[ OT ] FRS radios / 2-way radios

Hi:
I looking to buy a pair of FRS radios & wondering if anyone could recommend a good brand / model? I would want one of the 5 mile range, rechargeable models. At least I 'think' I want to go rechargeable?? Is there a noticable difference in weight between them and the 'regular battery' models? These would be used 1-2 times per month, and have to operate up to maybe 10-12 hours on standby. Actual talking time would be minimal. Just want to be able to contact eachother inside of a 3-story building. Thanks for any advice.
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Phil {remove 9 for mail}

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The problem is that when they run out in the middle of using them you can't recharge them easily. Make sure that whatever you get that they will accommodate akalines as well so that you can have a set just for backup.
Charlie
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You want five mile range for within a three story building? Does that make sense?
I find that there are walkies which take AAA batteries, and some which take AA batteries. In my limited research the AA battery models put out a stronger signal. (500 mA instead of 300 mA for the smaller batteries).
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Christopher A. Young
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Marshall wrote:

do you know that you need a FCC license and it is not cheap like the ole CB radio license... i went on the net to get the FCC web site and got disgusted after reading all you need for this toy of a 2 way radio... better and cheaper to get a cell phone with a time card where you pay for the calls in advance.....
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I just used my $5 each closeout Radio Shack FRSs at a large amusement park. They worked great, however, everyone and his brother and their kids have them, so there is a lot of chatter. And this was not a very busy day in the park. BTW, the park is no where near 5 miles long. FRSs usually advertise 2 mile, which is extremely optimistic in the real world.
jim wrote:

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AFAIK, no license is needed for FRS radios, either in Canada or the USA.
Regards,
George Wenzel
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George Wenzel, B.A. (Criminology)
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George Wenzel wrote:

well the ones i got a K-mart were about $30 a pair and it came with the papers that says you need a FCC license.... its a FM signal, not the radio shack ones that have a low AM band like a watered down cb radio does.. it states the title of the license needed.. i then checked it on the FCC web site and its not cheap.... i hope you are right but dont think so.....
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From the FCC web page: http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/family /
"License documents are neither needed nor issued."
If you're in the USA, and it's a FRS radio, you don't need a license. You _DO_ need a license if you're using a GMRS radio:
http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/generalmobile /
"The current fee for a new GMRS license is $75."
Regards,
George Wenzel
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What baffles me about the FRS/GMRS situation is that the FCC is allowing the manufacturers to sell combination radios, knowing full well that nobody is going to apply for the GMRS license. I bought a couple of Uniden combo radios a while back, and while the manual does refer to GMRS needing a license it does NOT tell you which channels are which. So even if one wanted to be law-abiding and stay off the channels you don't have a license for, you can't find out which ones to avoid by reading the manual that came with the radios. You have to go somewhere else to look up which freq. are which. What this tells me is that the FCC couldn't care less whether you get a license for GMRS.
I imagine the long-time GMRS users, who paid for the license, put up repeaters, bought expensive radios, etc. are a bit PO'd about it all.
Roger Grady snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com To reply by email, remove "qlfit." from address
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Roger Grady ( snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com) said...

I cannot say for sure, but I suspect that if you use a unit capable of the GMRS band, you need a licence. It's not enough to be legal if you only use the FRS channels because you don't have a licence.
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Calvin Henry-Cotnam
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snipped-for-privacy@ica.net (Calvin Henry-Cotnam) wrote:

I also suspect that may be the case, but the manual doesn't say that either.
Roger Grady snipped-for-privacy@comteck.qlfit.com To reply by email, remove "qlfit." from address
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Thanks -- didn't know that about the GMRS band. The FRS band (two mile) radios are free.
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Christopher A. Young
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1. Is this for pleasure use or for work? FRS 'technically' is only for pleasure use, but the odds of getting nailed are slim.
2. For power and durability, you may want to consider GMRS radios, which are on the next band over to FRS, and some models cover both. GMRS <does> require a license, though. Ignore the other poster that said FRS requires a license. Sams club and the like sell decent starter GMRS portables at a decent price. I'm sure online stores would have them a little cheaper.
3. As to brands- For FRS, they are all about the same, made in China disposable. Go for the one on sale and/or the one with mail-in swapout warranty. For GMRS, Motorola or Kenwood or similar 'real' brand will be your best bet. For twice-a-month use, I wouldn't pay the premium for rechargable- they Die Young with infrequent use like that. And short of a commercial-grade pack (see below), they are unlikely to last 10-12 hours without wimping out. Just buy the multi-packs of Duracells on sale, and put the fresh spares in your pocket at the start of each outing. If the old set dies during the day, just switch them out.
4. Is the building you need comms in steel-frame with flourescent lights? If so, plan on LOTS of dead spots. To get reliable comms in my office with all the steel and RF noise, I had to go with commercial-grade VHF 5-watt portables and a repeater on the roof. I have a better system than most of the local public service agencies. Motorola all the way- not the cheapest, but life is too short to deal with hardware failures. FRS is a fraction of a watt, and GMRS (IIRC) tops out at 3? watts.
5. For advice from actual experts, ask for help over on the various rec.radio groups. See which ones your news server carries, and page through a few, and you should be able to tell the appropriate group to ask on.
aem sends....
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