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If you are out and about on Big Basswood Lake and looking for an alternative means of communications besides cellphone, one viable solution is GMRS / FRS radios.
Two Common Radio Types
GMRS - Transmit 2 watts of power
FRS - Transmit 1/2 watt of power
Both share some common channels.
Although the manufacturers of these units advertise tremendous communication distances, realistically, the true distance is 50% of actual advertised. I have a pair of Cobra 2 Watt GMRS units. The manufactuer advertises 14 kilometres of distance. In actuality, I am getting 7 kilomentres.
GMRS Base Station
Question: Do any of these manufacturer's make Base Stations?
Answer: Yes, Audiovox manufactures several base stations including the: FRS1000, GMRS2000, and GMRS3000. The FRS1000 puts out 1/2 watt, the GMRS2000 is discontinued and hard to find and has an output of 2 watts, the GMRS3000 unit is equipped with both a handheld and base station with level output of 2 watts. You get two radios as part of the package. The portable unit comes with rechargeable batteries.
Question: Where can someone purchase an external antenna to get better coverage?
Answer: Centre Fire Antenna from South Bend Indiana sells GMRS antennas at a relatively low cost. (http://www.centerfireantenna.com)
Question: How much distance can I expect to get from my GMRS Base Station unit.
Answer: Without an external antenna, you could reasonably expect 7 kilometres or more depending on terrain. With an external antenna mounted on the roof of your cottage, tree or tower, you can double the range to 15 kilometres of communications. Again, this depends on terrain. You must use low-loss coax such as LMR-400, 9913, or RG213. Forget using LMR-195 or RG-58. There is too much signal loss with these types of cable.
I own a GMRS3000 with di-pole antenna and LMR400 cable. My total project costs were: $235.52 (taxes included)
While at Big Basswood, I monitor Channel 1.