Newbie here: Here's what I'm gonna use it for, so what should I get ?

Hi, all.

I’m pretty new to the radio scene. I thought that maybe if I gave y’all an overview of my wants/needs out of a 2-way set up, you guys could point me in the right direction.

I’d be using the radios most for relatively casual communication, mostly car to car use during roadtrips, but also on foot. My highest range requirement would likely be opposite ends of an amusement park.

I’ll also be using the radios fairly often on an outdoor firearms range, to communicate with friends during drills, similar to how paintball/airsoft teams use them.

I also anticipate some indoor usage, but not a lot, and nothing like building to building in a major downtown area; more like over a shopping mall or equivalent.

So, given all that, what’s good ? I was thinking the blackbox radios, but the VHF or the UHF ? Or do you think i could squeak by with the GMRS radios ?

Also, for the range, what would a good hands-free set-up be ? A big plus would be a unit that I would be able to wear under some electronic cans (peltors).

Thanks in advance, and nice to meet y’all.

EDIT: I also had another question I forgot to ask. How should I select which frequencies to use ? Is there some way to check and see which freqs are in use around where I live (Austin, TX)? Are some somehow more “optimal” compared to others?


For car to car very local less than .25 miles, almost anything will work, however you mentioned amusement parks. Depending the size of the park, you really want a decent commercial radio for that. You need the full power, and the higher receive audio to hear it. For paintball, the best thing you can have is the commercial radio with a nice earbud/mic so you can keep your hands free. :slight_smile: You don’t want to get shot or miss the shot because you had a radio in your hand. A buddy of mine does that in Oklahoma. He is a 40 year old paint ball addict. He goes with his son almost weekly for these things. I loaned him 2 of my Black Box radios to try out and he wound up buying them from me with the earbud/mic’s.

You can read my other post, it might fill you in a little better:

Feel free to contact me for other questions. I’m happy to help.

Nothing beats a reliable fee free communications!

Sorry forgot to answer your other questions.

UHF is great for crystal clear communications both indoors and outdoors. You will get a slightly longer range outdoors with VHF however you will get better range indoors with UHF. If you said you were going to use them outside exclusively and needed 3-5 miles ranges from mountain top to the city, I would say VHF is the way to go, however I don’t think that will be the case for you. I would stick with UHF. I put the GMRS freqs in my Black Box radios. A GMRS license is rather cheap, not that anyone really gets one, but I like to be legal.

If you go VHF, you can use the MURS freqs in there. They are a license free service, you will have to only use 2W on those though. Legally anyway.

For a firearm range, you WILL need loud audio. The Black Box Radio is a great fit for the price. If you went to lets say a Yaesu Vertex or a Motorola radio, you would spend a whole lot more, and your range would only increase slightly as the receive sensitivity in the BB radios are very good. I dumped all my Motorolas for big $$$ and bought the BB radios. I liked them so much, I started selling and renting them. Go with those. You won’t be disappointed.

Hope this helps.