FRS / GMRS Radios
$72 for 6 FRS Baofengs
By the new definitions, anything that does not exceed 2 W is FRS. These can be channels 1 to 22.
Anything over 2 W is GMRS.
|Radio||Channels 1-7, 15-22||Channels 8-14||Website|
|Midland LXT 210||1 watt?||½ watt||https://www.cnet.com/products/midland-x-tra-talk-lxt210vp-two-way-radio-frs-gmrs-lxt210vp/|
|Motorola Talkabout 5000||1 watt||½ watt||https://www.cnet.com/reviews/motorola-talkabout-t5420-review/|
|Motorola Talkabout 6400||1 watt||½ watt||https://www.cnet.com/products/motorola-talkabout-t6400-two-way-radio-frs-gmrs/|
|Uniden GMRS 540||½ watt||½ watt||https://www.cnet.com/products/uniden-gmrs-540-two-way-radio-frs-gmrs/|
|Baofeng / BTech|
|Baofeng UV-5R||https://baofengtech.com/product/uv-5r/||Shows as discontinued|
Midland MXT- 400
Antennas are more important than transmit power. Many GMRS handhelds ship with poor performing antennas.Nagoya 701C seems to be the most popular replacement:
The Nagoya 701-C works but it is center tuned for 455MHz which makes it a bit sub-optimal for GMRS. It’s weirdly advertised as high gain but is 2.15dBi, which is fine if that is what you want, but that’s unity gain. The Nagoya NA-701G Handheld GMRS Antenna (5.5 Inch) is specifically tuned for 462MHz frequencies on the GMRS and costs $16.99
Damian Boune KN6PPF writes that the SMILEY 5/8 SLIM DUCK 465 MHZ @ $24.50 is still the best antenna I’ve used on a handheld for GMRS. Nagoya and others fail where this antenna succeeds.
Mag mount antennas provide a substantial performance upgrade. The ground plane provides a far better counterpoise than your hand! Mag mounts require a steel roof; aluminum roofs need some other way to attach an antenna. If it’s raining or too hot or you want to sit, this kind of set-up is far more comfortable:
For a base station GMRS antenna we recommend the Laird FG4603 antenna (3dBd/5.15dBi). FG4603: 460-470 MHz, 3 dBd/ 5.15 dBi Outdoor Fiberglass Omni base Station Antenna with N-Female Connector $133. This is the antenna on top of the 25’ mast above:
At GMRS frequencies there is more signal loss, so better cable is needed for high antennnas.