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Author Topic: Mobil 2 Way radios  (Read 725 times)
BILLMONDO
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« on: February 21, 2002, 07:30:22 PM »

Hi,

Which radio would you guys suggest for 2-Way compunication between my family members when we go hiking or skiing. See the problem with cheap Chinees radios is that they just don't cut it. Every time I go skiing I loose contact with my party members because of these 2 mile range radios. I think I would even pay FCC fees in order to stay connected better the problem is that I don't even know where to start looking. I need a radio with 5 to 10 miles range. Should I look into GMRS radios or VHS or something else?

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KC0HBM
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2002, 11:19:15 AM »

MURS may be the answer for you.  I can't remember what the acronym spells out to be, but its basically a VHF CB.  The frequencies that I know you are allowed to use are 154.600 ("Green Dot") and 154.570 ("Blue Dot").  The Color names are from when Radio Shack sold radios on these freqs, they had to give them nifty names.

These freqs used to be business only, meaning you had to spend $$ to get a license to use one particular frequency.  Its only been about a year since MURS was created, so don't be surprised if you dont run across many people that know about it.  (go to www.google.com and search for MURS for alot more info).

The power limit for MURS is 2W ERP.  Effective Radiated Power means you can run .5W into a nice gain base/mobile antenna and get the equivalent of only 2W out (for instance).  But, your receive setup is much better in this case.  I admit the service is still relatively low power, but the fact its using the VHF band means you get more "milage" out of your power.  A good example is how foliage (trees, etc) really attenuate UHF but aren't so effective at blocking VHF propogation.

Finally, MURS is nice because places like Radio Shack are now selling the former business-only radios to anyone for MURS use.  These freqs are so common you could probably find any old VHF business band radio with multiple channels and have a good chance you'd find Green, Blue or the one or two other MURS freqs on it.  The radios are going to be Motorola, Maxon, GE, Erricson "drop from 20 feet and still work" radios that police carry, etc.  Not the "lets see how much profit Walmart can make from our extra cheep plastic" radios Smiley

Of course I'm assuming all your family is non-ham (if they are tech or above go buy a set of VX-150's Smiley


I hope this helps,

Mark
KC0HBM
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WPQX931
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2002, 03:03:28 PM »

MURS is Multi Use Radio Service.... not all old VHF dot radio can be MURS radio. most of the newer radios could.  a NEW motorola MV series would do it. and radioshack do have a few radios that can be MURS.   They cost about $180 each.

if you want range.  between 2 walky talkies, there isn't much you can do.  anytime when you are on VHF or UHF band it is all subject to line of sight problem.  the signal travels in straight line and if there is a tree or building in between, it is going to cause a problem even if you put 40W out.

1/2W on top of a mountain or the Sears tower, will go a lot farther than 50W at ground level inside a city. some one claimed that they had 100+ miles of contact w/ 1/2W FRS radios.  (line of sight) of course on top of a mountain.

GMRS do allow you to run higher power equipments and allow you to install antenna towers at whatever height you can afford and local restruction allows.  with a properely setup base unit, one can forsee communicating with a walky talky 50 miles away.  
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KC0HBM
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2002, 04:31:23 PM »

The biggest disadvantage to GMRS is its not a free service.  You spend the $$$ for the radios and then more $$$ for licenses.

I didn't mean to imply any old VHF radio will do MURS, i guess I was thinking more along the lines of more modern programmable business band radios.  

The other disadvantage to more powerful radios (besides cost) is size/weight.  I can't imagine it would be much fun to go skiing with a big radio on the belt Smiley
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WPQX931
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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2002, 10:21:35 AM »

Mark,

I agree with you completely.

GMRS' highpower capability comes with cost in $$$ and weights....  

There isn't much one can do when backpacking or hiking.  

Unless one finds and negoicate the use of a local GMRS repeater(rare) and a 2W walky will have miles and miles of coverage

cell phones always work, but not as much fun.

Alex
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