Looking for a good GRMS radio

Discussion in 'The Okie Corral' started by arshooter426, Nov 18, 2005.

  1. arshooter426

    arshooter426

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    I would like to get a pair of GRMS/FRS radios with a decent range. I know that they don't perform anywhere close to their claimed range but what brand(s) seem to have the best range and performance? Getting a little confused with all the claims about range and performance.

    Thanks,

    KE6LAL
     
  2. thenewguy

    thenewguy

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    In my experience, the higher-end Motorola radios are the best in the FRS/GMRS space.
     

  3. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Tired Member

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    You do need a GMRS license if you use the GMRS frequencies.;) A little pricy in my book.
     
  4. arshooter426

    arshooter426

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    Regarding the license for the GRMS radio, will a no-code tech ham radio license authorize me to use the GRMS? I have that one.
     
  5. thenewguy

    thenewguy

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    No, it will not. You can obtain a GMRS license by paying the $70-something fee; there is no test required.
     
  6. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Tired Member

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  7. Geko45

    Geko45 Smartass Pilot CLM

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    I always thought that the Garmin Rino 120 was an interesting little radio. It is a typical FRS/GMRS HT, but with built-in GPS. I believe that you can even send your exact position between radios. If I were going to use FRS/GMRS exclusively, that is the radio I would get.

    http://www.garmin.com/products/rino120/
     
  8. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    I have a question about this license. How.... not really sure how to word this. The FCC says that you have to have this license to use the radio. But you don't have to have one to purchase the radio. I know quite a few people here, locally, who have these radios and not a single one of them has actually paid the money to get the license. Does the FCC keep a tighter grip on this license in some areas? Because they sure don't keep an eye on it here.

    I think it will soon go the way of the license for CB.
     
  9. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Tired Member

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    The FCC does not have the manpower to enforce everywhere. However even though chances of getting cought for the casual user is small it does happen. Check out

    http://www.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/

    Every so often you will see someone getting cited for unlicensed operation. Most times the FCC goes after the big fish (i.e. broadcasters and pirate stations) but I did see one where a hotel cleaning crew was using FRS/GMRS to talk to each other. The GMRS is probably enforced more when someone is interfering with a business. I don't think I would want to take the chance.

    Rich WI9NDY / AFA1CY
     
  10. WayneM

    WayneM

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    Back to the original question, what is a realistic range for a high-end gmrs handheld with a direct line of sight? How about through common obstacles such as trees, buildings or hills? Also can anyone name any specific high-end models worth considering? Thanks!
     
  11. lomfs24

    lomfs24

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    Sorry, Wayne, to highjack the thread. I have other questions so I will start a new thread. As far as range of one of these radios we have used them hunting some, you know, to keep track of your hunting buddies. And realistically, in the real world, a few hundred yards was about all we could get out of them. However, where we hunt there is a search and rescue beacon that can be heard for miles. So I don't know if they have several towers or if it is one huge tower.

    Since they are a low powered UHF signal off a bad antenna position is very important. If someone is on a ridge they can be heard farther away than someone down in a hole. But we really figured in hunting terrain not a lot more than 500 yards. I would imagine that urban terrain would be very similar.
     
  12. arshooter426

    arshooter426

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    It just seems rather odd that a GRMS license that requires no test costs $80 and my no-code tech ham radio license, which required a test was very cheap (not sure what it cost 11 years ago). If you have a General or Advanced ham license you can operate all other ham radios below that rating. I'm sure that GRMS radios are below a no-code tech rating.

    Looks like the gov't is just trying to find another way to get our money. $80...get real. :(
     
  13. R. Emmelman

    R. Emmelman Tired Member

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    Amateur radio operators can only communicate with other amateur radio operators and only about non business things.

    GMRS users can communicate with any member of their family and also be used for business communications.


    I agree $80 is a bit high but when you are running a business and making money the price would be reasonable.

    Rich WI9NDY / AFA1CY


    That is the difference.
     
  14. BrianDamage

    BrianDamage YouTalkin'ToMe?

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    It can only be used for businness purpose legally if the license was bought before July 31, 1987 and was bought under the business' name, not an invidual person's name.

    http://www.popularwireless.com/gmrsbppfaq.html
     
  15. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    I live in thickly wooded mountains. My 5 watt Midlands will transmit a couple miles (over a couple of hills, curves and a few hundred thousand trees).
     
  16. Ivory Kid

    Ivory Kid

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    Also, with the GMRS license, you can get much better radios than the bubble pack FRS/GMRS radios. You can get yourself a 100 watt base station repeater and have everyone in your family cruising with 50 watt radios in their vehicles. Also, GMRS allows you have a radio with a removable antenna, something that FRS forbids. The steep cost of a license requires no effort on the purchaser to learn about radios and is intended for businesses with a higher power professional installation.

    As far as range on the FRS/GMRS bubble pack radios, I've found that the Motorolas seen to have a decent performance. An, like usual, you get what you pay for.
     
  17. WayneM

    WayneM

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    Thank you Cali-Glock and Ivory Kid. The 5-watt Midlands seem to perform much better than I would have thought. Are your Midland radios considered high end models?

    I guess what I am trying to decide is whether an expensive handheld GMRS like the Icom IC-F21 at around $150 each is worth the extra price over the bubble pack variety Motorola types. Does anyone have experience with handhelds in the $100 to $150 range? Thanks again.

    Wayne M.
     
  18. Mainsail

    Mainsail

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    There's a good little primer here.
     
  19. Cali-Glock

    Cali-Glock Mountain Man

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    The 5-Watt Midlands are DEFINITELY LOW END radios - IE: consumer grade bubble pack crap. But that said, I am VERY happy with them. Hell pubble pack crap is "cheap" and I really did not want to spend much money and for the money they are pretty good. The audio quality sucks, they are not loud enough etc, but the jump up to good stuff was more than I was willing to pay for given my use which is basically to be able to walk about my acreage and be able to get ahold of my wife in the house!