2-Way Radios, Which one should I buy?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Brian Mansure, Oct 11, 2001.

  1. Brian Mansure

    Brian Mansure Second Unit

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2000
    Messages:
    460
    Likes Received:
    0
    Does anybody have experience with FRS 2-Way radios?
    Do the FRS type actually get a full 2 mile range?
    I was looking into getting the 2-way service on a cell phone I was going to purchase but for the cost and usage, it may just be cheaper to buy a good pair of 2-way radios.
    I'm one of those people that still don't own a cell phone. My buddy and his wife use the 2-way radio feature on their cell phones and I really like "instant" communication that they have.
    Most likely the 2-way radios would be used on road trips (communication between cars), staying in touch with our kids when they're in the neighborhood and possibly even keeping in contact with my wife at work (we work in different buildings but on the same city block).
    Can anyone help educate me a little more on the pros/cons of buying a pair of 2-Way radios instead of getting a cell phone with that feature installed?
    I appreciate any help.
    Brian
    [Edited last by Brian Mansure on October 11, 2001 at 09:30 AM]
     
  2. Dave Hahn

    Dave Hahn Second Unit

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 1999
    Messages:
    354
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    Dave Hahn
    I use two Motorola FR50's all the time. My fly-fishing partner and I use them when we separate on a stream. I also use them with a group of friends when we go skiing. I would strongly suggest buying one of the Motorola models. I dropped one of mine into a clear, cold, New Hampshire trout stream and after it dried out, it was as good as new. I've heard many similar stories about the Motorolas. You don't need their newest model, but try to get one that does the original 14 channels and the side-channels, which brings the total to 38, or something like that. If you use these in a crowded place like a ski area, country fair, the beach, etc, you will want to use a side-channel with no one else on it.
    Try Yahoo shopping to find the best price, although places like Circuit City and Best Buy often have these as loss leaders in their weekly circulars.
    ------------------
    "When you call me that, smile!"
    My DVD Collection
     
  3. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2000
    Messages:
    1,875
    Likes Received:
    0
    I don't know much about the two way radio feature on cellphones, but I thought they had more range than the FRS radios?
    Anyway, I have a pair of FRS radios (Audiovox FR1438-2, I got two of 'em with rechargable batteries and a charging cradle that holds both radios at once) for $80. More info here. They're not as strong and durable as most FRS radios, but the lack of armor makes them quite small and very light. Just don't drop them in a river, I don't think they'd survive.
    I love these radios. The batteries will literally power the things for days, and they're standard rechargable AAA's. That's a nice "feature", because if you're away from your charger and need new batteries you can pop any old AAA's into them. Most rechargable units have their own proprietary battery packs, so once it dies, you're out of luck unless you buy extras at insane prices.
    ------------------
    -Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
     
  4. Scott Dautel

    Scott Dautel Second Unit

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 1998
    Messages:
    471
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hey Brian:
    You're in luck ... www.buy.com has a Motorola 2-pak FR50 FRS Radios on their "price mistake of the day" today at $50 with free ground shipping. These are the 14 channel units that use 3 AAA batteries.
    heres the link --> Motorola FR50 2-PAK at buy.com
    Scott
     
  5. Colin Davidson

    Colin Davidson Second Unit
    Supporter

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 1999
    Messages:
    403
    Likes Received:
    30
    We use Motorola FR60's at work for our Helpdesk team. They work great in the building even through 6 floors of concrete. I would definately recommend the Motorola's. BTW they are also great for setting up satellite receivers, one on the roof and one in front of the TV. It was a lifesaver.
    ------------------
    Regards
    Colin "Dangerous" Davidson
     
  6. Peter Yee

    Peter Yee Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1998
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    I doubt you'll get the full 2 miles. That would require ideal conditions, perfect alignment, act of God, etc.
    The downside to getting cellphone service with the two-way feature is that as far as I know, only Nextel offers this capability. And at least here (San Francisco Bay Area) and near Baltimore, the coverage is uneven to put it politely. Nextel service is nowhere near as wide as other providers, so you really have to decide if that one feature is enough to cause you to put up with crappy cellular service.
    -Peter
    ------------------
     
  7. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    Chuck is reviving this thread b/c he's very interested in FRS 2-way radios. So what's the latest best pair of walkie talkies out there? I work at a golf course on grounds crew, and I'm borrowing my friend's Cobra 14-ch radios (basic model). We haven't been able to give em a good long-range test yet, but so far, I love these things!

    I'm looking for:

    -durability

    -ease of use

    -rechargable batteries/dock

    -clear reception/range
     
  8. Peter Yee

    Peter Yee Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1998
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Have you considered getting an FCC license (no test, just a fee) and using a GMRS radio? These radios are similar to FRS (and overlap on some frequencies). They put out quite a bit more power than FRS and so they can sold as having a 5 mile range by the marketing flacks. Maybe you could get two miles out of one of those.

    -Peter
     
  9. Chuck C

    Chuck C Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2001
    Messages:
    2,224
    Likes Received:
    1
    I dunno, Peter, I'm just a punk kid who wants to have fun. Also, I'm living in a house with a bunch of amigos down in college this fall, and we're gonna have parties..wild parties. Wouldn't it be great if us roommates were able to keep in touch with each other in case we caught someone stealing or saw a pretty girl? [​IMG]
    How much is the FCC fee?
     
  10. Peter Yee

    Peter Yee Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 1998
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    The fee is $85, good for five years. This covers you and your immediate family. Your roommates would need to get their own licenses. Of course, for punk kids, the fees go up, so make sure you do not check the "punk kids" box on the application form. [​IMG]
    -Peter
     

Share This Page