Which VHF Radio

Communication & Navigation Equipment: VHF, UHF, GPS, Satellite phones ETC.
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Jorrie
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Jorrie » 01 Dec 2012 19:40

Thanks Christo
What is to procedure to get a lisence?
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by ChristoSlang » 02 Dec 2012 09:35

Jorrie, the application form (and lots of additional detail) is available on the ORRA website. You're also welcome to give me a call/PM if you require additional clarification.

You follow these steps:
1. Approach an ORRA registered radio dealer and agree on the most suitable radio for your use.
2. Pay you monies and receive your the radio's serial number. The dealer will now program the radio with the ORRA frequencies.
3. Complete the application form available from the ORRA website above and submit it to ORRA.
4. Copy me on the e-mail submission, so that I can vouch that you're a member of the Nissan 4x4 club.
5. Receive your license from ORRA, go back to the radio dealer and collect/install your programmed radio.

Oh, and please buy a VHF radio! :thumbup:
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Jorrie » 02 Dec 2012 19:40

ChristoSlang wrote:Jorrie, the application form (and lots of additional detail) is available on the ORRA website. You're also welcome to give me a call/PM if you require additional clarification.

You follow these steps:
1. Approach an ORRA registered radio dealer and agree on the most suitable radio for your use.
2. Pay you monies and receive your the radio's serial number. The dealer will now program the radio with the ORRA frequencies.
3. Complete the application form available from the ORRA website above and submit it to ORRA.
4. Copy me on the e-mail submission, so that I can vouch that you're a member of the Nissan 4x4 club.
5. Receive your license from ORRA, go back to the radio dealer and collect/install your programmed radio.

Oh, and please buy a VHF radio! :thumbup:
Thanks Christo :thumbup:
I will talk to you in anyway before buying a VHF radio as I do not want to end up with a white elephant.
The shopping list is getting longer.
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Jorrie
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Jorrie » 02 Dec 2012 20:10

Cedric, Christo, Grant and all others
Which VHF Radios do you prefer? And Why?
If you don't want to stick your necks out please PM me. Thanks.
Jor
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by ChristoSlang » 02 Dec 2012 22:26

I have a cheap (R1k) handheld and a more expensive mobile radio (about R1k7), but I like my handheld the best. If I had to do it over again, I'd buy the handheld first and probably skip the dash-mounted radio altogether! :mytwocents:

If you partake in regular 4x4 outings/events, the handheld radio really comes into its own. You can use it inside the vehicle but also take it with you when you get out. The battery lasts a number of outings: mine's done a trip to Ponta Malongane, Bass Lake, Krugersdorp & Gerotek and the battery is now at 3/4. The transmission reach is good enough to chat to another vehicle that's out of sight in a hilly area (such as the road between Piet Retief and Pongola) and audio quality is the same as the larger radios.

Mobile radios do have better reach (a better antenna that's mounted higher, aided by higher transmission power), but require professional fitment and a hole in the car's body work. Most of the time the guy you want to chat to is only a few hundred meters away, so that additional power/reach is seldom used. As the photographers like to tell us: "The best carmera is the one that you have with you..."

I don't believe that there's all that much difference between the various brands. Like all modern industries, fierce competition won't allow bad quality brands to survive too long...
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Peter Connan » 03 Dec 2012 06:42

hristo, since my car already has a hole drilled for an external antenna, is it possible to get a handheld that can connect to the external antenna?
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by ChristoSlang » 03 Dec 2012 23:40

Let me find out for you...
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Herrie » 04 Dec 2012 07:25

I also have a handheld VHF radio which is used more than my 29MHz installed in the Patrol.
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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by Tinus lotz » 04 Dec 2012 07:30

What about the handheld only being 7w and not transmitting to far?

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Re: Which VHF Radio

Post by ChristoSlang » 04 Dec 2012 21:37

Tinus lotz wrote:What about the handheld only being 7w and not transmitting to far?
You are right - VHF handhelds are usually 5W, as opposed to the more typical 25W for mobiles. As a result of this and their antenna limitations (less elevation, bad ground plane) they do not transmit as far as mobile radios. But you'll still get about 5-6 kms out of a handheld, which is plenty good enough for what we tend to use them for...

Remember that VHF radios are line of sight (LOS) radios - if you can't see the other guy, you can't speak to them either. If you have a hill/building in the way, you're stuffed - even with a gazillion Watt VHF radio! VHF radios are often limited by LOS issues before power limitations kick in. We once managed to chat to a guy a 100 km away (he had a 25W radio) when we were sitting on top of a hill at Rust de Winter, so LOS and elevation is key and power less so in everyday use. My radios are permanently set to their lowest power outputs (5W for the mobile, 1W for the handheld), and I have no hassles except when someone is behind a hill. In that case the higher power settings do not help either.

To summarise:
1. If you spend a lot of time chatting to a bloke who's driving the same 4x4 obstacles as you, or who's driving a few kilometers ahead of you on the road, you'll be fine with a handheld. If you spend a lot of time outside the vehicle inspecting obstacles and/or directing other drivers, a handheld is even better for you.

2. If you actually spend a lot of time on safari, driving in convoy with a 10 km gap between the vehicles, you may (possibly) be better off with a mobile radio. But if your antenna is mounted on your bull-bar (meaning that it will radiate mostly to the rear of your car) and you try to chat to the guy in front of you, you may just be better off using your handheld any way. :surprised:

3. If you're a bit like the Camel man (rough & ready, not dead!) and the idea of sitting in the midle of nowhere & using your radio to call for help appeals to you, you're better off becoming a radio amateur. Then you can buy a fancy HF rig (the best for long distance comms), learn how to calculate the best frequency to use (based on day/night/weather/ionospheric conditions/sun spots/etc.), tune your dipole or inverted V antenna for it, and finally see if there's anyone out there. If it works, you may very well strike up a conversation halfway around the world. If not, you'll enjoy an evening of static. Radio hams refer to this as fun, but that's just another way to get frustrated if you have to reach civilisation in a hurry!

4. If you require a guaranteed way to phone home when you're stuck in in the bundus, you're always better off with a satellite radio! :mytwocents:
Christo (the snake man)
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