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MURs vs GMRS -- All things equal...

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jassing

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for 2 watt handheld radios, would a 150mhz (murs) or 460mhz (gmrs) reach significantly farther than the other?
 

jassing

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Thanks -- it was more of a theory question -- I have a gmrs radio (fixed mobile mount) and one of the off roaders uses a a dual band radio that covers gmrs and murs - he says that murs will go farther than gmrs because (his claim) is "it's less line of site" since the frequency is "so much lower".
I admit my lack of knowledge here -- but my gut said that it was still line of site -- based completely on my experience with VHF marine radios which is pretty close to murs. In the boat, you want your antenna as high as possible to maximize distance (line of site) -- so I found his claim hard to swallow.
it is cool to have one radio for both; but my understanding is that would not be a "legal" radio in murs...(?)
 

nd5y

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As far as I know there are no dual band radios that are FCC Part 95 certified for both MURS and GMRS but a lot of people use the low cost Chinese dual band radios like Wouxun and Baofeng on both services.
 

N4KVE

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VHF will give you better range in an open area where there are no buildings. UHF will give you better penetration in a downtown area. Also don't look at VHF marine as typical VHF coverage, as in my experience the water is like an amplifier & optimizes coverage. GARY N4KVE
 

jassing

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so then he was right... because, really, when are you anywhere that is truly "unobstructed line of site"? Well; maybe in texas somewhere - but most places are either cities or hills/mountains/trees/canyons...
 

brndnstffrd

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I know that this isn't inline with the Op's original question, but on a side note, on gmrs you can use up to 50 watts, which would have a significant range increase over murs.
 

jassing

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Right -- he didn't argue that my 40watt mobile would get farther than his 2watt radio; but he said my 4 watt uhf handheld would be "about equal" to his 2 watt vhf (4 watt gmrs vs 2 watt murs).

I don't know if that's true or not -- besides that; I think he's was a wouxun; which I think is 5 watts vhf, not 2 -- but that's besides the point -- his assertion (the one I was asked here about) was watt for watt, you get noticeably ("A lot") more "punch" with vhf over a comparable uhf radio.

I'm not one to argue minutia like "You will get 3% better coverage..." because there are too many variables in the real world for 3% improvements to make a real difference.

I'm happy with gmrs -- all the family has it; friends do too; and when push comes to shove, you can pick up a blister pack cheap to get someone by... (the blister murs radios (that i've seen) suck in quality.. just felt like junk in my hand...)

I suspect that murs, like cb, will eventually be "anything goes"; but with only 5 channels; it'll be overrun too quickly to maintain any kind of "fun factor".. heck one idiot with a class c amp may overrun all 5 channels with splatter... but I digress...
 

mancow

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Comparing the use of 5 watt Vhf and 4 watt Uhf radios I would say the Uhf has the definite advantage. Where we could only get a few blocks on Vhf we could get upward of a mile or two on Uhf. This is all averaged of course but that's my experience generally. I attribute it to the higher efficiency of the antenna on the Uhf (1/4 wave) as opposed to the compromised helical coil Vhf antenna. The difference was greatly exaggerated when operating from inside vehicles. Vhf was almost unusable a couple of blocks away where Uhf only seemed to experience about a 25% degradation of range.
 

phillydjdan

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I've always seen better range with MURS vs FRS, especially when mobile to mobile. I've heard simplex transmissions MUCH further away on VHF than UHF.
 

jassing

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This almost seems to me the "chevy vs. ford" debate....
One person likes ford, one likes chevy -- ultimately, they're about the same.

However, saying that "murs is better than frs" is a whole nother beast -- murs is 2 watts, and frs is 1/2 a watt....

at least with murs vs gmrs we CAN (although likely not) use the same wattage, and both can use external antennas....
 

nd5y

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Here are some coverage maps I made with RadioMobile.
This depicts coverage between two hand helds in here in Mineral Wells, TX.
The receiving station that the plots are drawn around is in the relatively flat center of town.

The parameters i used are:
VHF frequency 154.6
UHF frequency 462.6
Transmit power 2W VHF, 5W UHF
Receiver threshold -107 dBm both bands
Antenna gain 0 dBi both bands
Antenna height above ground 1.5 meters
No feed line losses

First for reference is a steet map. The map is 12 km high x 12 km wide:
View attachment 36414

Next is the ground elevation:
View attachment 36415

Next is UHF coverage at 5 watts:
View attachment 36416

and finally VHF coverage at 2 watts:
View attachment 36417

This shows that with all parameters equal VHF should cover better.
I don't remember off hand what the real life gain is on a hand held with no ground plane or counterpoise is but it is probably way less than 0 dBi and probably even less on VHF because of the difference in antenna physical size vs. wavelength.
 
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jhooten

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BUT, on hand held radios the UHF antenna is more effective than the loaded helical short rubber dummy load attached to the VHF radio. Have him redo the charts using 0dB for the UHF antenna gain and -9dB for the VHF and see what you get.
 

mancow

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Exactly, that was my point. The antennas make all the difference. Given the same antenna gain I would put Vhf over the top but with the 1/4 wave Uhf in comparison to the dummy load normal Vhf helical type the Vhf is at a definite disadvantage.

We were using sabers, both same quality batteries, in the same mix of urban and rural environments and Uhf was far superior. At times Securent was mixed in which of course reduced range even more. Vhf was almost unusable in securenet mode whereas Uhf was degraded probably 25%. Both were regular DES non XL.
 

nd5y

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jassing

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That's a huge difference than the 1st one... I'm kind of surprised that 10x the power doesn't do better..
 
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That's a huge difference than the 1st one... I'm kind of surprised that 10x the power doesn't do better..
I am too. As far as range is concerned there was no difference, although going by those maps it seems as if the signal within that range from 5 watts would definitely be stronger than FRS even if the range isn't much different.

I haven't messed with it much, but does Radiomobile allow you to somehow simulate the range you could expect handheld to mobile, or mobile to mobile?
 
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