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15,924 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
FRS threads come up now and again, and I usually don't pay them a whole lot of attention as a licensed ham. But if you want to build a small go-kit for emergencies, you'll toss in your ham HT (at the very least) -- but you may also add some FRS radios for your non-licensed family. The models evolve every few months, so this topic should be revisited periodically.

What's the best FRS radio out on the market today? I'm not looking at advertised range, since we all know that ideal conditions don't exist and you're probably looking at 1-5 miles regardless of the radio.

So I've narrowed the criteria down to the following features:
* The radio should have the ability to be rechargeable, but also accept AA/AAA batteries in case AC is no longer available.
* Several FRS radios now have NOAA weather reception capability, including S.A.M.E.
* Weather/water-proofing might be nice.
* They're probably all made in China, so forget limiting yourself to a US-made radio. But it should at least be reasonably sturdy, rugged, etc.

Here's a couple to pick from:
Motorola T9680RSAME 22 Channel 28 Mile Two-Way Weather Radio Motorola T9680RSAME FRS Radio 2-pack: Car Electronics

Uniden Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios with Charging Kit - Dark Grey (GMR5089-2CKHS) Uniden Submersible 50 Mile FRS/GMRS Two-Way Radios with Charging Kit - Dark Grey (GMR5089-2CKHS): Car Electronics

I believe the Uniden model does not have SAME, but does have some good waterproofing.

Has anyone seen other models that you might consider adding to a radio go-kit for the family?

Ham Extra Class
3,267 Posts
I believe communications of any type is vital to survival during a SHTF event.
I have over 30 or so FRS radios to hand out to neighbors,friends and family to help keep all in my area in touch with each other in case an emergency should arise. Here's a picture of a few.
I have all the old Motorola FRS radios that take AA batteries, with a few that have rechargeable batteries.
I do have also quite a bit of rechargeable AA batteries and chargers for the others to help them out on keeping the radios running.
I get about 1/2 to 3/4 mile on the FRS radios in my area.


461 Posts
Low output, low risk of detection, low power consumption. Perfect for emergencies! Perfect for close range observation and to warn each other. They are made for professional business use, custom progammable.

Using these XtniD Motorolas:

From left to right:
5 "AA" battery adapter, 2200mAhLi-Ion battery, 1100mAhLi-Ion battery

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