OB Approved Overland Bound Comms Frequency Guide

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MTN RNR

Rank VI
Member

Advocate III

2,728
San Diego 92130
Member #

13782

Ham Callsign
WD6TED
Yes HF would be better in the mountains but it would be more for bringing the hobby along on the overlanding trip rather than a rescue aid I think for 2 reasons: 1) the vast majority of ham is in the 2m and 70cm bands consequently 2) the vast majority of repeaters are in those bands as well. I’ve been thinking about the Yaesu 857D which has 30m and 100W. But it’s really pricey.
There’s the question of whether to add digital for rescue/communication. But we got 3 competing standards 2 of which are essentially manufacturer specific. It’s just like AT&T vs Verizon all over again: D-Star, Fusion, or DMR which to go with. Not sure if digital is really helpful in remote areas. Most of the reflectors seem to be around urban areas, more or less. I’m not sure. That being said the Icom 5100A looks really sweet to me. But you can get into DMR digital with dual band for $300 with the TYT MD-9600.
But I don’t want to scare people off by price, you can get dual band 25W or 50W mobile units for around $115 to $170 on Amazon. Good ‘nuff for rescue or group communications. Prob even better deals on EBay or Craigslist.

But I keep lookin at that Icom 5100A....
 

RyanC

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,381
Pinckney, MI
Member #

1410

Ham Callsign
K1RAC
Yes HF would be better in the mountains but it would be more for bringing the hobby along on the overlanding trip rather than a rescue aid I think for 2 reasons: 1) the vast majority of ham is in the 2m and 70cm bands consequently 2) the vast majority of repeaters are in those bands as well. I’ve been thinking about the Yaesu 857D which has 30m and 100W. But it’s really pricey.
There’s the question of whether to add digital for rescue/communication. But we got 3 competing standards 2 of which are essentially manufacturer specific. It’s just like AT&T vs Verizon all over again: D-Star, Fusion, or DMR which to go with. Not sure if digital is really helpful in remote areas. Most of the reflectors seem to be around urban areas, more or less. I’m not sure. That being said the Icom 5100A looks really sweet to me. But you can get into DMR digital with dual band for $300 with the TYT MD-9600.
But I don’t want to scare people off by price, you can get dual band 25W or 50W mobile units for around $115 to $170 on Amazon. Good ‘nuff for rescue or group communications. Prob even better deals on EBay or Craigslist.

But I keep lookin at that Icom 5100A....
I have a 2730a and I think I'm going to upgrade to a 5100a for the APRS and the security that brings. I could do APRS cheaper in another device but I don't want to add another antenna and voice alerts look sweet.
 

Alan k

Rank 0

Traveler I

I got a 25 watt tri band for about 80 bucks
Yes HF would be better in the mountains but it would be more for bringing the hobby along on the overlanding trip rather than a rescue aid I think for 2 reasons: 1) the vast majority of ham is in the 2m and 70cm bands consequently 2) the vast majority of repeaters are in those bands as well. I’ve been thinking about the Yaesu 857D which has 30m and 100W. But it’s really pricey.
There’s the question of whether to add digital for rescue/communication. But we got 3 competing standards 2 of which are essentially manufacturer specific. It’s just like AT&T vs Verizon all over again: D-Star, Fusion, or DMR which to go with. Not sure if digital is really helpful in remote areas. Most of the reflectors seem to be around urban areas, more or less. I’m not sure. That being said the Icom 5100A looks really sweet to me. But you can get into DMR digital with dual band for $300 with the TYT MD-9600.
But I don’t want to scare people off by price, you can get dual band 25W or 50W mobile units for around $115 to $170 on Amazon. Good ‘nuff for rescue or group communications. Prob even better deals on EBay or Craigslist.

But I keep lookin at that Icom 5100A....
 
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Garlic Overlander

Rank V
Member

Contributor III

2,515
Gilroy, CA
First Name
Jarad
Last Name
Derosa
Member #

6811

"We" should also consider adding the Zello App to our phones as well. It is another tool for the bag when it comes to one-on-one, or group communications. Plus everyone has a cell phone these days....
 

Richard Derr

Rank 0

Traveler I

98
Santa Fe, NM
First Name
Richard
Last Name
Derr
Member #

5270

Ham Callsign
k5rkd
I have Ham and Commercial radios in my 4 runner since I do wilderness search and rescue. I just added CB in my SUV because not all have Ham radios when Overlanding. FYI hams with the tech license can use 6 and 10 meters on HF.
 
