FRS walkie talkies

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I've got a Micro talk. Runs on four AAA cells. Do you use nicads, or just put in new batteries every morning?
My Motorolas run on three AA cells, I think they last a bit longer.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I have a pair of nice little 22 channel Cobra Micro Talk GMRS/FRS radios that work very well. Me and JH do a lot of telecom and data wiring and the radios come in handy when you're 300' away from your co-conspirator trying to sort out or find cables. We've been trying to find a young guy maybe 50 years old or so to help us pull wire up in ceilings where it's difficult for us to climb around. ^_^
TDD
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I also have some Cobras. They run for nearly a week on 'listen', and with intermittant talking (say 10 minutes a day) keep up on regular alkalines for about three days.
LLoyd
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On Aug 6, 10:03 am, "Lloyd E. Sponenburgh" <lloydspinsidemindspring.com> wrote:

use rechargable batterys, and consider just using cell phones with unlimited talk package.
less stuff to carry, and cell phones tend to be smaller and weigh less than FRS
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I was just reading article on batteries, Dad tore the article out of a magazine for me. For digital cameras, NiMH last a lot longer than alkalines. That might be the case with FRS walkies, I'm not sure.
On my old job when my boss kept turning off the FRS, I finally gave up and used cell phone for all my cellar to attic comms.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
use rechargable batterys, and consider just using cell phones with unlimited talk package.
less stuff to carry, and cell phones tend to be smaller and weigh less than FRS
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I've been using radios for wire pulling and jobsite coordination for about 20 years. I have had two sets of Cobra radios and I was not impressed with the quality of either set. My current set are FRS with GMRS from Midland and they are pretty tough. Have been using them long enough I don't recall when I bought them exactly. I just am not impressed with Cobra, from CB days to current they were always after the "cheap" market niche.
The toughest set of radios I had were Motorola 800mhz trunk radios, but I sold them when cellular became so affordable. On jobsites now we usually just use our cell phones unless we know we will ahead of time we will be on them constantly.
In my opinion the only reason I would buy Cobra anything is if I knew for a fact my guys would lose them down the sewer.
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On 8/6/2012 1:11 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

I have several sets of hand held radios.
The littlest marine VHF are Cobras. The batteries have been upgraded to NiMH, and they run a lot longer. They are mainly used by "crew" to talk to the "ship". That way I can monitor the on-board VHF (loud enough for me to hear easily. If they go overboard it's not big loss.
They were cheap, true. But they've rune for 4 years now. Except the one that jumped ship one day. Haven't heard from it in a while now...
MY personal VHF is also a cheapie , rebranded by West Marine. I have it because it's waterproof (10 10 feet) and floats. So I take it with me when I'm sailing on other boats.
The rest are FRS, which we use now and then around the house, or between cars when traveling. I consider them to be disposable so no big deal if something happens to them.
All except the Coleman. It's pretty cool, so I keep it for me.
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On 8/6/2012 1:11 PM, Bob La Londe wrote:

The Motorola and GE commercial hand-helds were designed so cops could club you over the head with them then call for the ambulance. ^_^
TDD
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The Daring Dufas wrote:

I had a small police department ask me to fix a GE (PE66?) handheld that fell off the top of a cruiser during a hot pursuit. The potmetal case was so full of cracks that the entire radio could be twisted. There was no way that piece of junk could be fixed. There were no new cases, and no spare space inside to repair the thing. Most of the antennas had lost the rubber covers from their being used as handles.
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On 8/7/2012 4:02 PM, Michael A. Terrell wrote:

