If you already own one or more FRS radios, you can definitely use them to communicate with neighbors, but their range is typically limited to about 1/2 mile if you are using them indoors. They are limited to 2 watts of transmit power and they have short, fixed antennas. They are great for road trips involving two vehicles.

If you need to buy radios, we suggest that you invest in GMRS radios and get a GMRS license. You can buy some very nice GMRS radios for under $40 apiece, and a GMRS license costs an additional $35. For a little bit of extra money, you will get a lot of extra functionality.

FRS and GMRS radios operate on the same frequencies and they can talk to one another. But GMRS radios are more powerful and they have removable antennas. That allows you to use bigger antennas that will allow you to hear and be heard over greater distances.

If you’re buying GMRS radios, be sure to get the repeater-capable type. A repeater-cable GMRS radio allows you to use the GMRS repeaters located at Rattlesnake, Philipsburg, and Sandy Ridge to communicate with other GMRS users in most parts of the Moshannon Valley and nearby communities such as Pleasant Gap and parts of State College.