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caredbasan
December 26th, 2009, 03:29 AM
does a hand-held radio work inside the ship? i am thinking of bringing hand-held radios for the kids so we can communicate/find each other if they decide to go somewhere by themselves. how can i communicate with other member of my family while in the ship?

yogi2929
December 26th, 2009, 03:44 AM
Walkie Talkies do work on the ship most times BUT there will be many other people using them as well. Nothing like hearing "Mom, Mom, Mom" from several different kids on the channels. Every once in a while the crew can be heard as well.

We use Post it notes. Some ships have voicemail. We also end up sitting in the same place and find each other that way.

serene56
December 26th, 2009, 11:00 AM
Specify places and times for meetings.

Walkie talkies- especially with kids are more of a bother then they should be.
Even with talkies that have numerous channels and sub channels.

footzz
December 26th, 2009, 11:07 AM
It depends on the ship and the radios. On a ship like the Oasis of the Seas you would probably need to have Short Wave radios to effectively send and receive radio signals. :rolleyes: The radios wattage is a major factor in achieving range and coverage. The higher the wattage, the better the coverage and the crisper and clearer the communications will be. However, you should be aware of the regulations for hand held radios. Operating certain hand held radios require a license and can interfere with the ships communications.

You should also make certain the radios you use fall under the FCC’s “Family Radio Services” (FRS). A FRS radio may only have a maximum power of half a watt. Generally, this limits the range to not much more than one mile (certainly within the length of a cruise ship) however, the ships structures come into play and will degrade signals. That being said, most of these will work pretty well on a cruise ship.

FRS walkie-talkie units for are usually pretty distinguishable. They advertise modest ranges and have antennas that cannot be removed. Often, they are sold in pairs and marketed as units specifically designed for family use.

BallFour4
December 26th, 2009, 11:52 AM
Bad information so far:

FMRS radios value of any kind on a ship – they have no value. No power equals no range and crowed channels

Shortwave radios – not possible, not legal. Shortwave radios require a complex antenna system, significant power and along with ham band radios are no permitted aboard a cruise ship.

You will hear crew communication - again, not true. Cruise ships use UHF handheld radios with a 2-5 watt power capability. These are not assigned the frequencies of GMRS/FMRS radios. Those channels are set aside worldwide. Ships sell these radios in the gift shop...

Simple facts: Full power GMRS radios are the best solution. No restriction to a 1/2 watt transmit power exists at sea. Those 1/2 watt radios are toys. Leave them at home. Almost all the radios sold today are both GMRS and FMRS.

Read the text below from another post of mine and you will see the difference.


Two types of radios are out there FMRS and GMRS. Most are a combination of both.

I gave up on FMRS after one try several years ago. The 1/2 watt power output did not cover it on the size ship we were on.

The next cruise we took 4 of the GMRS radios. I purchased Motorola 5000 series ones, and got the US license prior to cruising. They worked great. I did use the upper channels and sub-codes to reduce the amount of others potentially on the same channel. Sometime on the first day we'd scan for channels not in use and lock in on those.

On subsequent cruises for the next several years we have carried the radios with great success. As our daughter grew up the chance she'd carry one went to zero but we found many uses for them. After a morning run the I would scope out a place for my wife and I for the day and she'd call me after her shower.

We did find that keeping them on vibrate worked best, and with cargo shorts they would fit in a pocket.

I really chuckle at the two most common responses you and others will get on this topic.

One is the interference with other communication aboard and in ports. Well... the cruise lines sell the full 5 watt power GMRS/FMRS radios aboard the ship in the gift shops.

Also, if you read the frequency spectrum for UHF you will see the 16 channels dedicated to GMRS radios. That'd be and international agreement as well. Manufacturers of public communication equipment know these, and with sales of the units not limited to domestic transactions they select a frequency set around the channels. Even then I listen in prior to initiation of a conversation in port.

Second, the noise complaints that disrupt the ambiance of the cruise. In 33 years of cruising I have found a few places with real quiet.

Most, if not all the public areas in major market cruises are bombarded with announcements for bingo, daily specials, art auction, spa, etc.

Scan for others on the channels and use them to enhance your cruise. Tell the person next to you screaming at the hairy chest contest that the occasional conversation with your family cannot possibly be disrupting her cultural event.

