Have a Search and Rescue Back Up Plan pt 2 -radios capable of using the aviation frequencies for ground to air emergency communication.
This is a post I was required to make as research I have done shows I was mistaken about the information provided in part 1.
No, its not a deletion of the post but the information I added was not entirely accurate so I felt a correction necessary. It is concearning radios capable of using the aviation frequencies I stated were applicable for ground to air emergency communication.
My original edit states-
“Michael ‘s EDIT: If you buy a survival radio I have few alternatives better than the Yeasu VX8DR recommended by DH. I can add the need for 4 sets of LiO AA batteries and the AA battery holder carried along with the radio. The batteries should be carried separately and the holder in one package with the radio.
Since the radio operates on the HAM bands a software mod is required AND an antenna specifically for the Aviation channels 121.5 VHF and 406 and 243.0 ( Military) UHF before relying on this or any radio to save your life. Spending time learning your gear and getting licensed in its operation is paramount to staying alive.
A US Technician Ham license will go a long way to learning exactly what we are talking about here.”
I still like the Yeasu VX8DR as a HAM band radio but….it is NOT the radio in the previous versions in the VX line. The VX7, which is and will always be one of my favorites,for an all in 1 radio, is a civilian version of a radio Vertex manufactures for the Japanese military and is a software mod away from being the ideal radio for our purposes.
Unfortunately, all information points toward the VX7 being discontinued………..so now what?
The VX8DR is not, as of my research today, capable of transmitting on the bands outside the factory provided ranges. There is no software or hardware modification which will allow it.
You WILL turn your radio into an expensive brick if you attempt it.
I bet you can figure out how I have intimate knowledge of that little tidbit of information.
BUT, I have a solution.
And its cheaper than both the VX7, by about $275 and the VX8 by $165. It is the Yeasu FTA550 and it is a hand held made for aviators to use as a cockpit radio. It has navigation menus which would be less useful for ground use, BUT it works on all the distress frequencies, and it it around $200, which puts it in a more reasonable price range for the average prepper traveling off the pavement. Also and most important to me, this version runs on AA batteries, I use the LiO batteries which I carry 4 full sets and DO NOT carry them in the radio. I have a small OtterBox with the radio, antenna and batteries secured in my pack with 550 cord to a ring sewn into the interior.
Since it was made as an Aviation band radio, there are NO field mods of the radio or the antennas. It works out of the box…imagine that.
If I’d found it first I wouldn’t have an expensive brick now. Oh well, that’s life in the bush sometimes. Not everything will survive field modifications, and SOMEBODY has to figure this stuff out and tell you before you are a smelly mess in the desert.
The things I do for this blog……