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Can someone please explain to me what the deal is with two way radios. We use to have motorola's way back when and then we bought a pair of midlands and they sucked. Batteries crapped out in now time. Go another pair of midlands and one battery goes dead in like 4 hours and the other radio doesn't pick up my voice for anyone else to hear if it rains. The slightest bit of dampness puts that radio out of commission.

Also I read reviews of motorola's and people having issues as well. So what do you guys use and what is your experience with two way radios and what do you recommend? About had it with radios!!!
 

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We use Motorola Talkabouts model T5820, they take 3 AA batteries. We haven't had any problems with ours so far, they are over 10 years old. The batteries seem to last a good while. I carry 3 new AA`s in my pack for back up. We can set our radio`s on vibrate , so they don't make any sound when someone calls ya....
...Most people nowadays just use their cells to communicate if you can get a signal.
 

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I've been using the Midland GXT1050 radios for the past couple of years and have no complaints. No issues with batteries dying, etc.

I do agree that people seem to be using their cell phones more. Last year there was hardly any chatter on the radios.
 

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I've got a pair of Motorola Talkabout 250 in 2001 and they have worked very well in all kind of weather and have good range,battery life is also good.I do take the batteries out at the end of hunting season.
 

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Motorola Bubble Pack radios - These radios are designed to operate in a range from 462.550 - 467.725 MHz / simplex only, no split frequencies, such as what is used by repeaters.

Battery life is dependent upon use!
In communications, a normal transmitter of this type has a duty cycle of about 10%. This means no more than 1 minute of transmit time per every 10 minutes of use!

The internal / rechargeable batteries are 7.2 VDC while the battery tray used for non rechargeable A size batteries is sometimes as high as 12 vdc. Depending upon the model.

So in theory, the replacement batteries will have more power than the batteries that came with the radio or should I say Transceiver - since it both transmits and receives.

THIS IS NOT A CELL PHONE!
How many times do I need to repeat this - even to the ham radio crowd!
This radio is designed to be operated 1 or 2 minutes an hour, which gives a battery life of 8 - 12 hours depending upon the model!

Unfortunately we live in a dumb world where everything involved with communications is being handed to people - like candy in a candy store. Without any sort of technical background - knowledge by the user.

Your transceiver operates in the range of UHF =- Ultra High Frequencies. UHF is LINE OF SIGHT! Period!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultra_high_frequency

This means that any time you put something between the transmit radio and the receive radio, you have no signal.
Unlike the ray gun used by Buggs Bunny, it cannot penetrate a hill side or talk from down in a valley to the top of the hill or over the other side.

{ People confuses Transceivers with CELL PHONES!}
wHAT does this mean?
Cell phones operates on the principal that the phone needs to see a signal from the cell tower. The cell tower is built in a high location or uses a tall tower to see more phones. The cell tower is connected to other cell towers.
The radios built on the cell tower does all the heavy lifting. The cell tower receives your signal, amplifies it, sends it to another tower or retransmits it on the same tower, back to the other person.

You hand held radio is your antenna to their antenna.
All effective communications is line of sight!
Increasing the power only nets you very small returns and diminishes battery life.

And, operating on GMRS FREQUENCIES WITHOUT A LICENSE IS ILLEGAL. The license is there to protect the other licensed users. One license can cover the whole family, and will allow you to use a higher quality radio with more power and a detachable antenna.

The radio you bought is a toy, it is functioning as designed. If the batteries are not living up to your expectation, then you are talking too much!
 

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New radios are on my list of things to get for camp. We've been using the midlands for years (why I don't know) and they've been garbage from the start. We've been using our cell phones since we started getting a little service. Either they can hear us and we can't hear them or the other way around. We aren't far away from each other either.
 

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Trail,you are wrong on one thing UHF being line of sight..I was on the other side of a mountain top and my father was on top of another mountain 3 miles away and I could talk to him like I was standing beside him and I was on the backside of the mountain...Some of the range capabilities on these Motorola radios are unreal...We have the old talkabout 289 radios...
 

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burk313 said:
Trail,you are wrong on one thing UHF being line of sight..I was on the other side of a mountain top and my father was on top of another mountain 3 miles away and I could talk to him like I was standing beside him and I was on the backside of the mountain...Some of the range capabilities on these Motorola radios are unreal...We have the old talkabout 289 radios...
You answered you own question, u were on top of one mountain and your dad was on top of another mountain. What was in between the two of you? Nothing!

