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OccidentalErrant

Ham Two Meter? Or Satellite Phone?

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Hi,

I am traversing in deep forest in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I am out of range for cell phone operation there. I need communication for where I go. Which is best to use, Ham radio two meter? or should I splurge for a satellite phone?

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If there is a repeater in the area I would say go for the 2m radio. If there is not or the repeater is seldom monitored you may be better off with the satellite phone.

 

Brad

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Hmm, I'll have to check on the repeater availability. The area I am mostly out in is the Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Adams area (includes roadless areas there). Currently I have Verizon (can you hear me now?) and No... I can't hear anybody when I am out there... lol. Go figure. :(

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Hmm, I'll have to check on the repeater availability. The area I am mostly out in is the Gifford Pinchot, Mt. Adams area (includes roadless areas there). Currently I have Verizon (can you hear me now?) and No... I can't hear anybody when I am out there... lol. Go figure. :(

http://www.wa-net.com/~ab7f/randle.htm

 

"This repeater covers nearly all of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest area, from Mt Rainier to Mt. Adams to Mt. St. Helens... Also great coverage on HWY-12 from White Pass to Centrailia/Chehalis... It has been accessed from Seattle/Tacoma, Bremertown/Port Angeles, Olympia/Shelton, Aberdeen/Hoquiam, Astoria, Portland/Salem, The Dalles, Goldendale, and Yakima."

 

Looks promising. Being an avid UHF (440) fan, I always go UHF when available. But if you MUST use that 2 meter band, then do it.

 

Are you licensed?

 

Good luck.

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"This repeater covers nearly all of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest area, from Mt Rainier to Mt. Adams to Mt. St. Helens... Also great coverage on HWY-12 from White Pass to Centrailia/Chehalis... It has been accessed from Seattle/Tacoma, Bremertown/Port Angeles, Olympia/Shelton, Aberdeen/Hoquiam, Astoria, Portland/Salem, The Dalles, Goldendale, and Yakima."

 

Looks promising. Being an avid UHF (440) fan, I always go UHF when available. But if you MUST use that 2 meter band, then do it.

 

Are you licensed?

 

Good luck.

 

The closest activity that I have to recreational two way radio use is the CB Radio many years ago... I know, I know..

 

I do have a lot of professional experience with the use of two way UHF radios and some with HF so am familiar with some of the aspects of Ham Radio operation. Other than that? Nadda. But what I am looking for is any way of communication (emergency type) that will work, be it UHF, HF, cell or satellite phone to hog calling and yodelling. I have an interest in backpacking and camping and am planning to do that alone or with a small group. Therefore emergency communication is important to me.

 

Although Satellite Phone service is comparable to regular cell phone service in cost, the actual telephones are really expensive even in rental IMHO. From that reference and one of efficiency and reliability, I am comparing the options of two way radio vs. satellite phone service.

 

No, I am not licensed at this point. If I were to use that option though I would study for and take the test(s) as necessary. However, Ham Radio operation in and of itself is not a major interest of mine. :(

 

Edit: addendum

Edited by OccidentalErrant

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"This repeater covers nearly all of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest area, from Mt Rainier to Mt. Adams to Mt. St. Helens... Also great coverage on HWY-12 from White Pass to Centrailia/Chehalis... It has been accessed from Seattle/Tacoma, Bremertown/Port Angeles, Olympia/Shelton, Aberdeen/Hoquiam, Astoria, Portland/Salem, The Dalles, Goldendale, and Yakima."

 

Looks promising. Being an avid UHF (440) fan, I always go UHF when available. But if you MUST use that 2 meter band, then do it.

 

Are you licensed?

 

Good luck.

 

The closest activity that I have to recreational two way radio use is the CB Radio many years ago... I know, I know..

 

I do have a lot of professional experience with the use of two way UHF radios and some with HF so am familiar with some of the aspects of Ham Radio operation. Other than that? Nadda. But what I am looking for is any way of communication (emergency type) that will work, be it UHF, HF, cell or satellite phone to hog calling and yodelling. I have an interest in backpacking and camping and am planning to do that alone or with a small group. Therefore emergency communication is important to me.

 

Although Satellite Phone service is comparable to regular cell phone service in cost, the actual telephones are really expensive even in rental IMHO. From that reference and one of efficiency and reliability, I am comparing the options of two way radio vs. satellite phone service.

 

No, I am not licensed at this point. If I were to use that option though I would study for and take the test(s) as necessary. However, Ham Radio operation in and of itself is not a major interest of mine. :o

 

Edit: addendum

Most people that try to use ham radio for other than ham radio fun are disappointed. You would be better off to go the satellite telephone. The repeater

will probably work fine but there might not be anyone monitoring when you need it most. If you were an experienced amateur radio UHF-VHF operator, I would say go that way. Why not use both. It is not that difficult to get a license and you might get hooked. Dick, W7WT

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The repeater

will probably work fine but there might not be anyone monitoring when you need it most.

