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2 hours ago, bobsguns said:

Some of the places I travel through has no one living near it for miles upon miles. Extremely remote, thus no cell signal. 

While I always carry, there may be a time when I'm too injured to hike out 5-6 miles until I reach something or someone. This is what I'm trying to prepare for, not to chit chat on a radio to someone living in another state. Unless she's female, of course.....................    😝  

In that case, one of the hand held radios should work fine. I have a Baofeng radio. It's capable of transmitting but I don't have a license. In the event of an emergency, I have no hesitation to transmit without a license. They can fine me if they like (I doubt they would) it'd be better than being dead.  But also understand that the radio won't work down in the hollers unless there's a repeater tower close by. 

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1 hour ago, peejman said:

In that case, one of the hand held radios should work fine. I have a Baofeng radio. It's capable of transmitting but I don't have a license. In the event of an emergency, I have no hesitation to transmit without a license. They can fine me if they like (I doubt they would) it'd be better than being dead.  But also understand that the radio won't work down in the hollers unless there's a repeater tower close by. 

When I hunt I usually have no cell reception so I carry a Baofeng handheld 8W with a 15" whip antenna. I can hit the repeater from 7 miles away on VHF, even down in the hollers. The receivers on the repeaters are pretty sensitive. 

The Technician Ham license is pretty easy to get. I studied about 3 hours and passed. If I can do that then anyone else could probably get it with an hour's study!!!

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13 hours ago, bobsguns said:

With CB limited to only 5 watts by FCC law, you're almost limited to a line-of-sight comms, it would seem? All the units I priced were rated at 4 watts, so it seems to be the industry norm. 

You're quite likely going to bump up against that limitation regardless of what type of portable rig you buy - see the earlier post about line of sight vs. "skip" transmissions and the frequencies involved.  From what you're describing, I would talk to local fire/ranger/rescue officials and find out what frequencies/bands they routinely monitor, and go with something with that capability.  I also wouldn't be surprised if their recommendation is to carry a cell, and perhaps a PLB for extreme emergencies ...

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14 hours ago, bobsguns said:

Some of the places I travel through has no one living near it for miles upon miles. Extremely remote, thus no cell signal. 

While I always carry, there may be a time when I'm too injured to hike out 5-6 miles until I reach something or someone. This is what I'm trying to prepare for, not to chit chat on a radio to someone living in another state. Unless she's female, of course.....................    😝  

Not just someone living nearby. Also, if there is another mobile unit roaming around. Anyone that can render you help.

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10 hours ago, No_0ne said:

From what you're describing, I would talk to local fire/ranger/rescue officials and find out what frequencies/bands they routinely monitor, and go with something with that capability.  I also wouldn't be surprised if their recommendation is to carry a cell, and perhaps a PLB for extreme emergencies ...

I spoke to the local rescue chief yesterday, as a matter of fact. As for the cell phone, you must have missed the post where I mentioned an extremely rural & mountainous terrain? Cell phones are only covered in around 30-35% of my county. 40% of my county is Cherokee Nat Forrest, which doesn't allow cell towers.

Chief also said he can reach their office from anywhere in the county with his handheld. As a rescue chief, he's all over the county. 

Edited by bobsguns
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11 hours ago, Mike1000 said:

The Technician Ham license is pretty easy to get. I studied about 3 hours and passed. If I can do that then anyone else could probably get it with an hour's study!!!

On a lark, I took the practice test. Admittedly nothing squat, I scored a 20 out of 35 possible. Failed, of course. But as you said, I would imagine after reading the study guide for a bit I could pass easily.

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1 minute ago, bobsguns said:

I would imagine after reading the study guide for a bit I could pass easily.

You can buy a "study guide" that has every single test question in it. In fact, you could just take those practice tests several times and learn the answers by rote.

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You don't really need to buy a guide TBH. There are several websites with detailed info and practice tests you can use. I already knew stuff like the phonetic alphabet, electrical/mechanical safety, and the circuit diagrams, the only bit I struggled with (and got wrong in the exam) were remembering things like which portions of bands were CW only. I still scored 33/35.

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2 hours ago, bobsguns said:

Chief also said he can reach their office from anywhere in the county with his handheld. As a rescue chief, he's all over the county.

Interesting. We'll be moving to SW Polk County (near Old Fort) when the new house is ready. Did you find out if they monitor anything, e.g., CB or GMRS or ??

