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Good range handheld radios?

Discussion in '2nd Gen. Tacomas (2005-2015)' started by WestCoastBestCoast, Jan 14, 2021.

  1. Jan 14, 2021 at 9:48 PM
    #1
    WestCoastBestCoast

    WestCoastBestCoast [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Don’t really know what part of the site to post this, but my buddy and I are looking for good range handheld radios with the option to mount an external antenna.

    Anybody have suggestions?

    We live in Portland, so RF interference is likely?
     
  2. Jan 15, 2021 at 12:09 AM
    #2
    SamuelJ

    SamuelJ Darkhorse

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    Shortened flowmaster exhaust with a turn down pipe, under cowl intake, throttle body spacer, train horn, underhood led lights, hood struts, dual 27f yellow tops. Led ditch lights, led front roof light bar, led fogs and headlights, behind grill mounted piaa dual color driving lights. Aux fuse and relay panel. Pro comp skid plate, bilstein 5100 leveling shocks on a 2in. lift, b110 rear 5100, ubolt flip kit with an add a leaf, front superbumps, light racing jounce rear bumpstops, sway bar relocation, brake line bracket extension, driveline carrier bearing drop, front diff drop, on board air compressor, 10 gal pump driven fresh water tank, cb radio, pioneer 4200 hu, infinity reference component front and component rear speakers powered by rockford fosgate 4 channel, kicker comp cvt102 10 pancake with a kicker 1600w class d amplifier. Big three upgrade, capacitor. Full cab sound deadening and thermal insulation. Led interior including added footwell, courtesy, cupholder, center console, and glovebox lighting, rock lights, bed lights, ring gear armor, under bed ammo can storage, pistol safe, body armor sliders, roof rack, hilift, 285/70 17 bfg km2 on american racing teflon atx, tailgate strut, and tailgate lock, retrofit projector headlights(home built), rgb halos inside turbine shrouds, black out surround, black chrome reflector and shroud, white halo outside shroud, white led drl, rgb behind grill on rf control. Mods followed from a TW thread: Anytime fogs Anytime rear view camera Anytime 400w inverter Alternating blinker/running lights 110v center console outlet ABS kill switch Engine kill switch (magnetic) 12volt bed socket Rear diff breather relocation Led bed lights Cargo net anchors Grid it center console top Grid it sun visor Locking center console Instrument cluster led swap Map lights on with dome Cigarette lighter add (shifter position) Dtrl kill switch Hilux lighted 4wd selector switch. Vios hvac knobs Hood scoop led bar
    I doubt you will find much as far as "good" range goes assuming you are talking about cb. But if you asking about handheld because a cb takes up too much room, check out the cobra 75wx. Its a tiny little box that tucks away and you just have the handset with controls on it. Other than that I can't say I have seen any with decent range. Good luck and post if you find some.
     
  3. Jan 15, 2021 at 5:41 AM
    #3
    desertrunner24

    desertrunner24 Well-Known Member

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  4. Jan 15, 2021 at 5:46 AM
    #4
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    You could spend a day and get your HAM technician license and run more powerful mobile radios than CB if you want better simplex transmissions (one to one).

    or

    pay the soon to be $35 license fee, no test required, for GMRS, and get a GMRS mobile setup and again transmit with more power than CB.

    CB is limited to 4 watts which works fine on open roads and highways but trees...... GMRS max power is 50 watts and same for HAM Technician license. General and Exra get more perks but 50 watt is kind of as much as you'd need in a mobile unit.



    I go out with my cheap Baofeng UV-5R and its max 5 watts. Stuck a better whip antenna on it and me and my friends have no issues with range. Interference though is annoying, trying to get everyone to switch over to DMR (digital) radios but thats an investment in new gear when what we have works.
     
