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Tmax
08-22-2006, 11:35 PM
So I was talking to jeeper today regarding VHF radios. Sounds like a very useful piece of equipment for wheeling. Now I was wondering how many other people have a unit. Iím thinking of getting one really soon. Could come in very handy.
[cheers]

Big_Ern
08-22-2006, 11:51 PM
I know its no where near the same, but I had a cb in my old 4runner. buteveryone else's cb either wa broken or they forget to turn it on so I hardly used it. haven't bothered to get one for teabag. I imagine vhf would be similar... altho they are a little more reliable, but also pricier

hamberger
08-23-2006, 12:18 AM
I have a handheld ICOM F30-GT . Preset channels on it are 167.73 and 173.37. If I went on a trip with others that had VHF could they "tune" theirs to that channel and then we could communicate. It only has a 10" antenna and I think its 6 watt output. Would its range be any better than a CB?

ham

Tmax
08-23-2006, 12:21 AM
i've been told that on average you get about 1 mile range for every watt or better. i think a modified unit can communicate in the whole VHF range (not just the ham area)

InteriorZR2
08-23-2006, 12:27 AM
VHF radios are alot more powerful than CB's, the bennefit comes in when you are stuck way in the bush, and you can actually get ahold of someone due to the increased range.

As far as frequencies go, VHF radios can be reprogrammed, or have the crystals replaced (older radios) to whatever frequencies you want to have in them. Usually one would program the LAD channels (trucking) and the local logging frequencies for the areas that they normally visit.

Another benefit of VHF radios is that you can get a phone patch system. This would be dependant of the local 2way radio dealers in your area, some have mountain top repeater sites with phone interconnects. You can usually purchase a monthly phone service from these dealers, and use your VHF to make phone calls, this is very handy when you go wheeling alone, or all of your group is stuck, and you have no cell service.

VHF radios do require a licence from Industry Canada, and you must hold a valid licence for the frequencies you are using. A general licence is around $40/year and you just let them know what frequencies you are going to be using.

I have seen a 4 watt handheld with a shorty antenna get around 15k range. Translate that to a 25-50 watt mobile radio with a gain antenna and you will have alot more range.

If you have anymore questions, let me know.

Tmax
08-23-2006, 12:38 AM
thanks for the info. sounds like they could come really handy

degsey
08-25-2006, 12:27 PM
you need todo the three day course before your allowed to use it. If you dont get the licence then they can fine you 5000$ for mis use

m j
08-25-2006, 01:57 PM
anyone have a hook up to purchase them for a good deal?

Honky
08-25-2006, 02:11 PM
Do you really need a license if you are talking truck to truck? Not sure if anyone would care. I would think if you are not being an idiot it's not needed.


Sort of like the new long arm gun control. The people that are going to use it like an idiot are not going to get licensed.


I might get one but I'm still not sure if I will take the course

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 02:12 PM
Just get a HAM radio and open it up to do the full VHF range. (yes that is a fineable offence) THey are way cheaper, and come with all the features of a commerical radio at about a third the price. PLUS you can just "dial" in the frequency you want.

A legal HAM radio will recieve over the full VHF range and only transmit between 144-148MHz if memory serves.

I suggest you look into the ICOM IC-208H unit. It more than just the VHF range and is priced somewhere around $280. Here is a quick link to some literature: http://www.icom.co.jp/world/products/amateur/208h/index.html

Just to give you an idea of the differance in $ between Ham and Commericial VHF's... Its not unheard of for a Commerical unit to sell for over $1000CDN.

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 02:14 PM
And yes about the licencing... the can and WILL issue you a fine for not providing the paperwork./ licence (Most ppl dont have a licence nor the paperwork for the channels they are using. But again, that is a chance you the individual operator take.)

CB's dont require a licence, and are 5Watts (legal limit) and generally run around $120 for a good one.

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 02:15 PM
anyone have a hook up to purchase them for a good deal?


Just go on eBay. There is always good used, and lots of new units for sale.

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 02:20 PM
Do you really need a license if you are talking truck to truck? Not sure if anyone would care. I would think if you are not being an idiot it's not needed.


Sort of like the new long arm gun control. The people that are going to use it like an idiot are not going to get licensed.


