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Cheap radios (Chinese) reviews?

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jassing

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We're doing a big trip (car/motorcycle) and some folks dont have any 2 way... I thought I'd be generous and pick up a few radios to share... never hurts to have extras....
I was looking around for cheap (used) radios and ended up on ebay...

Anyone have any experience with "KERUIER"? Here's a couple of links to (what I consider) dirt cheap radios (as well as some other brands) -- poking around, it seems the chinese radios are ok (not garbage) even one post (on RR) that said "quiet good".

Some of these are 7 watts, others 5.. I suspect the 7 watts is inflated.
 

N0IU

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With all due respect, if you are looking for cheap, that is what you will get... and don't be surprised if you are disappointed with the performance of these units.

My advice (which is worth exactly what it cost you!), is to go to Wal Mart and pick up some GMRS radios.Just stick in the batteries and you are set to go. No license required.
 

K9WG

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... snip ...
My advice (which is worth exactly what it cost you!), is to go to Wal Mart and pick up some GMRS radios.Just stick in the batteries and you are set to go. No license required.
As long as you stay on the FRS channels. GMRS does require a license.
 

mmckenna

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My head hurst from reading some of those e-Bay ads.

None of them looked like quality radios. Of all the radios you listed, only one of them showed a FCC certification number, and when I ran that, it came back to a different radio,. Looks like they just copied the label from a different radio and slapped it on there.

So, yeah, cheap radios shipped from China.
Likely don't have legitimate certifications to be legal for use in this country.

You will get what you pay for.
These are disposable radios, if they stop working, you won't be able to fix them, and you'll likely get ZERO support from whoever is selling them on e-Bay.

You didn't mention what frequencies you were going to use these on?
Amateur?
FRS? (won't be legal, exceed power output as well as removable antenna rule.)
GMRS? Everyone is covered under a license, right?

Nice of you to offer to do this for your friends/family, but I think you are either going to be very disappointed, or you will be operating illegally and not care. I'd do what others have said, and just get some FRS radios from Wal-Mart. They will likely be better quality and they'll be legal.

Man, my head hurts from trying to read all the stuff that was obviously written by someone who doesn't' have full grasp of the English language.
Also,
For the one that did have an FCC certification number listed, it really disappoints me to see that the FCC will allow certification to anything that comes across their desk.
 

N4KVE

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My head hurst from reading some of those e-Bay ads.


So, yeah, cheap radios shipped from China.
Likely don't have legitimate certifications to be legal for use in this country.
I'd do what others have said, and just get some FRS radios from Wal-Mart. They will likely be better quality and they'll be legal.
Plus, should a radio from Walmart drop dead, you can drive 2 miles & exchange it for one that works. Try that with a radio sent from China. GARY N4KVE
 

grogan

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Cell phones,Texting,Bluetooth, best bet for the non ham radio part of your group.Some people will not use the radio or if the radio has security or pll tone to open squelch they will change the chanel and or pll and you will not have communications when you need it. I did this at Disneyworld with a small group and family. The kids turn the radio off and you will not catch up to them until they need money or food. If somebody doesn't answer they turn every knob and dial and will think the radio is broken. I am not saying that it won't work for your group. But most people will not be bothered with radios when they have a cell.
 

jassing

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With all due respect, if you are looking for cheap, that is what you will get... and don't be surprised if you are disappointed with the performance of these units.

My advice (which is worth exactly what it cost you!), is to go to Wal Mart and pick up some GMRS radios.Just stick in the batteries and you are set to go. No license required.
Here in the USA gmrs requires a license....
 

jassing

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Thanks folks. Will skip them then. The trip will take us many places where cell phones do not work; and there's no walmart w/in a hundred miles....
 

jassing

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I'll go back to my original way I was looking - -for used radios in the 460mhz -- preferably radios capable of 5w and semi-duplex. Any suggestions for the $50 and under?
 

fourthhorseman

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Here in the USA gmrs requires a license....
well..someone should clue the FCC in on the massive amount of violations facilitated by
walmart,,home depot,,radio shack..

ive NEVER ...EVER heard or heard of a sales rep even in a benign way mention that
one may need a permit or lic. to operate the unit,,Nor have i seen any striking reference
to that fact on the packaging..but they sure do tell me the range and power,,,and all the
fun activities i can bring these units into...from commercial construction...to all out recreational..

seems to me were past the license issue..so many units in the public hands...its like the new
Citizens Band...
 

N0IU

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I'll go back to my original way I was looking - -for used radios in the 460mhz -- preferably radios capable of 5w and semi-duplex. Any suggestions for the $50 and under?
First of all, I stand corrected on which service needs a license and which one does not. I have no personal knowledge of either of these services and they are easily confused with each other.

