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

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Old 03-10-2018, 5:18 PM
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Default How to acquire a UHF or VHF for a small PI Firm.

I hope this is the right place to post if not let me know were and I will delete this and post it in the proper area.
I work for a small PI firm and we have about 17 employees, we do anything and everything from small events 3-4 guys to large concerts with all 17 of us and some insurance fraud along with many other things.

We have been using radios given to us when a school upgraded their system. They are CP125 UHF but I have recently come across some HT1250s for a good price from the same radio company that gave us the CP125 UHF. He said he will program whatever we want into the HT1250, but the last 2 concerts we worked the radios sucks and some person or persons were on the same frequency. I do not know what they were programmed to so I cannot give any info on that besides they are UHF and he put 3 channels in them.

Now my question is should we go to the HT1250 UHF or VHF? Or 800 Mhz XTS3000 he said 40$ each and we have to get battery's
They have 20 radios of each so the old ones are going on ebay cheap.

What would we/me need to do to get a frequency for us to operate on?
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Old 03-10-2018, 5:28 PM
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First, what's a "Pl firm?'

Second, stay off the air until you find out some more about your radios. Just because they work (in your case, most of the time), doesn't mean you're allowed on that frequency.

Tell us more about the business and the radios, if possible. Get that "radio company" to give you more information.
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Old 03-10-2018, 5:30 PM
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You must apply to the FCC for a license and frequency or frequency pair if you plan to use a repeater sometime in the future. Except for somewhat expensive radios in the 900 MHz band, there are no license free radios that meet your requirements. MURS and FRS radios can be used by anyone and are not a viable choice. Your other choice is to lease radios through a licensed repeater operator
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Old 03-10-2018, 5:40 PM
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Most of these radio rental places sell radios preprogrammed for FRS with Pl's and MURS with PL's, when ever I come across a movie shoot near me it's usually 1-14 FRS frequencies or MURS.
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Old 03-10-2018, 6:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by secretsteve235 View Post
.... He said he will program whatever we want into the HT1250, but the last 2 concerts we worked the radios sucks and some person or persons were on the same frequency. I do not know what they were programmed to so I cannot give any info on that besides they are UHF and he put 3 channels in them.
If you deal with amateurs, you get amateur results.

Beware of any radio shop who is willing to just program in any old frequencies for you to use. Even if they just plug in some MURS or FRS channels, you're going to find that those channels are far from ideal for any business purposes, not to mention that your programmable radios aren't certified for either of those services.

An actual FCC license with a coordinated frequency for a UHF business band frequency is going to cost you @ $500 minimum for a 10 year license.
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Old 03-10-2018, 6:21 PM
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I believe PI = Private Investigations. If that is true you should likely look into digital radios with an encryption capability due to the nature of your work as a security / investigations service. Not legal on GMRS / FRS / MURS. There is more than one LMR (Land Mobile Radio) shop that services the Bucks area that can help you.
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Old 03-10-2018, 6:23 PM
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As has it has already been said, you just can't pick up a radio and start using it on just any old frequency for a business use. Especially being in a P. I. application. Your going to have the FCC down on your case before it all blows over with some heavy fines if you irritate the wrong people.

My suggestion is to work with the radio shop and get a FCC license that will cover your needs. It may take a while and cost a few dollars, but there will be much less heat doing it the right way than exposing yourself to a fine and the paperwork that goes with it.

Be careful who you listen to. The wrong information could cost you guys a pile of trouble and some big out of pocket expenses. Cool your heals just a bit before locking into any frequency band for the radios and make sure what your trying to pick up will fit the application and the license requirements when you do get licensed.

It's much better to walk slow and not spend money on radios that might not fit the application. There are always radios being sold for less than new ones. I know it's hard to slow down and do the correct moves over jumping now on what looks like a good deal and then be stuck with radios you can't use.
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Old 03-10-2018, 6:45 PM
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Sorry Yes PI is for Private Investigations and that is why I have come here to get help and point us in the right direction, and time is something I do have so I do not mind walking slow as you put it jim202.

The guy that did the radios I have Emailed for more info on what he programmed into them. I do know that at one of our contracts for large event we can talk to the front gate security they were using Motorola XTN XU2100 I believe and we could talk to them on 1 channel and our self on a different. I do not know if that helps anyone with wanting info on our current radios. We used them for 2 events and now is our down time but we get busy again in june.

With the FCC can someone point me in the right direction/link to the right info I need to fill out. I was just on there site and made a account but I want to make sure I get the right application since you are all saying it takes some time.

Now with what radios for the right application what Info would you need or you can Private message me and I can give it to you to help point me to a good radio for our use. I do know for the most part I my self do not think we would need a repeater since nothing we do puts us to far away from each other like police, fire or ems.
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Old 03-10-2018, 7:02 PM
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The Motorola DTR radios are license free radios in the 900mhz ISM band and can be fairly secure with the right settings.

