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Thread: HAM: Reasonable 2 meter range?

  1. #1

    Default HAM: Reasonable 2 meter range?

    Looking for ideas as to what an acceptable 2 meter range mounted to a Jeep might be.

    Obviously there are many things that may have an effect such as environment/terrain, output power, and antenna. I'm just looking for a minimum, average, and best case distances for both Simplex and Repeaters (your distance from the repeater).

    I think my expectations were higher than they should have been. Or I have other issues with my rig.

  2. #2


    I haven't played with mine enough to really tell you much about distances I get with simplex and such, but I can tell you I regularly listen to repeaters from 50 and 60 miles away with no issues. Usually I just listen, but I've also joined in on the discussion a couple times on those repeaters from 40 or so miles.

    I wouldn't state that my antenna set up is ideal either. I'm confident everything is hooked up correctly, but to avoid contact with trees and such while in the woods, the antenna only sticks above my roof line about 10 inches.

    What sort of distance are you getting?

  3. #3


    I have talked successfully simplex in Canada from Blueberry campground out past Searchmont, which is at least 17 miles through very rugged terrain. Signal was not perfect but audible. We have talked 5-10 miles on a regular basis with a very clear signal, as if you were in the same group with a CB. I have also talked to Jim Mazzola by repeater from BB while he was just crossing Mackinaw. That's close to 70 miles.
    Thanks to those that do all the hard work.

  4. #4
    GLFWDA Member GLFWDA Member DDS4X4's Avatar
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    Apr 2004
    Northwest Ohio


    I concur with what Jim K said about HAM performance.
    I can hit the Ft. Wayne repeater from my driveway, approx 40-45 miles.
    I have talked Simplex for 15-20 miles.

    I have never tested the maximum, but terrain would affect it.
    Doug - KD8EDH

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  5. #5


    VHF (30 MHz to 300 MHz) propogation range is esentially line-of-sight, although some refraction (and, to a lesser degree, some reflection) may also tend to increase the distance of propogation. For most individuals, the horizon is approximately 11 miles away. If either the transmitting or receiving antenna are raised above eye level, the propogation distance will be increased accordingly.

    In general, propogation distance will be affected by: (a) Tyoe of terrain; (b) Height of antennas above ground; (c) Antenna design; (d) Transmitted power output; (e) Receiver sensitivity; and (f) Receiver sensitivity -- usually in that order. All that in the absence of external electromagnetic and/or electrostatic interference.

    The use of the term "maximum distance" is somewhat misleading, because very long distances have been reported in some unusual circumstances. However, it sounds like you are concerned with something that might be more accurately described as "maximum normally reliable distance." For typical vehicle-to-vehicle simplex communications, that's probably something in the vicinity of 15-20 miles. For typical mobile-to-base-station simplex communications, that more likely to be around 35-40 miles. For base-sation-to-base-station simplex communications, distance will be primarily a function of antenna height and antenna gain, but certainly comm in excess of 75 miles would not be considered rare. At such distances, unimpeded line-of-sight is everything. I can recall achieving reliable VHF comm at distances of greater than 100 miles with only a basic 1/4-wavelength antenna -- but I was operating equipment in a military aircraft at altitudes of 10,000 to 20,000 feet. If reliable comm in excess of 50 miles is desired with essentially ground-level equipment, then perhaps the use of HF (3 MHz to 30 MHz) gear is indicated.
    '77 CJ7, 360 AMC w/ DUI, headers, Edelbrock intake, Holley 4150, TF999, D300, D30 & AMC20, 4.56 gears, lockers, winch, fiberglass body. York Air Comp, 6" total lift, 35" BFG MTs, Garvin bumpers/racks.

  6. #6

  7. #7


    Is anyone willing to start a thread that discusses the Ham radio configurations, what is needed to put one in your rig. Cost to get started, low & high end. It seems that more and more folks are putting Ham Radios in their cars/Jeeps.


  8. #8


    What info are you looking for? You need to become licensed to use HAM radio. Its fairly easy to do, but it does require a test, but it's not hard. As for price, you could do a simple 2m setup for a little over $100. Or you could spend as much as you'd like. Personally, I have a dual recieve 2m/70cm set up that cost around $500 total but that's a $400 radio alone. There are many radios that are dual banders for cheaper. The big thing I wanted was dual recieve and a remote mountable face. Regarding install, they are similar to installing a CB.

    I was going to do a write up for the Boondocker when I was the editor however personal issues kept me from doing so. I'll try to get it written up for the new editor when I get a chance.

  9. #9


    I agree with Oz. I've spent as little as $75 on my hand held 2M and about $400 for my rig in the jeep. I commented on it's performance in a post above.
    Thanks to those that do all the hard work.

  10. #10


    The only thing I want to add to WhiteRhinos post is a handheld is much lower power. Usually 5 watts or less. A mobile rig in a vehicle is often times 50 watts. A handheld is cheaper, but you'll be limited to much less range. A very basic mobile unit can be installed in a vehicle for less than $150.

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