new to two-way, would like some advice on licensing and a radio

yes, first post!

I have used two vhf vertex standard vx-160’s on who knows what frequency for a duration of about 3 years, this was a few years back prior to the latest cellular, wifi and hdtv technology. I bought these for $40 with two rapid chargers and accessory mics. The ni-mh finally died and I moved to frs/gmrs but now i am just sick of the hassles of not having a dependable radio.

I’ve been in the telecom field for four years and do anything from fixing a broken rj45 patch cable in a walmart data center to full building wiring on a construction site for target and even satellite installs for radioshack.
I have various makes of gmrs but stuck collecting audiovox for a while because they were just a nice radio for me. I have eight that i’ve modified with 3mm LEDs on the tx/rx circuit to quickly identify where team members are/quickly find lost radios. I’ve had uniden, audiovox, midland, motorola and cobra junky frs AAA eating radios all bought as a means to communicate at work instead of just buying new batteries for the vertex pair. I did get use out of the audiovox and like them but midland cases tend to be the best case for loudspeaker bass and clarity.

I frequent pawn shops from Wisconsin to florida and new york to colorado, and recently stumbled across two moto RDU2080D business band each with a base and charger for $200.
Now I have an eye for deals and know the industry so i knew right away these could be a good deal but I also realize I might need a license.

My worry is that since i saw no colored dots, dont have a frequency counter and they are obviously used, i will either end up spending $40+ more per radio getting the frequencies changed or risk interfering with my customer or worse-getting fined by fcc.

The main and only reason i like this radio is simply that its large and heavy yet comfortable and light. I like the feeling of having a tough reliable means in which to communicate, I dont like swapping AAA batteries out, holding it to my ear, saying “repeat that” every 2 minutes or leaving it laying somewhere.

What would an fcc ignorant person like me need to do before I signed the receipt for the RDX’s?

I dont need a uhf/vhf radio, if anyone knows of a newer gmrs/frs (any non-license band) that is built right with durable construction, maybe LCD and a rubber ducky, I’d be all for it… and not a moto talkabout type either - more like the XU1xxx, HT1xxx, GPxx, VX-4xx even a Spirit would be okay.

Any help would be much appreciated, thanks!

Have you looked at the 900 MHz radios such as these: or ? They do not require a license to use. Another possible option is MURS:

Just about any used radio will need to be reprogrammed, and unless they are MURS frequencies or a 900 MHz radio you must have a license. The FCC recently has started to crack down on unlicensed users. Here is a service that can help expedite the licensing process: You can stick with GMRS if the only people using them are family members since they are covered under your GMRS license.

That is a fair price for the RDU2080d radios, the problem as you noted is they will have to be reprogrammed (and you will need a license first to have frequencies assigned for your use). If you are not too rough on radios I would give the 900 MHz radios a look. If you want a truly dependable radio though, a business radio will be your best bet. As you have noticed GMRS and 900 Mhz radios are not designed to last being used 10 hours a day 5 days a week.

Also, while we do not have a section here for buying and selling used gear, there are a few other two way radio forums that do. The people there are usually honest and the prices are fair. You might be able to pick up a set of MURS radios there, or even find a better deal on some used Motorola, Kenwood or Icom business radios.

murs sounds like an option, I still cant seem to locate licensing information regarding business band so i might find a two way store around here and drop in. I’ve always been scared of “900 mhz” since so many land phones burned me stating those frequencies, but 2 watts is the maximum claim of the RDX radios so it wouldnt be too bad i suppose.

Another fair and main reason behind non-frs frequencies (for me) would be distance obviously. There are many instances where i need to leave my crew (1 or more) on a roof or in a parkinglot while i run to say lowes, home depot, menards what have you - usually just a mile or less down the road.
I know I would be pushing the usage without a repeater but its so much easier that using a cell phone with PRL updates and loss of service so frequent now you’d think its a 50/50 coin toss on call connection.

However, I’ve noticed the more people i hand radios to on a job, the worse the slang and cursing becomes. I’ve told many people that the the powers that be will come get them (as a joke) and they will cut most of it out but is this a concern to business licensed frequencies/fcc in general since so many could be listening to that range?

Another ponder, if I am not a business but somehow obtain a band permit, would that not cancel out fcc regulations due to the fact that I move with the frequency? I mean, I am not a stationary entity like a security guard at building x or maintenance in building y, I would travel and possibly interfere with multiple companies. Perhaps this would be a reason NOT to pursue this “business band” whatever the spectrum (similar to 150~450.mhz) and simply stay with 900 MHZ or MURS vhf?

I really am clueless to two-way but I had a friend back in high school or maybe jr high, well he ran HAM so i became a little familiar with terminology and i dont forget things so it makes it confusing having the answer just not knowing how to piece memories/thoughts together. He use to have call sign KC5MBP last i knew 10 or 15 yrs ago.

If the technology that best suits my application is: cell phone, FRS, GRRS, MURS, UHF, VHF or tin cans and string, just let me know your opinion as Jeff did, that’s why i gave up googling and signed up. I just simply wanted the RDX’s because it seemed that i would get them at 1/2 cost of retail but Jeff said “fair” so I’m over it, there are a ton of nice radios that aren’t $300+ msrp.

Since you travel a lot, you fall under itinerant frequencies usage. The FCC license for itinerant frequencies is actually a bit easier to get than a “standard” one as well. The service I linked to ( ) can help with all of that – they will do the paper work and act as a frequency coordinator. If range and durability are your main concerns I might also look at these: They are tough, will get about 2 miles range, and should last for years. They are also new so they have a two year warranty.

Others here on the forum may have some more suggestions. :slight_smile: