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Product Review
 
   GMRS-V1
 
Full Featured
5W  GMRS Handheld
 
John 'Miklor'
Oct 2016

Rev: Sept 2017



 
 
GMRS-V1
 
The new GMRS-V1, a full featured certified GMRS radio for the serious GMRS user.  The 30 GMRS channels (22 simplex/8 repeater) are hard coded into the transceiver, with 98 VHF / UHF auxiliary memory slots for added receive channels. 
 
This new expanded frequency range conforms with the new expanded frequency list authorized by the FCC as of September 2017.
 
 
What's in the Box
 
- The GMRS-V1 radio
- A-V85 Flex Antenna
- 7.4V 1800mAh Li-Ion Battery
- Upright Charger and AC adapter
- Manual written in English
- Dual PTT Earpiece/Microphone
- Belt Clip
- Hand Strap
 
 
FCC Part 95A Certified
The GMRS-V1 is FCC Part 95A Certified and compliant with U.S. FCC GMRS specifications.  
-  FCC ID: 2AGND-GMRS-V1
 
For GMRS compliance, channels which are shared with the FRS service, are pre-programmed as Narrow Band, where the standard GMRS channels are Wide Band.  The power levels are pre-set to a maximum of either 2W or 5W, depending on the channel selected.

 
GMRS Licensing
 
To operate a GMRS radio, there is no test or examination required. A single GMRS license is required which covers your entire immediate family.  An application and information can be found online at FCC Form 605.
More detailed information on the GMRS service can be found at FCC GMRS.
 
 
Power   5W
 
I put this radio on a calibrated Bird wattmeter and it shows a full 5W output on high power, with low power at 1.8W. This is 10 times more power than most 'blister pack' radios found in department stores displays.  On the local repeaters, I run on low power to conserve battery, but for the long haul, I run the 5W for maximum coverage.  Although upgraded antennas are readily available, I found the included antenna performs very well.
 
 
Battery
 
The radio is supplied with a rechargeable 7.4V 1800mAh Li-Ion battery. Running in the low power position, I can easily average a few days between charges. I also have the larger optional 3600mAh BL-8L battery.  I use this battery when I feel the need for using high power for longer periods of time. For normal use, the included battery is fine.
 
Many off the shelf radios may only require AA batteries, due to their low transmit power, but the cost of alkaline batteries can run up rapidly, and not having an extra set of batteries in your pocket when you need them can be very frustrating. For SAR use, you may want to invest in a spare battery.
Distance            
 
I'm fortunate to have a good elevation here, so for me to access GMRS repeaters 15-20 miles away with the standard antenna is not uncommon. Direct communications radio to radio depends strictly on your surroundings.
 
Many of the department store low power 'bubble pack' radios are advertised as having a 20-35 mile communication range between radios. However, unless you are both on unobstructed mountain tops, that's not going to happen. This DISTANCE CHART will bring the expected range of these radios to reality.
 
 
Nice Features
 

  CTCSS tones - The GMRS-V1 allows you to easily add or change CTCSS access tones on the fly. Simply select a channel, select the tone, and save. 
What exactly is CTCSS?  Here's a link to CTCSS 1.01 that goes into a short description.
 
  Dual PTT - There is a dual function PTT switch which allows you instant access to either one of the two channels displayed on the LCD.  Press the upper part of the PTT switch to select the channel shown in the upper display, or the lower part to select the lower display.
 
  Single / Dual PTT - The Dual PTT switch can be made to function as a conventional PTT, so whichever channel is selected on the LCD is the one that transmits, regardless of whether you press the top or bottom of the switch.
 
  Display Syncing - This allows the top and bottom of the LCD to track together. The advantage is the there are three display formats; Channel, Name, and Frequency. For example, the top display can show the Name, while the bottom displays the frequency. My personal preference is: Name on top, Frequency on the bottom, and the Single PTT mode. But, you can set it to whatever floats your boat.  The alpha display can support up to a full 7 characters.
 
 
  Adding a Scan Channel - This is another function that can be performed in the field by using the keypad. Dial in the desired channel, select Scan On or Off and save. It's that easy.
 
  FM Broadcast Radio - The transceiver includes an FM radio that covers the 65-108MHz FM broadcast band. When a call is received, the FM radio is interrupted and  switches to the main channel, so an incoming call is never missed.
 
  98 open receive slots - Although the radio is pre-programmed with the GMRS channels, there are 98 additional receive slots that can be user programmed to store any VHF or UHF channel in the range of 136-175 or 400-520MHz. These could be weather channels (NOAA), marine frequencies, or any other station within the frequency range. The antenna supplied with the radio is a dual band antenna that works well on both VHF and UHF.

  Software / Channel Labeling -  The radio can programmed either manually or with CHIRP software. This software allows the relabeling of the 7 character Alpha tags assigned to each channel. Any channel can be renamed for easy field identification, such as SAR No1, ENGN 61, etc.
 
  Frequencies - The radio is preprogrammed to the standard GMRS frequencies assigned to the 30 channels which cannot be changed or deleted. Options, however, such as Power level, CTCSS/DCS tones, and scan status can still be changed in the field.
 
The pre-programmed frequencies
assigned to the first 30 channels are:
 

Other General Observations
 
My On-the-Air transmitter audio reports have been excellent. The speaker audio is strong and undistorted with plenty of volume, and the receiver performance is excellent.

I had given thought to upgrading the antenna, but the stock antenna seems to perform with no issues. The antenna connector is a standard SMA-Female. If an upgrade is desired, here is an ANTENNA Guide  that may assist.  Just remember that there is no Magic Antenna out there.

I have a large hand, and this radio fits perfectly. I've had a few of the 'bubble pack' radios in the past and they are not anywhere near the performance of this one.

There is a long list of accessories available, such as Dual PTT Spkr/Micr, cases, holsters, battery eliminators, AAA battery case, and a super duty 3800 mAh battery.
 
 
Conclusion
 
The GMRS V1 is not a toy. It is meant for the serious commercial user, SAR, REACT, Go Box, or Camper.  This is a full power, full compliance, Part 95 certified, GMRS, 5W transceiver. It does require licensing as described above.  Support for this radio is based in the US.
 
 
 
 
Available from Amazon 
Accessories available from  BaofengTech
   Note: all UV82 accessories are compatible



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