  5. Jan 15, 2021 at 5:59 AM
    #5
    SamuelJ

    SamuelJ Darkhorse

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    +1. What he said is pretty much on point. Not many options for cb but ham, gmrs and even frs or whatever is probably going to yield better results
     
  6. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:09 AM
    #6
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    FRS - Max Power 2 Watts
    GMRS - Max Power 50 Watts
    HAM Technician - 50 watts* +. Most common vehicle mounted radios sit around the 50 watt range and up. Handhelds like Baofengs are 5-9 watts.

    (Ham Technician license is max 1500 watts on VHF/UHF and 200 on HF
    http://www.arrl.org/files/file/Tech Band Chart/US Amateur Radio Technician Privileges.pdf)

    and to be legal you shouldnt transmit with a radio that isnt certified on the bands its not supposed to be on since you'll technically overpower them and FCC laws and blah blah blah... Going HAM / GMRS will be nothing but rabbit holes. But a useful skill to have

    easiest and worry free would be get GMRS and roll with it. its like 25 channels worth

    https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/FRS/GMRS_combined_channel_chart

    not sure if up to date but feel like these things don't change. Lists FRS / GMRS channels and their max transmit power if you're curious.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
    wi_taco likes this.
  7. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:14 AM
    #7
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Where are we going? Why am I in this handbasket?

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    Where are you getting 50 watts for technician?
    Screenshot_20210115-081316_Firefox.jpg
     
  8. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:16 AM
    #8
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    It was in reference to more of a mobile radio setup for the truck. Thats all I can find when I shop for vehicle mounted units. Sure the license gives you much more transmitting power but in a vehicle 50 watts is bueno

    ill amend my post above
     
    0xDEADBEEF likes this.
  9. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:16 AM
    #9
    SamuelJ

    SamuelJ Darkhorse

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    Shortened flowmaster exhaust with a turn down pipe, under cowl intake, throttle body spacer, train horn, underhood led lights, hood struts, dual 27f yellow tops. Led ditch lights, led front roof light bar, led fogs and headlights, behind grill mounted piaa dual color driving lights. Aux fuse and relay panel. Pro comp skid plate, bilstein 5100 leveling shocks on a 2in. lift, b110 rear 5100, ubolt flip kit with an add a leaf, front superbumps, light racing jounce rear bumpstops, sway bar relocation, brake line bracket extension, driveline carrier bearing drop, front diff drop, on board air compressor, 10 gal pump driven fresh water tank, cb radio, pioneer 4200 hu, infinity reference component front and component rear speakers powered by rockford fosgate 4 channel, kicker comp cvt102 10 pancake with a kicker 1600w class d amplifier. Big three upgrade, capacitor. Full cab sound deadening and thermal insulation. Led interior including added footwell, courtesy, cupholder, center console, and glovebox lighting, rock lights, bed lights, ring gear armor, under bed ammo can storage, pistol safe, body armor sliders, roof rack, hilift, 285/70 17 bfg km2 on american racing teflon atx, tailgate strut, and tailgate lock, retrofit projector headlights(home built), rgb halos inside turbine shrouds, black out surround, black chrome reflector and shroud, white halo outside shroud, white led drl, rgb behind grill on rf control. Mods followed from a TW thread: Anytime fogs Anytime rear view camera Anytime 400w inverter Alternating blinker/running lights 110v center console outlet ABS kill switch Engine kill switch (magnetic) 12volt bed socket Rear diff breather relocation Led bed lights Cargo net anchors Grid it center console top Grid it sun visor Locking center console Instrument cluster led swap Map lights on with dome Cigarette lighter add (shifter position) Dtrl kill switch Hilux lighted 4wd selector switch. Vios hvac knobs Hood scoop led bar
    Ya when I read into it, it seemed a bit confusing to me too. I have a plain old cb and works well for me and my buddies. We don't use them often and when we do, we are usually pretty close together. I also have one set up in my pop up camper because my wife can never remember everything she wants before dispatching me to the store down the mountain when we camp, lol.
     
  10. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:19 AM
    #10
    0xDEADBEEF

    0xDEADBEEF Where are we going? Why am I in this handbasket?

