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better range???

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hotsavannahs

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#1
I have recently purchased a couple of Baofeng F8HP talkies and was expecting to get a bit more range out of them. I was only able to get about 800meters in good conditions. Is there a way to get better distance on the frs or gmrs channels.?
 

UPMan

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#2
In general, the only way to significantly increase range, is to increase your antenna height.
 

mmckenna

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#3
I have recently purchased a couple of Baofeng F8HP talkies and was expecting to get a bit more range out of them. I was only able to get about 800meters in good conditions. Is there a way to get better distance on the frs or gmrs channels.?
If you could define "good conditions", it might help.

In heavily urban areas, hilly terrain, indoors, etc. 800 meters wouldn't be unexpected.
Out in the open, flat lands, etc. you ideally should be seeing more.

It's all about the antenna, but if you are down low, then UPMan is giving you good advice. Antenna height is important.

UHF tends to be mostly line of sight. If the two antennas can see each other, you can usually communicate. If there is a lot of "stuff" in the way, steel, concrete, metals, dirt, etc. then you will have issues.

Not sure if you are in a car, home, outdoors, or what, so hard to give good advice.
 
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#4
I live in the hills of East TN and regularly hit a repeater, that is admittantly on a high ridge, at a range of 25+ miles with a BTech GMRSv1, with the stock antenna, while outside. I have read that the stock antenna on those aren't very good, so I can only imagine what upgrading will do.
 

hotsavannahs

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#5
very interesting. thanks for the replies. Seems that these are good for near communication < 1 or 2 miles. I am trying to put together a way to keep family in contact in the event of an emergency situation. Without having to rely on conventional cell phone service (which would probably be overloaded). Looking for a range of 20-30 mile radius and portable. Anything like this?
 

UPMan

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#6
Not without using some kind of infrastructure (like a repeater on a high ridge).

Terrain blocks all signals. If you are on a "perfectly flat" spot on the earth and hold the radio about 6 feet off the ground, the horizon is going to be about 3 miles away. Assuming the person you are communicating with is also holding their radio about 6 feet off the ground, you would get about 6 miles range before the other person's antenna is below the horizon.

Most places are not perfectly flat (well, most places on the land, anyway), so you can expect much lower range most of the time.
 

mmckenna

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#7
Looking for a range of 20-30 mile radius and portable. Anything like this?
Yeah, as said, you'll need access to a repeater to get anything like that. Finding GMRS repeaters can be difficult, and since they are privately owned/maintained in most cases, that means you must get approval from the owner of the repeater to use it.

Putting up your own repeater is possible, but it can be expensive. A used repeater can start at a few hundred bucks. A new one $1000 to $6,000 depending on which ones. Add in several thousand more for duplexers, coaxial cable, antennas, etc.
And you still need a high point to install it on. Ideally that point needs to be able to see all the locations you want to communicate with. That means a mountain top or very tall tower. All that requires pure luck or a lot of money to lease the site.

A better approach might be to research getting your amateur radio license. There might be a repeater in your area that you could use.
 
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#8
For locations on repeaters, check MyGMRS.com. The ones I use are free for licensed GMRS users. Some are member supported, some aren't. Just depends on where you live.
 
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