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Looking for two-way radios to use while driving in the mountains.

Guest Isst

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We have a group of 12 who like to drive in the mountains.  Essentially a car club.  Looking for radios that could be used to communicate.  Goal is to have at a minimum 2 mile range.  Any suggestions would be appreciated .  Thanks.

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Well, a minimum 2 mile range is difficult to guarantee in the mountains.  There will be times you can get 20 miles from five watts and times you can only get one mile from 50 watts.  Power isn't necessarily the predictor.  Terrain has much more to do with it.

Almost any mobile GMRS radio will have similar range.  If your line of sight range is limited to 1 mile because you're going through a bunch of switchbacks, it won't really matter whether you're using 5 watts or 50. Look at a bunch to see what features you like, rather than using range.


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Everything Sshannon said is true. I would add that having external antenna's such as (magnet mounts on the roof) will allow more range than which radio you chose.

I assume you are thinking about hand held radio's (HT's) vs moblie radio's? If so then radio's with removable antenna's will be a better choice. All newer GMRS radio's will have the same basic capabilities so everyone in the group can chose different radio's to suit their preference of price, features, quality etc. You don't have to buy all the same one's.

Also will everyone in the group have GMRS license's?


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  • 3 weeks later...

This is good question and great comments which are true... I live in WNC and talk about switchbacks, we got them... So I was thinking of using my VRX-7000 with duplexer in my Jeep as a moving repeater...  But when you think about it, going Simplex is like the same thing on the trail.

Happy Jeeping... 

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On 5/16/2023 at 8:29 AM, Guest Stan said:

BD348, May i ask what handheld you are using?

Anything which allows an external speaker mike would be fine.  It's just easier to pick up and use a microphone with a single big button and a dedicated clip on the dashboard than it is an entire radio.  A more expensive speaker microphone may also sound better.

It's also nice to use when connected to a base station antenna.  You're just picking up the microphone instead of the radio plus antenna cable.

I happen to have some Wouxun S-88G handhelds and one of their speaker microphones, but in the Jeep I use a Midland 275 which hides under the dash near the steering wheel.  Only the microphone is visible outside, and I can disconnect it.  It's only 15W but there is a nice antenna on the hood and it does well.  If I lived in the deep woods a 50W unit might be better.

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  • 6 months later...

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