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Thread: GMRS/FRS radios

  1. #1
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    GMRS/FRS radios

    I got an REI gift card recently, and have been looking into a set of radios.

    Specifically looking at:
    Midland GXT1000VP4 and GXT2000VP4
    Motorola Talkabout MT350R and MS350R
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  2. #2
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    Right on! Nice blog!
    Gravity. It's the law.

  3. #3
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    any help?
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  4. #4
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    I can help. I havr moto MT350R
    ued last season. I like it. decent range, not great but better than lower end $50-60 ones
    top of hill to bottom with good reception, but not over multiple peaks
    durability, weight and charge is good
    love noaa feature and accesories
    I need to go to Utah.
    Utah?
    Yeah, Utah. It's wedged in between Wyoming and Nevada. You've seen pictures of it, right?

    So after 15 years we finally made it to Utah.....


    Thanks BCSAR and POWMOW Ski Patrol for rescues

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  5. #5
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    what do you want to use it for? I thought those FRS radios were all more or less the same, they're only really work line of sight. Having the tone squelch function can be useful as some frequencies get busy at times.

  6. #6
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    GMRS is better than FRS - more like my radio at work - better range, especially if you can hit repeaters - FCC requires a license

    http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/gene...o-service-gmrs
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  7. #7
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    The license is useless, the number of repeaters they can use is miniscule.

    I use older Motorola's and they work fine.

  8. #8
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    I have some "older Motorola's" (I'm assuming you mean FRS) too and they work ok, but I was looking for something better. I was under the impression that the GMRS freqs are better. Maybe not? I have used a lot of different radios working for the FS and ski patrolling, so I'm used to better. I have an older pre-narrow band ICOM handheld that I was hoping to use with narrow band, but it won't work. I never had a license, and mine was converted to be able to TX/RX in a wider range.

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    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  9. #9
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    some of the 2m HAM handhelds work on UHF/VHF channels, as well as FRS / GMRS channels. You want something like that? They can transmit on GMRS frequencies at higher (illegal) power levels, but you can turn the TX power down also. Not sure how strict licensing is in the US...

  10. #10
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    What specifically are you wanting to use the radios for? Is range or compactness more important? For BC skiing and rock climbing, I like the Midland LXT118. Cheap, super tiny and lightweight. They make a rechargeable one for a few dollars more, but REI doesn't carry it. If you're needing communication across an entire resort (i.e. family radios), I'd go with something pretty powerful. Putting it in a pack and using a remote system (not a fan), a larger radio with better range might be better, as the compactness doesn't matter as much then.

  11. #11
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    backcountry use is what I'm after - if I'm at a ski area, it's usually the one I work at or it's one that has cell commo
    I didn't believe in reincarnation when I was your age either.

  12. #12
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    GMRS channels are allowed more power than FRS. Regardless of what the packaging claims, FRS radios are usually about 0.5W and GMRS is usually around 1.3W to 1.6W of transmitting power, since the radio companies want to be able to sell the same models in Canada (which has a strict 2W limit).

    Even 2W isn't much though. If you want real BC communication and are on a budget, get a HAM radio license and a Baofeng or Wouxun radio off Fleabay, and buy a quality antenna for it. I think the latest Wouxun is 5 or 6W, and they're only about $110. Competitive backcountry runners go the HAM radio route, as there is no substitute for raw transmitting power.

  13. #13
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    Bumping as we are looking for a set to use in resort and also bc. I think either would be fine for BC, but want to try to get some distance in the resort when we need it.

    T71VP3 - no license needed, but uses some gmrs channels and is 1.5 watt and compact, say 38 miles

    GXT1000 - frs/gmrs, requires license for GMRS, 5 watt, about 1.8 longer mostly in antenna, says 36 miles

    Anyone have experience with these? What is the advantage to the GXT range wise over ridges and out of line of sight?

  14. #14
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    Owned a pair of T71VP3 a little bit ago. Worked fine for touring and general resort skiing. Was able to get generally a ~1-1.5 mile range without issue.

    I have no experience with the GXT.

    If you're planning on using these for touring - I would strongly suggest getting a shoulder mic, as that makes communication much easier. Unfortunately Midland uses a specific pitch on their mic/speaker input which means you need to use their mics.

    Personally - I swapped my Midlands out for Boafeng UV-5Rs as they're programmable, and use a standard sized shoulder mic. Really nice to be able to program in search and rescue, ski patrol, weather, and a bunch of FRS channels. However, friends I've made the suggestion to are not as jazzed because you will need to learn the
    intricacies of that radio, and program it with CHRP on your computer.




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