Airsoft Centurions

Honor First!

Pizza Night

We meet once a month for "pizza night" to discuss club issues and socialize off the field. Please visit the Events page for more info!

 

Radios

Radios are used for tactical communications on the battlefield. All players should strive to have a radio for our games.

 

We use GMRS radios. What follows is a short primer on GMRS radios to understand how they work and help you in selecting one to use.

 

Frequencies

Radios use different frequncies described as "bands". For example, the FM radio you listen to in your car ranges from frequencies 87.5 to 108. This is called the "FM Broadcast Band" or "FM" for short.

 

There are other bands as well. The most common are "CB", "VHF", and "UHF". CB is typically used in vehicles. VHF is more common in commercial and marine applications where a longer wavelength is important for range. UHF bands are typically used in walkie-talkies where a shorter wavelength is important for penetration through obstacles.

 

FRS/GMRS

FRS/GMRS radios use frequencies that are part of the UHF band. The FCC originally designated FRS frequencies for public use without a license. They are limited to 2 watts. These are the types of radios you see for sale at big box stores such as the popular Motorola Talkabout. Then, the FCC added more high-power frequencies called GMRS. These are allowed up to 5 watts.


GMRS Radios

FRS/GMRS radios are organized in to 23 channels (1-23). This makes it easy for consumers to use them without programming. They are all pre-programmed and compatable. FRS and GMRS share the same channels and can talk to each other but the FRS channels transmit on low power and the GMRS channels transmit on high power. Using the FRS channels does not require a license. A license is required to use the GMRS channels. This is not a HAM license that requires passing a test and obtaining a callsign but a $70 fee which is good for 10 years.

 

We use the GMRS channels because they are allowed to transmit in high-power.

 

Considerations

 

Frequencies: All GMRS radios are compatible and do not need to be programmed.

 

License: Required to use the GMRS channels.

 

Antenna: Most are fixed, stubby antenna. Some have a detachable antenna. Longer antenna have better range.

 

Power: This can range from 1-5w. Higher power means better range.

 

Batteries: Battery capacity is measured in mAh. The higher the mAh the longer the stand-by and talk time.

 

IP Rating: Both are available in IP67 or JIS4 waterproof rating.

 

Accessories: Both have various microphones (headsets, speaker mics, throat mics) available.

 

Quality: Quality can make a difference. Better components from brand name manufactures perform better.

 

Pricing: Both are affordable and you can find either of them for under $100.

 

Availability

FRS/GMRS radios have been around for a long time but up until recently most were in the 1-2w range. Some manufacturers have come out with high-power GMRS versions. These are the ones currently available:

 

Brand: Midland
Model: GXT1000
Power: 5w
Antenna: Fixed
IP Rating: JIS4
Battery: 700mAh**
Price: $

Brand: Wouxun
Model: KG-805G
Power: 4w
Antenna: Detachable
IP Rating: IP55
Battery: 1700mAh**
Price: $$

Brand: Tera
Model: TR-505
Power: 4w
Antenna: Detachable
IP Rating: IP54
Battery: 1600mAh**
Price: $$$

Brand: Garmin
Model: Rino 700
Power: 5w
Antenna: Fixed
IP Rating: IPX7
Battery: 13 hrs**
Price: $$$$$

**Note: These radios will accept AA batteries so you could use your own, higher mAh, rechargable batteries instead of the packs that comes with them. Be sure to use the correct charger with your own batteries!

Range Testing

We have tested the Midland GXT1000 in a suburban environment up to 7 miles.

 

Up to 5 miles the transmissions were "good" and at 7 miles "okay". We have yet to test them in the woods or mountains.

 

We will be testing additional radios in various terrain and posting the results here as we perform them.