I’m in the process of purchasing some new radios and I have a few questions. I appologize in advance if these have already been answered, but I did look through the forum and wasn’t able to find any answers.

I am planning to use my radios primarly outdoors for personal use and need longest ranges possible. I would like to get better than 2 mile.
As I understand things my best options are:

  1. get a business 2W VHF and use MURS frequencies (no licensed)
  2. get a business 4-5W UHF programmed for GMRS frequencies (GMRS license)
  3. get a business 4-5W VHF (I assume I need an amatuer license??)

I assume #3 should give me the best range, correct?
I know nothing about how to get the appropriate license. Where can I get more info on this?

I doubt everyone in my party will be willing to go through great lengths for an amatuer license. Thus, assuming I want to go with #1 or #2… here are my questions:

I understand the VHF will work better than UHF in the outdoors with equivalent power. Is 4-5W UHF (GMRS) going to give better range than 2W VHF (MURS) outdoors in thick terrain (ie mountains)?

Also, I understand the UHF can be programmed for local NOAA stations. Is that a possibility for VHF as well?

Is there any limitation to transmit power for GMRS frequencies like there is for MURS and FRS? IE Can I still use 4-5W on GMRS? I assume this would still be compatable with other bubble-pack GMRS radios and privacy codes/etc would still work correctly.

Thanks for any input and sorry for the number of questions. I’m just trying to find a good solution for my next trip to the mountains… the consumer grade GMRS Midlands we used last year didn’t cut it. (don’t recall the model #)

A 2 watt VHF radio is going to have similar range outdoors to a 4-5 watt UHF radio. Keep in mind, I am talking about a “true” 4-5 watt UHF radio, not a bubble pack model that claims 5 watts but is really 1-2.

Based on the situation you are describing I would recommend a 4-5 watt GMRS radio if costs aren’t a factor for you. The range outdoors will be similar, but the GMRS model will also function well indoors if the need arises. It would also be more compatible, working with the popular bubble pack radios but also having the ability to work with a repeater if necessary.

Weather channels are broadcast on a VHF frequency, so a high powered UHF radio that was programmed to GMRS would not be able to pick them up.