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VHF Radios - Need help

Discussion in 'Commercial Snow Removal' started by Philbilly2, Nov 10, 2009.

  1. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,797

    So, we are trying to set all out trucks up with VHF Business Radios.

    I don't know anything about them other than some of the farmers that I know have used them. Can anyone tell me what is involved.

    We plow for a large city's school district. Their buses have VHF radios in them. Is there anyway that we can use their base and operate on a different channel?

    Just looking for some answers to somthing I know nothing about yet.

  2. basher

    basher PlowSite Fanatic
    from 19707
    Messages: 8,993

    We ran them back in the day before cell coverage became as prevalent and cheap. We rented access to a "repeater" basically a tower that broadcast a strengthened signal. Cell phones/nextel replaced them years ago.
    Perhaps the school has space to rent in their system, the radio provider(motorola) operated the system here.
  3. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    A friend of mine bought a couple of truck to truck radios for less than $200 each. Cell phones are nice, but there's something about grabbing the mike and clicking the button. If you need repeater space, I bet it's cheap if still available.
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,256

    What do you mean "Back in the day"?

    Still have 'em in all our trucks.

    Nextime sucks just enough to make it worth the $100 a month. Cheap insurance.

    Nice for everyone to hear what is going on. Phones are for ass chewings.
  5. forestfireguy

    forestfireguy PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,276

    You chew ass? LOL
  6. m297

    m297 Member
    Messages: 94

    We have them too in fact, last year we upgraded our system to MOTOTRBO, which is a private digital system capable of messaging, GPS tracking, private call, just to name a few. Thats exactly it everyone knows whats going on all at the same time.
  7. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,797

    You guys nailed the problem on the head. If you are on the Nextel two way, no one else can reach you. We have nextels, cell phones, and the little two way radios to try an keep in touch, but somtimes the two of us that are running the show are talking back and forth on the nextel trying to get a game plan and there are 10 guys trying to get a hold of us. It would just be nice to be able to have all of us be able to hear what is going on and just keep the cell phones and nextels for when you need to speak in private.
  8. Philbilly2

    Philbilly2 PlowSite Veteran
    Messages: 3,797

    Can you explain more on repeater space?
  9. 2COR517

    2COR517 PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,115

    Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but a repeater is usually set on a tower on a hill. When you use the two way, your signal goes to the repeater, which transmits it back out. This would basically allow two trucks on opposite sides of the hill, or too far away for direct communication, to be in touch with each other. When I worked for the CATV company about 15 years ago, we had them. Usually the trucks were setup with a repeater channel, and a truck to truck channel. If you had a tight route in a flat area, you might not actually need a repeater.

    As far as repeater "space" you would need a frequency block for your own trucks.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  10. NorthernSvc's

    NorthernSvc's Senior Member
    Messages: 781

    repeater will pick up the weak 30 watt output from your mobile truck radio and blast it back at a much higher wattage, - increasing the power ( so people can hear you better) and the distance the signal will go...
  11. Ne1

    Ne1 Senior Member
    Messages: 370

    We run 800mhz radios. We pay $15 month per unit to run off the towers in the area. We get 40-50 miles coverage and instant communication. Check with your local Motorola two-way dealer for more info. Its alot cheaper to pay a monthly fee than trying to but and setup a repeater system.