Advice for public library


I’m in charge of technology for a medium-small-ish suburban (USA) public library, and I’ve been tasked to buy some radios (six or so) to be used for a variety of purposes, including emergency and general communication. The radios need to work within our steel/concrete building (25,000 sq. ft on two levels), and buildings we’re renting 100 feet away on both sides of us and the lawns thereof. We’d also like to be in range of other municipal buildings in case of emergency (using these radios to be purchased) all within a half mile radius. I’ve been looking at the Midland GXT800VP4. Would this be a good choice? A few questions:

  1. Is it a problem to run 6 or 8 of these all together?
  2. Can we use the shared FRS/GMRS channels without a license, or only the FRS-only channels?
  3. What do you think the realistic range is from building-to-building in a flat Chicago suburb with mostly 2-story homes and businesses and pretty big trees? We’re about 20 miles west of the Loop (Villa Park, IL).

Appreciate your advice,

Jeff Sand

You cannot use the shared frequencies without a license, since the type acceptance classifies these frequencies as GMRS frequencies in those radios. The FRS/only is your only option unless every employee at your business get their own license. There is no blanket license for groups anymore.

True business radios would probably be a better option for you. If you need communications through several steel/concrete buildings within a half mile radius, a consumer radio most likely is not going to have the power to give you the range you need.

I would recommend you look at a two watt UHF business radios, such as the Motorola RDU2020, Motorola XU2100, or the Kenwood TK3200L. They are more expensive, but you will find them much more durable, powerful, and the frequencies that they use are more in line with your use.