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Author Topic: Walkie talkie recommendations  (Read 582 times)

Offline vandeman17

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Walkie talkie recommendations
« on: September 26, 2020, 03:48:43 PM »
We are currently running the Rino 650s as our radios during hunting season. When we first bought them, they were the perfect combination of mapping as well as communication. Now that we run OnX on our phones as our navigation, I am looking at going another route to a more compact and battery friendly walkie talkie type set up. Any recommendations on ones that you guys are using that work well and have a good range? Itís not uncommon for my old man and I to be hunting a few miles away from each other.
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Offline d_wilson

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #1 on: September 26, 2020, 04:44:43 PM »
Weíve tried several and have the best range out of the Midland GXT1000 VP4.

Offline ThomMedic

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #2 on: September 26, 2020, 05:03:17 PM »
Have purchased several Baofeng radios (BF-f8HP). Very pleased with the range. Once tested them with my son who rode his bike over a mile away. Not a noteworthy distance, but it contained two different dense neighborhoods, a park forest, and several large school buildings where he stood behind.

They were very inexpensive on Amazon, loaded with a lot of features, and an awesome battery life. They are small and light, easily carried in packs or pockets, come in 5 watt models or 8 watt output. Great frequency range though it does not include citizen band. Many of the models were well under $40.

Offline vandeman17

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #3 on: September 26, 2020, 05:13:34 PM »
We had midlands before making the switch to rinos back in the day. Will check out both options listed and read some reviews.
" I have hunted almost every day of my life, the rest have been wasted"

Offline Rat44

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2020, 03:52:34 AM »
The Baofeng radios are Ham radios.
Not for use without being a licensed Amateur radio operator.

Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #5 on: September 27, 2020, 07:37:49 AM »
The Baofeng radios are Ham radios.
Not for use without being a licensed Amateur radio operator.
If used on ham radio frequncies.  You will need a ham radio license.  The FRS frequencies can be programmed into the Baefeng radio and GMRS (those need a license to use)  this is exactly what is in the Midlands and Rhinos.  I have 4 Baefeng radios.  I am not a ham radio license holder.  Stay off any other frequency.  FCC has been out on fires looking for interference and if caught they hand-down some pretty hefty fines.

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Offline zwickeyman

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #6 on: September 27, 2020, 07:45:43 AM »
I have the same Midlands as D_WILSON and they are pretty good. I dont use them often but last year after shooting my buck I got ahold of a buddy that was 5 miles away and I was in a deep canyon. I was impressed. My boss used to run Midlands but has a different brand he says is way better. I'll ask him what he is using

Online Katmai Guy

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #7 on: September 27, 2020, 08:05:31 AM »
The Baofeng radios are Ham radios.
Not for use without being a licensed Amateur radio operator.
If used on ham radio frequncies.  You will need a ham radio license.  The FRS frequencies can be programmed into the Baefeng radio and GMRS (those need a license to use)  this is exactly what is in the Midlands and Rhinos.  I have 4 Baefeng radios.  I am not a ham radio license holder.  Stay off any other frequency.  FCC has been out on fires looking for interference and if caught they hand-down some pretty hefty fines.

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Russ, are you saying you need a license to run Rhino's?
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Offline Russ McDonald

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #8 on: September 27, 2020, 08:40:22 AM »
The Baofeng radios are Ham radios.
Not for use without being a licensed Amateur radio operator.
If used on ham radio frequncies.  You will need a ham radio license.  The FRS frequencies can be programmed into the Baefeng radio and GMRS (those need a license to use)  this is exactly what is in the Midlands and Rhinos.  I have 4 Baefeng radios.  I am not a ham radio license holder.  Stay off any other frequency.  FCC has been out on fires looking for interference and if caught they hand-down some pretty hefty fines.

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Russ, are you saying you need a license to run Rhino's?
Well yes and no.  FRS frequencies are free to use no license needed.  That being said they are now throwing in GMRS frequencies in thise radios which requires a frequency license or has in the past.  You don't need an operator license.  The reason for requiring a license on GMRS frequencies is that you can use higher power.  $70.00

An FCC license is required to operate GMRS system. ... You may apply for a GMRS license if you are 18 years or older and not a representative of a foreign government. If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system.

