They are OK as a cheap radio, within their limitations. Available here. These low-power UHF radios with fixed antenna are reliable within a half mile or so unit-to-unit in average terrain. To get longer range you must have an unobstructed line of sight path between units, no blocking buildings, foliage or terrain.
They work great if one station is up high in the clear on a mountaintop talking to somebody down in the valley below, but if you are inside your car talking to somebody else in a convoy, do not depend upon hearing each other if you cannot news 12 anchors bronx SEE the other car.
Best is to get your ham license and a how to change background color photoshop rig. Portable ham rigs do much more than direct unit-to-unit simplex.
Repeaters provide wide-area coverage, phone patch, and Voice Over Internet protocol over linked repeaters providing transcontinental and international coverage. No license is needed. Anyone in the US is authorized by rule to operate a MURS transmitter if they are not a foreign government or a representative of a foreign government; they use the transmitter in accordance with the rules. No illegal activity, no profanity, be an adult and play nice.
An MURS station is not required to transmit a station identification announcement. The channels authorized are available on a shared basis only and may not assigned for exclusive use of any entity. Users must cooperate in the selection and use of channels in order to reduce interference and avoid interference to other MURS transmissions.
Around cities you will hear fast food drive-in windows, warehouse operations, trash collection, building maintenance and construction site crews. The wide-band FM channels Unlike FRS and GMRS, MURS stations may transmit voice or data signals, including digital selective calling or tone-operated squelch tones to establish or continue voice communications, remote control and telemetering functions, except that MURS transmitters may not be operated in the continuous carrier transmit CW or morse code mode.
MURS users shall take reasonable precautions to avoid causing harmful interference. This includes monitoring the transmitting frequency for communications in progress and such other measures as may be necessary to minimize the potential for causing interference.
MURS stations are prohibited from operating as a repeater station or as a signal booster. This prohibition includes store-and-forward packet operation. MURS stations are prohibited from interconnection with the public switched telephone network. The higher the antenna the better the reception. For two hand-held units on flat terrain, standing in the open without foliage, buildings or terrain obstructions, with both transceivers held at face level, theoretical line of sight is 5 miles, which is the best range you can hope for on simplex without improved antennas.
If the transmitting station remains standing with the transceiver held at face level, but the receiving antenna is elevated 25 feet above ground, range approximately doubles to 11 miles. If the receiving station were standing on top of a foot hill the line of sight range would be about 20 miles.
The highest point of any MURS antenna is not allowed to be more than 60 feet above the ground or 20 feet above the highest point of the structure on which it is mounted.
10 Best Two Way Radios (FRS/GMRS) in 2020 Review and FCC Updates
Frequencies Authorized Bandwidth Business band land-mobile radio service radio units certificated prior to November 12, do not be re-certificated. This is not the handicap it may seem, because unlike FRS, there are no antenna restrictions. On your cabin erect a 6 dB gain base station vertical antenna on the chimney cap or above the highest point on the structure.When prepping for the worst, communications is one area that is often overlooked.
Most of us feel pretty secure having our cell phones with us in the event of an emergency, but what about when the cell towers go down? Enter walkie-talkies and radio. Any radio enthusiast is aware of the many different options for two-way radio communications. We have listed a few of the biggest differences between these two radio services in the following table. Licensing, range, and power are the most important differences as these factors can help you choose one over the other. This video shows you a few different radios for both services.
After a brief description of each service, we will discuss the differences further. It seemed that devices like baby monitors, garage door openers, and even radio-controlled toys were using up all the lower frequencies that walkie-talkies had been using. GMRS came about in the early s and was meant to be used by both private citizens and businesses. With typically better sound quality than that of CB and not as technical as the Ham, GMRS is a good option for those who want to proceed further into radio without jumping feet first into Ham.
We will begin discussing the top differences between these two radio services listed in our table because they are the most important. These licenses are very much like a fishing or hunting license in which you apply and pay for it, but it does not require any kind of testing. Unlike fishing or hunting licenses, once you have a license, your entire family is allowed to operate a GMRS device under that one license. I may or may not be bitter about this.
Predictably, these dual radios are no longer made. FRS must use certified radios that cannot be modified with any attachments, antennas, or repeaters. They are typically handheld two-way devices. This is still about 5 times more powerful than a toy walkie-talkie. Contrarily, GMRS radios can be modified with larger antennas and repeaters.
These radios can be handheld, mobile, or fixed. Repeaters are simply a type of antenna that repeats what comes to the receiver. They allow for greater range. With these allowed modifications, GMRS radios can legally be up to 50 watts. Range is closely tied to power and is often overstated by radio manufacturers. If a radio claims a range of 50 miles, this means you should be able to communicate with someone up to 50 miles away in optimal conditions.
Optimal conditions might be from mountain-top to valley below, over open water, and line of site. This means there are few obstructions between you and who you are communicating with. Whether using rechargeable or disposable batteries, when they begin to lose their charge, range will suffer.
