Basically you need a 12 volt car or motorcycle battery (or ideally a deep cycle marine battery) and a power supply to maintain it. Figure around 30lbs total so if you're fit it'll be portable enough I guess.
This place sells prebuilt battery boxes for ham radio operators, should be pretty easy to replicate: http://www.westmountainradio.com/dc_power.php
>>938127 Though CB is still good for if you're doing outdoors stuff with your buddies. Of course with a ham radio license you can get a 10 meter (right above the CB band) radio that puts out 50 watts and can also do 6 meters, 2 meters and 70cm, at 50 watts.
>>938044 I have one of those. I've had it for like 15 years and never successfully had a single conversation. It's too fucking weak to pick anything up, and it's too fucking weak to broadcast anything.
>>938201 If anything it's probably more the antenna. It's got a dinky little walky-talky antenna but for 26mhz (CB) you'd need the following lengths for antennas: 1/8 wave = 4 foot 6 inches 1/4 wave = 9 feet 1/2 wave = 18 feet
So something prohibitively large for a handheld radio unless you shell out for a fancy folding antenna like the Harris ones these guys have. The common ham radio expression is "You can talk to the world with 5 watts and a wire!" which is entirely true, but you're going to need a lot of wire, 40 meters for example is a good 66 feet for a half-wave antenna.
This. I used to have a Lafayette walkie-talkie. 4 Watt, 23 Channel (before they increased CB to 40 channels). I hung a half wave dipole from a tree branch and had a range of about 30 miles.
Half wave antennas are impractical for anything other than fixed base CB use. Quarter waves are used on some vehicles, but ore often base or center loaded whip antennas. I'd advise getting a cheapo SWR meter to check antenna performance and tweak it if necessary.
>>939348 FRS/GMRS radios are UHF around 460mhz and have power limits of .5 watt FRS and 2 watts GMRS (GMRS repeaters can go up to 50 watts though), they have other limits such as how FRS radios need to have antennas permanently attached. They're effectively line-of-sight only, the only way you'll get the claimed "60+ mile range!" on the radios is if you and the other person are each standing on mountain peaks.
CB radios are down at where the HF and VHF bands meet, 26 to 27 mhz. The legal power limit is also low, 4 watts, but effective range can be much longer due to larger antennas (as already mentioned, impractical) and "sporadic E", a phenomenon where the sun charges the E layer of the ionosphere and it reflects VHF/high-HF frequencies, allowing them to travel hundreds or thousands of miles. However we're at the low point of the solar cycle right now, so long distance CB and 10 meter amateur radio stuff is basically a roll of the dice. I think also CB can be used for commercial stuff whereas FRS/GMRS is intended to be solely for personal use.
So basically CB has slightly longer range (and theoretically much longer) but is mainly for vehicular use. So if you do a lot of outdoor stuff with a group, they might be useful if you can't get phone signals.
There's also the MURS VHF band, which is right above the ham radio 2 meter band but is lower power, only 5 channels and there's almost no specific equipment because the FCC requires it to be specifically certified for MURS. I think Motorola makes a radio, there's the goTenna text messaging thing for phones, and AnyTone had the TERMN-8R but it's certification got revoked last year.
When i was in my teens i convinced my parents to buy me a base station with a 1/2 wave antenna mounted on top of a 20' tripod tower. Fucker was huge and i could easily get 30 miles out with just a stock radio.
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