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Buyers should be aware that these radios also REQUIRE a USB programming cable and CD to program them before they can be used.

They also require an $85 5 year license from the FCC (no exam), and cannot legally use the FRS bands (included) because these radios put out 10x the power allowed on the FRS bands.

Look at the question and answer posted on Amazon:

Can this be used as a FRS 2-way radio? I am wondering how suitable this is for using as a walkie talkie/2-way radio. You know, similar to the Motorola Talkabout. My main usage is when I go skiing or hiking, camping, etc. A few questions: 1) I know very little about HAM/repeater, etc. How complicated is it to setup …


Short answer is - Yes but not legally. Long answer is that the radio is not FCC certified to operate on the GMRS/FRS frequencies (even though it can). It is also over the legal power limit for FRS. GMRS requires a license to legally operate (even the GMRS radios you buy at the big box stores - just read the manual). The license is $85, last for 5 years I believe and covers your entire family. No test involved - just an application and fee. Even with a license, this radio cant be used legally for FRS/GMRS as it is not FCC certified for that purpose. Look up FCC Part 95 to learn more. 1. There are many videos on the internet that show you how to program. It has a few steps to it but its not difficult. You just need to know the frequencies and tones and make sure 2 of them are setup with the same settings. 2. This will give you better range (not legally) on FRS due to having 10x the legal transmit power. On GMRS, it will be about the same however you can change the antenna which is not something you can do with normal GMRS radios (another reason they are not FCC licensed for FRS/GMRS). 3. Yes and no. It can hear and talk to normal FRS/GMRS radios - its just a matter of setting up the frequency and tones/codes. No - not legally. 4. When you transmit, it has a limited range. A repeater is something you talk to, it hears you and re-transmits your transmission to increase your range. Its also a frequency that most local area amateur radio operators tune to so you have the best chances of making contact. 5. In a situation where life is in danger, you are legally allowed to transmit on any frequency per the FCC to save life when there are no other ways to communicate. This radio operators on public safety frequencies such as EMS / Police / Fire which is also illegal however in a real life or death situation, this radio has the ability to transmit on those frequencies. The consequences are another matter - whether they decide to fine you or not. Asking for help when lost probably would not be a life or death situation - unless you were there for days and out of food/water. Bottom line - you wont want to transmit on any frequency that you are not licensed for or that the radio is not FCC compliant on - unless its your last resort - and you may expect a fine. Understand that you can interrupt their communication with this radio - possible endangering the lives of other people - when you transmit on unlicensed frequencies. You would have to find the frequencies and program them in. There are plenty of online resources for finding repeaters and public safety frequencies for any place you may travel. You can also just scan through the frequencies hoping to catch someone talking but most of the time in order to transmit, you must have the correct tone to trigger the repeater or other 2-way radio, etc. Some would say this is a decent radio for backup and for emergency purposes. Others would argue that its not of the quality you would want if its your only means of communication in an emergency situation
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