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2-Way Radios

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Just curious if any of you have experimented with the 2-way radios on the market and can comment on what you've found. Some friends and I are planning to fish Monatuk for a week this fall and with cell phone coverage being close to non-existent out there we thought 2-way radios might help us stay in touch if we want to divide and conquer, send a few guys to the south side, a few to the north side etc. I've seen some pretty sophisticated models on the market, 14-mile coverage, disposable vs. rechargeable batteries, 22 channels, NOAA weather channels, compass, etc. Seems most, if not all of these, are NOT water resistant. Anyone have any comments or a recommendation?

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I seriously doubt that FRS radios will work between the north and south sides. Like VHF, I believe that they need line of sight to send and receive, unless of course you have someone on top of the bluff to relay messages wink.gif

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we use the motorolas for hunting and fishing,have been in very urban places and they do fine. If you mail me privately i can give you the model you need that doesn't need an fed license. They are older but you can still buy on ebay, there is a guy in canada and Fla.

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Some of these are supposed to work on GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) in addition to FRS. Since they are made for camping and have a 7, 10 and even 14 mile range I assume you would not need to be in sight of the other person when communicating, but I am far from an expert on the topic. Seems like they would be perfect for Montauk but it sounds like in your experience FRS is an inadequate system.

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I'm not at all familiar with the area you mentioned but on the beach, and in boats when on the bay or out in the open gulf, I use the Motorola T5200s. They won't bust your budget and have always worked great and seem to have a range of 2 to 3 miles. The range is considerably shorter in areas where there are a lot of buildings and trees etc. In my neighboorhood I get about 1/2 a mile and that's it. Out in the open they can get up to 3 miles.

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I have a set of family radios by Motorolla and I can get 2 miles of range out of them when there is a direct line of site. The cliffs up in Montauk could be a problem. I had them in MV a few years ago. We were near our cotage on top of a cliff near the Gayhead lighthouse and couldn't reach my buddy below at Pilot's Landing. The higher power handheld may be a different story. They did save my but on a remote island in Belize once, but that is a whole nother story for the kayak forum. smile.gif

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When I and my buddy used to fish the Salmon River in NY alot for steelies (back in the '80's ands '90's) we purchased a set of hands free walkie - talkies (for lack of a better description) from Radio Shack to advise each other of our situations. Not only were they great for actual fishing but they also were important when the someone fell, the water rose, or to let each other know when a busload of folks showed up!

 

If yer gonna go this route make sure they have a headset and are voice activated.

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in a clear line of site, those FSR radios will go quite far. We all had them (before kids) when we rented a house at Stratton every winter.

 

One house had to be 4-5 miles from the mountain, but on a hill with a clear line of site. No problem talking to lolligaggers back at the house looking for conditions

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Thanks for all the responses guys. I got a set of Conair Hummer 2-ways thru Amex with some points I accumulated. They look pretty hardcore, water proof, etc so I will give them a shot. They use only GMRS (not FRS) so I will buy the FCC license for $80 since I didn't pay for the radios. Part of the decision was the curiosity factor just to see how well they work in Montauk. The range is supposed to be 7 miles but we'll see. I'll let you guys know how I make out.

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that's a very good question. I wondered the same thing myself. Do you need the license to buy access to the frequencyand get the GMRS setting to work or it just an "honesty" policy in terms of the license? I don't know enough about it to have a view.

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It's funny that you don't need a FCC license for non-commercial use of VHF or FRS, but you do for GMRS. Most of the talk I hear on GMRS is only in urban areas, and is primarily used by livery operations and delivery services.

 

I have a Standard Horizon HX470S handheld Marine VHF radio that also has FRS, GMRS, Aeronautical, AM, FM in a unit not much bigger than a FRS radio. I bought a second unit when I found out that they were removing the GMRS capability with the "new" but with one less feature HX471S. I'm guessing that Standard Horizon folks didn't realize that anyone who bought their top of the line handheld marine radio in the USA would need a FCC license for just the GMRS capabilities, so they just removed the feature.

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Is buying this license really necessary? I mean who would stop you from using your walkie talkies. Seems silly.

 

Its also silly to keep short fish... but when many of us see that it bugs us and we make the call. hammer-time.gif Some of us are also involved in hobbies that involve radio. cwm8.gif

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Ok I gotta throw a few things in here. I'm not saying this to advertise my business...I've been a radio tech for 26 years now...

 

#1 you will NOT get 7 miles range on a pair of portables. This range stuff has gotten so out of control in the last 4-5 years it's utterly ridiculous. BEST you will see for range on uhf is about 1-2 miles on a good radio. YES you can get more....shoot if you stick a guy on top of a 5000' mountain in maine and a guy on a 5000' mountain in Pennsylvania they'll be able to talk fine on those two radios as long as the channel is clear... RANGE IS A RELATIVE THING. Relative to surrounding terrain, buildings, trees, etc etc. Curvature of the Earth is 13 miles...You can expect about 1/2 or less of that for range even on a 25 watt mobile radio with a good antenna...

Anyone that says they can get more range on their radios probably thinks there is more mileage between the two radios and I bet if you measured it as the crow flies you would find it alot different.

 

#2 You DO indeed need a license for uhf gmrs.

 

WHY? Well lets throw a great scenario out here and hope it's not someday you or your relatives...

 

Johnny decides to open up his super duper 19 mile range radios..talks to Jimmy...At the same time you got an ambulance driving down the road with Joey in the back dying of cardiac arrest...He drives by you while your telling Jimmy about your hot conquest the night before...but alas the cheap piece of crap you bought from China has a problem in the transmitter...and it caused the paramedic to not hear the doctor calling back to tell the emt to give Joey 10 mg of juice to keep him alive...Joey dies...GUESS who's fault it now is...

 

Or maybe your right down the street from your local police or fire dept...every time you transmit it causes them to lose recpetion on someone they NEED to hear....When the FCC comes lookin I DON'T wanna be in your shoes...I for one would MUCH rather pay a $80 license fee than get a $10,000 notice of assessment...this is BIG business for the FCC nowadays...they have learned they can easily make millions and millions tracking this stuff down and fining people. HAS happened nationwide and will continue til people wisen up.

 

Or how bout one real world experience we had several years ago...guy up in Nashua was harassing little kids on the radio...really going at it with nasty stuff. I was asked by the Nashua chief for assistance to find this guy...Nope not going to find him in the FCC database...I got a $4000 toy that let me drive to his doorstep. He crapped biggrin.gif

 

Would a license have stopped him? Nope. But it could have saved alot of aggravation. It's against Federal law for a convicted felon to hold a radio license...So he would have been stopped before it ever happened.

 

If you want a radio for outdoor use you want MURS...vhf 5 channels like FRS but more powerful transmitter...2 watts instead of 1/2 on FRS. It will travel further outside because of the wavelength. If you do indeed get a gmrs radio then make sure it's a good one, 5 watts is the most you can get...and remember most of this stuff is made in China etc so it's cheap crap...and you get what you pay for..and most of those type radios can't even meet their OWN specs either.. They say they are 2 watts but measure them and you'll find they are .75 watts etc.

A commercial radio programmed on gmrs is a better bang for your buck than ANY of the gmrs stuff on the market. More durable, better filters which give you better reception etc. Spend the money and do it right the first time.

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