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Author Topic: handheld range  (Read 3724 times)
RONPIERCE1
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Posts: 10




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« on: February 27, 2013, 06:23:07 PM »

could one of you ham heads give me a ball park est on hand held ranges, I am looking at the 2 band types including the elcheapo brand on amazon..I did find one review someone said they had a good reliable connection to 30 miles away, but that's all I could find on distance relating to hand held 2/70cm type 4-5 watt handheld...I know conditions dictate, antenna etc...my nearest repeater is about 18 miles away...I didn't want to buy one of these and have it be useless to me.
Also I have a FT2900 in my truck on 5 watt I can easily pickup the repeater.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 06:36:39 PM by RONPIERCE1 » Logged
W8JX
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2013, 09:36:39 PM »

There is no blanket answer. Lot of variables here. HT to HT is shortest and terrain plays a role too. Generally you will get longer range unit to unit and via repeaters on 2m vs 440. Both bands are consider line of sight but 2m will bend a bit beyond. I can bring up a few high profile 2m repeaters here 30+ miles away with a HT when foot mobile. A HT inside a car without a external antenna will have much shorter range especially when mobile.  HT to HT on relatively flat ground 3 to 5 miles on 2m. Over water 10+ miles. 440 will do less. Mountain top line of sight 75+ miles easily done with both.

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M6GOM
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« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2013, 04:22:35 AM »

As said, terrain plays a role as does the antenna on the receiving station.

A friend of mine has a repeater on a hill 16 miles away which is roughly 400ft higher than where he is. Last night he demonstrated how good it was by putting a handheld in a metal fridge at floor level transmitting on low power about 1W and managing to open the repeater.

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K1CJS
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2013, 04:38:28 AM »

18 miles is pushing it--depending on the repeater antenna and the surrounding terrain.  If the repeater antenna is up high and the terrain is fairly flat, you may be able to.  Your chances would increase if you got a collapsible whip antenna and use that instead of the rubber duckie type the HT probably came with.  Also get the largest battery pack (voltage wise) that the HT could handle or the car connector cord and a 12 volt battery pack that the HT could draw power from, and you will do better.

Some people can get more range, maybe two or three times the range, depending on conditions and the HT they're using while others wish they could.  Concerning the 'el-cheapo' HTs, yes, they do work, but remember that you get what you pay for.  Asking a Baofeng HT to do what a good Icom, Yaesu, or a converted commercial HT will do....  Well, just lets say that you may be sorely disappointed.
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RONPIERCE1
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2013, 06:54:21 PM »

thanks gents..I ordered the FT 60R and 15 inch antenna, I can always rig something on my roof for at the house..I take the exam for tech next week.
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K7RBW
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« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2013, 06:49:26 AM »

I've gotten 75 mile range from my handheld when it was connected to a mobile antenna talking to a mountain-top repeater and I've gotten 1/2 mile range from a handheld with a stubby antenna talking to another similar radio. I've also gotten almost a 100-mile range from a handheld with a stubby antenna (while it was in an airplane @ 8,000 ft). 50+ mile range from a handheld is common from some of the mountains around here. There's a repeater that I can't hit with the 1/4-wave antenna, but is loud and clear with a 5-elem log-periodic. Lots of variables. Lots of surprises!

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K5LXP
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2013, 07:46:10 AM »

 Asking a Baofeng HT to do what a good Icom, Yaesu, or a converted commercial HT will do....  Well, just lets say that you may be sorely disappointed.

It would come as no surprise to me if they're all made at the same chinese contract manufacturer, along with laptops, cell phones and MP3 players.


Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM
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M6GOM
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« Reply #7 on: March 01, 2013, 08:37:15 AM »

 Asking a Baofeng HT to do what a good Icom, Yaesu, or a converted commercial HT will do....  Well, just lets say that you may be sorely disappointed.

Why? Do the laws of physics change if you spend three times the money on a radio? Roll Eyes
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KT4WO
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« Reply #8 on: March 01, 2013, 11:40:04 AM »

RE:"Why? Do the laws of physics change if you spend three times the money on a radio?"


Yes....they seem to .....

I have two of those "low cost" HT's ...  TRASH ..... 

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K1CJS
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« Reply #9 on: March 02, 2013, 04:22:20 AM »

Asking a Baofeng HT to do what a good Icom, Yaesu, or a converted commercial HT will do....  Well, just lets say that you may be sorely disappointed.

Why? Do the laws of physics change if you spend three times the money on a radio? Roll Eyes

Better quality parts--and better quality control matter here.  Something that is sorely lacking in some of those Chinese HTs.  The laws of Physics have little to do with it.  Do you expect a Chevy to perform the same as a Mercedes?  You seem to think it will.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2013, 04:25:07 AM by K1CJS » Logged
M6GOM
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« Reply #10 on: March 02, 2013, 06:47:07 AM »

For driving from A to B it pretty much will.
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W8JX
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« Reply #11 on: March 02, 2013, 09:09:36 AM »

For driving from A to B it pretty much will.

That depends a lot on the route between them.
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W5LZ
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« Reply #12 on: March 05, 2013, 09:05:10 PM »

It mostly boils down to what and where the antenna is, on both ends not just on one of them.  That holds true whether you are using a repeater or a simplex frequency.  Terrain is a part of that 'where' thingy with antennas too.  Too many variables in all that to make a 'blanket' guess for range.
 - Paul
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ONAIR
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Posts: 1738




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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2013, 11:28:29 PM »

If you want maximum range when using a handheld, just bring along a portable beam antenna!  The increase in range can be substantial.
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AD4U
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Posts: 2157




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« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2013, 05:39:50 AM »

I live on a 700 acre farm.  Many ham friends hunt, fish, and generally help me on the farm.  We often use HT's on simplex to communicate. On my farm typical reliable range between two FM walkie talkies with standard rubber duck antennas over flat ground with some trees is 2-3 miles.  Of course you could get a bit less or a whole lot more under different circumstances.

Dick  AD4U
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