List power of FRS/GMRS radios (from FCC data)

Further to discussions on the site I attach below a list showing the power of 50 or so two-way radios certified by the FCC over roughly the past three years. I have it as an excel spreadsheet but this site won’t accept that as an attachment.

Basically the list gives every FRS/GMRS radio submitted by Cobra, Midland and Motorola over that period. I hope it helps people when it comes to choosing radios :slight_smile: .

I have had to hand-crank the data from the FCC site and I am sure there are some transcription errors, although not too many, I hope.

Columns 1 and 2 show the make and model. Column 3 is the ERP (Effective radiated power) on the highest GMRS setting the unit boasts. Column 4 is the ERP on the FRS setting. ERP is the signal strength that actually gets out of the antenna, which is what matters in terms of distance at which a signal could be picked up. Receiver sensitivity and a whole lot of other things will affect whether the signal is actually received, so it does not necessarily follow that the most powerful two-way radio pair will have the longest range. As ever, though, horsepower helps (or technically, tiny fractions of horsepower…)

As I got further into making this list, I got more and more puzzled by the data. Columns 5 and 6 reflect that puzzlement. I have a pair of Cobra LI6050WXs so I spent a bit more time looking at them along with their baby brothers the LI3950DXs, which look to me to have the same casing and antenna.

As well as giving the ERP, the FCC site gives a whole lot of other info, including how to set up the radios and some stuff on power consumption etc.

Looking first at the 6050s, the setup instructions (for technicians) say that the power at the output to the antenna should be 3 watts. This ties in with the power consumption of the final stage amplifier per the FCC, which is 5.18 watts. However the ERP (the power out of the antenna, in effect) is just0.372 watts.

The 3950s setup instructions say that power at the output to the antenna should be 2 watts. The 3950s seem to run a more efficient final stage: pwer consumption is 2.36 watts. But ERP on these is .492 watts.

So with the same antenna we have
6950s: 3 watts in, 0.372 watts out
3950s: 2 watts in, 0.492 watts out.

I’d expect the same aerial to give the same attenuation so what is going on? Also this is a crazy level of loss. Where is all that power going?

I also don’t understand it from the manufacturers’ point of view. There is no commercial advantage in building a more powerful (more expensive) final stage and ending up with a less powerful transmitter. Is there anyone out there in the industry that can give us a clue as to what is going on?

These are my personal ponderings. I hope the attached doc helps everyone in their 2-way radio choice.


