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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Communications => Topic started by: Kwitzats on August 08, 2009, 12:30:24 PM

Title: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Kwitzats on August 08, 2009, 12:30:24 PM
been looking at Murs lately and cant seem to find a real advantage over gmrs since it seems to be regulated at 2 watts vs 5 watts for gmrs any thoughts on gmrs vs murs?
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: rob_ma on August 08, 2009, 02:39:27 PM
[Disclaimer: I am the new TSP advertiser - MURS Radio]  ;D


GMRS requires a license - $85 for a five year term. License covers immediate and extended family. No business communications for new licensees.

MURS is license free - personal and business communications are OK

GMRS can use repeaters *if available* to extend range. The "bubble pack" radios sold at Walmart, etc. cannot be programmed to use repeaters. You would need to use commercial grade radios in order to enable repeater use. The "bubble pack" radios do not have removable antennas to attach external antennas to increase range and often do not actually put out 5 watts when tested.

MURS does not allow repeaters. External antennas are allowed to increase their range.

GMRS uses UHF which has a shorter wavelength. This allows better penetration into large buildings.

MURS uses VHF which is a longer wavelength. Tends to work better outdoors and over hilly terrain.

GMRS frequencies can be congested in many areas. Not usually a problem if you are away from populated areas.

MURS use on the first three frequencies tends to be sparse. Fairly heavy use of the last two channels in populated areas as businesses tend to use them.


Hope that helps. Depending upon how and where you want to use the radios is the best way to determine which one you should choose.

- Rob

Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Pathfinder on August 08, 2009, 05:31:58 PM
Wow, great response, Rob, beat me to it - and included a couple of things I did not know.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: DeltaEchoVictor on August 11, 2009, 12:39:27 AM
Pinning this one to the top for others who may have questions.

Thanks Rob, +1 to you. ;)
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: tech132 on August 13, 2009, 12:49:34 PM
One thing to remember is that even though MURS maybe superior in many ways. It is useless if the party you want to contact does not have one. I chose GMRS because it is relatively cheap, and widely available. The money I have saved vs. MURS will be spent on other important purchases. I gave my brother my older FRS set of radios.  I can communicate with him on them because my GRMS has some shared channels with the FRS frequencies. This setup is a low cost alternative that I will use.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Kwitzats on August 13, 2009, 11:05:54 PM
I can get 5 miles outside to inside a brick home in the city with
 http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT950VP4-42-Channel-30-Mile-Waterproof/dp/B00176T9EO/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_0 (http://www.amazon.com/Midland-GXT950VP4-42-Channel-30-Mile-Waterproof/dp/B00176T9EO/ref=dp_cp_ob_e_title_0)
can a two watt radi do the same?
if one was to (illeagally) add a diff antenna bet it would get better but i wouldn't advocate that(for disclaimer purposes)
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: scoutmaster on August 14, 2009, 06:33:01 AM
I agree with most of above posted points, and answers.  I am a Ham(all most 40 years) and use (those bands) most of the time. But I have GMRS and MURs as well. Have used both. Baring your friends or family maybe not having MURS.

I believe it(MURS) is by far a better communications than GMRS. The reasons where all listed above. The biggest ones being the frequency it operates on and the fact you can put high gain antennas on it that can be mounted many feet above your radio location.

  You can also put a High Gain antenna in your car to make up for the 2 watts verses 5 watts.  I have talked 15 to 20 miles on murs from base to a mobile( on flat ground). Trying to do that with out use of a repeater on GMRS,( another can of worms)  unless it was from one mountain top to another would be very difficult to do.

Just my thoughts
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Biff on September 06, 2009, 06:35:31 PM
Anyone have any thoughts about eXRS?  I've been doing a bit of research and so far they seem a bit better (digital, more secure) than GMRS or MURS radios.  I just want to get the facts/lessons learned before I start plunking down some $$$$.  Thanks!
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Biff on September 06, 2009, 06:37:51 PM
And yes I read the thread at http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0) but no one commented on it.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: radiomacgyver on September 07, 2009, 07:31:09 PM
They may be more secure, but don't expect more range. They operate in the 900 MHz band and have about the same transmit power than FRS.

Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Mr. Bill on September 09, 2009, 11:25:38 AM
Anyone have any thoughts about eXRS?...
And yes I read the thread at http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0) but no one commented on it.