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8 hours ago, Aloha8 said:

Interesting. We'll be moving to SW Polk County (near Old Fort) when the new house is ready. Did you find out if they monitor anything, e.g., CB or GMRS or ??

No, never really delved into which frequencies they used. I was picking his brain for advice more than anything. Nice fella too. 

Are you familiar with the Old Fort area?

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Sounds like what you need is a satellite phone.

It has been several years since I used one but basically you need to keep it charged, and it works from most anywhere to most anywhere… Far away places to Middle Tennessee was once no problem.  If I remember correctly, the phone was costly, about 1k, and the charges were about $1 per minute…but it worked, always.  
 

Likely the prices have come down significantly.  It shouldn’t be much trouble to research if you have the need for such communications.

 

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21 minutes ago, BC in TN said:

Sounds like what you need is a satellite phone.

It has been several years since I used one but basically you need to keep it charged, and it works from most anywhere to most anywhere… Far away places to Middle Tennessee was once no problem.  If I remember correctly, the phone was costly, about 1k, and the charges were about $1 per minute…but it worked, always.  
 

Likely the prices have come down significantly.  It shouldn’t be much trouble to research if you have the need for such communications.

 

Ehh, it's for emergencies only, actually. With a handheld HAM, I won't be paying monthly fees. But a sat phone is a good idea were I to be in the boonies quite a bit, I agree. 

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12 hours ago, bobsguns said:

Are you familiar with the Old Fort area?

A bit from looking for property there and having purchased some land, from driving around some.

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6 minutes ago, Aloha8 said:

A bit from looking for property there and having purchased some land, from driving around some.

Lots of less-than-ideal people there for neighbors. I've had lots of them tell me about stuff "walking off" that was left outside, so please be advised. 

Beautiful drive along Ball Park Road though. The Conasauga River is a neat little drive. Be sure to check out Fletcher's Spout, neat story there. 

If you need help on anything, give me a shout.

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1 hour ago, bobsguns said:

Lots of less-than-ideal people there for neighbors. I've had lots of them tell me about stuff "walking off" that was left outside, so please be advised.

Thanks for the heads up. We'll be away from most neighbors but cautious.

1 hour ago, bobsguns said:

Beautiful drive along Ball Park Road though. The Conasauga River is a neat little drive. Be sure to check out Fletcher's Spout, neat story there.

We've made that drive along the river (we'll be just off Ladd Springs Rd). Beautiful indeed. Hadn't heard about Fletcher's Spout but we'll investigate when winter rolls away.

1 hour ago, bobsguns said:

If you need help on anything, give me a shout.

Thanks, will do for sure.

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Some one correct me if I’m wrong but the last time I spoke with ATT tech support which was 2 yrs ago about crappy cell coverage where I lived, I had told them my concerns out in my back  field was for emergency needs and I had little to no cell signal ! ! They told me that 911 works off of satellite and ANY cell phone will connect to 911 even if it’s not connected to a service.

He then said you can test this by dialing 411 because information works off the same system as 911..and they have your gps location at the same time.

 Again NO cell service signal but still connects to 911?

 I relied  on this info but never had used this. I would guess a call to your cell provider would confirm this or deny this claims of today’s new systems in place.

 I would never expect anyone to be monitoring a cb, marine nor a ham repeater or simplex frequency when you needed it the most !

 

 Just my old $.02 worth,  Mike

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https://www.bridgecomsystems.com/collections/anytone-hts/products/anytone-at-d878uvii-plus

https://www.bridgecomsystems.com/collections/amateur-mobile-radios/products/anytone-at-d578uviii-plus-tri-band-amateur-dmr-mobile-radio

Learn to program them and you can have UHF/VHF/DMR all in the same units.
Anytone has their own programming software.

https://www.baofengradio.com/products/uv-5rtp

Cheaper units w/o DMR.
Use CHIRP for programming on these.

Except for the addition of DMR programming in the Anytone units, I have the same programming profiles in all radios. (Half dozen or so)
Profile includes GMRS, MURS, FRS, HAM Simplex, all weather frequencies, and local HAM repeaters.

I almost never use them.
Sometimes I'll turn one on and scan the locals.
Or listen to the local Sheriff's dept. (They're still analog)
I'm not licensed.
But if they're needed, they are programmed, charged, and ready to go.

