radio recommendation

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Dec 13, 2007
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Location
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I have tried to look through the forums here to answer my question but I start to glaze as I do when reading about something that I have absolutely no experience so I am going to ask directly- I would like a radio for my truck that would only be used in emergencies to call for medical help from remote areas on the Northern California coast, what is recommended for someone who hopefully will never use it, doesn't want to get licensed and has only minimal patience for electronic gadgetry? (And would prefer not to have a giant box on the dash with accompanying huge antenna. And also doesn't want to spend $500+ although I know the argument can be made that safety is worth the outlay.)

My concern is (believe it or not) severe shark attack while surfing or abalone diving. I have been doing both north of the GG for almost 20 years and now know of two cases of flukey cell phone service saving lives (one in the case of a severed femoral artery while surfing alone at one of my favorite spots). My cell phone is **** and I am starting to feel like my luck is being pushed, statistically at least. (I guess this is a by-product of growing older.)

I realize that I will likely never use such a radio (I met an old ab diver who probably has taken more abalone than anyone in the area over the last 40 years and he hasn't been bit... he'd seen quite a few that could have though.) but I have seen HUGE sharks from the beach on my way into the water and been very closely checked out while surfing by a juvenile as almost big as me and I am starting to feel like someone repeatedly compelled to stand in a field during a lightening storm. A radio would seem to be a prudent safety feature for the truck....

Or maybe a move.

PS: there are a few spots I frequent where there are long walks to destination- I have seen mention of people's trucks being used as relays for hand held radios- what is the story about this?

Thanks and go easy on a know-nothing.
Jeff
 
Man.... you DO know that Great Whites have been moving up into the Northern California area right? I aint kidding either.
 
Hamm units can be set up as repeaters for a handheld but require a liscense to leagaly operate. A CB would proabably do most everything else you needed in an emergency and there is nearly always someone on 19 to assist in a true emergency. small unit with a small ant. would work fine.
 
what is recommended for someone who hopefully will never use it, doesn't want to get licensed and has only minimal patience for electronic gadgetry? (And would prefer not to have a giant box on the dash with accompanying huge antenna.
Jeff

A sat phone?

Really, if you're not interested in learning a bit about radio (I'm assuming you're thinking about a ham radio here) and how it works, when you REALLY need it you may not know what to do. Do you know the local repeaters? Do you know how to program a tone to open the repeater? Will you know WHICH tone it uses? If the repeater has a phone patch will you know how to use it?
There's really more to it than grabbing the mike and calling for help.
Ham radios are great, but it really helps if you're even remotely interested in learning a bit about them.

It seems a sat phone might be a better option for you, or maybe the SPOT sat messenger?
Spot Messenger > Home
 
Just my 2 cents--but do you carry one of those orange beacon flashers that are issued by the Navy and CG? While I know that the radio is your concern at the moment and that planes are not always crossing but seems like it might be a good idea considering the risk factor-----be safe, dave
 
Hamm units can be set up as repeaters for a handheld but require a liscense to leagaly operate. A CB would proabably do most everything else you needed in an emergency and there is nearly always someone on 19 to assist in a true emergency. small unit with a small ant. would work fine.

That may be true on the eastcoast where you guys are packed together like sardines:D but out here in the west the average CB won't do much for emergency help when the next rig is 50+ miles away. In eastern Oregon we have counties reminiscent of the Australian Outback where CB's short range will leave you feeling pretty lonely. With a ham technician license you can use repeaters and broadcast in simplex with 200w in the VHF band and 50w in the UHF band.
 
Lnadcruisers4life, whites have been here a long time- they are about all I have seen up here with the exception of fishing for leopards. For better or worse my water time is deep within the Red Triangle. This hasn't bothered me in the past but now I am feeling like I ought to be more responsible than just hanging on to my "it's more dangerous on the highway" attitude.

I am not adverse to learning about new things, radios included, but the idea of having to take a class or test chaffs against my booked up schedule (self-employed). I am a big fan of knowing how things work. If there isn't too much headache involved in going through the requirements I'd rather have a radio than pay for a sat phone or other subscription service. As for a beacon, if you can't get out of the water you haven't time to wait for a plane. Could help find the body though I guess.

Any models/ tutorials to recommend? And thanks!
 
Yeah we have these high dollar (about 1000 bucks each) anti-shark electronic devices that you can strap onto your calf. They seem to work, but I dunno how well against Great Whites...... Luckily none in the Gulf of Mexico.... :)
 
Who knows what works to keep whites away- just luck I suppose. I am guessing you are a platform maintenance diver? I can't imagine, I've heard some rough stories from a friend who was an underwater welder in South Africa in the '60's doing bridge work. Also have heard some terrifying stories of dodging HUGE whites while hookah diving for urchins (commercially) at the Farallone Islands here in SF. Hiding in caves waiting for curious 15+ footers to go away and the like.... Not for me.
 

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