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Any 2-way Radios You'd Recommend???


ghOzt
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I geocache as part of a small team. Way too many occasions have come up where easy communication among team members who tend to get separated would have been nice. It’s time to invest in a pair of 2-way radios (should’ve bought the Rhinos, I guess). Does anyone out there have any recommendations? Is FRS enough, or should we be looking at GMRS? What brand(s) is/are the most reputable? We’re leaning towards the Motorola that is an FRS/GMRS radio with a built-in NOAA weather radio that runs for about $70 a pair (model T5950). Any advice? Thanks!

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We’re leaning towards the Motorola that is an FRS/GMRS radio with a built-in NOAA weather radio that runs for about $70 a pair (model T5950). Any advice? Thanks!

I bought myself a set of those for Christmas and am very happy with them. The NOAA stations are a BIG plus.

 

Bret

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We’re leaning towards the Motorola that is an FRS/GMRS radio with a built-in NOAA weather radio that runs for about $70 a pair (model T5950). Any advice? Thanks!

I bought myself a set of those for Christmas and am very happy with them. The NOAA stations are a BIG plus.

 

Bret

Same ones i got. Very nice units. Got them from Sam's club, came with rechargable batteries and charger too. Less than $70.

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Whether you need GMRS or FRS is enough will depend on just how "seperated" you tend to get. We have no trouble staying in touch within a mile or so in open to mildly obstructed, mostly level country (houses, trees, etc) with only FRS. Having said that - if money isn't too tight, it's worth having GMRS just in case you need a little extra boost. Just make sure the units you get actually give you higher wattage under GMRS. You can always stay on the FRS channels and save your batteries.

 

The Motorola units that you are considering are excellent. I have earlier versions of the same. I think Motorola still does the FRS radios better than anyone else.

 

Also - be aware that some brands use different privacy codes than others. Just FYI, the Motorola codes also match the Garmin Rino codes perfectly (or is it vice-versa?).

 

-ST

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Just so that I get this right... You only need a license if you are USING the GMRS band, not simply owning a GMRS radio, right? In other words, I won't need to get a license if I find that the FRS is good enough for our purposes, even though the T5950 has GMRS capabilities??

 

Thanks! I think I'll run to Sam's Club soon!

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Yes you need a license for GMRS, but really, operating without one is a fairly common "crime" if you want to call it that.

 

You're best off getting the GMRS license, but I know lots of people, (not including myself) who use GMRS frequencies whenever they want, they don't care...

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Your team members will change over time. I would recommend getting a radio that most people would buy so that everyone is compatable. I would recommend any Motorola model.

 

If you are searching for the same cache than you will be close enough to each other that a 2 mile radio should work fine. If you are going to get a more powerful radio just make sure it is compatable with the less powerful of the same brand.

 

I sold electronic equipment for years. I would not recommend getting anything made by Cobra. I know I'll get some flame for that from the two people in the world who bought them and won't change however, I would recommend staying away from them. IMO they don't transmit very far, or clear and are not compatable with Motorola.

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Your team members will change over time. I would recommend getting a radio that most people would buy so that everyone is compatable. I would recommend any Motorola model.

 

If you are searching for the same cache than you will be close enough to each other that a 2 mile radio should work fine. If you are going to get a more powerful radio just make sure it is compatable with the less powerful of the same brand.

 

I sold electronic equipment for years. I would not recommend getting anything made by Cobra. I know I'll get some flame for that from the two people in the world who bought them and won't change however, I would recommend staying away from them. IMO they don't transmit very far, or clear and are not compatable with Motorola.

Channel 2 (no privacy code), the accepted channel of Geocachers, is channel 2 on Cobra radios or any other, compatibility with other FRS or GMRS radios is a non-issue.

 

That said, you can't go wrong buying the Motorola radios, and I agree Cobras suck.

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<_< Look for a pair of Cobra or Motorolla FRS's for around $25 - $30. My local Radio Shack had a pair of Motorolla's for $30 including the charger and rechargeable batteries. Personally, I have two Cobra's and I'm very pleased with them. Just need to keep them dry. Dropped one in a lake last year while on a camping trip. Lucky I dropped it right close to shore. Anyway, I Opened it up, and let it air dry. Three days later it was good to go.
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Channel 2 (no privacy code), the accepted channel of Geocachers, is channel 2 on Cobra radios or any other, compatibility with other FRS or GMRS radios is a non-issue.

Do we really have an agreed upon channel or did you make that up? If its true, how did we come up with it? Markwell please. I guess it might be like the hand on chin thing

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I sold electronic equipment for years. I would not recommend getting anything made by Cobra. I know I'll get some flame for that from the two people in the world who bought them and won't change however, I would recommend staying away from them. IMO they don't transmit very far, or clear and are not compatable with Motorola.

 

Ok, I'll bite. I'm a cobra user. Can you please explain to me how they are not compatible with Motorola ? Cobra and Motorola both use exactly the same frequencies for the 14 channels and they both use exactly the same frequencies for the 38 ctcss codes.

 

I have many friends with Cobra and Motorola radios. They are very comparable in terms of range and sound quality. I would decide based on features and price rather than somebody's unsupported opinion.

 

Also, I would check out this review

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Do we really have an agreed upon channel or did you make that up? If its true, how did we come up with it? Markwell please. I guess it might be like the hand on chin thing

 

This might be where it all started.

 

I think it was Cache Canucks that first came up with this graphic:

 

4525_1500.jpg

 

I played around with it and gave it colors that matched my website better and came up with this:

 

frs2.jpg

 

It might be something you'd want to use on an event page.

 

Bret

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We just bout a pair of Motorola T5700 radios at our local target for $48, they are the 5 mile ones, FRS/GMRS with privacy codes, backlit screen, and Channel scan.

 

They take 3 AA batteries but have the option to upgrade to a rechargable battery and a charging base.

 

we haven't done any long distance testing yet, but while in scanning mode, But I can tell you what a lot of kids in the neighborhood got for Christmas... (FRS Radios!)

 

I will say that the Motorola's seem to be way better put together (Sturdier) than the other models we looked at.

 

Good Luck!

 

Ohgr

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We use a pair of Rino 110's in combination with 2 x Midland G-300M's the rinos arent bad for transmission and reception, although at 1 watt its not a lot of power. The Midland units are capable of 3 watts so should we get a little more distance between us than what the rino's are capable of, we jump back to the Midland units.

 

Lnk3d - Administrator - Get Lost (in) Nebraska

http://www.getlostne.us

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Our RINO 110s do the job very well (we also have Midland, Uniden, and Motorola units for use by friends that don't use the RINOs). Not a lot of difference in the performance among them. Whether FRS or GMRS...it's the antenna design that really limits range/reception on this type of radio -- under ideal conditions you'll come close to the advertised range, but there's not an abundance of ideal conditions out there. A previous poster mentioned the $75.00 GMRS fee...keep in mind that is for 5 years, and covers all users in your immediate family....that said, I don't think you'll find much difference in performance between FRS and GMRS. YMMV

Regards,

Bill

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I recommend the Kenwood Model UBZ-LF14. The are very dependable and the batteries last for a long time. Also very compact. I would not recommend the Motorolas because they make a funny sound every time you talk or someone is talking to you. You get othe peoples attention when you use them. VERY ANNOYING! THe Kenwoods are descreet and quiet! :huh:

Edited by cederkc
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