Best 2 way radio (reception wise) that can be used in Canada

For some strange reason, it seems that the most powerful two way radio that you can buy in Canada is somewhere in the neighbourhood of a 1 watt radio. I would like to get something more powerful that has much more range. We are going down to Cabellas at the end of this summer and I was looking at the Midland Bubba or another similar 5 watt radio. It says on the site that you have to get a license from the FCC to operate the radio. Will the radio not work without this license, or is it simply the fact that it will work, but to legally operate it, you need the license. The reason that I ask is because the FCC doesn’t have any governance in Canada so I wondered if I would still be able to use it here. If I absolutely need the license no matter what, what radios would you recommend for me to pick up that are the most powerful, but do not need the license.

‘More Powerful’ does NOT equal ‘More Range’.

The VHF/UHF radios in question are line of sight. Antenna height, along with hills, buildings, and foliage in between are what determines the range.

The maximum power for GMRS in Canada is 2 watts, I believe, and almost all the bubblepack type GMRS radios sold there have 1.7-1.95 watts on the GMRS channels.

The FCC doesn’t cover Canada. Industry Canada does.

The quoted ‘34 mile range’ for those radios will be gotten ONLY if both ends are standing on 300 foot hills, with no other hills in between. If then. Like all other radios of this type, they would get 1/2-2 miles range in most conditions. They are, of course, illegal to use in Canada.

I understand that they are illegal to operate in Canada, but my question is: Hypothetically, would they work in Canada without getting a license? Do they work right out of the box (whether in the US or Canada), or do they not even operate until you get a license from the FCC?

Yes they work, the license jsut allows you to use them legally. By going through the course to get the license, they expect you to learn when/how to use the radios so that you’re not causing interference or other issues to those that use those frequencies.
Side note, CRTC is the governing body for radio frequency use as opposed to the US’s FCC.

GMRS radios do not require a licence of any kind in Canada.

However, their output power is restricted.

In reality, it doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. Technically, if you could find someone who would ship U.S.-certified GMRS radios to Canada, you wouldn’t find the slightest difference in performance. Read the good posts above.

One cannot change the laws of physics based on what is advertised on bubble-packs.

This is a 3 year old post and I am sure that I will be crucified for answering the question. The point still remains that when you increase power X amount, you do increase range a little, note I said a little, not a lot.

A long time ago, a company called Collins realized that in order to sell more radios they needed some type of gimmick that would differentiate their product from everyone else.

The SI unit of measurement - basically the metric system, was developed, that uses factors of 10’ to display power.

The S unit 1 -9 showed a power increase of x4, hence if you have one watt and 1 S unit and you increase the power 4 times - 4 watts, you would see a movement on the needle of 1 S unit. However, all signals reduce at the square of the distance away. So the closer you get to the transmitter, the more the signal strength would increase.

If .5 watts does not get it done, sometimes a power increase to 1 watt will help your cause. If one watt does not help your cause, a power increase to 4 watts would appear significant as long as you were within range.

Then you would need to remember, if you had 4 watts and you wanted to move the needle another s unit, your transmitter would need to produce 16 watts.

On the other hand, if the signal was 10/s-9 and you wanted to increase your power, you would have to multiply your power X 10.

So a 10/s-9 signal with 100 watts, you would need to produce 1000 watts.

To move the needle another S unit you would need 10,000 watts.

S9+20db. 1000 watts
S9+10db. 100 watts
S9 10 watts
S8 2.5 watts
S7 .625 watts
S6 .156 watt
S5 .039 watt
S4 .0087 watt!

Eventually you reach the point of diminishing returns.

Modern day transceivers S meters are not calibrated to any standard.

To trick buyers into believing that their receiver is more sensitive then others, they sometimes fudge the S meter reading. ICOM is guilty of this.

The Sinad of the receiver is the most important thing to look at when looking at receiver sensitivity.