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Buy Two Way Radios

  • Do You Need A Business Two Way Radio?

    Construction WorkerWe frequently get questions from business customers asking if they really need to buy a "business" two way radio. Business radios are generally much more expensive than consumer radios and the features are often very similar, so it is easy to see why this can be confusing. In this post I'll try to explain the common differences between these types of radios, and hopefully provide enough information for you to decide what's best for your business.

    FCC Regulations
    Whether a 2 way radio is "business" or "consumer" is decided by the frequencies that it uses to transmit and receive communications. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set aside 22 UHF frequencies as general frequencies for use by consumers. These frequencies make up GMRS and FRS channels that are supported by the consumer radios that we sell.

    Technically, use of the GMRS channels requires an FCC license. This license is good for 5 years and covers the applicant and his/her immediate family. GMRS licenses are not issued to businesses. Here is a note from the FCC's GMRS license application form (form 605):

    Note: For GMRS: effective January 1, 1989, new or major modification applications may NOT be filed by non-individual (business) applicants/licensees. (See Rule 1.929(c) (4) & 95.5(b).

    For GMRS radios to be legally used by businesses, each person using the radios would need an individual GMRS license ($80 each). A business could use the radios on an FRS channel without a license, but when using FRS channels the radio cannot transmit at more than a half watt of power. This is generally only good for a quarter to a half mile of outdoor range.

    Business radios use different frequencies ranges that have been approved by the FCC for business use. These frequencies are not as popular, so you typically don't have to worry about "chatter" on your channels. You can also get business radios that operate on VHF frequencies, which work better than UHF outdoors or inside of and around wood structures. An FCC license for your business is $105. You will pay more upfront for your business radio, but if there are several employees that will use it you will likely save money after factoring in the license cost.

    Business radios are usually designed to hold up to abuse better than consumer radios. Consumer radios are usually built for infrequent use: weekend hunting trips, multiple car caravans, skiing, camping, amusement parks, etc. They are usually lightweight with a thin plastic casing. Business radios are designed to be used for hours every day, and they will hold up better than consumer radios. Many are built to military specifications.

    Battery Life
    If your business plans to use radios for more than a few hours a day, battery life is something that you will not want to overlook. Most consumer radios include rechargeable batteries that are good for 8 hours or less of use. As is typical of batteries, this life will likely diminish slightly over time. Some business or professional radios are also limited in their battery life, but most will provide 12 hours or more on a charge.

    Business radios typically have a better selection of accessories than consumer radios. If accessories, such as headsets or earpieces, are important to your business, you should look at what accessories are available before you choose a radio. Things like rapid chargers and multi unit chargers are only available for business radios.

    Common Scenarios
    There are some scenarios where a business radio is always your best choice. For example, anytime you expect to use the radio frequently and for more than 8 hours with each use. If you purchase a consumer radio for this, there is a good chance you will be disappointed with the battery life. Also, if you are in a "tough" work environment, such as a construction or industrial situation. Consumer radios are not designed to take this kind of beating.

    It may be best to choose a consumer radio in a light-duty situation where very little range is needed. This would allow you to get away with only using the FRS channels and avoiding the license fees. A great example is a school that needs radios for directing traffic in mornings and afternoons.

    I hope this has been helpful. If you have any specific questions you can, as always, feel free to call or email us!

    Related Resources
    Buyer's Guide - Business Radios
    Common Business Radio Uses/Industries
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-02 - An Introduction to Business Radios
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-07 - Comparing Small Business Radios

  • FRS and GMRS Frequencies

    All of our consumer radios operate on either the GMRS or FRS channels, and most support both. We are sometimes asked for the exact frequencies of these channels. Below is a table showing the channel number, type of channel, and the frequency.

    FRS and GMRS Frequencies

    Channel Type Frequency FRS
    Power / Bandwidth
    Power / Bandwidth
    1 FRS/GMRS 462.5625 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    2 FRS/GMRS 462.5875 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    3 FRS/GMRS 462.6125 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    4 FRS/GMRS 462.6375 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    5 FRS/GMRS 462.6625 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    6 FRS/GMRS 462.6875 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    7 FRS/GMRS 462.7125 2W / 12.5kHz 5W / 25kHz*
    8 FRS/GMRS 467.5625 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    9 FRS/GMRS 467.5875 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    10 FRS/GMRS 467.6125 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    11 FRS/GMRS 467.6375 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    12 FRS/GMRS 467.6625 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    13 FRS/GMRS 467.6875 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    14 FRS/GMRS 467.7125 0.5W / 12.5kHz 0.5W / 12.5kHz
    15 FRS/GMRS 462.5500 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    16 FRS/GMRS 462.5750 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    17 FRS/GMRS 462.6000 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    18 FRS/GMRS 462.6250 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    19 FRS/GMRS 462.6500 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    20 FRS/GMRS 462.6750 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    21 FRS/GMRS 462.7000 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    22 FRS/GMRS 462.7250 2W / 12.5kHz 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT15 GMRS 467.5500 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT16 GMRS 467.5750 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT17 GMRS 467.6000 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT18 GMRS 467.6250 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT19 GMRS 467.6500 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT20 GMRS 467.6750 - 50W / 25kHz*
    PRT21 GMRS 467.7000 - 50W / 25kHz*
    RPT22 GMRS 467.7250 - 50W / 25kHz*

    *Note: 20kHz Authorized Bandwidth.

