RadioReference on Facebook   RadioReference on Twitter   RadioReference Blog
 

Go Back   The RadioReference.com Forums > Commercial, Professional Radio and Personal Radio > GMRS / FRS


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

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 11:27 AM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default GMRS only

Since I'm strictly a noob to GMRS,I have been looking around trying to find the "perfect" transceiver to buy.Most of the radios I see are of the FRS/GMRS variety. Are there any radios that are strictly GMRS only? I think I am wanting a higher power radio.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #2 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:11 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 25
Default

You could always get a programmable radio and program only GMRS frequencies and leave out any FRS channels from selection.
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:19 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Woodlands, MB
Posts: 752
Default

Do you want a hand held or mobile...

If you want higher power, MIdland makes a 40 Watt GMRS mobile... https://midlandusa.com/product/mxt40...e-2-way-radio/
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:44 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 890
Default

If you're interested in a good quality radio and want to stay away from the blister-pack kids toys, you may want to consider a Kenwood TK-390 handheld or a TK 880 or TK8180 mobile radio. All are widely available on the used market, are fairly inexpensive and reliable. You will need a programming cable and software but those are easy to come by as well. Additionally they're certified for Part 95 use so you'll be on the "up and up" if that's to your liking. They're available in different band splits (frequency ranges) so you'll need to make sure you're purchasing one that encompasses the GMRS band.
Reply With Quote
  #5 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 12:58 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 8,525
Default

Been a while since I've been active on GMRS, but back when I was, I used Icom commercial radios.
Most serious GMRS users do.

A commercial radio will outperform the consumer grade radios as well as give you a lot more options.

The trick is finding a commercial radio that has the necessary FCC Part 95 certifications. The Kenwood's mentioned above do, as do some of the older Icom's.

Plus, adding a good external antenna on a mobile radio will greatly improve performance, either as a mobile or a base.
Reply With Quote
Sponsored links
  #6 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 1:21 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Thanks guys. I should have mentioned that I want a hand held capable of getting on repeaters. With as many ch power as possible. I think I want all this,maybe someone will steer me in another direction.
Reply With Quote
  #7 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:02 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,446
Default GMRS HT

Take a look at this review and radio. BTech GMRS V1 - Miklor

Miklor is an established and trusted site. These are not Motorola quality but appear to be better than the entry level Baofengs and should neet your needs.
Reply With Quote
  #8 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 2:20 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 8,525
Default

A used Kenwood TK-3180 will do a lot, and can be had reasonably inexpensive.

Don't fall for the new guy mistake of looking for the highest power output you can. RF power isn't as important as your antenna. Adding more power will drain batteries faster and not get you as much additional range as you might think. It's all about good antennas and sensitive receivers, something you'll never get from the bubble pack consumer radios.

The Kenwood programming software is easy to use. Accessories are plentiful and inexpensive since it shares them with a lot of other Kenwood models.

I've got one I use as a shop radio, and for a basic analog UHF radio, I'm pretty happy with it.
Reply With Quote
  #9 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 3:01 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: PA
Posts: 72
Default

For example:

My GMRS repeater is located on a rather prominent ridge (not a mountaintop), and I get an honest 12-14 mile full quieting range with 25 watt commercial grade mobiles and roof mounted antennas. I can still hear with the portables at 10-12 miles out, but I can't key the repeater from inside my car w/ a portable at that range.

Used Motorola M1225 mobiles are a dime a dozen, the software is accessible & easy to figure out, and they're part 95 type accepted. Kenwoods aren't bad either, and the software is just as easy to find.
Reply With Quote
  #10 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:18 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ.
Posts: 3,252
Default

Since you want a handheld, commercial grade ones are pretty much limited to 4 watts output, which is still twice the 2 watts or so that the bubble-pack toy radios give you.

With a real 4 watt commercial grade radio, you get a detachable antenna. Which means that, under the rules, you cannot use FRS channels 8-14. (These channels are also limited by the rules to 0.5 watts ERP.)

Personally, I would program in channels 1-7 for short range simplex use, as well as channels 15-22, with both simplex and repeater capability. A GMRS license allows you to use all of those channels, so put them all in.

John
WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
Reply With Quote
  #11 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:49 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
Since you want a handheld, commercial grade ones are pretty much limited to 4 watts output, which is still twice the 2 watts or so that the bubble-pack toy radios give you.

With a real 4 watt commercial grade radio, you get a detachable antenna. Which means that, under the rules, you cannot use FRS channels 8-14. (These channels are also limited by the rules to 0.5 watts ERP.)

Personally, I would program in channels 1-7 for short range simplex use, as well as channels 15-22, with both simplex and repeater capability. A GMRS license allows you to use all of those channels, so put them all in.

John
WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
So which radio would you recommend?
Reply With Quote
  #12 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:52 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mmckenna View Post
A used Kenwood TK-3180 will do a lot, and can be had reasonably inexpensive.

