Basic Two Way questions ...

Hi everyone,

Straight to the point: I’m 100% new to this and researching small two-way handheld for recreational (non abusive) uses.

I’ll try to keep this brief, but I have so many questions… thank you in advance for any replies.

  1. I currently have two 40KM Cobra Microtalk Model 2way - LI6550-WXC.
    I understand these are just small handhelds, but I am on the quest to see just HOW far they will reach.

  2. Apparently in Canada, we can use GMRS frequencies on a two watt hand held, but I’m not certain what these ones are?

  3. When setting these bad boys up I continue to ask myself "What is better to use? Channel 1-7 FRS/GMRS at high power or FRS 15-22 on high power?
    Is GMRS better than FRS for distance??

  4. SHOULD I be turning the function “Max Range Extender” to get the best range?

My geography of use is flat if not small mounds of hills in the Maritimes of Canada. Wooded at times and outside of a city. am I still only going to get a KM/mile or two??

I’ve learned quite a bit about two-ways so far reading this forum and other sites, so I’m intrigued by the possibility of higher powered radios. It sounds addictive.
I’m completely fresh meat though when it comes to this and my learning curve keeps leading me to dead ends. Hence this post.

With any luck I’ll get better at using them and quite possibly upgrade.



Thanks for your questions.

  1. The Cobra LI6000 series is designed with size and weight as the primary concerns, at the expense of range. I would expect that you would typically get one mile or less from this model, perhaps reaching two miles in a fairly open area.

  2. GMRS channels are 1-7 and 15-22.

  3. As far as range goes, GMRS is definitely preferable to FRS. On FRS, the radio will drop to less than half a watt of output power to comply with FCC regulations. As far as which individual GMRS channel is better, there is no difference as range is concerned. If possible, choose a channel where you receive little or no interference.

  4. I’m going from memory here, but I believe the Maximum Range Extender function on a Cobra radio is similar to the monitor function on radios from most other brands. Typically, a radio has a feature called “Auto Squelch” which means that only transmissions that have a strength exceeding a certain threshold will be received. Activating a monitor function causes the radio to constantly broadcast the selected frequency. This allows you to hear these very weak transmissions, but you also hear a lot of static and noise. This can be very annoying.

Glad to hear you’ve developed an interest in radios. Please keep us up to date as you learn more about these devices!

Thanks Danny!

This does help with the troubleshooting.

We tried it that weekend and we are going to give it another shot this coming weekend. I’ll post with my findings.


edit* PS - I did use the Maximum Range turned on and it was very annoying. I could see if I were stranded on an Island looking for help, but for general use I’ll stick to the normal frequencies you mention.