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Discussion: FCC Advisory on Two-Way VHF/UHF Radios

Joined
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The main reason for just leaving them blank is that it gives the user to think about "what frequency do I program". This at least gives the inevitable one more moment of consideration before they commit the crime.

The main problem that they don't want to leave them blank: Refunds. Unsavvy consumers will find the radio "doesn't work" out of the box and may not want to learn how to program them. The radio gets returned, which costs the distributor money.

IMHO:
- If they don't want to get at least part 90, they have to leave blank and market for amateur use only. I sure hope FCC does not force the radio to be locked into the amateur band, that seems wrong but yes, unscrupulous users will program them where they are not certified or licensed to anyway.
- If they get part 90 they still have to leave blank, and can market for LMRS.
- If they want to sell usable out of the box, they have to get part 95 and program in MURS channels (so the removable antenna problem can be addressed), though I'm not sure how FCC takes it when programming software is easy to obtain. Obtaining programming software for a typical LMR is an additional purchase which consumers will balk at. At least now I sure will avoid a lot of part 90 radios for ham use because I won't pay extra for the custom software or hardware that may exceed the cost of the radio.

Fortunately the two part 90(/95) radios I'm using now for ham use were programmable by me without the original software/equipment. If they turned out to require software, they probably would have ended up on ebay as "parts only" or trash heap...
 

alcahuete

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Not sure why you are lumping Uniden in with the likes of Baofeng since Uniden only sells FCC compliant pre-programmed, TX frequency locked two-radios.
There was no lumping at all. You apparently missed the context completely. Go re-read what I wrote.

mmckenna said:
Or, program for the "itinerant" channels, and let the owners get licensed. Back in the 1990's Home Depot used to sell some of the low tier Motorola business radios that were set up for the UHF itinerants, 464.550, 464.500, etc. Those itinerants are mostly a free for all anyway, never figured out why FCC never "MURS'ified" them.
Oh yeah! I remember. There used to be a lot of them around. I still have probably a dozen Ranger radios somewhere that were programmed for Red Dot, Green Dot, and Blue Dot, two of which belong to MURS now.

There are ton of different ways they can fix things, but as you said, it's not likely to happen anytime soon. Their "fix" for the lack of Part 90 certification was to throw them on the ham bands. In a funny way, I'm okay with it, since many hams were the ones screaming the loudest about these radios, lack of certification, etc. I tried to warn them. :D
 

alcahuete

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The main problem that they don't want to leave them blank: Refunds. Unsavvy consumers will find the radio "doesn't work" out of the box and may not want to learn how to program them. The radio gets returned, which costs the distributor money.
That's exactly right! As I mentioned, imagine if Uniden, Motorola, etc. would ship the bubble packs needing to be programmed. The returns would likely put them out of business as far as those radios are concerned. It would be a horrible move for their business, which is why it isn't going to happen.

I sure hope FCC does not force the radio to be locked into the amateur band
They aren't being forced by the FCC, but that's their way of getting around the ban without having to completely redo their radios. They are simply locking them via firmware to the ham bands and claiming Part 97. Then the radios can easily be opened up by the buyer to cover the entire ranges.
 
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They aren't being forced by the FCC, but that's their way of getting around the ban without having to completely redo their radios. They are simply locking them via firmware to the ham bands and claiming Part 97. Then the radios can easily be opened up by the buyer to cover the entire ranges.
It's also the way they get around the "front panel programming". By rule, the Part 90 radios are not supposed to have that, and would flunk Part 90 certifications if they were that way out of the box.
But, it's obvious the FCC isn't paying attenion.

And I like the idea of dumping them on the amateur bands, even though I'm a ham myself. Maybe then the ARRL will complain and get something done. As it stands, the odd love affair that amateurs have with these radios is kind of odd.
Sort of hoping this is just a flash in the pan sort of thing that disappears after a few years when the novelty wears off.

Ultimately it comes down to the FCC enforcing their own rules. Unlikely it'll happen, but that's who's supposed to be taking care of this crap.
 
Joined
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We (I actually have my GMRS license too) can already be interfered with by the FRS bubble pack radios, etc., which of course require no license. Throwing these folks to an unlicensed service is way better than putting them on a service where a license is 100% required, IMO. Keep them off the business/public safety bands, keep them off the amateur radio bands. FRS? You'd never know the difference.
Why not put them on the itinerant business frequencies? It makes far more sense for all of the reasons you mentioned.
 

alcahuete

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Why not put them on the itinerant business frequencies? It makes far more sense for all of the reasons you mentioned.
Because that is a licensed service. FRS is not. The itinerant frequencies still require a license to use, contrary to what a lot of people think. It makes no sense throwing these radios into a licensed service by default.
 
