GMRS vs FRS radios?

camping1601

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Is it worth getting a licence to use GMRS over FRS radios? Is the reception that much better-reliable?
 

Kenn

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Two questions there - no it's not worth getting a license and almost no one does. Is it worth getting the GMRS? Yes
 

swwifty

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To be clear, GMRS and FRS use the same frequencies. You want though to get a GMRS license, because then you can transmit with up to 50 watts, and use radios with detachable antennas. These two things will make GMRS have MUCH further range and usabiilty.

If you want the best option, get your ham radio tech license, then you can use the 2 meter band (144-148mhz) and up to 1500 watts of power. This will work quite far, even in hilly terrain where I live I can talk to some folks over 60 miles.
 

Kenn

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I think GMRS can go to 50 watt, but 99% are no more than 5 watt and they are typically different channels on the same radio. 1-14 FRS 15-22 GMRS. I have never met anyone who had a license
 

swwifty

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I think GMRS can go to 50 watt, but 99% are no more than 5 watt and they are typically different channels on the same radio. 1-14 FRS 15-22 GMRS. I have never met anyone who had a license
well, in order to be legal I recommend having one. I'm sure a lot of people use them with more than 3 watts and don't have a license.

You can get a handheld GMRS radio that only does 5 watts, but it allows for a detachable antenna. That will make the biggest difference. Any radio is limited purely by its antenna. I'd take a 1 watt radio with a good antenna over a 50 watt radio with a very poor antenna any day.
 

Kenn

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We use basic FRS/GMRS radios without the detachable antennas but I agree that the antennas are crucial. What radios do you like?
 

swwifty

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We use basic FRS/GMRS radios without the detachable antennas but I agree that the antennas are crucial. What radios do you like?
I would get something like this:

https://powerwerx.com/tera-tr505-gmrs-recreational-handheld-radio

It also does MURS too, which is license free, and in the VHF range so better for coverage.

Combine that with a roll-up j-pole antenna, and you'll have a pretty decent setup.

Get the DBJ-2 roll up (commercial version) from here: https://edsantennas.weebly.com/ that will work well on the MURS/GMRS frequencies and you'll be gold.

I have quite a few of Ed's antennas for ham bands, and they are excellent.
 

Kenn

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I would get something like this:

https://powerwerx.com/tera-tr505-gmrs-recreational-handheld-radio

It also does MURS too, which is license free, and in the VHF range so better for coverage.

Combine that with a roll-up j-pole antenna, and you'll have a pretty decent setup.

Get the DBJ-2 roll up (commercial version) from here: https://edsantennas.weebly.com/ that will work well on the MURS/GMRS frequencies and you'll be gold.

I have quite a few of Ed's antennas for ham bands, and they are excellent.

Thanks! I plan to give it a try.
 

nidaho

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idaho
Check out the antenna farm online. I’ve dealt with them With good luck. Prices seemed pretty good to. We run vhf radios out hound hunting they seem pretty good. Icom and kenwood is what we have. But to be honest I don’t know what gmrs and frs is.
 

Squamch

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In my experience, living in coastal BC, they both suck. The trick is to get a VHF, and program both FRS and GMRS frequencies into it. I can talk to guys with walmart radios, but they often can't reach back to me if we don't have line of site.
 

Bubblehide

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Get some cheap Baofeng ham radios and you will be happy. Of course, as has been said, they require a license to use.
 

swwifty

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In my experience, living in coastal BC, they both suck. The trick is to get a VHF, and program both FRS and GMRS frequencies into it. I can talk to guys with walmart radios, but they often can't reach back to me if we don't have line of site.
that doesn't make any sense cause a VHF radio doesn't work on the frequencies that the GMRS and FRS radio services work on.

VHF is 30mhz - 300mhz, UHF (where GMRS and FRS are) is 300-3000mhz, but specifically GMRS and FRS are around 462-467mhz.

If you need the best coverage and range, I highly recommend getting your ham license at least the tech, then you can use 2 meter band (144-148mhz) radios. Theres tons of them out there, with a upgraded antenna, and you'll have significantly better range especially when non-line of sight.

When you do have near light of sight though you can talk a long ways. I've made contacts on the 2 meter band further than 100 miles with my Kenwood hand held, a roll up j-pole antenna, and being on top of a 4800ft tall mountain :)
 

Squamch

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Republic of Vancouver Island
that doesn't make any sense cause a VHF radio doesn't work on the frequencies that the GMRS and FRS radio services work on.

VHF is 30mhz - 300mhz, UHF (where GMRS and FRS are) is 300-3000mhz, but specifically GMRS and FRS are around 462-467mhz.

If you need the best coverage and range, I highly recommend getting your ham license at least the tech, then you can use 2 meter band (144-148mhz) radios. Theres tons of them out there, with a upgraded antenna, and you'll have significantly better range especially when non-line of sight.

When you do have near light of sight though you can talk a long ways. I've made contacts on the 2 meter band further than 100 miles with my Kenwood hand held, a roll up j-pole antenna, and being on top of a 4800ft tall mountain :)

With the wouxun handheld unit my tame radio nerd sold me, I can dial it to FRS and GRMS frequencies.
 

swwifty

Junior Member
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Aug 23, 2013
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Check out the antenna farm online. I’ve dealt with them With good luck. Prices seemed pretty good to. We run vhf radios out hound hunting they seem pretty good. Icom and kenwood is what we have. But to be honest I don’t know what gmrs and frs is.
I hope what you're doing is legal...... it's important to protect the spectrum by operating within the rules. There's a lot of companies out there that would love to have the frequencies these radios and ham radios work on for themselves. They are a good resource that one can get for a cheap license and test.

Also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mobile_Radio_Service
 
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camping1601

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First off thanks for the replies.
Now that I'm good and confused it looks like VHF MURS radios are kind of a lesser known option and a good option for simple two way communication? Better than GMRS for hilly terrain?
 
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camping1601

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Looking at the repeater map there aren't any even close to the areas I would be using the radios.
 
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