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Author Topic: Eham help us choose a radio for cross country flight  (Read 2750 times)
MIKAELS
Member

Posts: 4




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« on: May 18, 2013, 06:11:30 PM »

Hello EHam Radio Forum,
I have no experience at all with radios and I have spend quite some time reading articles and forums
and I'm throwing the the towel so I hope you guys with experience can point me in the right direction.


We are working on a cross country powered paragliding project in Mexico and we need a radio system.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxbY0L6t35Y

We will be the support team on the ground and two persons in the air and we all 3 need to be in contact with eachother
and if possible play some music from a IPOD in the two headsets in the air.

We will be purchasing this head set and it works with almost any kind of HAM, FRS/GMRS and professional radios
and also has Bluetooth adapter for using a bluetooth device and radio together.
http://www.loescher.com/product_info.php?language=en&gm_boosted_product=LUH-1--LOESCHER-Universal-Headset-mit-PTT-und-Helmhalterung&products_id=13790&&XTCsid=6559523fcfa63d0209a24852c8d39cee

So we will need three radios and we are on a bit of a budget so we looked at icom ic-v80
but we really need something with a bit more range - maybe 5+in miles if possible.

If anybody can recommend a good sturdy radio alternative with a really good range, good battery lifetime
that works with the headsets we will be purchasing it would really help me a lot.

I dont need a lot of the other radio features since we will just all stay on the same channel
and use a push to talk system and would like to hear a bit of music on the way since it will be many hours in the air...

Thanks !

Mikael
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KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 319




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« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2013, 07:06:40 PM »

Remember it is illegal to transmit on ham radio frequencies without a ham license.  It is also illegal to broadcast music on a ham radio frequencies.  The IC-v80 is a 2meter ham radio transceiver. As such using it to transmit is illegal without a ham license, by all users.  When you are caught, you could face severe fines. With the added height of the glider, the range would be extended.  Also you could be interfering with licensed users.  Licensed users could report you to the Federal Communications Service.

In America a FRS radio is license free.  With the added height of the glider, the range would be extended.  Also the GMRS radio does require a free license.

Since you will be in Mexico, you would need to abide by their rules and laws.  You will to check with the Mexican authorities.
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KE3WD
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Posts: 5694




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« Reply #2 on: May 19, 2013, 06:26:03 AM »

Be advised that the authorities in Mexico are not going to be as lenient as authorities in the US would be about illegal/unlicensed transmissions in their country, made by foreigners. 

You should do whatever it takes to find out exactly what Mexico's rules and regulations are for such transmissions, if there are restirictions as to what bands and frequencies Mexico allows for use in air/ground transmissions, if there are licensing needs, etc. before doing anything else. 

Bing searches are a good start, not forums.  Follow that up with written letters to Mexican radio regulation authorities.  Find out from the source what's legal and what is not and govern your operations accordingly. 

If you do not, you could very easily end up incarcerated in a foreign country with no recourse other than to serve the time handed to you. 


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NA0AA
Member

Posts: 1043




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« Reply #3 on: May 19, 2013, 08:30:57 AM »

Given your needs, I think you need to consider whatever passes for business band radio in Mexico - I think I would find the motorola dealer closest to you and have a talk with them.  If there is some commercial value to this event, then perhaps they could give you loaners or something.

Does not sound like you qualify for amateur radio operations.
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KV7W
Member

Posts: 136




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« Reply #4 on: May 19, 2013, 10:07:56 AM »

Check into Bendix-King handhelds. They are well built and can be field programmable without a laptop, which you will probably need where you're going. Plus, the resale is pretty good.
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WX2S
Member

Posts: 698




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« Reply #5 on: May 20, 2013, 03:02:51 AM »

Sounds like a good job for one of the motorcycle rider to rider Communications Systems.

Wx2s.
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73, - Steve WX2S.
I subscribe to the DX Code of Conduct. http://dx-code.org/
MIKAELS
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #6 on: May 20, 2013, 08:18:55 AM »

Thanks so much for your replies.

To clarify:
We will not be broadcasting music over the radio. I can plug in a IPOD directly into the headset of the two persons in the paraglider.
I should have clarified that - sorry.

I have been looking into obtaining a ham permit in Mexico and it seems doable and will look into it further.
This blog seems like it's the most up-to-date: http://ham-blog.de/on-tour/xe-mexico/reciprocal-licence-xe-permit/
I speak spanish so that should make things easier - let me know if anybody are interested in any info I find out when going ahead with this.

One question about this, are there an alternative to ham radio that we could be using that does not require a license ?


KA4NMA, do you have any idea of what range we could expect from the ICOM IC-v80 - It seems like a great radio and other paragliders uses this model.

Thanks KV7W and WX2S, I will look into the Bendix-King handhelds and the motorcycle rider to rider Communications Systems
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KB3HG
Member

Posts: 404




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« Reply #7 on: May 20, 2013, 08:58:04 AM »

Read this: http://www.qsl.net/wd9ewk/xe-frs.html
lots of info about Mexico's radio law and licenses.
A great start. Google found it.

