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Old 24 Oct 2001
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Location: London England
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2- Way Radio's (good idea or not??)

Greetings happy people

I am in the process of planning a trip from Cape Town along the East coast of Africa in Jan 2003. For the meantime I am trying to plan this as meticulously as possibly.

I am going to travel with my mate Jonathan, and I was thinking that having some sort of communication tool would be of a significant advantage. here in London right now I can pop into Dixons and get two poxy little 2-way radio's for under £100 that have a two mile radius and hands free kits with them.

other than the obvious security aspect, my only concern is that it may look like a threat to certain official bastards. i.e I dont want to be taken for a spy as I am shooting around some dodgy territory. I asked the salesman in Dixons if they are allowed worldwide, and he knew nothing.

If anyone has used them before, and I know they have some valid uses (Topless Aussies suntanning two clicks south east ghostrider!)
Let me know what you thought of them..

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Old 25 Oct 2001
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Arnhem, Netherlands
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As far as i know they are so called Low Power Devices (LPD's), transmitting with max. 0.5 watts somewhere around 440 MHz. They are regulated in many countries around Europe, but i don't know the official status according to worldwide telecommunications organisations like IARU.

However you can't expect the average egyptian border officer to forget every rule you don't like and remember this one little exotic thingy. Cannot add anything from my own experience though.

I recall a thread in another forum on this topic on this board. Search around.


Planning to travel to Maroc / Mauritania / Senegal around april 2002.
The best planning is to go!
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Old 7 Nov 2001
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Location: Cairo, Egypt
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Funny you mention Egypt! I live in Egypt and we use these 2 way radios all the time but we always HIDE them when approaching check points. Any kind of 2 way radios communication require a license no matter how low frequency it is. Having said that I don't really want to scare you since as I said we use them all the time and never had problems before. Just don't use them around check points.

OasisPhoto.com – Images from the Magical Sahara.
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Old 9 Feb 2002
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My experience is along the wester edge of the sahara and the coastal countries just south of there....
Our group of 4 LRs used fixed mount U.S. Citizen Band radios (27mhz band), and had a few handhelds for backup.
US law limits these to 4 watt output, but our local radio shop fixed them before the trip so they were more like 6-8w. We fitted each vehicle with a removeable antenna.
Going into morocco we were warned they were ok to use inside the country, but would be siezed if seen at the border. We removed everything and hid them, and did this for every border crossing and known checkpoint. For local checkpoints we turned them off, and removed the mikes or dropped them behind the seat.
At the the convoy crossing to mauritania a border guard helped himself to a portable radio from another group of travelers, but that wasn't official, just something he wanted.
Otherwise the few officials who noticed we had radios assumed we were with an aid group or an embassy, as they usually have radios.
They were invaluable when we got seperated in traffic, the last guy in line had to stop for something, letting each other know its safe to pass on a mountain road, etc....

Ed Messenger
VRAA Expedition Society
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