When purchasing a 2-way communication device, there are generally two basic types: General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Family Radio Service (FRS). When shopping for a 2-way communication device, there are several different points to consider:
- Expensive FRS radios cover a greater distance – to 10 miles under ideal conditions, but averaging five miles.
- Learn how the government requires a GMRS license to operate these types of devices and the details surrounding this law.
- Understand the differences between GMRS and FRS; GMRS devices offer 23 different channels with the later offering only 14.
- Having more channels in crowded city areas is important, as rural areas offer more open airwave channels.
- Become familiar with mobile communication devices, which offer a variety of options, including:
- Privacy Codes – Having a code helps prevent unwanted eavesdropping and allows parties to enjoy conversations.
- Eavesdrop Reducer – Employing voice-inversion technology, this helps scramble transmissions, preventing eavesdroppers from listening in.
- Call Alerts – Vibrating modes are ideal for hunters.
- Battery Type – Consider how much you plan to use your mobile communication device. AA and AAA batteries are most common; however, if you use the device often, rechargeable batteries may be a more feasible inexpensive option.
- VOX – Most two-way devices require a button be pushed before speaking; however, advanced models employ voice-activation VOX.
- Weather Channels – Avid outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy this feature, which links with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.
- Understand and acknowledge your needs. Are you physically active and require a lock channel key? Will you be using the device in low-light conditions, requiring a LCD backlight feature? Would you prefer an auto channel scan to help you find an open channel for communication? Do you need a protective and/or waterproof case?
Always remember when purchasing, confirm capability between manufacturers. Not all two-way device features are necessarily compatible.
This informative article explains the differences between GMRS and FRS 2-way communication devices, detailing optional features, including those that are vital for outdoor enthusiasts, water adventurists and hunters.