Looking for a good Emergency 2 way radio

Looking for a good Emergency 2 way radio

This is a discussion on Looking for a good Emergency 2 way radio within the Related Gear & Equipment forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; A group of us would like to have some really good radios for when we go hiking, hunting, skiing, and I guess potentially SHTF. We ...

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  1. #1
    Member Array Lanner's Avatar
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    Looking for a good Emergency 2 way radio

    A group of us would like to have some really good radios for when we go hiking, hunting, skiing, and I guess potentially SHTF.

    We currently have some Midland GXT Xtratalk 2/$50 radios and they do okay but they aren't exactly what we are looking for.

    One, although they pick up the NOAA channels, they don't pick up the marine traffic channels and we live in a heavy marine area so that would be nice. Two, in heavy wooded areas they die at about 400 yards.

    Now I don't know a whole lot about radios, and maybe we cant do much better than that for our price range but I thought maybe some of you might have some ideas. We would be willing to spend up to about $100 a radio. If it was $150 that made it really reach a lot longer we could do it.

    But the only radios I have really seen that would hit much longer ranges all seem to be vastly more expensive. Any thoughts?


  2. #2
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    Array poppy37's Avatar
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    shortwave and a repeater might be an option also if your associated the PD?FD or you might look into public service radios.

  3. #3
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    There are a few ways to go here.

    Without some form of licensure, you're limited to CB and FRS (Family Radio Service) gear. On FRS, you are limited to 1/2 watt of power at the input to the antenna, and are limited to the built in antenna on the radio.

    GMRS, or General Mobile Radio Service shares some frequencies with FRS, but you are permitted up to 5 watts of output. GMRS is a licensed service, but the licensure requirements are not difficult. Basically, you submit a form and an $85 fee for a 5 year license (which can be shared by immediate family members). The Midland GXT X-Tra Talk radios are actually GMRS radios, which require a license to operate on their high power setting.

    Amateur radio licenses are the next step up. You cannot use amateur (aka ham) radio for any commercial purpose. However, you can literally do anything with the appropriate amateur license. From down the block to around the world. Where GMRS is limited to a fre frequencies and 5 watts, amateur stations may operate on a wide spectrum of frequencies and output up to 2,000 watts of power.

    The downside to an amateur license is that you must pass a test on basic radio theory and operating practices. It's not difficult for the entry level license, and you can pick up study guides which have the actual questions from the test pool.

    In most places, you will find alot of amateur repeaters, which can allow your handheld radio to communicate over many miles. Some repeaters are connected to the internet now, and can literally allow a handheld to talk to another handheld thousands of miles away.

    Matt
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Array Moga's Avatar
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    First, get a tech license, then pick up a couple of Yaesu FT60 handhelds. Add to that a roll-up N9TAX jpole to your bag. Finally, get the double-A spare battery pack for your FT60. You'll have a very small comm package that can be used for P2P communication, monitor weather, aircraft, marine, public safety channels, or to get a message out a few miles to a dozen or more.
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  5. #5
    mkh
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    Distinguished Member Array mkh's Avatar
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    Google for "Murs" which is for the multi use radio service. No license required.

    I purchased them for my church security team members.

  6. #6
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    Array MattInFla's Avatar
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    MURS is limited to 2 watts, on VHF. Repeaters are not permitted on the MURS channels.

    Matt
    Battle Plan (n) - a list of things that aren't going to happen if you are attacked.
    Blame it on Sixto - now that is a viable plan.

  7. #7
    VIP Member Array mcp1810's Avatar
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    On GMRS you can actually have mobile units with up to fifty watts and repeaters are allowed. Family members can use as long as one has a personal license. I don't recall the requirements but the F.C.C. section does mention business licenses and possibly some type of club or organizational license. With the narrow band mandate being implemented on most commercial type users in the near future there will be a bunch of wide band radios hitting the market that work fine but do not meet the new requirements. GMRS is not included in the narrow banding. I myself have some Motorola Genesis portables I am quite happy with. I even have a convertacom unit with a power amp in my truck so when I am on the road I am putting out 35+ watts. Also, with a "real" GMRS radio you can improve your antenna. The blister pack radios, since they include FRS exclusive frequencies come with fixed antennas.

    I also have my amatuer (technician) license and have a nice little dual band portable. It is a Wouxun KG-UVD1P. They are fairly new to the market and about half the price of a Kenwood or a Yaesu, It is F.C.C. accepted and they now have retailers in the U.S. that also provide warranty support. They also have a mobile unit that is waiting for F.C.C. approval before they can market it.

    Part of your issue is that FRS/GMRS are UHF and marine radios are VHF. I have only seen on model that incorporates both GMRS and marine channels. I think it was by Midland but I could be wrong. It is a full power unit and I think they are about $150 each.
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