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Tuesday, 05-Feb-2013 11:26:26 PST
A number of times I've been asked by U.S. residents, what is this "no-licensed required Family Radio Service or FRS"?
I did a lot of research into this topic and this is what I came up with. It is a no-licensed required, two way and very inexpensive walkie-talkie that operates in the frequency range of 462.5625 to 467.7125 Mhz, this is the FRS or Family Radio Service band. These units are apparently ONLY for service in the U.S.A. although I believe it may apply to Canada as well, I haven't had time to confirm whether the Family Radio Service band applies there as well.
One very interesting aspect I've noted is this Family Radio Service band is very useful to the amateur radio fraternity. Why?. Under regulations, amateurs may NOT discuss or pass messages of a family or business nature.
Quoting in part from the FCC page - The Family Radio Service ("FRS") is one of the Citizens Band Radio Services. It is for your family, friends and associates to communicate among yourselves within your neighborhood and while on group outings. You cannot make a telephone call with a FRS unit. You may use your FRS unit for business-related communications. See the technical specifications of one popular unit further on. Note it does not operate as a telephone service, it is NOT a cellular phone.
License documents are neither needed or issued. FRS Rule 1 provides your authority to operate a FRS unit in places where the FCC regulates radio communications, as long as you use only an unmodified FCC certified FRS unit. An FCC certified FRS unit has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer. There is no age or citizenship requirement.
You may operate your FRS unit within the territorial limits of the fifty United States, the District of Columbia, and the Caribbean and Pacific Insular areas ("U.S."). You may also operate your FRS unit on or over any other area of the world, except within the territorial limits of areas where radio- communications are regulated by another agency of the U.S. or within the territorial limits of any foreign government.
No! Apart from the FCC requirements that you can only operate or use an FCC certified FRS unit, you can identify an FCC certified FRS unit by the label placed on it by the manufacturer, it makes absolutely no sense anyway. I will shortly introduce you to the Motorola TalkAbout 250 , which at the price it can be purchased (SINGLE UNITS), you could not duplicate it at the price even in the best equipped radio shop. Building your own makes no sense at all. Don't even think about trying to modify one - you would only probably wreck it.
Motorola has long been a trusted brand and a recognized leader in the wireless communications industry.
Take Motorola's TalkAbout 250 Two-Way Radios along on all your recreational group activities! These high-tech, full-featured radios maximize your fun and keep track of the other members of your group when they are up to 2 miles away (depending on terrain and conditions). Whether you're out on the slopes, tackling some tough climbing terrain, or taking a spin on the bike path, put one of these little radios in your pocket (or in one of our handy carrying cases), and you'll stay connected.
With fourteen, no-licensed required Family Radio Service (FRS) channels and built-in codes that block out unwanted chatter, your conversations will be as fun-filled as your favorite free-time activities.
Looking for a great way to stay in touch while hiking, skiing, camping, or shopping? With an impressive two-mile range, the TalkAbout 250 is one powerful two-way radio, sporting 14 channels with 38 privacy codes to help block out unwanted messages. The striking design makes the radio's exterior as cool as its features.
In our tests, we encountered no problems with interference or with finding free channels. The reception was clear, without too much static. We especially liked the scan lock, which scans through the channels until it finds an active channel. Scan lock automatically locks in the channel, letting you listen in discreetly or talk with other parties.
Most of the buttons are intuitive enough to figure out, although we do suggest a quick read of the manual in order to fully appreciate the power of the TalkAbout 250. The placement of the talk button--inconveniently located in the center of the radio- -makes it difficult to speak while holding down the button. You can solve this problem by attaching a microphone to the radio and using the VOX (voice activation) feature, which allows hands-free talking.
Compact and feature- packed, the TalkAbout 250 is an inexpensive walkie-talkie that keeps you connected.
Inconveniently located talk button
Single 2-way radio in anthracite color
Up to a 2-mile range
14 channels with 38 interference eliminator codes
Channel lock and channel scan
Accessory-ready jack for hands-free use
Buy through Amazon: Motorola TalkAbout
T250 2-Mile 14-Channel Two-Way Radio
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Updated 28th January, 2001