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Looking for Walkie Talkies

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by Danielh90, Dec 3, 2018.

  1. Dec 3, 2018 at 1:19 PM
    #1
    Danielh90

    Danielh90 [OP] Member

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    Hi, I'm looking for a good Walkie Talkie Radio for me and my friends to use off roading/while driving. I found these on eBay and I'm wondering if they will work. If anyone has suggestions let me know.

    OH I forgot I to say they should be cheap also.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  2. Dec 3, 2018 at 1:35 PM
    #2
    VewDew

    VewDew W7ZOM

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  3. Dec 3, 2018 at 2:09 PM
    #3
    charles.headlee

    charles.headlee Well-Known Member

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    Read the posting:

    "Brand: Unbranded."

    Go to Walmart.
    Go to the electronics section.
    Ask someone wearing a Walmart logo where the FRS radios are. Buy a package of at least two FRS radios.
    Take home, open, read directions
    Buy & install batteries or charge batteries per directions.
    Test.

    Actual performance is going to depend upon the terrain where you are, how many leaves are on the trees, if you are using a handheld in a cab / cloth top / open top vehicle, and how far apart you are. Whatever the range on the box says, expect to get about 1/10 of that in hills with trees.

    CB, Ham, & GMRS are more expensive & have licensing hoops. In reality you can buy GMRS radios and operate without a license, but unless you are spending a fair amount, you will get the same performance as FRS. If FRS works, go with it. If you want more capability, hang out with Ham & CB people in your area. Knowing how radios & radio waves behave is a big part of it.
     
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  4. Dec 3, 2018 at 2:49 PM
    #4
    Danielh90

    Danielh90 [OP] Member

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    Okay thank you very much.
     
  5. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:06 PM
    #5
    Danielh90

    Danielh90 [OP] Member

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  6. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:20 PM
    #6
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    They are 5w and on the FRS / GMRS spectrum:
    https://www.fcc.gov/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs

    So yeah, they will probably work as a starter set. As others said and for the price, it gives you a cheap opportunity to see if it is worth it to you.

    If you're happy, you can the consider adding one of these for power and flexibility:
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MAULSOK/

    There's a ton of support for them.
     
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  7. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:33 PM
    #7
    Cudgel

    Cudgel “Tonka”

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    This will be fun.

    Those look like counterfeit Beofang 888 ham radios that would require fcc licenses to use on those frequencies. $10,00 day fines without licenses.

    Family radio and its cousin GMRS will while driving off road be pretty much line of sight. Maybe 1/4 mile reliably. So if you can yell at your buddies to get the fuck out of your way they will work.

    CBs will get you 1-2 miles, even with a 19” antenna that doesn’t clip too many trees.

    Ham of course depends on frequencies, power and mode but even cheap mobile rigs give miles and miles. Hand helds really should have an external antenna in the cab.

    GMRS and ham require fcc licensing, GMRS is $80, ham will be about $15 to the club that administers your test.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
    vicali and tonered like this.
  8. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:45 PM
    #8
    Danielh90

    Danielh90 [OP] Member

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    Why do we need licenses? for radios
     
  9. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:52 PM
    #9
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    Very true words, except 1/4mi seems a bit extreme. I have heard garble at about a mile and crystal clear at much more than that. Point taken though.

    I am okay playing on the edge a bit.

    For anything over 2W, a license is the law. That said, many folks don't.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  10. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:55 PM
    #10
    Danielh90

    Danielh90 [OP] Member

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    So if I got these https://midlandusa.com/product/lxt500two-way-radios/ Would I need a license?
     
  11. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:57 PM
    #11
    Cudgel

    Cudgel “Tonka”

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    If they transmit on the frequencies of the real BF-888s those are regulated by the fcc. Those eBay radios have a model number of the Beofeng 888s which operates in the 400-470 MHz ranges. Those require a ham license. These may be family radios in disguise but the upper 8 channels would require a license and then the range issue is back.

    One of you neighbors kids have a set of family radios, borrow them and in 5 minutes you will see if they meet you needs.
     
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  12. Dec 3, 2018 at 6:59 PM
    #12
    BigWhiteTRD

    BigWhiteTRD Official thread killer (only crickets remain)

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    Just a heads up
    Those radios are not FCC approved, and out of the box they don't match frequencies approved for use in the US. They can be reprogrammed to use the appropriate frequencies.

    Business I know uses these for the employees inside a steel building. They buy by the dozens because of the constant destruction by employees. They reprogram them to the appropriate frequencies before use...
     
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  13. Dec 3, 2018 at 7:07 PM
    #13
    hiPSI

    hiPSI Laminar Flow

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    Be cool.
    41lSxfgvIRL.jpg
     
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  14. Dec 3, 2018 at 7:21 PM
    #14
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    FRS does not require a license, but the transmit power is weaksauce. Probably less than 1W? That spec is not on the page that you linked.

