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Old 09-15-2019, 06:32 PM   #1
LIL Rip
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Radio problems and recommendations

I’ve used the two way radios from Midland and one or two others. They advertise up various mileage coverage like 22, 26 etc. I know line of sight is typically required. It’s been my experience that they rarely work more than a few hundred yards. Sometimes that’s not even that far.

Any recommendations on two way radios that can actually get a few miles line of sight on the water? Thanks!!


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Old 09-15-2019, 09:40 PM   #2
Empty Pockets CC
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Not sure if you’re talking about handheld radios or mounted radios with antennas so I’ll talk about both.
Handheld radios: At VHF frequencies like the VHF marine band and the frequencies those various “walkie talkies” use it is going to be tough to get more than 3-5 miles out of them. The vhf marine handhelds produce 5 watts of power around the 2 meter frequency. Handheld to handheld communication makes it tougher because of the antenna size, power output, and height.

Mounted Radios with antenna mounted: Antenna height and antenna quality is paramount. The mounted vhf marine radio produces 25 watts of power and coupled with a better (larger) antenna you will be able to talk further. Depending on conditions and the other station you’re trying to talk to, one might see 5-30 miles of range. Again, the receiving stations equipment is just as important.

In summary, handheld radios are compromising because they are only as high as you are typically, the transmitter produces less wattage, and the antenna is smaller.
A mounted radio with a good quality mounted antenna is good. A good quality antenna mounted as high as possible is the best. Handhelds and mounted radios both have their places. The antenna and coax cable going to that antenna is more important than having a fancy radio.
This is probably more than you wanted to know but if I missed anything or didn’t answer your question fully just let me know and I’ll respond again.
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Old 09-16-2019, 04:21 PM   #3
LIL Rip
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty Pockets CC View Post
Not sure if you’re talking about handheld radios or mounted radios with antennas so I’ll talk about both.
Handheld radios: At VHF frequencies like the VHF marine band and the frequencies those various “walkie talkies” use it is going to be tough to get more than 3-5 miles out of them. The vhf marine handhelds produce 5 watts of power around the 2 meter frequency. Handheld to handheld communication makes it tougher because of the antenna size, power output, and height.

Mounted Radios with antenna mounted: Antenna height and antenna quality is paramount. The mounted vhf marine radio produces 25 watts of power and coupled with a better (larger) antenna you will be able to talk further. Depending on conditions and the other station you’re trying to talk to, one might see 5-30 miles of range. Again, the receiving stations equipment is just as important.

In summary, handheld radios are compromising because they are only as high as you are typically, the transmitter produces less wattage, and the antenna is smaller.
A mounted radio with a good quality mounted antenna is good. A good quality antenna mounted as high as possible is the best. Handhelds and mounted radios both have their places. The antenna and coax cable going to that antenna is more important than having a fancy radio.
This is probably more than you wanted to know but if I missed anything or didn’t answer your question fully just let me know and I’ll respond again.


Thanks for all the great information. Yes I’m talking about the handheld two way radios. I’ve used the ones from midland that day 20+ mile range. I’ve used those under a half mile in good conditions where I could clearly see my fishing partner and they still wouldn’t work. I’ve tried a few models. Not sure it’s possible to do something wrong with them. I was wondering if anyone has used any particular ones that have worked well.


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