Helpful Information

How To Obtain a License

Two Way Radios 

How do I obtain a GMRS radio license 

How do I get my GMRS radio license and do I need one. Anyone operating a two way radio on a  GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequency by law is required to get  a GMRS license thru the FCC prior to using a two way radio. Those  transmitting on the FRS frequencies don't need a license. Channels 8-14  on a typical 22 channel consumer radio reserved exclusively for FRS.  These channels can be used license-free, but are limited to a half watt  of transmit power and will have limited range. What is the GMRS license fee and how long is a license good for? The GMRS licenses fee, which is paid  to the FCC, currently is $85.00. Some government entities are exempt  from this fee. A license is valid for five years. What forms do I fill out and where can I get them? In order to obtain a GRMS license  you must fill out FCC form 159 & form 605. You may apply online at  the FCC Universal Licensing System website at or download the form at the FCC forms homepage at Do you report us to the FCC? No, there is no reporting system  setup to report customers purchase to the FCC. Obtaining a GMRS license  is strictly an issue between the consumer and the government we only  provide you with this information to help point you in the correct  direction. 

Apco Project 25

 Apco Project 25 explanation  Apco Project 25: What is it and what does it mean to the consumer? Apco Project 25 is the official name  but you will often hear it refered to as Apco 25, P25, Project 25  complaint, and many more. Before I tell you what it really is let me  first explain where the need comes from then the definition will make  better sense. Over the last 25-35 years any industry that has anything  to do with communications has been changing with every increasing need.  The two way radio industry is no different. In 1989 Apco Project 25  began out of need. The radio or frequency spectrum has stayed the same  but the need has gone up tremendously. In other words, the radio  spectrum of frequencies have become more congested over the years. The  need for data transmission has become more necessary which is not an  option on many narrow band systems. Increased system functionality along  with more secure communications is a growing neccessity. Also increased  transmission quality over a larger transmission area is needed. Out of  these needs sprang Apco Project 25. Apco Project 25 is according to the  International Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials  website “an industry-wide effort to set the recommended voluntary  standards of uniform digital two-way radio technology for public safety  organizations”. Let's look at what is important and what that means to  you a consumer. First, “industry-wide” this means that it's not just one  manufacturer but many large manufactures working together, included in  these are but not limited to Motorola & Bendix King, to produce the  second part “uniform” that means that they'll work with each other in  other words interoperability. Not all functions of each P25 radio will  work with the other but the basics will work with each other therefore  allowing the consumer an easier way to not only compare but to also  incorporate the new P25 radios into there existing systems. I'll explain  more on that in a minute. The last two parts are “digital  two-way radio technology” which means it's digital not analog. And as  almost everyone knows just about everything is going digital due to the  better quality is the main reason but also as important being able to  send data. TV has gone digital, radio is going, phones are going,  everything is. Try to find a record. Many don't even know what that is.  And the last part is who it is for which is “public safety  organizations” in other word you first responders. You know who you are  and we thank all of you. P25's Suite of Standards specify  eight open interfaces between the various components of a land mobile  radio system. These interfaces are: 

  • Common Air Interface (CAI)
  • Subscriber Data Peripheral Interface
  • Fixed Station Interface
  • Console Subsystem Interface
  • Network Management
  • Data Network Interface
  • Telephone Interconnect Interface
  • Inter RF Subsystem Interface

So in simple English Apco Project 25  is a set, not a single rule, of standards that cover digital two way  radio technology for first responders. It promotes competition by  allowing you to compare apples to apples. It allows you to slowly  incorporate digital into your existing analog system because P25 is  backward compatible meaning that they will work with any analog system  yet know that you are investing in equipment that will work with the  latest greatest. Browse our P25 portables, P25 mobiles, or P25 repeaters and Base stations. We realize that this is just the  most basic explanation. If you have any question please feel free to  call or email us. Thank you.   



