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  1. OK, central Florida checking in here, and I do mean central. We are post hurricane Irma, and all utility services are up and running. We do have a lot of debris piles on the road side. The eye of Irma essentially passed over Polk County. My friends at T-Mobile seriously disappointed us by what seemed to be a severe reduction in service quality in town prior to any winds near tropical strength starting early in the late afternoon. For several days after the storm, there was little to no signal, and 8 days later there was still poor coverage south of us. I understand antenna and tower damage... My Irma experience urged me toward handheld radio. I grabbed a license from the FCC and made a purchase. Now, I wasn't expecting miracles, and I certainly didn't expect the 50 miles advertised on the package. But, I am still disappointed. I finally caught time to test the radios this afternoon. We were on the radios' channel 20 which is 462.675 MHz (GMRS 13). We were on the highest power setting and used the boost feature. My goal was to reach a nature preserve at a distance of about 5.8 miles. The greatest distance that we could hear each other was about 1.8 miles. See the attached JPG. Again, I didn't expect 50 miles or even 10 miles. But, 1.8 miles seems extremely short to me. I seem to remember at least 10 miles on my dad's CB radio in his VW van sitting in our front yard back in the mid 70s. Am I being unrealistic to expect more from the Uniden 5095? What would be a realistic (Not Realistic - Get it? LOL) replacement that would give me 5 - 10 miles range. It would have to comply with my GMRS license, and I am willing to license up to amateur levels. Thanks in advance.
  2. So, just from browsing the conversations here on the forums, I know this topic is going to open a can of worms... :-) So, why did the FCC grant the ability for companies to manufacture, package, and sell combination FRS/GMRS radios - especially given the limitations of the broadcast wattage, fixed antenna, etc... From my perspective, all the grant allows is for said companies to make money off of misinformation regarding their product. It is completely true that if the devices are used in a completely clear and open space with no obstructions that you could potentially broadcast at the maximum range possible, however, there is no documentation that is provided to the "reality" of the actual operating parameters and expected range of the devices. I'm not looking to make $ here, but isn't the advertising of products (such as the Uniden ones I have purchased) misleading which could be considered false advertising and as such warrant legal correction? Not to mention the fact that the advertising also does not indicate that GMRS licensing is required for utilization of the GMRS frequencies and the sale of of such devices simply propegates the "illegal use" of such frequencies without a license? Of course, you have to throw into play here the 2010 proposal to license GMRS by rule, which essentially negates all of the above, but it has been 3 years with no action on such proposal. Then what? Say they accept the proposal next year to license by rule, do I get a partial refund of my license fee? Highly doubt it. I guess I would lose my call sign as, there would be no need for them any longer. If licensed by rule would repeaters still be allowed, or would those require a license? Thoughts?
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