Family Radio Service
Family Radio Service (FRS) is a short-range, two-way, UHF radio service allocated for use by the public. Its marketed maximum range can be as far as 25 miles, but its actual range is usually closer to .5-1 mile. The advantage of FRS is in its compact, inexpensive radios that are excellent for communicating inside of a small area.
FRS radios are limited to .5 watt output and limited to 460-462 mhtz.
In the US the FCC has a general rule that during an emergency (read to protect life or property) you may utilize any operating mode, any frequency and any power level that you believe will bring assistance. Until then:
- If you have a dual-use, FRS-General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) unit, you may legally use only the FRS channels unless you have a GMRS license. The label on the unit or the operations manual should indicate the service the unit is certified for. FRS-only units transmit at lower power levels and have antennas that are integrated with the unit; GMRS units transmit at higher power levels and may have detachable antennas.
- You can operate your FRS unit anywhere in the U.S. and its possessions.
- FRS radios may not be legal in other countries.
Selecting a Radio
See the general rules of selecting a radio.