Ok, so your have determined that you  need a two way radio system for communicating with others. The first  hurdle that most come to is determining if you need UHF or VHF. These  two frequencies make up most of the two way radio market so let's talk  for a minute about what these are and which one is right for you. UHF is Ultra High Frequency and VHF is Very High Frequency. Neither is better then the other but one maybe better for your specific use.  The main difference between UHF and VHF is the wavelength.  UHF has a shorter wavelength which makes it better for more dense  terrain. When I say more dense terrain you could be dealing with more  hills, more trees, or more buildings. UHF has better penetrating  capabilites. UHF will deal better with going thru walls or other  obsticals then VHF. VHF has a longer wavelength which  means that it will transmit futher for the same amount of wattage vs  UHF. VHF will not penetrate, ie. go thru walls or other obstacles, as  well as UHF. VHF performs better for distance(i.e. goes further when you  have a clear line of site), but UHF has better penetrating power (i.e.  goes thru walls or orbstacles.) Well that is the long (VHF) and  short (UHF) of it, pun intended. It's not as confusing as it may seem  however we do have knowledgeable people to help you with this or any  other two way radio communications questions you may have. 

Choosing the Right Radio

 Being a good consumer in  a time of constant change can sometimes be difficult. The two-way radio  market is no exception. Portables, mobiles, repeaters, or vehicular  repeaters, or Icom, Kenwood, Motorola , or Bendix King ,  pl's, p25, digital..etc, etc. The list of choices and options could  pretty much go on and on, and with so many options it can be difficult  to decide. With that in mind, we here at Missouri Radio thought it  useful to have a little basics on how to choose the right two-way radio  system to meet your needs, yet save you some money. 

Portable two-way radio, mobile two-way radio, or stationary (repeater or base station)?

One of the first factors to consider  is portability. Will this two-way radio or two-way radio system have to  go with you everywhere, will it be sufficient in your vehicle, or will  it be at a stationary location? Portable radios, as the name suggests,  are portable. You can easily carry them with you wherever you go and  require no installation. Mobile two-way radios and vehicular repeaters  are typically permanently mounted in a vehicle and require minimal  installation. Most technically-oriented and handy people can install a  mobile two-way radio on their own with little installation instructions.  It is very similar to installing a car radio. For those who feel  uncomfortable with the thought and are local, we can install it for you.  For those not local, but still feel the need for installation help,  there are plenty of installation services out there to choose from.  Lastly is the repeater or base station. The model of repeater or base  station will depend on the amount of installation required. Some base  stations are the equivalent of installing a radio in a box that contains  the power supply, while some repeaters are referred to as rack mount.  The first thing that comes to most people's mind is "Well, I'll just go  with a portable. Why would I want to worry about any installation?" Here  is why: It has to do with distance a radio will transmit. We will get  more specific in a minute, but for now the important thing to understand  is basically the more portable the radio, the less distance it will  transmit or cover on it's own. 

How far will my radio transmit?

The second factor to consider is the  RF power output or transmission power. Most portables come with  anywhere from 1 - 5 watts and some are adjustable. Mobiles can go  anywhere from about 20 to 60 watts, while repeaters can go up to 100  watts. I wish there was an easy rule like 1 watt equals 1 mile of  coverage but there isn't. The distance or coverage you will acheive will  depend on many factors. Some things to consider are the transmission  power of the radio, the frequency (certain frequencies go further) and  the terrain (certain frequencies are more line of sight and some will  pretty much go thru concrete). Since we will obviously not be able to  cover all the real world possibilities, we recommend you call or email  one our experienced sales representatives for the best possible  recommendation for you. With that in mind, lets keep it general. In  general, 800 mhz will have good penetration being able to go thru a  certain amount of concrete for example. VHF has good distance, coverage  but is more line of sight. Adding in hills, mountain ranges or buildings  is going to decrease your coverage. UHF is a combination of distance  and penetration. UHF will have better penetration than VHF, but will not  go as far. Since this is being written with the novice who may never  have had a two-way radio, we are keeping this simple. Since we realize  most of you will already know your specific frequencies, this is for  those who have no past experience. 

How will my two-way radios communicate?

There are other ways, but the two main ways that two-way radios communicate are either radio-to-radio or via a repeater.  Radio-to-radio is referred to as  "simplex." It's simple. You have two radios on the same frequency. Your  coverage is only as far as the least will transmit. So for instance, you  have two radios on the same frequency. Radio number one can transmit 3  miles, and radio number two can transmit 5 miles. Your coverage is 3  miles, since past that point, one will no longer be able to communicate  with the other. Let's talk about communication via a  repeater. With a repeater in the mix, the two radios are no longer  communicating directly with each other, but the signal goes from radio  one to the repeater. The repeater repeats and boosts the signal out to  radio number two. Radio two communicates back to radio number one in the  same basic way. So with the same two radios from our first example with  a repeater in between, then you could now be 8 miles apart. Radio  number one could be 3 miles to the east of the repeater and radio number  two could be 5 miles to the west of the repeater. Depending on your  needs and budget, you can set up systems to go from just a few miles to  complete coverage of hundreds of miles. 