See you at sea...


.

footzz
December 26th, 2009, 02:59 PM
Bad information so far:

Shortwave radios – not possible, not legal. Shortwave radios require a complex antenna system, significant power and along with ham band radios are no permitted aboard a cruise ship.

I guess you missed the emoticon (:rolleyes:) denoting the tongue-in cheek humor regarding using a short wave radio on the Oasis of the Seas. So much for attempted humor.

Cruise ships use UHF handheld radios with a 2-5 watt power capability. These are not assigned the frequencies of GMRS/FMRS radios.

GMRS and FRS radios operate on UHF frequencies. They are located in the 462 and 467 MHz bands of the UHF spectrum. A scanning capable UHF radio can receive GMRS and FRS transmissions which can interfere with the ships communications. However, the low wattage output of a FRS radio makes this unlikely, it can and does happen. The use of a higher wattage GMRS radio makes it more likely to happen.

Simple facts: Full power GMRS radios are the best solution. No restriction to a 1/2 watt transmit power exists at sea. Those 1/2 watt radios are toys. Leave them at home. Almost all the radios sold today are both GMRS and FMRS.

While there may be no restrictions regarding the output of GMRS radios at sea, an FCC license is required to operate one in the U.S.A. (you got one yourself) While there is no doubt that GMRS radios have much better range than a FRS radio I doubt that most people who desire to occasionally communicate on a cruise ship want to spend the money and adhere to the licensing requirements for a GMRS radio. I suspect your radios aren’t used exclusively for cruise ship communications.

While it is true that the first generation of the cheapest FRS radios with only one channel were just “toys” the latest generation of FRS radios offer 14 channels are not. While 0.5W model FRS radios don’t have the range of GMRS radio, a 5W radio will not increase the range 10 times more than 0.5W model, but a 5W radio will need 10+ times the battery power to transmit. This is something to consider when choosing a radio for cruise ship use.

Two types of radios are out there FMRS and GMRS. Most are a combination of both.

There are hybrids radios sold today that are combination GMRS/FRS but they still require a license if they are operated in the GMRS mode.


...

BallFour4
December 27th, 2009, 12:16 AM
...

Did miss the icon, my bad.

I also have a set of UHF walkie-talkies for a small business that are 10 channel Vertex Standard units. They can scan a range of totally independent of the small range of frequencies set aside for GMRS/FMRS.

The ones used aboard cruise ships are the same type with the only variability being manufacture. None are capable of transmitting on GMRS radio frequencies, and realistically, why would they want to?

GMRS radios have no restrictions to be carried, purchased or used aboard a ship. They do not interfere with shipboard communication, period. You know this!

The GMRS license I hold has little value at sea. I do wonder about enforcement, international laws and permits from foreign ports.

The real reason people hate these is abuse from a few passengers both young and old.

Telling someone that FMRS radios work aboard a small floating city of steel is not the best advice. To effectively communicate aboard a ship you'd need full power GMRS radios. They are effective and cheap to purchase.

We have used them for about eleven cruises, the most recent being in July. Great experience and value having them along.



.

luddite
December 27th, 2009, 12:52 AM
They're a waste of time and effort. The ship ain't THAT stinkin' big.

scottbee
December 27th, 2009, 01:35 AM
does a hand-held radio work inside the ship? i am thinking of bringing hand-held radios for the kids so we can communicate/find each other if they decide to go somewhere by themselves. how can i communicate with other member of my family while in the ship?


Yes, sort of. However, here are some downsides;


While they may be legal in the United States, they may not be in the other countries you visit. Frequencies used by home FRS/GMRS radios in the USA are used for other purposes like Fire Brigades (UK) or other forms of official communication in other countries. The reaction may be anything from "You shouldn't do that" to a hefty fine.
They can annoy other passengers. I have been on cruises with an annoying "Hey are you there" blasted over walkie-talkies many times.
Ships are metal. Trying to transmit from one part of the ship to another (especially on another deck) needs to pass through a fair amount of metal, which tends to block the signal. A higher power set (GMRS) helps, but then you run into problem (a) that the higher the power, the less likely it's legal in the country you want to use them.


What else can you do?