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Because that is a licensed service. FRS is not.
Well, as I'm sure you know, FRS is "license by rule". There really are not any license free frequencies, but I get what you are saying. At least the FRS radios are sold as they are supposed to be and locked down enough to not cause problems outside the FRS/GMRS frequencies.

The solution to all these issues is for the FCC to do it's freakin' job like they're paid to do. I believe the LMCC was on the right track with this, bring attention to the issue in hopes that the FCC would do what they are supposed to do.
 
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Because that is a licensed service. FRS is not. The itinerant frequencies still require a license to use, contrary to what a lot of people think. It makes no sense throwing these radios into a licensed service by default.
GMRS is a licensed service so it doesn't just potentially interfere with only FRS. FRS radios are theoretically now lower power than these CCRs. That poses a greater interference risk than FRS radios. Itinerant frequencies already have higher power radios used on them. Also, companies, including Mother M have been selling radios programmed for itinerant frequencies for decades. Ideally, CCRs wouldn't be programmed from the factory at all. Barring that, itinerant is the best solution, IMHO.

How about they program them for amateur radio frequencies since amateur radio licenses don't require a fee to apply AND there are more amatuer frequencies to choose from than GMRS? Anyone who would continue to argue for swamping GMRS, a service that we pay for the license, to protect amateur radio, a service where we don't pay for the license, will find people like me in strong opposition.
 
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It makes no sense throwing these radios into a licensed service by default.
What the heck do you think putting them on FRS frequencies is doing? It is "throwing these radios into a licensed service by default"; GMRS. GMRS is a licensed service that we pay for and spend a considerable amount of money on our repeater systems. :mad:
 

alcahuete

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What the heck do you think putting them on FRS frequencies is doing? It is "throwing these radios into a licensed service by default"; GMRS. GMRS is a licensed service that we pay for and spend a considerable amount of money on our repeater systems. :mad:
You're confusing GMRS and FRS. Yes, they share frequencies, but FRS is not a licensed service (well...licensed by rule, as @mmckenna mentioned). It is not licensed by default. I'm not sure where you are coming up with that. What you're saying regarding the repeaters makes no sense. Unlicensed FRS users now can go to your frequency and interfere to their heart's content.

Like I said, I have a GMRS license too. FRS/GMRS is a complete wasteland here in Southern California. Nothing but kids, endless roger beeps, music, etc. I paid my license fee too. Putting these radios with all the other roger beeps and music is not going to cause any more harm than what is already being caused on that band.
 
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You're confusing GMRS and FRS.
No, I am not confusing them. They share the same frequencies, with GMRS also having 8 repeater inputs. Do you think these CCRs would only interfere with FRS and magically not interfere with GMRS on the same frequencies?

Yes, they share frequencies, but FRS is not a licensed service (well...licensed by rule, as @mmckenna mentioned). It is not licensed by default. I'm not sure where you are coming up with that.
GMRS uses the same frequencies as FRS. (Of course, GMRS has the repeater inputs.) How do you not understand that basic fact?

As I stated VERY clearly, GMRS is a licensed service that we pay for. We also spend a considerable amount of money and time to build and maintain our repeaters. Your suggestion would further pollute our licensed environment.

What you're saying regarding the repeaters makes no sense. Unlicensed FRS users now can go to your frequency and interfere to their heart's content.
If you read my post, I addressed this... "FRS radios are theoretically now lower power than these CCRs. That poses a greater interference risk than FRS radios. "

Also, there are already enough FRS radios in service as it is. This is wrong to add to that by suggesting CCRs should ALSO be programmed to those frequencies.

Comparatively, there are far more amateur frequencies available. An amateur license also requires NO fee. By your stated logic, THAT is the place to have them programmed to do the least harm.

