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Equipment Reviews/Questions:supported by UK ski shop and boot fitters, Edge & Wax

Two-Way Radio recommendations...?

Author

Two-Way Radio recommendations...?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi,

Can anyone recommend a fairly decent two-way radio that could be used in the mountains? Preferably something that won't break the bank - somewhere in the region of £100?

Cheers,

John.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Your major players are binatone, motorola and kenwood.

Go for 16 channel radio because most handsets will sit on a similar frequency range so you will want the option to find the most decongested channel.

Don't bother with ear pieces and other fancy poo-poo. Nothing will beat a good radio protocol.

I recommend coming up with a few predetermined meeting points before hand as quality of transmission can still vary greatly. Also radios will work a lot better in a bowl than a mountain range as line of sight makes for better signal.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Your major players are binatone, motorola and kenwood.

Go for 16 channel radio because most handsets will sit on a similar frequency range so you will want the option to find the most decongested channel.

Don't bother with ear pieces and other fancy poo-poo. Nothing will beat a good radio protocol.

I recommend coming up with a few predetermined meeting points before hand as quality of transmission can still vary greatly. Also radios will work a lot better in a bowl than a mountain range as line of sight makes for better signal.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
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Jin, seem to have some echo on your line.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
bruisedskier wrote:
Jin, seem to have some echo on your line.


Ha ha. Must have been standing too close to another keyboard.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
getnorthern wrote:
Hi,

Can anyone recommend a fairly decent two-way radio that could be used in the mountains? Preferably something that won't break the bank - somewhere in the region of £100?

Cheers,

John.


It's called your mobile phone, works well and amazingly also when one of you is one-side of the hill and one the other. Nowadays texting in europe is pretty damned cheep
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Jin, Cheers for the info!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
bertie bassett, in my experience, reception can be VERY limited. I'm not trying to save money on calls or texts - I want something that will actually work! Very Happy
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
getnorthern, two-way radio- you will look like a to££er at best and a tourist at worst.
bertie bassett's, advice is best.
Punter two way radio signals only work on a line of sight basis. ie Useless in the mountains.
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
I have never used radios whilst skiing but use them for work. However can you explain to me what sort of situations you would use a radio for?

Is it so the group can separate? Find each other if you are lost? Send your pizza order to your mate that has broken his arm and is sat back at base?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
boredsurfin, bertie bassett's advice isn't much use if my phone doesn't have any signal. I'd heard that people can keep in touch using radios, although I of course accept that the range wouldn't be great in the mountains. To be blunt, I don't give a flying f*ck what people think I look like, if it means I can keep in touch with my family (who are all at different levels of ability) and one of us misses a meeting point for some reason. Besides - I don't live at the resort, so by definition, I WILL be a tourist. So what...? Wink

Jin, it's partly so the group can split, partly to help us find each other. We'd all be in roughly the same area - say within a mile of each other? My phone has been useless in the past in Austria, so I was hoping this might be a workable alternative. I've experienced how hard it can be to find someone if they take a wrong turn and end up a bus-ride away at the bottom of another gondola! Puzzled
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
You should be fine with any domestic radio at that range most had 8km range when we used them in 04.

What we have now we can talk on opposite ends of the world but at £500 a radio it's probably over your budget. NehNeh
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Jin, haha! Maybe just a little. Wink

Thanks again.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
BaoFeng UV-5R . get a few of these on ebay .
Pay the extra for the longer antenna. 5 watts of power and all the channels you need.
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UV-5RA-UV-5R-A-BAOFENG-UHF-VHF-Dual-Band-136-174-400-480Mhz-Radio-USB-Cable-/141012721348?pt=UK_Mobile_Phones_Communication_Ham_Radio_Receivers_Transceivers&hash=item20d5035ec4
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
getnorthern, I agree with Jin, essentially they will only work if you stay in the same valley, but they are great for the situations where you get to a junction of a piste and you don't know which way someone up ahead went. As for range, you can get pretty good range out of these radios provided you are line of site, (in the same valley.) We have some T7 Motorola which are great, if a little big (they claim 10K radius.) We had some little motorola T4502 which were good and small enough to sit in the palm of your hand, not as good range, but in the same valley should be ok. You pays your money and takes your choice.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
getnorthern, Another vote for Motorola T7. I think they are discontinued now and have been replaced by the T8. I also have a pair of T8s which I don't like as much. The 'roger beep' is at a constant (high volume) which is a bit of a pain when used with certain headsets.

