be monitored.

That is pretty much what my research showed. I do appreciate you taking the time to confirm it.
 

cockpitbob

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Unless you are right on the water, skip the marine radio. No one will be listening.
I don't think most emergency services monitor anything but their own radios, and if you're in a small rural area, maybe not even that. So, the goal would be to make contact with someone, anyone able to relay a message. I would use CB. Though CB is much lower frequency that the VHF and UFH radios and can do atmospheric skip on occasions, it mostly travels by line of sight. You are also limited to 4Watts. But, there are lots of people listening and with CB you can rig an external up high (up to 20' above the highest point on the house). That will help get you out there. You can also make your own Jpole antenna from copper pipe or old TV twin-lead antenna wire(google CB Jpole). A Jpole is simple and has some "gain", meaning it focuses the waves horizontally so less is wasted by going vertically into the atmosphere.
 

Matt_SERE

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Not inexpensive but look into services that come with DeLorme inReach type devices. That may send you down the right path if it doesn't suit your needs.

Good luck.
 

Mr. Brownstone

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It is my understanding that you do not need a ham license to own and listen in on ham radios. You only need a license to broadcast. The exception being in emergency situations. Meaning you could use one to summon help if you had no other way.

I have no cite for this, so do your own digging. Just what I remember reading.
 
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I thought channel 9 was monitored and reserved for emergencies on the CB. Or does this not happen anymore?


http://www.cobra.com/news/using-cb-radio-emergency-communication-it-can-still-save-your-life

[FONT=&quot]The CB Radio is the original user-generated community of alerts, road threats and emergency warnings. The CB Radio also creates a unified channel for outside agencies to monitor. [/FONT]Channel 9[FONT=&quot] was issued by the FCC for emergency communication and is scanned by US agencies, such as police, rescue for medical emergencies, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and lost motorists.[/FONT]
 

cockpitbob

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I thought channel 9 was monitored and reserved for emergencies on the CB. Or does this not happen anymore?


http://www.cobra.com/news/using-cb-radio-emergency-communication-it-can-still-save-your-life

[FONT="]The CB Radio is the original user-generated community of alerts, road threats and emergency warnings. The CB Radio also creates a unified channel for outside agencies to monitor. [/FONT][/COLOR][URL="http://www.nat-com.org/cbfaq.htm%20"]Channel 9[/URL][FONT="] was issued by the FCC for emergency communication and is scanned by US agencies, such as police, rescue for medical emergencies, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and lost motorists.[/FONT]
If that's true...great!

Hmmm. I just googled this subject and mostly got hits for discussion forums. The consensus was that CH9 is monitored by police, etc., but those discussions were 10-20 years old.

From Wikipedia
With the popularity of cellular phones, support for Channel 9 as an emergency channel has diminished, though volunteer organizations such as REACT (Radio Emergency Associated Communications Teams), and private individuals still monitor Channel 9 in some (particularly rural) areas.

I think it's like anything else. Have a layered approach. CB plus WalMart FRS walkie talkies, etc.
 

cb1

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I looked into CB's a couple years ago and was rather disappointed with what I found, particularly with the handheld ones. Depending on where you live, their range can be extremely poor. Unless an immediate neighbor is listening and/or a first responder you may be out of luck. As cockpitbob suggested you may be able to rig up an antenna to help with that.

The other issue may be that no one is even listening. I know my local PD was getting annoyed with people listening to their communications with scanners so they started shifting to cell phones.
 

cockpitbob

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The other issue may be that no one is even listening. I know my local PD was getting annoyed with people listening to their communications with scanners so they started shifting to cell phones.
Now I'm curious. What was it about people listening that annoyed them?
 
M

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I thought channel 9 was monitored and reserved for emergencies on the CB. Or does this not happen anymore?


http://www.cobra.com/news/using-cb-radio-emergency-communication-it-can-still-save-your-life

[FONT=&amp]The CB Radio is the original user-generated community of alerts, road threats and emergency warnings. The CB Radio also creates a unified channel for outside agencies to monitor. [/FONT]Channel 9[FONT=&amp] was issued by the FCC for emergency communication and is scanned by US agencies, such as police, rescue for medical emergencies, accidents, vehicle breakdowns, and lost motorists.[/FONT]

9 and 19 I had thought, but I could be wrong.

I have a pair of Midland LXT118VP 22-Channel GMRS radios that I wouldn't mind getting rid of. Never bothered to take them out of the box.
 
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Thought the same thing, decided on ham. Testing in november. Its 15 bucks, and the technician material is easy.

Mike

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cockpitbob

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Thought the same thing, decided on ham. Testing in november. Its 15 bucks, and the technician material is easy.

Mike

Sent from my cell phone with a tiny keyboard and large thumbs...
Mike, you've got time to grind through a bunch of practice tests for the General Class license. If you pass the Tech, taking the General is free so there's no reason no to give it a try. Having the General will allow you to operate on all the HF (short wave) bands and opens up the whole globe to you.
 

42!