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    Ah ok thats kinda what I figured.:thumbsup:

    And yeah 50 ought to be enough, especially with a decent antenna.
     
  11. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:21 AM
    #11
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    I try to get those that say "ill just stick with CB" to consider going HAM. Its a useful skill to have and practice should you run into a scenario where communications are down. We regularly lose cell service during hurricane season in FL so I have my radios all programmed to the repeaters I can hit and to any local emergency frequencies.
     
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  12. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:24 AM
    #12
    vorkuta775

    vorkuta775 Well-Known Member

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    facts my dude, or you could just buy some OLD ass motorola mcx 1000s on ebay and program them to use MURS which does not require any lic. You could also buy a china brand name radio that TX out of band and use that on MURS on the cheap. Or like dude said just go get your ham lic, it will extend the capabilities especially in portland where there are a gazillion repeaters everywhere and linked systems into/from other states.
     
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  13. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:25 AM
    #13
    vorkuta775

    vorkuta775 Well-Known Member

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    wait WUT no testing required anymore? what did I miss? I paid 15 bucks for a ham cram which included testing, but this was a long time ago..
     
  14. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:27 AM
    #14
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    yeah man, GMRS, up until this year it was a $75 fee, no test. Ham though, testing. I believe they dropped morse code a few years ago which has made cramming for tech super easy. I think I spent a week on hamstudy just memorizing the "sample" test question flash cards and thanks to my picture perfect memory I scored a 90% or something.

    ham license fee has gone up to $35 this year as well so you win some, you lose some.
     
  15. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:32 AM
    #15
    vorkuta775

    vorkuta775 Well-Known Member

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    wow, mine expired while I was in the middle east , I sent the FCC a email/memo about it and they restored it, good for another 8 years? 5? cannot remember. Use to be 8 bucks for a renewal. I see CB guys all the time, I just do not think they are efficient, the base of most CB bodies are heavy, bulky, antennas are not that great either. My kenwood 71a is under my seat, control head on the dash. Just overall better in performance, space. But the argument is too many people just do not want to go take a test, maybe its intimidating to some or just pure laziness?
     
  16. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:33 AM
    #16
    joshuajayg

    joshuajayg Well-Known Member

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    If you decide to become a radio nerd, HAM will give you more opportunities. If you just want to talk to your buddies sometimes, GMRS might be better for you.

    Either way, don't do what @vorkuta775 said and just transmit out of band. There are a lot of people using a lot of frequencies you don't know about. If you operate on some random frequency you pick out of a hat, you're likely messing up someone's day by being lazy. It isn't hard to be neighborly on the radio.

    You can also find some really good handhelds out there to pick up and carry with you that will reach far.
     
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  17. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:36 AM
    #17
    vorkuta775

    vorkuta775 Well-Known Member

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    MURS arent "out of band" frequencies my dude. they have been specifically set aside for Multi use radio service aka MURS. I did not endorse anyone to modify their radio to talk out of band, I was simply saying most , if not all china made radios you can find on ebay, Amazon already TX out of band.
     
  18. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:39 AM
    #18
    JMcFly

    JMcFly Well-Known Member

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    OP is going to come back to 34 pages of ham radio discussion that somehow evolved into discussing antenna theory and satcoms.
     
  19. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:40 AM
    #19
    joshuajayg

    joshuajayg Well-Known Member

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    But they (the radios) are not licensed for MURS and transmit over the 2w max for those frequencies. MURS is also channelized. So picking up a cheap Chinese radio and operating on a a MURS frequency is operating out of band for that radio. Just like operating FRS on a Baofeng.
     
  20. Jan 15, 2021 at 6:43 AM
    #20
    vorkuta775

    vorkuta775 Well-Known Member

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    Look. I was trying to help dude out, not invoke some fcc/rules dick swing contest. The fcc isn't going to be waiting around every corner to make sure you're using 2 watts, just like a cop won't be everywhere when you text on your phone as you drive...
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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