Which UHF Radio?

Tips, techniques and accessories for keeping in touch on the tracks
Haris
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 2
Joined: April 13th, 2018, 10:57 am

Which UHF Radio?

Unread post by Haris » April 16th, 2018, 9:59 am

i just wanted to ask y'all about the Uniden UHF radios, my mate has one on his 4wd and it looks like i need one as well. the one he has is very expensive but im looking for something cheap to start off with. Something from about 100-200 bux, i was looking through some sites and found these

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Uniden-UH50 ... 1672008586

https://www.google.com.au/search?q=unid ... e&ie=UTF-8

but then i found a site with a uhf radio which looks expensive but i want to ask you guys if i should buy this one,
http://www.gadgetcity.com.au/uniden-uh5 ... -1947.html

Peter Aawen
Admin
Posts: 20719
Joined: June 17th, 2005, 8:01 pm

Re: Which UHF Radio?

Unread post by Peter Aawen » April 16th, 2018, 12:05 pm

Hi Haris, welcome to the Forum & your first thread. :thumb:

Re the Radios, any UHF radio labelled UH5000 will be the same as any other Uniden radio with the same model number, but the big difference in performance (& probably cost also) between the first & last options you've linked above is the different antenna - and the antenna WILL make a big difference in how well any radio works!! As to which is best FOR YOU - what exactly do you want it to do??

What sort of terrain do you mainly drive in - in the city or hilly terrain you'll do best with a lower gain antenna, cos they'll give you a big fat but short donut or ball of signal radiating from the antenna & pulling in other signals, so you can talk to the vehicle over the crest of that next hill, but the maximum range you can reach with that antenna will probably be just a few km, maybe even less if you are in a built up area or amongst particularly steep hills! A higher gain antenna will give you a much flatter radiation lobe from the antenna, blasting signal out & dragging in signals to/from maybe 40 km or so away in a straight line, but if the antenna is on the roof of your vehicle when it's climbing up a steep hill so it's nose is aimed at the sky, the signal will be like a narrow spotlight beam aimed at the moon, & the car just over the crest probably won't be able to hear you nor will you be able to hear them!! :o

And then there's where you mount your antenna!! UHF Radio antennae are basically 'line of sight', so without going into the detailed technicalities, if you put your eye up against the middle of the antenna, you can reliably get signal out & back from ONLY those things you can see from there!! And the antenna NEEDs to have a fairly large metallic 'base' to reflect the signal from & back into the antenna to give it any chance of working properly - anything blocking the signal from heading straight out to the visible horizon, especially anything metal, is going to limit that!! Think about it - do you get a clear view of the horizon all around from the bull bar?? The signal is NOT going to go thru the cabin very well! And is the bull bar a big flat wide sheet of metal?? The signal will be stronger in line with the biggest area of reflector that it's base is mounted on - so the bonnet doesn't really count, but the main tube of the bull bar does! So without any other additions or enhancements to compensate for those things, the IDEAL location for a standard antenna will be smack bang in the middle of your vehicle roof, with all that nice flat sheet metal around it & no roof racks or bars or anything to get in the way or to distort the signal gain or reception!! Check out this pdf for a good description of what this really means to you:

https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&sour ... dPI-E9skym

Now I know the antennae shown above are all GME, but they are pretty good quality & the info re dBa & range, base loading etc, applies to ALL antennae that are likely to work for you on any UHF CB radio!! There are other brands equally as good, some better, lots worse, but it all comes back to the fact that the radios are all pretty much the same (yeah, minor difference in features & build quality, but there's not much in it!) and the MOST IMPORTANT THING for getting great service & usability from any CB radio, UHF or 27 mHz, is ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE ANTENNA!! So chose the antenna best suited to your major usage needs - or like many of us, run a couple!! I have a short low gain antenna mounted up high on the roof on a spring loaded fold-down base for hilly &/or heavily treed country (works great in the city too, except for in carparks!!) that gives me a range of maybe 10 km at best; and a tall high gain & base loaded antenna mounted up high in the middle of the front rail of the roof rack, and I can get great range from that, out well beyond the generally accepted max of about 40km.... but that big antenna is worse than useless around town & in the hilly stuff, not only cos it can get hit & broken, but also because the transmission lobe is so flat it can go straight over the bloke on the other side of the anti-erosion hump 10m in front of me & we can't communicate over the radio!!

What do you want from your UHF CB radio, long range out on the plains, or good comms for close in work in the hills & trees; or maybe a mix of both?? The most important choice is going to be your Antenna! ;)
An Ex-Service person is someone who thought enough about their country & how great it is, how lucky we are to live here, to write a blank cheque made out to 'The People and Commonwealth of Australia' for the value of 'Up to & including my Life!'

Haris
I'm new, be nice!
Posts: 2
Joined: April 13th, 2018, 10:57 am

Re: Which UHF Radio?

Unread post by Haris » April 16th, 2018, 2:01 pm

Thankyou Peter for your comprehensive response..Wow! I didnt realise theres so much to it ... i guess i would be using it both in the city chatting with mates and when i go fishing up north... i might need to go into a local store to see whats around and my options

Return to “Communications”