Need two way radio for cross country ride. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 7 Old May 19th, 2014, 8:43 am Thread Starter
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Need two way radio for cross country ride.

We are both riding LTs with voice 2.

Helmets are wired with speakers and mic.

What do you suggest for a pair of radios?

Why am I here and what day is it??
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post #2 of 7 Old May 19th, 2014, 6:39 pm
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

Depends upon how close to each other you will always be and if you have use for them in the future.

Made in china small pocket size programable VHF-UHF rigs with low power settings that one can attach an external antenna to, using a push to talk cable, might be the most dependable route. without the low power setting you might wind up having to put distance between y'all to clearly understand the other person. Assuming you'll always be close, one can use a rubber-ducky type antenna. the advantage to the external antenna is that the rig can be placed anywhere you have room while with the rubber duckies you'll probably need to keep it vert. that type of rig has programable tones which are transmitted to open the other persons receiver.

If you pick up units capable of operating on ham bands they will typically have a higher re-sale value than straight FRS rigs.

bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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post #3 of 7 Old May 19th, 2014, 7:01 pm
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

A couple of things:

1. Be certain you are not using VHF/UHF radios of any kind that operate in the HAM bands unless you have a HAM license. These are reasonably easy to get with the advent of no Morse code requirements now, but does require obtaining a no-code Technician class license with a little study. Unlicensed operation in HAM bands will net you an expensive fine from the FCC, and there is a very high probability that some legal operators will locate you quickly, as we practice direction finding quite a bit for fun.

If you are interested in getting a HAM license, I highly recommend the Gordon West Radio series available here:

http://www.w5yi.org/catalog_details.php?pid=76&sort=5

The actual examination is done by a group of three volunteer examiners who are Extra class ham operators certified by a number of different agencies. W5YI-VEC is one of the agencies, and the ARRL-VEC is another. Your local HAM radio groups usually provide test session availability, but W5YI-VEC and ARRL-VEC both maintain a list of examiners in specific locations that you can contact.


2. FRS radios do not require a license, and the GMRS radios do require a license. The FRS radios are a good bet at reasonable cost and a lot of riders I know do use them.

As a general rule, FM radios will give a nice range without all the static and noise that is on the 27mhz citizens band allocation. Additionally, many of the FRS radios have a selective code squelch capability to only activate the squelch when those in your group transmit. Proximity is not really an issue with portable radios receivers overloading by being to close. Power settings on the portables are solely to determine transmit power, which in turn determines battery life. High power transmit = shorter battery life.

Some of the Chinese radios which are programmable are not type accepted by the FCC and are illegal for use in the US. The other problem is that programmable radios are capable of transmitting in frequency allocations of other licensed services, and will cause serious legal consequences for unlicensed operation on someone else's frequency and causing interference.

Doug Stracener
2011 RT polar metallic
Attorney,
MSF #127350,
Instructor, Motorcycle Safety Program Louisiana Department of Public Safety
NAUI Scuba Instructor #36288
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Last edited by ka5ysy; May 19th, 2014 at 7:18 pm.
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post #4 of 7 Old May 19th, 2014, 8:11 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

Thanks, off to the internet I go......

Why am I here and what day is it??
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post #5 of 7 Old May 21st, 2014, 7:15 pm
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

FRS- easy.
Kenwood has a good unit.

I used to have it tied into Autocom. My buddy just used it straight. I there are some throat Mics available

David Major
Charleston, SC
-2003 LT
-2007 GS Adventure. White
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post #6 of 7 Old May 21st, 2014, 8:07 pm Thread Starter
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

Thanks,, will go looking...... Got a model number by chance?

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post #7 of 7 Old May 24th, 2014, 2:06 am
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Re: Need two way radio for cross country ride.

Its easy to look up what service has assigned frequencies. Programing the rigs is confusing the first few times you do it if you have rigs dual band rigs that monitor both VHF and UHF.

A few years ago I bought Baofeng rigs with the base charger, larger rechargable battery, case, programing cable, and tried a throat mic, garbled. If I remember correctly it use a fairly common mic-speaker connector.

I went with the dual band so that if I was in a group ride that split into two groups I could monitor both groups. Unfortunately riders with rigs had CBs, were used to CBs, and had glazed looks when i tried to explain the advantage of getting a way from CB.

Ifin I rem correctly FRs radios are not allowed to have a way to install and external antenna to them--a disadvantage if you want to store the unit in your bike while using it.

Once you set up a rig with a way to "key" the mic, having access to it isn't necessary.

When I'm xcountry riding, if I want to I can program it to access ham radio repeaters and chat with locals. With my 1X3 call I'm considered as an entry level operator. :-))

If you wind up in a dead cell phone area and need help you have the potential to find it via programing your rig. Passing the Tech exam, takem on-line till you easily pass it allows you to legally use a ham band for help. Hams have repeaters, receive one one frequency and simultaneous transmit on another in high elevation locations, plus can link repeaters together. Net result is its possible to be in a dead zone for cell phones but access a repeater.

Best from T'son
Bob

"He was a foul caricature of himself, a man with no soul, no inner convictions, with the integrity of a hyena, and the style of a poison toad." H. S. Thompson
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