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#4805142 - 07/04/18 03:30 PM FRS/GMRS Radios
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8765
Loc: 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


Edited by wwillson (07/04/18 10:19 PM)
Edit Reason: shorten URL

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#4805215 - 07/04/18 05:06 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
xxch4osxx Offline


Registered: 03/11/09
Posts: 2614
Loc: 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.
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#4805217 - 07/04/18 05:12 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
IndyFan Offline


Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 606
Loc: 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.
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#4805219 - 07/04/18 05:15 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
IndyFan Offline


Registered: 06/16/05
Posts: 606
Loc: 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.
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#4805256 - 07/04/18 06:41 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
raytseng Offline


Registered: 12/11/08
Posts: 2359
Loc: 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.


Edited by raytseng (07/04/18 06:41 PM)

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#4805291 - 07/04/18 07:49 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
Nick1994 Offline


Registered: 02/19/13
Posts: 10281
Loc: 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.
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#4805298 - 07/04/18 08:05 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: Nick1994]
Colt45ws Offline


Registered: 08/15/06
Posts: 9681
Loc: 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.


Edited by Colt45ws (07/04/18 08:14 PM)
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#4805329 - 07/04/18 09:09 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: Colt45ws]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8765
Loc: 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.


Edited by spasm3 (07/04/18 09:11 PM)
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#4805331 - 07/04/18 09:19 PM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
spasm3 Offline


Registered: 05/30/10
Posts: 8765
Loc: North Carolina


Edited by wwillson (07/05/18 07:07 AM)
Edit Reason: shorten URL

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#4805448 - 07/05/18 06:28 AM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
itguy08 Offline


Registered: 09/15/11
Posts: 3258
Loc: 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.

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#4805452 - 07/05/18 06:44 AM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
Rob_Roy Offline


Registered: 10/26/08
Posts: 981
Loc: 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
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#4805479 - 07/05/18 07:29 AM Re: FRS/GMRS Radios [Re: spasm3]
vwmaniaman Offline


Registered: 04/18/13
Posts: 144
Loc: 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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