Edited by DL126
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On 1/25/2022 at 7:25 PM, peejman said:

In that case, one of the hand held radios should work fine. I have a Baofeng radio. It's capable of transmitting but I don't have a license. In the event of an emergency, I have no hesitation to transmit without a license. They can fine me if they like (I doubt they would) it'd be better than being dead.  But also understand that the radio won't work down in the hollers unless there's a repeater tower close by. 

This seems to be the best idea, but you are right about them not working in the hollars. I toyed with getting my Ham radio license, but never did. Went through the CB craze back the late 70's and early 80's.  Had one in my car. But decided I like listening to the car radio more than a bunch of truckers looking for a hooker rendezvous. I learned to drive with the trucks on long drives and mimic what they were doing speed wise.  Saved on speeding tickets most of the time.

Now with smart phones and apps like Waze and Google Maps, you know where the speed traps are, where places to stop eat and take a potty break are, where the traffic backs ups are and the alternate routes around them. I run Waze even running around Knoxville, just for traffic and speed traps.

When I hike, I'm usually in a group or with my wife, so communication isn't that important, and I have cell service about half the time, anymore, unless deep in the Smokies.  But I could see where a handheld ham radio might be a nice safety device. Of course, you can purchase personal locator beacons that when activated, bring the calvary to you has long as the battery hasn't run down. You do have to register them with NOAA, because they will be the ones that receive the signal first.  They can be as cheap as $30. 

Also, Garmin sales some two way communications units that hit use satellite communications. You can send and receive messages, track your location, download maps to your cellphone, etc.  They start about $350, but do require a monthly subscription.  Not sure how much that is.

Anyway, interesting topic!  Thanks for bringing it up, Bob!

Edited by Moped
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20 hours ago, myg30 said:

 Again NO cell service signal but still connects to 911?

He's wholly incorrect about that. A phone can not have a PROVIDER (AT&T, Verizon, etc) & still can call 9-1-1. But a phone HAS to have a signal to get out. I experienced this as recently as yesterday, up in back hills of my county. 

A sat phone is a different matter entirely, as I'm sure you know. 

Edited by bobsguns
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3 hours ago, DL126 said:

Learn to program them and you can have UHF/VHF/DMR all in the same units.

Cheaper units w/o DMR.
Use CHIRP for programming on these.

Except for the addition of DMR programming in the Anytone units, I have the same programming profiles in all radios. (Half dozen or so)
Profile includes GMRS, MURS, FRS, HAM Simplex, all weather frequencies, and local HAM repeaters.

Much of that may as well be in chinese for someone like me who doesn't know the meaning of those acronyms. 

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1 hour ago, Moped said:

This seems to be the best idea, but you are right about them not working in the hollars.

Which is why I went to the chief of my local search & rescue crew. Polk Co is nothing but mountains & hollers. LOL!  But the chief said his handheld can communicate from anywhere in the county. This is using the relay up on the mountain, of course. 

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the national parks nor forests allow either cell towers or radio towers on the property? It's for that reason I want the handheld HAM radio in order to call for help. About 80% of the land area of Polk County is now part of the Cherokee National Forest, according to Wikipedia. So that greatly limits the availability of cell phone towers & so forth. 

I have no clue about the area around Knoxville & so forth. I don't think they're part of the Cherokee Nat Forest there & it's further east from there. I would think there could be cell towers around there pretty easily but I honestly have no idea about that. I do know they can put a cell tower on someone's property w/o the owner's blessing, eminent domain allows that.

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On 1/30/2022 at 10:21 AM, bobsguns said:

Which is why I went to the chief of my local search & rescue crew. Polk Co is nothing but mountains & hollers. LOL!  But the chief said his handheld can communicate from anywhere in the county. This is using the relay up on the mountain, of course. 

Someone can correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe the national parks nor forests allow either cell towers or radio towers on the property? It's for that reason I want the handheld HAM radio in order to call for help. About 80% of the land area of Polk County is now part of the Cherokee National Forest, according to Wikipedia. So that greatly limits the availability of cell phone towers & so forth. 

I have no clue about the area around Knoxville & so forth. I don't think they're part of the Cherokee Nat Forest there & it's further east from there. I would think there could be cell towers around there pretty easily but I honestly have no idea about that. I do know they can put a cell tower on someone's property w/o the owner's blessing, eminent domain allows that.

If calling for help in an emergency is your goal, just get a satellite locator beacon.  They're easy and cheap. 

If you want to dive into the radio rabbit hole, and it's a quite a cavern, get a radio. 

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