Overlanding Comms (EUROPE)

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What type of communication do you use when you are on the road?

  • HAM

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • CB

    Votes: 9 75.0%
  • PMR446

    Votes: 5 41.7%
  • Freenet

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • cell phone

    Votes: 9 75.0%
  • satphone

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • GPS messenger

    Votes: 2 16.7%
  • Other (please specify)

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
    12

El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
Since there was apparently confusion: Intended goal of this survey is to find out what our members use in EUROPE to understand this better and to develop the topic comms here. That's the reason why I wrote it in "Mid Europe" instead of "Communications" sub-forum. But of course, all experiences are welcome if they are related to this!


Communication is the key to success. This is also true for communication while on the road.

We have here in the OB forum many good contributions to the topic like the OB Comms Frequency Guide for example. To supplement this with a specific view to the European conditions I have written the article Overlanding Radio Comms (Europe), which some of you have surely already seen.

I think it is interesting for many of us to know what ways of communication are used by overlanders here in Europe. Therefore I have created this small survey. I am looking forward to a lively participation and am curious about the result. Perhaps one or the other also writes something more detailed, how he communicates on the road and why. That would be supercool.

I am writing this text now only in the MidEurope section, because we have many members here. I don't want to copy the whole thing into the other sections and create redundancies. But of course all members from the european area are welcome to join! Thanks!

Cheers, Björn
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
And since I not only like to ask, but also like to share information, knowledge and experience, I'll get right to it.

  • While driving in the convoy I use CB radio - it's simple, easy and good with useful ranges. I have a small classic Alan Midland 121 built-in radio and a 1/4 Lambda 1.3m long Midland antenna.
  • For communication over longer distances and some other interesting applications like APRS I have a YAESU FMT-100 amateur radio for the 2m and 70cm band. Maximum output power 50W. Antenna is a approx. 1m long Diamond NR770HB. This setup is already very usable for my purposes.
  • For long trips, a SPOT GPS messenger comes along on tour, just for emergencies.
  • Cell phone is on board anyway, which is convenient and offers many possibilities, such as useful apps for overlanding.

So, I'm curious to see what comes together here. I look forward to your answers!
 

RoarinRow

Rank V
Member

Member III

2,771
Elk Grove, CA, USA
First Name
Rolando
Last Name
Nispiros
Member #

17011

Ham Callsign
KN6JJS
Depending on what the convoy group is using, I'll have the same radio(s) on. I happen to have a three, Ham, GMRS, and CB installed. For my Garmin Inreach Mini, I would only keep that one if my wife is not with me and she needed a way to get ahold of me if I were out of cell service range.
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
GMRS should be on the list, but since it's not I selected "Other" for that.
Thanks, Hogan! GMRS is not on the list as we do not have it in Europe... I am just asking for Comms Europe related. In the UHF range we have e.g. PMR446, which is the European equivalent of the American FRS.

Intended goal of this survey was to find out what our members use in Europe to understand this better and to develop the topic comms here. That's the reason why I wrote it in "Mid Europe" instead of "Communications" sub-forum. Anyway thanks for your answer! All experiences are of course welcome.
 
Last edited:

DRAX

Rank IV
Member
Adventure

Enthusiast III

1,146
Monticello, IL
First Name
Hogan
Last Name
Whittall
Member #

28590

Ham Callsign
W9DRX
Thanks, Hogan! GMRS is not on the list as we do not have it in Europe... I am just asking for Comms Europe related. In the UHF range we have e.g. PMR446, which is the European equivalent of the American FRS.

Intended goal of this survey was to find out what our members use in Europe to understand this better and to develop the topic comms here. That's the reason why I wrote it in "Mid Europe" instead of "Communications" sub-forum. Anyway thanks for your answer! All experiences are of course welcome.
Whoops! My bad.
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
Whoops! My bad.
No problem! I had it perhaps written not clear enough. Have now added an explanation at the very beginning, maybe it is better that way. Anyway, thank you for your answer!
 

El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
We’re pretty simple.

1. Cell phone
2. CB
3. Garmin inReach mini (Freedom Plan).

Rick
Thank you for your answer, Rick! Yes, the freedom plans (or flex plans as they are named with the SPOT devices) are quite interesting for seasonal use, so for example several shorter tours per year. A good point!
 
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El-Dracho

Mid Europe Member Rep Germany
Member
Supporter

Explorer I

4,270
Lampertheim, Germany
First Name
Bjoern
Last Name
Eldracher
Member #

20111

Ham Callsign
DO3BE
That's really not a lot of answers. What is the reason? Do our European members really not use radio? I wonder. Why is that? Feel free to write it here in the comments! I am curious about your answers!

Many probably first think of the cell phone wrt mobile comms and ask themselves, why should I use radio tech. Despite all the possibilities of a cell phone, radio is still widespread. This is because there are a lot of pros for this technology of comms. No further infrastructure, such as transmission towers, etc., are required. So, radio comms in general always work, as long as the range is not exceeded. Especially when driving in a convoy, it would take far too long to establish a cell phone connection in many situations, and this also requires an appropriate signal/coverage, which is not always available. And it has also been shown in various (emergency) scenarios that the cell phone network can (quickly) reach its limits.

By the way, if you have questions about radio in connection with overlanding, you will find many good contributions here in the Communications Sub-Forum! Also check out the OB Boot Camp articles on this important topic!
 

GeoCampers #4771

Mid Europe Member Rep Midd Europe, France, Belgium
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Enthusiast I

1,517
Werm, Belgium
First Name
Toon
Last Name
Dams
Member #

4771

We use PMR, CB and cellphone.
For convoy comm I prefer CB over PMR since the quality of CB is better than PMR.
Cellphone only for Navigation and long-distance comm.

We do not use apps like Zello (maybe just because we do not have the experience). Although I think in some cases it might be better than CB or PMR
 
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leeloo

Rank V
Member

Member III

1,473
Luxembourg
First Name
Mihai
Last Name
Doros
Member #

19403

In 6 years maybe 3 times I was in convoy. I travel alone except the occasional OB meet. I have 2 walkies talkies, good enough if I meet someone and we travel on the same route for a few hours or when my wife gives me directions for a more difficult bit.
If this changes ( i don't see how in the near future ) , I will probably get a CB.
 

smokybob

Rank IV
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Member III

902
Lombardia, Monza e Brianza, Italy
First Name
Mauro
Last Name
Solcia
Member #

16130

Sorry for the late answer, but i use the forums from the app and seems that notification got stuck till today (received 20...) But this is OT.

Back on topic.
In Italy the most used is the CB for those who mount the radio in the vehicle but a lot use a portable PMR that are affordable, compact and widely use buy the hunters... So there are cheaper good quality ones on the used market.

Personally I have both:
Midland nano CB installed in the dash.
2 1 watt PMR

Mostly used to listen to other convoys because I mostly go out alone, but when we are in a convoy i normally stay at the back because I have both and can relay messages between the 2 types
 
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