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Posted: 2/22/2016 1:41:48 PM EDT
I'm in the market for some 2 way radios that I'll be needing for a road trip that is coming up. I spoke to someone in a shop down here over the phone and they recommended Motorola XPR 7350. I don't know how expensive they are ( my budget is $1000 for 3 radios)  nor do I know if it will be overkill for what we are trying to do. We would just like to communicate with each other, max distance would be about a mile but most of the time it will be a few hundred feet. They also need to be portable radios, not in car CBs. I was originally looking at Motorola RMU 2040's but she said that they would not be powerful enough. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:11:47 PM EDT
Just buy some walmart radios for $30 and call it a day.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:32:36 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By gcw:
Just buy some walmart radios for $30 and call it a day.
View Quote


This.

Don't overthink it.

Push button - talk - release button - listen.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:36:19 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Him:


This.

Don't overthink it.

Push button - talk - release button - listen.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Him:
Originally Posted By gcw:
Just buy some walmart radios for $30 and call it a day.


This.

Don't overthink it.

Push button - talk - release button - listen.



I appreciate it but how well will those last and are they good quality? I don't mind spending some coin on these because I'm going to be using them a lot in the next couple of years.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:54:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 3:30:07 PM EDT by PowerPointRanger]
Originally Posted By DCV_117:
...2 way radios ... for a road trip ...my budget is $1000 for 3 radios...max distance would be about a mile but most of the time it will be a few hundred feet.. They also need to be portable radios...
View Quote


Good data set. Appreciate your realistic budget and desire for quality hardware. Your problem at hand is twofold: you need to identify which radio service to use, and then, you need hardware to do the job.

Assumption 1: This road trip is for you and your immediate family.

First recommendation: Apply for a GMRS license through the FCC ASAP. This will cover your entire extended family, is dirt cheap, has decently quick turnaround, and lasts for 5 years. Use a PO box for your address. Then procure several surplus professional radios and supporting accessories. Think about external antennas for your vehicle(s), speaker mics, extra batteries, car chargers, AA battery clamshells, programming cables, etc. use google's site search function to find CJan_NH 's posts about his 100% squeaky clean legal GMRS setups. The Icoms he uses are still available used, can be programmed without undue difficulty, and have accessories readily available. With a license, you and your family are good to hit the road and have comms - just play nice with the other users and you're good.

Second recommendation: get spun up on how radio works in general. Consider blocking off some hours in your calendar and sitting down with the stickied threads at the top of this forum. Yes, they relate to amateur radio, by the time you're done reviewing it all you'll be well on your way to passing the Technician test. The equipment above? Compatible with the Amateur radio 70cm band. Boom, just doubled your usage for the $15 test fee. And opened the doors of knowledge about how all this works, so you can troubleshoot when things don't work out.

Let us know if you have questions.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:54:39 PM EDT
Your money, your choice.

I would still buy el cheapos.

What special stress are you going to subject them to?
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 2:57:18 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PowerPointRanger:


Good data set. Appreciate your realistic budget and desire for quality hardware. Your problem at hand is twofold: you need to identify which radio service to use, and then, you need hardware to do the job.

Assumption 1: This road trip is for you and your immediate family.

First recommendation: Apply for a GMRS license through the FCC ASAP. This will cover your entire extended family, is dirt cheap, has decently quick turnaround, and lasts for 10 years. Use a PO box for your address. Then procure several surplus professional radios and supporting accessories. Think about external antennas for your vehicle(s), speaker mics, extra batteries, car chargers, AA battery clamshells, programming cables, etc. use google's site search function to find CJan_NH 's posts about his 100% squeaky clean legal GMRS setups. The Icoms he uses are still available used, can be programmed without undue difficulty, and have accessories readily available. With a license, you and your family are good to hit the road and have comms - just play nice with the other users and you're good.

Second recommendation: get spun up on how radio works in general. Consider blocking off some hours in your calendar and sitting down with the stickied threads at the top of this forum. Yes, they relate to amateur radio, by the time you're done reviewing it all you'll be well on your way to passing the Technician test. The equipment above? Compatible with the Amateur radio 70cm band. Boom, just doubled your usage for the $15 test fee. And opened the doors of knowledge about how all this works, so you can troubleshoot when things don't work out.

