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Old 01-18-2018, 11:59 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2017
Posts: 13
Question Radio Communications for Virginia -> Canada -> Alaska Trip

Hey Jeepers,

So I've got a honeymoon trip coming up where I'll be going from Martinsville VA to Fairbanks Alaska via the ALCAN Highway through Canada. Looking forward to the trip, I'm taking my 2006 Golden Eagle!!!

However I've been trying to figure out what mobile radio communication I'm going to be taking with me, and what issues I might run into when crossing the border into Canada and then back into Alaska !

So far I realize I have three main choices, CB, GMRS (Includes FRS) and HAM. From my understanding I get the following:
  • CB Radio - No license required to operate, but limited in output watts and range
  • GMRS - Need license in US, but not in Canada, but Canada has major restriction on power output
  • HAM - Need to get my Techincal license, I think the license allows me to use it in Canada, longer communication.

I do want to say I will be bringing my cellphone, and I will be getting a prepaid SIM once I'm in Canada so I will have a voice and data as well. Also looking at getting a SPOT as well.

Any and all information would be helpful! I'm thinking about getting the GMRS license anyway because I life on a huge property as we have FRS walkies already so I could just get one mounted in my Wranglers so I don't have to use one of the walkies.

Thank you for any information you have! Like I said I've been researching this for about a month and trying to cypher through all the information has been challenging!

Thanks
Grant

disjaukifa is offline   Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 03:50 PM   #2
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 597
If you want to use a radio to communicate with others, mostly truckers, about road hazards etc., a CB is your best bet with the tallest antenna you can stand. Many truckers still use a CB, usually on Channel 19, the trucker's channel for most areas of the US except the west coast, where they tend to use Channel 17, so I'm told.

A CB with a good antenna will get you a few miles of communicating distance, depending on a lot of things. Just don't expect too much out of it, generally speaking. That goes for the GMRS as well, if you can find anyone monitoring with that equipment.

I don't know about what goes on in Canada, but I assume the CB would be the most common radio encountered on the road there, too.

A Ham license and rig would be nice, but it's much too involved for me. Even though a Ham rig on a vehicle can potentially reach much farther than the CB or other alternatives you mentioned, to get significantly longer distances out of it you need to know where the signal repeaters are located and at what frequencies they operate, and you still have to have someone on that frequency at any given time to hear you. There are sources of information that can give you the repeater locations and frequencies out there, but every few miles on a trip you need to continually change to the frequency of any given repeater in order to communicate through it. I'm not enthusiastic enough to employ the technology, although I know it's fun for those who are.

Good luck on your trip!

Airstreamer67 is offline   Quote
Old 01-19-2018, 08:26 PM   #3
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Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Elkford BC
Posts: 245
CB pretty much non existent up here. FRS Gmrs you wont hear anything from truckers, maybe some family members--friends travelling together. Ham radio use Ladd one 154.100 but even that has really slowed down. The chatter up here is a far cry from what you hear down "south"..all depends on where you are though. You can do it all on one radio if you buy a dual band "ham"
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