I was working on a lot of commercial and police radios back in the 70's and the damn things were Steam Punk in nature, big and clunky compared to what we have today but they were fairly tough like the old Western Electric telephones that you could beat down a burglar with then call the cops. ^_^
TDD
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Thanks for the real world report. I'd been using Motorola FR-50, and had good results with them. They don't have the squelch codes, so once in a while I get some cross talk from some other units.
The one time they failed me, I was on a roof, and leaning into a HVAC unit to check things. My man on the ground tried to reach me. He was maybe 100 yards or more away. The squelch opened, but I didn't get any voice. Figured it was some other unit at a distance. I finally got back to the roof edge, and he radioed to ask why I didn't reply. Oops. I should have leaned out of the unit and radioed "was that you?"
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
I've been using radios for wire pulling and jobsite coordination for about 20 years. I have had two sets of Cobra radios and I was not impressed with the quality of either set. My current set are FRS with GMRS from Midland and they are pretty tough. Have been using them long enough I don't recall when I bought them exactly. I just am not impressed with Cobra, from CB days to current they were always after the "cheap" market niche.
The toughest set of radios I had were Motorola 800mhz trunk radios, but I sold them when cellular became so affordable. On jobsites now we usually just use our cell phones unless we know we will ahead of time we will be on them constantly.
In my opinion the only reason I would buy Cobra anything is if I knew for a fact my guys would lose them down the sewer.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

All that steel blocks the signal, and causes dead spots wherever the signal is close to 180° out of phase.
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Actually, "all that steel" was between me, and the man on the ground. I guess I could have took the walkie, and put it on top of the RTU, it would have been much better signal up there.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
All that steel blocks the signal, and causes dead spots wherever the signal is close to 180° out of phase.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

Not unless you were line of sight with no steel in between, nothing to cause multipath (As in TV ghosting) and at least a full wavelength from the nearest large piece of steel. the signal quality & levels are affected by all those factors. On top of that the antennas aren't very good on a handheld, since there isn't a good counterpoise.
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Well, walkie laying on top of the RTU can't be much worse than being in a heavy metal box.
And, the quarter wave for FRS is about six inches, the TX antennas are limited to four inches, which is totally not resonant.
With all these problems, I'm amazed how well FRS works.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Not unless you were line of sight with no steel in between, nothing to cause multipath (As in TV ghosting) and at least a full wavelength from the nearest large piece of steel. the signal quality & levels are affected by all those factors. On top of that the antennas aren't very good on a handheld, since there isn't a good counterpoise.
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Years ago, I read the FCC web site on FRS. Back then, they were non commercial, only. A lot of stores use FRS at the store. I went back and read the web page, the non commercial bit had disappeared.
I'd like to see base stations sold. For example, farm house, to contact the guys in the farm field. Midland has a "base station" with hand held microphone. I'd make one of those on four D cells, so it would last a while. They used three AA cells. What advantage is that? Antenna not removable, either.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
It would work a lot better with a simple ground plane antenna or dipole antenna, but FRS radios aren't allowed in fixed service applications. Those are supposed to be licensed.
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

There are other systems intended for that application. These days, cell phones are cheaper to use than a long range radio system.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

IF you have cell coverage. There are quite a few places that don't. The current narrow banding BS is causing a lot of problems in the fire service. Now they are saying that we should all go digital, even though it has been proven to be even worse than the NB junk.
--
Steve W.

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"Steve W." wrote:

Yes, digital radio systems are as bad as digital TV. Great, where it works, and absolutely useless in fringe areas that old analog equipment is still usable. The earliest FM two way radio systems used 30 KHz channel width, and it's gone down hill since then. Narrower channels, lower power & lower towers. I installed a low band 250W base for a guy about 30 years ago. He could talk to Middletown, Ohio from his semi on hilltops in the middle of Kentucky as he drove loads of cardboard boxes down I-75. A county near here spent well north of a million dollars to replace their analog system with digital. They had four remote towers & voting hardware to give 100% coverage for the county. Motorola convinced them that wasn't needed, and they ended up with less that 35% reliable coverage. That they could fix for a few more million.
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Michael A. Terrell wrote:

Sounds like most of P.A. They had big M come in and install all new gear across the state all of it P25 crap. The coverage area went from something like 85% in the worst spots to less than 60% now in the best locations. There were a couple videos out that showed them testing the system and two people were less than a mile apart and could see each other but the radios wouldn't work. Then there are the guys in NYFD who can stand on opposite sides of a brick wall and cannot talk. Just what you want for crews who will be risking it all entering a building on fire and they can't talk to the crew outside!!!
--
Steve W.

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"Steve W." wrote:

It will bite them some day when it's the family of the ones who signed the contract needs help, and they can't get it because of the crappy radios.
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