Cycling as a family or group, keeping contact with each other.

ericmark

Well-Known Member
The family have a collection of bikes, road, hybrid, mountain, electric assist, and the hill climbing ability varies and speed varies between the bikes. On the flat we all adjust to slowest, until we hit a rise, and then methods alter, some will speed up so gets one to the crest, others go down their gears, so the group spreads out, leaders will stop at the top and wait, but this means two problems.

One is the slowest never gets time to recover, but the other is any problem like chain comes off or puncher for last bike and others have left it far behind before they realise there is a problem.

The mobile phone is OK for person who has stopped, but one is which of the group to phone, i.e. who is in front, and for the person riding still not easy to answer phone without stopping.

So I have moved to PMR 466 radios, smaller and lighter than CB does not need a licence in UK, and I can hear message without touching radio, so if I hear chain has come off, delayed I carry on to top of rise, but chain snapped know to turn around. And also all in group hear same massage at same time. The system works well when all on same channel and same tone squelch.

But latter seems a problem, my cheap Baofeng have the lead and chirp and can set the tones, or not use tone squelch, but grand children have brightly colours toys which are PMR 466 but no patch lead or program to either set or alter tone squelch. So with no tone set on mine, I can hear them, but they can't hear me.

Has anyone worked out an easy way to work out tone used for tone squelch, or found other ways to keep in touch?

Note:- Chirp and 888S are the names of the computer programs used to set radios.
 

Sharky

Guru
Location
Kent
Would using a whatsapp group on the mobile phones solve the problem?
 
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JtB

Black Lives Matter
Location
North Hampshire
Tone squelch just means the transmitting radio adds a sub-audible tone to the voice signal that needs to be detected by the receiving radio in order for the receiving radio to un-mute its speaker. If not all radios in your group support tone squelch then just set them all to the same channel and disable tone squelch all together. The radios should then un-mute their speakers whenever they detect a carrier.

Tone squelch is only needed if you are in a populated area where other people are using the same channel (but not the same tone) and you don’t want to listen to their transmissions. Additionally tone squelch helps to prevent radios from un-muting their speakers due to interference.

[edit] PS. The tone squelch on some radios is configured through a simple radio menu and not an external programmer (computer program). Are there any user instructions with the grandchildren’s brightly coloured radios?
 
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OP
ericmark

ericmark

Well-Known Member
That is the idea, four adults, two grandchildren the children are carefully watched, grandmother is the problem, she charges on ahead on her e-bike and forgets we all don't have motors, so radios in the main work wall as Linda stop normally works. But grandchildren can talk to three adults I only have three radios that work PMR 466, one duel band so also 2 meter and 70 cm, so five in total with kids radios, but only me and my son have passed the RAE. But in the main two are enough, one at back and one at front, but would be nice if grandchildren could hear us as well.
 

bladesman73

Über Member
I'd lie.to granny and tell her the bike is fully charged, send her out on it with 10% left and let her see how it feels when others are charging ahead and leaving her behind. :laugh:
 
OP
ericmark

ericmark

Well-Known Member
The granny is my wife, and I know what would happen if her battery goes flat, she will take my bike. In the main the trips are for my wife, to get her strong again after cancer, she would be happy sitting in her craft room all day if we did not encourage her.

At the moment all on hold, neither of us it seems have driving licences, done nothing wrong DVLA seemed to have messed up, well can't really blame them with colvid, but one would have thought government would give auto extensions until sorted.

But she does know what it was like, now I am not as fit I realise how bad we treated my wife and youngest daughter, we would ride to top of hill and wait, and so we had a rest, but as they arrived, no rest for them, we were off again. On my own I will take off ruck sack with doubles as a seat and sit at side of road taking in the view and getting my breath back.
DSC_4861_2_3_4_5_6_7_8_9_fused_1.jpg

One picture from yesterday, looks lovely, but 1:6 hills are common, so without electric I simply would not cycle. Hard going even with a motor.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
The group I ride with will often string out up a climb. However we have a rule - at the top we wait for the back marker to arrive and be ready to go before we all set off again; no need to all set off just as they arrive.
 
The group I ride with will often string out up a climb. However we have a rule - at the top we wait for the back marker to arrive and be ready to go before we all set off again; no need to all set off just as they arrive.
It's not a rule as such, but on our group rides we do similar, but that's mainly because we're like minded souls out to enjoy ourselves and there's no real competitiveness. I'm usually the first to the top of the hill, but that's largely because of my preferred approach, and because I know I'll get a longer rest. Others prefer to pace themselves differently.

I doubt I'd be able to do it if we set straight off when the tail enders arrived, rather than waiting for them to have had time to enjoy the view and recharge their batteries, as I appreciate (and need) that extra rest too.
 

Drago

Flouncing Nobber
Location
Poshshire
You do onow the Bumfeng 888S is a cheap and cheeful bit of fun, but they are poor quality and aren't legal to use on the 446 band in the UK?

The UV5R is a lot better for barely any more money, butnis also not compliant with the 446 spec and, technically, illegal to use on the band.

If you want to use 446 stick to legal sets like the Binatone range, which are ok. Some of the chraper ones might be brightly coloured etc to appeal to kids, but 0.5 watts is 0.5 watts, and the receivers ate similarly sensitive. Use them with voice activated transmit and the earpiece and theyre totally hands free.

Most of the Bintones do run CTCSS and DTS, so the Bumfengs will open the squelch on them - you simply need to go through the menus and find the correct one, which might not be terribly easy without the instructions.

A point worth noting. CTCSS and DCS do not give you any protection against eavesdropping. Someone with a feceiver and the tones switched off will hear you just fine. All they do is stop your receivers squelch being opened by someone who isn't using the same tone. 446 is not a busy band, so its hardly worth the effort. Switch the tones off on all the sets, avoid channel 8 which is informally used as the hailing channel, use channels 9-16 if you can as less folk have the newer sets, and enjoy your ride.

However, there is no way around it, if you want proper, decent radios that perform well you need to spend the lolly on Icom or Kenwood handsets, ideally DMR446 ones. The diference is night and daym a staggering improvement over anything Bumfeng sell.
 
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ericmark

ericmark

Well-Known Member
I find the Yaesu FT50-R very little difference to the Beofeng UV-B5 other than the Yaesu has a much reduced frequency range so can't be tuned to 466, and there is a huge difference in what I paid for the two. I know the UV-B5 is too powerful for the PMR 466, and when the 888 arrived not sure what country designed for but the frequency could not be used in the UK. The Baofeng UV-5R is frequency Range: 65-108MHz(FM) 136-174MHZ and 400-480HZ (TX/RX) which is great for my son and I who have a licence, but not really for rest of family, output power: 4W / 1W (Max 5W) but maximum power allowed for PMR 466 is 0.5 watt.

The PMR466 was not harmonized throughout Europe, so the CE mark means nothing, I did look at if it needs marking PMR466 but it seems not as not harmonized, so lack of markings to say PMR466 is not really a problem as long as set to UK limits.

I have never been asked in 40 years of having a licence to see the licence, as a VP8, GW7, or VR2. Even if not strictly legal due to no marking I really can't see Ofcom really being interested, most the LAN over Power devices are also not strictly legal and many other devices which it seems Ofcom turn a blind eye to.

Although I always start with non coded request "Is this frequency in use" most PMR466 uses would never hear the request as using CTCSS or DCS, and so I tend not to use channel 1.
 
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