Radio Communications Guide will assist you in having the correct Communications. The correct radio is vital when in the Australian Outback. If you are going to travel the Outback, make sure you have the correct Radio for emergencies. Weather conditions, location, radio/battery condition, unlicensed operatoring,  type of device can affect radio communications.

The Australian outback is very remote and requires particular long distance communications so make sure you are prepared.

 

What radio should I have?

 

UHF Radio (Radio Frequency 476.425 – 477.400 MHZ)

   Antenna Base for UHF

UHF Radios are the most popular radio installed in 4 x 4 & trucks. They are best for communicating with a range of about 10 to 40km maximum. By using repeater stations it is possible to extend the range of these radios. So it is good to have one to communicate with fellow travellers in the area about road conditions, hazards, directions etc.

UHF radios are available in both in car and hand held.

Below is a chart with the UHF channels have their use

 Channel:Frequency:Use:Channel Spacing:
 Channel  1
 476.4250
 Duplex – Repeater Output12.5 KHz
 Channel  2
 476.4500
 Duplex – Repeater Output12.5 KHz
 Channel  3
 476.4750
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  4
 476.5000
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  5
 476.5250
 Duplex – Repeater Output     (Emergency use only)
12.5 KHz
 Channel  6
 476.5500
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  7
 476.5750
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  8
 476.6000
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  9
 476.6250
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  10
 476.6500
 Simplex     4WD Drivers – Convoy, Clubs & National Parks
12.5 KHz
 Channel  11
 476.6750
 Simplex     Call Channel
12.5 KHz
 Channel  12
 476.7000
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  13
 476.7250
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  14
 476.7500
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  15
 476.7750
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  16
 476.8000
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  17
 476.8250
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  18
 476.8500
 Simplex     Caravan & Campers Convoy Channel
12.5 KHz
 Channel  19
 476.8750
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  20
 476.9000
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  21
 476.9250
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  22
 476.9500
 Data Only (No Voice – No Packet)
25 KHz
 Channel  23
 476.9750
 Data Only (No Voice – No Packet)
25 KHz
 Channel  24
 477.0000
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  25
 477.0250
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  26
 477.0500
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  27
 477.0750
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  28
 477.1000
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  29
 477.1250
 Simplex     Pacific Hwy (NSW) & Bruce Hwy (Qld) Road Channel
12.5 KHz
 Channel  30
 477.1500
 Simplex  UHF CB Broadcasts
12.5 KHz
 Channel  31
 477.1750
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  32
 477.2000
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  33
 477.2250
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  34
 477.2500
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  35
 477.2750
 Repeater Input (Emergency Use Only)
12.5 KHz
 Channel  36
 477.3000
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  37
 477.3250
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  38
 477.3500
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  39
 477.3750
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  40
 477.4000
 Simplex     Highway Channel
12.5 KHz
 Channel  41
 476.4375
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  42
 476.4625
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  43
 476.4875
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  44
 476.5125
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  45
 476.5375
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  46
 476.5625
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  47
 476.5875
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  48
 476.6125
 Duplex – Repeater Output
12.5 KHz
 Channel  49
 476.6375
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  50
 476.6625
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  51
 476.6875
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  52
 476.7125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  53
 476.7375
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  54
 476.7625
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  55
 476.7875
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  56
 476.8125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  57
 476.8375
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  58
 476.8625
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  59
 476.8875
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  60
 476.9125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  61
 
 Reserved for Future Expansion
 Channel  62
 
 Reserved for Future Expansion
 Channel  63
 
 Reserved for Future Expansion
 Channel  64
 477.0125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  65
 477.0375
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  66
 477.0625
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  67
 477.0875
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  68
 477.1125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  69
 477.1375
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  70
 477.1625
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  71
 477.1875
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  72
 477.2125
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  73
 477.2375
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  74
 477.2625
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  75
 477.2875
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  76
 477.3125
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  77
 477.3375
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  78
 477.3625
 Repeater Input
12.5 KHz
 Channel  79
 477.3875
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
 Channel  80
 477.4125
 Simplex
12.5 KHz
Licenses for Repeater Channels 44 & 45 will not be licensed for an additional 6 to 12 months to allow extra time for owners of Channel 5 Emergency repeaters to upgrade equipment to meet the new standards
Channels 1 to 8 and 41 to 48 – Repeater Channels Press the DUPLEX button on your radio to used any available repeaters
Channel 5 & 35 – Emergency use only – Monitored by Volunteers, No general conversations are to take place on this channel
Channels 22 & 23 – Data transmissions only (Excluding Packet)
Channels 31 to 38 and 71 to 78 – Repeater inputs – Do not use these channels for simplex transmissions as you will interfere with conversations on channels 1 to 8 and 41 to 48
The Australian Government has legislated that channels 5 & 35 on the UHF CB Band are reserved for emergency use only 