The thing is though they are meant to talk to eachother, they can't be made to talk to VHF or 400mhz UHF business radios.
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Old 03-10-2018, 8:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC3ECJ View Post
The Motorola DTR radios are license free radios in the 900mhz ISM band and can be fairly secure with the right settings.

The thing is though they are meant to talk to eachother, they can't be made to talk to VHF or 400mhz UHF business radios.
Ya I do not know if my boss wants to be limited in that area since like I said we have some events where we have to talk to other dept. I know if we go VHF or UHF then we limited to that spectrum but that does not limit as bad as talking to each other only.
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Old 03-10-2018, 9:17 PM
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For a business band (IG classification) you're going to need to go through a certified Frequency Coordinator in order to get a License.

Cost of the FCC License is one part of it, but you'll also need to pay the Coordinator to pick out a frequency (or multiple freq's.) for your use.

You can contact FIT, EWA, or any other Coordinator certified by the FCC to pick out Business frequencies.

Most radio shops offer Licensing assistance as part of their services.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:35 PM
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If the OP travels around and only needs simplex (radio to radio, no repeater) he can easily get licensed for itinerant operation but you still need to go through a frequency coordinator and then the FCC to get the actual license. Usually the frequency coordination company will handle all the paperwork and you just write them two checks.

The last licensing I did was for several UHF repeater pairs and the coordination was in the $1,000 range but I will ask a friend licensed for simplex itinerant use what he paid. I usually scan a large number of target frequencies over a several week period then choose the quietest and request those from the coordinator.

You can do a Google search for "FCC frequency coordinator" in your area and they can give you the bottom line on pricing and steer you in the right direction.
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Old 03-10-2018, 10:56 PM
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Look into the Motorola DTR550, no license required, and 100% secure (Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum Technology).

Powerful, durable and suitable for nearly any application, the Motorola DTR550 Digital Two-Way Radio provides clear, reliable communication without the extra fees associated with other business radios.
You don't need to purchase an FCC license to operate the DTR550, and they operate on UHF frequencies.The Motorola DTR550 Digital Two-Way Radio is built to stand up to the wear-and-tear of constant use; they also have a longer battery life than traditional analog radios do. They are powerful enough to communicate over 325,000 square feet and 30 floors. With a 150-unit contact list that includes public and private groups, this multi-channel radio operates on the 900MHz ISM band. It is as powerful as a 4-watt analog radio while using only 1 watt of power.

This digital Motorola DTR550 handheld radio meets military standards for water, dust, shock and vibration. With cellphone-like features, such as caller identification and scrollable call logs that cover your last 20 transmissions with time and date stamps, as well as SMS text message capabilities, this radio might be exactly what you need to keep your business running smoothly. It's the perfect hybrid between cellphones and walkie-talkies.
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Old 03-11-2018, 4:18 AM
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I love the DTRs personally, but they're not cheap and the interoperability you are seeking is not going to happen. The folks at these concerts are likely using UHF. That's usually the case.

It sounds like what you need (assuming you guys travel to multiple locations, which is sounds like you do) is an itinerant frequency or two. The reason I recommend 2 is that since the frequencies aren't coordinated, and thus not locked down to a specific location, there are other people who could potentially be using those frequencies. Having a few to choose from would be ideal, and does not raise the cost of the license at all, as would be the case with coordinated frequencies. The license is going to run $170 (good for 10 years), and while you can do the "paperwork" online yourself, I would HIGHLY recommend having a company do it anyway. They will charge you a few hundred bucks, but it's well worth it. The antiquated FCC method of doing the license application is a complete pain in the a$$. Truly...you have not seen anything like this. Instead of a PHP/ASP/etc. based website (you know...like businesses have been using for 15 years), it's an extremely outdated JAVA app. that only works with antiquated browser and JAVA versions, and even then people still have trouble.

Since you're filing as a business, you will also need to have your Tax ID (EIN) handy, as they do ask for it for verification on any business application you submit.
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Old 03-11-2018, 8:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KC3ECJ View Post
The Motorola DTR radios are license free radios in the 900mhz ISM band and can be fairly secure with the right settings.

The thing is though they are meant to talk to eachother, they can't be made to talk to VHF or 400mhz UHF business radios.
The big problem with 900 MHz. is that your very limited in range. This gets even worse when your talking about trying to talk from inside to outside of a building. Because of this, I would not suggest 900 MHz. for any application where you will have to communicate between different parts of a building and to the outside of it.

The more recently constructed buildings are using more steel for support and strength. The walls inside are using steel studs rather than wood. the windows are using metal in the glass to cut down on the sun heating up the rooms. It all starts to become a great shield to most radio communications.

Frequently the fire and police have been in the same location inside a school building. The police are using 700 MHz. radios and the fire are using VHF radios. No problem talking to units outside the building with VHF, but the police find they have no communications with their very expensive 700 radios.

