Even though I am on my second GMRS license, I am a total newbie to this. I let my previous license expire because I never did anything with it. In fact I don’t think WQAB931 was ever uttered on the air.
So we recently “upgraded” from a pair of FRS radios to now having four FRS/GMRS units, two of which have “repeater capability.” My wife actually took care of the online app for a new license when I mentioned that, “we ought to have one if we want to legally use these extra channels.”
So after using them a bit, what I am wondering; is a one-watt handheld going to be enough to really be able to use any repeaters in the Sacramento area?
I am not a very active ham anymore, but I remember that 1 watt on 2m and 70cm was enough to get you into a local repeater, or even good regional high elevation machines in northern CA (pre PAVE-PAWS) But at the same time, the trunked 450/460 system we operate for my employer is dismal for low power handhelds. All depends on the equipment and the engineering. Hams always seemed to be better at building boxes that can actually hear.
My wife has no interest in the technical aspects of radio so I won’t be taking the family to the amateur service. She also is not going to go about town with an HT on her belt (like I used to do when I was . . . a radio nerd). But we used the FRS radios (and recently the GMRS side) near the house and on trips/activities, and she would use GMRS enough to stay practiced for emergencies, etc.
But is it practical?
Thanks for hosting this forum.