Originally Posted by Christopher Thwaites
Looking forward to the June Gravel Travel trip. You mentioned radio communication. What kind of radio? How far north on the island did you travel and what was your highest altitude? .
Chris and Ruth
Hi Chris, the official (required) rally radio system will be FRS radios (those inexpensive handheld radios sold at every sporting goods store) They work ok, but have a very limited range, sometimes measured in yards depending on terrain and antenna location. Those of us that travel often on Canadian logging roads prefer to be able to monitor and call out our location on much higher powered mobile radios. Transmitting on these frequencies
requires being licensed though and they are not to be used for idle chit chat since you could block critical communications. Never the less I doubt anyone has ever been checked for a license. I'm a licensed ham operator and have radios capable of transmitting on a wide variety of frequencies. So to answer your question, in addition to a required FRS radio, getting one of these is an inexpensive way to be able to talk on different frequencies besides the FRS ones.
This radio will transmit on many frequencies that require a license though, but you can listen on any channel you like. But, with limited range (still better than FRS and fine for vehicle to vehicle coms) it's unlikely you will interfere with any commercial operators or even be heard by the authoritys.
For the ultimate rig, these folks (and plenty of others) sell commercial quality stuff. One of these radios would give you the best chance of long distance communications, and provide a good option for putting out a distress call if you were broken down somewhere in the wilderness. When in real distress, you can legally transmit on any frequency while calling for help. Many commercial types come pre-programed but make sure you can also manually input frequencies so you can program something on the fly.
Finally, a simple, inexpensive scanner will allow you to monitor pretty much any frequency anyone might use on the rally, in addition to being able to hear police, fire, rescue, aircraft, marine, weather, municipal, and other radio users. I reciently got one of these to mount in the van.
As for our island trip, we got to within a few miles of the Northern most road which ends at the Cape Scott municipal park, which is the very Northern end of the island. ...................