Post It notes. Stick one to your mirror in your cabin, saying where you're going.
Or, my favorite; leave your cabinmates a voicemail on your cabin telephone. You can retrieve it from any other phone anywhere on the ship (and they're all over the place)

navybankerteacher
March 26th, 2010, 02:00 PM
Just show reasonable courtesy towards fellow passengers- hold conversations to a minimum (and keep voice down) where otherrs have to listen.

cb at sea
March 26th, 2010, 02:53 PM
It's truly not as hard as you might think to find the others in your party....there are only so many places you're likely to be!
Kids will pretty much be in the club, sports deck, arcade or pool areas.....Parents are usually at the pool, casino or room!

Just make times to meet and have everyone make a "tentative" schedule, so everyone will know where to look!

Honestly, it's easier to find folks on a ship, than at a mall!

monsignor
May 6th, 2010, 01:38 PM
Wouldn't the use of radios simply boil down to the following:

* Proper use
* Courtesy

I have every intention of bringing a set of GMRS Midland radios on my trip in November to keep tabs on the kids, however, I plan on making use of the vibrate and earbud features as to not "disturb" my neighbor's hairy chest contest experience or the soft bells / rings / dings in the casino.. :)

Also, listen in on the channel before transmitting.

Lastly, these particular models GXT-1000 have a "whisper" feature that you can talk softly without having to shout and the receiver will amp up the signal so you sound normal.

Just shop around and "do the right thing"..

LESLIEKURZ
May 6th, 2010, 02:53 PM
We were thinking about bringing ours so that the couple we are traveling with can find us at Nassau and on Coco Cay. They prefer to sleep in but we like the be one of the 1st ones off the ship.

wraithe
May 6th, 2010, 06:13 PM
We were thinking about bringing ours so that the couple we are traveling with can find us at Nassau and on Coco Cay. They prefer to sleep in but we like the be one of the 1st ones off the ship.

Like several others have said, use of these radios is not authorized in another country, you can get yourself into very serious trouble.

kitty9
May 6th, 2010, 07:00 PM
We were thinking about bringing ours so that the couple we are traveling with can find us at Nassau and on Coco Cay. They prefer to sleep in but we like the be one of the 1st ones off the ship.

You cannot use them off the ship, as the frequencies used by US walkie talkies can be the same used by the island's emergency units or by their armed forces. Please, do not risk being arrested and keep them on the ship.

Bill S
May 6th, 2010, 07:28 PM
Blusry, you made the following statements:

"along with ham band radios are no permitted aboard a cruise ship."

Can you provide some written authority for the above statement? I am curious because I know several people who have operated amateur radio gear onboard cruise ships with permission of the Captains.

"Also, if you read the frequency spectrum for UHF you will see the 16 channels dedicated to GMRS radios. That'd be and international agreement as well. "

I'm a bit confused by the above statement. Are you saying that it is ok to use a US GMRS radio in any foreign country or did you mean that the 16 channels use the same frequencies worldwide? If you are saying that US GMRS radios can be used in any country, can you provide written authority for that statement? I'm just curious because that is not my understanding.

Thanks.

olemissreb
May 6th, 2010, 08:23 PM
does a hand-held radio work inside the ship? i am thinking of bringing hand-held radios for the kids so we can communicate/find each other if they decide to go somewhere by themselves. how can i communicate with other member of my family while in the ship?


We used Walkie Talkies with a built in texting feature and they worked great. We didn't have the interference from other handhelds and other people didn't even know that we had them unless they were sitting on the table or chair.

matj2000
May 6th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Get the water-proof kind because when someone throws you overboard you can use it to call for help...

Tennessee3
May 11th, 2010, 12:19 PM
Olemissreb,
Can you tell me which brand you used? I am interested in these.Thanks!!

clyde3
May 11th, 2010, 06:20 PM
I think the kind Olemissreb has are called TriSquare eXrs. They use the same frequency as cellphones and have 10 billion channels.

geojobes
May 11th, 2010, 09:18 PM
Bill, I can help with with this statement from my Celebrity cruise docs:

Prohibited items: Firearms & Ammunition, including realistic replicas;
Sharp Objects, including knives and scissors. (Note: Personal
grooming items such as safety razors are allowed.); Illegal Drugs
& Substances; Candles & Incense; Coffee Makers, Clothes Irons,
& Hot Plates; Baseball Bats, Hockey Sticks, Cricket Bats, Bows &
Arrows; Illegal Drugs; Skateboards & Surfboards; Martial Arts
Gear; Self-Defense Gear, including handcuffs, pepper spray, night
sticks; Flammable Liquids and Explosives, including lighter fluid and
fireworks; HAM Radios; Dangerous Chemicals, including bleach and
paint; **Personal Alcohol.

