Really happy to find this forum! I am a filmmaker with my own production company. We’ve always rented pretty much all our gear, but now I am building an overland-capable 2-ton truck with all the core tools I use (cameras/grip/electric/misc), as well as a travel trailer towed behind it to give me a base camp / mobile housing (I bring my family with me). All of this is to allow me to be more nimble and quick to get into production anywhere, including off-grid, and branch into some different sort of production I’m interested in (i.e. wilderness settings, etc.). I’ve been thinking and researching this for a couple years, was all set to do it, and then COVID-19 really put me over the top on definitely wanting to do it.
In my truck I was thinking to put an Icom IC-7100, and then a second unit (another IC-7100 or something else compatible but more portable?) that I could put in the trailer (so wife can communicate me from the trailer when I leave basecamp in my truck), or else that I could loan to a second vehicle when we’re in a convoy (because not everybody have radios, of course). I gather I need to get a HAM radio license of some sort (I know there is such a thing - that’s the limit of my knowledge). This would also be nice to get a unit for my mother who lives 20 miles away in case there’s a disaster that has wiped out cell phones, so I’d have a way to talk to her.
Secondarily to that, I also need walkie talkies for my crew and I to use when we get to location. We work in a variety of locations, from urban to wilderness. Typically i have about 20-30 walkies, I only recall seeing Motorolla as a brand, simple 16-channel ones with a channel selector, volume control and a tap for the surveillance-style ear pieces we all get. I’m guessing they were analog. Anyway, I want to buy some 2-way walkies, maybe a dozen or so. Only I would really like it if they were compatible with the units I put in the truck, so that in the cab I could use one system to communicate both overland and to production, if that’s practical to do. Searching Motorolla’s web site, I see models like the XPR3300e. But I’m too much of a newb to figure out if I can make some Motorolla walkies talk to these Icom truck radios. Or maybe I should consider sticking with Icom and getting something like the Icom F1100D for walkies? That said, I don’t plan to buy 30 walkies, so I’d like a system I can augment with rentals when I have a bigger crew.
Finally, I’d really like a better monitor for myself when on set. I’ve been using the surveillance mic in one ear, an earbud plugged into a Comtek receiver in my other ear, and then taking one or both out frequently because I need to talk to people directly and I hate having my ears plugged.
I hope I’ve explained clearly what I’m trying to accomplish. I’m technical and can help myself with research, but it’s academic and not real world. I would be very grateful for some sage advice from people with actual expertise here.
PS - I’ll be working in both USA and Canada, if that matters.
Thanks in advance!