But... I still don't see why you are so insistent on getting "used" radios of unknown quality or condition from someone over the Internet when you can get brand new radios from Wal Mart or even Radio Shack (with a warranty!) that are well within your budget.

Also, I am confused by the term "semi-duplex". There is full duplex where each side can talk and listen simultaneously (like on a cell phone) and simplex (sometimes called half duplex) where you either talk or listen, but not both at the same time.
 

jimbr1

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If you are looking for simple cheap UHF radios that you can communicate with other UHF radios, assuming that they are GMRS radios, the radios that you were looking at would fit your requirements with the following problems- in the US, some of the GMRS frequencies legally require that the user obtain a GMRS license which can only cover family members- just to make you aware of this- not that I'm going to get into any debate about FCC legalities. More important-most, if not all of those radios require channel programming, so you will need at least one programming cable and software- which I didn't see listed- only a "CD driver" which is usually a driver which you load to facilitate use of the programming cable with a USB port. If I were looking for a number of cheap radios- I've seen used commercial 2 watt VHF radios-1 and 2 channel MURS Kenwood TK-2100 radios on ebay which may suit your needs...and totally legal for MURS as well as being commercial grade, although used. Since you posted under Amateur Radio, if you are talking about amateur radio use at 70cm, the radio that seems to get good review is the Baofeng UV-3R Mark II- see reviews on this forum and also eham.net....good luck in your search!
 
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majoco

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Semi-duplex implies the use of a repeater - repeaters are installed in areas where there is a reasonable population density - in that sort of area there will be cellphone coverage.

I guess you need only simplex and your radios must still comply with the requirements of the 'no licence' band, so saying you want 5 watts doesn't come into the equation - you will get what the law allows. Manufacturers don't make illegal radios.
 

jassing

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Semi-duplex implies the use of a repeater - repeaters are installed in areas where there is a reasonable population density - in that sort of area there will be cellphone coverage.
Hmm.perhaps we're using semi-duplex differently. besides, having it repeater-friendly just makes the radio more usable "later" as a spare.

I guess you need only simplex and your radios must still comply with the requirements of the 'no licence' band, so saying you want 5 watts doesn't come into the equation - you will get what the law allows. Manufacturers don't make illegal radios.
already said there were licenses.... but ok -- thanks.
btw: i did some fcc database snooping, so far 2 out o 2 radios are indeed fcc type approved.

however, based on the feedback; I've already made changes. so thanks.
 

mmckenna

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Since you have a GMRS license that will cover everyone involved, then go with GMRS.
As for low buck radios, you could try WalMart, but the quality of the radios won't be much better than what you'd get from China, since most of them are made there anyway. As a quick and easy solution, they may be your best bet.

If I was going to need a couple of good UHF radios for such a task, I'd be picking up a few of the UHF Motorola HT1000's that are all over e-Bay right now. Since GMRS isn't being narrow banded, you'd be fine with any of the models that cover the correct frequency split.
Yeah, there is the whole programming thing, but there are enough shops around that can program HT1000's you could likely get a deal. There are many hams around that have the gear. Heck, I have it would be happy to program them for you.
Get either new batteries, or a 12volt battery eliminator and you'd have good solid radios that would work fine for what you want.
There is a lot of good UHF gear out there cheap right now. I've got a couple of Icom mobile on e-bay at the moment, and I've seen many others. Installing a mobile in your own vehicle with an external antenna would let you hear the weaker hand held's easier. If you ever decide to get your ham ticket, you can reprogram most of them for the 70cm band.

MURS would be a great option, no paper license required, 2 watts VHF, etc.

And yes, there are more people that don't speak English than there are that do. I was just making the point that the e-bay ads were difficult to read, especially since they are obviously targeted at US and Canadian buyers. No offense intended to anyone.
 

mmckenna

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Actually, I did something quite similar many years ago. I had about 6 UHF hand held radios, a mix of HT1000's and HT600/P200's all set up on a couple of GMRS frequencies (yes, I have a license). That worked well for a while for both caravanning and when we were out on our ATV's. After a while, I was able to get a few of the family interested in amateur radio. Eventually they all got their Tech tickets and we've moved everything over to 2 meters. All the vehicles have a permanent mount 2 meter or dual band radio with permanently installed antennas. Made a big difference.

If you need a short term solution, then GMRS, or MURS if you can find a suitable radio.
If you have the time, and can get the others interested, then look into amateur radio.
 

Tracker

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This radio will do frs freqs but will not be LEGAL. The maximum output power for frs is 500mw. That radio is 7watts. It will work for GMRS if you have a license.

kb0vwg
wqoi992
Wow, that's 14 X's more power than the little Motorola 1's, (right?), that I bought n used on my cruise........not bad, other than not bein legal.....but that power woulda come in handy aboard that ship though
 
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