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

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2017, 2:38 PM
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NSEA was founded in 1966 and has been in continuous existence since that time. It is in fact a cooperative organization, but has never charged any membership dues.

All expansion projects are either funded via grants or donations from the membership. We are fortunate to have Atty. P. Randall Knowles (KAA-8142) as our founder and CEO. As previously mentioned, Randy's practice is communications law, and it was his professional opinion that the cooperative group adopt this fiduciary scheme in order to avoid any questions regarding the group's mission and legality.

By registering NSEA as a 501(c)(3) organization, proper record keeping is mandatory, and annual filings with both State and Federal authorities ensures compliance with both rule and law, as well as total transparency to the membership.

Are other schemes possible? Without question there are, but they'd best be very careful to maintain proper record keeping to avoid any future problems.
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 03-12-2017, 3:51 PM
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Personally I think that (iii) reciprocal basis , is the cleanest way to go, but sometimes you need a critical mass to first get a shared network established (Public Safety suffers this), and that requires infusion of capital somehow.

(3) A station may be shared only:

(i) Without charge;

(ii) On a non-profit basis, with contributions to capital and operating expenses including the cost of mobile stations and paging receivers prorated equitably among all participants; or

(iii) On a reciprocal basis, i.e., use of one licensee's stations for the use of another licensee's stations without charge for either capital or operating expenses.
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Old 03-12-2017, 5:51 PM
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Like I said..... This subject has been beat to death by those that both know what they are talking about and those that don't.

To those that do.....congrats, you've done the homework required and have solved it for your needs and offered up information that solved problems and provided answers.

and for all the others that feel like you have been sided.... Hopefully you have now learned that your way of doing things is not the only way and that if you have an attorney that's assisting you or your co-op...he/she is not the only attorney in this country and that others just may have a better way of doing things the legal way.

From this point on, I think we can either agree or agree that we disagree on certain factors, put it to rest, and move on to bigger and better things.

I suggest now that we get back to solving real problems others have with their GMRS systems and agree this subject on linking and GMRS associations is a dead horse that has been finally put to rest.

As of to-date, I have successfully put together agreement for over 65 installed, pledged, or scheduled installs for the local, statewide, and/or nationwide use of repeaters by both me and others. At the rate this is going, if everything stays on schedule and my projections are correct, there should be a completed link system from east to west, north to south by mid August of this year.

As the saying goes....build it and they will come.... and they sure are.....
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Old 03-14-2017, 9:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post
What are you trying to do...

use an existing wifi "mesh network" to get your repeaters linked up? I think you would find that your mesh system, depending how many nodes are on it already, would come to a abrupt halt by doing so. Linking your repeaters on a mesh network that already has serious overhead issues to deal with and then throwing ulaw codec or even GSM codec on top of that would consume some major bandwidth.... Been there, tried it years ago, didn't work well... with newer technologies and processors of today --- it may work....

or,

are you wanting to set your GMRS repeaters up like a "mesh network" (if you want to use that term) to cover a large local or statewide area? You could do that with Ras Pi's running Asterisk, and a few RA-35's (RA-35 Radio Adapter Interface Board - by W3KKC) interfaced to your repeaters or control stations. Would require someone have knowledge of Asterisk Software and coding.

You could even do a voter/receiver setup with the Pi, RA-35's... In other words, if you have a repeater up on a tall tower or building that can be heard pretty much across the county but has issues receiving mobiles or handheld portables (units of low power) you could setup several receivers throughout the county(s) and have the Pi's attached to the receivers to route the received audio back to the repeater by means of "selective voter" operations. Voter/Receivers are permissible to do on GMRS.

