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GMRS / FRS Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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Old 08-21-2011, 2:40 PM
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Default Best GMRS Radio Available

Which FRS/GMRS Radio do you all consider to be the top-of-the-line radio for everyday use.

Not commercial stuff, but something really good for occasional use.

I'll be using the FRS more than anything else, but "may" get a GMRS license in the future and want have the capability in whatever radio(s) I buy.

Thanks.

Last edited by pratzert; 08-21-2011 at 2:43 PM..
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Old 08-21-2011, 3:58 PM
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Commercial radios are the ONLY way to go! Light duty recreational radios are usually junk and don't fair well.

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Old 08-21-2011, 5:52 PM
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OK. Which commericial one(s) do you recommend that can also do the FRS ?

Thanks
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Old 08-21-2011, 8:26 PM
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Motorola, Kenwood, ICOM, they are all good. Just remember, you get what you pay for!
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Old 08-21-2011, 8:54 PM
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Motorola ht1000/2000s are going really cheap on ebay
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:31 AM
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The only problem with comercial radios is that you can't change privacy codes manually.

I have a mobile Kenwood TK-880 that has been modified for field programing you can select the frequency and code from the keypad.

A good bubble pack radio should have at least 4 AA or lithium packs, don't buy 3AAA gmrs radios.

Garmin GMRS/GPS radios are good but very expensive specially the 5watt version
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:01 PM
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Yes you certainly can change DPL and CTCSS codes on commercial radios...if the radio has been programmed to do FPP. I have no idea about whether FPP radios are permitted under Part 95, however.
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Old 08-22-2011, 1:12 PM
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I have a Kenwood tk3140 and an Icom F40GT. Both radios are part 90 and 95 certified. They both have a dealer mode that allows FPP, and the also have the option of user selectable tone where from a key push the radio will allow temporary tone selection based on a pre stored list set up in the programming.
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Old 08-22-2011, 2:29 PM
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But you are not supposed to use a commercial radio on FRS .....just my thoughts
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Old 08-22-2011, 3:05 PM
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I am using the shared GMRS/FRS frequencies- frs 1-7 which are covered bg my GMRS license.
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spd640 View Post
But you are not supposed to use a commercial radio on FRS .....just my thoughts
If you were not allowed to use commercial equipment on GMRS, how would you have a repeater up and working? Commercial equipment is fine on GMRS, as long as it meets the Part number, what ever it is.

Unfortunately, the FCC has a lot more to worry about than what type equipment you use on GMRS, like going after Howard Stern!
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:43 PM
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spd40 said you can't use commercial radios on *FRS*, not the GMRS. And by commercial radio I assume he means a radio with more than a half watt ERP, a detachable antenna, etc.

And I'd be very interested in a commercial-grade mobile radio (with a remote head) for the GMRS that has a field programmable mode that it can be left in, so I can change the CTCSS/DCS via the front panel and/or microphone, without needing a computer to do it.

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Old 08-22-2011, 11:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
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spd40 said you can't use commercial radios on *FRS*, not the GMRS. And by commercial radio I assume he means a radio with more than a half watt ERP, a detachable antenna, etc.

And I'd be very interested in a commercial-grade mobile radio (with a remote head) for the GMRS that has a field programmable mode that it can be left in, so I can change the CTCSS/DCS via the front panel and/or microphone, without needing a computer to do it.

John
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Just program the same frequency 34 times over with each different PL
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Old 08-23-2011, 3:09 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; BREW 3.1.5; en )/800x480 Samsung SCH-U960)

And try to remember which memory channel has which frequency and PL tone combination. Not to mention the 104 DCS codes.

And I'd like to have all 50 CTCSS tones, not just 34 or 38, if at all possible.

I'd really like to see a purpose-built GMRS remote-head capable mobile radio, that allows you to select from 50 CTCSS tones and 104 DCS codes via the front panel and/or microphone; and that allows you to select between repeater and simplex operation by a single button press on the same memory channel without having to program in 2 seperate memory channels per frequency. I'd like to see 2-3 power output levels, up to 45-50 watts on high power.

I'd like to see the 7 GMRS interstital channels in the radio as well, for compatibility with FRS users. With the current 5 watt ERP output level limitation for the 7 shared channels, a user would have to determine what power output level, plus the gain of the antenna they use, minus the loss of the coax gives them 5 watts or less ERP, but it shouldn't be that difficult. There could be a set-and-forget menu item which allows the user to select a variable power output between say 1-5 watts or so, to achieve the 5 watts ERP level. Yea, some people won't care about the rules, and will simply set it as high as possible, but I'd like to think that there are still people out there who do follow the rules.

I'd like to see DTMF encode and decode for SelCall. I'd like to see MDC-1200 and BIIS-1200 signaling if they're legal for the GMRS.

I'd like to see a companion HT to go with it.

I'd also like to see similar mobile and portable radios for the Multi-Use Radio Service. Remote-head capable mobile radios, detachable antenna on the HT's. 5 channels. 2 watts TPO. 50 CTCSS/104 DCS, DTMF, MDC-1200, BIIS-1200. 7 NOAA/NWS receive-only channels with SAME alerting. Commercial-grade quality construction.

I don't have any money to buy *any* radios right now. And maybe it'll never happen that any radios like these will ever be built, but it's nice to wish.