 

Tell me about it. :o

 

The couple times I have needed to get ahold of someone via 2m/440 it was a waste of time.

 

Had to walk to the nearest farm a couple time.

After that I got a cell phone.

 

Between the cell phone,email and MSN ham radio has died for me.

 

I had not been on the air for a few years.

Got the ham radio out and called a couple times every night for a week before someone answered me back. ;)

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Hmm, I am getting the feeling that ham radio operators get bored with it? I can imagine that ham radio is there when it is needed on a national or local emergency crisis but is generally a niche kind of thing. Operators knowing when the particular person they want to talk to is on the air to begin with and then just keep it off until that time? Ok, then I am looking at a satellite phone set up then and just bite the bullet for the cost of the phone. That would be in the same range as radio equipment anyway, if I were to get set up in that venue correctly I assume. Gee Whiz kids,, I can even use it at home...

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Im an active ham operator, been since 1992 when i first got licensed. In comes Geocaching and I use it even more now since theres a quite a few ham operators in my area that also geocache. Been a few times I've been in an area that I got stuck and fortunately both the cell and the ham radio worked. Haven't ventured out far enough into the back lands to have any info for that. Also, with working in emergency communications we also utilize a Satellite Phone/Radio, and it works great. Not sure how it is set up but the "plan" that our Search and Rescue have allows it to be utilized from anywhere west of the mississippi river. At $3 bucks a minute to have it in an emergency situation to me would be worth it if I was always out in the back country. Thats just my input, have a nice day.

 

Jeremy

KB7RZF

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Im an active ham operator, been since 1992 when i first got licensed. In comes Geocaching and I use it even more now since theres a quite a few ham operators in my area that also geocache. Been a few times I've been in an area that I got stuck and fortunately both the cell and the ham radio worked. Haven't ventured out far enough into the back lands to have any info for that. Also, with working in emergency communications we also utilize a Satellite Phone/Radio, and it works great. Not sure how it is set up but the "plan" that our Search and Rescue have allows it to be utilized from anywhere west of the mississippi river. At $3 bucks a minute to have it in an emergency situation to me would be worth it if I was always out in the back country. Thats just my input, have a nice day.

 

I would sure like to know what service they are using. The services that I have seen on the internet all charge more money on a monthly billing for the service. Of course, they are offering a worldwide coverage for that amount. I would also assume that maybe a search and rescue organization might get a cut rate due to the nature of their business/activity.

 

I am still in the browsing category for service companies however, I have not ventured to contact them yet. :laughing:

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Looking at my repeater guide, there are many 2M and 440 MHz repeaters in the state. You would have to get a map and do some research to determine the coverage. I have use my 2m/440 handheld in areas with no cell phone coverage and it works well. In the Sierra mountains, I have used a 220 MHz handheld to use a linked system to Southern Cal several hundred miles away and talk with my wife and friends.

So

1. Consider getting a license which is not hard, but will take some time.

2. Buying or borrowing a handheld transceiver.

3. Spending a few weeks learning how to use it, make contacts on repeaters.

4. Research the area. Map the repeaters. Program them into the handheld.

5. When you get there, test the repeaters in the area and make sure you can access them.

 

Once you have done this it is easy and you can go to a new area with a little preparation and have the confidence in your handheld and its abilities.

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Hi,

I am traversing in deep forest in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I am out of range for cell phone operation there. I need communication for where I go. Which is best to use, Ham radio two meter? or should I splurge for a satellite phone?

Neither.

 

The best way to stay safe and sound in the PNW deep woods, is to learn how to stay safer. I would never rely on phones, radios, or gps. Most of the PNW woods have nice wide trails. Most trails are on maps. Compasses don't run out batteries or have an IC go up in smoke.

 

I hiked, backpacked in the Oregon and Washington "deep woods" for many years. The one thing I've learned is to travel light. Get a good compass, learn how to use it and good topo maps. Alway be aware that you have to rely on yourself to stay out of trouble. That's also a lot of joy of heading into the "deep woods", being totally self reliant.

 

Another thing most of the places you would be going there will be other people around. I never run into anybody that was anything but nice folk. The baddies stay close to thier cars. So relax, learn how to use that map and compass, carry your gps to make navigation a little easier. Take only what you need, leave everything else at home.

 

Byron

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Hmm, I am getting the feeling that ham radio operators get bored with it?

