Author Topic: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?  (Read 665 times)

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Offline MarkVS

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Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« on: May 22, 2020, 07:53:28 AM »
I am looking to install a new UHF radio, and toying with the idea of buying a handheld 5w Unit with an aerial connection instead of installing one.
My reasons being that I get the best of both ( car and portable), same capability, and I don’t have to have the radio permanently mounted inside when not doing a trip.

I have previously had a internal mounted Uniden.

Anyone done the portable scenario ?

Mark VS
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Offline D4D

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #1 on: May 22, 2020, 08:08:03 AM »
I'd get both, plenty of handset controlled units on the market today for a discrete install. If you need somebody to spot you through a section you need in car and handheld radios.
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Offline MarkVS

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #2 on: May 22, 2020, 08:19:32 AM »
I already have a 1w portable for those other situations.....I just want to get away from having a permanently installed radio.....
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Offline Rodt

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2020, 09:09:57 AM »
I had a mate who did this years ago.

I can't remember how it was all specifically done but he had some sort of cradle installed (like a mobile phone one) that he just sat it in and (this bit I am not sure how it was exactly done) he also had an external antenna plugged into it somehow which helped with range and the like.

He also got a handpiece installed on the portable so he didn't have to move it to use while driving along

Offline chester ver2.0

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2020, 09:10:39 AM »
I had the portable and ditched it for car mount for the reason as follows

The most use i have got out of a UHF has not been on planned trips but impromtu situations. Finding a mate on the beach. Helping a couple unbog a van on the side of the road, coordinating the search with neighbors when their dog got out etc

In those cases the portable was either
a. sitting at home on the charger
b. sitting in the glove box for so long it was flat

So for the dmax went a vehicle mount with a remote head it is always there and will always work (unless the car battery is flat then i have bigger problems)
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Offline sparksy

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2020, 09:25:24 AM »
Ive got a set of Icom IC40 portables with microphones . 5 watt . Until I fitted a Oricom 80ch ( mistake that was ) I had one connected to a fixed antenna and the belt clip hanging on a bracket.

Offline GBC

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2020, 10:20:47 AM »
I had the portable and ditched it for car mount for the reason as follows

The most use i have got out of a UHF has not been on planned trips but impromtu situations. Finding a mate on the beach. Helping a couple unbog a van on the side of the road, coordinating the search with neighbors when their dog got out etc

In those cases the portable was either
a. sitting at home on the charger
b. sitting in the glove box for so long it was flat

So for the dmax went a vehicle mount with a remote head it is always there and will always work (unless the car battery is flat then i have bigger problems)

I've only had a 5w handheld since 2006. I won't go back to a car mounted unit.
The trick is to buy they right thing. Mine is an ebay special (KYB brand) which in retrospect has been a complete bargain at less than $100.
It came with a 'battery eliminator' which is a 12v power supply that plugs into a cig socket so you don't get caught short like above. You unclip the battery and clip this thing in its place. The battery lives in the glovebox (charged) ready for if I need to go walkabout. The radio then turns on and off with the vehicle ignition.
Mine also has a little plug in handpiece so you can leave the radio in it's holder and just talk with the handpiece which makes it easy while chatting and driving. You can also plug them into an external aerial if you want - I have never bothered.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 10:22:58 AM by GBC »

Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2020, 01:09:47 PM »
Hi Mark, I have an old 40 channel its been in the 80 series for years but did not work well, so after seeing your post, I thought right i will by a new one cost $249 at bfc for a TX 3100 GME starter pack with 5 year warranty, came with 6,6DB aerial, firetruck they are small now for a 80 channel set, fitted it up just now took 40 minutes works great, Oh I like the incar ones as well, Craig 
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 01:36:07 PM by Craig Tomkinson »
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Offline loanrangie

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2020, 02:15:25 PM »
I bought a uniden hand held about 20 years ago when i first starting going out in convoy, couple of years later i bought a remote head GME.
 Both units still working perfectly  after 18/20 years, handheld is good for spotting and when at camp out of the car.
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Offline Pete79

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2020, 05:09:35 PM »
Hi Mark, I have an old 40 channel its been in the 80 series for years but did not work well, so after seeing your post, I thought right i will by a new one cost $249 at bfc for a TX 3100 GME starter pack with 5 year warranty, came with 6,6DB aerial, firetruck they are small now for a 80 channel set, fitted it up just now took 40 minutes works great, Oh I like the incar ones as well, Craig
I have the same unit mate. This is the 3rd vehicle that I’ve had mine mounted in.

They’re not too bad for such little things, but they do have their limitations.
The built in speaker is really (really) poor, it pretty much has to get connected to a decent external speaker.
The range is fine for spotting through tricky sections of tracks. It’s also OK for traveling in small convoys.
But if you’re the first or last car in decent sized convoys or traveling in hilly country, the range is pretty poor.

I’d put that little one almost on par with my decent quality hand held unit.

I’m not a big chatterbox on the 2way and can’t stand having the swearing truckies channel on when driving along the highway, so I only turn mine on when I actually need to use it.
But if we start doing longer trips in more remote areas I don’t have a hell of a lot of confidence in either 2ways that I have now and will be seriously considering upgrading to a slightly better head unit and antenna for the vehicle. Just for a bit of extra comfort factor.

Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2020, 06:57:16 PM »
Hi Pete, Yes UHF is limited alright you are better off with a Sat phone for real remote stuff or HF, I had old Unidens 30 years ago with 5m 16DB base station aerial, we lived right up high on a big hill where or shed was could only get 30 miles without going through a repeater Around Nambour from Cootharaba, Yes I am the same with the UHf if in the 4wd traverling with the wife and kids do not use it, but if traverling with a mate I have it on, If this one gets a fews ks on the flat that will do and a k in the hills that will be fine, Craig   
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Offline Pete79

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2020, 07:17:14 PM »
Yep. That range is pretty much exactly what I’ve observed.
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2020, 07:30:31 PM »
Handy to have if travelling with other 4wds in convoy, and listening for Radar travelling, Craig
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Offline GBC

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2020, 07:44:00 PM »
I am just impressed there are forums for such a simple thing. I wouldn’t have the attention span to cope.

Offline nab

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2020, 12:52:46 AM »
Just another option...

I hate having mine there with the mic and cord hanging around unused 99% of the time. I ended up wiring the mic to a hands free phone mic mounted on my A pillar, talk button is a black momentary push button mounted on the dash and a speaker mounted in the overhead console. No-one would know I had a UHF in the car unless I told them and the sound quality is excellent. Everyone also says now my voice is crystal clear when I talk.
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Offline Craig Tomkinson

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Re: Hand held UHF or internal permanently mounted ?
« Reply #15 on: May 23, 2020, 09:29:09 AM »
 I prefer the cheaper GME and Uniden models less to go wrong with them, as I have had the ones with cell call and everything in the mic, just trouble for me all the time, but you have to be able see them to use the buttons to use the scan or adjust the volume, change channel, so I love mine there, Can buy second hand, good quality hand helds for $30, Craig
« Last Edit: May 24, 2020, 07:59:52 AM by Craig Tomkinson »
1990 80 series 1HZ hill sniffer rebiult with 2 inch lift
1982 Jayco Jaylark  pop up van rebuilt
1999 5m Quintrex King on heavy duty offroad boat trailer