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Getting a "Walkie-Talkie" for FRS Use

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ViRoCo

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Hello! I don't know if this is the right topic to put this in, but here we go anyway.
I am looking basically for a walkie-talkie. I want something that won't require a license to use and won't be illegal to use. Not anything too expensive (under $100) and comes with 3-4 units that can communicate with each other at once. I don't need anything with a huge range, but just something that covers less than 5 miles. I would use it in a wooded area mostly (I live in MA in the middle of the woods lol). I just need some suggestions from all of you guys on recommended walkies that would fit my criteria.

Thanks! -Vincent
 

ViRoCo

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Thanks, NickPick! The price is a bit steep, though. I am not too serious about the walkie, so it doesn't have to be the best.
Any other suggestions?
 

03msc

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ecps92

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No License would be either FRS or MURS Only, unless you want CB (LoL)

Hello! I don't know if this is the right topic to put this in, but here we go anyway.
I am looking basically for a walkie-talkie. I want something that won't require a license to use and won't be illegal to use. Not anything too expensive (under $100) and comes with 3-4 units that can communicate with each other at once. I don't need anything with a huge range, but just something that covers less than 5 miles. I would use it in a wooded area mostly (I live in MA in the middle of the woods lol). I just need some suggestions from all of you guys on recommended walkies that would fit my criteria.

Thanks! -Vincent
 

VE2NCG

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He said he doesn't want to get a license and doesn't want to be illegal so that would exclude GMRS radios, yes?
Yes that´s true, but since i'm canadian and no licence is required in canadafor GMRS, my first impulse is to suggest GMRS and since all the FRS frequencies are included in the GMRS bubble pack anyway... and yes, brand new they are costly but you can check on ebay or your local ad´s for used electronics to find some.... like this one, 4 radios for 58$:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-COBRA-CX312-23-Mile-22-Channel-FRS-GMRS-Walkie-Talkie-2-Way-Radios-w-VOX-/231127136747?pt=2_Way_Radios_FRS&hash=item35d04039eb

Nick
 
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rapidcharger

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What do you mean buy "less than 5 miles"??
A quarter mile? a half mile? 1 mile?

Viroco, in order to get 5 miles out of a walkie talkie, you need infrastructure. Infrastructure is very expensive, complicated and requires licences. Despite the wildly unrealistic claims on the packaging, you won't get anywhere close to 1 or 2 miles, let alone 5 miles from a FRS radio.
Those are license free for a reason, because they have a very low risk of covering any kind of wide area thereby allowing lots of others to use the radio service.

The murs suggestion was the best one IMO but again, forget about 5 miles.
 

MaxK98

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Check out MURS radios. They are a little bit more expensive more will have a better range in wooded area and probably less crowded.
 

ViRoCo

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I probably failed to mention this, but I am not too serious about this radio. I will not be using it for a business or anything, but just "playing around," if you want to put it that way. And I won't have to worry about using it too much, I will not use it a lot.
To clarify, the range I would need is 1-2 miles, if that.
 

WB4CS

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Good! So is this set a good buy? 4 Cobra CX312 23 Mile 22 Channel FRS GMRS Walkie Talkie 2 Way Radios w Vox | eBay ( Use this link instead of the one above ) And all 4 of these can be used to communicate with each other at once? ( 4-way)
Yes, all 4 of those will be able to communicate with each other.

But as Rapid just mentioned, the "range" claims on the packaging of FRS radios are over exaggerated. In the most ideal conditions, which don't exist in most of the real world, you could theoretically get several miles with them. In real life, you'll be lucky to get 1/2 mile.

MaxK98 brought up a good suggestion. Look at MURS. It's license free, VHF, 2 Watts max power output, and (I believe, someone correct me if I'm wrong) that you can use external antennas on them. More likely to get the 1-2 mile range you're looking for.

Dakota Alert is the only manufacturer that I know of that makes MURS radios, but there are probably other brands out there. May just have to do some Googling.

