Hi, I’m looking at buying four 2-way radios for a group hiking through the Amazon in South America and wonder if anyone can help me figure out which type would be best. The terrain is mountainous with lots of trees and humidity. The operators will probably be no more than 1.5 miles away from each other along the same trail, or taking small detours (we realize being over a ridge decreases reception).
I have been offered the Kenwood NX-P500 (UHF, Digital, 2-Watt, ip67) from this vendor who seems to have mostly kenwood products…
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That unit seems sufficient from my very novice level of understanding… but I’m wondering if the experts here can advise on any other units that might be suitable. Or confirm if this unit is likely to meet our needs?
I will be buying the radios in South America so I feel like, in case the one above is not recommended, having a short list of preferred products will be a good start… but i should also have a list of features to choose from available options (ie. uhf vs vhf, digital vs analog, higher vs lower wattage, rugged, some sort of security would be nice to conceal communications from other travellers and local scavengers!).
If anyone could help me create a list of requirements or products suitable for two way communications in a hilly jungle environment i will be eternally grateful!
What are the radios for? general comms, chit chat, safety, media? Personally, for an expedition, what you need is reliability, AND as few features as you really need. The Kenwoods, like Motorola, Icom and quite a few others are solid dependable radio. Digital has advantages and disadvantages over analogue - but the key feature really is that as signal strengths get weaker, analogue signals get noisier - you perhaps get a scratchy hissy signal, but as you raise your arm, it firms up. Leaving the radio in your trouser pocket probably results in a few burst of static - you pull it out, hold it to your mouth and that few feet and the unscreening of the antenna restores the path. Digital works perfectly or not at all. You can get out of range with absolutely NO warning. The radio in the pocket stats silent - you have no idea you got too far away. With lots of people, clever radios can tell you who is calling, and have if you wish group comms - so support team are not bothered by the interpersonal chat - anything you want can be done on clever radios.
How many do you buy? Two people need 3, maybe 4 radios because you will lose them, break them, or they will be stolen. Cheaper ones, but more of them could be better. If this is a real expedition, will there be people to charge them, and of course charging is always a pain - electricity is never plentiful in a jungle. If it’s an organised jaunt and somebody else looks after the safety and expedition comms, you might just want to chat to your friend? We don’t know so can’t plan?
Tell us more. I’d be happy with that Kenwood, and of course you could have analogue channels in it too. Buying local is sensible mainly because of licences. It think that making sure a global star or something would be sensible too.
Hi thanks for the reply. I’m going to go ahead with the Kenwood’s. We’ll have 4 for use amongst varying size groups. We have sat phones and spot devices as well so these handhelds will only be for close range communications. thanks!!