Lots of other options to consider.

Although not discussed yet, one main  consideration will no doubt be price. Two-way radio and systems go  anywhere from $30 to tens of thousands of dollars. It will all boil down  to your needs and budget. While a $30 frs two-way radio may be just  fine for the kids to play war in the back yard or to talk to your  significant other while one is in the yard and one is inside, that same  radio won't be of any use to, say, a fire fighter who has to depend on  the reliability of it to save his or her life. Don't despair. Getting a  good radio doesn't have to break the bank either. The  Motorola CP200  is a very nicely priced general feature radio. They are 4-watt UHF or 5 Watt VHF, 16-channel with lots of options. The Icom IC-F3011/4011 series is a great low priced option. For our fire figther friends there is the IC-F50 - IC-F60 series  which now come with voice recorder / storage at no additional charge.  Let's not forget about our military friends who might want a Bendix King Rapid Deployment Portable Repeater Series.  If you've read this far, you have  probably determined that the options and factors to consider when  purchasing a two-way radio could be endless. We could go on about things  like analog verses digital, pl's verses dpl's (private lines vs.  digital private lines) and many many more things but we won't. Just know  that there are experienced people available and happy to help you  decide what it is that you need while making sure you don't waste a lot  of money on things you don't. Feel free to call us toll free at  1-888-681-8863 or email your questions to Thanks and have a great day, Dennis Strutman President  

Industry Leading Service

 We realize the importance of reliable communication  equipment.  You don't need to be an expert to get the right two way  radio for your business, our experienced staff will make sure you get  the right radio to meet your needs.  We can add compatible radios to your existing equipment or we can set up your communication system  from the start. We offer Bendix King, Relm, Motorola, and other major  brand name radios and accessories. We help to maintain your equipment by  offering replacement batteries, antennas, cables and more.   Please allow us to be your "Go To" for all your two way radio needs. Thank you, 

Dennis Strutman  President 1-573-885-7010 

Our two way radios are reseasonable and effective, need more information just call.

Radio Reprogramming

 Radio Re-Programming      Get your radios re-programmed now.  Get re-programmed for narrow banding now.    Narrowbanding is in effect. Update: Narrowbanding is now in effect. If you have yet to re-program your radios please call 1-573-885-7010 and one of our friendly, knowledgeable staff will be glad to help you.   *****************   With less than three months before the FCC Narrow Banding mandate goes  into effect now is the time to re-program your radios to make sure you  don't loose your ability to communicate and/or possible face fines. We can help you. Most radios sold for the last few years can be re-programmed to work on the narrower frequency.  You have options: 

  • Send us your radios and we can reprogram them for you. 
  • We'll get you the right cable and software for you to reprogram your own radios. 

When you've got  lots of radios needing to be re-programmed for narrow banding the mere  logistics of sending radios back and forth while trying to maintain your  day to day operations can seem overwhelming. For many of our customers  it is easier and less expensive to simple get the programming cable and  software for there in house technicians to reprogram them themselves,  however, we are happy to reprogram your radios for you if that better  suits your needs. Missouri Radio  provides you access to one of the largest selections of radios and  accessories including programming cables and software. We carry  programming cables and software for Motorola, Icom, Vertex Standard,  Kenwood, Relm / Bendix King, and more. We realize that carrying such a  large selection provides unique challenges to making sure we keep prices  low. In an effort to keep prices low we only list a small selection,  small being a relative term since we currently have around 1,000  products available online, of what we have available. By not wasting  money listing all the thousands more items we have available to you we  keep your prices low. As Benjamin Franklin said, “A penny saved is a  penny earned.” If you know the programming cable and software you need click here. If you'd like a little help making sure you get the right thing contact us. Our job is to service you and we take pride in doing our job right. Call us toll free at 1-573-885-7010 or email us. We look forward to providing you the top quality service that you expect and we truly believe you deserve. Respectfully, Dennis Strutman / President  1-573-885-7010