Antennas for MURS: the Multi Use Radio Service

MURS radio kb9vbr j-pole antennasMURS or the Multi Use Radio Service is a license free radio service designated by the FCC for short range business and family communications. MURS has five channels in the 151 – 154 VHF MHz range that can be used. MURS has some distinct features that makes it very useful for a wide variety of communications:

  • No license is needed for MURS communications
  • Voice or data can be transmitted on the MURS frequencies
  • 2 watt transmitter power limit for base and handheld communications, but no limit to antenna gain
  • You can attach external antennas to a MURS radio, like the MURS J-Pole antenna.
  • Antennas must have a max height of 20 feet.
  • There are a wide variety of MURS radios available, like the popular Motorola RDM2020 handheld unit.

The best thing about MURS is that it is license free, so you can hand just about anyone a MURS programmed radio and not worry about the user having a FCC license.

What types of activities or groups are using MURS radios? MURS is great for search and rescue operations, coordinating volunteers at parades and community events, business operations and facilities, and personal communications. The radios are inexpensive and the MURS band is relatively uncongested, so it makes a great choice when other radio services may be loaded with communications.

Since MURS radios can use external antennas, but the antennas are limited to a 20 foot height, you’ll want to select a high performance antenna to maximize your signal range. The MURS J-Pole antenna is a great choice as it is lightweight, affordable, and very sensitive. The antenna’s wide bandwidth covers the entire MURS frequency range and the low noise floor will easily pick out a weak signal from a distant MURS station. Mounted at the 20 foot height, you can ideally expect a 5-10 mile range with your MURS radios, although surrounding buildings and terrain may affect performance.

Need more information about the Multi Use Radio Service to determine if its a right choice for your needs? Check out this MURS resource.