I might get one but I'm still not sure if I will take the course


Sorry for all the individual posts... :confused:

The course isnt expensive, and you learn a lot of valuable information in how to use your radio, as well learn some basic protocols. I would highly recommend you at least take the HAM course.

Besides, if you get a HAM radio, and you have taken the HAM course, that is all you need to do. There is no yearly licence you must purchase after that. And HAM banders need not carry frequancy permission of use paperwork. As HAM only transmits between that narrow 144 - 148MHz. (Again this range can be opened right up illegally.)

cherokeeinprogess
08-25-2006, 02:41 PM
we run vhf

Tmax
08-25-2006, 03:04 PM
Just get a HAM radio and open it up to do the full VHF range. (yes that is a fineable offence) THey are way cheaper, and come with all the features of a commerical radio at about a third the price. PLUS you can just "dial" in the frequency you want.

A legal HAM radio will recieve over the full VHF range and only transmit between 144-148MHz if memory serves.

I suggest you look into the ICOM IC-208H unit. It more than just the VHF range and is priced somewhere around $280. Here is a quick link to some literature: http://www.icom.co.jp/world/products/amateur/208h/index.html

Just to give you an idea of the differance in $ between Ham and Commericial VHF's... Its not unheard of for a Commerical unit to sell for over $1000CDN.

hmmm. the 208 is a duall band radio. dont think you cat get if for $280 though.

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 03:08 PM
i know exactly what thery are, i used to sell them... and keep your eyes open on ebay, new they cheap!!!

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 04:38 PM
heres one http://cgi.ebay.ca/ICOM-IC-208H-Dual-Band-VHF-UHF-Mobile-Transceiver_W0QQitemZ230022000308QQihZ013QQcategor yZ40066QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

and this is a buy it now, no bidding.... The bidding ones sell for far less.

m j
08-25-2006, 08:03 PM
can that transmit in the 173.000's?
some of the logger channels are up there arent they?
that looks like a sweet unit.
I need 4 of them.

ToyotaHEAD
08-25-2006, 08:06 PM
173Mhz is the top end of the VHF band. Off the top of my head there are very few if not no logging channels that reside that high. Then again I am only familiar with the Interior Channels.

CITYSLICKER
08-26-2006, 02:33 PM
WHEN YALL FIGURE OUT WAT THE BEST ONE IS FOR THE $$$$ let me know cuz i want one tooo

m j
08-26-2006, 02:42 PM
we used to use a 173 as a private channel when we didnt want others eavesdropping, had it as #5 on our company commercial radios
is it true the higher freq carry less distance?

is there a good forum/website to find how to mod for freq?

ToyotaHEAD
08-26-2006, 03:53 PM
While transmitting:
"Most" newer VHF radios (slangly refered to as a wideband radio) have little power drop off at the higher freq's. This is normal. Even at that, the power drop isnt all that noticable.

"Older" radios (generally crystaled radios) this power drop is more noticable, cuz they were ment to work withen a speciffic range of VHF. And 173 like i said earlier is the the top end.

While Recieving:
Again general speaking, "most" newer radios will experience very little RX degredation at the high end. Even the older units, if they were able to get the crystal to tune up, didnt have too much problems at the high end while recieving.


And yes there is a good MOD site for radios... I will have to dig for it later, will post it soon.

jeeper
08-26-2006, 07:43 PM
Vhf is the way to go !


Its a simple course if you want to be legal and now once you have your ham radio liscence for basic its a lifetime thing ---no need to reaply and pay every year !

You can open up a basic vhf to transmit on many channels --Im not sure what the range is on mine but its from around 130 - 175 maybe beyond ;

Problem is for best range etc you usually tune the radio for a specific range and get less performance on transmition and reception when you are out of that tuning area !

When my radio was working well --an icom 229h (50 watt mobile) I could talk from cloverdale to0 someone on the aggisiz bridge !

One huntin trip we were in cache creek and waitin for a freind to come from enderby ---we reached himn when we reached cache creek and he was leavin Kamloops

So kinda shows a bit of how good they can work !

Theres many many other uses for them and also if you have your ham radio liscence many repeaters that you can use to get eevn farther distances !

hamberger
08-26-2006, 09:18 PM
Does everyone in a group need to have a license? My daughter's Scout group has handheld VHF's and only one of the Scout leaders has the license but everybody in the group uses them.

