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GMRS / FRS Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 11-16-2009, 9:41 AM
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Default GMRS National Emergency Channel

Hi,

Just got my FCC GMRS license, a pair of Vertex 824 UHF's, and a programming cable and had a general question regarding the GMRS emergency channel.

I understand the receive and transmit frequencies will be 462.675 and 467.675 respectively, but will I need to program the coded squelch to 141.3 for BOTH the encoding and decoding?

With so many available channels on my radio, would it also be useful to configure a channel for simplex operation (462.675/462.675)? I guess my question really is if ALL emergency comms are ALWAYS on repeater operation?

Many thanks for your assistance, and any helpful tips on programming and configuring these radios would be appreciated.

Dave.
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:17 AM
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Cool Let me take a stab at this one!

Quote:
Originally Posted by flyfishdave View Post
Hi,

Just got my FCC GMRS license, a pair of Vertex 824 UHF's, and a programming cable and had a general question regarding the GMRS emergency channel.

I understand the receive and transmit frequencies will be 462.675 and 467.675 respectively, but will I need to program the coded squelch to 141.3 for BOTH the encoding and decoding?

With so many available channels on my radio, would it also be useful to configure a channel for simplex operation (462.675/462.675)? I guess my question really is if ALL emergency comms are ALWAYS on repeater operation?

Many thanks for your assistance, and any helpful tips on programming and configuring these radios would be appreciated.

Dave.
I think that if the radio requires that you enter a frequency for both transmit and receive, you should do that. It makes sense to me. I would leave the tones off. I don't think it is necessary to use the tones on a single channel. ( Repeaters are generally spaced 4 mhz apart, this emergency channel is on the one frequency, otherwise you would have to enter 466.675 on your transmit frequency, and the required tone to activate a repeater. ) So, if you were to call for help, you will hear a response from anyone, since the tone squelch is open (without programming a tone for that channel).
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:34 AM
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Has the tone of 141.3 been standardized for emergency calling on GMRS?

If it has, I would put it in transmit and leave receive CSQ.

Also, I would program both the repeater pair and simplex (talk-around).

Repeater splits (TX to RX) are 5 MHz not 4 MHz

Last edited by N_Jay; 11-16-2009 at 12:12 PM..
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Old 11-16-2009, 11:51 AM
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Cool Oops!

Yeah, 5 mhz, not 4.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:15 PM
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Usually repeaters require a tone to respond and grant access. In any event, I would put too much faith in reaching help during an emergency using GMRS. A cell phone is a much better option if coverage is good in your area. On thing for certain, GMRS coverage will be very limited. Then theres the question, will someone even respond, if you do reach the repeater?
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:19 PM
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Originally Posted by MPSCS View Post
Usually repeaters require a tone to respond and grant access. In any event, I would put too much faith in reaching help during an emergency using GMRS. A cell phone is a much better option if coverage is good in your area. On thing for certain, GMRS coverage will be very limited. Then theres the question, will someone even respond, if you do reach the repeater?
All very true, but as long as someone went to all the trouble of creating a GMRS National Emergency Calling Channel, you might as well program it properly.

CSQ is used on RX to make sure you can receive people who have their radios programmed wrong.
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Old 11-16-2009, 12:40 PM
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thanks for the helpful information!

reading more about my radio, there's a 'Talk Around' feature that wll bypass the repeater when there is a strong signal/station nearby.

N_Jay, when you say leave the RX in CSQ (coded squelch), can you elaborate? Do you mean leave the DECODE column blank? CSQ, PL/CTCSS is all very confusing. Just wondering if all the 'emergency' TX/encoding transmissions have the 141.3 tone, I may not hear these transmissions if my radio is programmed with nothing for the DECODE.

I'm looking at the programming table under SUB AUDIO, and the sub columns ENC and DEC.

thanks again folks for the assistance.