You confuse RADIO line of sight, with visual line of sight.
http://www.hamuniverse.com/lineofsightcalculator.html

Quote: "As an example using "Height in Feet" in the calculator below, and assuming we are using an HT, the antenna is about 5 and 1/2 feet above the ground, then just plug in 5.5 in the "Feet" window, click "Compute" and read the answer in the "Miles" window directly below. You should see 2.9 miles in the answer."
"So with an antenna height of 5 1/2 feet above the ground and assuming there are no obstructions and the ground between you and the horizon is perfectly flat, then it is 2.9 miles before the curvature of the Earth starts to take effect on your signal strength at the level of the horizon! It does not account for any higher angle radiation coming from your antenna that may be "seen" by a much taller antenna such as on a tall tower standing beyond the horizon. It acts much like you were aiming a laser beam or spot light toward the horizon rather than a radio wave. The result is like a straight and level line from your antenna to the start of the curvature of the Earth.

At any distance beyond that 2.9 miles, your signal is attenuated rapidly due to the Earth being in the way of your signal. Again, this is assuming that the "other" station's antenna is "below" the horizon from yours."
 

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http://www.thesurvivalistblog.net/two-way-radio-communications-basics/

There are no hand held radios that will ever cover any kind of range (beyond LOS (Line of Sight)) without some kind of special circumstances or a repeater. The laws of physics, solid matter and the curvature of the Earth simply get in the way.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) High-end GMRS radios operate similar to UHF Ham radio equipment. GMRS users can use up to 50 watts, high-gain antennas and they can even use and own repeater sites. ( Requires a license to operate ).

This is not going to happen using the common bubble pack available as a 22 channel pair of radios. You need real radios, such as the Motorola or Vertex variety. Hand held radios are not going to get more than a few miles range without some unusual circumstances or a repeater.

All other radio services are simplex or point-to-point and don’t offer repeaters, therefore limiting the radios range to no further than the horizon. Radio waves do not follow the contour of the terrain, they operate in strait lines, and any object of sufficient size will block them. What this means is, that they will not go through mountains, nor will they go over the mountain and back down the other side. They will not penetrate buildings very well, travel through dense vegetation such as a forest very well or follow the curvature of the Earth.

The only reliable way to get communications range more than a few miles is to install antennas on tall masts or towers (you can hang them in trees) and with sufficient power and provided the terrain isn’t too mountainous and in the way, then you can begin to get some reliable and consistent range out of your radio system, but expecting a hand held radio to offer coverage of more than a few miles is asking too much. Hand-held Ham, GMRS and MURS (Multi Use Radio Service) radios on VHF and UHF frequencies will offer a standalone range of a few miles over average terrain. The FRS (Family Radio Service) bubble pack radios, that you can buy at a Wal-Mart for example, can only be expected to be reliable at distances measured in yards rather than miles when in the woods.

Propagation: This is the pathway of the radio waves you send to your buddy.

Most of us don’t have line-of-sight to the people we want to talk to. Usually trees, buildings, mountains or other barriers block the signal. They turn the “36 mile” radios into the 1 mile radios you have! There are a few ways to combat these problems, and this brings us to the next point.

Antenna design: There are antennas out there designed to “focus” your transmitting or receiving into one direction.
Kind of like a flashlight you can point in any direction you choose. They are called “directional” antennas and have design names like “yagi”, “quad” or “log periodic”. Old analog TV antennas are commonly a yagi or log periodic design–that’s why you rotate them to get the best signal.

Antennas do best when they are used at the highest geographical point. It gets you closer to the LOS mentioned earlier; you can better your position by transmitting from the top of a hill, from the highest floor of a building, or from an antenna on top of roof, mast or tower.

The inexpensive FRS or GMRS radios (like the Motorola Talkabout radios) won’t do it. They put out a maximum 1 watt of power. Their antennas are very inefficient. However, they would be good for communications on your property.
 

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Trail,I see you are good on science but very short on experience..Get some Motorola T250s or T289s and try them out...
 

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burk313 said:
Trail,I see you are good on science but very short on experience..Get some Motorola T250s or T289s and try them out...
I have 45 years of two way radio communications experience. I hold an amateur extra class amateur radio license. I have an associates degree in electrical engineering, my major was communications.
What part of physics don't you understand?
What are you going to teach me that I have not already learned?

How is a different model of a GMRS bubble pack radio going to change the way that a radio wave travels between two radios? It's all UHF!
The two way radio in my vehicle has a sensitivity level 3 times better than your handheld radio, my antenna ( about 40 inches long ) is 10 times the length of your bubble pack radio..
Using my HF radio, I have talked 1000 miles with 1 watt and a good antenna!
Might I suggest that you find a real ham and have them take you to their Field Days next year and show you the capabilities of amateur radio in real world conditions.
What you are playing with is essentially a toy. A small, disposable item that has very little ability to either talk or receive!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The distance isnt an issue, its the durability of the radios. It's not like we beat them, we take very good care of them. Looking for durability. They are basically all the same when talking hand held standards. Durability is the ISSUE!
 
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