Options for Hot air Ballooning

Anyone have any recommendations for hot air ballooning? One radio would be used in the basket of the balloon and the other used in the chase vehicle. These 2 could be seperated up to 5 miles or so.


Considering the open unobstructed line of sight nature, GMRS would be a great choice. Using GOOD radios of course.

By “good” radios I mean something with a detachable antenna that has a good “real” power output. The little stubby antennas on “bubble pack” radios choke down the power to an almost useless point.
With a commercial quality radio, possibly with an upgraded antenna, 5 miles line of sight should prove quite reliably doable.

GMRS radios DO require a license though. The license covers your WHOLE family. This includes parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren – basically you, your spouse, and all of your and your spouse’s immediate blood relatives.
The license is $85 for FIVE years.

Your situation is really ideal for two way’s, and air to ground communications will give you much better range than you would get if both radios on the ground. Still, with “bubble pack” radios like the Motorola T9500XLR or the Midland GXT800VP4 I wouldn’t tell you to expect more than 3 miles or so in range.

If you need five miles or more, you may want to consider the Motorola AXU4100 or the BlackBox UHF radio. These are 4 watt “business grade” models and will offer more range. Since they are fully programmable, we could program them for the GMRS frequencies that speedypetey recommended.