Compatibility with Motorola Talkabouts

I recently purchased a pair of Motorola Talkabots to use in our family ski vacations which I’m disappointed with since they don’t have coverage from top to bottom of a larger mountain and certainly none when on the other side of a mountain. I want to upgrade to something more powerful that will still allow us to communicate with our friends who also use the Talkabouts.

Any recommendations??

I know this is a novice question but hoping someone might be able to point me in the right direction.

Without you and your friends both changing radios, you have no other options.

Then, the only option (without getting involved in one of the licensed radio services) would be a MURS radio, although, use of your radios on ant of the GMRS frequencies also requires a license.

The issue isn’t limited to Motorola Talkabout radios. Practically every handheld two way radio, no matter what make and model, will have limited range, particularly in mountainous areas. This is because radios operate line-of-site, and any obstructions such as natural land formations will inhibit that connection.

If you are on the same side of the mountain with trees and other natural artifacts in the way, they will interfere with the signal.

The radio waves will not penetrate through the mountain, so if the radios are on opposite sides of the same mountain, your chances of communicating between them are pretty much zero. The only way to overcome this is to have a repeater of some sort at the top of the mountain to retransmit the signal up and over the mountain and down to the other side.

Although VHF frequencies such as those used for MURS work better outdoors than the UHF frequencies on the GMRS, a MURS radio has a maximum output of 2 watts as opposed to GMRS handhelds, which have a maximum of 5 watts. However, wattage doesn’t really matter much here anyway. It is the location of the radios and their antennas that is key.

Here are some resources that may help:
Taking a Ski Trip? Take a Radio (article)
TWRS-27 - Skiing With Radios (Podcast)
Radio 101 - The truth about FRS / GMRS two way radio range (video)