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FRS/GMRS Radios #4805142
07/04/18 03:30 PM
07/04/18 03:30 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline OP
spasm3  Offline OP
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina
I want a pair for group towing/camping trips. Whats a good brand? Motorola? Midland?

Looking at these. How many of you actually get the GMRS license?

https://www.amazon.com/Midland-LXT630VP3...I0K/ref=sr_1_15

Last edited by wwillson; 07/04/18 10:19 PM. Reason: shorten URL
Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805215
07/04/18 05:06 PM
07/04/18 05:06 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,625
Cedarbrae, Ontario
xxch4osxx Offline
xxch4osxx  Offline
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 2,625
Cedarbrae, Ontario
Don't expect to get 30 mile range on those like they claim. I bet 99% of people who buy them never bother getting a license.


2015 RAM SXT Crew Cab 5.7 with 6 speed tranny.

2008 Mazda 3 GS Sport Hatchback 5sp MT (Girlfriend's car)

Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805217
07/04/18 05:12 PM
07/04/18 05:12 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 649
Danville, Indiana
IndyFan Offline
IndyFan  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 649
Danville, Indiana
I got the license because I have mobile units with external antennas in my Jeeps. I'm not sure you need a licens for a low power handheld with a fixed antenna for GMRS.


18 Jeep JLUR Wrangler 3.6 5k
15 Ford Transit 93k, Reman 3.5 @85k
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Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805219
07/04/18 05:15 PM
07/04/18 05:15 PM
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 649
Danville, Indiana
IndyFan Offline
IndyFan  Offline
Joined: Jun 2005
Posts: 649
Danville, Indiana
I got the license because I have mobile units with external antennas in my Jeeps. I'm not sure you need a licens for a low power handheld with a fixed antenna for GMRS. You won't even get a few miles with handhelds, unless it is over water. My mobile units are 15w. With a good antenna, it should get 5 to 10 miles of range on relatively flat ground with trees and houses. Over water, they'd probably get 30 miles, but they've got much more power than the handhelds, which are 3.5 watts, I believe. Maybe 4.


18 Jeep JLUR Wrangler 3.6 5k
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08 Jeep Wrangler 3.8 123k
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Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805256
07/04/18 06:41 PM
07/04/18 06:41 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
raytseng Offline
raytseng  Offline
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 2,407
CA
you can just use the FRS channels, and you will be abidding by the rules; even if the unit is a FRS/GMRS unit.

If this is just for occasional use, you will find the channels are pretty much empty and not in use.

The heyday of walkie-talkies is over.

Even kids have cellphones, and text or chat programs are the primary communication method since nobody wants buy or to carry another devices around when the cell already does the job.

Last edited by raytseng; 07/04/18 06:41 PM.
Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805291
07/04/18 07:49 PM
07/04/18 07:49 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,720
Phoenix, AZ
Nick1994 Offline
Nick1994  Offline
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 10,720
Phoenix, AZ
I've never understood the ratings of walk-in talkies. I've got some that are good for like 50? miles and when driving on the flat interstate, if the other person that's following me gets back about 1/2 a mile to a mile, they don't work.


2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4L 84k Mobil 1 AFE 0w30 & OEM
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Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: Nick1994] #4805298
07/04/18 08:05 PM
07/04/18 08:05 PM
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 9,814
Central Washington
Colt45ws Offline
Colt45ws  Offline
Joined: Aug 2006
Posts: 9,814
Central Washington
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
I've never understood the ratings of walk-in talkies. I've got some that are good for like 50? miles and when driving on the flat interstate, if the other person that's following me gets back about 1/2 a mile to a mile, they don't work.

Because you're inside of a car, or more importantly, the antenna is. Unfortunately bubble pack radios have fixed antennas per FCC mandate to prevent external mag mount antennas being attached. Its actually to prevent external amplifiers, but, the effect is the same. They are trying to prevent CB 2.0 where people plug their 4W CB radio into a 1000W amplifier, bucking FCC rules, and blow everyone within 100 miles off the air.
I bought bubble packs once, and they are so pitiful they turned me off radio tech by many years.
When I bought my Motorola CP200d radios, which are a commercial 4W handhelds, is when I realized I was missing out.
I can literally get into a repeater, and sound OK/Readable with that 4W Moto from inside my house. Oh, yeah, said repeater is 55 miles away, as the crow flies. I recently purchased a magmount and antenna for it. I set that magmount on my bookshelf and get into that same repeater perfectly fine, just a little white noise.

What I would do, is get the license so you can use higher power radios, buy some 4 or 5W Baofeng radios, and program them to GMRS. They have detachable anteannas so you can add a mag mount or larger antenna. Youll also be able to program repeater frequencies into them, if you have any locally.

Last edited by Colt45ws; 07/04/18 08:14 PM.

