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two way radios

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
anyone out there have advice on a good set of walkie talkies to use while skiing
post #2 of 10
I think I currently have Cobras (which were cheap but still work well), but more important than the brand is the power output. The acronyms may not be correct, but FRS typically uses a .5 watt for transmission and GMRS?? uses 1 watt. These are typically advertised as having a 2 mile range. In the last couple of years units have appeared that use 2 watts for transmission on the GMRS bands and are advertised as having a 5 mile range. It's worth it for the range, expecially in the mountains. If you are not buying a pair, then you need to check for compatibility. Not all radios have the same channels and may not use the same privacy encoding (to minimize cross talk).
post #3 of 10
Its definately worth it for the range. We went to Whistler and had 4 radios, 2 2 milers and 2 5's. With the 2 milers there was not much we could get unless you were real close. Even the 5 mile limit is blown away at the big western mountains. If someone was at the bottom at whistler you would have to go halfway down the mountain to talk to them.

post #4 of 10
Thread Starter 
These look like the best out there any feelings about these
post #5 of 10
My wife and I have a pair of 8 mile Unidens, and like them a lot. However, with virtually all radios, you are going to be effectively limited to line-of-sight communications, that is, if you have a hill or mountain between you, it is unlikely the radios will work. But if you are in relative line-of-sight proximity, they will work very well.
post #6 of 10

License fees

As wattage goes up, the GMRS will require a license.

Actually, FRS requires no license, GMRS--regardless of wattage---does.

And it is not cheap! GMRS 5 year renewable FCC issued license is $80.00
post #7 of 10
anyone ever had a problem using a GRMS radio without a license?

The ones I have use both FRS and GMRS channels (some are FRS wattage, and others are GMRS wattage)...I always use the more powerful GMRS channels for the increased range, but have never worried about a license. I only use them once a month or so when skiing with a few friends.
post #8 of 10
I won't get the license---how in the world will it be enforced?? Unless , of course, you intrude on some n'wyawker's private channell!

Seriously, there is no indication on my (GMRS unit) packaging of the requirement and I sort of stumbled on it looking thru the 27 language instructions for something else---and was VERY surprised that I needed one.

I'll play dumb if ever challenged---many say that won't be an act!
post #9 of 10
That looks pretty good, but I don't know that this is a killer price. Go to your local Best Buy and do some comparison shopping or online in lots of places. I would also go to Motorola's site or somewhere and validate the transmit wattage that the units actually use no matter what the advertising says about range. I've seen some claims of distance that didn't match output wattage. I've found that the push to talk microphone on the earbud is almost impossible to use with ski gloves (or with cold fingers without gloves). Sounds like the radios do have a hands free talk mode (automatically goes to transmit mode when you speak into the microphone) but that this isn't supported by the earbud.
post #10 of 10
We got a pair of Motorola T5500 (I think this is the model, the blue ones) for about $100 Canadian from Radioshack this season. I've found them to work well at Sunshine/Lake Louise, even from long distances (base of Goat's Eye to base/upper Standish, Summitt to lower Paradise). However if there is no line of sight, range becomes more of an issue. For the money, they are great, no more "ok meet at the bottom of this chair in 2 runs" or my favourite when your skiing partner is waiting 200 feet above you thinking you haven't come down yet, while you yell and wave your arms from below.
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