Bill S
May 11th, 2010, 11:25 PM
geojobes: Well at least we know that Celebrity prohibits amateur radios. I've never seen a similar prohibition in HAL's documents. I guess it is safe to say that at least one cruise line prohibits amateur radios. Thank you for that information!

clyde3
May 12th, 2010, 12:15 AM
Walkie talkies are not Ham radios. They sell the Walkie talkies on the ship.

ZIPPY5150
May 23rd, 2010, 05:50 PM
VHF vs. UHF I'm totally confused now. Which one do I want on a cruise ship VHF or UHF? I get the whole thing about higher power is more likely to work better on the ship. But which band will penetrate the ships superstructure better?

I've used Motorola T5950 1 watt FRS/GMRS radios with limited success. I want to upgrade to something that will work much better. I will pay almost anything for great clear reception on and off the ship.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Bob

greatam
May 23rd, 2010, 06:05 PM
VHF vs. UHF I'm totally confused now. Which one do I want on a cruise ship VHF or UHF? I get the whole thing about higher power is more likely to work better on the ship. But which band will penetrate the ships superstructure better?

I've used Motorola T5950 1 watt FRS/GMRS radios with limited success. I want to upgrade to something that will work much better. I will pay almost anything for great clear reception on and off the ship.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Bob


As per lots of posts in this thread, quite a few radios/walkie talkies are ILLEGAL off the ship. Different countries, different rules.

And they are ANNOYING to those on the ship-especially when given to kids-"MOM, MOM, MOM, where are you????" (with 40 MOM's answering the call). Use post it notes, the cabin voice mail system, a specific meeting time, etc., etc. You REALLY can't get lost on a cruise ship.

ZIPPY5150
May 23rd, 2010, 09:45 PM
And they are ANNOYING to those on the ship-especially when given to kids-"MOM, MOM, MOM, where are you????" (with 40 MOM's answering the call). Use post it notes, the cabin voice mail system, a specific meeting time, etc., etc. You REALLY can't get lost on a cruise ship.

That is not the answer I was looking for. I have used GMRS radios on board cruise ships for years. No one has ever complained about my use. They are for my wife and I and another couple ONLY. I always put them on vibrate mode and I DO respect other people's space. I'm just looking for something better.

I appreciate your input.

Bob

Bill S
May 24th, 2010, 05:05 AM
In general, UHF works better from inside many structures than VHF, at least that is my experience. However, steel is steel, and even at UHF frequencies, communicating with radios is difficult in a steel environment. Maybe some one with a lot more radio experience than me can offer a solution for you.

ZIPPY5150
May 24th, 2010, 07:46 AM
I found a new radio system called TriSquare eXRS radios. http://www.trisquare.us/index.html They work in the 900 mh range. If I understand the technology of radios correctly the frequency is more important the wattage as far as use within a cruise ship, due to all the steel. The higher frequency will work better, as far as clarity of recieption. The eXRS radios are 1 watt, which should be enough at the higher frequency to do the job on the ship.

I think I'm going to give them a try on my next cruise in September. I'll post a report on how well they worked here.

Bob

Fascist
September 12th, 2010, 06:33 PM
I found this thread while searching for an answer to whether a 1/2watt UHF walkie talkie will have the range on a cruise ship. From reading the above, I'm guessing they won't. I'm not interested in spending the money on higher wattage radios this close to the cruise, but did I understand correctly that a 5W transmitter power will have a decent coverage over the ship? I'm in Australia, so a 5W UHF CB handheld is perfectly legal without special licensing requirements. How badly will the decks attenuate the signal? Will a 2W suffice?

All questions for next time. I have 0.5W that I use for bushwalking, but even then I'd prefer probably a 2W or even a 5W.

beachchick
September 13th, 2010, 02:09 AM
I found this thread while searching for an answer to whether a 1/2watt UHF walkie talkie will have the range on a cruise ship. From reading the above, I'm guessing they won't. I'm not interested in spending the money on higher wattage radios this close to the cruise, but did I understand correctly that a 5W transmitter power will have a decent coverage over the ship? I'm in Australia, so a 5W UHF CB handheld is perfectly legal without special licensing requirements. How badly will the decks attenuate the signal? Will a 2W suffice?