I just added a bit of info to that thread.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: K9STU on October 22, 2009, 08:19:10 PM
Quick Facts!

1.All of these radios are FM modulated and under good conditions they sound great! If you have ever heard a police radio you know how these radios sound.
2.MURS Radios use VHF frequencies (very high frequencies) GMRS and FRS radios use UHF frequencies (ultra high frequencies)
3.Providing you are using the same power output, both VHF and UHF travel about the same distance but UHF goes through buildings better.
4.FRS Radio's are limited to 1/2 watt - MURS are limited to 2 watts - GMRS is limited to 50 watts.
5.All of these radios are "Line of Site". If you can see each other, you can talk to each other. If there are buildings in the way, your communications may only be a half mile to several miles but if one person is standing in a park and the other is on a mountain top 40 miles away you should be able to talk with no problem. More power can be a factor.
6.Antenna, Antenna, Antena! Having a radio that lets you take off the included rubber duck antenna and connect an antenn with "gain" allows you to greatly extend your range.

See my full article at http://www.gorsky.com/ham_radio/portal.htm  (http://www.gorsky.com/ham_radio/portal.htm) Select the link for FRS-GMRS-MURS-eXtreme radio.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Kagetsu on October 25, 2009, 01:36:57 AM
GMRS. Business radio that I have only had contact with companies that used a radio, I think fall in this range, though I'm not sure. In real life i wouldn't go near business radio, a waste of time. Who can I contact is my priority. Hams first, for the best frequency range and power. CB for general road travel because that's what drivers use. FRS for anyone else. It's low power can be an advantage, less distance clutter. But I keep thinking of breaking a unit apart to make it work better as a car mobile unit.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Gunz on March 11, 2010, 02:28:29 PM
I am curious if the MURS M538-HT  is able to have the antenna switched out for the gain discussed here...any input is appreciated, thanks
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: rob_ma on March 11, 2010, 05:27:34 PM
I am curious if the MURS M538-HT  is able to have the antenna switched out for the gain discussed here...any input is appreciated, thanks


The M538-HT has a non-standard antenna connector so there is no commercially available off the shelf replacement. I have had customers tell me that they have created custom 1/4 wave whips by matching the threaded stud on the original antenna.

- Rob
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: kc9eci on March 11, 2010, 05:40:07 PM
GMRS/MUS/FRS, et al, I suspect are all Part 15 devices.  I question the legality of replacing the antenna with something other than the stock antenna it was sold with.    Any insight would be appreciated. 
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: rob_ma on March 11, 2010, 05:43:23 PM
GMRS/MUS/FRS, et al, I suspect are all Part 15 devices.  I question the legality of replacing the antenna with something other than the stock antenna it was sold with.    Any insight would be appreciated.  

Actually, they are all Part 95 devices (as is CB Radio). All of them are allowed to use external antennas except FRS radios. The proviso is they must be manufactured with a removable antenna in order for this to be true. Otherwise you would be violating their Part 95 certification by performing an authorized modification to the radio.

- Rob
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: kc9eci on March 11, 2010, 05:52:23 PM
Thanks Rob. I was reasonably sure that I had read something about not modifying the antenna on one of those at one time or another.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Gunz on March 12, 2010, 06:19:02 AM
Hey Rob thanks for the info.  I finally realized you are the Rob that would know!  Duh!  (I'm a newbie.)
 If you or anyone else has any links to where I could learn more about utilizing the 1/4 antenna whip you mentioned, that would be awesome.   Thanks!!
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: The Grand Pooh-Bah on April 11, 2010, 09:51:11 AM
So who sells a MURS portable with a removable antenna that has a standard thread?
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: kc9eci on April 11, 2010, 10:02:48 AM
So who sells a MURS portable with a removable antenna that has a standard thread?

There are several standard threads, which one do you refer to?
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: The Grand Pooh-Bah on April 11, 2010, 11:43:27 AM
One that does not require modifications to the radio to add an external antenna.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: kc9eci on April 11, 2010, 02:41:26 PM
Well then.  All of them.  Just get whatever length of coaxial cable you require, end to match the radio on one end, end to match the antenna on the other.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: 6xddx6 on April 12, 2010, 05:41:39 AM
So who sells a MURS portable with a removable antenna that has a standard thread?