Explain a little more of what you are wanting to accomplish and I will offer up what I can to help you out....
Thanks for the info.
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  #45 (permalink)  
Old 03-18-2017, 10:20 PM
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Linking of the gmrs repeaters is a fantastic idea done under the right circumstances. Glad to see the North Shore Radio Association start to go in direction it should have been going, no offense to the members. Its unfortunate that politics in every organization ruin the greater benefit for everyone else. just because you have the highest and greatest doesn't help you from retaining members. Now, for the fruit of this issue bridge com builds awesome repeaters and the case study supports it. However, to use documentation that doesn't show either system in use is not supportive to either person cause. I don't hide among other screen names, because it questions credit ability. Now I personally don't care who is on either side who has the most time or what they are capable of, show me it works and I'll be a buyer. The idea of having private users putting their resources together is a brilliant idea assuming that everyone can be on the same page and not let politics control their decisions. I would be more then happy to have a back feed repeater put in for nsea but with certain leadership i would never be given the time of day or lie to my face. Please, make sure you choose to link your repeaters the right way under the right format and present your case.

***Here a helpful hint to the the ney Sayers***

As of to-date, I have successfully put together **agreement** for over 65 installed, pledged, or scheduled installs for the local, statewide, and/or nationwide use of repeaters by both me and others. At the rate this is going, if everything stays on schedule and my projections are correct, there should be a completed link system from east to west, north to south by mid August of this year.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 03-20-2017, 3:30 PM
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I'm the owner of myGMRS, and we have a RoIP linking solution which is based on app_rpt. We've been testing it since 2013 and are actively expanding it. It is a separate network from Allstar so there is no risk of accidentally crossing GMRS and Ham at any point. It is compliant with FCC rules and does not use the PSTN at all.

Anyone interested in more info can reach out to me on here or the myGMRS forums. A repeater can be linked for less than $100.

As for amphibian, his listings were removed because they were for dozens of repeaters which did not exist. He was recently licensed for GMRS so it wasn't practical to expect dozens of systems to be put online overnight across the US. I received a lot of complaints from members who didn't appreciate the false listings. Then he was starting the same argumentative behavior you're witnessing here on our forums, so it was time for him to go. No room for that nonsense.
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Old 03-21-2017, 3:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2DLX View Post
I'm the owner of myGMRS, and we have a RoIP linking solution which is based on app_rpt. We've been testing it since 2013 and are actively expanding it. It is a separate network from Allstar so there is no risk of accidentally crossing GMRS and Ham at any point. It is compliant with FCC rules and does not use the PSTN at all.

Anyone interested in more info can reach out to me on here or the myGMRS forums. A repeater can be linked for less than $100.

As for amphibian, his listings were removed because they were for dozens of repeaters which did not exist. He was recently licensed for GMRS so it wasn't practical to expect dozens of systems to be put online overnight across the US. I received a lot of complaints from members who didn't appreciate the false listings. Then he was starting the same argumentative behavior you're witnessing here on our forums, so it was time for him to go. No room for that nonsense.

Wow, talk about nonsense.....you finally appear after several weeks of ignoring numerous emails of request on what violations you claimed I violated (since you don't have any policies listed on your poorly run web site) to come out in the open and make a statement about why I was removed. And you do it in an open forum here where I'm sure your thinking is that I will prove you right as to being argumentative. Just like on here and your web site, the only discussions I have had that appeared to be argumentative were by other ham operators that thought they had the only true answer to all GMRS questions and when I proved them wrong they themselves became hostile. In fact, not only did you remove my responses to their answers you also removed the whole questions and answers of the ones I was responding to and at he same time telling those of us that were part of those conversations we needed to take such questions and responses to a private messaging area and not on your open forum. So how do you explain that.... You removed any possibility of anyone being able to read my answers to said questions so as to cover your backside. It's ok though, since then myself and a lot of people really see what kind of site you run over there and what kind of person you are.