Make: motorola Model: t7100/t7200 GMRS Power: 1.559 FRS Power: 0.402
Make: motorola Model: CP200 GMRS Power: 4.6 FRS Power: 1
Make: Cobra Model: PR3850TX GMRS Power: 1.37 FRS Power: 0.134
Make: Cobra Model: LI6050WX GMRS Power: 0.372 FRS Power: 0.06 final amp stage 5.18 output to antenna 3.0W max
Make: Cobra Model: LI3950DX GMRS Power: 0.492 FRS Power: 0.12 final amp stage 2.36 output to antenna 2.0W max
Make: Cobra Model: PR165VP GMRS Power: 0.245 FRS Power: 0.218
Make: Cobra Model: PR250WX GMRS Power: 0.462 FRS Power: 0.398
Make: Cobra Model: PR990VP GMRS Power: 0.286 FRS Power: 0.233
Make: Cobra Model: PR4700WX GMRS Power: 1.16 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: PR5050WX GMRS Power: 1.4 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: PR150VP GMRS Power: 0.72 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: PR3500DX GMRS Power: 1.2 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: PR650WX GMRS Power: 1 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: PR245 GMRS Power: 0.95 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: LI4900WX GMRS Power: 0.5 FRS Power: 0.31
Make: Cobra Model: LI6550WX GMRS Power: 1 FRS Power: 0.5
Make: Cobra Model: MRHH425LI GMRS Power: 1.9 FRS Power: final amp stage 13.54 output to antenna
Make: Cobra Model: LI7000WX GMRS Power: 1.25 FRS Power: 0.5 final amp stage 6.29 output to antenna 5W max
Make: Midland Model: FG2 GMRS Power: 0.492 FRS Power: 0.41
Make: Midland Model: G220 GMRS Power: 1.3 FRS Power: 0.41
Make: Midland Model: FG1 GMRS Power: 0.54 FRS Power: 0.45
Make: Midland Model: G300 GMRS Power: quoted in DbM FRS Power:
Make: Midland Model: G9 GMRS Power: 1.4 FRS Power:
Make: Midland Model: M222P GMRS Power: 1.3 FRS Power: 0.5 final amp stage 2.7 output to antenna 2W max
Make: Midland Model: G225/G227 GMRS Power: 1.75 FRS Power: 0.41 final amp stage 3.6 output to antenna 1.8W max
Make: Midland Model: LXT314/317 GMRS Power: 0.665 FRS Power: 0.271 final amp stage 2.94
Make: Midland Model: GXT710/735/750 GMRS Power: 1.6369 FRS Power: 0.2447 final amp stage 3.78 output to antenna 3.2W max
Make: Midland Model: LX210/310/330/410/435 GMRS Power: 0.676 FRS Power: 0.307 final amp stage 2.46
Make: Midland Model: GXT700/771 GMRS Power: 1.6369 FRS Power: 0.2447 final amp stage 3.78
Make: Midland Model: GXT555 GMRS Power: 1.549 FRS Power: 0.198 final amp stage 9.66 output to antenna 4.5W max
Make: Midland Model: GXT800 GMRS Power: 1.6379 FRS Power: 0.2035 final amp stage 3.78
Make: Midland Model: XT511 GMRS Power: 1.0815 FRS Power: 0.2622 final amp stage 9.9 output to antenna 4W max
Make: Midland Model: GXT808/850/800 GMRS Power: 1.289 FRS Power: 0.215 this one is very informative
Make: RCA Model: 32350RC3 GMRS Power: 1.59 FRS Power: 0.37
Make: Giant Model: T9140 GMRS Power: 0.06 FRS Power: 0.05
Make: motorola Model: T9500 GMRS Power: 1.03 FRS Power: 0.11
Make: motorola Model: FV600 GMRS Power: FRS Power:
Make: motorola Model: FV225 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.14
Make: giant Model: T8260D GMRS Power: FRS Power:
Make: motorola Model: Model 525 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.15
Make: motorola Model: T6100 GMRS Power: 0.26 FRS Power: 0.23
Make: motorola Model: FV200 GMRS Power: 0.14 FRS Power: 0.13
Make: motorola Model: SX700 GMRS Power: 0.63 FRS Power: 0.17 per tune up info not test report
Make: motorola Model: FV500 GMRS Power: 0.28 FRS Power: 0.1
Make: motorola Model: T5000/5500 GMRS Power: 0.275 FRS Power: 0.265
Make: motorola Model: SX500 GMRS Power: 0.28 FRS Power: 0.2
Make: motorola Model: FV700/FV750 GMRS Power: 0.75 FRS Power: 0.17
Make: motorola Model: T6525 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.21
Make: motorola Model: SX700 GMRS Power: 0.63 FRS Power: 0.17
Make: motorola Model: L1010/R1010 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.25
Make: motorola Model: T6300 GMRS Power: FRS Power:
Make: motorola Model: T8500/8510/8530/8550 GMRS Power: 0.68 FRS Power: 0.26
Make: RCA Model: 32310RC3 GMRS Power: 0.63 FRS Power: 0.12
Make: motorola Model: T9580 GMRS Power: 0.75 FRS Power: 0.29
Make: Model: T3800/3400 GMRS Power: 0.09 FRS Power: 0.08
Make: Model: LA8270 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.1
Make: Model: L8230 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.14
Make: motorola Model: T8525 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.32
Make: Model: L3400 GMRS Power: FRS Power: 0.03
Make: Model: T2010 GMRS Power: 0.2 FRS Power: 0.21 yes, this way round


I see it has lost its formatting. If anyone has a website they’d like to post it to and can give me a way of sending them the spreadsheet, I am happy to forward it.

What a great list! Thanks so much, that will help lots of our users here!

Can you PM the file to me? I can post HTML here, maybe I can get it formatted better.

Thanks again!


Certainly Danny. What does PM mean?

Sorry, a PM is a private message. You can click my name at the top of one of my posts, and then choose “Send a Private Message”.


How about pinning this one?


You have this line in your list above:
Make: motorola Model: t7100/t7200 GMRS Power: 1.559 FRS Power: 0.402

When I looked up K7GT7100, I got the following numbers:
GMRS Power: 0.96 FRS Power: 0.36

I noticed it because I tried to use your list to find a GMRS radio that actually put out close to 2 watts ERP, but I had checked the T7100 on my own before and thought your number was high.

Let me know what you think.

I think there are no GMRS units that have close to 2 watt ERP.

One of the Unidens may reach 2 watts. A lot of the problems range with the Canadian GMRS rules that only allow for a max of 2 watts ERP, and a lot of manufacturers want their radios accepted in both the USA and Canada.

does anyone have the ERP for the Motorola T6400? they are a 1 watt version of the T6300…quite durable, and actually the squad radio of choice for the army/marines in Iraq. that’s right…for inter-squad communications they many times ditched their heavy bulky radios for these small durable 1 watts.

i am just curious as to the ERP of them…is it close to 1 watt?

Do you know/have the FCC ID #? Without that, I can not be of help.


i will be receiving the radios from an ebay auction on Thursday or Friday. I will send you a message once i get them with the FCC ID#

This is the most useful posting yet!!! Thank you for that. Where did you get that data from?

Great resource!

Here’s another one

Icom IC-F4001
FCCID: AFJ328601 (I think a close cousin is AFJ328602)

1W setting -> 1W output
4W setting -> 4.3W output.

I do not see the listing for the midland GTX 1000
Am I missing something?

The list was posted in 2007, before the GXT1000 was launched.

Here are the numbers on the GXT1000VP4 (FCCID: MMAGXT950).