-Colton
2002 Ford Crown Vic PI 207k, Ex-Kootenai County, ID Unit #42
Down for engine swap
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Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: Colt45ws] #4805329
07/04/18 09:09 PM
07/04/18 09:09 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline OP
spasm3  Offline OP
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Colt45ws
Originally Posted By: Nick1994
I've never understood the ratings of walk-in talkies. I've got some that are good for like 50? miles and when driving on the flat interstate, if the other person that's following me gets back about 1/2 a mile to a mile, they don't work.

Because you're inside of a car, or more importantly, the antenna is. Unfortunately bubble pack radios have fixed antennas per FCC mandate to prevent external mag mount antennas being attached. Its actually to prevent external amplifiers, but, the effect is the same. They are trying to prevent CB 2.0 where people plug their 4W CB radio into a 1000W amplifier, bucking FCC rules, and blow everyone within 100 miles off the air.
I bought bubble packs once, and they are so pitiful they turned me off radio tech by many years.
When I bought my Motorola CP200d radios, which are a commercial 4W handhelds, is when I realized I was missing out.
I can literally get into a repeater, and sound OK/Readable with that 4W Moto from inside my house. Oh, yeah, said repeater is 55 miles away, as the crow flies. I recently purchased a magmount and antenna for it. I set that magmount on my bookshelf and get into that same repeater perfectly fine, just a little white noise.

What I would do, is get the license so you can use higher power radios, buy some 4 or 5W Baofeng radios, and program them to GMRS. They have detachable anteannas so you can add a mag mount or larger antenna. Youll also be able to program repeater frequencies into them, if you have any locally.



Sounds interesting, but more than i'm looking for. I just want to communicate vehicle to vehicle while traveling, coordinating lane changes stops etc among 4 other campers. One guy already has a pair of frs/gms radios, so i need pair so all four of us can talk on the same channel.

Last edited by spasm3; 07/04/18 09:11 PM.

13 elantra 70k 5w30 QSUD
03 chevy avalanche79k synpwr 10w30
01 saturnsc1 185k synpwr rebuilt
17 mazda cx-5 5600 miles m1 0w30
Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805331
07/04/18 09:19 PM
07/04/18 09:19 PM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina
spasm3 Offline OP
spasm3  Offline OP
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 9,069
North Carolina

Last edited by wwillson; 07/05/18 07:07 AM. Reason: shorten URL
Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805448
07/05/18 06:28 AM
07/05/18 06:28 AM
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,325
Somewhere
itguy08 Offline
itguy08  Offline
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 3,325
Somewhere
We've had the various brands over the year as some campgrounds are in low to no cell service area. Also helps when backing the camper in a tough spot and she can be back there making sure I don't hit anything and I'm in the truck. Also great for when we are in the kayaks and want to leave the expensive cell in the car. Much easier on the wallet to drop a $40 radio in the lake/river/ocean than a $900 cellphone.

Range is OK - nowhere near what they claim but you can get a mile or 2 with the GRMS and open water. I think I got about 3 miles to the wife on shore while I was out on the kayak with a hill or 2 in the way.

Right now we have the Midland GXT1000's. They are 3 years old now and live in the truck for the most part. They will do time on the kayaks and in campgrounds. Battery life is good and they will take AA batteries in addition to their battery pack so you're never without power. They have been dropped and one did have an issue where it went "dead". Pulled the back off and it was a loose connection.

Also have a set of some waterproof Cobras what we got for $49 at BJ's (when we thought the GXT1000 was dead before I fixed it). They are decent too and are now the more "active" set for the camper and kayaks. The interface is not as nice as the Midland's (I like rotary volume knobs and these are electronic). Too new to say how they are but range seems to be good as well.

As far as the license, well, I'll leave that up to you - I'd bet most don't get it and enforcement is probably not on anyone's radar.

Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805452
07/05/18 06:44 AM
07/05/18 06:44 AM
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 985
Northern, NY
Rob_Roy Offline
Rob_Roy  Offline
Joined: Oct 2008
Posts: 985
Northern, NY
I would only expect the FRS units to work within a quarter mile if you are using them inside vehicles. For communication once you are at the campsite, they should work good. Nice to stay in touch with everyone without worrying about dropping your phone in the water, or getting distracted with emails.

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/products/midland/midland-gxt-1000-vp4.aspx

https://www.buytwowayradios.com/products/midland/midland-lxt-600vp3.aspx


2016 Ford Expedition 3.5 Ecoboost
2015 Subaru Legacy 3.6
2014 Subaru Outback 2.5
1999 Ford F350, V10
Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3] #4805479
07/05/18 07:29 AM
07/05/18 07:29 AM
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 171
Kevil,Ky
vwmaniaman Offline
vwmaniaman  Offline
Joined: Apr 2013
Posts: 171
Kevil,Ky
I have an older Motorola set and a Midland set. Currently been using the Motorola set for hooking up camper and vehicle chatter between cars. They seem to have good range. Much more convenient than using a cell phone. No need to be distracted by text which is illegal in our state. Push button and talk and no dead phone if you really need it.


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