FRS/GMRS dual-service or “hybrid” radios – FRS/GMRS 2-way radios are simply dual-service, or “hybrid,” radios that provide access to both the FRS and GMRS bands, utilizing FRS channels (1-14) and GMRS channels (15-22). Use of a dual-service radio’s GMRS bands requires an FCC operator’s license. Dual-service radios may be used without an operator’s license, if only the FRS channels are used.
* Nationwide emergency and road information calling. Nationally recognized coded squelch for 675 emergency repeater operation is 141.3 Hz.
Unless you know you have access to a repeater on this frequency pair, do not expect this channel to be of any practical use in emergencies. Low power simplex portables on 462.675 will not attract much attention. A cellphone is much more reliable.
|GMRS – 16 UHF frequencies, eight for simplex and repeater outputs, eight for repeater inputs. Inputs and outputs are usually paired 5 MHz. apart, but any pairing of an input and output frequency is legal. CTCS (Control Tone Coded Squelch) is usual on repeaters. FCC license required, may be obtained by any individual for personal communications. Equipment must be type-certified for use in the 450-470 MHz band, 50 watts max, any antenna. These radios do not have programmed offsets for repeater operation.||
FRS radio range – Generally stated as “up to 2 miles,” you should note that this manufacturer’s stated range should be construed as the absolute max, to be achieved only under optimal conditions (such as flat terrain, no obstructions and full batteries). Somewhere in the 1/4 to 1 mile range, depending upon conditions, is much more realistic.
Advantages of FRS and GMRS radios over CB radios or cell phones:
- No charge for airtime
- No monthly contracts
- No per-call charges
- Less static and interference than CB radios
- Lighter and more compact than CB radios
- Easy to operate.