Hey, don't let the naysayers mislead you and give you a negative view. Amateur Radio is far from dead or boring. The people that get a license and never use it are usually the people that really did'nt want to do it in the first place, but a father/mother, sibling, spouse or whatever convinced them to do it.

 

DO IT, you'll be glad you did. Its a fun hobby with a million different avenues.

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Hmm,  I am getting the feeling that ham radio operators get bored with it?

Hey, don't let the naysayers mislead you and give you a negative view. Amateur Radio is far from dead or boring. The people that get a license and never use it are usually the people that really did'nt want to do it in the first place, but a father/mother, sibling, spouse or whatever convinced them to do it.

 

DO IT, you'll be glad you did. Its a fun hobby with a million different avenues.

I'm sure if was aimed at me, but in case it was here's my repy.

 

I'm not naysaying against Ham radio. I think it's a great hobby. I've come close many times to getting involved.

 

I do, however, think anybody that relying on electronic devices to keep them safe, or for "emergency" use in the back country are putting themselves at a greater risk than necessary. If you learn how to rely on yourself you won't need those devices.

 

A NPS ranger friend of mine likes to tell a little story. He got a phone call from some guy that said he was lost. The guy said he had a gps and a cell phone with him, and asked "what should I do?" Ranger said "Learn how to use the gps." and hung up.

 

Point being... Become self reliant when traveling in the back country, or deep woods, or wilderness. What ever you want to call it when you're not close to emergency services.

 

Go ahead and get the license and enjoy the hobbie.

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And then every once in a while you read a story like the one in the May, 2005 issue of World Radio where a 2 meter radio saved a fellow's life. Seems that he was hiking in Alaska and fell, losing his snowshoes and at least waist-deep in snow. He was able to call out on his ham radio to get help. His hiking partner was also there to help direct the rescue crew to where he was. It's always good to keep a back-up. That's why I always carry a compass in addition to my GPS.

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And then every once in a while you read a story like the one in the May, 2005 issue of World Radio where a 2 meter radio saved a fellow's life. Seems that he was hiking in Alaska and fell, losing his snowshoes and at least waist-deep in snow. He was able to call out on his ham radio to get help. His hiking partner was also there to help direct the rescue crew to where he was. It's always good to keep a back-up. That's why I always carry a compass in addition to my GPS.

I knew somebody would post one of these. Surprised it took as long as it did.

 

DANGER.... Don't cross the street, somebody got run over doing that....

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And then every once in a while you read a story like the one in the May, 2005 issue of World Radio where a 2 meter radio saved a fellow's life.  Seems that he was hiking in Alaska and fell, losing his snowshoes and at least waist-deep in snow.  He was able to call out on his ham radio to get help.  His hiking partner was also there to help direct the rescue crew to where he was.  It's always good to keep a back-up.  That's why I always carry a compass in addition to my GPS.

I knew somebody would post one of these. Surprised it took as long as it did.

 

DANGER.... Don't cross the street, somebody got run over doing that....

Your reply makes no sense compared to your quote of him.

 

Limax said "It's always good to keep a back-up. That's why I always carry a compass in addition to my GPS."

 

Which is true.

 

Who/what are you arguing with?

 

-J.R.

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Pros and Cons as illustrated above.

 

However, ham radio is great for this hobby - someone to chat with if noone is around. We do have excellent covereage here though.

 

I became a ham for the fun of it, and to learn about electronics. 2 years later, I use it in all my outdoor fun, and don't get to chat otherwise as often - go figure.

 

It's a great tool to have - but you need to make sure that research is done on local repeaters - and as I said - autopatch (phone) privledges are a nice feature.

 

Testing, is simple enough and cheap. All volunteer based, so go at it and have some fun.

 

Jonathan

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A NPS ranger friend of mine likes to tell a little story. He got a phone call from some guy that said he was lost. The guy said he had a gps and a cell phone with him, and asked "what should I do?" Ranger said "Learn how to use the gps." and hung up.

Then your ranger friend is also a complete idiot.

 

Wrong attitude for the job.

 

Jonathan

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A NPS ranger friend of mine likes to tell a little story.  He got a phone call from some guy that said he was lost. The guy said he had a gps and a cell phone with him, and asked "what should I do?" Ranger said "Learn how to use the gps." and hung up.

Then your ranger friend is also a complete idiot.

 

Wrong attitude for the job.

 

Jonathan

I hope you're not a good representive of the Amature Radion community. I don't really want to join another group that calls people names with limited information.