As at January 2007 the maximum penalties for the misuse of the legally allocated CB emergency channels are:

  • For general misuse – if an individual 2 years imprisonment, otherwise $165,000 (a $220 on-the-spot fine can be issued in minor cases); or
  • For interference to an Emergency call – if an individual 5 years imprisonment, otherwise $550,000
If you interfere with another persons conversation just select another channel and do not provoke troublemakers that may deliberately search out other people provoke a reaction, Just ignore them remember

 

 

Satellite Telephones

  

Satellite telephones can provide telephone calls, voicemail, text, email messaging, and GPS location data, almost anywhere in the world. They are now a viable option because some are cheaper to purchase than HF Radios. They cost very little to run and provide broader emergency contact because they can be carried when away from your vehicle.

You must remember that Satellite telephones do not provide the “community” based support to travellers that can be provided via HF radio, such as those who are members of the VKS-737 Radio Network, but the satphone can be carried when bush walking, boating etc and thus be available for an emergency.

 

Want to purchase or hire a Satellite phone the following businesses do so:

 

RENTA 2-WAY PROVIDING COMMUNICATION EQUIPMENT FOR RECREATIONAL USERS
Ph: 03 9898 5988

Unit 4/11 Clarice Road, Box Hill South, Victoria 3128, Australia

Ph (03) 9898 5988, Fax (03) 9899 4848, International 61 3 9898 5988
Email: rentals@renta2way.com.au

Website: www.renta2way.com.au

 

Rent a Sat Phone

CALL NOW 1300 851 591 

24 HOURS A DAY/7 DAYS A WEEK

Rent a Sat Phone
Satellite Phone Sales

28 Churchill Ave
Subiaco WA 6008

Tel: 1300 851 591 Fax: (08) 9315 3099
Mob: +61 (0) 400 997 561

Website: www.rentasatphone.com.au

HF Radios

Hf radios use frequencies in the range of 2 to 25MHz, HF radios offer reliable communications in remote areas. The two most popular brands of HF radios are Codan & Barrett. You have to have a licence to operate a HF radio. Use HF radios for contacting emergency organisations such as the RFDS. Modern HF radio features allow users to reliably make contact with each other and Base Stations located all around Australia. Modern radios can do Direct Dial Radio-Telephone calls through VKS-737 Base Stations. What is the VKS – 737 Radio Net Work? We shall discuss that next.

 

HF Auto Tune Antenna

   HF Manual Tune Antenna

 

VKS-737 Radio Network

 

 

 

The VKS-737 Radio Network is a HF Radio communications network licensed to serve Australian travellers (land, sea or air). Primarily, they provide safety orientated information, pass on messages and arrange rescue/support for people in difficulties. With their many strategically located bases, they effectively cover the nation.

 

Frequencies (channels)
If you have an HF radio with UPPER sideband capability, that can access our channels, you can listen in any time to our staff and authorised users as we run our scheduled base station sessions (skeds). Authorised users may be heard on our channels too, in between the sked sessions.Should you decide to join or seek more information, please see the Application Form 01 on the Documents page or contact head office via the Contact page.The channels at right have been allocated to us* by the ACMA; Our sked sheets available to VKS-737 subscribers (via the Users tab) show accurate sked timings; we have both summer and winter sheets to accommodate daylight saving where applicable.*shared with other users, to a minor extent
ChannelFrequency
15455 kHzA secondary channel for most skeds.
Free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers outside of sked time frames.
28022 kHzThe primary channel for all skeds.
Free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers outside of sked time frames.
311612 kHzNo sked traffic – free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers.
Has a very good reach, during mid morning and mid afternoon.
414977 kHzNo sked traffic – free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers.
Often has a very good reach, during the middle section of the day.
53995 kHzNo sked traffic – free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers.Good shorter reach frequency.
66796 kHzNo sked traffic – free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers.
710180 kHzNo sked traffic – free for general & telephone use by authorised VKS-737 subscribers.
Has a very good reach, during mid morning and mid afternoon.