What caused my removal, in my opinion and also believed by several that have sent me emails (little over 300 emails received to date) to such, is that I was competing against something you were doing. You have proven that today with your above listed statement on how much it cost to join your network. Apparent you didn't like the competition. Several in fact thought it strange that after receiving an offer from you, you asking them to join your network, and, their asking of you what the difference was between yours and mine, that all the sudden I and my listings of actual repeaters were removed. You should put in clear and plain language on your myGMRS.com site that you don't like competition and such will be removed and not allowed..... A simple request to verify actual installation of said listed repeaters would have provided proof. In fact a lot of the discussions over at your site that included me were over the fact that I couldn't afford to put up such a network.... like these people knew what my financial capabilities were or like they were the only ones that could afford to do it. When you have been in the Two-way & wireless business for over thirty years, you learn how to obtain repeater sites and how to put repeater sites in operation for very little expense.I have a lot of contacts and know a lot of tower owners in this country. Also, I've had and do have repeaters in stock. Also have radios that can be made into repeaters and other associated equipment to place repeaters into operation. In fact, because I can buy GMRS radios at such a great price I hope to offer them to our Association members on a payment plan so they can too can get on the air. Our Association will be giving a new handheld or mobile radios to each member that joins the Association as a welcoming gift and to show our support for each member. Like I have said, it's all in the knowledge and experiences that allows one to succeed....

And sir, if I may educate you on your lack of experience and knowledge of FCC rules, I just know this will blow your mind (and others to) out the window, but under FCC rules I don't personally have to have a FCC GMRS approved license to obtain, purchase, and/or install any amount of repeaters (GMRS or otherwise) I wish at any time. I only have to have a GMRS license or a family member that is GMRS licensed to use a radio communication device to communicate thru GMRS communication devices. If I so desire to install a repeater anywhere I want and never turn it on.... I can and I don't need your permission or anyone esles to do so. I know that sounds harsh, but it's true. I have other family members that have a GMRS license which allows them and me (go study your GMRS FCC rules again) to communicate on any repeater I so choose to install for them. I only chose to go ahead and spend the money to get a personal GMRS license in my name as several people who were joining the association asked why it's owner didn't have one. After talking with people involved in setting up the association with me I decided to obtain one just to do away with the "why don't you have a GMRS license" questions. The fact that I spent well over thirty years in the communication business didn't seem to impress those that I knew what I was doing unless I had a GMRS license so I got one.

I have been working on getting the USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association up and operational for some time now and in doing so, at the same time, I've been putting together a network of working GMRS repeaters that are not only owned by me but by other private people, people whom are willing to be part of a professional operation and not just a hobby association like a bunch of hams are.. Once I received my license and was informed about your site by registered users of your site requesting I list them on the site, I chose to go ahead and list our repeaters. Had I known ahead of time that I was required to send pics, copies of contracts, agreements on where the repeaters were before listing them so that you had proof that they existed I would have. But like I said, poorly run website to say the least. In fact, if you so choose to go back and look thru your email, I sent one in the beginning, after registering and being approved by YOU, requesting if YOU could put another category on your site, showing in a different color, "potential future" listing so that I and others could see where there was scheduled intent of new repeaters so that it would give us and others a way to plan on putting one or not putting one in a particular place. I didn't see a reason to place one in operation where there was one already scheduled to be placed. An attempt on our part to save me and others time and money. Of course, again, you fail to respond to my email. You have a serious problem over there in responding to peoples email evidently. Again, very unprofessional.

Now as far as your system using the app_rpt. I've been using Asterisk since 2002 and am very familiar with app_rpt and the EchoLink & Allstar Networks. I have said from the beginning, no repeater on our linking network will have the ability to connect to either of those two networks of linking and if that is a requirement to be part of our network then you would need to find someone else to link up with. No offense to Amateur radio operators but GMRS has become too infested with "ham" radio users (those that are not true Amateur Radio Operators) that think if GMRS is not linked their way then it can't be or shouldn't be done. Hams that have managed to ruin their own clubs and are now looking at other ways to get members and so they prey on the inexperienced GMRS new licensees. I want no availability for any ham radio or Amateur Radio operator to start claiming that we are interfering with their networks. So in order to do that I have refrain and written code into the Asterisk software that prevents that capability. Several people who have requested to be part of our network claimed the reason they didn't want to be with yours is because you did have the option of interlinking the other link formats on your network of linked repeaters. In fact several told me that you had advised them they would have to eventually get a ham license so they could get listed with Allstar so they could use your network.....now true or not, you can see what I am talking about.

