Emergency Comms

Review of the Uniden UH9080 Mobile CB Radio

CB radios are not just for four-wheel-drive enthusiasts, but are useful for family communication, from base to mobile, mobile to mobile, or mobile to pedestrian communication. They are free to use, and you do not need a license as they are covered under a special class license. They do not rely on telephone towers, and will work even when the phone network is out, depending on topography, antenna height and power.

UHF CB radios are line of sight so their range is very dependent upon topographic conditions. In the CBD, amongst high rise buildings, you may only be able to communicate a few kilometers. Out on the open country road, you may get up to 20 kilometers using standard simplex mode. If you install a base station and you live in the hills, your range may be much further, even up to 75 kilometers without a repeater.

If you use the duplex feature and there is a repeater in range, you can expect up to 100 kilometers, even when topography would otherwise block your signal. 5 watts is the legal power limit. The key to good CB communications is a good antenna which is properly tuned to the UHF frequency range, and placed as high as practical.

All new CBs on the market today have 80 channels (77 useable) and support duplex mode for extending their range via a repeater.

There are so many models of UHF CB radio on the market today, it is hard for the uninitiated to know what to buy. I have been using CB radios for many years and keep an eye on the market for new products. The most recent product to catch my attention was the UH9080 from Uniden. This is […]

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    Uniden Bearcat BCD325P2 TrunkTracker V Digital Scanner Review

Uniden Bearcat BCD325P2 TrunkTracker V Digital Scanner Review

Most people are familiar with commercial AM and FM radio broadcasts. AM broadcasts are in the range 530 KHZ to about 1600 KHZ (1.6 MHZ), while commercial FM broadcasts are in the range 88 MHZ to 108 MHZ. But, there is an entire world of radio out there which can be intriguing to listen to. For example, aircraft use the band 108 MHZ to 137 MHZ, the coast guard, some emergency services, government services etc. all use part of the radio spectrum which extends from about 100 KHZ right up to 5 GHZ. Most interesting communication is limited to below 1.3 GHZ. Listening to cellular or cordless telephones is strictly prohibited as is listening to pagers. Everything else is quite legal in most places.

In the old days, analogue scanners allowed one to listen to any transmission simply by entering its frequency, or choosing a preprogrammed service bank which included that frequency in its range. Most analogue scanners allowed you to listen to emergency services, government departments, air traffic, marine vessel interaction, public transport, and other business two way radio communication. As the frequency spectrum became more crowded, new ways were sought to more efficiently use that spectrum. Trunked systems were introduced to allow many users to reuse a handful of frequencies, rather than having to assign unique frequencies for every user. This posed a problem for analogue scanners because a single frequency might be being used by the fire brigade one second, a data transmission from another government department the next, and another government service after that. This made following a conversation almost impossible as each transmission of a conversation could potentially be on a different frequency. Several such trunked services were devised, each […]

By |February 19th, 2016|Emergency Comms|0 Comments|
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    ETON Scorpion II All-In-One Emergency Radio / Power Bank / Solar Charger & Crank Torch

ETON Scorpion II All-In-One Emergency Radio / Power Bank / Solar Charger & Crank Torch

If you’ve been looking for a great radio for bug out bags or emergency kits that is not dependent on batteries or the grid, then look no further! Meet the ETON Scorpion II. So far it is the best ever, all-in-one emergency radio, power bank, solar charger and emergency light I have seen to date.

Only about the size of an iPhone, albeit a lot more thicker, this tough and outdoor-ready radio is sure to impress!

So… I thought I’d do a quick review of it.
Selling features…

Receives AM/FM/NOAA Weatherband to keep you informed and entertained
NOAA Weather Alerts so you know what’s coming your way
Digital tuner and display for precise tuning and reception
Super bright long lasting 1/2 watt LED flashlight
5V 1A USB output charges smartphones
Rechargeable 800 mAh lithium battery
Battery charge indicator so you know how much power you have left
Three power options: Rechargeable lithium battery, solar panel and hand crank

First of all, the feature that impressed me the most is the solid, rugged feel it has to it. You immediately notice it when first handling it. The thick rubber casing on the outside makes this radio virtually impact-resistant and it does have an IPX4 water proof rating which means that it can handle heavy rain, splashes of water and drops into water making it perfect for harsh outdoor conditions.

The radio bands available are AM, FM and the NOAA Weather Band (which is only relevant to US folks as it does not work in any other country apart from the USA). You can select these using the digital tuner. The audio comes through loud and clear and has great reception. You can actually preset the desired station too. Since I use this radio for staying in the know […]

By |December 29th, 2015|Emergency Comms|0 Comments|
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    Uniden UH950s Review – Emergency Comms / Survival Two Way Radios

Uniden UH950s Review – Emergency Comms / Survival Two Way Radios

Today we’re going to be taking a look at Uniden’s latest flagship handheld UHF CB radio, the UH950S.

Uniden is a leading manufacturer of two way radios and other communications systems.  All their units are designed and engineered in Japan.

It has the following features:

Designed and Engineered in Japan
UHF CB Commercial Grade Handheld Radio
5 Watt Maximum TX Output Power
Metal Alloy Chassis
Waterproof
Master Scan™ & Rapid Scan
Voice Scramble
Long Life 2300mAh Lithium-ion Battery
Backlit Keypad and LCD Display
(CTCCS) Interference Eliminator
Range Extender (Duplex) Capability
VOX Hands Free Capable
Digital Coded Squelch
Auto Battery Save
Open Scan
Group Scan
Battery Level Indicator
Busy Channel Lockout Function
Roger Beep
Instant Channel Programming and Recall
Keypad Lock

Included in the box:
– 1 X UH950S UHF Radio
– 1 X Rapid Charge Desktop Cradle
– 1 X SM950 External Speaker Microphone – Splashproof‡ (JIS4)
– 1 X Cigarette Lead Cable
– 1 X EM950 – Earpiece MIC
– 1 X Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery
– 1 X AC Adaptor
– 1 X Belt Clip
– 1 X Owner’s Manual

Additional Features:

Range: 15km
Operating Time: 27hrs
Size of Unit (mm): 58mm (W) x 39mm (D) x 111mm (H)
3 Year Warranty

First Impressions
When I first held the Uniden UH950s I thought to my self “Wow! It actually feels very solid!” I instantly liked the size, look and the solid and durable feel. Looks and feelings aside, let’s get down to business and analyse the features of the UH950s.

Pros
The antenna of the radio seems to be just the right size, not too long and not too short. The white backlit LCD display is easily readable. In my testing of the audio quality while transmitting I found the audio to be remarkably clear and intelligible compared to some lower to medium end Uniden radios that we also have.

The operating time of 27 hrs on low power is 3 times more than comparable models of […]