UHF or VHF

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Fuddley
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UHF or VHF

Post by Fuddley » 06 March 10 4:28 pm

We are considering buying a hand held Radio for when we are on the road, and out caching etc. I have know idea about these type of things and was wondering if anyone here may be able to point me in the right direction. The only thing that I have gathered is the the higher the wattage the better the range (and higher the cost). What I need to know is UHF or VHF, and is there anything to stay away from?

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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Geof » 06 March 10 7:01 pm

VHF is for aircraft, water craft, amateur radio, commercial 2 way radio (and a host of other things).

What your average joe calls uhf is what you want.

Take a read of this: http://www.acma.gov.au/WEB/STANDARD/1001/pc=PC_1688

Not a lot of people use HF CB (27Mhz) these days.
Last edited by Geof on 06 March 10 7:04 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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andiamo
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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by andiamo » 06 March 10 7:02 pm

Hi Richard

UHF is your car radio, and VHF is the equivalent marine radio. GME is Australian made and seems to be a reliable, reputable brand - we have had no trouble with it. Uniden is an imported item which we have not heard any bad things about and Icom is another brand which has had some good reviews in 4WD magazines.

If you are after a hand held model, look for one that accepts an external aerial, as that will give you a similar range to an in-car unit. Also see if you can find one you can plug into you 12v system so that you are not relying on the batteries all the time.

Depending on your budget, go for as high a wattage as you can - the 5 watt models will give you the greatest range. The 1 watt and 3 watt models do not give much range and are not much more than toys - handy if you're not far from the person you want to talk to.
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Big Matt and Shell
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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Big Matt and Shell » 06 March 10 7:08 pm

I'll toss my 3 cents worth.

UHF is more widely used. UHF CB channels 1 - 40 are commonly used and in a lot of areas the repeater channels and some others like 35 are monitored by services such as CREST for emergencies.

I have used a lot of different hand held units in my roles within the RFS. Until recently I though you couldn't go past Uniden but at Christmas I bought a new unit that is a dual band WOUXUN KG-UVD1P it seems to be a fantastic unit that has survived a few good knocks and some heat but best of all it covers such a huge range of frequencies.

Mine came with a cable to program it from the computer so a quick search to get the UHF CB Frequencies and I had not only those but all the RFS VHF ops frequencies programmed into the unit. I think it is a great unit and at the price (~100 AUD) it has 2-5 times the broadcast power of similar priced handhelds.

Hope that helps.

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Mr Router
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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Mr Router » 06 March 10 9:32 pm

Heres my 2 cents ! power output does make a difference in some situations ! but by the nature of the frequency range that uhf cb works in, line of sight is a big consideration and the gain of the aerial you are using, a 12 db base aerial in undulating country is no where near as effective as a 6db as the higher the gain the narrower the radiation spread pattern, which does not penetrate in to the gully's but skips straight over !
in saying this i have a good example! i have a 6inch no gain omni aerial in the middle of the roof of the pajero which out preforms most other mobile installations of friends in my forbie club ! purely because it is low/no gain with a good ground plane.
477 meg is a strange beast ! from the top of the right hill i have worked repeaters several hundred k's away with 500 mw's, then you move 2 foot side ways and lose everything ! in a nut shell it's all location, location !

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Tui65
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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Tui65 » 09 March 10 9:47 am

G'Day Richard,

Just so it's not so confusing, what you need is a UHF, 5 watt, 40 Chanel

Channel 40 is the most common one, Thats the one the Truckies are on, I know the language can be a bit colourful around the Cities so because of this and the fact they are all talking garbage anyway I turn my twoway off around the Cities.

Have a look on ebay, there is often a few good Radios on there, Just make sure you know what they are worth before you bid.

The cheapest place I have found in Aus to buy new is Prestige Communications they even post for free, Here's a link http://www.prestigecom.net.au/index.php?main_page=index

Regards
John

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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Sky Dog » 22 March 10 11:55 am

The hang gliding fraternity uses UHF. The most common unit is the ICOM 40S or ICOM 41S handhelds.
http://www.icom-australia.com/products/ ... c-41s.html

These are 5W units that are switchable to 1W to save battery power.

I also have a Uniden 1W handheld unit.

The GME 3W units are excellent as well. I have used them with great success.
http://www.gme.net.au/products/radio-co ... elds/TX680
They are a quality low cost alternative between the el cheapos and the high end stuff.
Being in the electronics industry, I know a number of the design engineers at GME here in Sydney and found them to be very knowledgeable about RF design i.e. they know what works and what doesn't.

When you fly cross country or in competitions, you need the radio to stay in touch with each other in air, and also with the retrieve driver.

With ground to ground communications there is not a lot of difference with range between the 1W setting and the 5W setting. However even a small amount of elevation will dramatically increase the range. From just 1000 ft up the range can increase from 3km to over 20km. At 5,000ft the range can be over 40km.

You can buy the el cheapo units (e.g. $50 a pair) from Dick Smiths etc. They work if you want short range comms (like <1km). What you pay for in the more expensive units is better electronics. For example the receiver electronics are more sensitive and less noisy.

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Richary
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Re: UHF or VHF

Post by Richary » 22 March 10 9:29 pm

Apart from the 5 watt in car radio I have one of the little 1 watt handhelds. Part of the limitation of these is generally the antenna is too short to be really efficient. However it was purchased for 4WDing, and being able to get out of the car and help guide someone up or down a track (so short range work).

That said I have (from on top of one mountain) been able to get into a repeater about 100km on another mountain with it.

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