Back in the day when consumer-grade FRS radios were relatively new, it wasn’t uncommon to pay an insane amount of money for a single radio.

Tammy and I had a pair of Motorola TalkAbout 250s that, at the time, sold for like $85 a piece. We took advantage of a few “hot deals” so that we didn’t pay anywhere near that price, but the point is they were expensive and they really didn’t need to be.

This weekend I took a look into how far FRS radios have come, and I was really impressed!

For starters, it’s basically impossible to buy an FRS-only radio anymore. Every manufacturer seems to have integrated FRS/GMRS together in all their radios – depsite the fact that GMRS radios require an FCC license to operate. (I’d bet that at least 90% of people on the GMRS frequencies are unlicensed.)

Increased competition from companies like Cobra and Xact have driven prices on these things into the ground over the past few years. You can buy a bare-bones radio that’ll transmit up to two miles away for literally $10 nowadays.

Yesterday I ordered a PAIR of decently-equipped Motorola radios for just thirty five bucks! A few years ago that wouldn’t have been enough to buy half of ONE radio. Friends, we are living in the FUTURE!

Motorola makes a ton of two-way radios – most of which are completely identical – but they seem to perform consistently well.

The T5500AA had a pretty good feature-set, and was on sale, so I figured what the hell. They claim to have a five-mile range under ideal conditions, but I’m sure it’s closer to two.

I have no idea when we’ll ever use these, but hey, as we just saw in New Orleans crazy shit can happen when the power’s out and cell phones don’t work.

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