All questions for next time. I have 0.5W that I use for bushwalking, but even then I'd prefer probably a 2W or even a 5W.

I can't help you all that much except to say that we simply find them too darn much hassle and don't like to add to the "Can you hear me? Where are you? What are you doing?" conversations. My dad (and most of my family, all of whom are members of the ARRL and who use a wide variety of equipment) have found that metal superstructures do attenuate signals somewhat, depending on the type/density of the metal and distance. I wish I could be more specific, but as the black sheep of the family in that regard, I really don't have much experience with use onboard any ship, cruise or otherwise.

As to what I bolded above: That's fine for you in Australia. You can use whatever is legal there while you are there. But we are talking about different countries which use different frequencies and which have different laws. It doesn't matter one smidge that you bought something legally in Australia and it doesn't matter one iota that you use it legally there. Other countries don't care; they only care whether you are following their laws, communication and otherwise. The same goes for cruise ships. Just because you can buy and use a 5W UHF CB in Australia doesn't mean that it's allowed on all cruise ships. You need to check the regulations for each one. If you intend to use them while the ship is in port, the local laws will apply even if you are using them on the ship. Please check your cruise line's restrictions and confirm whether it will be legal near your various ports.

beachchick

Fascist
September 13th, 2010, 02:18 AM
As to what I bolded above: That's fine for you in Australia. You can use whatever is legal there while you are there. But we are talking about different countries which use different frequencies and which have different laws. It doesn't matter one smidge that you bought something legally in Australia and it doesn't matter one iota that you use it legally there. Other countries don't care; they only care whether you are following their laws, communication and otherwise.

beachchick

I know that, and that wasn't my query. We are doing domestic cruising only, so the international licensing issues aren't relevant. Obviously, in my effort to prevent any replies like yours above, I failed to mention that. I only added that to try and prevent the "you need a special license for GPRS" replies that assume I'm in the USA. My query was what sort of transmitter power is required onboard. I see that you have edited your post and added some more information to try and be more helpful, which I appreciate. It does make your post decidedly less rude sounding. Do you recall how much higher power you are talking about? 1W, 2W or 5W?

Fascist
September 13th, 2010, 06:28 AM
For the benefit of anyone else searching the forum, here are the results of some preliminary research I have done on the South West Pacific islands and radio frequency allocations:

Australia and New Zealand have the same frequency allocations for the unlicensed UHF CB frequencies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/UHF_CB

Vanuatu has adopted the same frequency allocations as are current in New Zealand:
http://www.telecomregulator.gov.vu/attachments/051_Draft%20Information%20Paper%20on%20Short-range%20Devices.pdf

New Caledonia is an overseas territory of France and as such uses the European equivalent of the license free UHF system known as PMR446.

Fascist
September 13th, 2010, 05:16 PM
The FRS wikipedia page (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service) has a good section about similar services in other regions, however looking up the FRS/GMRS, UHF CB, and PMR446 shows that none of these three services share any frequencies. There are other services also. China has a similar service in the 406MHz range.

FRS: (USA/Canada) 462MHz/467MHz, 14 channels (channels 1-7 shared with GMRS), 0.5W max power
GMRS: (USA) 462MHz/467MHz, 8 channels, licence required, 50W max power, 5W max on shared FRS channels for GMRS licence holders
GMRS: (Canada) frequencies as USA, no licence required, 2W max power
UHF CB: (Australia/NZ/Vanuatu/Samoa) 476-477MHz, 40 channels (soon to be extended to 80 channels in Australia by ACMA. Backwards compatible with the existing 40 channels although older radios may interfere with the 80 channel models due to wider channel bandwidth), 5W max power
PMR446: (Europe/French Polynesia(Tahiti), New Caledonia (I think, it's not very clear)) 446MHz, 8 analog channels, 16 digital channels, 0.5W max power

Shared FRS/GMRS devices also approved in Brazil and other South American countries, according to the article above, but no mention about power restrictions.

