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Need walkie talkie recommendation

Discussion in 'Electronic Devices' started by Clown, Aug 25, 2018.

  1. Clown

    Clown Loaded Pockets

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    Hey folks. I'm hoping to drag a few recommendations out of you all for a set of walkie talkies. I haven't used any since the 80's when I was a kid and really have no idea where to start.

    The idea is keep a set up at the Ranch to help my brother, my dad, me and the kids keep in touch while running around up there. So here's what I think I'm looking for:
    -good range. The Ranch is pretty much at the top of a small mountain in West Virginia and is only 11 acres so this may not be an issue but I feel like the more range, the moreversatile.

    -good battery life. Thinking it might be nice to have something rechargeable that will also accept AA or AAA NiMh eneloops or alkalines in case of power outage

    -backlit display

    -durable and preferably water resistant. If the kids are going to get their hands on them they'll have take at least a little abuse.

    -weather channel might be nice

    -Id like to limit the price to $100 or less for a pair


    Any suggestions?
     
  2. adnj

    adnj Loaded Pockets

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    There are better walkies but the Motorola FRS/GMRS sets fit the bill for me with many of the same wants and needs as you listed.

    I have the MR350R radios with spare rechargeable batteries for each.

    Sent from my LG-V520 using Tapatalk
     
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  3. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Loaded Pockets

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    You will be limited by terrain and power output. Any of the GMRS/FRS radio blister packs will suffice. GMRS use requires an FCC call sign and license of fee of ~$80 and covers all of your immediate family. GMRS freqs will allow for 2W typical output while the FRS channels are typically set at ~.5W.

    The better option is getting a Ham license. Each person will need to study and take a short test. Max cost is $15 a person but most Radio Clubs will proctor it for free. This will allow you to use communication equipment with far more power and in general give you better options. You can pick up inexpensive 2W Ham radios for about $11 a piece or spend a little more and get 5-8W of power and the ability to connect better antennas.

    Really depends how much effort you are willing to invest.
     
  4. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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    Agreed on the ham is better than gmrs.

    Which brand of ham radios cost $11? I am interested in acquiring less experience expensive radios for a couple of RC flying events. We all have our ham license.
     
  5. Captdave13

    Captdave13 Loaded Pockets

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    Marine VHF handhelds would meet all your requirements aside from the interchangeable battery types. A marine operator license from FCC is required but it’s a lifetime license and easy to obtain.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. Clown

    Clown Loaded Pockets

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  7. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I am prety sure that all sets should have similar features and capabilities really unless you can step up into models that let you swap antenna for more performance overall.

    All of the readily available units are limited by the power outputs limited by the band they operate on so most in those bands will be equally capable.

    CB has one set of maximum power,FMRS/GMRS has another and this along with most using fixed antenna will make them the same overall I think.

    You might be able to find a CB unit that will allow you to improve the Antenna or allow for bigger longer lasting batteries but I have not really shopped for these in a long time either.

    Or become a HAM and your options expand a lot!

    I think you would be surprised at how easy getting a Ham Ticket is these days compared to what you had to do in the past.

    73
     
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  8. garza

    garza Loaded Pockets

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  9. CELICA XX

    CELICA XX Loaded Pockets

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    HAM would be the perfect solution for an 11 acre ranch like that, but the testing / certification process makes it pretty unrealistic for a group of people who aren't really radio enthusiasts, nor interested in becoming one.

    I know the test is much easier than it used to be (with the removal of Morse code) but it's certainly not going to be a walk-in-the-park test for kids.

    I am not familiar with the regulations surrounding GMRS/FRS radios.
     
  10. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Loaded Pockets

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    Here's 2 for $22. No front programing so you need to use CHIRP.
     
  11. EZDog

    EZDog EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    I think you forgot the link?
     
  12. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Loaded Pockets

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  13. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    We have 2 sets of these on the farm

    https://www.cobrafrs.com/collections/adventure-series-1/products/acxt545

    Use them all the time while riding around and so far I aint found anything I can complain about. I have a ham ticket but frankly I'd have better luck changing lead to gold than getting my elderly illiterate father to try to pass any test. On our 90 acres the above radios have worked great even down in the woods while on atv rides. Being waterproof has saved them more than once.
     
  14. chaosmagnet
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
    • In Omnia Paratus

    chaosmagnet Loaded Pockets

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    Don't transmit on ham radios (including the Baofengs) without the appropriate license and understanding of the Federal regulations. While many ham radios can transmit on FRS/GMRS, Marine VHF or other frequencies, they are not type-accepted for those radio services and it's illegal to transmit on those frequencies excepting a bona fide emergency.

    It's illegal to transmit on GMRS frequencies (or on FRS/GMRS shared frequencies above FRS power levels) without a GMRS license.

    I don't know as much about Marine VHF but I understand it's illegal to use it for land-to-land calling.

    Without a license, you should use FRS or MURS for this.
     
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  15. Foulwind

    Foulwind Loaded Pockets

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    Get down to your local Wally-mart and look at the selections. Anything FRS will work fine. Yes, HAM will work better, as far as communication distance (Especially if a local repeater is used) but you'll need to learn band use, frequencies, radio programming (For each H/T you get) I think they have the FSR's with 2-3 radios and $25 for the 2 radio buy, and maybe $50 for the multiple ones? Haven't looked in a while but check wally mart