Re: New long range walkie-talkies ?
Since I started this thread, I've done some more research. Also made the mistake of stopping at a Cabela's and going into the Bargain Cave. Bought 3 different sets (for peanuts) to try out. 2 sets claim 20 and 24 mile ranges respectively, and one set claims 26 miles. All are discontinued Midland brand, and the big set appears to be 8 watts. They all say that to reach the max range, you have to be over water or open ground. Like most of you, if I can get 5-6 miles in rough terrain, I'll be happy. 2-3 miles is probably more realistic. Still much better than the 20 foot range of my old ones.
JE Custom is right. The instruction books say that GMRS channels 1 - 7 and 15 - 22 require FCC licensing. FRS channels 8 to 14 are limited on power and can be used without a license. I'm not clear on using the GMRS channels at the low power setting, whether it requires a license or not. My impression is that you have to use the higher power GMRS channels to get the 5 - 10 mile range, no matter what the radio's advertised range is.
Aside from the power issue, there are some handy features available on some of the sets. Water proof or water resistant is good, voice activation is handy sometimes, battery availability is a consideration, optional remote mike and speaker is good also, and some sets receive the NOAA broadcast.
The Midland sets can use either AAA or AA alkaline batteries or rechargeable NiMH packs.
Good hunting, Tom
Texas State Rifle Association Life Member
NRA Endowment Life Member
A big fast bullet will beat a little fast bullet every time