FRS radios generally have quite a bit less power at just half a watt. This is still sufficient for traveling caravans or families that may have gotten separated during a quick evacuation. This video goes over all of the features of some FRS radios as well as range testing.They are used for television broadcasting, cell phones, satellite communication including GPS, personal radio services including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cordless phones, and numerous other applications.
One of the biggest pros of UHF radios is that they do a much better job of penetrating barriers in urban locations, like concrete, steel, and wood. So this kind of radio is best suited for use indoors, including buildings with multiple floors, in industries such as manufacturing, distribution, education, retail, hospitality, and healthcare. They also work well for businesses that function in both indoor and outdoor settings, where there are a lot of surrounding buildings. Common uses for VHF are FM radio broadcasting, television broadcasting, two way land mobile radio systems emergency, business, private use and militarylong range data communication up to several tens of kilometres with radio modems, amateur radio, and marine communications.
Air traffic control communications and air navigation systems e. VHF was used for analog television stations in the US, and continues to be used for digital television. HF- High frequency between 3 and 30 MHz The HF band is a major part of the shortwave band of frequencies, so communication at these frequencies is often called shortwave radio. Because radio waves in this band can be reflected back to Earth by the ionosphere layer in the atmosphere — a method known as "skip" or "skywave" propagation — these frequencies are suitable for long-distance communication across intercontinental distances.
The band is used by international shortwave broadcasting stations 2. As you can see, each operational frequency comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. But overall, VHF radios are better for outdoor use in large areas, and UHF radios are better for indoor or outdoor settings that are in close proximity. Mobile and base station-style radios are available as well, but these are normally commercial UHF radios as often used in the public service and commercial land mobile bands.
These are legal for use in this service as long as they are GMRS type-approved. They are more expensive than the walkie-talkies typically found in discount electronics stores, and are generally considered higher quality. A small base station is one that has an antenna no more than 20 feet above the ground or above the tree on which it is mounted and transmits with no more than 5 watts ERP.
The use of some channels is restricted to certain types of stations. None of the GMRS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system.
You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference. You can expect a communications range of five to twenty-five miles. You cannot directly interconnect a GMRS station with the telephone network. Normally, you and your family members would communicate between yourselves directly or through a repeater station.
The stations must be within the territorial limits of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific Insular areas. In transient use, a mobile station from one GMRS system may communicate through a mobile relay station repeater in another GMRS system with the permission of its licensee.Jump to navigation. The most common use of GMRS channels is for short-distance, two-way voice communications using hand-held radios, mobile radios and repeater systems.
The GMRS is available to an individual one man or one woman for short-distance two-way communications to facilitate the activities of licensees and their immediate family members. Each licensee manages a system consisting of one or more transmitting units stations.
Some previously licensed non-individual systems are allowed to continue using GMRS. Inthe FCC updated the GMRS by allotting additional interstitial channels in the MHz band, increased the license term from 5 to 10 years, allowed transmission of limited data applications such as text messaging and GPS location information and made other updates to the GMRS rules to reflect modern application of the service.
Licenses are issued for a ten-year term and can be renewed between 90 days prior to the expiration date and up to the actual expiration date of the license. After a license expires, an individual must request a new GMRS license. A GMRS system licensed to a non-individual prior to July 31, is also eligible for renewal, but the licensee may not make any major modification to the system.
You may apply for a GMRS license if you are 18 years or older and not a representative of a foreign government.
Range of FRS/GMRS radios and an intro to MURS
If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system. Part 95 Subpart E. You can find information about GMRS licensing in the rules. A GMRS licensee may use a combination of portable, mobile, fixed and repeater stations consistent with the operational and technical rules in Subpart E of Part The use of some channels is restricted to certain types of stations and certain channels are reserved for voice-only operations, while other channels allow voice and data operations.
None of the GMRS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference. You can expect a communications range of five to twenty-five miles.
You cannot directly interconnect a GMRS station with the telephone network. Normally, you and your family members would communicate between yourselves directly or through a repeater station. The stations must be within the territorial limits of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific Insular areas. In transient use, a mobile station from one GMRS system may communicate through a mobile relay station repeater in another GMRS system with the permission of its licensee.
The communications may also be with mobile stations from other GMRS systems also with permission from the licensee to communicate through the mobile relay station. About Rule Part 47 C. Wireless Telecommunications. Friday, April 28, Their freedom from reliance on a cellular network to communicate makes them ideal for camping adventures and caravan road trips. As long as you are within the range the radio is designed for and have no obstructions, you can chat as much as you want—for free.
Two-way radios are available in three main formats: handheld units walkie-talkiesbase stations, or mobile units. Handheld units are designed for on-the-go communication such as hiking or keeping in touch during a day at Disneyland. A base station is set up at home and resides on a table or desk with an attached microphone and antenna that is placed on the roof. Mobile units are attached to your dash and have a plug-in antenna that is affixed to your vehicle.
Two-way radios are usually either citizens-band, a.
They all operate on different frequencies, and have varying wattage outputs and ranges. Our handy guide explains the differences. CBs are the old standby, bringing to mind the image of Smokey and the Bandit —era truckers using CBs as their only form of communication before the widespread use of mobile phones. But have you turned on a CB radio lately? If you are in any densely populated area, you'll be privy to conversations ranging from the benign to obscene—and you are definitely not alone.
