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2-way radio

22 Mar 2018
@ 06:43 am (GMT)

Trace Jacoby

Hi all,

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a decent brand of two way radios for hunting with multiple people.

Last season I was drawn for a hunt on public land with my wife. Knowing that there would not be any cell phone reception, I picked up a couple of radios so we could split up and cover more ground, yet be able to communicate and keep tabs on each other for safety reasons.

The radios were about $40 and had an advertised range of 18 miles. In the hilly country that we were hunting with thick brush, the radios wouldn’t even work at about a half mile, so they were pretty much useless.

Does anyone have experience with a better brand of radio? One that would work at least 2-3 miles in hills and brush, maybe 10 miles or so in more open country?



23 Mar 2018
@ 07:08 pm (GMT)

michael lavallee

Re: 2-way radio

Ok that's a can of worms but basically you bought the low end of radios

To answer your question would take days and just confuse you more.

So Ill try to give a short answer and some links and hopefully its allowed here

If its not, please have the mods delete the links

Short group uses Yeasu VX8 quad band HT radios, but you must have a ham license in the US to transmit. We also carry Garmin Rhino radios, we are all slowly upgrading to the 650 and they work ok.

All hand held (HT) radios are line of sight +- 10% of distance depending on frequencies and transmit power. So if you are hunting in canyons a UHF radio is a better idea than a VHF, because UHF freqs tends to flow around obstacles like mountains instead of bouncing off like VHF

That's my web page, you can find a lot of info there and my contact page has my email

Again, if posting links is not allowed my apologies. I want to help answer questions in areas I know about
23 Mar 2018
@ 08:28 pm (GMT)

Martin Taylor

Re: 2-way radio
I dont know all the in's & outs or your local laws Trace but for what its worth.....

Our crew has been using FDC 460A 5wt UHF's with good results in our Alpine areas for 5+ years. Programable with excellent battery life. If you are stuck in a really tight, deep gully then you may struggle but over all we are happy with them for a cheap Chinese radio. Not water proof though!

I have seen a new 10wt UHF hand held from FDC but the model name escapes me atm.
24 Mar 2018
@ 01:49 am (GMT)

Trace Jacoby

Re: 2-way radio
Thanks for the replies and the great info. Sounds like I will have a little homework to do between now and next season. I certainly had not considered local, state, or federal laws. I will definitely look into that.

24 Mar 2018
@ 03:17 am (GMT)

michael lavallee

Re: 2-way radio
Trace, or anyone else needing radio help please contact me, Ill be happy to sort through what you are having a hard time with

I am not familiar with laws and regs outside the US, but for people here I can help with whats legal and whats not

As far as equipment goes, I can help everybody
02 May 2020
@ 01:35 am (GMT)

Paolo Consalvi

Re: 2-way radio
I usually use UB-5R, GT-3TP, UV-6R radios. They are Chinese radios with few watts of power that can be purchased for little money. The power is usually sufficient even in hilly areas. The minimum squelch value set at the factory makes these radios not very sensitive. Sensitivity can be maximally increased by accessing the "services" menu by setting the value 1 in position 1 of the squelch table.
With this action the radio may be too sensitive for normal use. It is therefore important to set codes (analog or digital) to unlock the squelch threshold. This way only your friend can be received. Communication is not encrypted: we will listen only to our friends (excluding any occasional disturbances) but also any other radio operator can listen to us. Menu changes are made by connecting the supplied cable to a USB port and downloading the free CHIRP software. The PMR frequency (446 MHz) does not require a license but the payment of a fee (in Italy) unlike the 144 MHz which requires passing an exam that certifies the knowledge of the CW (Morse code).


We are a small, family run business, based out of Taranaki, New Zealand, who specialize in cartridge research and testing, and rifle accurizing.