UHF vs GMRS

Crom

Expo this, expo that, exp
That link is to a commercial hand held Kenwood UHF radio. Probably not the item you're looking for...

What is your goal? Why do you want a radio? Who are you wanting to communicate with?

Answer those questions and it will be easier to make recommendations.
 

Robert Bills

Explorer
The radio you found covers the GMRS channels and the commercial UHF band. This is not the radio you want because CB is still the most common for offroaders, with Ham (2m and 70cm) gaining in popularity and usage because it is considerably more effective. You will not find many (if any) offroaders using commercial UHF. If you really want FRS/GMRS, which in my opinion works well for keeping track of your kids in camp or at the mall but not much else, there are many choices that are considerably less expensive.
 

WMDunkin

Adventurer
Didn't know that needed a licence. I am looking for an all purpose radio. Main use is vehicle to vehicle, also would like the large event/camping/hiking radio. I really like the cobra road trip cb radio they have out. But that wouldn't talk to gmrs would it?
 

CaliMobber

Adventurer
Nope, gmrs needs its own radio.

Ham radio is the way to go. Ham can go hundreds or thousands of miles with a repeater.
 

AlbanyTom

Adventurer
Of gmrs, ham and cb, I think it's safe to say that gmrs is the least popular. I don't know of anyone that has gmrs and doesn't have a second radio, either cb or ham, or both. CB is probably the most popular for off-roading, with 2m or 2m/440 ham second. Having both cb and ham seem to be fairly popular on this site, and that would give you a capability to talk to most anybody that has a radio.

So just my 2 cents, but I don't get having GMRS. I've heard that people don't want to take a test, but unless you're really really old, you already had to take a test to drive a car. The ham test isn't any harder than that. GMRS license is more expensive, GMRS radios are as expensive, GMRS range is far less, the number of frequencies is far less, the number of people to talk with is far less, compared to ham. I just don't get it, except lack of knowledge, and product placement/advertisement.

I'm not counting FRS here, because the range is so short it doesn't seem to me to have much value for car to car use. Handheld radios inside cars, in my experience, aren't great. FRS I do get, though - it's cheap, and it's fine for kids and others where you need to talk just beyond yelling distance.
 

Idahoan

Adventurer
Nope, gmrs needs its own radio.

Ham radio is the way to go. Ham can go hundreds or thousands of miles with a repeater.
The Earth obstructs things pretty badly at 80 miles...

Every log truck and most off-roaders have a CB. You would probably find one useful.
 

1911

Expedition Leader
The Earth obstructs things pretty badly at 80 miles...
Many (ham-frequency) repeaters are on very tall towers or mountains, and some are linked to a state-wide (or larger) system. Obviously, these set-ups can overcome the limitations of the curvature of the earth.
 

AlbanyTom

Adventurer
The Earth obstructs things pretty badly at 80 miles...

Every log truck and most off-roaders have a CB. You would probably find one useful.
CB is very popular, and being able to talk to professional drivers is a great thing... but there's no 80 mile limit for radio. Long distance radio communication has been around for more than 100 years, and reliable and predictable since at least the 50's. Line of sight is easily possible on 2m past 80 miles in hilly country, ground wave HF and lower in flat country also goes past the horizon, then there's skip, NVIS, and sometimes ducting. I think it's fair to say that if you have an HF radio in your truck, and can put up a wire antenna, you're always going to be able to talk to someone past 100 miles. This isn't just ham, either... AM radio is pretty long range, there's shortwave broadcast, maritime mobile, and HF used for long distance aircraft and military communications. It's routine stuff.
 

Idahoan

Adventurer
Not sure what the question is but here you go http://www.hamuniverse.com/ssbinformation.html

For my other friends in this thread... I'm a wireless systems engineer. There ain't no mountain tall enough to be able to talk hundreds or thousands of miles. In regards to range you are confusing different frequencies and modulation types. Most of the ham repeaters are vhf and sometimes linked with uhf. Heres a link to a distance calculator, enter height in over average terrain http://www.hamuniverse.com/lineofsightcalculator.html.

Cheers!
 

Mashurst

Adventurer
I don't understand this comment idahoan. I'm not a wireless systems engineer but I sure do talk hundreds and even thousands of miles on a regular with frequencies as high as ~50mHz not to even mention vhf/uhf stuff that is linked in a variety of ways to extend its effective range to cover most of the country and world. I have had a clear conversations from northern California to Australia from the seat of my jeep for instance using HF. Clearly line of site is not a hard limit.
 

jhill15

Explorer
Didn't know that needed a licence. I am looking for an all purpose radio. Main use is vehicle to vehicle, also would like the large event/camping/hiking radio. I really like the cobra road trip cb radio they have out. But that wouldn't talk to gmrs would it?
I have a cobra road trip, its really nice and convenient for someone like myself who doesnt need a permanent cb set up. I will say that it does lack some range that you would get with a permanent setup but it works well for like 2-5 mile range. It did however come with an external magnet mount antenna and car charger, the antenna adds a little extra range but not by much, also I wouldnt travel at highway speeds with it on my truck in fear that it will fly off but on the trails and up to 35 mph it works great. It has around 10 weather channels, doesnt pick up gmrs channels though. If we are traveling with another family in seperate cars we have 4 Motorola 2way radios that we take with us so we can communicate back and forth for stops and bathroom breaks etc... and when we camp or go the beach and the kids want to venture off we make them take one so we can communicate back and forth.

Hope this helps
Didn't know that needed a licence. I am looking for an all purpose radio. Main use is vehicle to vehicle, also would like the large event/camping/hiking radio. I really like the cobra road trip cb radio they have out. But that wouldn't talk to gmrs would it?
 
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