Ronny and the communication devices in the Landcruiser.
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said even during other trips and general travel I tend to leave one radio on
channel 40 which is the trucker and road-worker channel to get alerts of what's
The main radio I use is an Icom 400 which is a commercial grade radio
broadcasting signals from the roof (on top of the roof rack) via a 3dB antenna
(good for 20+km when conditions are good), the second radio is a GME TX which
would be considered as a recreation grade radio, this radio receives and
transmits from a 3dB antenna mounted on the bull bar.
The antennas have been
keep apart to avoid interfering with each other.
long range radio communications I use a Barrett 950 HF radio with an auto
tuner antenna, this radio requires a license to use and to get that you need to
be part of HF radio network which has allocated channels.
These channels are
the only ones you are permitted to broadcast on.
I am with the VKS737 radio
network which is for 4 wheel drivers around Australia.
a good day when conditions are right 3000km range is possible with the HF
The Barrett 950 is only really on the cruiser for emergency situations.
other option is a satellite phone which can be quite expensive to have and use,
once you own a HF radio the only ongoing cost is an annual fee of less then
$200 to be part of the HF comms network.
The radio has only been used 5 times and all have been radio checks to one of
the base stations in W.A.
If you get a HF radio be sure to keep all the antenna wires well away from the
engine bay and other electrical items as it really doesn't take much to
interfere with the radio signal. This is the reason why I have moved the radio
antenna to the roof.
Now moving from Communication devices to Location devices.
is where the bridge is crossed between comms and navigation. On our trips we
bring a SPOT device (SPOT gen1).
This device allows us to send our exact
location to our family and friends so they know we are still alive and
By the push of a button it will send a signal to a satellite
which will trigger an email to be sent from the SPOT data base.
This email is a
preset message (which you can customize) that gets sent to all people you have
chosen to receive it.
The email also contains the exact location of our whereabouts
on Google earth in an URL link.
It also has a please help message button and the all important SOS emergency
For off-road navigation the entire crew uses the Hema
I have owned a Hema since the HN5i was released, I then got the HN6
pretty much the day it was released and now I have the latest version of the
HN7 which has the biggest screen yet and more detailed maps.
As a backup we
always carry paper maps as technology could fail, the paper maps we carry are
Hema maps as well and for good reason too, the same maps are on the GPS so when
we discuss locations on the paper map everyone knows what to look for on the
And of course should the GPS fail we have our backup paper version
showing the same maps.