You might want to check out the Puxing PX-777+ radio. It can do MURS (as well as 2 meter ham, weather, etc.) and it has a removable antenna with an SMA connector. There are lots of antennas and adapters out there for this. Check out the TSP sponsor - murs-radio.com - and tell them you are a TSP HAMS member and you'll get a discount.

~6
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: scoutmaster on April 22, 2010, 02:13:16 PM
Business band radios, Radio shack sells or did MURS radios, Dakota Alert sells them, They go all the way from the $9.95 bubble rap to several hundred dollar business band. In the ham radio world we have what we call swaps, it is a huge ward sale of radios, you can buy old business band radios for pennies on the dollar. I have two repeater systems that are built out of old business band radios. They sell them buy the barrel load, some times a pallet at a time.


Antennas can be replaced on any MURS radio, Hight is listed up to 60 feet, or 20 feet above any structure  With ANY high gain antenna( no gain limit) so if you want to. you can put a 16 DB re-tuned Ham radio antenna Yoga on it. That would give you miles of simplex use that will always be there not like a repeater that can be gone at any time.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Dr.Richard on July 27, 2010, 08:35:26 AM
MURS has the added advantage that there are MURS motion (IR) sensors and MURS driveway (magnetic) sensors that can be added to a MURS comnet to give you tactical warnings if there is movement in an IR sensor watched area or if a vehicle passes over the magnetic driveway sensor.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: canuck on September 07, 2010, 06:31:49 PM
Is this stuff available in Canada?  Thanks.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: shadowalker_returns on September 14, 2010, 05:38:51 PM
You might want to check out the Puxing PX-777+ radio. It can do MURS (as well as 2 meter ham, weather, etc.) and it has a removable antenna with an SMA connector. There are lots of antennas and adapters out there for this. Check out the TSP sponsor - murs-radio.com - and tell them you are a TSP HAMS member and you'll get a discount.

~6

I recently purchased two Puxing-777+ radios from the TSP sponser Murs-radio.com. I am loving it. I order up some programming cables from Kawamall and downloaded the software from Puxing. I had a problem with the software download and Puxing actually contacted me and sent the correct instructions and sites. Murs-radio.com sent my order in a timely manner and everything arrived the way it should.

We like the MURS band radios and I am buying some more. We used them at a recent trip to the aquarium and they were great. Almost everybody was using the FRS/GMRS radios and the bands were really crowded with a bunch of amateurs with no idea of radio disipline or band sharing. The MURS bands were virtually clear. We also use some TRC 49MHZ radios. The MURS band radios were clearer and had stronger signal across the same difference. My oldest boy just had to go "tacticool" and breakout the modified throat mikes... Crazy fun. We also used the TRC-50s at the Smithsonian a few years back. For those we used earbuds and tubes.. It was around October and we all dressed up as Men-in-Black... WE now know that 37% of the Security at the Smithsonian have poor senses of humor and hate Halloween. We also know that 63% have funny bones larger than some dinosaur femurs and don't mind getting in on a gag... lets just say that certain tour groups who arrived on scene at the time thought there was some real shenanigans going on :) Being Boy Scouts and Scoutmasters does not precluded us from a little Halloween fun...

Regards,
Shadowalker
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Mr. Bill on September 14, 2010, 07:15:42 PM
I recently purchased two Puxing-777+ radios...

FYI, a thread specifically about these radios:

puxing 777 feedback (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=16642.0)
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: garysco on September 21, 2010, 04:19:59 AM
Just thought I would add my 2 cents.
I am a long time ham who has designed/ built/ sold & installed police/ fire/ EMS medical/ and mountain top repeater radio/data systems.

In the end there is only slight range differences between FRS/GMRS & MURS portable radios. Not much difference between 1 and 5 watt hand helds, except for battery life. If 1 watt cant talk, then 5 watts won't work any magic. Cheap FRS/GMRS radios come in last- you get what you pay for, and there is a bazillion co-channel users with $29.00 FRS/ GMRS radios. There are times when FRS/GMRS frequencies will out talk VHF/MURS, then there are times when the opposite is true. Predicting radio waves is both a science and an art. The closer to line of sight (the source of the bogus 30+ mile advertised range), or direct bounce you can get the better.

27 Mhz. CB radios just plain suck, unless you are talking short range to truckers or your neighbors. The expensive ones just have more noise reduction circuits & better microphone processing, or just more lights, switches & chrome. They cannot really talk any further then a good $50.00 radio with a good $50.00 noise canceling mic.