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I was thinking the best way to alert someone on 2 meters when you have an emergency is to CALL CQ. At least ten people will jump in and tell you NOT TO DO THAT. Dick, W7WT

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I was thinking the best way to alert someone on 2 meters when you have an emergency is to CALL CQ. At least ten people will jump in and tell you NOT TO DO THAT. Dick, W7WT

I called CQ on 2 meters when I first got my ticket a few years ago. Three people that frequent the airwaves in my area did the honors. My excuse was that I didn't get the memo about the TPS reports :laughing:.

 

Anyway, now I know what to say when I need help in an emergency.

Edited by Highnoon25

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I was thinking the best way to alert someone on 2 meters when you have an emergency is to CALL CQ. At least ten people will jump in and tell you NOT TO DO THAT. Dick, W7WT

I called CQ on 2 meters when I first got my ticket a few years ago. Three people that frequent the airwaves in my area did the honors. My excuse was that I didn't get the memo about the TPS reports :laughing:.

 

Anyway, now I know what to say when I need help in an emergency.

For those of us that are ignorant (well, maybe it's just me) about ham radio stuff- what do you mean by a 'ticket'? Do you receive a fine for calling CQ? What is CQ and why are you not permitted to call them?

 

:drama:

 

Again- I apologize if this isn't the right forum for this kind of discussion, but I'm not sure where else to find the answer.

 

Have a super weekend all!

 

:o

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Hi

Can you give us a specific area where you will be. We can look up your area and tell you what your chances are for 2 meter. Also, I would check to see if any of the repeaters have autopatch. Autopatch is where you can make phone calls through the repeater.

Good Luck

Gene AA1XD

:ph34r:

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Hi All

Being from Maine and an avid hiker and ham , here is my suggestions for traveling into the woods. I totally enjoy my radios, gps's and all my electronic toys. However, I never and I mean never venture into the woods, even on well marked trails without my compass and maps. As a matter of fact, I have 2 compass's. A good one that stays in my pack, and a small ball compass on my jacket. Someone else posted that compass's never have dead batteries. I totally agree. Still, its fun to contact repeaters and other folks from way back in the woods with the rigs.

Gene AA1XD

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A NPS ranger friend of mine likes to tell a little story.  He got a phone call from some guy that said he was lost. The guy said he had a gps and a cell phone with him, and asked "what should I do?" Ranger said "Learn how to use the gps." and hung up.

Then your ranger friend is also a complete idiot.

 

Wrong attitude for the job.

 

Jonathan

I hope you're not a good representive of the Amature Radion community. I don't really want to join another group that calls people names with limited information.

If you think that is limited information - then...... don't know what to tell ya.

 

That is a rediculous statement coming from a ranger - I called it as I saw it.

 

Do I regret it..... NO!

 

If your that sensitive, then the 21st century just isn't the place for you then - that was not even close to real name calling.

 

Jonathan

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I am a ham in Gig Harbor, and the repeaters are EVERYWHERE out here.

 

Get the ARRL repeater directory, and you can pretty much find a repeater anywhere in the country.

 

I have had my ticket since 1987, and haven't looked back since.

 

VERY active in it, and whenever I go camping or go out hiking etc, i ALWAYS take my handheld, ALWAYS... LOL

 

I also take my cellphone, but that's a whole other story....

 

Good luck, and I hope you get your ticket anyway, because it is a GREAT hobby...

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What i have found is a nice way to stay safe inthe outback is to use a 2meter with APRS and i have someone i know check the web site findU.com i have found i can get into a digipeater a little easier then most two meter repeaters and then who ever checks the site for me knows my exact coords and i can also leave messages as to what i am up to and where i will be going next other then a few times i have been way down deep in a canyon i have been able to send out my coords and a message to let everyone know i am fine and dandy if in need of help i could send a message and also my coords mostly i try to come prepared with what i need to stay safe and spend a little extra time waiting if need be

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Hi,

I am traversing in deep forest in the Pacific Northwest, USA. I am out of range for cell phone operation there. I need communication for where I go. Which is best to use, Ham radio two meter? or should I splurge for a satellite phone?

Another option is to use ham satellites. Look into 'APRS' via the international

space station (ISS). You can put your position report plus short messages

directly to the internet from almost anywhere on earth. It ain't easy, and

the price of the gear (not counting the GPS receiver) is about $400. That's for

a minimal rig. It packs kinda light, maybe 1 to 3 pounds.

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Go for the ham license but ty to have a backup plan. If your looking for somthing that is 100% reliable I don't think there is such a thing. Maybe it's just around here but it seems that every repeater has that one ham (usually a handy ham) that is always listening. If I'm going to be out in the woods for a while I usually call n3id on the repeater to let him know what I'm up to and check in with him ocasionally. The great thing about being a ham is the many many directions you can go with it.

 

Ps. I don't think any body answerd the question about CQ. CQ is a way of letting others know that you want to talk to anybody who's listening.

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