Charity expedition to Borneo (Indonesia) - need radio help!

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Charity expedition to Borneo (Indonesia) - need radio help!

Postby dansarg » Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:41 pm

Hi there guys.
I've been reading through the forum and you fellows seem to know your stuff! I am an IT tech but sadly know absolutely nothing about radio communication.
I am part of a charity expedition team and although we will have satphones, we have to use HF radio to communicate with a community about 40 miles away for emergencies. Apparently there will be a HF radio there that we can just take an antenna and battery for but we will need another HF radio for our base camp.
We are going to a threatened area of rainforest in an extremely remote part of Borneo in Indonesia. Scientists will be conducting research and we will be documenting with video and images.

Now I have been reading about this stuff all week so far, and I really don't know where to start. We basically just need to be able to:
1) Set up the radio in a nearby village for someone to communicate with us in base camp.
2) Buy and setup a radio at our base camp so that we can communicate with the village and our walkie talkies.
3) Use our walkie talkies with the base camp radio.

We leave in 2 weeks and we don't know where to start to find out what kind of radio we need, how to basically use them, and which walkie talkies would be able to communicate with the basecamp radio. This is a little worrying! I hope you guys can point me in the right direction as all of the info I have read so far is so full of jargon that it's hardly something for the feint hearted.

So far we managed to get some walkie talkies, but as their range is only 10KM, through thick jungle I'm guessing this will be a few hundred metres! Looking at what's available in the UK, as standard I can't find anything that will transmit over 14KM point-to-point, although when looking at US sites, saw Motorolas that could transmit over 35miles, which is a huge difference. What is the difference between these?
How easy would it be for me to modify our existing Doro WT91Pros to have a better antenna? I know transmit power can't be increased.
Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. As the use of HF is becoming less popular, it's tough to find local people with the knowledge!
Thanks in advance
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Joined: Wed Oct 27, 2010 12:47 pm

Re: Charity expedition to Borneo (Indonesia) - need radio he

Postby Jerry » Fri Nov 25, 2011 5:19 am

What you want to do is ILLEGAL.
It is illegal to transmit on a amateur radio without a license.

In order to use a HF radio - you must have a General class or higher license to operate on both ends - both your radio and the radio you are talking to.

The exception is there is a small piece of the 10 meters band 28.300 - 28.500 mhz USB which is allowed to be used by Technician class license holders.

The problem being that you need to have two licensed people to use it, and even then, all effective communications is line of sight.
Even 10 meters is not as easy as just putting a piece of wire up in a tree and using a 100 watt transmitter.

My only advice is for your group to invest in amateur radio licenses next time so you will not be put into this type of situation.
No use going into any deeper detail - because you can't use the radios right now anyways.

In the USA, you would be permitted to use a CB radio - legal limit 3 watts AM, 12 watts PEP SSB, or a GMRS handie talkie which is 1/2 or 1 watt, that has a range - LOS of about 100 feet to 18 miles depending on terrain.

Anything else requires a license and permission from the country you are trying to operate in.

Too bad this post is a couple of years old and not really pertinent anymore.
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Joined: Wed Nov 23, 2011 4:00 pm
Callsign: AB3NK

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