I have no ill feelings of you removing me from your site. If anything it gave me the opportunity up front to see how your site is run and how I am glad I am away from it. It has also given others the same opportunity and have shown them why an association is more than welcomed at this point. We don't charge a fee to join our network or to use the repeaters of our network. We do how ever, charge a membership fee to the Association (just like other Associations do) and as a member of the Association and upon signing a users agreement, you are given the ID codes (not just PPL or DCS codes).

I would recommend to you though sir, as an experienced web designer and developer that if you are going to ban one for policy violations that you list your policies on your web site first, and, that you try to update your website more than every two years so people know that you have a vested interest in your users, and, when you receive an email from one of your registered users you respond to them.

Now I know that this seems like I am degrading Amateur radio operators and I'm not. I have a lot of good friends that are both Amateur & GMRS licensed. They are the true Amateur Radio Operators as they know the difference between the two. They don't look at you as though you are nothing with out a Amateur license and they actively take part in the desire to better the GMRS world. These men and women feel GMRS should have an Association like the Amateur's do, and, also feel that GMRS users should have the latest state of the art communications as they do. This is why I say, our Association is for GMRS licensees. It's about GMRS all the way and not Amateur radio....

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 03-21-2017, 4:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amphibian View Post
Wow, talk about nonsense..... <snip>
What utter garbage. It really isn't worth my time or anyone's time for me to respond to all that. I think you made my point quite well. I'll touch on a few points just to drive the point home.

FCC rules prohibit charging a fee for a GMRS repeater except to offset the cost of running the system. Licensees are prohibited from profiting from a GMRS system. So, I'm not sure how you can "compete" with my free website. The mention of $100 is what it would cost to purchase the required linking hardware from other vendors. I do not sell anything, thus I make no money off this hardware. You give me a great idea, though, so who knows. Maybe I will start! It'll still be free to join the network though, so, still don't see where competition comes into play.

I do take offense to someone polluting a website with nonsense which affects the quality and usefulness of the website for all members. Posting false information and starting long arguments with members is not tolerated on my site, just as I hope it's not tolerated here. It costs a lot to keep a website running for 11 years without charging for the service, so I will do what is necessary to maintain a friendly site where people can come to post questions or answers.

Have fun doing whatever it is you're doing, and feel free to "compete" all you want. Good luck on your website. I'm sure you didn't need myGMRS anyway.

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Old 03-21-2017, 4:25 PM
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This thread has gone way out of bounds. The OP topic is how to link GMRS repeaters over RoIP and not how to run the "business aspect" of a non profit repeater system. While entertaining, I think most would like to learn the nuts and bolts of RoIP. I know that I would.

Things that would be valuable include:

1) Standardization of RoIP protocols for GMRS.
2) Wide area versus local concentrations of repeaters.
3) Interference mitigation, not wasting all 8 channel pairs to provide coverage in a locality. (leave room for the little guy)
4) Future directions of GMRS linking technology.
5) Petitioning the FCC for technology enhancements and modifications to rules to facilitate growth and interest.
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Old 03-21-2017, 4:47 PM
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#5 being approval to use DMR and other digital modes on GMRS.
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Old 03-21-2017, 5:02 PM
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3) Interference mitigation, not wasting all 8 channel pairs to provide coverage in a locality. (leave room for the little guy)
The way we are planning to set up the network here is to have all sites other than the main site on the Hancock building acting as "receive only" when the network is active, and use the same input frequency as the main site. This way the voter at the main site will pick the strongest signal and forward the audio to the transmitter.

In the event of a network outage, each remote site will revert to full repeater mode and its own frequency pair.

