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Range for Baofeng FRS?

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#1
Hello, I am interested in buying these Baofeng FRS radios for my friends and I as some of them are taking an interest in radio and they would all like a way for us to communicate basically using radio at a reasonable price. I am wondering how much I can expect for range, and yes, I am aware that it is hard to get an exact measurement due to line of sight conditions, but I am hoping for a general estimate. I live in Long Island, NY, so the terrain is pretty fair. I am expecting for these radios to get 5-10 miles in range but I could be wrong. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance.
https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-8...qid=1491355744&sr=1-4&keywords=walkie+talkies
 

nd5y

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Wichita Falls, TX
#3
Those are not FRS radios. They are not Part 95 certified would not be legal to use on FRS or GMRS frequencies.

They transmit at about 2 watts. The range would be about the same as any other UHF hand held radio. I doubt you would get 5-10 miles unless it was over open water.
 

Rred

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#5
Hydrogen, every legal FRS radio has the same range, no matter what the box says. They are all limited to 1/2 watt of power and AFAIK none use any other power level.

"Range" for any handheld basically means "clear line of sight" and even on LI that will be a couple of blocks at best--if there are any buildings or trees in between the two. The only way you will get more range is with more powerful radios, bigger antennas, and one or both parties being elevated to increase the effective line of sight.

Beware the Chinese radios sold with confusing descriptions on Amazon and elsewhere, they don't care if you wind up getting a letter from the FCC that asks you for a couple of grand in penalties.
 
Joined
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Location
Kingman Arizona.
#6
Hello, I am interested in buying these Baofeng FRS radios for my friends and I as some of them are taking an interest in radio and they would all like a way for us to communicate basically using radio at a reasonable price. I am wondering how much I can expect for range, and yes, I am aware that it is hard to get an exact measurement due to line of sight conditions, but I am hoping for a general estimate. I live in Long Island, NY, so the terrain is pretty fair. I am expecting for these radios to get 5-10 miles in range but I could be wrong. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance.
https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-8...qid=1491355744&sr=1-4&keywords=walkie+talkies
I have read reviews about the radios you linked where people claim they got 2 miles out of them. 4-5 would be difficult to achieve, especially if there are trees, buildings, terrain etc.
 

SpugEddy

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Camden County South Jersey
#7
I have 5 Baofeng radios. I've tried them on
Low Wattage, Medium, and High.
The best you can expect from these radios
on simplex is about 1 mile +/-. With a GMRS license
you can use repeaters and increase your range 10 to 20x
 
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#8
1 mile HT-to-HT is about average max range for any 5-watt HT, Baofeng or otherwise. You may get more going hilltop to hilltop with a clear line of sight in between, and you may get less if one of the radios is in a building or valley.
 

SpugEddy

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#11
I should have also mentioned that it really depends on
how you want the radios to work and where.

We take a family trip to an amusement park in PA
every year called Knoebel's. It's is an amusement park
seated literally in a mountain gorge. The park is huge (sort
of like a 6 flags park) Our Baofengs work just fine in the park
on simplex GMRS channels. Even tried them from one corner to the
opposite and they worked. We stay at a campground called
Yogi Bear and the Baofengs, with a Nagoya NA-771 telescoping
antenna, is able to reach a repeater approx. 15-20 miles away.
However, here at home in South Jersey, the radios only work about
3-4 blocks on simplex.

These radios are not even close to real "ham" radios. They're
probably closer to an upgraded version of walkie talkie for
playing GI Joe in the woods. But for the money they can be a blessing.
Mine are used ONLY for: cruises, camping trips, and amusement parks
 

KK4JUG

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#12
The OP said he was buying "these Beofeng FRS radios." He can't legally use them for FRS, regardless of how far they can or can't transmit. FRS radios can't have detachable antennae, they can't be programmable, they're too powerful, etc., ad infinitum, ad nauseum. That was noted early on and the OP said he understood it.
 
Joined
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Messages
1,122
Location
Columbus, Ohio
#13
Hello, I am interested in buying these Baofeng FRS radios for my friends and I as some of them are taking an interest in radio and they would all like a way for us to communicate basically using radio at a reasonable price. I am wondering how much I can expect for range, and yes, I am aware that it is hard to get an exact measurement due to line of sight conditions, but I am hoping for a general estimate. I live in Long Island, NY, so the terrain is pretty fair. I am expecting for these radios to get 5-10 miles in range but I could be wrong. Any help would be much appreciated, thank you in advance.
https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-8...qid=1491355744&sr=1-4&keywords=walkie+talkies
These aren't FRS radios. These radios are made for Licensed amateur radio operators. You cannot legally operate these radios without an Amateur Radio license. Those radios were advertised incorrectly...as often happens online.
 
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#14
I think the even bigger concern is people who take them out of the box and start using them on whatever frequencies that they come programmed with from the factory. In my experience, it's generally a mix of VHF and UHF, and a variety of CTCSS/DTCSS/Inverted DTCSS. There are certainly plenty of people who purchase these, then program them with FRS and GMRS frequencies. While certainly not legal, at least they're not just hurling emissions completely at random.

Oh, I forgot, for the OP: yeah, those will work a few blocks at most.
 
Joined
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Messages
3,673
#15
One company posted a picture detailing the various range calculations for their FRS radios (those very optimistic 35+ mile range ones) that I happened to catch during the week or so it was posted (they pulled it quickly once it was discovered on their public web site). It showed how the typical range was a mile or two in the typical conditions, but in special situations could be much greater. That 35+ mile range was from the peak of one mountain to the peak of another with just a valley in between.

You could also tell from careful examination of the picture that the "good, better, best" ranges on their various radios was simply due to where they placed the two radios for testing. The "good" radios were from the valley to a ridge on that mountain and had about 10 mile range. The "better" radios were from the valley to the mountain top and had about 25 mile range. The best was from peak to peak and had that 35+ mile range. This tended to prove that the range wasn't really due to the more expensive radios themselves but more to how they were tested. Somewhat like comparing the MPG of the car you sell with your competition "over the same course", but your car was going down the mountain and the other was driving up. Not a fair comparison, but technically a legal comparison as indicated (although important facts were definitely left out).
 
Joined
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Messages
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Location
New York
#16
I think the even bigger concern is people who take them out of the box and start using them on whatever frequencies that they come programmed with from the factory. In my experience, it's generally a mix of VHF and UHF, and a variety of CTCSS/DTCSS/Inverted DTCSS. There are certainly plenty of people who purchase these, then program them with FRS and GMRS frequencies. While certainly not legal, at least they're not just hurling emissions completely at random.

Oh, I forgot, for the OP: yeah, those will work a few blocks at most.
Thank you, I expected way too much out of those.
 
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