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CB radio or FRS/GMRS Two-Way

Discussion in 'Audio & Video' started by LawP, Apr 27, 2010.

  1. Apr 27, 2010 at 9:09 PM
    #1
    LawP

    LawP [OP] Well-Known Member

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    Steve
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Vehicle:
    2010 4x4 TRD OR Double Cab
    Perhaps you guys could shine some light on the subject for me, as I know very little about either system. I have 2 sets (4 radios) these Amazon.com Motorola MH230R which I got three or so weeks ago as a gift from my Command. They are really awesome and work really well (more like 2-4 mile range in rough terrain through).

    I guess I am just not sure about which is better and why? Based on what I read today CB radio's seem to be used a lot less today and the Motorola's are portable, yet I know a lot of people here have CB radio's..Why?
     
  2. Apr 28, 2010 at 7:26 AM
    #2
    DevL

    DevL Well-Known Member

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    FRS work poorly IMO inside a vehicle due to your being surrounded by metal. The range is pretty bad on open highway vehicle to vehicle at under a mile. Worse in downtown areas or terrain with lots of hills and trees. Most people who offroad and want to talk vehicle to vehicle get more range from CB and if you want to talk to anyone on the road CB is better for that too. FRS is better if you need to talk to a spotter at very short distances. Many offroad clubs require CB communication as part of your membership.

    If you are serious about communication you can get a simple HAM license. Many radios can operate as both CB and HAM by a simple mod though its illegal to operate the HAM radio as a CB since radios are type classified by FCC. Still its very common just like using plug and play HID headlights is completely illegal but look how many do that and get away with it. HAM operators tend to want to rat you out if you publicy announce you operate your HAM as a CB though.

    Communication comes down to these factors IMO.

    1. What performs best for your intended purpose? HAM > CB > FRS
    2. What is easiest to give to someone without a radio so you can talk or is most likely to be used by others in your area? FRS > CB > HAM
    3. What is cheapest to get? FRS > CB > HAM

    You can also look into other alternative radios like GMRS which have very inexpensive licensing fees and better performance than FRS. People usually use combo FRS/GMRS radios and illegally use the GMRS section without paying. Dedicated GMRS radios can have longer, non fixed antenna so they perform better than a FRS hybrid. A longer antenna is always going outperform just boosting the signal strength, which drains battery for little gain.

    Not only is HAM better than FRS as a handheld and CB as an in vehicle system it can operate off repeaters and do all sorts of things the others cant like connect to telephone lines etc. You can get a Technician class (lowest level HAM) by just answering a 35 question multiple choice test. Then you can use 10m to transmit. Its easy enough a middle school kid could pass with a weeks reading and studying. Higher level is General and open up all HAM bands for use and final is Extra class which is just a few extra frequencies. The higher up you go the fewer people you can communicate with HAM radios in the new frequencies you gain access to as fewer are authorised to operate them. Most people just to Technician or General.

    Id suggest keeping FPR for spotters, buying any CB (a single side band capable CB unit would be nice but not neccessary as many dont have SSB capable units) these offer better range than regular CBs but regular CBs dont communicate in SSB mode so its only usefull for communicating with other SSB capable units to get the advantage.

    This is a very rough outline of what is available and there are other non HAM hand mobile radio types other than GMRS that require a fee but I dont want to give you too much to think and read about.

    You already have FRS. Get a CB. If you want more range and capabilities get a HAM technichian license. Id skip right over GMRS, MURS/BRS, etc.
     
  3. Apr 28, 2010 at 8:01 AM
    #3
    LawP

    LawP [OP] Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2010
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    #34503
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    66
    Gender:
    Male
    First Name:
    Steve
    Rio Rancho, NM
    Vehicle:
    2010 4x4 TRD OR Double Cab
    Thanks for the reply. Gave me a good starting point.
     
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