Does This Exist?

Hi All –

I’ve done some reading, and am scared to purchase because of all that I read about line of sight, obstructions, etc. Maybe I can tell you what I need these for, and you can help me understand if anything fits the bill.

I live in a small town, and I’d like a set of two-way radios that will allow me to talk as quickly as possible from one location to another, generally indoors. We have a child with health problems that create frequent emergencies, and so my wife and I have not been out to dinner in years. We’d like to give it a try. We have a sitter that we trust, but we absolutely must be reachable very quickly, and we do not want to rely on cell phones for several reasons.

So, are there any commercial two way radios that will reliably allow the sitter to reach us quickly from inside the house to the inside of the restaurant we are sitting in? The restaurants we would choose from are between a quarter mile to two miles away from the house, and although the town is relatively flat, there are lots of buildings in between.

Any thoughts or other solutions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


Reliably? No.

Range will be anywhere from 1/2 to 2 miles. It depends entirely on local terrain, buildings, foliage, and just how shielded a building interior is.

The sitter, note, unless the new rules being considered remove licensing, would have to be licensed to use a GMRS radio.

So there are no other types of devices to consider to meet this need? Any other thoughts, or am I just SOL?

Also I’m curious how serious this licensing thing is. If someone were to buy some GMRS sets and just start using them with no license, what are the odds that they’re going to get in trouble? How would that even happen? And what is the consequence? A fine?

Thanks much.


You can’t change the laws of physics.

VHF/UHF Radios are pure line of sight, and that line of sight can be blocked by just about anything.

You already know the solution, assuming service is available in your area, namely, cellphones/nextel.

Legally, no license (unless the FCC removes the requirement), is a violation carrying a potential $10,000 fine. In reality, I think the FCC usually imposes a $1,000 fine for each day of illegal operation (normally, 1 day).

The chance of getting caught is miniscule, of course, unless you annoy someone who reports you with great vigor and demands the FCC do something.

There are assorted options for non-licensed low power radios. ALL of them will have the same 1/2 mile to 2 mile maximum range, mostly 1 mile is a better maximum, and NONE will be ‘reliable’ past a 1/4 to 1/2 mile.