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GMRS radio question

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jagr707

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A while back my friends and I were camping,conoeing, paintballing, etc and found our limits with FRS when one of my friends injured himself and we suddenly had severe issues communicating. Since we do these activities a lot, would it be a good idea for us to get GMRS licences and the radios just for the slight bump in power and antenna height? If so what radios would you recommend?

Like I said we do this a lot so $80 worth of license would not be wasted, especially in the spring/summer/fall. We all agreed that we would all get one if it would work better than FRS. Where we go cell reception is very spotty, making it very unreliable which is compounded by us using different carriers.

I was looking at a blister pack of dual FRS/GRMS Motorolas for 60 bucks but the radios didn't seem that good. While I'm not looking for something strictly professional, a good bit of durability is needed.

Thanks!
Jason
 

dangitdoug

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Best advice is to look for the longest possible antenna. This will increase your receive signal and clarity of sound. 5 watts with a small antenna is not going to do you any good.

Doug K
 

nosoup4u

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I would suggest staying away from those cheap gmrs radios and go with a pair of UHF Motorola's or even Icom's or Vertex radio's. They will cost you more, but the radios will perform much better than these cheap units, and will hold up better outdoors.

Option #2, get a pair of VHF radios and have them programmed with the MURS freqs, then you won't need a license at all. VHF would be better outdoors than UHF anyway.
 

traumacop

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If your going to resort to a radio for emergency communication GMRS is one possible solution. However, just because your now transmitting with more than 1/2 watt doesn't mean anyone is listening.

Purchasing a commercial grade radio will allow you to program and access GMRS repeaters. Research your area for a repeaters or GMRS clubs such as this. Yahoo groups may be another place to start. GMRS repeater owners are all about getting permission from them before using their repeater unlike ham radio. This means you need to contact them in advance, off the air, to discuss your use of the repeater.

I have several commercial Icom radios and they are good radios. You should be able to get something new for $200 and something used for under $100 if you shop around.

I don't agree with MURS. You are limited to 2 watts as compared with 4 on GMRS and there are no repeaters on MURS as compared with GMRS. Both of those in addition to the equipment and antennas being bigger keep MURS from being as popular as FRS/GMRS.

Good Luck
 

prcguy

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Another benefit of GMRS over FRS is your radio can have a detachable antenna and using a mag-mount while traveling or putting up a temp base antenna at camp will really extend the range.
In general, MURS at VHF will work a little better in the woods than a similar power UHF GMRS hand held radio.
prcguy
 

bwhite

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prcguy said:
Another benefit of GMRS over FRS is your radio can have a detachable antenna and using a mag-mount while traveling or putting up a temp base antenna at camp will really extend the range.
prcguy
I knew FRS wouldn't allow for external antennas, can you point me toward some models that those of us in the "general public" might be able to use as walkie-talkies and as a base/car mount with external antenna (detachable antennas)?
 

loumaag

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traumacop said:
...I don't agree with MURS. You are limited to 2 watts as compared with 4 on GMRS and there are no repeaters on MURS as compared with GMRS. ...
Okay on the repeaters, what is the 4 watt limitation you mention for GMRS? I think you will find GMRS is limited to 50 watts, not 4. (Except on the split (FRS) channels which you probably want to steer clear of anyway.)
 

Luis_C

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bwhite said:
I knew FRS wouldn't allow for external antennas, can you point me toward some models that those of us in the "general public" might be able to use as walkie-talkies and as a base/car mount with external antenna (detachable antennas)?
Icom GMRS radios is the most near general public radio that can let you do that.
 

rescuecomm

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Hello TraumaCop. Do you own an Icom F43GT? Do you know anything about them other than the US Army ordered a bunch. I have a couple of F40LT (16 channel units) and am thinking of moving up to the 256 channel to get ham, GMRS, and Public Safety on the same rig. Me and some ham friends of mine have had a GMRS repeater up for about 15 years. It was well used until the cheap cell phone thing came about. I wouldn't want to call for help on it. Cell phone or EMS radio would be first.
 

jagr707

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Thanks for the replies guys! I will look at the Icom radios for sure. Although the split cheap ones might be better than what we have now.

We are not using them for just emergencys but mostly to keep the group in contact with each other. Do they make a mobile for cars by the way? 50 watts with a good mounted antenna would kick the crap out of Cb when we go 4 wheeling!

I applied and paid for a license today anyways. Even if everyone dosn't get one it sounds like something fun to have. We have many more trips to go on and I'll let you know how things work out.

As for MURS, I've been using VHF at work and its leaves a bit to be desired. And thats minimum 45 watts with a real antenna trying to talk to someone two miles away.


Jason

EDIT Universal has a sale on the IC-F21GM for $150, defenately getting one.
 
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