Let us know if you have questions.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PowerPointRanger:
Originally Posted By DCV_117:
...2 way radios ... for a road trip ...my budget is $1000 for 3 radios...max distance would be about a mile but most of the time it will be a few hundred feet.. They also need to be portable radios...


Good data set. Appreciate your realistic budget and desire for quality hardware. Your problem at hand is twofold: you need to identify which radio service to use, and then, you need hardware to do the job.

Assumption 1: This road trip is for you and your immediate family.

First recommendation: Apply for a GMRS license through the FCC ASAP. This will cover your entire extended family, is dirt cheap, has decently quick turnaround, and lasts for 10 years. Use a PO box for your address. Then procure several surplus professional radios and supporting accessories. Think about external antennas for your vehicle(s), speaker mics, extra batteries, car chargers, AA battery clamshells, programming cables, etc. use google's site search function to find CJan_NH 's posts about his 100% squeaky clean legal GMRS setups. The Icoms he uses are still available used, can be programmed without undue difficulty, and have accessories readily available. With a license, you and your family are good to hit the road and have comms - just play nice with the other users and you're good.

Second recommendation: get spun up on how radio works in general. Consider blocking off some hours in your calendar and sitting down with the stickied threads at the top of this forum. Yes, they relate to amateur radio, by the time you're done reviewing it all you'll be well on your way to passing the Technician test. The equipment above? Compatible with the Amateur radio 70cm band. Boom, just doubled your usage for the $15 test fee. And opened the doors of knowledge about how all this works, so you can troubleshoot when things don't work out.

Let us know if you have questions.


+1 on this. Solid advice.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:04:37 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PowerPointRanger:


Good data set. Appreciate your realistic budget and desire for quality hardware. Your problem at hand is twofold: you need to identify which radio service to use, and then, you need hardware to do the job.

Assumption 1: This road trip is for you and your immediate family.

First recommendation: Apply for a GMRS license through the FCC ASAP. This will cover your entire extended family, is dirt cheap, has decently quick turnaround, and lasts for 10 years. Use a PO box for your address. Then procure several surplus professional radios and supporting accessories. Think about external antennas for your vehicle(s), speaker mics, extra batteries, car chargers, AA battery clamshells, programming cables, etc. use google's site search function to find CJan_NH 's posts about his 100% squeaky clean legal GMRS setups. The Icoms he uses are still available used, can be programmed without undue difficulty, and have accessories readily available. With a license, you and your family are good to hit the road and have comms - just play nice with the other users and you're good.

Second recommendation: get spun up on how radio works in general. Consider blocking off some hours in your calendar and sitting down with the stickied threads at the top of this forum. Yes, they relate to amateur radio, by the time you're done reviewing it all you'll be well on your way to passing the Technician test. The equipment above? Compatible with the Amateur radio 70cm band. Boom, just doubled your usage for the $15 test fee. And opened the doors of knowledge about how all this works, so you can troubleshoot when things don't work out.

Let us know if you have questions.
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PowerPointRanger:
Originally Posted By DCV_117:
...2 way radios ... for a road trip ...my budget is $1000 for 3 radios...max distance would be about a mile but most of the time it will be a few hundred feet.. They also need to be portable radios...


Good data set. Appreciate your realistic budget and desire for quality hardware. Your problem at hand is twofold: you need to identify which radio service to use, and then, you need hardware to do the job.

Assumption 1: This road trip is for you and your immediate family.

First recommendation: Apply for a GMRS license through the FCC ASAP. This will cover your entire extended family, is dirt cheap, has decently quick turnaround, and lasts for 10 years. Use a PO box for your address. Then procure several surplus professional radios and supporting accessories. Think about external antennas for your vehicle(s), speaker mics, extra batteries, car chargers, AA battery clamshells, programming cables, etc. use google's site search function to find CJan_NH 's posts about his 100% squeaky clean legal GMRS setups. The Icoms he uses are still available used, can be programmed without undue difficulty, and have accessories readily available. With a license, you and your family are good to hit the road and have comms - just play nice with the other users and you're good.