Try as I might, my Google-fu isn't strong enough to find any info on Fiji

beachchick
September 14th, 2010, 05:35 AM
I know that, and that wasn't my query. We are doing domestic cruising only, so the international licensing issues aren't relevant. Obviously, in my effort to prevent any replies like yours above, I failed to mention that. I only added that to try and prevent the "you need a special license for GPRS" replies that assume I'm in the USA. My query was what sort of transmitter power is required onboard. I see that you have edited your post and added some more information to try and be more helpful, which I appreciate. It does make your post decidedly less rude sounding. Do you recall how much higher power you are talking about? 1W, 2W or 5W?

As I recall, 2W seemed to be pretty decent with 5W, of course, being better. I suspect (but can only guess) that cruise ship size makes a big difference too? Based on our experience with 1/2W w/t's on a pretty big ship (120,000 tons), I'm positive we would have had no issues at all if we'd had 2W instead.

Yes, it would have helped to know that you'll be cruising domestically so that other countries laws don't apply. I'm sorry you felt my post was rude as it certainly wasn't intended as such. But not having a clue that you wouldn't be leaving Australia, I had no way of knowing that your reference to legality there had anything to do with your actual cruise itinerary.

beachchick

Fascist
September 14th, 2010, 06:07 AM
As I recall, 2W seemed to be pretty decent with 5W, of course, being better. I suspect (but can only guess) that cruise ship size makes a big difference too? Based on our experience with 1/2W w/t's on a pretty big ship (120,000 tons), I'm positive we would have had no issues at all if we'd had 2W instead.

Yes, it would have helped to know that you'll be cruising domestically so that other countries laws don't apply. I'm sorry you felt my post was rude as it certainly wasn't intended as such. But not having a clue that you wouldn't be leaving Australia, I had no way of knowing that your reference to legality there had anything to do with your actual cruise itinerary.

beachchick

Thanks for that. That really answers my question. The ship we will be on is the Pacific Dawn (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Dawn_%28ship%29). (70,000GT) No worries about the post. Probably just another example of the written word struggling to convey the nuances of the spoken word. If we enjoy this cruise, we will likely do a Pacific Island cruise next, so it's good to know where ours are able to be used.... if we do indeed find a need for them.

BallFour4
September 14th, 2010, 09:00 AM
The higher the frequency and the higher the power the better the radio signal.

Good luck finding anything but toys that are VHF and have transmit power of 0.5 watt. Your 0.5 watt power radios will perform poorly on a ship. We took our first pair ones aboard and they didn't work at that power.

GMRS/FMRS combo radios are almost all 5 watt transmit power on selected frequencies. When you review the manual that comes with the radio it will tell you the power by channel.

We have carried Motorola models for close to a decade with no problem on ships ranging from the Celebration to RCCL's Freedom of the Seas. They worked fine about 80% of the time.

Your question is about use on the ship and you got opinions for days about what others perceive as a nuisance. Five watt powered radios are for sale in the gift shop of all eleven cruise ships I have been aboard.

As to international frequency interference and laws prohibiting them ashore, you might listen in closely before you transmit in port. I have yet to hear a public service transmission from a GMRS radio. I have also yet to see any document or proof of these devices being illegal in foreign ports. I stand to be corrected...

Mass market cruises are not the quite floating libraries of the sea with quiet time from bow to stern. An occasional transmission or communication would do no long term harm to your fellow passenger, and vibrate mode works great.

Also, speaking with a loud voice does not enhance range. UHF radios have two sides to the transmission. One is the RF or transmitted radio signal, the second is AF or audio level. The RF is what gets "you there" to your other party.

Look at the packaging of the radios, look for GMRS ones with full power. For those in the states get the US license to be legal when you use them at home.

Consider a local purchase versus eBay or the web for your investment. If you have a problem with them they can be returned quickly.

Finally, any thread loaded with comments built around emotion or perception is within the spirit of the boards, just shallow in facts.

Now you have a few more facts.


.

BallFour4
September 14th, 2010, 09:09 AM
VHF vs. UHF I'm totally confused now. Which one do I want on a cruise ship VHF or UHF? I get the whole thing about higher power is more likely to work better on the ship. But which band will penetrate the ships superstructure better?

