I’m very unfamiliar with radio types/capabilities and licensing req’ts so came to this forum looking for help. I have a 300 acre farm ~ 1/2 mile x 3/4 mile. The office is at sea level, but there are two 600’ ridges between the office and one main worksite. My Motorola T9500 walkie talkies can’t manage the distance and hills so I’m wondering what would. My understanding is that FRS/GMRS radios only do line of site so I’m wondering what I need to get to communicate anywhere on this farm. More powerful walkie talkies of a different nature? A high power base station and handhelds for workers in the fields? I want to avoid having to get a license if I can.
Thanks for suggestions.
Those ridges are the killer to any licence free bussiness option except maybe CB. FRS and MURS are both line of sight, don’t allow repeaters, and have power restrictions. GMRS allows higher power and repeaters, but only family members can communicate bussiness information. Just using a higher power base station won’t work for two reasons. Range is more about line of sight than radiated power. Also, even if your workers could hear you, their handheld or mobile units probably wouldn’t reach you.
I think you only have three options. Try CB if you can find a clear channel. Move your office to one of the ridges or pay someone to sit in a shack there and relay messages with the radios you have. Get a bussiness license and repeater system with good handie talkies and mobile mounted units.
I’m gonna throw my 2 cents in here.
Your current radios (Motorola T9500) are currently only producing a little over 1 watt of output power on high or less on low Here’s a review.
So you may have better luck with a higher power radio. Something like a MURS radio will produce twice the output power (2 watts) however as noted before you will be limited to line of sight. But, MURS radios are license free and use VHF frequencies over the FRS UHF frequencies. VHF frequencies travel better outdoors where as UHF travel better indoors so it may be worth a try.
It seems like I need a GMRS unit with repeaters. Do those always have a base station and then handhelds? Is the repeater set to just one frequency? I’m assuming I can get a solar powered repeater since there’s no power up on the ridges. Any suggestions for a good set up? I like Motorola in general, but am open to suggestions on affordable and reliable set ups by any manufacturer.
This was just posted in another forum that I follow. It applies to most VHF and UHF radio signals, so maybe you can glean some information from it.
Possibly necroposting, but there’s no realistic way to overcome a 600’ ridge without a repeater, which means a license. CB is really your only license-free option, and even that may not work.
There’s a wall between points A and B. You’re unfortunately going to have to get a repeater.
Depending on where the farm is located, cell phones might be a better option.
The GMRS radios have longer range but require a license ($'s). MURS radios have shorter range but no license requirements.
I’ve had pretty good luck using MURS in deep woods and reaching over 1/2 mile.
I was using two Baofengs programmed for MURS. Also changed the antennas to Nagoya NA-771s. Cheap enough to give them a try.
If your radios are vehicle mounted, CB with the 102" whip may get you there.
I’ve always wondered about farmers. They own large amounts of land. Always plead poverty and yet when they need tractors or other machinery, they seem to find the money. They baulk at a licence? They are unwilling to spend a few hundred? Just odd. There are even cheap batteries, inverters and solar panels that would allow an unattended repeater on the high ground? If you own a farm, why are you farting around with radio bodges? It’s a business expense and tax deductible.