FRS GMRS Radio Operating Tips and Technical Explanations: Part II

Other options available with FRS GRMS radios and how to use them continued.

   So now you have selected and purchased a set of FRS GRMS radios. Let me give you some operating tips to get the best possible communications from your particular brand of radios.

    Try and keep your radio sets together in one place and either stored in a water tight metal container with fresh and currently charged batteries or available on a desk top and kept under charge. Or if you have room and can afford it, it would be best if you kept an extra set both ways. Remember, besides being used for everyday use, they will service you well during emergencies of all types.

    Some models and brands allow you to charge your hand-helds from your automobile cigarette lighter. If you have this option, your one step ahead of the rest. And if not, then I suggest a power inverter that will run 110-volt AC appliances from your 12 volt DC automobile. Most 75 to 100 watt models will work just fine for this purpose and are inexpensive. They will also power most lap top computers as well at that power, and handle running and charging small devices like cell phones and FM/AM radios.

    If your model allows you to use standard alkaline batteries in place of the rechargeable, make sure you have on hand at all times fresh batteries of the type suggested for your radio units.

    Now if your units do not have belt clips or pouches, then you can use almost anything from pager holsters to third party cell phone cases. If your manufacturer does not supply or offer these items, I recommend using pouches because it helps keep them from bouncing around or being dropped. Most radios today use surface mount technology and are rugged and can handle being dropped, but remember it may be your well being that is going to rely on these radios, better safe than sorry. Belt clips pouches will allow you to mount them on your person much more easily and safely, so I recommend this style over all the others.

    So now we have the basics covered for normal operation of your radios units. What else would you need to help utilize them? If your model has the option of remote microphones, head sets or earphones, then you may want to consider getting these accessories. If your driving an ATV, boat or hiking and need to keep your eyes and hands available at all times, a hands-free unit would work best for you. This also works well if you're in a high noise area.

    Your users manual will likely suggest these options. And remember not all brands are interchangeable. So select, if possible, the same brand and recommended model for your radio type units.

    You'll see options like VOX or Speaker Mic. Some offer Throat Microphones and Boom Mics.

    VOX simply means that it is voice operated. So when you speak without pushing the transmit button it will automatically do it for you. You'll need to set the selectivity so the surrounding noise will not make it falsely transmit, but yet be sensitive to your voice. If you're in a group and you usually talk out loud to yourself, others in the group will hear you. So just be advised.

By Scott Hensler 0/12/2013

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