Just another update here. I know it has been a while but I've been busy.
A friend and I went around town and did some tests. We brought with us 4 different types of radios:
- a handheld CB radio with rubber duck antenna
- a GMRS radio rated at "26 miles range"
- a GRMS radio rated at "36 miles range"
- a 2-watt handheld amateur radio
The most interesting test was from the top of two parking garages. I went to downtown Ft.Worth which itself is up on a hill and I drove to the top of the tallest parking garage I could find. My friend was at the top of a parking garage almost 14 miles away (line of sight) at a hospital. The CB did not work. The low-end GMRS radio did not work. The high-end GMRS radio did actually work, but it was very hard to make out what we were saying on it. The 2-watt amateur radio was pretty clear. THere was some background static, but everything said was perfectly audible and understandable.
The interesting thing is that the little amateur radio actually costs less money and is smaller in size than the high end GMRS radio I bought at Wal-Mart. Not only that but it is a dual band and will work in the GMRS band as well as MURS and HAM bands.
We took some video, I'm going to be putting together a youtube video this week showing the experiments. We also tried several other areas around town that were much closer together. Depending on geography the most we were able to get out of just about any of the radios was about a mile when there was a hill between us.