The build quality of Motorola is very good though.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
cad99uk, 'roger beep' is at a constant (high volume) - might be able to find out how to sort that for you.........................................
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I got some before we went out last year. A couple of Cobra MT600's as recommended by a mate. TBH we bought them for general use with skiing just one of them. Skiing wise they did come in handy on occasion. There is a line of sight issue. They can be quite fun. I think mine cost £40, I believe they are currently on Amazon for less. I've never really had a problem with phone coverage but using the radio is free and quick. Not an essentlial bit of kit but asgetnorthern describes useful for a group/family to meet up or stay together. Last year the mate who rec'd the above was staying in a different village and we hooked up a couple of times using the radios.
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 You need to Login to know who's really who.
You need to Login to know who's really who.
Layne, to be fair you are tall enough to be Your own antenna..
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Yeah, I stood up straight and bingo we were in business Laughing
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Make sure they're legal where you want to use them. Wink
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I prefer to tie string to every member of my group I cant go on holiday and bear to be away from them for more than 2.2 minutes, if they ended up at another lift I don't know what I would do I would be beside myself with worry. Shocked
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
bruisedskier wrote:
getnorthern, I agree with Jin, essentially they will only work if you stay in the same valley, but they are great for the situations where you get to a junction of a piste and you don't know which way someone up ahead went.


Agreed - we used two-way radio's in Val Thorens because we were skiing with my twin 11 year old nephews, who don't have mobile phones. We were all skiing together so we didn't use them huge amounts - but they were invaluable on the times when we did need them, normally when someone got seperated or confused about where the meeting point was. Normally they were only a couple of hundred metres away and it was simple message of "Oii, we're over here!". Getting that message across without the radio's would have been a lot more painful!
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Another vote for Motorola T7 & T8's, earpieces are good too
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Got some Motorolas in Aldi a couple of years back, can't remember the price (must've been cheap) but they work well in the mountains, great when you've got people of different abilities or you're running late to meet up with wifeys ski school group Very Happy
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
+ 1 for Cobra MT600s. We've found 2 way radios very useful when skiing, especially in low visibility. Reassuring back-up to mobile phone. Handy when kids in skiing group and more likely to stray. I also carry a whistle for attracting attention, though not a lifejacket.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Been using the Motorola T5720 for a number of years, excellent solution, although I'm guessing the T5 or T7 are more current.
Motorola gets my vote.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
All the radios listed above are only toys compared to the baofeng uv5r. Prices are higher too.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
jimmjimm wrote:
All the radios listed above are only toys compared to the baofeng uv5r. Prices are higher too.


Those other radios are also legal, whereas the baofeng pushes out about 10 times the legal power limit in the PMR446 bands. I've never heard of anyone being busted for using an overpowered radio, mind you.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Serriadh wrote:
jimmjimm wrote:
All the radios listed above are only toys compared to the baofeng uv5r. Prices are higher too.


Those other radios are also legal, whereas the baofeng pushes out about 10 times the legal power limit in the PMR446 bands.


It also seems to push out that power in several bands other than PMR446, so if you use it in Europe outside of the allocated PMR466 band you could upset/interfere with licensed amateur and other users such as emergency services. (The US standard FRS band on 467MHz for example uses frequencies used by the Fire Brigade in the UK) ...
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Yeah well ask yourself, do I want my friends to hear me or do I prefer that they dont here me but at at least the people that are hearing me are doing so legally.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
jimmjimm, Yeah well ask yourself, do I mind that I may be interfering with other legal radio users? If you don't, go on transmitting.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Alastair Pink, you are still skiing though not having 5h chat over radios. So those few words every 3 hours won't really cause end of the world. And you check first and set radios out of police/fire/rescue services, which is nowadays pretty easy as most of important stuff is on frequencies not covered by these Baofeng radios.
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I've got a set of motorolas and i've found the occasionally useful. As has been said work best in close proximity, or in bowl-style mountains. If you're trying to get the next valley, forget it. Been useful when I've filmed friends skiing as I can setup and tell them what line I want them to take and when to go etc. but for finding people, mobiles are more reliable.