Low Power -> 0.42W
High Power -> 5.33W

Import it into Google Sheets

Click File → Publish to the Web

Click the Publish link, and then copy the URL here. Or click Share and “Anyone with the link”, then we can import it into our own Google Sheets

I wouldn’t put much emphasis on the ERP - it’s probably the most poorly measured test result for so many reasons. We have an accurate measurement of power applied to the antenna - done by testing the PA stage actual power output into a 50Ohm load and comparing out to the design spec from the components in the final. Then we stick a ropey, pretty randomly designed antenna on the radio, that isn’t really resonant in any measurable form - as in do you test with the radio in your hand - a real world test, or do you test with the radio standing in free space, and if you do this test, do you do it in a plane perpendicular to the antenna - the H plane, or do you do it up at 15 degrees or so to mimic real life tilt to the radio? You’re also going to get a field strength reading that needs to be converted to Watts - but this also needs the compensation for the power throttling that happens when return VSWR rises due to the terrible antenna match. So is if the 3W output drops to 2W because of the poor VSWR, which does the spec use? All the FCC want is radiated power below a certain level, with an antenna that by definition makes accurate measurement nigh on impossible. Each manufacturer or tester will apply a different testing methodology, so despite having solid ‘units’ the results cannot be compared if the tests are done differently. Even worse, we’re talking very low power , so decimal points become important - but waving your hand while the measurement is being taken, wrecks the results. The ERP that is very low suggests an error in their measurements to me, or a really awful antenna!

Not being familar with GMRS, or the different reg variations between the North America areas, my general thoughts are this.

There’s no point aiming for broke when choosing a rig when your legislated ERP limit is low like 2/4W type territory. Likewise, there’s really no sane call for looking into spending money on high gain antenna options.

‘Low power’ type approved radio systems have a limited range ideal use built into the regs, like with UK CB (UK and CEPT specs) and PMR446 over here. So if your antenna you are ‘allowed’ to use (like with CB we were required to use 1/4 verticals only) is dB down (lossy) like a 1/4W vertical is, the end point (for legal operation anyway) is optimising the setup by choosing a radio which has enough true TX rated output at the antenna socket to bridge the gap so you make up for the antenna restriction and can get your full permitted ERP using that restricted antenna setup.

So before embarking on spending money on semi-fictional ratings manufacturers are notorious for promoting, it’s worth discovering how much actual loss you are additional getting due to coax loss because of shoddy cheap manufacture and/or the actual cable run length itself.

So, if (to use the UK CB example), if the regs (as they did) worked on a 2W ERP from a 1/4W as the model, and a mandated max TX level from the rig as 4W, legally you only had two paths.

  1. Ensure you were getting 4W out of your 4W rated PA final (and i can safely say a lot didn’t meet that limit, some being nearer to 2.5W on average or maybe 3W).

  2. Establish how many dB you are losing through intermediate losses - connectors and patch cords have a numeric loss factor, any LPF you insert in-line has a numeric loss factor, and the coax itself has a loss factor.

So given an existing set actually delivers the rated output and your ERP is below what you should get, you are looking at losses in-line and or mismatches in SWR. Sort those out (where applicable, loss in cable always is there) and you needn’t spend a penny on chasing perfect results based on snake oil claims on new antennas. There was a distributor over here of antennas who sold heavily into the LMR market, sold mobile collinear antennas to the car mobile phone market and to CB users, and at a job interview, i asked (since sales were involved in the job) how they verified and tested their specs - and i won’t quote the reply, but it entailed a lot of questionable language describing my arrogance for asking and when i did eventually get a reply, it was they built to common construction dimensions and never actually tested anything. If that doesn’t give an insight into ‘snake oil’ claims, nothing will.

Now assuming you are talking about an installation where you’re already as optimal as is practical with minimal intermediate losses and your main elements of concern are an unavoidable (through legislative requirement) spec antenna and you test your rig and discover it’s under driving because it’s real output is actually low, where the legislation gives you an upper limit for ERP and has no Tx limit (or a higher available limit than your radio’s spec is rated for), you can explore making up the shortfall with (where legit) getting your PA module to deliver the right output level or even replacing it, or seeking a new rig with a higher delivered output at the socket that, combined with the losses in your antenna system and restricted antenna, a few dB improvement at the output can make up the short fall and still have a certifed system - clearly depending on the system and rules, you may end up having to get a certified service center do the PA work or simply they’ll optimise the alignment until they get the right level on reliable certified calibrated kit you don’t possess and don’t be surprised to discover your (by comparision) toy grade power meter was modifying the truth somewhat.

Clearly the numbers and restrictions in play define where and how far you can go, even the mode of operation has a determination factor to what you actually need ERP wise vs the set limits (digital modes often can get a better delivery in range and SQ for a reduced ERP level).

The systems differ, rules differ, but the underlying physics don’t - so trying to bend the laws of physics believing a known limit (such as given co-linear of x sections is nominally x db up over unit) has been miraculously wiped away when the snake oil specs tell you this piece of desirable radio antenna tech is at least 50% higher in dB gain than a regular (real) example. A similar analogy applies to most things RF.

So, think with your head and sort out the real flaws first, then retrofit/replace with known reliable sourced parts from people who actually know the difference between fiction and fact.

So that pretty much excludes sourcing from a lot of eBay vendors…