Couldn't we do the same for FunInBC. Have a designated VHF licensee and then the rest of the members use a specific frequency according to that member that oversee's the rest of the members usage??

ham

jeeper
08-26-2006, 09:34 PM
Legally to use the hamm radio bands you need a ham liscence !


But its like the cb radios of old-who had a liscense ?

ToyotaHEAD
08-26-2006, 09:51 PM
Does everyone in a group need to have a license? My daughter's Scout group has handheld VHF's and only one of the Scout leaders has the license but everybody in the group uses them.

Couldn't we do the same for FunInBC. Have a designated VHF licensee and then the rest of the members use a specific frequency according to that member that oversee's the rest of the members usage??

ham

Ham there is a differance between a HAM licence (lol pardon the pun[f] ) and a Commerical licence. The long and the short of it is, its just another government cash cow. Where anyone using a VHF must have some sorta licence. They want evey operator to have a licence that way they can "better regulate" (Much like the gun registry) the VHF band. So ya if your caught by the infamous truck with all the lil antennas on it, or DOT, etc... your are liable for a $5000 fine if operating a VHF without a licence, or in posession of a field programmable commerical VHF radio.

The easiest and cheapest route if your looking to get into the VHF communications is to go with a HAM unit.
A) The units are cheaper
B) Once time course for the licence
C) HAM units you just dial in the freq u want.

**A clever person will find a way to MOD their HAM radio to be open the entire VHF band in such a way it can be "unmodded" should the unlikely event if your stopped by DOT, etc...

westcoaster
08-27-2006, 12:25 AM
Errm.... You can't just go around chosing your frequencies willy nilly. So you decide everyone in your group is going to transmit and receive on 157.980. but there is a forestry operation using a repeater. That repeater is set to receive on 157.980 and transmit on 157.325 While everyone in your group is having a grand old time chatting it up, you are disrupting the logging operations radio communications and you would have no idea you are doing so.
This actually happened up in Houston last fall when a group of hunters moved into an area around the mine up there. As a result of the hunters using their radios there was an accident in the pit. The mine had asked the hunters to get off their frequency and the hunters refused and they had to shut the mine down for safety reasons. It took the RCMP and the DOC two days to locate the hunters....
I would imagine in addition to the loss of the radio equipment someone would have wanted their pound of flesh.....

jeeper
08-27-2006, 12:31 AM
Extremely good point Westcoaster !



Thats why the rules and regs are there !



Ive used my modifired vhf outside of the 144 -148 range that its supposed to be in but never when its impacted another legittimate user !

ToyotaHEAD
08-27-2006, 03:08 AM
Errm.... You can't just go around chosing your frequencies willy nilly. So you decide everyone in your group is going to transmit and receive on 157.980. but there is a forestry operation using a repeater. That repeater is set to receive on 157.980 and transmit on 157.325 While everyone in your group is having a grand old time chatting it up, you are disrupting the logging operations radio communications and you would have no idea you are doing so.
This actually happened up in Houston last fall when a group of hunters moved into an area around the mine up there. As a result of the hunters using their radios there was an accident in the pit. The mine had asked the hunters to get off their frequency and the hunters refused and they had to shut the mine down for safety reasons. It took the RCMP and the DOC two days to locate the hunters....
I would imagine in addition to the loss of the radio equipment someone would have wanted their pound of flesh.....

I never suggested to just go and arbitrarily pick a frequency. Of course that is a big issue. My point about being able to "dail" in a freq is just that. Ham radios are not channel 1 = "this", channel 2 = "that" rather you "dail" in the desired freq.

Also it must be pointed out again... that Ham is only allowed to transmit withen a small range 144 - 148MHz. And and as far as I have seen up here anyways... there are no logging freqs in that range. In fact... If memory serves, that 144-148MHz is designated for HAM banders.

And yes thank you for bringing up a very serious point.

85_GMC_4x4
08-27-2006, 09:32 AM
All good points about the frequencies.

There are some VHF radio's out there that are "front programmable". Meaning that they can be programmed by using the buttons on the front of the radio. However, you usually have to do a little simple modifying, as it's illegal to have a radio that can do this, so they don't sell them with this fuction being easily accessible. Usually you have to take the case off to do it.. on my radio we wired in an extra button so that I can program in whatever channel I want without having to take off the cover.

