I am going on a cruise and am looking to buy a set of 2-way radios. My fiance is a boat captain so he is all about VHF. From what I am reading, UHF is the best for our situation.
I am not looking to get a cheap pair. I’d rather spend a decent amount of money (within reason) on a set that does the job rather than waste my money on junk. I have heard a million suggestions on a cruise forum I frequent…but of course there is also the “buts” along with those suggestions.
This forum looks like it is full of pros with the gadgets so I am taking a shot here…here are my requirements.
It needs to have a vibrating feature
It needs to possibly work 3 decks from each other (crossing fingers one of them can do this)
It needs to possibly work from one end of the ship to the other, 855 ft (again crossing fingers one of them can do this)
It needs to possibly work with one user on the ship and the other user 5 miles away on the beach…with a clear shot of course (crossing fingers for a third time)
Am I describing the “mother” of 2-ways that doesn’t exist? Or is there in fact one that will give me close to what I am looking for?
Correct, you need UHF. It has a better bounce characteristic around metal than VHF. Forget FRS, the quality is poor and the range is the same. Do not believe the exaggerated mileage claims. Radios talk a long way across water with no obstructions. The GMRS frequencies require a license, which is good for 10 years. I would do that, get some decent 4 watt radios and you will be ahead of the game with the best chance of success. You can get a radio like the Motorola BPR40 for a reasonable price (example, not sales pitch) from http://www.amerizonwireless.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=3971. They are tough little radios and will live through a drop. As a retired radio dealer, I sold lots of them to schools, construction companies, etc. Good radio for the price.
I recommend the Black Box Radios. I have been selling/renting them for well over a year now and I have used them on the Royal Caribbean “Liberty of the Seas” ship. The largest in the fleet. I have been able to go many decks below without a problem. Please feel free to contact me directly and I can forward you the data sheets on them along with photos etc.
Cruise ships make up the majority of my business and I have never had a complaint about them yet.
I own a set of Kenwood TK3131’s FRS/GMRS and have been quite happy with them. I understand that they are no longer available but you can buy a TK3130 and have it programmed to a TK3131. I get excellent service from these radios in the mountains and at the lake.
P.S. I also get great service out of the battery on this model