Like I said, I have a GMRS license too. FRS/GMRS is a complete wasteland here in Southern California. Nothing but kids, endless roger beeps, music, etc. I paid my license fee too. Putting these radios with all the other roger beeps and music is not going to cause any more harm than what is already being caused on that band.
So, it's a wasteland where you are. It is NOT a wasteland where I and others live. We enjoy the service. We have many repeaters to choose from and we hold regular nets. Just because your environment is a ****hole doesn't mean you ought to be advocating polluting up ours. :mad::mad:
 
Last edited:

alcahuete

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You seem incredibly confused. Did you not understand when you got your license that your frequencies are shared with unlicensed users, who can go to WalMart, buy a $20 radio, and talk wherever they want?

And knowing that anyway you still get angry about the very high probability that there will be unlicensed users unintentionally interfering with your repeaters? Sorry, but that's just silly.

No, I am not confusing them. They share the same frequencies, with GMRS also having 8 repeater inputs. Do you think these CCRs would only interfere with FRS and magically not interfere with GMRS on the same frequencies?
They absolutely would. It's no different than it is now. Unlicensed FRS users can interfere with the GMRS frequencies, since they're authorized to use them.

GMRS uses the same frequencies as FRS. (Of course, GMRS has the repeater inputs.) How do you not understand that basic fact?
How do you not understand that CCRs do not magically change that fact? The FRS users can ALREADY INTERFERE with those frequencies.

As I stated VERY clearly, GMRS is a licensed service that we pay for. We also spend a considerable amount of money and time to build and maintain our repeaters. Your suggestion would further pollute our licensed environment.
And as I clearly stated, the licensed service that you pay for is shared with unlicensed people who haven't paid. I don't know what to tell you. It sounds like you somehow think you have exclusive use to those frequencies, and that just isn't the case.

FRS radios are theoretically now lower power than these CCRs. That poses a greater interference risk than FRS radios.
Yes, 3dB difference, or 1/2 an S-Unit. What an amazing amount of additional interference! What is to stop somebody from buying a GMRS radio (without having a license) and using 50 watts on your repeater frequencies?

Also, there are already enough FRS radios in service as it is. This is wrong to add to that by suggesting CCRs should ALSO be programmed to those frequencies.
What do you mean there are already enough? There are going to be a lot more. I would guess they easily sell a couple hundred thousand additional radios every year. Better get used to it. ;)

Comparatively, there are far more amateur frequencies available. An amateur license also requires NO fee. By your stated logic, THAT is the place to have them programmed to do the least harm.
By my logic, they should be kept off of licensed services of any kind. It's not my problem that you decided to get a license 100% KNOWING that it is shared with unlicensed users.

So, it's a wasteland where you are. It is NOT a wasteland where I and others live. We enjoy the service. We have many repeaters to choose from and we hold regular nets. Just because your environment is a ****hole doesn't mean you ought to be advocating polluting up ours. :mad::mad:
I'm no more advocating polluting your environment any more than Uniden or Motorola is by advertising and selling FRS/GMRS radios. ;) If you want a pristine environment for your repeaters and nets, you should use ham radio or the business band.
 
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You seem incredibly confused. Did you not understand when you got your license that your frequencies are shared with unlicensed users, who can go to WalMart, buy a $20 radio, and talk wherever they want?

And knowing that anyway you still get angry about the very high probability that there will be unlicensed users unintentionally interfering with your repeaters? Sorry, but that's just silly.
Will you quit with that confused nonsense?

I applied for my GMRS license understanding that it was shared with FRS. You are advocating adding CCRs to that number.

You are being disingenuous and trying to purposely appear obtuse.

They absolutely would. It's no different than it is now. Unlicensed FRS users can interfere with the GMRS frequencies, since they're authorized to use them.

How do you not understand that CCRs do not magically change that fact? The FRS users can ALREADY INTERFERE with those frequencies.
Adding CCRs to that number potentially increases the chances of interference. You know that.

And as I clearly stated, the licensed service that you pay for is shared with unlicensed people who haven't paid. I don't know what to tell you. It sounds like you somehow think you have exclusive use to those frequencies, and that just isn't the case.
That's not what I stated. What an absolute lie. I NEVER stated that I have exclusive use of the frequencies. I was well aware that we share with FRS and have no issues with that. My posts all over RR and elsewhere indicate that fact. I enjoy sharing with FRS.

Yes, 3dB difference, or 1/2 an S-Unit. What an amazing amount of additional interference! What is to stop somebody from buying a GMRS radio (without having a license) and using 50 watts on your repeater frequencies?
It does matter. In our neighborhoods, you can often tell the difference on the repeater outputs between someone on a bubble pack and someone on a CCR. We also use a lot of simplex. The interference potential increases when you add CCR and add the increased wattage. You can't deny that.