FRS is licensed by rule. This means an individual license is not required to operate an FRS radio provided you comply with the rules. You may operate an FRS radio regardless of your age, and for personal or for business use if you are not a representative of a foreign government.

https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/family-radio-service-frs#:~:text=The%20FRS%20is%20authorized%2022,which%20are%20shared%20with%20GMRS.&text=FRS%20is%20licensed%20by%20rule.




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The opinions expressed in my posts do not represent those of the forum.

Offline Rat44

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #9 on: September 27, 2020, 09:56:33 AM »
Sorry about the confusion.
Forgot they have expanded frequencies built in.
I bought mine when I first got my license.
Just keep it as a backup now.

Online Katmai Guy

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #10 on: September 27, 2020, 10:08:44 AM »
The Baofeng radios are Ham radios.
Not for use without being a licensed Amateur radio operator.
If used on ham radio frequncies.  You will need a ham radio license.  The FRS frequencies can be programmed into the Baefeng radio and GMRS (those need a license to use)  this is exactly what is in the Midlands and Rhinos.  I have 4 Baefeng radios.  I am not a ham radio license holder.  Stay off any other frequency.  FCC has been out on fires looking for interference and if caught they hand-down some pretty hefty fines.

Sent from my SM-N976V using Tapatalk

Russ, are you saying you need a license to run Rhino's?
Well yes and no.  FRS frequencies are free to use no license needed.  That being said they are now throwing in GMRS frequencies in thise radios which requires a frequency license or has in the past.  You don't need an operator license.  The reason for requiring a license on GMRS frequencies is that you can use higher power.  $70.00

An FCC license is required to operate GMRS system. ... You may apply for a GMRS license if you are 18 years or older and not a representative of a foreign government. If you receive a license, any family member, regardless of age, can operate GMRS stations and units within the licensed system.

FRS is licensed by rule. This means an individual license is not required to operate an FRS radio provided you comply with the rules. You may operate an FRS radio regardless of your age, and for personal or for business use if you are not a representative of a foreign government.

https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/family-radio-service-frs#:~:text=The%20FRS%20is%20authorized%2022,which%20are%20shared%20with%20GMRS.&text=FRS%20is%20licensed%20by%20rule.




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Thanks for the heads up and info.
"Keep shootin, when there's lead in the air, there's hope"

Offline Stein

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #11 on: September 27, 2020, 12:34:47 PM »
If the FCC ever ran into a budget problem, they could simply troll any campground in July and August and round up probably a million unlicensed GMRS users, just look for the kids driving their bikes around with one hand. 

Of course they would have to identify the kid that was broadcasting, gather evidence, find the parents, determine whether they are licensed and if not, process the paperwork and mail them the cease and desist letter and give them 10 days to stop broadcasting and then return 10 days later and repeat the process all over.

We have had good service from the Midland mentioned above with the normal caveats of low power walkie talkie limitations in canyons, other sides of ridges, through buildings etc.

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #12 on: Yesterday at 09:22:54 PM »
I've had good results with the yellow waterproof Motorola's (sorry, they're not marked with a model number and I've long since thrown the box away). 

FYI - Baofeng radios, and any other radio transmitting with 5W and/or a removable antenna, are illegal to use in the FRS bands.   

Certification required (the Baofengs don't have it):
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.561

Power limit:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.567

Antennas and other rules:
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.587

Is this a ridiculous rule? Yes, absolutely.  Will you actually get in trouble? Most likely not. I don't see the FCC coming after hunters and it's hard to cause anyone any actual trouble by violating these rules.   

But you should have the knowledge before making your own choices. 


If you want to (seriously) improve the performance of your radios, get yourself some Baofends, get your HAM license (you can do it online now! https://nescitech.org/exam/) for you and your hunting partners, and pick a simplex channel in the 2m or 60cm ham bands that no one else in your area is using.  You can do all that for a heck of a lot less cash than you'd spend on a Rhino radio. 

Have fun out there folks!  :tup:

Yours truly, KJ7JIN. 

Offline yakimanoob

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Re: Walkie talkie recommendations
« Reply #13 on: Yesterday at 09:28:58 PM »
Oh, and on the subject of the FCC patrolling fire areas:

PLEASE do not get a Baofeng or any other programmable radio if you're unwilling to learn how to program and use it properly.  Nevermind the FCC, you DO NOT want to cause comms problems for our firefighters, SAR, or other emergency personnel in the wilderness.  Their jobs are hard enough as it is.   

 


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