Also, not that I could POSSIBLY CONDONE such an action, but it's quite fun to troll people who are on your band discussing random crap.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
i used these last in La Rosiere, to get my daughter to put the kettle on http://snowheads.com/ski-forum/viewtopic.php?p=2352783#2352783
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You'll need to Register first of course.
Someone might have already mentioned this, but without a licence you can only (legally) use use radios on the PMR446 band.
Anything from Argos etc. will be PMR446 approved (Motoraola, Binatone, Kenwood etc.).

The problem with PMR446 is it uses the UHF band, the radios are limited to 0.5w output, limited channels, and they have a specific aerial length. These requirements are designed to restrict their range. Which makes them not very suitable for skiing.
There are some 'grey area' radios such as the Baofeng BF888. These are still on the UHF range, but have a 5w output, 16 channels and the aerial can be easily swapped out for a longer one.
You can program them to the same 8 channels you get on the PMR446 band so they appear to be 'type approved'. If your sensible while using them there isn't any reason you should draw any attention from the 'fuzz'. an good antenna upgrade is the NAGOYA NA-771 its quite long but bendy. Good for putting in your rucksack and using a handsfree kit.

Baofeng BF888 is about £15 with the USB programmer (to reprogram the channels).
NAGOYA NA-771 is about £5

This combination will give you far better performance than any 'off the shelf' Motorola/Binatone etc.

To take things a little further, Baofeng also produce a UV-5R (as jimmjimm mentioned).
this radio is both UHF and VHF. The latter having better 'penetrating' (ooo-err) abilities than UHF. So is batter for skiing and using around trees.
the NA-771 is also suitable for this radio.

I've also got a throat mic which is pretty good for skiing. You have what looks a bit like a hairband that goes round your throat and converts the vibrations when you speak into audio. Completely eliminating wind noise. it has a small earphone and a button you strap round your index finger so you can easily press and speak - even when on the move!
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/111172941136?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1423.l2649

So if your not worried about bending the rules a little, you can get a far better performing radio for your money.

Hope this helps someone!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I picked up 3 latest baofeng pofung gt-3 two way radios last month used them for cycling with my fris who are really into outdoor sports, like skiing, camping, hiking, cycling, etc....... Before I selected this latest one, I found the old one on ebay, but one of my fris told me the latest one named MARK II is available on amazon. It is ABSOLUTELY more fantastic than the old one cause' MARK II got a new Antenna, which can enhance the radio's signal ability and transmitting&receiving range. The longer range is very appealing and practical for ourdoor amateur. It also comes with a beautiful car charger, very convenient for charging on the way. But the battery can last about 8 hours so you don't need to use it normally.

Most Most importantly!! its frequency covers vhf & uhf !! very useful. 136-174 Mhz for vhf and 400-520 Mhz for uhf. Its wide range frequency can satisfy most users. At least I reaaaaally love it since it can really bring convenience for my team. LOL^_^... Toofy Grin Toofy Grin ... i don't know how the radio can reduce noise so obviously. i am not a radio expert so i can't tell some theories about the hardware issue. but i believe the new tail tone elimination function really makes sense. i can clearly hear others even though they stand on the other mountain, so far away from me and all of us are not on the top of mountain!! So wonderful!! all my fris love its delicate design. it is a definitely a GOOD portable radio for outdoor sport. i will absolutely suggest this latest MARK II GT3 to my fris.

Anyway, hope my review is good for you. Razz
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Flight1515,
A message from Hong Kong???
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
KenX,
More likely the Hormel Foods Corporation.
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Ski the Net with snowHeads
Flight1515, A message from our sponsor? Toofy grin, toofy grin.

Anyway, I tried a throat mic once- quite expensive one at about £30. The effect was much like when you hear yourself talking underwater. Sent it straight back.
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