Most VHF radio's are only programmable via a computer interface.

I've entered the local police, forrestry, and fire dept channels so my VHF can act like a scanner. And I can contact the local officials in event of an emergency. It's illegal to do so, but if it's a matter of life and death I'd rather pay the fines than not get any help. You just have to be really careful not to accidentally transmit on those channels. Generally it's best to use the LAD (trucker) frequencies as anyone is allowed to use those frequencies.

I love having a VHF radio, but to be honest the CB is what gets used on the trail 99% of the time as nobody else has a VHF. It's mostly there as a safety feature in case something happens in the bush and I can't get reception on the cell.

westcoaster
08-27-2006, 09:48 AM
ToyotaHEAD, I'm not taking a run at you, It's just that it wasn't clearly explained in all the posts. It is the same for using a frequency outside it's area of operation. What may be a road frequency in Vernon may be half of a repeater in Kamloops. (commercial band 148 to 174 )

The ham bands are everyones best choice for chatting while on a trail. Use the road frequencies for calling your miles only. There is nothing worse than knowing a loaded truck is coming at you and not being able to call your empty mile because some asshats are chatting about apples (unable to get a word in edgewise). I met the truck, and managed to get out of the way, but it was tight.....

m j
08-27-2006, 10:11 AM
is the icom 280 a good one to purchase?
you mentioned it specifically
there are a million different models out there and for someone not in the loop it is impossible to choose one.

I want to end up with one (4 actually) that is fully programmable on the fly for frequency.
remote faceplate mounting would be a nice feature but isnt a deal breaker.

transciever can be useful for bouncing the new Family channel radios into a vhf band for out of the vehicle spotting, though in the past experiences it makes the sound quality drop to 'cb-like' scratchiness

westcoaster
08-27-2006, 10:17 AM
One more thing....

In the ham bands the operator is licensed
In the commercial bands the radio is licensed. If I wanted a licensed commercial radio in my pickup, my samurai, and a portable I would have to shell out $48 for the truck, $48 for the samurai, and $48 for the portable per year. That scouting outfit has the portables licensed so it doesn't matter who is operating the radio.

hamberger
08-27-2006, 11:39 AM
Ahhh. now that makes sense now. Thats how all the Scouts get to use them without being licensed.

ham

fourplay
08-27-2006, 11:44 AM
thanks for the info. sounds like they could come really handy

[stupid] Yes, thnx for the info, I have one but was reluctant to put it in, was told it's illegal to have one without a license, thought they costed alot more..

[cheers]

ToyotaHEAD
08-27-2006, 12:42 PM
100% agreed

Kraqa
08-27-2006, 01:07 PM
what a stupid topic. lol.

Tmax
08-27-2006, 01:09 PM
what a stupid topic. lol.

how is that stupid?

Ditchpig
08-29-2006, 08:13 PM
Kraqa, there are no stupid topics, just stupid people who post in a topic that it's stupid :p I for one have found this tread to be very informative. I never knew that it was "illegal" to operate a VHF radio sans legal license.

85_GMC_4x4
08-29-2006, 09:59 PM
Kraqa, there are no stupid topics, just stupid people who post in a topic that it's stupid :p I for one have found this tread to be very informative. I never knew that it was "illegal" to operate a VHF radio sans legal license.

just to be clear:

The FCC will lease you a frequency to use for business or whatever. So long as you are the legitimate owner of that frequency in the area you are designated to use it in... you do not need any license. A perfect example would be the taxi companies. However, the radio you use must be locked to that frequency.

You only need a license for radios that you can select whatever frequency you want (such as HAM radios or front programmable VHF radios).

And yeah, I dont know WTF Kraga is talking about. Definately not a stupid topic.

westcoaster
09-02-2006, 11:34 AM
just to be clear:

The FCC will lease you a frequency to use for business or whatever. So long as you are the legitimate owner of that frequency in the area you are designated to use it in... you do not need any license. A perfect example would be the taxi companies. However, the radio you use must be locked to that frequency.

You only need a license for radios that you can select whatever frequency you want (such as HAM radios or front programmable VHF radios).

