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RESIDENT ASSHOLE
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Have any of you guys had any experience with them . You know the small ones that are out( radio shack , motorola,cobra).Some claim 2 - 8 miles.I am trying to find out so I can buy some for my kids to keep track of them while they are outside playing.Cell phones cost too much for four.Even with the plans they offer . Pre-paid is out also.I live in good old fashion subdivision with quite a few houses , so I don't know if I get the better ones(longer distance)ones would be better . Thanks
 

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Some assembly required!
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I work on commercial two way radios, specifically Motorola, for a living, but I think what you're talking about are called FRS radios. It stands for Family Radio Service. The manufacturers reports of their range is GREATLY exagerated. No way in hell you're geting 2 miles if you have any kind of obstructions in the path. They can claim the big range numbers because it is possible under ideal conditions, i.e. you're on a mountain top and have a clear line of sight to them and have a fully charged battery. These FRS radios are limited to a max output power by the FCC, 1/2 watt ERP if I recall, and you are specifically forbidden from using any kind of power booster or improved antenna system. The FCC intended these to be a very range-limited device. If your kids will be within a few blocks you'll probably be okay with them, if they'll be half way across town you can forget it. The things are cheap enough, just get a set and try them out to see if they'll meet your needs. I've seen them as cheap as $30 for a pair.
 

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I have a bunch of them, and I can tell you the cheaper they are the more they overrate the range. I have like 3 sets of Cobra's that were about $60 for a pair if I rememberright and they work clearly up to about 1/2 mile away if your going through mountains and trees. At the flat open land they will go about 2 miles. When I bought them, they said they were good for 5 miles. Then I have a new set of Motorola radios thart was about $250 and it was advertised with a 5 mile range and they will actually go 5 miles. In the trees they will do about 1.5 miles to 2 miles quiet breaking up.
 

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Got a pair at target and they work extremely well. They work well within 'bout 2 blocks. But they work fine within that range.
 

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MikE2 said:
I have a bunch of them, and I can tell you the cheaper they are the more they overrate the range. I have like 3 sets of Cobra's that were about $60 for a pair if I rememberright and they work clearly up to about 1/2 mile away if your going through mountains and trees. At the flat open land they will go about 2 miles. When I bought them, they said they were good for 5 miles. Then I have a new set of Motorola radios thart was about $250 and it was advertised with a 5 mile range and they will actually go 5 miles. In the trees they will do about 1.5 miles to 2 miles quiet breaking up.
Here at the ski resort, everybody carries these things now, and I will second Mike's advice that the better motorolas and "brand names" do seem to work better. A few of our staff that carry them to keep occupied on lifty shifts are getting reasonable reception from summit to base and everywhere in between (frontside) which is at least 5 miles, but flawless line of sight. If they ski around back however, they loose it completely. The Cobras and other knockoffs don't seem to work as well.
 

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I've got uniden radios that say they are good for 3 miles. Hardy har har! Maybe 3 blocks. I use them to track my youngin' and they work ok because all his buds live close by. We tried them at about a mile and no go.
 
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