How to increase GMRS and FRS radio distance and range?

1. Find the right spot to use your handheld two-way radio.

Outside, in the open, away from objects. Stand at an elevated location if you’re trying to reach another handheld two-way that’s far away. Close to window when you can’t get outside.

2. Increase transmit power for longer GMRS/FRS range within the allowable range of FCC.

FRS: 2 watts of RF power output on channels 1-7 and 15-22, and 1/2 watt on channels 8-14.

GMRS: 5 watts on channels 1-7 and 15-22, and 1/2 watt on channels 8-14.

3. Add an external antenna to your handheld GMRS.

Prefer to use high gain, stacked 5/8 wave antennas. Magnetic mount antennas are tuned for GMRS frequencies and usually ship with adapters for both male and female SMA connectors.

4. Try using a tiger tail counterpoise on GMRS radios.

Add a length of wire to the base of the handheld’s antenna, or to a point on the radio which is grounded.

5. Adjust your GMRS/FRS radio settings for best range.

Check to see if your squelch is set at the lowest setting possible to quiet the speaker. If too high, you won’t receive weak signals and will be purposely limiting your radio’s receiving range.

6. Use GMRS repeaters for long range.

GMRS repeaters act as powerful relay stations and may be placed atop tall buildings or even on the summit of a high mountain.


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