Second recommendation: get spun up on how radio works in general. Consider blocking off some hours in your calendar and sitting down with the stickied threads at the top of this forum. Yes, they relate to amateur radio, by the time you're done reviewing it all you'll be well on your way to passing the Technician test. The equipment above? Compatible with the Amateur radio 70cm band. Boom, just doubled your usage for the $15 test fee. And opened the doors of knowledge about how all this works, so you can troubleshoot when things don't work out.

Let us know if you have questions.


This may be more complicated than I originally intended. I wont need external antennas and what not. I am essentially looking for 2 way motorola radios to use as walkie talkies that aren't the cheap $30 kind. I know that companies use them on construction sites or do they have some kind of hub that they all communicate with? Sorry for asking so many questions I just have no idea what to look for. I will though take your advice and read some of the stickies. Thanks for everything thus far
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:04:57 PM EDT
PPR said it better then I could.

Is it just your family traveling or multiple families. Really GMRS is your best bet. $80 a license per family. I would add to what PPR said and recommend keeping a copy of the license in each car. Some states scanners and radio equipment is illegal in vehicles without licenses. There are even exceptions in most "hands free" laws that allow for licensed radio operation.

CJan_NH's post on his GMRS setup really is the go to for situations that are more then walmart radios, but below getting ham licenses.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:12:00 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By gcw:
PPR said it better then I could.

Is it just your family traveling or multiple families. Really GMRS is your best bet. $80 a license per family. I would add to what PPR said and recommend keeping a copy of the license in each car. Some states scanners and radio equipment is illegal in vehicles without licenses. There are even exceptions in most "hands free" laws that allow for licensed radio operation.

CJan_NH's post on his GMRS setup really is the go to for situations that are more then walmart radios, but below getting ham licenses.
View Quote



So I would need a GMRS licence to operate these hand held radios? Or is this some kind of radio network that I need to be subscribed to in order to use these things?
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:19:20 PM EDT
MURS is what you're looking for.  No license required.  A couple hundred feet should be trivial.  Lots of quality radios to choose from.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:26:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 3:29:48 PM EDT by PowerPointRanger]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By DCV_117:
So I would need a GMRS licence to operate these hand held radios?
View Quote


Yes, but it's cheap, easy, fast, and no test is required. Just give the FCC the small fee, print off copies for each vehicle in your party, and enjoy 100% legal comms.

https://www.fcc.gov/general/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs
http://wireless.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=online_filing
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:30:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 4:10:36 PM EDT by mancow]
Go buy some bendix king LPH portables, new batteries and chargers on eBay. Probably less than $100 if you shop a bit. Program them for 154.600, 154.570 MURS.

You will have ultra rugged units with long battery life and excellent receivers. They have ultra fast scan and priority, are keypad programmable and can easily be modded for 2 meter ham.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:33:02 PM EDT
I appreciate all of the feed back thus far, I'm thinking at this point this is my best bet but I will look into getting the license in case I change my mind. Does anyone have any experience with the Motorola RMM2050?

Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Beefington:
MURS is what you're looking for.  No license required.  A couple hundred feet should be trivial.  Lots of quality radios to choose from.
View Quote





Link Posted: 2/22/2016 3:40:37 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 3:42:52 PM EDT by Foxxz]
Another suggestion...

Motorola DTR650

900MHz. No license required. Digital transmission.


MURS is probably a better choice though.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 4:29:40 PM EDT
The only reason I don't like MURS is because you don't have a license to show. I was pulled over in Maryland for failure to use a hands free device while I was talking on my radio. I showed the cop my license and the microphone and he apologized and we went our separate way.

MURS will give you the capabilities you require, but UHF gear is much easier to find and most UHF gear is compatible with GMRS.