Authorised users are free to use all 7 channels for personal activity as long as they stay clear of published sked timeframes (and also stay clear of emergency traffic). See other sections of this site, and selected downloads from the Documents page, for more detailed information on frequencies and radio usage.

 

You must have a licence to communicate with the VKS network which is available from VKS network. The same with communicating with the the Flying Doctor a licence must be obtained from Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) where you will be issued with what they call a  Mobile Outpost Licence conditions can be found at ACMA

 

  

Royal Flying Doctor Service

  

Sections of Out back Roads Used by RFDS

  

The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. RFDS uses the latest in aviation, medical and communications. Delivering extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia.

The RFDS is a not-for-profit organisation. With support from the Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments, the RFDS still relies heavily on fundraising and donations. Donations helps to medically equip aircraft, and to finance other major initiatives. Today, the RFDS has a fleet of 60 aircraft operating from 21 bases located across the nation. Providing medical assistance to over 270,000 people every year – that’s one every two minutes.

RFDS Communications

The RFDS provides a HF radio network for both travellers and people residing in rural and remote parts of Australia.

Access to a RFDS radio base may vary from state to state.

The following remote controlled back at Jandakot airport providing state-wide coverage 24hrs.  Voice and Selcall monitoring is available;

Western Australia, Derby, Port Hedland, Carnarvon, Meekatharra and Kalgoorlie.

South Australia – Alice Springs is remote controlled back to Port Augusta, voice and alarm monitoring is available.

NSW – Broken Hill is the only radio base and has voice and alarm monitoring

Queensland – there are bases at Charleville, Mount Isa and Cairns which can be contacted via Selcall, for equipped radios however there is no dedicated voice monitoring service.

You will need an HF transceiver fitted with RFDS frequencies for the area of operations you need to talk to us.  Transceivers are available from a number of suppliers.  An Outpost Radio Licence is also required to legally operate the transceiver and is obtained via the Australian Communications Authority.

Carnarvon Selcall: 7411
Derby Selcall: 9211
Meekatharra Selcall: 7511
Perth Selcall: 0511
Port Hedland Selcall: 7811
VKS-737 Channels and Frequencies 
Channel 1 5455 kHz
Channel 2 8022 kHz
Channel 3 11612 kHz
Channel 4 14977 kHz
Channel 5 3995 kHz
Channel 6 6796 kHz
Channel 7 10180 kHz

RFDS Western Operations

Base

 Telephone

Callsign 

Derby

1800 625 800 

Or

08 9417 6389 (from satphone)

VJB
 2792, 5300 6945
Port Hedland
VKL
2280, 4030, 5300, 5360, 6960
Carnarvon
VJT
2280, 2656, 4045, 5360, 6890
Meekatharra
VKJ
SelcallContact with RFDS Western Operations can only be achieved with Selcall equipped radios using the following Selcall numbers on the above RFDS frequencies;

RFDS Central Operations

Base

 Telephone

Callsign 

HF Frequencies

Alice Springs
08 8648 9555
Port Augusta
VNZ
2020 , 4010 , 6890, 8165
(Port Augusta is the communication centre for emergency contact RFDS Central Operations covering S.A & lower half of N.T.)

RFDS South Eastern Section

Base

 Telephone

Callsign 

HF Frequencies

Broken Hill
08 8088 1188
VJC
2020, 4055, 6920

RFDS Queensland Section

Base

Telephone

Callsign

HF Frequencies

Cairns

07 4040 0500

VJN

2020, 2260, 5145, 5110, 6965, 7465
Charleville

07 4654 1443

VJJ

2020, 4980, 6845, 6965, 7465
Mount Isa

07 4743 2802

VJI

2020, 5110, 6965

 

SelcallContactmayalsobeachievedwithSelcallequippedradiosusingthefollowingSelcallnumbersontheaboveRFDS frequencies;oralternativelyonanyoftheVKS-737 frequencies listed.

Cairns Selcall: 7714
Charleville Selcall: 8115
Mount Isa Sellcall: 8216 (Presently unavailable)

 

VKS-737 Channels and FrequenciesChannel 1 5455 kHz
Channel 2 8022 kHz
Channel 3 11612 kHz
Channel 4 14977 kHz
Channel 5 3995 kHz
Channel 6 6796 kHz
Channel 7 10180 kHz
Alternatively, you may dial 000