Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 Hide
14 Posts

BoardGameGeek» Forums » Everything Else » Chit Chat

Subject: BGGKA: Walkie Talkie recommendations rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
OK, I'm stealing the BGGKA (BoardGameGeek Knows All) terminology from other sites, but I think it's appropriate. Seems that in a community this large, with this many geeks, I should surely be able to get a little help on this topic...

Walkie Talkies

Yep, you heard me right. Walkie Talkies. Roger.

I know virtually nothing about them except that I had a couple of big ol' suckers that ran of four D batteries back in about 1970. Couldn't really hear much of anything. Just scratchy sounds when the other guy pushed his button down the street.

Well, now I need a set because we're going on a cruise in a couple of months and, naturally, my cell phone isn't going to work onboard the ship (Carribbean). So, all I need is some simple walkie talkies so that we can leave the kids and one unit with grandma while carrying the other unit around the ship.

But I went to look on-line and there are all these acronyms and talk of FCC licenses and such. It's so confusing.

All I want is a simple, reasonable range unit with rechargable batteries and good sound quality that works from anywhere in a cruise ship to anywhere else on said ship (or even nearby land). And I don't really want to apply for some sort of FCC license.

Suggestions?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michel Fortin
Canada
Montréal
Québec
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
GMRS radios? : http://www.provide.net/~prsg/wi-gmrs.htm

It's cheap and would probably work well on your cruise. I know it does in open space.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
fortinm wrote:
GMRS radios? : http://www.provide.net/~prsg/wi-gmrs.htm

It's cheap and would probably work well on your cruise. I know it does in open space.

But this link seems to say that I'd have to purchase an FCC license to operate this "radio." Is there nothing that would work that's a simple walkie talkie and not subject to me purchasing an expensive personal license?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Troy Davidson
United States
Bountiful
Utah
flag msg tools
www.istroyworking.com
badge
www.istroyworking.com
Avatar
mbmbmb
The biggest problem I see with using walkie talkies on a ship is when you are deep inside the ship trying to communicate with someone else where outside or on deck. The mettle and what not will interfere with the radio waves.

Plus, you will want to get one that has some sort of encryption. I'm sure many many many...many other people will have walkie talkies on the ship. There are a limited number of channels so people will be getting cross talk all the time.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
JessA
United States
Southwestern
Michigan
flag msg tools
badge
That's MRS. McFoxFace to you!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Oo, I'm interested in this thread, we've been considering walkie/talkies for camping trips for awhile now. I'd like to get some decent ones.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Scott Alden
United States
Dallas
Texas
flag msg tools
admin
badge
Aldie's Full of Love!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
We used walkie talkies (Motorola I think) for the first BGG.CON. Didn't work too well. Lots of static and crosstalk.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sasha Hernandez
United States
South Carolina
flag msg tools
http://www.campingcomfortably.com/motorola-talkabout-t5550-n...
http://www.usfederalsupply.com/mo5mifrra.html

You don't need to be FCC
I been checking them out alot today... with shopping for my Bf's Nephews X-Max presents. I hope this is usefull... lol I just signed up for this Chitchat thing just to tell you about these walkie talkies...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sasha Hernandez
United States
South Carolina
flag msg tools
IF you want to be flashy there's the new watch ones.
http://www.gizmodo.com/gadgets/rss/walkie-talkie-watches-183...

But more pricey. and less than 2 miles... meaning prolly wont be so good like the one I listed before they have 5-10 miles. Might be alittle better for the buck.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Bohrer
United States
Hereford
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think Brian's right. I'm a ham radio operator for about the last ten years, and I don't think anything that you'd be allowed to run on a ship (check with the cruise line about whether they'd allow it) would do you much good. Boats are made out of metal, and metal blocks radio waves. Might work OK on deck, as long as you have a line of sight.

What you're looking for sounds like radios that are licensed under Family Radio Service (FRS). FRS has become pretty popular lately; for example, the radios Tanga had a little while ago were FRS. You can always Google FRS and see what comes up.

Because FRS and GMRS radios are built to the specifications of the regulations (rather than the physical capabilities of the radios), I haven't found much to choose between brands. As far as reliability goes, you'll pretty much get what you pay for. If you really want to learn a little more, here's a link that talks about both FRS and GMRS (which does require a license):

http://www.popularwireless.com/gmrsfaqa.html
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for all the input. I have found Web sites that mention using walkie talkies on cruise ships (and some even rent them out), so I suspect they should work at least marginally. Mostly, I just want one so that when my mother-in-law is with the kids (an upper deck, either in the room or the kid play area), she can reach us elsewhere on the upper decks. So, my fingers are crossed that the ones I purchased will work.

Speaking of which... I bought some Motorola Talkabout model (7000?). My remaining question is: does everyone (or even most) purchase an FCC license to operate these things. All the Web sites I find that sell such merchandise say pretty much the same thing:

1) We sell two-way-radios (walkie talkies)
2) You need a license to operate them
3) We are not affiliated with the FCC and do not sell licenses
4) Make sure you get your license because the penalties are stiff

And usually, that last comment reads like they're saying "wink, wink, nudge, nudge". So, I am wondering just how many people purchase these things and never buy a license. In fact, I'm not really seeing the benefit of having a license at $85.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Bohrer
United States
Hereford
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What needs a license and what doesn't is explained in my link, above. Basically (as long as you stay in the assigned frequencies, and the radios don't give you much choice about that) it depends on the power. But read the article and it should clear it up for you.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randy Cox
United States
Clemson
South Carolina
flag msg tools
designer
1024x768 works just fine - Don't Wide the Site!
badge
Missing old BGG
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I read the linked article again (I think I read this one a few days ago while Googling on this topic). I still can't find any definitive word on whether most people license their walkie talkies. In fact, this article (and most others I find) have updates dated 1998 or 1999, and nothing more recent.

I see references to stiff fines for being unlicensed, but I see nothing about who monitors, how frequently, or what those stiff fines are. If it's $100, say, then that's a good risk to reward ratio against a $85 license.

Just curious about whether this GMRS stuff is overkill.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Geoff Bohrer
United States
Hereford
Arizona
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
What it is, is, that GMRS and FRS use the same sets of channels; but FRS is limited to handheld radios with a range of about 2 miles under good conditions. A twenty-dollar set of FRS handhelds should do the trick, and you DON'T need a license for those. (The rule is max power of half a watt and a fixed antenna).

If you wanted to use a repeater, a car-mounted radio, or more power/better antenna to increase the range, then yeah, you'd need to get a license.

And this article was updated in 2005, according to what itsaid at the bottom of the page; that's why I picked it. The stuff about licensing and the difference is pretty far in though.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.