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  #1  
Old 3 Mar 2009
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Vehicle to vehicle communications

I have travelled with a few people that have had a pair of radios so that we have been able to talk with each other without stopping or pulling up next to each other.

Any suggestions for a cheap and useful setup?

Edited Note: They need to charge from a 12 volt source.

Last edited by roamingyak.org; 3 Mar 2009 at 14:13.
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Old 3 Mar 2009
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I have used the 'Alan' radio's bought from Maplin for bike-to-bike comms, and they worked very well. £50 each.

This is the latest version of that setup, but they do loads of radio's to suit your budget:

Motorcycle PMR Kit > Maplin
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Old 3 Mar 2009
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Most of the small "walkie talkies" will charge from 12v they come with a 240v transformer on the plug, however, again as above, Maplins do have a 12v down to vitrually any voltage.
Other than that why not go for a couple of CB's? Once fitted to the car they just sit there until you need them. If you want mobility you could then purchase a hand held CB, only problem is they use a lot of battery power.
Many if the cheaper PMR's will only give line-of-sight communication, put a hill in the way and you'll lose contact, normally they'll quote 3-5km range, you'll probably only get that if you can wave to each other, good if you only want to chat from car to car when one behind the other.
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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This might be better:

Atlantis 2-Way VHF Marine Radio > Maplin

- 5w output, not 5 milliwatt. With any V/UHF system you still only get line of sight, and a hill will block anything, and I'm guessing you can't afford sattelite phones!

You could consider taking a DC - AC inverter...
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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12v

Hi Darrin,

One thing to consider is how many people in one convoy that you may want to speak with. Although I have seen some people with CBs, I have seen more with two way radios and you can buy more two way radios for your buck (I think). If its just you and one other, then this isn't important


I am not home at the moment, but when I am I will check ours which all came with a 12v charger and were £50 for 4 from ebay. we have tested them in line of sight and they are great. Beyond that, wel lI don't hold much hope .......
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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We used a mix of PMR and CB when in Morocco and I found that the PMRs just didn't have the range in places like the dunes where you didn't have the line of sight - this is where the CBs worked better.

As a compromise consider getting some hand held CBs, but ones that can be plugged in to external aerials when you are in the car.
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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A pair of these with a car kit and external antenna will work OK and you can use them out of the car as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave ett View Post
This might be better:

Atlantis 2-Way VHF Marine Radio > Maplin

- 5w output, not 5 milliwatt. With any V/UHF system you still only get line of sight, and a hill will block anything, and I'm guessing you can't afford sattelite phones!

You could consider taking a DC - AC inverter...
Don't forget Marine VHF is illegal for onshore communications. Using these frequencies within receiver range of a coast or inlet will not endear you to sailors or the coastguard etc.
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Oh. Don't do it then - my bad!
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Hi I use two of these bike to bike:

803 Pro Radio

They work very well and give a range of over 5k if used with the remote aerial. They can also be easily user uprated to run at higher wattage to give more range (apparently) Only where legal to do so . They can also be run from 12volts. Which is how i have them set up.

I have had good service from this company and am in no way connected to them, just my own experience.
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Most radios are illegal where we travel, and I'm sure we all know that.

On the pragmatic side, however, I like vehicle mounted CBs with linear amps.

Pros:
Better range than handhelds
Clearer than the handhelds
Louder than the handhelds
Powered from the vehicle
Cheap

Cons:
Usually need to hide it and the antenna in some urban areas and borders
Cheap, but not as cheap as handhelds
Have to be semi-permanently mounted


I've a lot of ham radios too, but I don't travel outside of the EU/USA with them, as I don't want an $$$ radio confiscated. A 50 quid CB I don't care about.
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Old 4 Mar 2009
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Are they illegal? News to me! Why? Frequencies reserved etc

Anything that requires installation of an arial is out of the question. It is not for an organised convoy/expedition, but for random other vehicles that you hook up with along the way.
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Old 5 Mar 2009
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CB's or any radio comms are illegal in a lot of countries, I think the reasoning being that some governments don't like groups of people organised with radios etc.
Certainly illegal in Morocco, Libya, not sure which others.
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Old 6 Mar 2009
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I used a 50 watt ham radio (2 metre band) in Morocco - Germans seem to like them - and got ranges from 2 to 20 miles plus from high ground. They are illegal anywhere without aham licence. Aerials are of critiacl importance. I used a roof mounted 1/4 wave about 18 inches long on the 110 which worked a treat. A taller aerial will work better but be more obvious.

Andrew.
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Old 6 Mar 2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eightpot View Post
CB's or any radio comms are illegal in a lot of countries, I think the reasoning being that some governments don't like groups of people organised with radios etc.
Certainly illegal in Morocco, Libya, not sure which others.
And Tunisia, they'll confiscate at the border on the way in, they'll give it back when you leave though.

I've had over 30 miles out of my CB in the UK, from Swanage to the other side of Southampton (Hedge End), and that s just a standard rig. However in Tunisia, on the open road, if I can't see the vehicle then I'll probably not be able to talk to it either, not sure why but that's how it is.
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