Tom Kb3hg
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KA5IPF
Member

Posts: 992


WWW

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« Reply #8 on: May 20, 2013, 09:49:20 AM »

To get a reciprocal license you have to have a US Ham License first. You need to be talking directly to the Mexican Communications Bureau and doing whatever they say. Mexican prisons are not nice, so I've heard.

Clif
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MIKAELS
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2013, 10:05:17 AM »

Read this: http://www.qsl.net/wd9ewk/xe-frs.html
lots of info about Mexico's radio law and licenses.
A great start. Google found it.

Tom Kb3hg

Thanks Tom, I will go over that website

To get a reciprocal license you have to have a US Ham License first. You need to be talking directly to the Mexican Communications Bureau and doing whatever they say. Mexican prisons are not nice, so I've heard.

Clif

The plan is to stay out of them.....

I live in Mexico so I will only use the radio here in México so I will talk directly to the Mexican Communications Bureau


Anybody has an advice for a cheap alternative to the ICOM IC-v80 but with longer range ?
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K5LXP
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Posts: 4465


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« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2013, 10:42:42 AM »


Anybody has an advice for a cheap alternative to the ICOM IC-v80 but with longer range ?

The radio doesn't determine the range, the antenna and antenna location will.

The issues of radio licensing and certifications comes up here in Albuquerque during our annual hot air balloon fiesta where pilots and radio equipment come in from all over the world.  Bottom line is that technically it's not legal to use 2-way FM commercial radios for flight operations.  I recall the solution was to use aircraft radios, which have channels dedicated for the type of use you're proposing.  I think the aircraft radio certification process is less border-centric and I don't think the FCC requires a license anymore.  Not sure about Mexico, you'd have to check.  Even the guys that hang glide from our mountain are required to use aircraft radios (and oxygen tanks - they soar well above 10,000ft).

There are numerous aircraft HT's for a reasonable amount of money, so if this solves the problem that'd be the way I'd go.

Mark K5LXP
Albuquerque, NM

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NI3S
Member

Posts: 67




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« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2013, 04:28:29 PM »

Every General Aviation VHF radio I've worked on is in the 4-7 watt range.  Given the fact that VHF is line of site, and from altitude there is a lot of line of site.  It seems there is little reason to not use aircraft radios as other aircraft could be made aware of your presence on the Unicomm frequencies.  If you really think you need more gain mount an antenna with a little gain and you should have plenty ability to make 5-10 miles while airborne.  A dirt cheap Aircraft handheld will more than likely be all you need.  A predeparture communications test seems like a no-brainer. 
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KA4NMA
Member

Posts: 319




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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2013, 06:37:28 PM »

The range of the VC80 depends on many factors including type of antenna, power output, percent of battery charge left and height.  The radio in the glider will have greater range do to the elevation than a radio on the ground.  As the battery depletes, the less voltage will decrease the range.  I have a similar radio and with a gain (not standard) ducky, I have about 10-15 mile range.  If you really want to go lite, check out the Alinco DJ-c7T, a low power, credit card size dual band handheld radio. No matter what radio or frequency, If at all possible, use an external antenna instead of the standard stock antenna.  Don't forget that you can also get earphone/microphone sets for the radio.

Randy
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AD6KA
Member

Posts: 2236




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« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2013, 10:59:03 AM »

Quote
We will be purchasing this head set and it works with almost any kind of HAM, FRS/GMRS and professional radios
and also has Bluetooth adapter for using a bluetooth device and radio together.

http://www.loescher.com/product_info.php?language=en&gm_boosted_product=LUH-1--LOESCHER-Universal-Headset-mit-PTT-und-Helmhalterung&products_id=13790&&XTCsid=6559523fcfa63d0209a24852c8d39cee
159 Euros is USD $205 (more or less) Plus Shipping.
With some shopping I'm sure you can find something
that will do the job just as well for less money.

Good luck with your Paragliding Project and be safe! Grin
Are you going to have a formal website about the project
and it's progress, or just post YouTube updates?

LOTS of hangliders, paragliders, off road enthusiasts,
etc. around here use 2m without having licenses. I'm glad
to hear that you aren't going to be like them and flout the law,
wherever your hobby takes you!
73 es God Bless, Ken  AD6KA
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MIKAELS
Member

Posts: 4




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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2013, 07:31:32 AM »

I'm really grateful for all the info you guys are giving me.

OK - So this is where I am now:

I will be contacting the Mexican Communications Bureau and find out what the requirements
are for a HAM radio license and a Aviation VHF radio license.

So far it looks like I will stick with the Icom IC-V80 especially if I can get 5-10 miles
out of it with a clear line of sight which will be the case most of the time and then it works
with the headset we are purchasing.

Thanks for the input AD6KA/Ken - This headset has a lot of the features we are looking for so we will most likely stick with it.
Especially the noise canceling is good with this headset and it works well with the helmets we have.

We will have a youtube channel for our flying in general I will post it here once we are up and running Smiley
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