And yeah, I dont know WTF Kraga is talking about. Definately not a stupid topic.

It is actually Industry Canada that regulates radio communications here in Canada. (FCC is American)http://www.ic.gc.ca/cmb/welcomeic.nsf/ICPages/SubjectSpectrum

You are required to get an anual license for any radio station you are operating in the commercial band.
You are required to get a ham license to operate a ham radio. (keep in mind a ham radio and a commercial radio are two different pieces of equipment with different user capabilities)
http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/insmt-gst.nsf/vwapj/rre.pdf/$FILE/rre.pdf
Did you know you had to pay for a radio license to operate your cell phone? (or at least you used to) For the most part the license fees were buried in the cost of the contract....

User programmable radio's in the commercial band (148-174) are illegal and are treated as unlicensed stations. meaning confiscation if found.
Unfortunatly I don't have anything to back that up. I found that information one time when I was surfing the IC website.

Now, we all know there is a huge difference in what the law states and what happens in reality. For example, I have my radio licensed for lad 1 and 2 I am required to get permission in wrighting from the logging company for me to program their frequency into my radio. The reality is, they are tickled pink just to see me have a radio. That warm and fuzzy feeling stops pretty damn quick when the stupid shit starts though....

jeeper
09-03-2006, 02:33 PM
Its imprtant to know what and whos frequencies you are transmitting on .


If you are using a ham radio outside its "legal" range ,, be sure you arent interfeering with someones legal channels i the channels you use !

There are comercially available referance books with whos on what frequencie ---buy one for the 20 bucks and make sure you arent on someones legit channel.

shoobear
09-05-2006, 10:40 PM
Ok, i have had good luck with the vertex radios,mine is the vx150. radioworld.ca has them. very inexpensive radio,and a good bang for your buck. If u do modify it for a broad range(u can find out on the net how to do it) U will need a high gain antenna, if u dont get the antenna it will burn out your board.

As far as which freq u use, make sure u know and have permission to use whatever channel u are using.

If u do have emergency channels in your radio(police,fire,ambulance,pep) make sure to have the channels blocked so there is no chance u transmit by accident.

Thats all i know.
cheers

redneck_justice
09-05-2006, 11:47 PM
got vhf's for my trucks from when i had the tow trucks. have my own channel aswell as the lad chanels local loggers and contractors had a base station and 5 mobiles licenced and think it was 40 dollars per radio per year and now have 1 at home 1 in each 4x4 and 1 in my highway truck. they are midland radio's bin pretty lucky with them for reliability and having the same radio in each truck i can swap em with no hassle's if one has a problem. no many off roaders have them but i sure like mine. and the local truck loggers have repeaters on mountain tops so can allways reach town even if i'm 130 km up the nass valley logging area. very handy in an emergency. and 1 radio is set up with the phone set up from the local radio shop here. have picked up good deals on vhf radio's in the buy and sell at a fraction of the cost of new.

redneck_justice
09-05-2006, 11:53 PM
also i got a book that tells all the frequencies and who use's them in bc from a place called J & M Communicatios Ltd. 720 6TH street #268 New westminster BC V3L 3C5 Phone 604 520 6625 Fax 604 520 6645 the book is called british columbia frequency list

leftfield
09-06-2006, 02:28 PM
Excellent topic, tons of good info guys. Maybe a list of models people are using and what they like and don't like about them would be a good idea (prices too). Communication off road is always a good idea (especially during hunting season).

Zuk Rider
05-13-2008, 11:31 AM
So what's everyopne runnin nowadays with VHF??? Lookin into getting one & would appreciate any recommendations [cheers]. This thread's a little old - figured there might be some newer better models on the market now.

Dirtybert
05-13-2008, 01:15 PM
starting a new thread might be better option,

westcoaster
05-13-2008, 07:47 PM
http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/His/external/!publish/Radio/Training/prc%2007-1%20issue%201%20aug%2007.pdf


The above is government mumbojumbo for any old vhf radio no longer being able to work.

Be careful what you buy used (or even new) if you wish to communicate with logging trucks. While the above is a "trial" some form of it will more than likely be implemented province wide.

If all you wish to do is chitchat with your buddies get your ham license and buy a ham radio. If you don't know what your doing in the commercial band one can find themselves in a pile of shit in a hurry....