Newbie here - pls help with this hypothetical scenario

Hi everyone, I know very little about two way radio communication and have been scouring the web to learn as much as I can.

My hypothetical scenario:

Five adults, rugged terrain, off grid. Ample solar/wind power. No legalities regarding government licensing. Primary utilization is security/integrity/reconnaissance of our property. No base station, no repeaters. Units must be capable of “secure” communication, etc. Must be extremely durable - one time purchase. From what I’ve read, it seems we’d be lucky to get 2 miles range. Willing to spend up to ~$300 per unit - maybe more. What specific handheld unit would you recommend? Thank you.

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Someone suggested the Kenwood 3402U16P. They said it’s probably one of the most “durable” out there, has a voice scrambler and as far as range, will be in-line with any other transceiver.

Any thoughts?


Might be durable, but not suitable for your purposes. It is a high quality BUSINESS radio, which means that you will need a licence to operate it and must be given an assigned frequency from your governing agency. (If you are in the U.S., this will be the FCC.)

If you operate without a licence and an assigned frequency, it is not just that you are breaking the law; you could be interfering with public service radios, and putting people’s lives in danger. The FCC takes a dim view of this and their satellite tracking is pretty good at picking up offender transmissions from almost anywhere in the U.S.

If you truly want durable, industrial-quality two-way radios that have good audio quality and are highly secure, check out the Motorola DLR1060. Unless you have the same radio and the same ID code (with hundreds of thousands of combinations) they cannot be monitored by any consumer-level scanner. They also have about the longest range you will ever get with a UHF two-way radio. Two miles might be pushing it for ANY radio, depending on the terrain.

If you can afford them, there is no better licence-free radio on the market than the Motorola DTR or DLR series.

No one can really answer the range issue without seeing what your rugged terrain looks like. Handheld to handheld, you might get 5 miles or more if both ends are in optimal locations; if one or both are in bad locations, you might not get 1 mile. If that doesn’t get you the reliability you need, you’re going to need a repeater in a good location with a decent antenna. You may need to just buy a couple radios and see how well they work in your environment.

I might suggest the Hytera PD 505LF it is analogue and DMR is durable and legal to use without a licence. It out performs the silly licence free stuff you can buy for peanuts and behaves like a pro radio, You can create a private call group and a colour code, making it pretty secure

That depends on where he is located. A PMR446 radio is intended for use in the UK, but not for some other countries, including the US.