CBs are still in widespread use because of their low cost and because, unlike with ham radios, no license is required. CBs also offer 40 channels, as well as a multitude of sideband channels to choose from. They have a range from one to 15 miles, but they are very line-of-sight sensitive, so conversations can cut in and out if one or more radios are mobile.
Any power modifications are subject to steep fines.
How to Choose a Two-Way Radio
This handheld CB walkie-talkie from Cobra also includes a magnetic mobile-mounted antenna so you can increase its range when using it in a vehicle. This CB is ideal for travel, as it comes with a mobile antenna you can secure to any vehicle to provide greater range.
At under 17 pounds it can also be used as a mobile unit. The initials stand for General Mobile Radio Service."Privacy codes" are the opposite of privacy, CTCSS & DCS explained:
According to Ralph Hollis, engineering project manager at MidlandGMRS is "fast becoming the most popular class of portable two-way radios," and for good reason—they sound great, have excellent range five to 25 milesand it's less likely you'll encounter obscene background noise here than with a CB.
There is no test required and the license covers an entire family for a period of ten years. FRS doesn't require a license as it operates under 2 watts, but the range is limited. It includes 14 channels—with seven dedicated to FRS. It's best used for very close communication like on a job site or around a campground. These FRS radios are license free.
With superb range and clean sound, a GMRS radio is the best bet for most people. The dynamo crank allows you to recharge the radio during a power outage. Once you feel the freedom of communicating with a two-way radio, you may gravitate toward wanting to talk to people at a much further distance than CBs and GMRS radios can provide.
That's where ham radio comes in.We see these questions being asked a lot on various forums, especially outdoors, sports, prepper, or survivalist sites.
It often leads to complex answers and heated discourse because so many factors influence the distance of radio communications…. The following charts show how many miles you can usually communicate over normal terrain in suburban or rural areas with different types of radios, power levels, antennas, and station configurations. Some radio gear advertisements tout the maximum possible distance in perfect conditions, an often misleading specification that only technicians can achieve if they are both on mountain peaks or going through repeaters.
In the real world, people want to know the normal dependable average range of a radio. Here it is:. Symbols show average probability of communication.
The above graph shows the distance range comparison between two base stations using a basic antenna mounted on the roof of a suburban house with a height of about 20ft above ground level.
Communication distance can be greatly improved over this by advanced gain antenna systems or a high pole or a tower. This estimate is based upon radio-to-radio direct communications without the use of a repeater.
The original source of this article is the RadioMaster Reports blog. The above graph shows the distance range between a mobile vehicle with a basic vehicle antenna, communicating with a base station using a basic antenna mounted on the roof of a suburban house. Communication distance can be greatly improved over this by advanced gain antenna systems or a high pole or a tower at the base station. The distance can be adversely affected by interference from the vehicle engine; further distance can be achieved by parking on a hilltop or open area and shutting off the vehicle.
The above graph shows the distance range between two mobile vehicles with basic vehicle whip antennas. This estimate is a review based upon radio-to-radio direct communications without the use of a repeater.
The above graph shows the distance range between a pedestrian with a whip antenna and a mobile vehicle with a basic vehicle whip antenna. Distance on VHF will be somewhat less if a small rubber ducky antenna is used on the pedestrian radio instead of a full size antenna. The use of a counterpoise radial wire on the pedestrian radio improves distance.
The above graph shows the distance range between two pedestrian radios with whip antennas. Improved distance can be achieved by standing in an open area or on a hilltop. Distance on VHF will be somewhat less if a small rubber ducky antenna is used instead of a full size antenna. Disclaimer: Content provided in RadioMaster Reports is included for the sole purpose of providing educational information on a passive basis.
This information may be useful to the public in the event of emergencies or disaster recovery, especially when normal techniques are not an available option. Users of this educational information are solely responsible for their actions. I am currently reading your website… I love it, but I have an issue I would like to share. Your description is quite false.
I bring this up, because in order for this to be truly educational information, it must be true. If you want your readers to understand things correctly, they need to be provided with accurate information. Just sayin… Thanx for the cool page, though. I have many friends asking for info like this. Again, thanx, and 73!
Hey Joel It might be simply a differences in semantics, although I have to agree that to people new to RF physics, could get the wrong idea, simply because of the way its explained.
I find it somewhat troubling that the distance charts dont take into consideration the environmental variables. At the same time, those same people who are new to RF Physics, will probably not understand all the variables anyway. So the website tries to give some generalisations to get people started. Finally, its an impossible goal to put all this information in one place anyway. The best one can do is put up as much general info as possible to get people thinking about it, then give them more details as their own skills progress.
And that is very true — and why the comparison at this time falls a bit short of truly comparing radios bands, modes and services.Forums New posts Search forums.
Media New media Search media. Classifieds New listings. Log in. Search titles only. Search Advanced search…. New posts. Search forums. To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software: Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold or was sold by the manufacturer for any monetary value.
All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.
If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request. To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum. The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online i. Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package.
One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming.