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FRS radios
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15Tango
MnGCA Board


Joined: 17 Dec 2002

Posts: 856

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 6:01 pm    Post subject: FRS radios Reply with quote

I just bought a pair of Talkabout radios for Perrine and me--does anybody else use them? I tried a search on the forums to find out if there is a particular channel agreed upon for Geocaching use, but didn't have too much luck--I think it's narrowed down to channel 2 or channel 4. Anyhow, I've got both of ours on channel 2, sub-channel 0, and we're going to use this while caching.
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Centris
Past MnGCA Chair


Joined: 27 Nov 2002

Posts: 620

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 9:40 pm    Post subject: FRS Reply with quote

The official channel for geocaching (as listed on the FAQ page) is channel 2 as the primary and 12 as the alternate.

Paul and I have taken our talkabouts geocaching when we were first starting out and have never heard anyone on them (except for 'chatter'). Now I guess we will have to dust them off again and hail you two in St. Paul next time we get down that way.

I would be interested to know how many Geocachers still have a CB radio? (hey - I'm old, gimme a break) We could set a standard channel for that - that might be fun on Saturdays or something.
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MNSledHead
Geocacher


Joined: 16 Dec 2002

Posts: 13

PostPosted: Thu Dec 26, 2002 9:51 pm    Post subject: FRS Radios Reply with quote

I've been using the Motorola Talk-Abouts for years. Specifically when we're out riding on our ATVs. They really make it easy to make sure everyone in the group makes the proper choice at intersections.

I've never considered using them for GeoCaching but I suppose if you're working as a team they could come in handy. We really got good use out of them when were at ValleyFair. My son (the A-Bomb) and I went one way with a radio and my wife and daughter went another way with the other radio. It sure made finding each other a lot easier. I suppose they might come in handy at HugeDale (Mall of America by its given name) if we ever went there....

MNSledHead
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towlebooth
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 26 Nov 2002

Posts: 1270

PostPosted: Fri Dec 27, 2002 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jillibean and I have some that we've used for paintball and long car trips with multiple vehicles. We'll pull ours out of storage as well. See you on chanel 2!
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SirPoonga
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Feb 2003

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok, bringing this thread back. I gotta question for you folks with FRS/GMRS radios. Mainly on the GMRS license if any of you have it. It says it is a family license. Does that mean if I get the license my dad can use that license? My dad has a gmrs/frs motorola pair. He doesn't really need the gmrs part but I am just curious. I might be getting one as I've think I am going to get hooked into Airsoft (www.airsoftretreat.com, www.mnairsoft.com).
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KC0GRN
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 22 Feb 2004

Posts: 1424

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a GMRS radio, but don't care to spend the 75 bucks to "legally" use it, not to mention, no one else I know has one, so why should I bother?

Anyways, I do monitor on GMRS once in a while to see if the radio traffic is different, barely ever hear anyone on it anyways. My best guess on the family license is that it should include any of the family, hence "Family License", but who knows, I'd check the official usage rules out with the FCC, they probably have them all online.
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SirPoonga
Geocacher


Joined: 07 Feb 2003

Posts: 144

PostPosted: Wed May 12, 2004 11:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've read the FCC site, now it's just making sense of the legal talk.
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 1:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to revive an old thread, but it doesn't make sense to make a new one:

I'm now considering picking up a pair of radios. There are some newer ones on the market since this thread died off... any recommendations on inexpensive yet quality models?

-Aaron
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jaywc7
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Sep 2004

Posts: 360

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used to sell FRS/GMRS Radios a while back. I would only reccomend NOT buying Midland Brand. They generally advertize much farther usage range then customers actually get. When I was on the sales floor, I probably talked to someone every other day who was unhappy with their Midland. On another note: Motorola, and Cobra are manufactured in the same facility! Generally, Motorola are the "nice" radios, but spendy. I use a nice set of Cobras and have never had problems. They advertize 10 miles, and as long as my battery power is above half, I can usually get it. Keep in mind that the mileage is based soley on #1 perfect atmospheric conditions! #2 good battery power. #3 Direct line of sight. If you have problems with mileage, it is generally due to the air itself. Radios work great in Winter, but of course the batteries die quickly. Oh well. I would reccomend buying Cobra myself. Don't waste money on the name "Motorola"...

