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Old 02-11-2020, 07:51 AM   #1
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Are VHF radios still used?

I was cleaning out my store room and found 3 2m radios in very good shape that I used in my days as a ham operator. The Internet and cell phone sort of killed the hobby, but the radios are still in good shape. I was thinking of how to put them to use in my van as I often travel in places out of cell range. But is anyone listening anymore? Is anyone still using these radios, and if so, for what purpose?
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Old 02-11-2020, 08:42 AM   #2
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There are still plenty of hams that are active on 2mtrs. Any population center will certainly have plenty of active repeaters allowing connections sometimes world wide. As a useful tool for communication in out of the way places, it all depends on plenty of variables, but in general, you chances of making a connection are probably less than in the past. Never the less, it’s still a useful tool, far better than nothing but there are plenty of better options. https://expeditionportal.com/forum/t...-protocol.526/
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Old 02-11-2020, 10:09 AM   #3
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We use VHF 2M for all offroad related communications. I sell them as well through Vantage Optics (licensing is obviously on the purchaser). I recently installed a CB radio on my van as an experiment and was vastly disappointed in the performance and activity....makes ham look wildly used and busy in comparison. I'm currently using a Yaesu FTM-400XDR unit with APRS and love the ability for family to track our position without needing another GPS pinging device active. The unit has exceeded my expectations and remains a very solid purchase in my book. With that being said we are going to be making a satellite phone purchase here real soon for comms in emergency situations (life-flight helicopter calls).

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Old 02-11-2020, 11:50 AM   #4
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Which antennas do you use on your vans for the 2m?
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Old 02-12-2020, 08:32 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belize View Post
Which antennas do you use on your vans for the 2m?
I'm running a Larsen NMO mount drilled through my roof with a 5/8 wave high gain antenna. The setup works great with excellent reception and clarity even at long distances.

In the final photo I was using a standard Baofeng handheld to monitor a group channel for a Mojave Road trip we took in December to Rage at the River in Laughlin. With the Yaesu running our smaller group's channel and APRS I wanted the handheld to keep tabs on the larger group's activities...came in real handy with more than 50 rigs of all capabilities on the trail at once!

These rotated pics sure are annoying...

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Old 02-12-2020, 09:22 AM   #6
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As Arctictraveller said, if you are around a population center where there are repeaters you can hit then the 2m will work fine, or if you are traveling with a group and everyone has a unit.

But in remote outback country they are generally useless to use to communicate with the outside world. I am part of a Sheriff's Search and Rescue unit and we are issued 2m radios. When we are working in a remote area the general procedure is to have one vehicle set up with a repeater up on a mountaintop just so we can communicate amongst ourselves. Otherwise, vehicles a few miles apart - or even fairly close but in different canyons - have no communication at all. Satellite phone is still the gold standard for those conditions.
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Old 02-12-2020, 09:53 PM   #7
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I have a icom 7100 thatís awesome in the van and have been playing with side band
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Old 02-12-2020, 10:18 PM   #8
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I guess it depends on where you live. Around here there is almost always a repeater you can hit out here in the sticks.

With HF radios you can send texts and emails as well as make direct contact. I have an IC-7100, good radio.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:10 PM   #9
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I guess it depends on where you live. Around here there is almost always a repeater you can hit out here in the sticks.



With HF radios you can send texts and emails as well as make direct contact. I have an IC-7100, good radio.


I know the digital will find local repeaters but I have heard that the 7100 can do it with regular repeaters.
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Old 02-14-2020, 08:05 AM   #10
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The 7100 can do HF, VHF and UHF in all modes. So very useful for many kinds of communication. When I am as the bottom of a canyon I'll use an NVIS (near vertical incidence skywave) antenna. The squirt straight up like a fountain so it doesn't matter you are in a hole. They are quick and easy to set up.
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