View Full Version : Radios

02-29-2004, 11:29 PM
I have searched the forums but have not yet pinpointed what i'm looking fore. I want to find a non-Motorola FRS radio with the more powerful 5 mile range. Also i am looking for a good (and cheap) boom mic. My total budget for these items is about 40 or 50 bucks. I remember a long time ago (last year i believe) some one had a radio guide that mentioned a specific radion and headset but i can no longer find it. Any ideas? I have looked around on websites (local stores like Bestbuy) but i can't seem to find what i'm looking for.

02-29-2004, 11:46 PM
I don't see how you're going to get that kind of range with an FRS. Further, I would say that most FRS radios don't get the kind of range they brag of unless you're standing on top of a hill in the middle of open, tree-less plains. UHF is blocked by darn near anything. Everything about FRS radios is made to limit their performance, from their 0.5W power level restriction, to their un-modifiable itty-bitty antennas.

If you want anything even approaching that range, you're almost certainly going to have to get a GMRS radio and do the FCC license thing.

If you've got an aversion to motorola gear for some reason, ICOM makes nice GMRS radios, among others. I like my used Motorola gear, however. It's almost 5 years old, but the engineering is top-notch and performance can be tuned to be nothing short of amazing, not to mention that the stuff is incredibly rugged.

03-01-2004, 07:29 AM
Even though I upgraded to a radio with higher power output, I still stand by the performance of the Kenwood FRS radio I used previously. Always transmitted and received comms clearly, whereas many other standard FRS radios cut in and out. {shrug}

For the price range Sam is seeking, I doubt he's going to find too much that will meet his criteria.

03-01-2004, 08:13 PM
i didn't realize the 5 mile range was only GMRS, 2 miles is fine for me then. But yeah i'll look into the kenwood ones. I went to bestbuy and target today and found nothing of interest. Kinda sad that this is hard for me to do. Any links to places where i can purchase a cheap ear bud headset would be appreciated. Thanks for your help and all the info guys.

03-01-2004, 08:27 PM
The only problem with the Kenwoods that I found is that there aren't as many accessories readily availabe due to an unique plug they use.

There are lot of sites out there that sell lower-priced headset accessories. You can try this one for example: http://www.rahq.com/index.html

03-02-2004, 09:34 PM
One thing i have noticed is that 90% of the FRS radios i see come in pairs. I checked e-bay and the pickings are slim. It's kind of sad that this is giving me so much trouble. Last year i think Jay had a radio purchasing guide that i followed to the dot and got exactly what i wanted for only 40 bucks (radio and headset). I guess they don't make that model anymore though. Oh well i guess i'm going to be stuck with a Motorola, damn these people and selling things in pairs. If i could i would buy socks in singles, so why not FRS radios?

03-02-2004, 09:52 PM
I'm curious to know why you are unwilling to purchase a Motorola radio. The only time I had issues with mine was when it got wet in the rain.

03-02-2004, 10:29 PM
Last year i think Jay had a radio purchasing guide that i followed to the dot and got exactly what i wanted for only 40 bucks (radio and headset). I guess they don't make that model anymore though. Kudos to Jay for the effort, but BellSouth radios suck. It was a chore to listen to his transmissions, if you could hear them at all. However, Bear's ICOM works nicely, so perhaps Jay can take a lesson from him. :)

No offense Jay, just stating my experience.

03-02-2004, 11:08 PM
Originally posted by AustinWolv
BellSouth radios suck

I concur, Milkman and i split a pair of Bellsouth radios and they SUCK. The transmissions are horrible, and you can't understand anything anybody is saying.

About the only thing those radios are good for is imitating sounds from Half Life. i.e "KSHHHHH SQUAD...KILL FREEMAN" (If you played Half Life you might know what i am talking about.) :)

03-03-2004, 04:41 PM
Or you could ask me about the Icom radios. I currently own 4 Icom IC-F4GS-2 radios. These are a newer model than the IC-F4S-4 that Bear has. They are small, lightweight, powerful, and the accessories for them are numerous.

The radio is about 2.5" wide, by 1 3/4" deep, by 5 " tall. Has a Metal chasis and it puts out 4 watts. 1 watt less than the Motorola Saber that Katana was talking about. Alot of power without the size or weight of a full size saber. It doesn't have a stubby antenna either, so they range is definitely there. These radios are GMRS, however, they can be programmed to any frequency between 440mhz- 470mhz, which includes GMRS and FRS. Depending on which one you get, the can have either 40 channels or 100 channels. The buttons on them are programmable as well.

Headsets for them cost anywhere between $15 and $150. With the highend being extremely rare. I bought my headset with accoustic audio tube for $25 new from Ebay. Works great. The radio goes for anywhere between $70-$130. The latter price was with rapid charger. Or you can get a AA battery pack for $16. All of the radios that I have gotten were from Ebay. They are used but not abused. New, these radios cost ~$324, without charger. Just goto ebay and type in Icom. Search the lists. Either of the 2 radios listed above will do you just fine. The F4GS radio though is smaller and has 1 more programmable button than the F4S-4.

THese radios have to be programmed by an authorized Icom dealer. Cost is usually around $25 and takes them anywhere between 3-5 days to get it back to you. If you tell me ahead of time, I can bring my laptop and program it for you for just a measily $10. Takes about 10 min. Email me at cflores@satx.rr.com if you need any more info on these radios.

03-04-2004, 11:07 PM
How much are you making in commissions again alloy? Hehe just messin with you. Yeah sounds good but a little pricey. I think i'm gonna just get a cheap motorola. The reason i dislike them is i had 2 very bad experiences which turned me off the brand but i'm willing to give them another try. I was camping once with family and we all had motorolas and, with a fresh set of batteries in every radio, mine decided to just not work half way throught he trip. Luckily i was running around in the woods at the time and got totally lost! I was only 11 but still being lost for almost 24 hours when your young is a fairly traumatic experience. However it was pretty neet using all my survival skills (built a lean to, made some food, madea fire). I guess i'm just a little paranoid, any recommendations on Motorolas and cheap ($20?) headsets for them?

03-04-2004, 11:50 PM
Sam, The Talkabout seems to be a popular Motorola. I use one myself, in my opinion they are very good for what you pay. However, I am not sure about head sets as I do not yet have one. There is a jack for you to connect one to though. You may want to check out Circuit City, thats where I got my radio. They probably have headsets there as well.