From reading forums and reviews I have come to realize that the cheap consumer bubble packs have a max service time. Only so much percentage of time should be broadcasting, the majority should be listening or scanning. Especialy with the radios that put out a real 4 to 5 watts erp, you can burn out the finals if you flap your gums on high power. So is it better to operate at medium power (around 2 to 3 watts if available) and use open squelch if at the edge of range? I would think full power on a handheld should be the last resort.
In electronic terms, it is not technically a radio, it is either a transceiver - talks and receives, or it can be referred to as a Generator - since it generates a signal.
Radio waves can be divided into segments.
If 146.500 is 40 inches, it can be divided into smaller segments 20" / 10" etc.
But when you divide the length you change the resistance - the load.
The transceiver expects to see a 50 ohm load, due to the fact that the first transmitters were designed for 50 ohms and no one ever bothered to change it to something else.
The Generator - radio as you call it, tunes the transmitter to the load when it transmits. This mismatch causes heat to be produced, that along with the heat from the transistors used to create the signal.
Because there is an inadequate amount of heat sink material in most cheap handheld and mobile radios, the manufacturer limits the amount of transmit time to about 10%…
A good ham listens 90% of the time and talks 10%.
If you are using your radio just to talk to someone, then you are probably not a good ham. There is a part in the ARRL code of good operators that says that anything that can be done over the telephone - should!
30 years ago, when there wasn’t many cell phones or cell phone towers, FM repeater operations was critical for any type of mobile communications, since amateurs could talk to one another while they were driving down the road. In those days, it was hard to find a quiet place to talk - other then simplex.
Today the exact opposite is true. There are more repeaters then hams, and more hams today are too lazy to study and progress past the technician class license. Because there is no incentive license structure - FM repeaters are about as far as some amateurs ever makes it in amateur radio. This is sad!
Furthermore, amateur radio has been dumb’ed down to the point of where people believes that all you have to do is get a amateur radio license and a walkie talkie and talk…
GMRS technically requires a license to operate!
The FCC seems to look the other way when you only use one half of one watt on the FRS or one watt simplex on the GMRS bubble pack radios.
If you are using 4 or 5 watts without a license, what you are doing is illegal.
There is no bubble pack radios that produces 4 watts that I know of.
The purpose of amateur radio is to teach common everyday ordinary people about radio theory and the rules. One of the rules most often forgotten is the fact that you should always use the minimum amount of power necessary to make your contact, not the maximum amount of power that the radio produces.
With a FM radio and a repeater, it really doesn’t matter either way - since you are not going to cause harmful interference with 5 watts or even 50 watts with a good transmitter and a resonant antenna…