UHF (FRS/GMRS) frequencies don't like pine tree covered terrain because the needles resonate 1/4 wavelength to ground. But it are slightly better at bouncing around in tall/ concrete buildings, metallic structures, cars and rock covered mountains.

VHF (MURS) frequencies don't like tall/ concrete structures that much, but do "bend" a little better over rough terrain in open country.

Repeaters UHF or VHF (fixed tower or portable) are the best for miles covered when placed high or in the open between users, but require $$ & coordination. 

IMHO - MURS frequencies (151 & 154 Mhz.) have the advantage of good outdoor coverage, neat products like murs-radio.com sells, and is close enough to the 2-meter ham band (146-149. Mhz.) which has free "open", and "closed" club repeaters all over the country. They will be VERY active if T.S.H.T.F., and are good to listen to during local emergencies because the hams will do all the police/fire/ FBI scanner listening for you.  Many of the upper grade radios now include switchable voice inversion scramblers programmed in to approach voice security (makes you sound like Donald Duck talking backwards to casual listeners).

The secret to great usable coverage is not in the watts transmitted (an overrated measurement in my opinion), but in
(1) Closeness to line of sight between units or repeater,
(2) the quality and gain of the antenna, cable & connectors used (YES- upgrade to a gain type rubber-duckie on your hand-held, especially effective on VHF/ MURS frequencies), and
(3) the quality of the radio. Look for better specs in the Rx- sensitivity (lower# is better), co-channel, & image rejection (higher Db # is better), & low audio distortion %. Also low standby battery drain (low MAh drain # is better). Tx- spurs, harmonics (bigger negative Db # is better)  & low audio distortion %.

Think about good police/ fire radio systems - portables usually cost $500.00 and way up, base stations & mountain top repeaters have 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch hard-line coax with silver plated connectors leading to an antenna costing over $1,000.00.

Hope some of this helps. Glad to answer questions if I can : garysco (at) gmail.com

Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Mr. Bill on September 21, 2010, 08:57:07 AM
Just thought I would add my 2 cents. ...

I think that was at least 3 cents worth. ;)

Welcome to TSP Forum, and thanks for a great first post!
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: mobilecabin on October 29, 2010, 06:17:09 PM
Hey everyone new to the forum, and as it were I went right to the communications page.

In response to the topic however: Why would you only need one kind? If you really need to rely on radio communication you are going to need more than one frequency and type.

From what I understand you can modify or change to any size of antenna with a MURS radio as long as you are within the watt requirements.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: ag2 on October 29, 2010, 09:13:33 PM
I am not an expert, but I will share my experience with GMRS.  I have used the Garmin Rino 530Hcx for about 3 or 4 years (GMRS and FRS).  I purchased it because it met my hunting needs perfectly.  It's nice to see the locations of my hunting buddies (on the GPS map) each time they key down.  I once dropped a cow elk about 1.5 miles from camp and my hunting buddies were about two miles on the other side of a mountain.  I needed their help and called them on the radio.  They guy with the FRS radio did not pick up my call, but the guy with the other Garmin Rino530HCx and I could speak clearly to each other. Since my location was immediately updated on his map, I did not have to guide him to my location.  Think geocaching games here.  Personally, I do not believe in relying solely on technology, but when you have it, use it.  (We should all know how to read a compass, a sextant, the sun, moss, etc.)  I think it's a great tool that fills a niche.  Various maps can be loaded/updated.  It even provides turn-by-turn directions on the highway.  This GPS seems to always have a strong GPS signal even in this brush or indoors.  It can be picked up for about $373 in the big box stores.

I have read at various websites that this radio CAN be programmed to use repeaters.  I have not yet figured out how to do this nor could I find this in the directions.

I will not say that it's any better or worse than a MURS radio, but I do believe, in my case, this radio fits my hunting needs well.
http://www8.garmin.com/rino/ (http://www8.garmin.com/rino/)

Edit:  Here's a website showing how to set up this radio to use repeaters.  It also shows a feature that I did not know it could do: polling.  Apparently, you can "poll" the other radios in your group to automatically ask for updated locations.   http://www.gpslodge.com/archives/012909.php (http://www.gpslodge.com/archives/012909.php)
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Nicholas Mason on December 07, 2010, 05:35:39 PM
On the Murs radios, hooking up the motion detectors and the car alerts can you only have 4 one a channel or more. The way that Jack makes it sound to me is that you can only 4 different additions.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: Chief_919 on December 08, 2010, 09:11:56 AM
One think for anyone to keep in mind about MURS and GMRS.