Don't fall for the new guy mistake of looking for the highest power output you can. RF power isn't as important as your antenna. Adding more power will drain batteries faster and not get you as much additional range as you might think. It's all about good antennas and sensitive receivers, something you'll never get from the bubble pack consumer radios.

The Kenwood programming software is easy to use. Accessories are plentiful and inexpensive since it shares them with a lot of other Kenwood models.

I've got one I use as a shop radio, and for a basic analog UHF radio, I'm pretty happy with it.
I found one of those for a decent price,but looks complicated to use as I don't know squat about these radios.
Reply With Quote
  #13 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 4:55 PM
Member
   
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: In the 'patch
Posts: 4,914
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
I found one of those for a decent price,but looks complicated to use as I don't know squat about these radios.


TK-390 also is Part 95. Cheaper than the TK-3180, but older. Plentiful for chargers, batteries and audio accessories as well to be had.

I just bought 6 for my in laws.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
__________________
Interoperatablity is not a technology, it is an attitude!!!
Reply With Quote
  #14 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 5:25 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 890
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
I found one of those for a decent price,but looks complicated to use as I don't know squat about these radios.
The TK3180 is a nice radio. While it is capable of trunking, you don't need to program any trunking capabilities. As I recall, when you first open the programming software to write a new codeplug, you can choose the mode of operation. Chose the non-trunking option and it becomes pretty simple. If you're comfortable programming radios with other software I think you'll find it fairly intuitive. Although it has many additional features, you don't need to make use of them.
Reply With Quote
  #15 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 5:32 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ.
Posts: 3,252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
So which radio would you recommend?
I personally do not have a recommendation. I have an old Icom U16 handheld, but it needs a new battery pack I believe. Secondly, 3 of the 4 main GMRS repeaters here in the Phoenix metro area are narrowband, and the U16 is only wideband. And lastly, my family isn't really all that interested in using radios, so I'm the only one who has a GMRS capable radio. I monitor once in awhile via my scanners, but otherwise I'm inactive on the GMRS. (Yes, I just renewed my license anyway.)

John
WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
Reply With Quote
  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 5:40 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
(Yes, I just renewed my license anyway.
Yes you might as well keep it.I foolishly let my ham tech license lapse.
Reply With Quote
  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 5:41 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by bharvey2 View Post
The TK3180 is a nice radio. While it is capable of trunking, you don't need to program any trunking capabilities. As I recall, when you first open the programming software to write a new codeplug, you can choose the mode of operation. Chose the non-trunking option and it becomes pretty simple. If you're comfortable programming radios with other software I think you'll find it fairly intuitive. Although it has many additional features, you don't need to make use of them.
GMRS trunks?
Reply With Quote
  #18 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 5:47 PM
Member
  Amateur Radio Operator
Amateur Radio
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Peoria, AZ.
Posts: 3,252
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
GMRS trunks?
No, he was saying that the radio is capable of trunking. Trunking is not (normally*) used in the GMRS.

* I wouldn't be surprised to find a trunked system using GMRS channels, since some users are also using digital modes that are not permissible in the GMRS.

John
WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
Reply With Quote
  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 6:15 PM
Member
  Premium Subscriber
Premium Subscriber
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Pickle City,IL.
Posts: 95
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KB7MIB View Post
No, he was saying that the radio is capable of trunking. Trunking is not (normally*) used in the GMRS.

* I wouldn't be surprised to find a trunked system using GMRS channels, since some users are also using digital modes that are not permissible in the GMRS.

John
WPXJ598
Peoria, AZ
Ok thanks. (See how dumb a noobs questions can be )
Reply With Quote
  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-15-2018, 6:29 PM
mmckenna's Avatar
Member
   
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: WTVLCA01DS0
Posts: 8,525
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DennisKink View Post
Ok thanks. (See how dumb a noobs questions can be )
Nah, these are good questions, don't sell yourself short.

The consumer grade radios are designed to be simple to operate, and thus have simplified interfaces.

The commercial radios are designed to be programmed by a radio shop or radio tech to fill the needs of the end user, so they appear to be very complicated.

The nice thing is, you can set them up the way YOU want. It takes some time and experience to be good at it, but it's a good thing.
I had a couple of Icom's when I was active on GMRS. I had my own set up to allow a lot of complex functions. The other radios were set up to be more "fool proof". Most of the functions were disabled and just the "need to have" stuff was available to the user, on/off-volume, channel change, push to talk. That is a great way to set up a radio for kids or non-technical types, less trouble they can get into, less mistakes can be made.

As you get more experience, you can open up more of the functions.

But as others said, these radios will have functions you'll never use.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 9:57 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
All information here is Copyright 2012 by RadioReference.com LLC and Lindsay C. Blanton III.Ad Management by RedTyger
Copyright 2015 by RadioReference.com LLC Privacy Policy  |  Terms and Conditions