The Off Road Communications Thread

Welcome to DezertRangers
Join the community. Register today for all the benefits of membership.
Register

WW_RANGER_X

Leaf Sprung Fun
Sep 28, 2010
5,589
8
38
Visalia, Ca
#1
Figured I'd start a thread dedicated to communications. It's a pretty crucial tool in off roading IMO and i think more people need to keep it in mind before they go out into the middle of nowhere without it (meaning Race radios (VHF/HAM), handheld or in car, Citizen Band (CBs), or even satellite phones which i know at least one member on here has haha). Cell phones are great, but a lot of the places we go (deserts or mountains) cell phone service is scarce, and i think smoke signals and flashing your headlights is pretty much fazed out lol. I thought this would be a cool idea to have people post up what they have, whats good whats bad, or if someone has questions or needs a problem solved SOMEONE on here could help them out. I've had OK success with what i've had, and i've had GREAT success with what i currently have. It's definitely been one of my best investments i've made and has helped out tremendously from people being stuck or lost, to calling out hazards on the trail so you don't wad your shit up.

I'll start with what i've had and what i have now.

Had:
-Standard Horizon HX270 VHF Handheld with external Laird roof mounted antenna
-Vertex Standard VX180 VHF handheld (both i've sold to members on here)

Have currently:
-Vertex Standard 2200 VHF 50 watt in car radio with Laird antenna
-Rugged 357 Intercom
-3 headsets total (2 over the head, 1 behind the head for the person that doesn't want to wear my wife's pink headset lol)
-Uniden PC76XL CB with Wilson 1000 antenna and external speaker

Discuss!
 
Last edited:

bri_man57

Need to Build
Jul 11, 2005
2,487
19
38
31
Ventura, California
#2
I like it.

Same vertex standard 2200 here as well. No itercom, still rolling mic only.

It really works well, I was at Pismo at a gas station in town and was able to talk to the group at the top of comp hill like they were across the street. Works amazing and is known for its durability. 100w+ radios are cool.....if everyone has them lol

One issue I have with it is I can't program the unit itself to a certain number frequency. It has all the known ones but you can't program it without a computer. Not a huge deal but a friend of a friend was racing and I couldn't program their new frequency into the radio which was disappointing considering the handheld's have that capability. That's a pretty isolated case but still. Having a group of people use them on a known channel works bitchen.

Also, if your radio originated from Chris and Alyssa, channel MDR is weatherman. Took a second to figure that out lol.

I do also have my CB that I bought a decade ago still in the truck ha ha. It's the cobra 29 night watch soundtracker deal. I have considered taking it out, but once every couple years it comes in handy so I just leave it lol.
 

Piddles \m/

Senior Member
Oct 11, 2007
254
0
16
SLO, CA
#3
For ballers on a budget:

BaoFeng UV-5R

plus

Nagoya Whip

A couple years ago, we all got these to mess around with at KOH. They've gotten their use since then and are awesome for just about anything. We had one of our buddies buy the cable to program and had all the typical channels. Or, if you don't want to deal with that, you can manually program in the frequencies (however, you can't label them, i.e. "weahtherman").

I think I had $40 into mine, and it finally broke after about 6 trips (2 of which were full weeks at KOH using and abusing it). However, the rest of the crew is still using theirs (~2 years). Obviously this isn't a 100W radio, so distance is limited, but you can recieve chatter from those with more powerful units. Really nice when you are out and just want to monitor the race frequencies.

Pros: Battery actually lasts ~2 days with moderate use, Supremely Affordable!, Easy function
Cons: Need (cheap) cable to program, not extremely durable, low wattage

They're cheap and awesome. Rugged has caught on and started selling these re-branded for ~$60-80 with all the frequencies.
 
Feb 8, 2008
3,032
30
48
#4
I have a vertex 2200 and pci intercom. The radio has been decent for me not great some times my hand held pick up more than the radio does. I am currently selling the truck and the next truck will have a much better set up and I will make sure I hit up pci for them to made sure I did everything right.
 

F1sleepy

Grumpy Old Man
Aug 1, 2006
12,778
28
48
Escondido
#5
Look in to your antenna setup. My vertex 2200 works great and gets surprisingly good reception with just a mag base ground plane antenna that was setup for the proper length by Rugged.
 
Feb 24, 2003
16,118
84
48
Las Vegas
#7
Anyone have any tips on headsets that don't pop off on hard hits? 99% of the time I wear helmets in both trucks but the occasional time I do wear my headsets they almost always end up flying off a time or two on runs. It's not just me, passengers experience the same and I've got both over the head and behind the head style headsets and have tried them both with the same issue.
 

hxckidd

Clean-Dezert.org
Feb 14, 2002
26,092
154
63
38
so cal
www.clean-dezert.org
#8
Anyone have any tips on headsets that don't pop off on hard hits? 99% of the time I wear helmets in both trucks but the occasional time I do wear my headsets they almost always end up flying off a time or two on runs. It's not just me, passengers experience the same and I've got both over the head and behind the head style headsets and have tried them both with the same issue.
work on your shock tuning? lol
 
Feb 8, 2008
3,032
30
48
#9
Anyone have any tips on headsets that don't pop off on hard hits? 99% of the time I wear helmets in both trucks but the occasional time I do wear my headsets they almost always end up flying off a time or two on runs. It's not just me, passengers experience the same and I've got both over the head and behind the head style headsets and have tried them both with the same issue.
maybe I am not driving hard enough but I have never had this happen
 

Latest posts

Today's birthdays

New Threads

New Classifieds

latest desert trips

Member Builds