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Low Power Analog Two Way Radios A Survival Asset

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posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 11:48 AM
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I was monitoring the local two-way repeater when I caught the ARRL (American Radio Relay League) Weekly News Broadcast for last Friday. They reported on a couple missing children in Idaho that were found by the local HAM radio club. they were able to locate the kids because they were out playing with a couple FRS hand held two way radios. Those operate at a half a watt with a short little antenna, you'd be lucky to get a mile communications distance at best with a 1/4 mile about average.

Here is an online report on this story.


Late on the afternoon of September 16, the police department in Post Falls, Idaho, received a 911 call that two juveniles — ages 9 and 11 — were missing from a Post Falls residence for about an hour. According to the report, the pair had left home intending to play in the neighborhood with some Family Radio Service (FRS) radios.



Checking into the net at about 6:45 PM, Uhrig explained the missing persons situation to net control station Shannon Riley, KJ7MUA, and asked if net participants in the Post Falls area with FRS capability could listen for the youngsters talking.



Not long after 7 PM, Jim Hager, KJ7OTD, reported hearing children talking on FRS Channel 1. Uhrig went to Hager’s home to confirm his observation, and the patrol units were redirected to the new search vicinity. A short time later, the missing pair was found safe and returned home. Uhrig said the most remarkable thing about the incident was that the missing youngsters were some distance from the original search area, and in the opposite direction from where it was expected they might have been headed.


Link to Report

The lesson here is any communications device, even those FRS low wattage handheld two ways can be used in an emergency survival situation. The other license free radios have even higher wattage and better antennas. It's good to have some kind of back up over the mobile phones.




posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 11:56 AM
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I'm a fan of my boafeng uv5rmk5, cheap, works well, good range. I use it to communicate on the marine band to ships at work. It even has FM receiver and a flashlight lol. Not the most heavy duty, (wouldn't want to drop it or knock it around a lot.

But for 40 bucks it's great.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 11:58 AM
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originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
The lesson here is any communications device, even those FRS low wattage handheld two ways can be used in an emergency survival situation. The other license free radios have even higher wattage and better antennas. It's good to have some kind of back up over the mobile phones.


Besides being great in an emergency you can potentially also use them during a debate.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 12:03 PM
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originally posted by: AugustusMasonicus

originally posted by: MichiganSwampBuck
The lesson here is any communications device, even those FRS low wattage handheld two ways can be used in an emergency survival situation. The other license free radios have even higher wattage and better antennas. It's good to have some kind of back up over the mobile phones.


Besides being great in an emergency you can potentially also use them during a debate.


They have smaller ones that operate over the WiFi frequencies that have extremely short range. Got a pair at the dollar store for the grand kid, even Joe could operate it, it's great for that kind of thing.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 01:07 PM
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what is the range in miles on something like that, on average? say on flat ground

a reply to: caterpillage



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 01:20 PM
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a reply to: chris_stibrany


Those operate at a half a watt with a short little antenna, you'd be lucky to get a mile communications distance at best with a 1/4 mile about average.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 01:53 PM
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There's a reason I kept my old analog CB base station and a mobile unit from the 70s. I can fabricate an antenna for either and have a way to communicate on battery power for both if SHTF.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 02:51 PM
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originally posted by: chris_stibrany
what is the range in miles on something like that, on average? say on flat ground

a reply to: caterpillage



The boafeng I listed is 8 watt. On flat ground maybe 10 miles? Its actually overpowered for FRS. It's a portable HAM radio.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 03:14 PM
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that's what I was asking about, not the OP's gear, thank you.

That's not bad at all.

a reply to: caterpillage



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 03:14 PM
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a reply to: AugustusMasonicus

I appreciate the input but I was not asking about the OP's gear.



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 06:52 PM
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With the FRS (Family Radio Service) frequencies (UHF) you can use all 14 channels unlicensed at a 1/2 a watt. If you have a license good for GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), you can transmit on the first 7 FRS frequencies at 35 watts.

WiFi has a limit of one watt unlicensed and is best for digital signals (of course).

MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) frequencies (VHF) you can transmit 2 watts unlicensed. Those two watts do pretty good on VHF, better than it would on UHF at that level. You also get to use bigger antennas on MURS than with FRS (that are fixed to the unit).

CB (Citizen's Band) frequencies (HF) allows for 4 watts AM or 8 watts SSB (Single Side Band). You can legally put the antenna up higher for CBs than the others (in most cases). Unless your causing extreme interference on any of these frequencies, I don't think that going over the legal power limit will get the FCC's attention.

ETA: A good rule of thumb for handheld two-ways is each watt, under the best conditions out in the open, is a range of about a mile, with each additional watt adding another mile (more or less).
edit on 1-10-2020 by MichiganSwampBuck because: Added extra comments



posted on Oct, 1 2020 @ 08:39 PM
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a reply to: MichiganSwampBuck

I’m am super amateur when it comes to my HAM radio. What frequencies are FRS, MURS, and CB on a HAM radio.



posted on Oct, 2 2020 @ 06:46 AM
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a reply to: MrEnergy

Here you go . . .

Radio Spectrum



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