John
ARS KB7MIB
GMRS WPXJ598
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Old 08-23-2011, 11:14 AM
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Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; BREW 3.1.5; en )/800x480 Samsung SCH-U960)

Uniden manufactured a 40 channel UHF CB/60 channel 400-512MHz scanner for the Australian market. The UH015SX. It had a dual-watch feature to allow you to monitor both the UHF CB channels and the UHF scanner channels at the same time. It had a preprogrammed police search function. It had SelCall.

If Uniden can manufacture something like that for Australia, why not manufacture a GMRS transceiver with the features I mentioned above, and a second receive-only UHF section with the same capabilities as the BCD-996XT in the 400-512MHz band, (or at least 450-512MHz), with Motorola and LTR trunking, APCO P-25 reception, etc., and dual-watch.

Similarly, an HT could combine a GMRS transceiver and a BCD-396's UHF receive capabilities with dual-watch.

Again, I know I'm just wishing outloud. But, that's what I'm wishing for.

John
ARS KB7MIB
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Old 08-24-2011, 8:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
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And try to remember which memory channel has which frequency and PL tone combination. Not to mention the 104 DCS codes.

And I'd like to have all 50 CTCSS tones, not just 34 or 38, if at all possible.

I'd really like to see a purpose-built GMRS remote-head capable mobile radio, that allows you to select from 50 CTCSS tones and 104 DCS codes via the front panel and/or microphone; and that allows you to select between repeater and simplex operation by a single button press on the same memory channel without having to program in 2 seperate memory channels per frequency. I'd like to see 2-3 power output levels, up to 45-50 watts on high power.

I'd like to see the 7 GMRS interstital channels in the radio as well, for compatibility with FRS users. With the current 5 watt ERP output level limitation for the 7 shared channels, a user would have to determine what power output level, plus the gain of the antenna they use, minus the loss of the coax gives them 5 watts or less ERP, but it shouldn't be that difficult. There could be a set-and-forget menu item which allows the user to select a variable power output between say 1-5 watts or so, to achieve the 5 watts ERP level. Yea, some people won't care about the rules, and will simply set it as high as possible, but I'd like to think that there are still people out there who do follow the rules.

I'd like to see DTMF encode and decode for SelCall. I'd like to see MDC-1200 and BIIS-1200 signaling if they're legal for the GMRS.

I'd like to see a companion HT to go with it.

I'd also like to see similar mobile and portable radios for the Multi-Use Radio Service. Remote-head capable mobile radios, detachable antenna on the HT's. 5 channels. 2 watts TPO. 50 CTCSS/104 DCS, DTMF, MDC-1200, BIIS-1200. 7 NOAA/NWS receive-only channels with SAME alerting. Commercial-grade quality construction.

I don't have any money to buy *any* radios right now. And maybe it'll never happen that any radios like these will ever be built, but it's nice to wish.

John
ARS KB7MIB
GMRS WPXJ598
The moon must be in the 7th house, and Jupiter must align with Mars....

I think there are "planets" that have to line up for this to happen:

Technical - is it technically possible to build? (I think so...some military radios can do basically anything anywhere)

Marketal - is there a market that will buy this and yield a profit? (yeah, it's not a word, but it works here)

Legal - can this be done in the current legal environment in which they will operate? (just ask on RR, they know everything about the law here)

SO, net-net, it's nice to dream. OUT
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Old 10-29-2011, 3:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pratzert View Post
Which FRS/GMRS Radio do you all consider to be the top-of-the-line radio for everyday use.

Not commercial stuff, but something really good for occasional use.

I'll be using the FRS more than anything else, but "may" get a GMRS license in the future and want have the capability in whatever radio(s) I buy.

Thanks.
try BC95 from Two-Way Radios and Other Wireless Products and Solutions from BearCom
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Old 10-30-2011, 6:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; BREW 3.1.5; en )/800x480 Samsung SCH-U960)

Uniden manufactured a 40 channel UHF CB/60 channel 400-512MHz scanner for the Australian market. The UH015SX. It had a dual-watch feature to allow you to monitor both the UHF CB channels and the UHF scanner channels at the same time. It had a preprogrammed police search function. It had SelCall.

If Uniden can manufacture something like that for Australia, why not manufacture a GMRS transceiver with the features I mentioned above, and a second receive-only UHF section with the same capabilities as the BCD-996XT in the 400-512MHz band, (or at least 450-512MHz), with Motorola and LTR trunking, APCO P-25 reception, etc., and dual-watch.

Similarly, an HT could combine a GMRS transceiver and a BCD-396's UHF receive capabilities with dual-watch.

Again, I know I'm just wishing outloud. But, that's what I'm wishing for.

John
ARS KB7MIB
GMRS WPXJ598
YES, YES, YES!!!

And to top it off, allow a ham mod that allows the radio to transmit on the UHF amateur band. I'm NOT talking about a simple green wire that an end-user can snip, but a legit upgrade. Maybe it could be an option that you select when ordering from Uniden. You provide them with your call sign and they send you the modified version. Or if you buy a used one, you can send it to Uniden with a copy of your call sign and they'll upgrade it for a fee to allow you to talk on ham frequencies.
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Old 10-30-2011, 8:35 PM
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To get back to the original question, if you want to get bubble pack radios, but the best ones there are, I'd go for the MS350R - Talkabout® MS350R - Motorola Two-Way Radios - Motorola Solutions USA

They're waterproof, uniquely amongst bubble packs have good loud clear audio, they scan properly, repeater capable, are robust, and easy to use. I have several commercial radios (motorola, kenwood, etc) and these are the only bubble packs I really like.
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