Newbie advice needed want long range radio

hi everyone im new to this, but I’ve been testing out the bf888, I think they was anyway, could have been an older model maybe 777 as I only borrowed them ,the range was ok on them but however I’m on the look out for something similar easy to use but with a longer range,quite a few options have come to mind, but I think I can not get anything longer range without going licensed,
these radios are only going to be for personal use family and kids ect ,
so I wanted something simple if possible

I don’t mind getting licensed worse case but a lot of what I would learn in ham radio I wouldn’t use and seems pointless and other family members would be using them and they defo wouldn’t want to learn about radios ,

the bf888 range was good as they look durable easy ptt button flawless really
they breakup around half a mile in built up areas ,as were I am there are plenty of houses and some radios I believe can not go through homes , any advice or links at all would be grateful
and I was also looking at weather you could setup a private channel on amateur radios maybe or not if such a thing even exists
confused .com :slight_smile:

many thanks everyone

Welcome to the forums!

A typical handheld radio or “walkie-talkie” of any type, no matter what frequency or service it uses, is going to be limited to short range communications on its own. They are limited in power and their antennas are designed for portability by hand, so you will not get the range that you could from a mobile radio in a vehicle or a base station with more power and a larger antenna.

What you are getting from the BF-888 is about what you can expect from other handheld transceivers with the same wattage and antenna structure. Optimizing the antenna will certainly help, but if you want to increase range significantly, you will need to connect your radio to a mobile or base station antenna, which would not be practical if you want mobility on foot.

Here are some resources that may help you.

30 Miles? The Truth About Range

Getting The Most Range From Your Radio

The Two Way Radio Show Podcast
TWRS-05 - Radios in Range

TWRS-45 - The Truth About GMRS Radio Range

Radio 101 - The truth about FRS / GMRS two way radio range

To answer your second question, ham radio bands are open and do not offer private channels or frequencies. Some business and non-licensed digital radios provide encryption features, but amateur radio does not allow encrypted voice communications.

many thanks for the reply very helpful indeed,
when you say Optimizing the antenna would this be something as simple as replacing it with a larger one for the bf88 range,

What I meant by optimizing is to use an antenna that is most closely tuned to the bands and frequencies the radio is using and performs the best with it overall. It is quite common for one to replace the stock antenna that came with the radio with one or more third party antennas that offer higher performance.

Of course, this can only be done if the antenna is removable, and not all of them are, so your choice of which type of radio is best for your particular application may have as much to do with your ability to “accessorize” or upgrade it as what radio service or brand of radio it is.

many thanks for the reply,
so out of all the personal radio range there is out there,
do you have any of your favourite’s you can recommend ,
as ive only played around with the bf888 range or they could have been the 777 range,

I’m not sure what you are asking. Are you referring to favorite radio services or favorite makes and models of radios?