Foxxz also has a good suggestion. The plus with his idea is the church van next to you with their walmart radios can not listen or talk on your freqs (well they can but you won't hear them). Down side is you don't have a paper license to show and in city areas it can get bad coverage because there are a lot of devices that use those freqs.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 7:15:51 PM EDT
Originally Posted By DCV_117:
I'm in the market for some 2 way radios that I'll be needing for a road trip that is coming up. I spoke to someone in a shop down here over the phone and they recommended Motorola XPR 7350. I don't know how expensive they are ( my budget is $1000 for 3 radios)  nor do I know if it will be overkill for what we are trying to do. We would just like to communicate with each other, max distance would be about a mile but most of the time it will be a few hundred feet. They also need to be portable radios, not in car CBs. I was originally looking at Motorola RMU 2040's but she said that they would not be powerful enough. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
View Quote




holy crap!


no license?

FRS would work (that's your 30-50 buck radios)
GMRS would work (all would need to pony up to get a license but quite a bit of capability once you do - no test)
MURS would work as well - license free, decent range
or something like this

http://www.buytwowayradios.com/products/motorola/motorola-dlr-1020.aspx

or

http://www.buytwowayradios.com/products/motorola/motorola-dtr550.aspx


quite a few possibilities - all depends on exactly what capability you need
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 7:26:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 7:28:20 PM EDT by StayFrosty]
Look for some used cp200d's.

Just saw a set of 6 locally for $1200. If I wasn't poor at the moment I'd of jumped all over them.

Eta- I rented radios for 2 years before buying my own set of 6.  Look at b&c communications or bearcom.  I'd go b&c first.  Probably have other local to you rental companies too.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 8:22:34 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 8:27:34 PM EDT by Gamma762]
I know what I would do in your situation. You might need to do a teeny bit of research and get a little help here.

Buy three low cost Chinese LMR radios and program them for the MURS frequencies. If you're so inclined, get a GMRS license and put those frequencies in also.

I'd suggest this model as a more simplified radio than the ones the amateur radio folks usually buy:
http://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-UV-6-VHF-136-174MHz-Professional/dp/B00E4KCDAW
You will also need to get a programming cable and program the radios via a computer with the correct frequency information. DO NOT use the factory test frequencies that might be present.

Using either the no-license MURS frequencies or licensed GMRS will give you notably better performance over the typical retail FRS radios. Beats your budget by a factor of ten, buy an AR or a new carry pistol or something with the rest  Spending a grand on radios for the application you describe is ridiculous.

Inside car HT to inside car HT will quite possibly get a little sketchy at a mile depending on terrain, that's just physics, no radio model or extra dollars will change that. External antennas, even just a minimal magnet mount antenna would however help a lot.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 10:21:26 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/22/2016 10:22:25 PM EDT by DanishM1Garand]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Beefington:
MURS is what you're looking for.  No license required.  A couple hundred feet should be trivial.  Lots of quality radios to choose from.
View Quote

MURS  works well.  I've used it for a road trip with others who are not Hams.  The propagation is similar to 2m ham and we talked for several miles in a city.
Link Posted: 2/22/2016 10:40:32 PM EDT
Quality radios operate on licensed services. Plain and simple.

Each band has it's own pluses and minuses.

Are you looking for family use?

Are you looking for use by a multitude of users?

How you answer these questions really dictates how you need to proceed.

There are tons of surplus (used) radios available. For some, the programming software may or may not be easily obtainable. The Motorola XPR 7000 line is Motorola's latest and greatest generation of DMR (MOTOTRBO) digital radios for land mobile (LMR, commercial) use. The XPR3000 series and SL300/7000 series are their more budget friendly versions (though a SL300 still runs about $450 new).

There other companies to look into as well. Personally, I'd avoid the Chinese radio manufacturers. Reason being, no US based support, they are literally disposable radios. I'd go with new radios (that won't cost and arm and a leg) such as the Tecnet, Bridgecom, and analog only options from Kenwood. Tecnet makes a submersible IP67 rated radio for under $150....just saying.
Link Posted: 2/24/2016 9:42:06 AM EDT
I'm going to recommend the MURS freq's as well.
Look at some of the motorola HT-1000 series radios.
These are available fairly inexpensively used by LEO, EMS, FD..etc.
They're tough as nails and a great rig.
I got 2 of the 16 channel, VHF units from e-bay with speaker mics & new batteries for a couple hundred.
They need to be programmed by a radio shop with specific software..
In "my" case... I had the following programmed into the rigs
4 local ham repeaters 2 ham simplex freqs.
all 5 MURS freqs.
and 5 VHF marine freqs.
The XYL & I both are extra class hams but the grand kids aren't
Some of the guys I work with don't have licenses so the MURS covers that as well.
We go boating in the coastal waters here in eastern Maine, hence, the marine freqs.
At 5 watts we can consistently reach a mile in the forests and more from hilltops.
On open water 6-10 miles is doable.
This is just with the installed antennas. An external roof mount would significantly increase the range..
Best luck with your search.. Get a ham license and join us on the airwaves...
..FN..
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 10:21:54 AM EDT
How about a possibly better quality FRS radio than what is sold at Walmart.

