Icom ID-31A a GMRS handheld option?

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by K2BCE, Jul 12, 2020.

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-2
ad: Subscribe
ad: Left-3
ad: L-MFJ
ad: abrind-2
  1. K2BCE

    K2BCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Cross-posted in the Mobile Radios subforum; I’m looking to find a handheld option for GMRS offroad, to supplement my HAM which is a Kenwood TM-D710G. A lot of offroaders haven't graduated or don't care to get to the HAM level, so GMRS/FRS works on the trail. This radio would give you a lot more obviously, but covers the 462-467Mhz spectrum, but could you tune it to a GMRS frequency and communicate with others? If not, what are some other handheld options besides simple walkie-talkies? I'd like to find something rugged, small, and rechargeable via USB on the road.

  2. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    As far as I know the FCC frowns on the use of radios that are programmed to transmit on GMRS and any other radio service. You can certainly listen to FRS/GMRS frequencies on most any Amateur radio HT, and there's some that can be coerced into transmitting on those frequencies as well, but if you value keeping your license then you will find a proper GMRS certified radio to transmit on GMRS frequencies. Oh, and make sure you have a current GMRS license before transmitting on GMRS.

    I don't know much about what GMRS radios are out there. I know that PowerWerx sells one model and it seems to get good reviews. I've been considering getting a couple for a long time. I can see them coming in handy once in a while, it's just a lot of money for how little I expect to use them. If you intend to use them often then something like this would be better suited than the $30 radios sold in big box stores.
    Link -> https://powerwerx.com/tera-tr505-gmrs-recreational-handheld-radio

    Another GMRS radio that I found interesting was this "base camp" model from Midland. -> https://midlandusa.com/product/xt511-base-camp/

    I found it interesting because it can be recharged by a crank, and can tune in to NOAA, FM, and AM broadcasts, which makes it useful for camping and power outages. There's no recharge by USB but it can run on AA cells or recharge the NiMH battery by crank, AC, or DC. I didn't see what they mean by a DC charger but I assume this means a 12 volt automotive accessory outlet.

    Recharging by 5 volt USB is fine for the low power transmitters in cell phones and cheap FRS radios. For the higher power GMRS radios I'm guessing this will be inadequate. Expect recharging by 12 volt DC and AC mains on GMRS radios.
    K2BCE likes this.
  3. K2BCE

    K2BCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes all good points, and its definitely easier to just get a single or pair or GMRS radios from Midland/Motorola and be done with it. The base camp is a cool radio, just not what I want for the truck off-road, looks like you could get a better antenna for it though which is pretty neat. I did look at the marine hand-talkies but most are solely those frequencies, and may double with other frequencies but not enough for a land-based usage.
  4. AG6QR

    AG6QR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    GMRS requires the use of a radio certified for GMRS. One of the requirements for certification is that the radio must not have the ability to transmit on Amateur Radio frequencies. See Part 95 for details.
    K2BCE likes this.
  5. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Etiquette tip: Please don't cross post in multiple forums. It confuses people and dilutes the responses.

    Reiterating: That radio is not certificated for GMRS operation. Thanks for asking. b.
    K2BCE and K3XR like this.
  6. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Did I read that right? That you are considering using marine radios on land? I'm fairly certain this is allowed with some kind of license or waiver from the FCC so you should check on that before you spend any money on radios. Using marine band radios on land can mean heavy fines and/or loss of any FCC license you have. Oh, and the FCC will likely take the radios too.

    This is getting into territory outside the realm of this forum. I believe the original question has been answered. Is it possible to program an Amateur radio to transmit and receive on GMRS frequencies? Yes, it is possible but doing so would be in violation of FCC regulations. You can program most dual band and single band 440 MHz Amateur radios to receive GMRS without violating any rules, and perhaps that's enough for your needs.

    I'll suggest considering MURS radios for your needs. MURS is much like FRS in that it does not require a license to operate but it's a lower frequency and higher power so it has more range. Finding a certified MURS radio can be difficult but I linked to one above from PowerWerx. It comes programmed for GMRS but it can be reprogrammed for MURS by getting the cable from PowerWerx and downloading the software and settings file from their website.

    If you have more questions on general and technical matters of radio communications then most any one here is willing and able to help but on matters specific to GMRS and other non-Amateur radios there's not a whole lot we can help with here. I don't want to chase you away but keep in mind that this is not the place for discussing GMRS, MURS, or marine band radios.
    K2BCE likes this.
  7. K2BCE

    K2BCE Ham Member QRZ Page

    @KA0HCP thanks and I'll be sure to learn the forum better and post just once.

    @AC0GT yes question has been answered and I'll just get a simple GMRS for my use. I watched and read a whole lot more and understand the regs better and stipulations for each, and what's legal and not.

    I got drug into the marine radios since some also have other frequencies and have some waterproof ability which is nice, but now knowing that you can operate them off-land rules them out. I appreciate everyone's responses and I'm new and still getting an idea what can and cannot be done, and more importantly the WHY behind things.
  8. N6PAS

    N6PAS Ham Member QRZ Page

    There are many options for better GMRS radios. Some with up to 50 watts and the have ability to use repeaters. Go to our pal Google. Look in Amazon
  9. AC0GT

    AC0GT Ham Member QRZ Page

    This reminds me of an online discussion I had many years ago back when digital radio in Amateur radio was very new and APCO-25 was getting some popularity. In this discussion I asked how I could find such a radio, a new one so that I knew it was not some beat up police and fire reject. One commenter posted something like, "Motorola sells them." Okay, but that's like saying Ford sells trucks and General Mills sells breakfast cereal, I'm no closer in finding a radio. Then someone else posts, "Go look on Ebay." Um, still not helpful because Ebay is just a place sellers list their products, and with lots of scams being run there it's still the matter of sorting out who is making honest listings and who is not. Also, Ebay is a big place, if someone was able to buy on Ebay then it would be helpful to get a name of the company that is making the listings. I never did find anyone that would sell me an APCO-25 radio. Just as well, the popularity of APCO-25 use in Amateur radio faded quickly. Likely because even as popular as they seemed in the internet forums the people selling new radios only dealt with government entities and large businesses. Any radio an Amateur would get would be second hand.

    Here's an idea, I'll give some helpful information on how to find a GMRS radio.

    Midland USA is a popular manufacturer of GMRS mobile and handheld radios. Here's their website. -> https://midlandusa.com/product-category/micromobile/

    It appears that Midland will sell direct to consumer from their website. Their products are also available at many sporting goods stores and farm/industrial supply stores. Some examples of sporting goods stores that might carry GMRS radios are Cabela's and Sportman's Warehouse. Farm supply places that might have GMRS radios would be something like Fleet Farm and Grainger. Some electronics places might have them like Fry's or Best Buy. Large department stores might carry them, such as a Walmart or Target but this would likely vary by area as they might not sell well in suburban and urban places but better where there are hunters, farmers, and truck drivers. Failing that you might want to look up local business radio shops, and most any city of size will have at least one. They should be familiar with GMRS radios and be able to find some for you. I've heard that the better shops will help with filling the papers with the FCC for your license and/or offer services for a professional install of a radio in your vehicle. Most any place that does car stereo installs will at least look at installing a two-way radio but may or may not do a good job.

Share This Page

ad: AlphaRF-1