They are fixed, well known frequencies.

Don't say anything on them that you would not want overheard.

I know my scanner has all of those freqs in it, as well as the marine freqs. I don't always scan them, but I do turn those banks on when I think someone may be using it close that I would want to hear.

I can tell you for a fact that the game wardens here scan all of them in their cars because so many poachers use them, and some local cops do as well.

SHTF, I will have them in a scanner listening, to aid my situational awareness.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: backwoods_engineer on September 05, 2011, 06:48:21 PM
And yes I read the thread at http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0 (http://thesurvivalpodcast.com/forum/index.php?topic=3602.0) but no one commented on it.

I just did.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: KSDeputy on September 30, 2011, 08:13:28 AM
I know just enough about these types of radios to get me in trouble. I did read that by 2018 everything has to be digital. If I am buying any additional radios they will be digital. The state I live in has a network of trunking systems state wide for the highway patrol, and other state agencies. They allow other law enforcement agencies to also use their system. The system is in the process of changing from analog to digital. I have a number of trunking scanners I wish to sell, due to this. I would caution anyone buying new equipment to buy digital. 2012 is not that far away. Cell phones are already digital, TV is digital. The radio spectrum is finite. As I understand it digital takes a far less part of the spectrum than analog does.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: radio user on August 08, 2013, 03:23:36 AM
ummm my thoughts :)
Why are we comparing GMRS (LOL) with MURS?
Try comparing (with both of the above) 2/.70 meter mobile, 35 and higher watt, battery pack powered radio (and just buy a murs too if you really feel the need)

oh plllllllllllllllease  ;)
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: TiredOldGrunt on April 07, 2014, 02:53:43 PM
Post SHTF, I doubt the FCC will be patrolling with a van to detect your over rated signal... so IMHO do as you need to maintain comms...  This is of course entirely up to you as to what you do...

I know there are a butt load of hams that violate the rules, typically on 75M, that get away with it for decades before there "caught"... 

Unless your interfering with someone, and you are reported, there is very little chance you will get "caught" running 5W on MURS...   This is just an observation and not condoning any action that is not legal.

The ham credo of "use just enough power to establish reliable communications" should apply here too...  No need to run 100W for a subdivision neighbourhood watch. 

Reliable does not mean the receiver can hear your tonsils rattle when you talk... It means being able to make a 100% copy of the transmission.

Persue more research, but IMHO... MURS has more to offer than GMRS...

TOG

Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: rsilvers on May 23, 2015, 10:10:17 AM
One thing to remember is that even though MURS maybe superior in many ways. It is useless if the party you want to contact does not have one. I chose GMRS because it is relatively cheap, and widely available. The money I have saved vs. MURS will be spent on other important purchases. I gave my brother my older FRS set of radios.  I can communicate with him on them because my GRMS has some shared channels with the FRS frequencies. This setup is a low cost alternative that I will use.
The flip side is that if you are at an event, say the Fourth of July, everyone will be on FRS and you will have no space to talk. MURS may be completely open.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: nelson96 on May 23, 2015, 10:26:00 AM
There's no larger event in my area than hunting camp, where people are using radio.  I've still not had a problem finding a channel that is open enough to communicate to my party.  The only problem I have with GMRS is being able to cover long distances in mountainous terrain and dense canopy.
Title: Re: GMRS vs MURS
Post by: libertydefense on October 15, 2015, 03:50:43 PM
Hi, I emailed Rob of murs-radio, years ago I bought several tytuvf and tx888 from Rob...both do the scrambler.

I've been googling around looking for scramble capable radio.

I own a ft60, tyt, mobile unit.

but, I'd like to outfit my kids with some radios that are scamble/voice inversion capable.

please advise

my requirements for a radio
1) two freq monitoring
2) scramble codes
3) kenwood headset (two pin)
4) aa/aaa battery shell for backup
5) listen in on FM radio (common freq)
6) weather/dust/drop resistant
7) program able - chirp or otherwise

tia,

Liberty