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FRS Radios / Licensing Question

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nvanw27

Generic Scanner Geek
Joined
Jan 10, 2019
Messages
211
Location
Near Traverse City, Michigan
Not entirely sure if this goes here or somewhere else, so if I need to move this elsewhere/remove it, let me know.

My family just bought 20 acres of woods with a cabin around here, and we decided that we'll probably need a good set of Walkie-Talkies in the FRS band to be used there. However, seeing as I haven't gotten new FRS walkie talkies in 5 years AND don't know a thing about licensing, I need some help.

What is the best, relatively inexpensive set of FRS Walkie-Talkies on the market today? We're thinking of getting a set of 4. The property is mostly wooded with 2 clearings, so that might impact the range/usability a bit, but most of the property is on a pretty decent sized hill.

Would I need any licensing to use these radios? Seeing as how I haven't used my current FRS radios in about a year, and now that i'm more aware of licensing (and working on getting my Technicians license soon!), I haven't really done much research on the licensing needed for FRS radios.

Any help will be appreciated, Thanks!

-NVanW27
 

tweiss3

Is it time for Coffee?
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Apr 24, 2020
Messages
697
Location
Ohio
You don't need a license for FRS. The radios must be part 95 certified and will only have FRS power/frequencies in them. You are permitted to use CTCSS/CDCSS for privacy. I did just pick up a set of BF-88A radios for the family to use when riding bikes on the trails because I can program the CTCSS/CDCSS. You will be limited to 2W/0.5W power on FRS, so your range may be limited.

Your other option would be to give the FCC $70 and 2-days and get a GMRS license. It is good for your family (see Part 95 for who is considered family) and you get much more power available to you. You could also set a 50W base station at your cabin.

20 acres isn't too large, depending on terrain and tree coverage, you might be able to reach across the whole parcel on CH1-7 (2W)
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
10,234
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
You don't need a license for FRS radios.
The FCC changed the FRS/GMRS rules in 2017.
You can now use the 22 channel 2 watt formerly FRS/GMRS combo radios without a license.
For more info see the FCC document links at the top of this wiki article.
The best quality radios are going to be brand names like Cobra, Midland, Motorola, Uniden.
 

Rt169Radio

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2011
Messages
2,848
Location
CT
The link below has many good selections of FRS radios

 

Marine_Cotporal

Simplex Kid
Joined
Dec 10, 2015
Messages
68
You are permitted to use CTCSS/CDCSS for privacy.
I’m sure you already know this but the OP can be confused with that statement. CTCSS or DCS aren’t for privacy. All it does is filter out all transmissions from other users on the same frequency so that you do not hear them and hear only the ones that have the CTCSS/DCS codes that you yourself programmed to only come through.

Everyone who has no codes enabled will still be able to hear you but you will not be able to hear them.
 

K6GBW

Member
Joined
May 29, 2016
Messages
164
Location
Montebello, CA
If you're on twenty acres of woods then you might consider MURS instead. The trees can really attenuate UHF signals. The Motorola RMM2050 is a tough as nails little radio that just works. Yes, they are a little pricey but you can find them used on eBay with a little patience.
 
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