Hi Ralph, to expand a little on what Chickenhawk said about the DLR radios, and based on your stated needs, they would be a viable option for you because they are 900MHz radios. This gives you not one, but three advantages as far as interference is concerned.
- 900 MHz is limited to 1 watt, so range will be limited to your area of 4 acres.
- It’s a different band and frequency from FRS, GMRS and business radio frequencies, so nearby businesses and individuals are not likely to cause interference.
- They operate using FHSS technology, which uses an algorythm of frequency hopping within the band to communicate, meaning they sort of “jump around” the band, so to speak, and only other Motorola 900MHz digital radios can communicate with them. This gives you a higher level of both privacy and security you won’t find from radios in other services.
Like FRS, it’s license free
Now, these radios are not cheap. You said you want to limit spending to $150 or less per radio, so it may not qualify in that regard. The base model does run about $230.
Considering the budget, and the fact that the T71VP3 does seem to work for you, FRS is probably still not a bad option if you are okay with the privacy and security tradeoff. There are other options available in FRS that you may want to consider, however.
The Midland T71, as with most of the X-Talker series, is a fairly low power radio, even for FRS. It’s only about one half watt on high power channels (1-7, 15-22) and about a quarter watt on the low power channels (8-14). Most people don’t know this, because the packaging only boasts the “up to” range, which is based on clear line of site at a higher elevation. Our radio range chart gives you the real world calculations. It applies to FRS, GMRS and most other types of handheld radios as well.
FRS has a legal maximum power limit of 2 watts now, so it changes the game somewhat for professional use.
As mentioned earlier, there are other options for FRS that are designed with businesses and organizations in mind. The Wouxun KG-805F/FS is a prime example. This has the power, durability and features of a business radio, but with the simplicity of many FRS radios. Plus, it’s well within your budget. The battery uptime will uplast the T71 as well.
One of the best things about it is that it uses a standard Kenwood 2-pin audio connector, so you can fit a variety of earpiece and headset options to it, unlike the Midland, which uses a proprietary connector that limits you to a few choices. My personal favorite is a surveillance earpiece with an earloop instead of the supplied mushroom tip, as Chickenhawk recommends. And yes, I do use a surveillance earpiece/earloop combo regularly.
Another option is to go MURS. It’s also license-free. It only has 5 channels, but because MURS is not as widely used as FRS, it is generally free of extraneous traffic. While most MURS radios are rather pricey, there is a MURS version of the KG-805 Series available called the KG-805M that is the same price as the FRS version.
Also, both radios are also available in multi-packs and there is a multi-unit charger for them to accommodate radio fleets for business use.