    FRS and GMRS Frequencies prior to 2017 Part 95 Reform

    Channel Type Frequency
    1 FRS / GMRS 462.5625
    2 FRS / GMRS 462.5875
    3 FRS / GMRS 462.6125
    4 FRS / GMRS 462.6375
    5 FRS / GMRS 462.6625
    6 FRS / GMRS 462.6875
    7 FRS / GMRS 462.7125
    8 FRS 467.5625
    9 FRS 467.5875
    10 FRS 467.6125
    11 FRS 467.6375
    12 FRS 467.6625
    13 FRS 467.6875
    14 FRS 467.7125
    15 GMRS 462.5500
    16 GMRS 462.5750
    17 GMRS 462.6000
    18 GMRS 462.6250
    19 GMRS 462.6500
    20 GMRS 462.6750
    21 GMRS 462.7000
    22 GMRS 462.7250
  • Getting The Most Range From Your Radio

    Hiking through the mountainsOne question that we are frequently asked is "how can I get more range out of my two way radio?" In the case of consumer (FRS / GMRS) radios the amount of range you can expect is usually not even close to what the manufacturers advertise. There are, however, several things that you can do to be sure you are getting the most range possible from your radio.

    If your radio supports GMRS channels, be sure that you are using one. Most consumer radios support 22 channels, some FRS and some GMRS. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) does not allow transmission on an exclusive FRS channel at more than half a watt of power. This means that if you are on an FRS-only channel, your radio will only transmit using "low power" mode. The FRS-only channels are 8 through 14. Channels 15 through 22 are exclusively for GMRS, and channels 1 through 7 are shared by both FRS and GMRS.

    Most consumer radios support two or more power modes. To get the most range, be sure that you are using high power mode. Lower power modes will not use all of your radio's possible output power and will reduce range.

    Be sure to fully charge your battery. The transmission power of two way radios tends to weaken if the battery is low. Always be sure your batteries are fully charged before using your radios, especially if you will need maximum range.

    Finally, if you still find yourself pushing the range limits of your radio you can try the "monitor channel" feature. Enabling this feature will cause the radio to open the channel, allowing you to hear static and transmissions too weak to be received by the radio in normal mode.

    Related Resources
    GMRS Radio Range Chart
    30 Miles? The Truth About Range
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-05 - Radios in Range
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-45 - The Truth About GMRS Radio Range
    Radio 101 - The truth about FRS / GMRS two way radio range
    How To Optimize Range for Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radios

  • 30 Miles? The Truth About Range

    Midland GXT2000 Two Way RadioYou may have noticed that most of the consumer two-way radios you see around advertise a range of up to 30 miles. The truth is, consumer FRS/GMRS radios will not even provide close to the advertised "maximum range".

    The range that a two-way radio advertises is the range that the radio should get in "ideal" conditions. Ideal conditions are line of sight, such as from a mountaintop to a valley below -- no interference at all. Most likely, you will not be using the radios in these circumstances! You will probably want two-way radios for things such as hunting, skiing, malls, car trips or vacations. Under these normal conditions, the range of the radio will be limited because of obstructions, such as trees, hills, or buildings. These obstructions block the signal and dramatically reduce the range of a two-way radio.

    So what type of range can you expect from your radio? Usually half a mile up to two miles, depending upon your terrain and the power of your radio. In the same environment, a 2 watt radio with a long antenna would provide considerably more range than a half watt radio with a short antenna.

    When choosing a radio, it is very important to consider both the amount of range that you need and the environment in which you will be using the radios. Naturally, you wouldn't have as many obstructions in a football stadium as being in the middle of a heavily wooded area. For use in a stadium you would likely be fine with a small, one watt radio. In a wooded area, however, that same radio may not provide sufficient range. These are things that you need to take into consideration when choosing which two-way radio is right for you.

    Related Resources
    GMRS Radio Range Chart
    Getting The Most Range From Your Radio
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-05 - Radios in Range
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-45 - The Truth About GMRS Radio Range
    Radio 101 - The truth about FRS / GMRS two way radio range
    How To Optimize Range for Motorola Talkabout Two Way Radios

  • Check It Out - A Two Way Radio Blog!

    Hi, this is Danny Feemster, owner of BuyTwoWayRadios.com. Thanks for checking out our new weblog!

    There's several reasons that we decided to start this blog. Most importantly, there's tons of  great information and advice that we provide to our customers on a daily basis via the telephone and email that simply doesn't exist on our web site. A blog will provide us with an easy way to make this information available. It's also going to give us a great place to make new product announcements and post other industry news.

    Over the next few days I hope to provide a few posts to address some of our more frequently asked questions, and to talk about some of our more popular products. Check back soon!

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