I've used Motorola T5950 1 watt FRS/GMRS radios with limited success. I want to upgrade to something that will work much better. I will pay almost anything for great clear reception on and off the ship.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Bob

Bob, I have a pair of Vertex Standard business class radios that are UHF and 5 watt. They worked incredibly well on the ship and ashore on the past two cruises. The radios are small, rechargeable and have several channels.

The bad news? They were a couple of hundred dollars for the pair. I use them in a side business I have and at our church on events I help manage.

You might consider renting a pair of business class radios for your trip. Search the phone book for a local shop and see what you can find.


.

Fascist
September 14th, 2010, 04:42 PM
[COLOR=Black][B]As to international frequency interference and laws prohibiting them ashore, you might listen in closely before you transmit in port. I have yet to hear a public service transmission from a GMRS radio. I have also yet to see any document or proof of these devices being illegal in foreign ports. I stand to be corrected...

From my limited research, it seems that most American countries (north and south) have standardised on the FRS/GMRS system so the vast majority of destinations on cruises from the USA, you should be fine.

However, I can tell you that ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) can and does come down hard on out of licence transmissions. Here is a link to the Australian frequency allocations: http://acma.gov.au/webwr/radcomm/frequency_planning/spectrum_plan/arsp-wc.pdf. There is a section of bandwidth in the 460-470MHz range that is allocated to aeronautical navigation... I wouldn't be using your FRS/GMRS radios anywhere near and Australian airport, which pretty much rules out all major ports. There are also mobile (cellular) phone transmissions within this range, so you'd probably be lost in the chatter there, but I can guarantee it is not legal under the Commonwealth Radiocommunications Act 1992, section 42:


46 Unlicensed operation of radiocommunications devices
(1) Subject to section 49, a person must not operate a
radiocommunications device otherwise than as authorised by:
(a) a spectrum licence; or
(b) an apparatus licence; or
(c) a class licence.
Penalty:
(a) if the radiocommunications device is a radiocommunications
transmitter:
(i) if the offender is an individual—imprisonment for 2
years; or
(ii) otherwise—1,500 penalty units; or
(b) if the radiocommunications device is not a
radiocommunications transmitter—20 penalty units.
(2) Subsection (1) does not apply if the person has a reasonable
excuse.
Note:
A defendant bears an evidential burden in relation to the matter in
subsection (2) (see subsection 13.3(3) of the Criminal Code).

BallFour4
September 14th, 2010, 06:52 PM
From my limited research, it seems that most American countries (north and south) have standardised on the FRS/GMRS system so the vast majority of destinations on cruises from the USA, you should be fine.

Looks like you have done excellent research!

Fascist
September 14th, 2010, 07:15 PM
Looks like you have done excellent research!

Thanks, but I wouldn't call it excellent. I haven't researched the American side of things extensively... only as far as it relates to my local situation, and a few extra things that turned up while I was doing that. Most western countries are fairly easy to research, but smaller countries such as those in Central and South America are more difficult. In my region, for example, it is not currently possible for me to find out quickly what the requirements are in Fiji, as from what I can tell, they are in the middle of (as of June this year) a spectrum management restructure, so short of actually contacting their new department, I have no idea what they will decide. The assumption is that they will follow the majority of governments in the region and do what they normally do, which is follow Australia and New Zealand (which has a financial benefit for their citizens in readily available and already cheap devices), but as they say.... assumption is the mother of all f@%$ ups!

Smokeyham
February 5th, 2011, 02:12 AM
VHF vs. UHF I'm totally confused now. Which one do I want on a cruise ship VHF or UHF? I get the whole thing about higher power is more likely to work better on the ship. But which band will penetrate the ships superstructure better?

I've used Motorola T5950 1 watt FRS/GMRS radios with limited success. I want to upgrade to something that will work much better. I will pay almost anything for great clear reception on and off the ship.

Any advise would be appreciated.

Bob


As was noted in a previous post, all else being equal, UHF will penetrate through buildings, etc. better while VHF covers longer distances. I believe I saw NCL staff carrying UHF radios on my last cruise.


However, short of buying some type of business-style radios (which are quite expensive), the best you can probably get is the FRS/GMRS combination. One of the previous posters had business-style radios, and those seemed to work well; so if this is something really important to you then it might be worth investing in a pair of those. I would do some research on what you want, then try E-Bay if you feel comfortable with that.