Suggestions for radios to use as an intercom in large laboratory

I’m looking into a radio system to use like an intercom system inside a largish laboratory building - 4 floors, 150 yards from one end of the building to the other.

Particularly, I would like to park at least one unit inside each large lab room and leave them on receive 24/7. Lab analysts could also grab a unit to take it with them to stay in communication with others in the lab when they’re running errands, going back to their offices, etc.

I’d prefer going the unlicensed route - FRS, MURS, etc.

Also, a large consideration is that these units will be sitting on their chargers 24/7, yet I want the charging bases to be smart enough not to overcharge them and burn the batteries out.

I’m not too worried about radio interference, as we are at a remote location.

Weather radio reception / SAME alerts would be a bonus - I could justify the costs partly as a tornado safety measure as well as a lab safety measure.

Do any of the manufacturers make base station FRS or MURS anymore?

I am a licensed ham myself. Not sure whether 1/2 of a watt would reach from the basement on the west side to the 3rd floor on the east side, but I think it might.

Looking forward to any feedback anyone might have.

Hi Metalophile,

The Ritron Jobcom JBS-146D Base Station/Wireless Intercom has just what you are looking for. It is an intercom system that can run on AC power 24/7 or 12DC (with optional adapter) and can sit on a desk or mount on a wall.

It it available in UHF or VHF and there is also a version that uses MURS. It also features NOAA weather channels and weather alerts. It is enclosed in an all-steel shell, making it quite durable for environments such as a laboratory.

These radios are 2 watts, so they should outperform any FRS radio.

Thanks for the recommendation, Rick. I just tested the feasibility of using regular 1/2 watt FRS, and the results are too spotty, I think - unless the radios I’m using are just duds. I don’t get reliable reception between the 3rd floor and basement levels. Perhaps MURS will be better, however they say UHF penetrates buildings better. I think I’ll test it out using my ham HT transciever on 2m (I am a licensed ham). Should have similar characteristics to MURS frequencies.