The VHF will also provide longer distances that your able to communicate portable to portable outside. If your down along the Gulf Coast where there are long needle pine trees, your not going to be able to communicate very far with a 700 or 800 portable. The tree needle length is almost a perfect resonant length at these high frequencies and act as a huge RF sponge.

I can tell you from building cellular sites for many years along the Gulf Coast that the cellular customers were complaining all the time about poor cellular coverage where the tall long needle pines were. We ended up building the cell tower sites between only 3 and 5 miles apart. It all depended on how tall and thick the trees were. This boils down to only 1.5 to 2.5 miles before you ran out of string on your cell phone in these areas. The same holds true for the 700 and 800 MHz radios.

Sure you have more power than a cell phone, but you still are dealing with the same path attenuation between radios. Poor path equates to poor communications. Even a 5th grader can figure this out.


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Old 03-11-2018, 11:41 AM
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If the OP travels around and only needs simplex (radio to radio, no repeater) he can easily get licensed for itinerant operation but you still need to go through a frequency coordinator and then the FCC to get the actual license. Usually the frequency coordination company will handle all the paperwork and you just write them two checks.

The last licensing I did was for several UHF repeater pairs and the coordination was in the $1,000 range but I will ask a friend licensed for simplex itinerant use what he paid. I usually scan a large number of target frequencies over a several week period then choose the quietest and request those from the coordinator.

You can do a Google search for "FCC frequency coordinator" in your area and they can give you the bottom line on pricing and steer you in the right direction.
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I do not think we would need repeaters for are use since they are concerts and executive protection stuff, but we are currently only Licensed to work in PA and Delaware so we do not travel far and the people talking are close to each other. I am filling out the application on enterprisewireless and requesting more more info from them.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:44 AM
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The big problem with 900 MHz. is that your very limited in range. This gets even worse when your talking about trying to talk from inside to outside of a building. Because of this, I would not suggest 900 MHz. for any application where you will have to communicate between different parts of a building and to the outside of it.

The more recently constructed buildings are using more steel for support and strength. The walls inside are using steel studs rather than wood. the windows are using metal in the glass to cut down on the sun heating up the rooms. It all starts to become a great shield to most radio communications.

Frequently the fire and police have been in the same location inside a school building. The police are using 700 MHz. radios and the fire are using VHF radios. No problem talking to units outside the building with VHF, but the police find they have no communications with their very expensive 700 radios.

The VHF will also provide longer distances that your able to communicate portable to portable outside. If your down along the Gulf Coast where there are long needle pine trees, your not going to be able to communicate very far with a 700 or 800 portable. The tree needle length is almost a perfect resonant length at these high frequencies and act as a huge RF sponge.

I can tell you from building cellular sites for many years along the Gulf Coast that the cellular customers were complaining all the time about poor cellular coverage where the tall long needle pines were. We ended up building the cell tower sites between only 3 and 5 miles apart. It all depended on how tall and thick the trees were. This boils down to only 1.5 to 2.5 miles before you ran out of string on your cell phone in these areas. The same holds true for the 700 and 800 MHz radios.

Sure you have more power than a cell phone, but you still are dealing with the same path attenuation between radios. Poor path equates to poor communications. Even a 5th grader can figure this out.


.
Thanks for that info I was only saying 800Mhz since I could get the 17 we need for a damn good price but I did for many years run with a FD and I know the police in our area local and state and when bucks changed over to the new system they are not a big fan of it. It has gotten better but still not what they said it would be. I know the FD I ran with we kept our 4 VHF frequency's we paid for for training and sometimes on the Fire ground when the county was not working right.
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Old 03-11-2018, 11:56 AM
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I don't see how you're going to have your own frequencies but still be able to communicate with local public safety agencies, too. You might be able to monitor them, however. If you're involved with more than one city, the chances decrease dramatically.

I s'pose they're out there but I've never heard of a police or fire department giving civilians transmit capability on their radio systems.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:00 PM
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I don't see how you're going to have your own frequencies but still be able to communicate with local public safety agencies, too. You might be able to monitor them, however. If you're involved with more than one city, the chances decrease dramatically.

I s'pose they're out there but I've never heard of a police or fire department giving civilians transmit capability on their radio systems.
Sorry no I am not going to be talking to them I was just saying that the FD I ran with we have our own VHF even thought our county moved to the P25 that noone likes.

The company I do PI work we just need to talk to each other. When we have Police/Fire on location we give them an extra radio. Sorry if I confused you on that, that is why I responded to the person who posted about the VHF UHF and 700/800Mhz. My comment about FD/PD was not in regards to my request about getting the FCC info and all.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:02 PM
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One does NOT need a FC to get a itinerant license. One can do it their self's. you go online to the FCC site and apply.You'll need a FRN Number first from the FCC. Again You can do it yourself. Pay...Wait till mail delivers,and your off, This operation fits the bill Just word the appliction correct itinerant ops.
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