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Monitoring of CB channel 9 is an informal thing, there is no requirement that it be monitored or agency/group required to do so. It pretty much died with the rise of cell phones.

GMRS requires a license and and what you buy at Walmart is very low powered. Better off getting a ham tech licence.

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk
 
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9 and 19 I had thought, but I could be wrong.

I have a pair of Midland LXT118VP 22-Channel GMRS radios that I wouldn't mind getting rid of. Never bothered to take them out of the box.


I think they said the trucker use 19...

[FONT=&amp]Listen with Channel 19[/FONT]
[FONT=&amp]Channel 19 is the unofficial trucker information channel. Beyond entertainment purposes (for which many are well acquainted) trucker chatter can be lifesaving.

I took my tech exam at the Boxborough show. I'm planning on taking my general exam in October...[/FONT]
 
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drgrant

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Now I'm curious. What was it about people listening that annoyed them?

Probably because some busybody/kravitz/etc would call the PD and comment about something they heard on the air instead of keeping their piehole shut.

A lot of towns a scanner nowadays is pretty much worthless for all but the most basic calls, because anything "interesting" doesn't go over the air anymore.

-Mike
 

fog

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I'm not sure any license-free radios are going to be much use to you in reaching someone else. I'd recommend something like the DeLorme mentioned earlier (haven't used one myself, but satellite vs. local cell network could be helpful), or biting the bullet and studying for a ham license.

Admittedly I've only been in a handful of dispatch centers, but I'm not aware of any that monitor CB channel 9. The people I've heard on CB have been a bunch of hooligans, but maybe I haven't spent enough time listening.

FRS won't go far. GMRS technically requires a license, but the days of REACT are long gone. (They actually technically exist. I have a GMRS license and all the GMRS frequencies in a scanner, though, and never hear anything but FRS traffic.) You're not going to get anyone who's not close by.

In an emergency, it's true that you can use whatever means are necessary to summon help. _But_, as far as transmitting on the local police or fire frequencies, good luck. Most scanner guides don't publish the repeater inputs for good reason, and in my experience, the PL/DPL inputs to the repeater are rarely the same as the ones on the output. They don't want random people coming up on their repeater, so they're not going to make it easy. That assumes they're not already digital. (And the fact that it's _legal_ to own a radio that's capable of transmitting on public safety frequencies doesn't mean that they're not going to give you a whole lot of grief about it if they find it.)

You could buy a ham radio without a license for emergencies only, but isn't that like someone who's never fired a gun buying a shotgun "for emergencies" and never practicing with it? I passed my ham license before I was a teenager, and I've got plenty of people that can attest that I'm pretty dumb. Get your license, get active, and you'll have no trouble in an actual emergency.
 

cockpitbob

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You could buy a ham radio without a license for emergencies only, but isn't that like someone who's never fired a gun buying a shotgun "for emergencies" and never practicing with it? I passed my ham license before I was a teenager, and I've got plenty of people that can attest that I'm pretty dumb. Get your license, get active, and you'll have no trouble in an actual emergency.
Valid point. Even for the simplest radios there are some things to know to be confident you'll be able to make contact. An emergency situation is a crappy time to be reading the manual and wishing the internet worked so you could look up what you need to know.

Getting the license does take a little time but it's not that hard. Most people here have heard me brag about my son that took the Tech in a Day with me when he was 11. He got his Tech that day and got 50% on the general test. Every evening after school he hit the QRZ.com practice tests and 2 weeks later got his General. That's not a fair comparison, of course, since he was basically just memorizing the correct answers, and at that age kids can really memorize.
 
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weekendracer

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I don't know of any LEO's that have CB's installed anymore. Simply a matter of space: service radio, computer, tray for donuts, there just isn't room. We had them in our trucks to hear the loggers calling out markers when the snow made passing an issue. It came in handy a couple of times to get help, I heard the guy and got out with my radio and help was sent.

Marine radios, I know for a fact that a lot (ok, maybe just some) of truckers use them because the range is longer, at least up in Maine. Our service radios had a couple marine radio freqs in the system.

If you are using a HAM to get help, just tell them you need to be arrested for breaking FCC rules and to come get you. Problem solved.
 
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I don't know of any LEO's that have CB's installed anymore. Simply a matter of space: service radio, computer, tray for donuts, there just isn't room. We had them in our trucks to hear the loggers calling out markers when the snow made passing an issue. It came in handy a couple of times to get help, I heard the guy and got out with my radio and help was sent.

Marine radios, I know for a fact that a lot (ok, maybe just some) of truckers use them because the range is longer, at least up in Maine. Our service radios had a couple marine radio freqs in the system.

If you are using a HAM to get help, just tell them you need to be arrested for breaking FCC rules and to come get you. Problem solved.

You can use any and all means of communication to summon help If you have a verifiable emergency. Just what constitutes an emergency?? Thats up to the FCC to decide,
 
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I have had a scanner with Ham recieving capabilities for a while. I just signed up for the class and exam. I think its a good thing to have. YMMV
 
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