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Ward
02-24-2003, 11:09 AM
So, our family of four is going to DLR in March. We can anticipate the need/desire to split up during the day (FastPass gathering; different ride tastes; etc). We've read Adrienne's September 2000 article on those FRS radios (http://www.mouseplanet.com/akrock/akrock9.htm).

How well do the FRS/GMRS radios work now? We have seen articles elsewhere talking about how wildly popular those radios are becoming. Is channel overcrowding a problem? Does anyone have recent experience using these radios in DLR?

Thanks.

Techie7
02-24-2003, 11:31 AM
You can still find frequencies open but it helps if you have a radio that has sub-frequencies. The standard 14 frequencies have become crowded. If you use them I would make sure that your group has a plan to change to another frequency if yours gets crowded into. Also remember not to use names over the radio with your location. I know that I have brought in a radio set to scan and you would be amazed at the amount of information given out over radios that other people can hear. That said they should work well for you. Make sure you have batteries and have a great time.

hefferdude
02-24-2003, 12:51 PM
The popularity and relative low cost of the FRS radios has caused overcrowding on the basic FRS frequencies 1-14. Combine this with complete lack of radio discipline by people playing with a new toy, it gets very frustrating all too quickly. I would recommend you seriously consider the FRS/GMRS 22 channel combination radios. Costco and Best Buy had a set ( with NiCad batteries and charging adapters)starting around ~$100+. Ours have gone for 12 hours between charges ( which can vary depending on the transmit time per radio. )
We've had good results in DLR except while inside some attractions as the amount of metal attenuates the signal
Stear clear of the cheapies ( <$40). They're no longer worth it in a crowded environment.
Features of some of the FRS/GMRS radios are:
GMRS has twice the power in watts of an FRS channel.
Programmable 8 sub-channels per primary channel with tri-level encryption. (14 x 8 x 3 = 336 )
This radically reduces the chances another person is using your particular frequency and side band and encryption.
Programmable call tones allow you to see if another radio is who you are talking with.
A few other bells and whistles are NWS weather alert, VOX headgear with background squelch ( extra option ).

( The only down side is Uncle Sam and the FCC want you to send in $70 to register on the GMRS band.)

MouseWife
02-24-2003, 01:31 PM
I totally agree with before hand agreeing on alternate channels if the first chosen one becomes over crowded.

Geesh. Some guy {having a great time at my expense} was talking as if he were my son. It totally frustrated me and then when I realized I had been had, I looked around real quick to see who had a radio........didn't see them. But, oh well. People will have their fun. It just isn't cool when you are freaking out trying to find someone.

I wished then we had discussed alternate channels. Because, at this point, if we said then they would know and follow us. :rolleyes:

The only thing I could have done, now I think about it, is to say something like 'let's go to Dad's birthday.....' or something like that.

We use them all over. The mall, the park, the market. While in two different vehicles.

Have fun. Let us know how it turns out. :)

tiggerandtink
02-24-2003, 01:39 PM
I have seen these at the parks and think they are a great idea, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't use them (or phones, pagers, etc. .) inside attractions. There is nothing worse than one of these going off as you are floating along POTC. The cheaper alternative to this is make meeting areas with set times throughout the day, and let kids (teens) especially know that if they can't make one set time (in a long que or a show) that they must be there for the next or they lose the privilage of their freedom. Every two or three hours usually works, I know it's a little old-fashioned and boring, but as I said, it's cheaper and sometimes a little more considerate. Just an idea.

MouseWife
02-24-2003, 01:54 PM
I agree with that. While I love the convenience of it, it can be rather annoying.

The reason hubby likes them is so that he can pester me. I mean call me when he wants to. He says I have this thing about being late..............

I like that where you say if you aren't at the first meeting time be at the second.

I do like being able to keep track of the kids. But, like tiggerandtink says, if they keep the meeting time, that cuts out the worry.

Usually they just call asking for more time or more money anyways. :rolleyes:

But, still a great thing. Even with my complaining, a great thing.

tabacco
02-24-2003, 05:06 PM
GMRS is probably a safer bet. Apart from having a better range, their higher cost relative to FRS radios probably means they'll be less crowded.

experiment626
02-24-2003, 07:57 PM
UGH!! Whatever happen to good 'ol we'll meet by the tiki room at 5:15?

