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bigredmed

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I was talking with Queen Mikki about GPSr's and the topic drifted to radios as an alternative to upgrading the GPSr I have (Magellan Meridian) as it seems that all the upgrades are for things that I don't really use, and I get the sense that we are about at the level PDA's were in when Sony started adding all the goo gahs to the palm, and we got 600 dollar pda's that don't do the basic functions any better than the 100 dollar ones. (The sony point = the point at a parabola where the slope flattens out, even though the X axis keeps increasing. :) )

 

I digress. The radio issue came up as I have been looking at FRS then GMRS radios and haven't gone for them as I can't think of how I would use such a thing given that my wife is usually not with me, and is usually more than 5 miles away and I am not familiar with any cachers in the area that use these regularly.

 

Does anyone use these enough to justify the cost as anything other than another toy? I thought about Ham, but the entry level units are above my toy budget.

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Hey there... Welcome to our home! (Ham Radio).

 

Under your present constraints, it sounds like a cell phone is your best bet. Not that we wouldn't welcome you as a ham. But ham radio IS another expensive hobby. More so than a GPS.

 

I use my radios when I hike. For instance, 8 days ago I led a hike THIS ONE and of the 6 hikers, 4 were hams, and 2 were learning. As in most longer hikes (6+ miles) we get strung out. Of course we used our radios to share points of interest. And some other local hams who couldn't hike along enjoyed our hike by listening to us talk about the areas we were passing through. One ham especially is in a wheelchair and on OX full time. She gets outdoors by listening to us, and sitting in her window looking for our mirror flashes from the peaks.

 

However, I degress.

 

For you, at this time, probably stick with the cell.

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Hello bigredmed. Well I kind of agree with Desert_Warrior, you have a good GPS becuse I also have a Mag. as far as the Radio thing goes, I just posted one to someone talking about MURS, which I do not know aything about. Let me throw this at you and see if it makes sense. Ok you buy two FRS Or(GMRS which require a license), now I have 4 four FRS, 4 Ham Radio Handhelds, 6 mobil Rigs all but one are on VHF, the other is a Quad Band Radio. I can tell you that you will be disapointed in the FRS and GMRS because of the Range. Now if you are only going to be 1/2" mile apart or closer then that's the way to go.

 

If you want 30-50 Mile RANGE,,,,yes 30-50Mile Range or more, consider learning Amateur Radio starting with the Tech license. That's all you need for UHF and VHF, but Rules and Reg's do apply. Then you will not have the Range problem and like Desert_Warrior said He use his for his Hiking and also for talking to other Hams who may can hear them as they Hike along their way. There is no comparising.

now addressing the part of cost, you know about that, how did you get your GPS, how did you get other things you have? Well you move slow at first and check everthing out and price things and go to HamFest and maybe do like me buy some used gear or a used Radio or two and that is how you can do it just like most people in the Hobby.

There is no comparising, Ham Radio's to FRS and GMRS, on a Range level.

also there is no way would I not have my stuff with me out at a cache hunt around here, because Range again is so important in Mississippi,,,, we have a lot of Trees and our Terrain is such.

So maybe this will help you, and I bet you have a local Ham Radio Club in your Area that you live! Find out and go to a meeting and meet some of them. they can help you and will be glad to do so.

 

Happy Hunting

Continouswave

WV5V

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I actually just bought a FRS radio yesterday. It was on sale, so I couldnt resist. The main reason I bought it (besides just wanting another toy) was that I hike by myself quite often. Since other hikers carry FRS radios, it would be nice to be connected to them if I needed to be. The range is definitely not big, but it works well enough.

 

I actually drove around the city today, scanning the channels. It seems there are a few people using these around the city. I listened in on some funny conversations, and ended up talking to some kid who was wandering around.

 

While it's not a HAM, is still fun!

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I thought about Ham, but the entry level units are above my toy budget.

Define "entry level". There are some really good 2 meter HTs that sell new for about $100. If you don't mind used, there are lots of good rigs to be had. But if you've got money, there is no end to the high-end you can by. I just read of a prototype HF rigs that is expected to sell at over $10,000! :D

 

The biggest problem with being a ham is that the person you're talking to will also have to be a ham. That could be a problem if your plans are to be able to talk to your wife. But if you cache alone, you might consider the safety angle. There may be area that your cell phone won't work in. A HT could be a nice backup plan.

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Ham radio is, and can be a very expensive hobby. On the other side of the coin, the license is free. The testing for the license may cost you about $10-12. If you decide on GMRS, then there is a license fee of about $75 (if you prefer to be legal). As for equipment, unless you go with cheap bubble pack equipment it is going to be in the ball park on prices. Currently a Icom 2M HT is going for $89.99 at AES. You will spend about that on a GOOD GMRS or MURS HT. If you are going to spend that kind of money anyway, you may as well get the license. Just my $0.02.

 

Jon KC9AXZ

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