While more expensive than other solutions, the flexibility provided is well worth the expense.
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Old 03-21-2017, 5:03 PM
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Quote:
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This thread has gone way out of bounds. The OP topic is how to link GMRS repeaters over RoIP and not how to run the "business aspect" of a non profit repeater system. While entertaining, I think most would like to learn the nuts and bolts of RoIP. I know that I would.

Things that would be valuable include:

1) Standardization of RoIP protocols for GMRS.
2) Wide area versus local concentrations of repeaters.
3) Interference mitigation, not wasting all 8 channel pairs to provide coverage in a locality. (leave room for the little guy)
4) Future directions of GMRS linking technology.
5) Petitioning the FCC for technology enhancements and modifications to rules to facilitate growth and interest.
I agree...

We are currently working on what should be a "Standardization" of RoIP. Although the most common in use now may prove to be the standard. A lot will determine if FCC will approve the change in rules to allow digital radios. If they do, those standards would change greatly.

Our view of "Wide area' and "local" could be combined on the same repeater. The use of controllers with multi Pll or DCS and the use of individual ID codes can make that work. By using existing repeaters then you cut down on the need to tie up additional frequencies.... A wide area network does not need to tie up multiple frequencies for it to work properly. That is one of the major discussion here with local repeater owners. A few think that I will take their frequency away from them or interfere with the ones they have in operation around the area. As I explained to them, I could have several in operation as they do, non of the ones I would have are on the same frequency they have. And, in most cases, other than super large cities, not all 8 pairs are in use at any given area. No doubt, digital would eliminate a lot of the concerns people have about linking. Not narrow banding the frequencies of GMRS, but the use of digital radios on the current frequencies we have now....

I personally see we GMRS Licensees getting together as users and assisting with the cost sharing of repeaters in a larger area so that the amount of repeaters in use is cut back. There is no reason why an area like Dallas or Ft. Worth (where I am around) can't be handled by two or maybe three repeaters like they are now....not eight..... If we GMRS licensees are not careful, we could end up with our larger cities being like some that the Amateur have....45 repeaters being used by 10 people...... and no frequencies available....This is the situation in Dallas right now....over 50 repeaters around Dallas alone, of which maybe 10 are being used.....JMHO

Once we are fully operation with the Association and registered our plan is to petition FCC on the use of digital radios and much more....

These are good questions to be asking, are some of the many questions we get daily in my email.

William R Howell,
GMRS License Call Sign: WQYX489
CEO, USGMRS Repeater & Users Group Association
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Old 03-21-2017, 5:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RFI-EMI-GUY View Post
This thread has gone way out of bounds. The OP topic is how to link GMRS repeaters over RoIP and not how to run the "business aspect" of a non profit repeater system. While entertaining, I think most would like to learn the nuts and bolts of RoIP. I know that I would.

Things that would be valuable include:

1) Standardization of RoIP protocols for GMRS.
2) Wide area versus local concentrations of repeaters.
3) Interference mitigation, not wasting all 8 channel pairs to provide coverage in a locality. (leave room for the little guy)
4) Future directions of GMRS linking technology.
5) Petitioning the FCC for technology enhancements and modifications to rules to facilitate growth and interest.
In our system we are using Asterisk and app_rpt. The information is available online for the details, but I'd be happy to answer any direct questions. We've been testing the system for 4 years steady now and have several sites across the US on the network, but not all are linked full-time. Owners are free to link repeaters at will, so most prefer to keep the link local until they need to reach out to someone on another repeater in another state, for example. We have a couple in NJ that are linked pretty much full time but their coverage areas do not overlap so there's no abuse of the limited spectrum.

Asterisk is a good candidate for now because it works with analog and that's all we can currently use on GMRS. If digital voice is allowed one day, then it would make sense to look into one of the linking technologies offered by the particular digital voice standard, or any number of open alternatives that are compatible. DMR is the leader here on Ham, so that would be the natural progression for GMRS if digital voice is permissible one day.
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