What do you mean there are already enough? There are going to be a lot more. I would guess they easily sell a couple hundred thousand additional radios every year. Better get used to it. ;)
I enjoy FRS in our neighborhood. Again, you are making insinuations about what I might think. You are a hoot!

By my logic, they should be kept off of licensed services of any kind. It's not my problem that you decided to get a license 100% KNOWING that it is shared with unlicensed users.
Someone from Cali has a ****hole of a radio environment and wants to make everywhere else like theirs. This sounds very familiar... and not just in radio.

I'm no more advocating polluting your environment any more than Uniden or Motorola is by advertising and selling FRS/GMRS radios. ;) If you want a pristine environment for your repeaters and nets, you should use ham radio or the business band.
Again, you are being disingenuous and trying to put words in someone's mouth. Get it straight, please... I never stated that I wanted a "pristine environment". You stated that they ought to program CCRs for FRS because it would not affect a licensed environment. I pointed out that it is indeed a licensed environment because GMRS uses the same frequencies. I don't have an issue with FRS. I DO have an issue with people from a "radio wasteland" environment advocating unnecessarily trashing the environment that I enjoy and am licensed in.

There's nothing more to say to you. It is a licensed environment. You were wrong. Get over it.

It's screwed up where you are so you want to screw it up in other places. There must be something in the water out there.
 

alcahuete

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It does matter. In our neighborhoods, you can often tell the difference on the repeater outputs between someone on a bubble pack and someone on a CCR. We also use a lot of simplex. The interference potential increases when you add CCR and add the increased wattage. You can't deny that.
So would you be okay with all these additional people showing up on FRS/GMRS in your neighborhood if they were all using bubble pack radios? Is it just the CCRs you don't like, or do you just not want additional unlicensed people interfering with your licensed operation? Because you also can't deny that adding all those people on bubble pack radios are going to increase potential interference as well.
 

W9BU

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Folks, rather than suggest that these radios be pre-programmed with frequencies in any particular service, how about we just not allow them to be sold until they are found to meet the rules for the radio service that they are marketed for? No matter what frequencies these radios are pre-programmed for, existing users of those frequencies are bound to be offended. You can't solve the problem by just pre-programming the radios for a different radio service.

If the sellers want to sell the radios for use in Part 90, then the radios must meet all Part 90 rules, including those for front panel programming and those for emissions standards.

If the sellers want to sell the radios for use in Part 95B (FRS), then the radios must meet all Part 95B rules, including those for channel selection, power output, antennas, and emission standards.

If the sellers want to sell the radios for use in Part 95E (GMRS), then radios must meet all Part 95E rules, including those for channel selection and emission standards.

If the sellers want to sell the radios for use in Part 97, then the radios must meet all Part 97 rules, including those for emission standards.

If the sellers want to just sell radios without regard for FCC rules, I suggest they take their radios to the nearest electronics recycler.

To me, the solution is very simple: If you want to sell two-way radios in the U.S., your products must follow FCC rules.

And, as mentioned above, it would be helpful to all radio users if the FCC would do their job.
 
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Just to be clear, I wasn't actually serious about CCRs being programmed from the factory for amateur radio. I was making a point. As for itinerant frequencies, I was offering it as an alternative, again as a point. I use all three services, and more, but still wouldn't support CCRs being programmed by the factory for any of the services just to potentially keep the users off another service even if I didn't use the service.
 
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Just to be clear, I wasn't actually serious about CCRs being programmed from the factory for amateur radio. I was making a point. As for itinerant frequencies, I was offering it as an alternative, again as a point. I use all three services, and more, but still wouldn't support CCRs being programmed by the factory for any of the services just to potentially keep the users off another service even if I didn't use the service.
I think amateurs tend to have a myopic view of these sorts of things. I think your example was a good one, what if the amateur community had all these CCR's dumped on random 2 meter/70cm frequencies? That's essentially what's happening on the LMR side.

I have no sympathy for the dealers of these radios. They know -exactly- what they are doing when they sell to the general public, and they don't care. It's about making a quick buck with the minimal amount of work.

The solution is for the FCC to do their job. If that means slapping down some of these dealers with some hefty fines, then so be it. If it means busting a few hobbyists or consumers, then maybe that'll work.
 
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