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"Best" Bubble Pack radios

PriorMike

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May 26, 2016
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203
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Arnprior, Ontario, Canada
Up here in Canada, FRS/GMRS is limited to bubble pack radios, which isn't going to change anytime soon, if ever.

Are there any that are "better" than others? I've been considering the Motorola T series.

This is for recreational use up at the cottage, not far distances.

Thanks.
 

JASII

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Apr 29, 2006
Messages
2,370
What would make certain radios "better" for you than others? Is it quality, certain features or something else? Motorola has T100, T200, T400, T600 and T800 series. I often determine a "must have" feature when I buy things and that often helps me select the right product.

In the case of the Motorola T series, I did have a pair of T800s, but I returned them. I did like the ability to connect to a smartphone and send messages with them.

There are also were some Motorola MU350R radios that have (had) repeater capability and Bluetooth. Those things might be important for some people.

There is the T600, which is water-resistant. Again, very important for some people and others could care less.

Some find the ability to use off-the-shelf alkaline batteries as an important feature and others are okay with simply using rechargeable battery packs.

My suggestion is to decide which feature(s) are important to you and use that as a way to narrow down your choices.

I would avoid at all costs any of the T100 series, however. They don't have PL/DPL (so called privacy codes) and they would be a bad choice in my opinion.

If they weren't unreasonably expensive, I would suggest that you look at the Garmin TINO series, but they are quite expensive and I am not sure if they are necessarily what most people would consider "bubble pack, either.


 
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n1das

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Feb 17, 2003
Messages
1,284
Location
Nashua, NH
So far I am pleased with the Motorola Talkabout T800 bubble packs I recently picked up. They are fine for my occasional light use of GMRS/FRS.

When it comes to FRS bubble packs, I have an affinity for Motorola. I have played with some non-Motorola FRS radios over years but I keep coming back to Motorola. A lot of Motorola bubble packs were made for Motorola in China by Giant International. The overall quality varied a lot and Motorola finally ended that deal a few years ago. The latest T-series Motorola Talkabouts supposedly are genuine Motorola.

I would recommend the T465, T600 (waterproof/submersible), and the T800 models. The T800 seems to be the best for battery life on a charge and I absolutely love the blue LED display which shines through the case plastic instead of through a window for the display. I recently picked up the desktop drop in charger accessory for them.
 

danesgs

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May 21, 2008
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Some of the Motorola T-series also come with NOAA weather channels as a bonus feature.
 

PriorMike

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May 26, 2016
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Arnprior, Ontario, Canada
Not so much in terms of features as stuff like Bluetooth and flashlights don't do anything for me.

More along send/receive performance. I know there are limitations to their designs, but maybe someone has done a comparision.
 

KK4JUG

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Dec 13, 2014
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GA, AL, TX, OK, KS, AR, NC, or MI
I got these by Googling "compare GMRS radios." There's more if you want to check it out.

 
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