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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: david8613's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005

    affordable long range 2 way radios?

    anyone have any good experience with a pair of 2 way radios with good range without breaking the bank?

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    What do you consider "long range"? Realistically speaking you can get 1-2 miles out of most of these handhelds, I use them for ski resorts and it's all good as long as you're not on the other side of the mountain. If there is any kind of serious hill blocking you the signal goes dead regardless of distance. Imagine the thing is like a light. Trees and such are no problem. If the person you're trying to talk to is on the "dark side of the moon" then no-go. For MTB I'd say it's better than yelling.

    Don't believe for a moment the "20 mile range" claptrap. That's provided you're standing on top of Mt. Everest with a clear line of sight to your buddy on another mountain top. Cell phones by comparison have excellent range because the tower you're trying to communicate is high up and high power. Like thousands of watts. HH radios are only a couple of watts at best. Imagine trying to light up an area with a flashlight as opposed to a searchlight and you get the idea...

    If you really need the best of both worlds I'd recommend a prepaid Nextel style phone. You can get them about as cheap as the walkie talkies and as long as they support the "direct talk" feature you get the best of both worlds... You use cell tower for increased range when available and when there's no signal in sight you can switch to walkie talkie mode for phone-phone communication.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Reputation: dnoyeb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    This is not completely accurate. The power of the cell tower is not the measure here but the power of the cell-phone. Also the frequency. Cell-towers have no need to be 1000s of watts because it does no good for them to transmit data to the phone if they can not receive data back. IIRC, with a booster on your car you could boost your cell phone up to 3W, but the typical handheld was 1/4W. Not sure how it is now. Likely the 2-Way radio has more wattage since in theory, it has to go longer to reach its target than a cell phone. Of course its using a different frequency which will have different properties in the face of obstacles.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    We use our iPhones as our 2 way radios, along with the MotionX GPS App and the RAM iPhone bike mount. This is perfect combination for communication, location and speed information. Plus it's cool to geo tag our pictures along the route.

  5. #5
    Rip Van Winkle
    Reputation: Restoman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    These looked like a sweet deal, I looked at all of them and found these to have everything I needed. Good for your typical mtb ride or zombie preparedness pack (ZPP)

    Midland LXT340VP3 20-Mile 2-Way Radio Pair

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