As far as the FCC licence goes. We generally told people about it, but brushed it off. It is in fact "Illegal" but isn't policed at all. Keep in mind though that it is only required for the FMS channels. If you stay on channel 2, you will not legally need the FCC licence. I personally had to get the licence for flying, since it is required for international flight. To be honest, I'm not even sure where it is, and couldn't provide it if I were out caching with radios, and was stopped...

CB Radios! Heck yeah! I got my Arkansas Cellphone mounted right into my dash! I bought a little cheapy one that doesn't push much wattage, but works for my purpose. I only purchased it because of the small size. I was able to remove my ashtray (which I don't and will never use - DON'T SMOKE, IT KILLS YOU!!!) and my CB fit right in the open slot!

Good times good times...
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s4xton
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 23 Mar 2003

Posts: 1070

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the feedback!!!

I got a Motorola T6250.

-Aaron
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Dances With Beehives
Geocacher


Joined: 12 Sep 2003

Posts: 671

PostPosted: Wed Mar 30, 2005 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I got a Motorola T6250.


Just one?! Laughing
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2005 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SirPoonga wrote:
Ok, bringing this thread back. I gotta question for you folks with FRS/GMRS radios. Mainly on the GMRS license if any of you have it. It says it is a family license. Does that mean if I get the license my dad can use that license?


Yes.

I know that others on this thread have said that the FCC doesn't police the GMRS channels for unlicensed activity, and that's probably true, but there are GMRS repeater owners who do monitor these channels, and they've been known to turn in people who use them unlicensed. Just something to be aware of.

If you don't want to take a chance, use radios that only utilize the FRS channels, not combination FRS/GMRS radios.
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5savages
Geocacher


Joined: 13 Feb 2005

Posts: 204

PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2005 8:37 am    Post subject: Cost & Performance Reply with quote

I saw a reference to the cost of the GMRS license...$75...but just wanted to clarify that the license is good for 5 years, so that comes out to $15/year. It is a family license so if you have 4 in your family it comes out to $3.75/person/year. Besides, then you get to use your cool new call sign. I myself dont' have a GMRS license as I decided I don't use the radios enough to warrant it, and when I do I use the FRS frequencies. BTW, 7 of the FRS frequencies are shared with GMRS.

I'd ignore any claims of range on the packaging of the FRS/GMRS radios. you won't see that range on the best day.

From my experience you're lucky to get a 1/4 mile from car to car. Outside I've gotten maybe a mile of range, but no where near the 3 to 7 miles that the marketing departments claim. 1/2 mile is typical in wood areas. To get better performance, get one with a longer antenna. I've seen little difference between the 0.5 watt FRS models and the 2.0 watt FRS/GMRS models.

These are great, and cheap, little tools though.
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TwentySeven
Geocacher


Joined: 06 May 2004

Posts: 175

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 12:39 pm    Post subject: Multi-Use Radio Service Reply with quote

Just a thought on another option.

In the fall of 2000 the FCC created a new license free VHF Citizen Band Radio Service. This new service is commonly referred to as the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS). Initially, MURS radios can have 5 channels in the 151.820 to 154.600 MHz frequency range with 2 watts of transmitter power. Unlike the Family Radio Service (FRS) with its limited 1/2 watt output and fixed antennas, MURS applications may use external antennas and can be supplied in mobile, handheld and base configurations. For those unaware of frequency allocations, the MURS frequencies skirt those that are currently used by the professional (licensed) business band radio services.

The MURS transmitter channel frequencies are
151.820 MHz,
151.880 MHz,
151.940 MHz,
154.570 MHz,
154.600 MHz.

These are the radio shack "blue dot" and "red dot" walkie talkies.

Urls are self explanitory.
http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/murs
http://www.provide.net/~prsg/murs_faq.htm
http://www.provide.net/~prsg/mursrule.htm
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Buzzygirl
Past MnGCA Board


Joined: 06 Apr 2004

Posts: 499

PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2005 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey 27,

Thanks for that input; I completely forgot about MURS! MURS is a good, but still little-known service that is available to the public. I think the main drawback to MURS usage at this point is that few places carry the radios. They're also pricey compared to the bubble-pack models. I hope that more people start using MURS and cause more retailers to start stocking them, which will also hopefully drive down the prices.
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