    I'd go with @Cudgel 's advice for testing. It is worth more than those radios.


    One thing to add about licensing is that if you are licensed, it is good for your whole fam to use if they are with you and is good for 10yrs.
     
  15. Dec 3, 2018 at 9:20 PM
    #15
    dilbert

    dilbert Well-Known Member

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    I have a few of these...
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YMN0SCG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_vXGbCbXC12X4T

    Programming is made a bunch easier with the programming cable and chirp software. You can program them to only transmit on frequencies and at powers you are licenced to use. Or only on FRS @ 500mw if you have no licence. I have several different ham radios, but these are my go-to since they are inexpensive if anything happens to them.

    I've used them backpacking with groups, off roading, and from home hooked up to a home made j-pole antenna. Not a bad radio for the price.
     
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  16. Dec 4, 2018 at 5:10 AM
    #16
    charles.headlee

    charles.headlee Well-Known Member

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    I totally get the point of this and like that your intent is to keep someone without a license from doing something that would technically violate laws, but using a UV5 for anything but ham is technically doing the same thing as the radio is not approved. Understood, the FCC doesn't really bother with people using unapproved radios, or even approved radios without a license. There are some more important reasons not to do this:

    A UV5 is about $25 each, plus $10 for the right cable, so $60 per pair to be able to program a radio plus the cost associated with the risk that about a certain amount of UV5 variants arrive DOA or fail early, or have weird firmware quirks, some of the cables have fake prolific chips and drivers that are infested with malware. Add Chirp into a situation where someone who has never programmed radios, and we're just going to have more questions and probably a lot of dissatisfaction.

    Meanwhile, a pair of 2 watt (FRS limits are 2 watts for 1-7 / 15-22) capable radios will have their limits, but they will be self contained, preprogrammed, and known to work if you are on the same channel and within an appropriate distance. These should be available for about $30 a pair. OP called out cheap and to use with friends while off roading / driving, and from other posts, OP is 18 and does not yet have a truck. A cheap blister pack FRS pair seems like the best solution here, I still have 3 (of a set of 4 - batteries leaked in one so I threw it away) 1/2 watt cobras that I let our daughters use, and occasionally use for backing a trailer when I can't see my spotter.

    Recommending the OP look at radio specific forums for radio specific issues - some examples:

    https://www.twowayradioforum.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=5
    https://forums.radioreference.com/gmrs-frs/
    https://forums.mygmrs.com

    Also, if you do not already have it, get some basic electronics knowledge.
     
  17. Dec 4, 2018 at 5:29 AM
    #17
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    Do you realize that you contradicied you own argument? Don't buy something that might be faulty, yet one of your sets was faulty.

    Anyway, it was suggested that the OP try some borrowed FRS radios since they are common before getting an actually useful set.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2018
  18. Dec 4, 2018 at 5:31 AM
    #18
    charles.headlee

    charles.headlee Well-Known Member

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    @tonered it's early and I got into a ramble. What did I contradict and I'll try to clarify?
     
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  19. Dec 4, 2018 at 5:37 AM
    #19
    tonered

    tonered tacorider

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    Hahaha! It's okay. Early here also!

    I edited my post to clarify. Just that you said the Baofeng my be DoA yet one of your others failed.

    I do know several folks who have BFs and no one reported a problem. Most of them are later models that follow the recent FCC restriction.
     
  20. Dec 4, 2018 at 6:01 AM
    #20
    charles.headlee

    charles.headlee Well-Known Member

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    I thought that might have been it.

    I have two 8 watt BaoFengs that arrived fine, and have been fine for months. They are cheaply made and I have two because I'm expecting one to fail. I bought a UV5R just to play with APRS projects more, and it arrived with issues out of the box. Some buttons didn't work, some appeared stuck. I love the 8 watt BaoFengs, and am figuring out a UV25X2 recently mounted in the console of the truck. Jury is still out on the 25X2.

    The Cobras were a set of 4 that I purchased over 12 years ago for paintball. Four years ago I moved, and they were in the back of a drawer full of electronic crap. I'd left the AAA batteries in them for 6-8 years, and on set was leaking, and at that point I don't bother - it goes in the trash. The other three worked fine, along with an old Radio Shack handheld scanner. It was not the fault of the radio, but the alkaline battery.

    BaoFengs, when they are received in working condition, are great tinker radios. I don't think they have a long life, but long enough for me to figure out what I want to do with a radio I'm going to drop a decent amount of money on.

    FRS is great for those who need cheap short range comm that works out of the box. It's also nice that little kids can't take the antennas off and key the mic.

    There are BF radios that are preprogrammed for FRS/GMRS as well as MURS, but if I recall, they are $80 a pop. Maybe a pair?
     
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