Dave.
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Old 11-16-2009, 1:11 PM
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CSQ is Carrier Squelch, meaning no tone decode. In that mode, you will recieve everything, whether or not the transmission has a tone.
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Old 11-16-2009, 6:57 PM
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I would set up one channel for repeater operation and a second for simplex so regardless of whether there is a repeater nearby or not, you would be able to use the frequency. For example:

Ch.1
TX = 467.675
Encode = 141.3
RX = 462.675
Decode = Carrier Squelch (no tone)

Ch.2
TX = 462.675
Encode = 141.3 (in case the other parties radio is looking for the tone to open the squelch)
RX = 462.675
Decode = Carrier Squelch (no tone)

Since the radio has such a large channel capacity, I would do this for every GMRS frequency (one channel for the repeater pair and one for simplex).

Also, you might want to check these sites for additional info on GMRS repeaters that might be in your area:

Lakes Area GMRS Repeater Group
myGMRS.com - GMRS Repeater Directory

Let me know if you have any questions on this or need any more clarification
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Last edited by Mike-KC8OWL; 11-16-2009 at 6:58 PM.. Reason: type-o
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Old 11-16-2009, 9:04 PM
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Mike et. al.,

thanks for all the great suggestions and explanations. Not only do I have a large channel capacity, but multiple groups as well. I was playing around and decided to make a GMRS-simplex and GMRS-duplex group; much like a radio can scan channels within a group, I can also have the radio scan the specified channels in multiple groups as well.

I'll have to play with all the features on this radio and see how best to incorporate the functions to address my needs. This sure beats the POS bubble pack radios that are no better than my daughter's disney princess radios!

Dave.
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Old 11-23-2009, 5:07 PM
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I have my radios programmed this way:

My Motorola Saber has 3 "zones". Each one holding 12 channels (that's including the seperate transmit/recieve freqs).

I have one zone set-up for all the GMRS freqs simplex with no tone.

My second zone is programmed for numerous REACT/RUG GMRS repeaters, which utilize the emergency (462.675 tone 141.3) channel for their repeaters. They also offer a great deal on "personal use" of their repeaters, using a different tone than the 141.3 I am in Southern California so if your from here, its worth it ($50 p/year) to get a repeater subscription from Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams

Third zone is programmed for some local law enforcement/security freqs for monitoring purposes.
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Old 11-26-2009, 9:40 AM
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Actually there is no National GMRS emergency channel any longer it went away several years ago when you were only allowed a single repeater pair,per your license,now days you may use any of the GMRS repeater pairs with none designated as a emergency channel.
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Old 11-26-2009, 8:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spd640 View Post
Actually there is no National GMRS emergency channel any longer it went away several years ago when you were only allowed a single repeater pair,per your license,now days you may use any of the GMRS repeater pairs with none designated as a emergency channel.
"TECHNICALLY" no, there isnt an emergency channel anymore... BUT most repeaters that use the 462.675 frequency have the 141.3 (un-official emergency and travelers assistance tone) enabled on their repeaters. ESPECIALLY R.E.A.C.T.'s repeaters, such as... Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams
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Old 12-08-2009, 12:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by conve36 View Post
"TECHNICALLY" no, there isnt an emergency channel anymore... BUT most repeaters that use the 462.675 frequency have the 141.3 (un-official emergency and travelers assistance tone) enabled on their repeaters. ESPECIALLY R.E.A.C.T.'s repeaters, such as... Radio Emergency Associated Communication Teams
Repeaters are still private. There is a 675 machine here with the "travel" tone, but it belongs to the local Red Cross and is not open.

Agreed, there is no "emergency channel" anymore and a simplex signal on 462.675 is not likely to get you help.

Last edited by hockeyshrink; 12-08-2009 at 12:35 AM..
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Old 12-13-2009, 2:20 PM
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Originally Posted by hockeyshrink View Post
Repeaters are still private. There is a 675 machine here with the "travel" tone, but it belongs to the local Red Cross and is not open.

Agreed, there is no "emergency channel" anymore and a simplex signal on 462.675 is not likely to get you help.
I definitely wouldn't keep that as my only back-up option for an emergency, that's for sure! lol
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