MammaSilva
02-24-2003, 08:56 PM
we used the radios for several trips, next trip it's cell phones!

hefferdude
02-25-2003, 07:54 AM
I have seen these at the parks and think they are a great idea, but PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE don't use them (or phones, pagers, etc. .) inside attractions. There is nothing worse than one of these going off as you are floating along POTC.

Absolutley!! The better two-ways have a vibrate feature - same as cell phones. Have fun and tickle your radio friend while they're in HM or POTC...;)

OBTW - beware overkill - the higher end two-ways have GPS. Now you can really know where to meet ( at the Tiki room! D'oh!);)


UGH!! Whatever happen to good 'ol we'll meet by the tiki room at 5:15?

That would be appox. UTM 11 414974E 3741456N
or 33.8116N 117.9187W @ 1715 hr :D

Ward
03-17-2003, 07:40 PM
Originally posted by MouseWife
Have fun. Let us know how it turns out. :)

We got back from Disneyland last week. We ended up not getting the radios after all. Partially from the cost of the upper-end units for something we would only use once; the hassle of channel-hopping; and the advice of tiggerandtink, MouseWife and experiment626. The few times we did split up, we used the meeting place method and had no problems.

However, I did witness lots of people having trouble with their radios. Lots of, "What?!", and "No, I said, 'Aladdin!'", and so forth.

DisneyFan25863
03-17-2003, 09:23 PM
Originally posted by hefferdude
That would be appox. UTM 11 414974E 3741456N
or 33.8116N 117.9187W @ 1715 hr :D

You scare me. :D

MouseWife
03-17-2003, 09:43 PM
Originally posted by dnjmaney
However, I did witness lots of people having trouble with their radios. Lots of, "What?!", and "No, I said, 'Aladdin!'", and so forth.


I so hate that!! That is an instant headache for me, I tell ya!

So glad you guys had a great time. :)

I think the meeting time is great. It isn't like you are in a foreign country and you would sit there worrying they were lost or something.

The biggest reason why someone would be late is long lines.

Thank you for sharing your ending to the thread. :)

cujosr
03-17-2003, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by MouseWife
Geesh. Some guy {having a great time at my expense} was talking as if he were my son. It totally frustrated me and then when I realized I had been had, I looked around real quick to see who had a radio........didn't see them. But, oh well. People will have their fun. It just isn't cool when you are freaking out trying to find someone.

I think I know that guy!!!!:D All kidding aside frs is a great way to go, IMO. I have used them all the time and not had aproblem with channel crowding. Make sure you all have radios that use sub-codes the extra channel it will help. If only one of your radios does not have the abiliyty to use subcodes you will all have to stick to the basic 14 channels. I use 4-22 for mine and never had a problem anywhere. BTW disney is now selling thier own version of FRS by Motorola (makers of the talkabout) in the parks and they have sub codes! They will run you about 60.00 for a pair not bad for disney!!

MouseWife
03-17-2003, 10:07 PM
And if they are the ones I've seen, they are cute!!!

Darkbeer
03-17-2003, 11:45 PM
Another good option is the pre-paid cell phones, they are fairly cheap... And you are guaranteed a private conversation...

Another good feature, they have Voice Mail, which is really good if you are in an attraction. Most attractions will block reception, and as mentioned earlier, it is bad form to use them in an attraction anyways. You can get the message once you leave the attraction.

Polar33
03-18-2003, 01:27 AM
I'll add annother vote for going the cell phone route. I'm planning a trip to WDW in June and decided that cell phones are the better route to go. Overcrouding wasn't exactly one of my issues, I have never had a problem with that at DL. My main concern was range. While the FRS radios are good most of the time, they dont always travel as far as the other park, or surrounding hotels. Plus, you can set the phone to ring silently to not disturb those arround you who might not want to hear where the rest of your family is going to get togeather and eat later.

hefferdude
03-18-2003, 08:42 AM
You scare me.

See you guys at the Madscramble.
( UTM 11 414933E 3741232N which is
38 48 35N 177 55 09W @ 1000 hr ) hee hee :p

If you camp or hike a lot, the upper end GMRS/GPS allows
you to locate the other person by direction and distance.
Pretty handy if someone gets lost.

The encoding/encryption features would also eliminate
people who mess with your channel.;)