UHF and Emergency Beacons

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UHF and Emergency Beacons

Postby Otto » Thu Feb 08, 2007 7:25 am

I am planning to do quite a few outback trips this year, and looked at some backup plans if something goes really wrong.

Looked at Emergency beacons, but it must be 406 mhZ, which makes it a bit dear.

UHF radios - so many to choose from, but I have so little knowledge! I see handstes, carsets etc etc. Can anyone give me a pointer on what to look for?
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Postby Kramer » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:53 am

A UHF radio is mainly only used for short transmissions between cars ect, with a large antenna the best under ideal conditions would be about 20km's, now days you can hire/buy Royal Flying Doctor Service Radios (RFDS) or HF radios that are tuned to talk on the RFDS radio frequencies. These radios are good for long distances and there are always people on them. I am not to sure but I think you can hire epirbs too which would bring the cost down considerably.
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Postby sharee » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:20 pm

I'm glad you brought this up - we are looking for the same thing for the same reason.

Why does the EPIRB have to be 406 mhZ? i know almost nothing about them. someone told me that older style beacons are cheap ($300ish) but only get a signal to line of sight aircraft. I gather that the new ones are more expensive but send a signal to a centre in Canberra with an ID and GPS position??

So what is the cheapest way to get something that can be used in emergency in far flung parts of the country??

Are CDMA phones really useless? Is this new G3 network any better?

Any info welcome

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Postby Otto » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:37 pm

Sharee,

I read that the only EPIRB that is going to work from 2009 onwards is the 406mhz, the other frequencies wont be monitored.
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Postby Derek Bullock » Thu Feb 08, 2007 6:52 pm

Otto wrote:Sharee,

I read that the only EPIRB that is going to work from 2009 onwards is the 406mhz, the other frequencies wont be monitored.


Thats very true.

I would have a beacon over a radio. Lose the radio power on your vehicle following an accident or major breakdown and the radio is useless. Radio beacons have their own power supply.


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Postby Ozzycamperboy » Thu Feb 08, 2007 8:04 pm

I'd hire and EPIRB and get a UHF, with as long an antenna as you can fit on your car. Can get 5w handheld ones from GME that can also be in-car mounted. When I have the $$ i'll be getting that 8)
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Sat phones??

Postby gqpatrol » Thu Feb 08, 2007 9:57 pm

No one has mentioned SAT PHONES! What about them? :?
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Postby Jok » Fri Feb 09, 2007 8:58 pm

If you don'twant to spend too much money to start with,
I'd look at hiring either sat phone or hf radio.
They both have pros and cons, eg-broken aerial in a rollover,
ability to speak to someone nearby calling for help, etc
A normal uhf is only good for a few miles(relatively), although you
can get maps showing what channel some stations run through a
repeater if using duplex.
An epirb might be worth hiring, depends on where you are planning to
go, how remote etc
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Postby sharee » Fri Feb 16, 2007 9:58 am

thanks all for your ideas

i might have a second look at hiring, but on my first look, hiring anything was going to cost more than buying outright. we will be traveling for 5 months and hiring for that long looked expensive. if anyone out there has hired an EPIRB, sat phone or HF radio, can you recommend the place you hired it from? how much have you paid for hiring?

there is currently a 406MHz EPIRB on ebay for $400ish (new not second hand). it is a marine one, so it looks bulkier than the smaller pocket sized ones. maybe i could sell it on when we get back?

one good thing about a HF radio seems to be the fact that you can contact anyone nearby with a radio. It would be a bugger to be trying to call some one hundreds of km's away on a sat phone, if there was someone 5kms that you could get by radio.

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Postby Jok » Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:14 pm

I came across a site the other that hired out satphones,damn, they
are exxy to hire!!
There is a Gov rebate on satphones if you will be out of normal mobile
range for more than 40 or so days a year(probably wrong on amount,
can't remember exactly)

Also remember that it might take half a day or longer for help to get
to you depending on where you need it, gotta be very prepared if going
remote.

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Postby jollyroger » Sat Feb 24, 2007 10:06 pm

We have hired Sat phones and epirbs for work trips before.
We looked into it and found it cheaper to buy a Sat phone than hire it - because we would use it more often. The call cost are now around a $1.00 min. Which is better than two years ago when we hired them and it was $5.00min. we bought a package deal for a grand.
Our company insists on us having HF, UHF, Sat Phone that are CDMA too. If there is no CDMA signal then it defaults to SAT Signal.

Think about this...How remaote are you really going? Is there going to be 100kms between you and the nearest 'living' soul. Sat phone is the way to go. They really are cheaper safer option. There are some brilliant plans out there. Shop around the net. You would be surprised.

Good luck.
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