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Prairies and Pacific Coast Forum for discussing radio information in the Alberta, Manitoba, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Saskatchewan, Yukon and British Columbia provinces.

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Old 01-18-2009, 5:30 PM
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Default UHF or VHF hand held radio

Hi, I'm new to this so I was hoping somebody could help with some information. I'm trying to figure out which held held to use, either the VHF or UHF, myself and some friends have motorcycle bike to bike comm, in the past we have used FRS and GMRS two way radios but they are pretty poor in cities around buidlings and communication distance is limited, we have been looking at going to FM radios, either the Kenwood TK2202 VHF or the TK3202 UHF, the question here is which would be the better radio to use, I have been reading up about both UHF and VHF to see which would offer a better distance around in cities and out on the open road.
Thanks.

Last edited by speedcomm; 01-18-2009 at 6:07 PM..
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Old 01-18-2009, 11:13 PM
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The only way to legally use radios for what you're intending is to continue using the FRS or GMRS radios. If you're looking at using ham radios, then everyone that may be using the radio has to have a license. And if you're thinking about using the commercial or land-mobile radios, then each frequency you want to use need to be licensed to you by Industry Canada for use in specific areas.

Now...if you want to use these radios without the licenses, then that's up to you...these radios can be purchased from almost any radio shop. The ham radios are only able to transmit in the ham bands, and the commercial can only broadcast in the commercial bands....there are ways around this, but I won't say how.
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Old 01-19-2009, 12:15 AM
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There are reasons why one should not just buy a radio and start transmitting. Industry Canada will give you a license and a frequency [of course you have to pay a yearly fee], that will not interfere with other licensed users, including RCMP, EMS, Fire. You just don't buy a radio [except FRS/GMRS] and expect to transmit without potentially interfering with legitamate users. OR do some work and go for your amateur radio license [gives more options].
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Old 01-19-2009, 1:35 AM
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And no matter WHAT handheld you get, you already got the maximum performance you ever will get from handhelds with GMRS units.

Handhelds are short range. Usually 1/2 to 2 miles in city, often as little as a mile. This is simple physics of radio propagation. No free lunch available.

To have longer range, you need to use a repeater station located at high altitude, to relay your communications between handhelds. This means a licensed business system, a GMRS repeater (if allowed in Canada), or ham radio (if everyone is licensed)

Range is 95% or more due to the height of the antenna at receiver or transmitter. That little whip at 5 feet on an HT is good for a MAXIMUM range of about 5-8 miles in PERFECT conditions (nothing in between the stations) when both are at ground level. Trees, buildings, hills, etc. all shorten the possible range drastically.
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Old 01-19-2009, 9:37 AM
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Hi all, thanks for the replies, we don't mind buying the license for each radio, we were just trying to improve our comms and thought FM would be the way to go, over the weekend we tried out some Kenwood TK3101 2 watt output and got a range of about a mile in the city, would the Kenwood TK3202 4 watt output increase the range, can a radio store/dealership do the programming and license.
Thanks.
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Old 01-26-2009, 1:14 AM
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I'm kind of in the same situation...been looking at CB radios and taken the advice of others here and started looking into VHF.

Last edited by MD911; 01-26-2009 at 1:26 AM..
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Old 01-26-2009, 11:18 PM
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Default Have you tried using the tone squelch feature to reduce interference?

[QUOTE=speedcomm;981364]Hi, I'm new to this so I was hoping somebody could help with some information. I'm trying to figure out which held held to use, either the VHF or UHF, myself and some friends have motorcycle bike to bike comm, in the past we have used FRS and GMRS two way radios but they are pretty poor in cities around buidlings and communication distance is limited,

Have you tried using the tone squelch feature to reduce interference?

we have been looking at going to FM radios,

FYI GRMS and FRS are UHF FM radios, some at 2 watts.

either the Kenwood TK2202 VHF or the TK3202 UHF, the question here is which would be the better radio to use, I have been reading up about both UHF and VHF to see which would offer a better distance around in cities and out on the open road.

UHF will work best in cities or building, VHF in open areas. Using simplex radios will never allow a wide coverage area. I would stick with good quality GRMS or FRS radios.

Joe
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Old 01-27-2009, 12:49 AM
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To add further to this, antennas make a difference as well. If you go for your ham license, there are a number of antenna options for VHF/UHF radios. FRS radios do not have a simple way of changing antennas. I know some say UHF is better than VHF around buildings/trees, but again, there are many factors to consider. I have had great succes with VHF in the bush and on the prairies. Or you can go to a local radio dealer that offers rentals for both simplex and through repeaters. If your group does not want to work towards a ham license, then the rentals are probably your best bet.
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