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MTN RNR

Rank VI
Member

Advocate III

2,728
San Diego 92130
Member #

13782

Ham Callsign
WD6TED
I have Ham and Commercial radios in my 4 runner since I do wilderness search and rescue. I just added CB in my SUV because not all have Ham radios when Overlanding. FYI hams with the tech license can use 6 and 10 meters on HF.
Yes, but only CW and SSB phone in the 10m band.
 

MrCoffee

Rank VI
Benefactor
Member

Enthusiast II

3,046
Springfield, Vermont
First Name
Chuck
Last Name
U
Member #

8434

Ham Callsign
KB1PMW
I've been a ham for 22yrs don't regret it except not getting my general ticket. 2meter is a great band but I want to get into 6meter and 10meter
The HF bands can get ya over mountains
In the same boat, thinking about tackling the General ticket this winter...
 
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MrCoffee

Rank VI
Benefactor
Member

Enthusiast II

3,046
Springfield, Vermont
First Name
Chuck
Last Name
U
Member #

8434

Ham Callsign
KB1PMW
I got to excited and couldn't wait anymore so I wired the new radio up
It's where I want it but have yet to mount it. IC2200H is a very nice 2 meter radio 65watt output is a good thing View attachment 69980
Nice! The 2200H is a great rig. I just got a Yeasu FT2800M for the F150, and an older Radio Shack HTX-252 (tiny!) To put in the Escape. Had no time with moving into the new house.....

You rig looks good, and 65w ought to get the job done
 
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TheBeardedSam

Rank III
Member

Advocate II

666
Norman Park, GA
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Baker
Member #

14479

Ham Callsign
KN4OSP
I've been a ham for 22yrs don't regret it except not getting my general ticket. 2meter is a great band but I want to get into 6meter and 10meter
The HF bands can get ya over mountains
You have privileges as a Technician on 6m and 10m
 
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TheBeardedSam

Rank III
Member

Advocate II

666
Norman Park, GA
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Baker
Member #

14479

Ham Callsign
KN4OSP
I know it's just I don't have the funds for a 6 and/or 10 meter radio
This ic2200h I got for 60bucks
Other thing is mounting in the Xterra is limited
For sure. Those antennas for 6m and 10m seem relatively fragile compared to a simple whip.
 
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RyanC

Rank VI
Member

Advocate I

3,381
Pinckney, MI
Member #

1410

Ham Callsign
K1RAC
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TheBeardedSam

Rank III
Member

Advocate II

666
Norman Park, GA
First Name
Sam
Last Name
Baker
Member #

14479

Ham Callsign
KN4OSP
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Overland Commander

Rank V
Member

Enthusiast III

2,386
245 Lewis Avenue, Westbury, NY, USA
Member #

13744

Ham Callsign
KD2QMS - The Commander
Here is what convinced me to go the ham route. I took this picture looking at the message board at the Rubicon Trail staging area (Tahoe side):

View attachment 69012


No cell coverage. CB won’t help in an emergency. GMRS/FRMS are only good for, essentially, handheld to handheld communication. Tough to get help with them. I’ve owned several SPOT models since they first came out (well over 10 yrs). They don’t work well in wooded areas or slightly limited horizon areas. Also you never know if your message got through. I had a Globalstar sat phone for about 5 years but it seldom worked reliably in the Sierras even at 12,000 ft (reliably being the key word). And sat phones and service contracts are really expensive. That’s the same network used for the new text messaging feature in SPOT. There is probably no perfect solution for every place I might end up, but ham radio really adds a lot of coverage with repeaters and the ability to use voice. I still carry my SPOT with me as well.

This is the key right here - check the photo out. This is why Ham should be primary, with the other systems as backups.
 

Desert Runner

Rank VI
Member

Influencer I

3,857
Southern Nevada
First Name
Jerold
Last Name
F.
Member #

14991

Ham Callsign
GMRS=WREA307
I have a GMRS, a couple of FRMS radios(hand held), and received a small Boefang? handheld for Xmas (no license yet) . Plan on the ham license sometime in the future. I also have a 40 channel CB that is also truck mounted.
I like all the web connections listed. Thumbs up on that. It will make research much easier for those looking for Comm direction.