Alinco DJ-FX45 UHF FRS Transceiver  $40

http://www.dxengineering.com/search/brand/alinco/product-line/alinco-dj-fx45-uhf-frs-transceivers?autoview=SKU&sortby=Default&sortorder=Ascending



Haven't seen this radio.

Possible pros:
Higher quality than bubble pack radios
legal to use (no license required)
Inexpensive (relative to non-Chinese radios)

Possible cons:
Cost more than bubble pack radios
No AA or AAA battery case
Non removable antenna so no external antenna possible per FCC regulations
May not be any better than bubble pack radios

I considered giving these radios a try but not having a AA or AAA battery pack nixed that idea.

I would think bubble pack FRS radios would work just fine for your purpose.

You can get three Motorola MD200TPR at Walmart for $54
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 12:43:42 PM EDT
I recently setup a GMRS Repeater for the wife and I, went the used radio route, scoring some motorola Astro Sabers, also was able to get software to program them, as well as all the other radios, mobile, control, repeater.

Portable to portable is 1-2 miles in a car, mobile to mobile is 5 miles, repeater out is 10-20 miles.

Like others you need to decide what your eventual goal is, ours was AO coverage via mobile and portable. I hooked up with a local shop that knows GMRS, MURS, commercial, Public Safety as well as HAM. Turns out he has warehouses full of used VHF-Lo/Hi, UHF and 800 meg stuff, all priced for pennies, actually going to help move it online and score some additional gear for myself.

Ask around locally, you may be surprised, and GMRS is not a bad service to use.
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 1:05:02 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By ASRM:
I recently setup a GMRS Repeater for the wife and I, went the used radio route, scoring some motorola Astro Sabers, also was able to get software to program them, as well as all the other radios, mobile, control, repeater.

Portable to portable is 1-2 miles in a car, mobile to mobile is 5 miles, repeater out is 10-20 miles.

Like others you need to decide what your eventual goal is, ours was AO coverage via mobile and portable. I hooked up with a local shop that knows GMRS, MURS, commercial, Public Safety as well as HAM. Turns out he has warehouses full of used VHF-Lo/Hi, UHF and 800 meg stuff, all priced for pennies, actually going to help move it online and score some additional gear for myself.

Ask around locally, you may be surprised, and GMRS is not a bad service to use.
View Quote


we expect the hook-up bruh (radio stuff, not wife pics)
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 1:24:11 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:


we expect the hook-up bruh (radio stuff, not wife pics)
View Quote View All Quotes
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
Originally Posted By ASRM:
I recently setup a GMRS Repeater for the wife and I, went the used radio route, scoring some motorola Astro Sabers, also was able to get software to program them, as well as all the other radios, mobile, control, repeater.

Portable to portable is 1-2 miles in a car, mobile to mobile is 5 miles, repeater out is 10-20 miles.

Like others you need to decide what your eventual goal is, ours was AO coverage via mobile and portable. I hooked up with a local shop that knows GMRS, MURS, commercial, Public Safety as well as HAM. Turns out he has warehouses full of used VHF-Lo/Hi, UHF and 800 meg stuff, all priced for pennies, actually going to help move it online and score some additional gear for myself.

Ask around locally, you may be surprised, and GMRS is not a bad service to use.


we expect the hook-up bruh (radio stuff, not wife pics)


Wife would shoot me if I posted her pics, OPSEC and all

But the radio thread is here

Also big thanks to Zap, he was tremendous on helping me once I was up and running on tips and pointers to software.
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