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Thread: Communication between 2 vehicles

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    Member tboehm's Avatar
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    Default Communication between 2 vehicles

    We will be caravanning with uhaul and truck following. Obviously we will have cells but sure there are plenty of areas that coverage would be spotty. Does anyone have suggestions about a back up. I know cb's would be one but don't know if I wanted to spend that much on getting 2. I know the walkie talkie are another but the range is always lousy and they never get what they say. Does anyone know of ones that have truly longer range that work well?
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    Member theultrarider's Avatar
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    Just how often do you intend to not be within sight of each other if traveling together? Most walkie talkies of today will more than meet your requirement. On the top of the list would be the bca radio's that are sold at most any snowmachining dealer. They aren't cheap at about $150:each. But most riding the mountians with sleds in Alaska all have them. They have great range easy to use and very durable. I would suggest picking a pair up for your trip, so that you have them to use down the road once you get settled in up here.

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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    "Spotty" is an understatement for sure. I can call in Canada but can't text unless the stars align properly. CB's are your best bet even if you pick up some cheap ones in a pawn shop. They would also be useful to talk to truckers concerning road conditions.

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    It's mostly through Canada smoke signals work fine, aye.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tboehm View Post
    I know the walkie talkie are another but the range is always lousy and they never get what they say. Does anyone know of ones that have truly longer range that work well?
    Ho long has it been since you've used FRS radios? They've come a long ways in the last few years. Some tout 20 mile range, but of course that's within optimum conditions like on the water. But, if you are fairly close, a few miles, then you really should have no problem hearing with good clear coms. I've been on a few trips with them and for the most part they've been great.
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    Member Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patsfan54 View Post
    It's mostly through Canada smoke signals work fine, aye.
    This is only legal on the reservations up there.

    Hillary moved to NY and I moved out.


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    I would NEVER condone violating the rules and regulations of a foreign country like Canada.

    That being said, AM radio, like a CB or MARINE VHF travel farther than the typical FM based solutions like FRS. Options like MARINE VHF while technically only legal for marine purposes, would be ideal for such a situation. Additionally, although MARINE VHF is only legal on the water, if someone were to buy a pair of $60 radios or a single boat mounted 12V radio talking to a $60 handheld, a guy could get far more range than an FRS radio, and then have a couple good radios for when that said guy later uses MARINE VHF for it's intended purposes in Alaska on a boat of some sort.

    Further more, there are some channels that are intended for ship to ship conversations which are not regularly monitored by USCG, or Canadian Forces, like channel 72 or similar.
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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post

    That being said, AM radio, like a CB or MARINE VHF travel farther than the typical FM based solutions like FRS.
    As far as CB goes that totally depends on propagation. For the most part, yes, it can work well enough. But at times during high sunspot activity (usually summertime) there is so much hash and trash (skip) coming in (usually by "pirate" Asian countries heard in AK.) that it can totally wipe out the legal CB frequencies where you can't hear who you want over a mile away. I don't know how propagation is lately as I haven't had my HAM station up for a few years now, so can't elaborate further on that. But for real good coms like tboehm is wanting the best (legal) thing would be with 2meter FM radios, as these days it's kind of like what CB used to be. 2meter use is the entry level HAM ops. Unfortunately though you do need a license. Easy to get (no Morse code now) but none the less a license is still needed to be legal to talk on those VHF frequencies. You can also use repeaters, linked repeaters, and phone patch as well with 2meter privileges.
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    Member Music Man's Avatar
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    Back in the early 70's Canada would seal your mike for the CB in a bag so you couldn't use it and it was checked when you left that the seal was not broken. I wonder what their regulations are now on CB and FRS and VHF use there?
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    Member bkmail's Avatar
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    I have used an inexpensive pair of walkie talkies, they worked perfect and prob less than $100-.
    The recent ones are much better and I would highly recommend them for your purpose.

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    New member Paul H's Avatar
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    When we moved up we got a pair of cheap cb radios with magnetic antennas. They worked fine and I'd do the same again.

    With a ~4000 mile trip, guaranteed you won't have both vehicles in eye sight the whole trip.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

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    There is a APP for cell phones that will let you track the location of your friend when you or they get lost.

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    Member 4merguide's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Music Man View Post
    Back in the early 70's Canada would seal your mike for the CB in a bag so you couldn't use it and it was checked when you left that the seal was not broken. I wonder what their regulations are now on CB and FRS and VHF use there?
    Wide open now unless you use a modified radio that allows you to transmit on the ham bands without a license, or other AM frequencies that aren't legal for use which usually means above and below the regular 40 CB channels....ie "pirate" radios. Believe it or not some troopers/LEO now are actually trained to look for these types of radios....
    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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    Member aces-n-eights's Avatar
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    When we drove up 10 years ago, I was driving a pickup with slide-in camper pulling a trailer and the wife was following in our sedan. We used FRS type walkie talkies. We found that if i was leading, we had intermittent reception. We figured out the radio signal had to travel thru the camper and the trailer and sometimes didn't work. If she lead in the sedan we had almost perfect reception.
    English is an odd language. It can understood through tough thorough thought, though.

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    Member hogfamily's Avatar
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    This spring my oldest son and I drove separate vehicles to Fairbanks from ANC to Salcha on the Parks and back on the Rich. We used Motorola hand helds. There were times we were separated miles apart and out of site of each other without any issues.

    Bought the radios at Costco several years ago. Two for about $60.

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