Donate HERE to help with my webhosting expenses

Bitterroot Bugle post categories

Bitterroot Bugle archives


A key component of any community planning is for emergency communications. The Posse, Oath-Keepers and the department of emergency management have the same comprehensive communication plan. HAMs or amateur radio operators are at the heart of it, but adjacent are those with FRS/GMRS radios for localized communication.

I researched the handheld market and feel the Motorolla Talkbabout radio pairs offer excellent value.

I highly recommend and urge you to purchase your own pair of Motorolla radios. DO NOT believe the 35-mile range claims on the packaging. One mile is about all you can count on, but two miles are pretty normal. You may get more under certain conditions, but you will never see (or hear) 35 miles.

If you don’t want earbuds or waterproofing, I recommend this model. Some say the waterproofing cuts the signal and speaker volume a little bit.

You can add waterproofing

They all accept remote speaker-mikes and various ear pieces. I like using a remote speaker mike, but it is BAD for stealth as are the built-in speaker and microphones. Ear buds are good for improving quiet operation if that is a concern to you.

Motorola MS355R includes a pair of speaker mikes with the radios. So it is the best deal if you want to go that way. The information below is about that one, but as far as I can tell it relates to all of them with the exceptions I noted above.

The Motorola MS355R is the camo version of the popular Motorola Talkbabout MS350R. This durable, full featured two way radio is designed for rough weather or extreme environments in the great outdoors. It meets IP-67 standards for waterproofing and can be being submersed for up to a meter for up to thirty minutes. It also floats! The Talkabout MS355R is a powerful GMRS radio, providing up to 35 miles of range in ideal conditions (typically up to 2 miles in urban conditions).

The MS355R gives you 22 channels, 8 repeater channels and 121 privacy codes for communication flexibility. Other standard features include 11 Weather Channels (7 NOAA), ten Call Tones, Quiet Talk filter and hands-free iVox functionality for a radio that’s ready for camping, hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

The MS355R also includes Motorola’s VibraCall┬« vibrating alert, a built-in LED flashlight, and can be powered with the included rechargeable NiMH battery pack or AA Alkaline batteries, making it truly versatile outdoors.

The Motorola MS355R comes ready to go with two radios, two belt clips, two earbuds with PTT microphones, a two pocket desktop charger, AC adapter, two NiMH rechargeable battery packs and an owner’s manual.