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I wheel with people from two local 4X4 clubs here in British Columbia. Nobody uses CB radios and I've been told by several people that I need to get a vhf/uhf radio for my Jeep. I had to borrow someone's handheld on the last run. I'm actually going camping this week where there's no cell signal and hopefully nothing happens because I think my CB will be next to useless in an emergency. What are some good radios that are good bang for your buck?
 

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Also look in https://www.wranglerforum.com/f40/

I'm assuming you're after a mobile radio (not handheld). Pick a known brand and shop around - Kenwood or Yaesu are good. Don't get anything cheap that does not use superhet.

eg here's some in the $125-$150 price range

https://www.mtcradio.com/kenwood-tm-281a-144-mhz-mobile-65-watt/
https://www.mtcradio.com/yaesu-ft-2980r-2-meter-vhf-heavy-duty-80-watt-mobile-transceiver/

For antennas get something that works without a ground plan unless you want the antenna on the hood, and mount it up high. Use RG58 not the super thin coax as it has too much loss. Keep coax short. Don't get an antenna which folds or has tricky coils half way up as they tend to fall apart or break on trees. I use a laird NGP antenna part B1442N for $25.
https://www.lairdconnect.com/part/b1442n
 

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Also if you're out on your own outside cell / repeater range consider a spot https://www.findmespot.com/en/ or garmin inreach https://explore.garmin.com/en-US/inreach/. They use different satellite constellations and have different features & prices but both work well.


I have the inreach and can send my position + text message to either an email or text message to a phone. The recipient can reply to you too. You can use continuous position tracking for a higher monthly fee but I generally only send an update when I stop to camp.
 

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Great information. Thanks for all that. I need to learn about all this. I have to take a radio course and get my license anyways so I'll learn some there but I'll have to do my own research.

What are these options?


RT Systems Programming Cable & Software:

-- None --
RT Systems Programming Cable and Software $49.

MARS MOD:

-- None --
MARS MOD $50
 

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Great information. Thanks for all that. I need to learn about all this. I have to take a radio course and get my license anyways so I'll learn some there but I'll have to do my own research.

What are these options?


RT Systems Programming Cable & Software:

-- None --
RT Systems Programming Cable and Software $49.

MARS MOD:

-- None --
MARS MOD $50

RT System is a company that makes programing cables and software.


Military Auxiliary Radio System

MARS MOD usually involves removing a resistor and sometime a jumper as well on the radio board to allow transmission beyond the ticketed ham frequencies. This allows thing such as FRS and GMRS frequencies and others to be used if required in an emergency or as part of the MARS group.
 

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I wheel with people from two local 4X4 clubs here in British Columbia. Nobody uses CB radios and I've been told by several people that I need to get a vhf/uhf radio for my Jeep. I had to borrow someone's handheld on the last run. I'm actually going camping this week where there's no cell signal and hopefully nothing happens because I think my CB will be next to useless in an emergency. What are some good radios that are good bang for your buck?
If you want to send SMS messages from your HAM Radio APRS could be an option. It allows you to email or SMS from you radio. You can also receive SMS. I personally have a Kenwood TM-D710A mobile and a Kenwood TH-D74A handheld. I use both for messaging and sharing my location with APRS.FI Anyone can see where I am by entering my call sign. Some other radio that can do this are Yaesu FT-2D and the FTM-400DR.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
My head is hurting lol. What is superhet and how do you know if the radio has it? Looking at different radios, none of them mention it in the description.

Where and with what types of mounts are you all placing your antenna?
 

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Aprs is an option for email and text on the radios? That should be listed in the description and features of a product that has this function then right?
 

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Aprs is an option for email and text on the radios? That should be listed in the description and features of a product that has this function then right?
Yes. I do not believe the FTM-3200DR has APRS. The closet radio I find to that one with APRS is the FTM-400DR.
 

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The Yaesu FTM-100D has APRS.

But, you need to study and get the license. Things will flow and you will know more and be able to pick a radio with little help. It is a process.
 

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A $27 Baofeng UV-5R along with a handheld mic, 12v battery adapter, programming cable, and remote antenna will work just fine for what you're wanting to do.
You'll have around $50 total investment.


For full use of the radio you'll want to get your Amateur radio license though.
 

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X2 on the Baofeng. You don't need all the extras of a fancy radio yet. You are just starting, so a small 5 watt handheld will work just fine. You will want an FTDI programming cable ($20 on Amazon) and download CHIRP software to your PC and you will be able to easily program your radio for whatever you need to do.

Good to see you are looking in to getting licensed.

https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home
 

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How did you pass your Amateur Radio Operator Certificate exam without knowing these things? Heavens.
 

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You should quote who you are speaking to so we know. If at the OP he is not licensed yet.
Sorry for the confusion.

The Canadian citizens are required to pass the Canadian exam.
 

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There are a few online study guides that work well. A few days study was enough for me to pass the Technician (basic) level test first time.

You can try something like this;

https://hamstudy.org/

Then you can go to ARRL to find a test site.

Find an Amateur Radio License Exam in Your Area

Yes this ^^^^ When studying it also helps to step it up so you only see the correct answers. There is a setting to hide distractors. This trains your brain to know the right answer right away and not get confused. When I was studying this was the first thing I did. Once I had it down if I did not understand why that was it correct answer I what research it to get a better understanding. This allowed me to learn the correct answers for the test and learn the content as well. Using this method allowed me to ace the Tech exam on the first try with out spend a lot of time. I did not fair so well on the General and Extra Exams but passed the first time I took them (on seperate days). They also required a lot more studying time.



If anyone here is considering getting your Tech Ticket:



GO FOR IT!!! You can do it.
 

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I thought the OP lived in Canada. - Licensing is different than the US.
 
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