Since you mentioned in your first post that you want to be legal (and thank you!) While you may find some of the cheap Chinese radios that sell for $35 are capable of transmitting on MURS/FRS, they are not legal do to do so. Just wanted to throw that out there since it's inevitable that someone will suggest that option ;)
 

rapidcharger

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I probably failed to mention this, but I am not too serious about this radio. I will not be using it for a business or anything, but just "playing around," if you want to put it that way. And I won't have to worry about using it too much, I will not use it a lot.
To clarify, the range I would need is 1-2 miles, if that.
MURS will get you the 1-2 miles you're looking for but they're not under the $100 dollar mark for new radios. Used radios, yes.
 

KF5YDR

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Get a Baofeng and program it for both GMRS and MURS. They cost about fifty bucks, and then you can choose between two different bands based on whichever one works better in a given environment.

inb4 'not Part 95 type-accepted'; the FCC really doesn't care. They have such bigger fish to fry.
 

WB4CS

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Get a Baofeng and program it for both GMRS and MURS. They cost about fifty bucks, and then you can choose between two different bands based on whichever one works better in a given environment.

inb4 'not Part 95 type-accepted'; the FCC really doesn't care. They have such bigger fish to fry.
You may want to re-read the OP's post, he said:

I want something that won't require a license to use and won't be illegal to use.
Why suggest that he use something that's not legal (and you know it's not) when he wants to actually do it the right way and be legal? When someone actually wants to do it the right way and be legal, we should be encouraging that choice, not encouraging them to do the wrong thing.

As an Amateur Radio operator, KF5YDR, you should have a little bit more respect and integrity when it comes to doing the right thing. We can't expect the common consumer to understand that laws that govern the use of radio spectrum, but licensed amateur radio operators like yourself should know better. *Shaking my finger at you*

I'm sorry for getting on this rant, I guess things are different now than they were when I got my license 20+ years ago. I remember being taught that no matter what the risk is of getting caught, I should follow the rules. It's attitudes like "Do it anyway, you won't get caught" that leads to some of the vulger crap that we hear on the airwaves now.

:evil: /End Rant

inb4 'not Part 95 type-accepted'; the FCC really doesn't care. They have such bigger fish to fry.
The FCC may be slow, but they do get around to it in the end. It looks like you've been a ham for only a short time, as you gain more experience in this hobby you'll come to learn just how inaccurate your statement above is.
 
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KF5YDR

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I have respect and integrity for following the rules of licensed services. In those cases the FCC has certified that you know X and Y and that's why you get more privileges than unlicensed users, and as such more is expected of you (and you get the hammer when you screw around).

This is really the only case where I think it's okay to bend the rules. I think people who run linears on CB are jerks and the local idiot who keeps soundboarding my favourite 2m repeater needs to get a nice fine, but people using non-type-approved radios on legal channels with legal modulation and power is just such a harmless thing. Title 47 is there to keep people from stomping on the airwave rights of others, and this isn't going to hurt anybody.

The base problem is that legal and license-free, under $100, and communicates two miles simplex is a triangle that you can pick only one side of.
 

wa1nic

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UHF FRS/GMRS "walkie talkies" wont get you 5 miles. In the woods a mile would be pushing things. If there is a hill in the middle of the mile, then you will probably loose the signal as soon as you went over the hill.

VHF MURS might get you further out...

5 miles ? possible - given the right kind of woods and no hills.

At the very least, I would say VHF will give you maybe twice the range of UHF.


The Baofeng UV5R's will do both VHF and UHF and the power is up there for a hand held (5 watts). The price is decent... they can be had new for under $40 each if you shop around.

As far as exactly legalities on the various frequencies in Canada... you will have to do a bit of research on the specific frequency you decide you want to use. Technically speaking, in the USA the UV5R isn't legal on either MURS or FRS for a variety of reasons, in spite of the fact that a lot of them wind up there anyway.

Rick
 

WB4CS

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The base problem is that legal and license-free, under $100, and communicates two miles simplex is a triangle that you can pick only one side of.
I'm not going to thread-hijack to discuss the legality of it, simply because that argument has been hashed so many times here.

There have been several good and legal recommendations on this thread that will fit the OP's needs. What the OP wants to accomplish can be done legally with approved hardware that readily available.
 
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