Do bubble-pack radios mean the end of GMRS?

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#1
Unlicensed GMRS operators are ruining the service for everyone. Thanks Uniden and Midland for creating this mess.
Most of the unlicensed use is less than 4 watt bubblepack radios, which really doesn't cause a problem at all.

Where I place the blame are rogue licensed Hams who have gone crazy with the cheap chinese gear and feel that their Ham license gives them special privileges on the GMRS/FRS band. Sad part of it is that other Hams are complicit in the encouragement of this behavior because it gets that behavior off of their local Ham freqs.

It also looks as if the FCC is unwilling to bring an end to the lawlessness behavior considering that there has been over 2 FCC complaints and yet the unlicensed Repeaters (esp the illegal FRS simplex Repeaters) and their behavior continues.
 
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UPMan

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#2
All 22 channels of "bubblepack" radios no longer require you to file and pay for a license. They have all been adopted into the FRS and are now license-by-rule on all 22 channels (i.e. "if you follow the rules, you have a license).
 

iMONITOR

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#3
Unlicensed GMRS operators are ruining the service for everyone. Thanks Uniden and Midland for creating this mess.

You contradicted yourself. "Unlicensed GMRS operators are ruining the service for everyone." "Thanks Uniden and Midland for creating this mess."


Blame the fault where it belongs, the irresponsible users! Same goes for many things today, ie; firearms/auto industry. (Please don't turn this into a gun debate).
 
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#4
You contradicted yourself. "Unlicensed GMRS operators are ruining the service for everyone." "Thanks Uniden and Midland for creating this mess."


Blame the fault where it belongs, the irresponsible users! Same goes for many things today, ie; firearms/auto industry. (Please don't turn this into a gun debate).
What Uniden and Midland and Motorola (GIANT) did was make cheap 22 channel FRS radios. That right 22 channel radios that were low power and narrowband. Then they labeled them as FRS/GMRS and marketed them to the lowest common denominator with virtually no distinction between licensed and unlicensed (licensed by rule). Now we have hordes of unlicensed users who see no reason to purchase a $70 license for a $35 pair of wimpy "38 mile radios".

I would love to have been a fly on the wall during the ex-parte meetings where these manufacturers tried to sway the FCC into turning the whole service into a neutered low power license by rule service. This almost happened during the NPRM that lasted 7 years. By neutered, it would be 2 watts maximum and no 50 watt mobiles and no repeaters. Canada and Australia have such neutered GMRS type services. Australia is only a wee bit better, but wimpy compared to US GMRS potential.

The only way the GMRS will remain a licensed, high power, high performance service is by users buying equipment that actually meets GMRS specs (IE high power, wide band, and repeater capable) and actually taking the step to license it.

Instead we have these threads from folks buying non compliant equipment from BaoFeng that exceed FRS specifications, yet still that fall short of GMRS norms and they want to operate unlicensed and come here to ask if they can get away with it. I can tell you that this thread would be very short if it were someone asking to operate unlicensed on amateur radio frequencies. Instead we have folks supporting unlicensed GMRS use.

Here is the big picture. Forget all I said above if you wish and remember this.

The GMRS band consists of a very small swatch of bandwidth smack in the middle of lucrative Part 90 spectrum. Its importance and value to the FCC is very small. Recently the FCC has demonstrated this by ignoring their own policies and allowed part 90 channels to be established within the upper and lower band edges of the 462 and 467 blocks. If GMRS ceased to exist there would be 22 paired channels available for Part 90 users in many markets. That is a lot.

This is a use it or lose it situation.

The manufacturers I mentioned should make real radios that meet GMRS norms of deviation and power level and meet TIA 603D minimum performance. But this time market them with emphasis on licensing them.

I never brought up guns did I?
 
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#5
Most of the unlicensed use is less than 4 watt bubblepack radios, which really doesn't cause a problem at all.

Where I place the blame are rogue licensed Hams who have gone crazy with the cheap chinese gear and feel that their Ham license gives them special privileges on the GMRS/FRS band. Sad part of it is that other Hams are complicit in the encouragement of this behavior because it gets that behavior off of their local Ham freqs.

It also looks as if the FCC is unwilling to bring an end to the lawlessness behavior considering that there has been over 2 FCC complaints and yet the unlicensed Repeaters (esp the illegal FRS simplex Repeaters) and their behavior continues.
Sven;

There was a ham trolling GMRS discussion groups trying to argue that repeater linking of GMRS was specifically prohibited by the rules. I figured out he was trolling another GMRS forum the same topic under a sockpuppet. I also noticed that he was a licensed ham but that his GMRS license had long expired. So knowing this, I questioned him as to why this GMRS stuff was of such interest to him. He applied for a new GMRS license the same day.

The FCC has no intention of enforcing anything in GMRS. The best they will do is crack down businesses using GMRS channels, but hey with 22 FRS/GMRS shared channels they can now get away with it because "family" in FRS includes pretty much anyone. Thanks Uniden, Midland and Motorola lobbyists! Corporations are people and when Corporations cry, Ajit Pai is there for them.
 

iMONITOR

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#6
I think the novelty of FRS, MURS, and GMRS wears off quickly after the unsuspecting buyer falls into all the hype and realizes they're just about useless for any serious applications.
 
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#7
I think the novelty of FRS, MURS, and GMRS wears off quickly after the unsuspecting buyer falls into all the hype and realizes they're just about useless for any serious applications.
Yes and No. If you buy a handheld, yes. or just off the shelf stuff expecting to have long distance comms. But, if you are willing to spend the money on your own GMRS system it can rival anything UHF. Key point here is UHF, it would be nice if there was a VHF service that the non business / non ham could build up on their own. They key point is that the big difference of becoming a Ham is infrastructure and allowing you to piggy back off the infrastructure on VHF and UHF bought and built by others. Or in the case of people who buy GMRS handhelds thinking that their is some grand network of free GMRS repeaters across the nation that they can just use without a time or money investment.

The problem with all that is then some licensed rogue Ham comes on jamming and putting up illegal simplex repeaters that interfere, all the while acting like they are the radio gods because they are licensed hams. Funny how they went crazy when I walked on them one day screaming how I stepped on their 'precious' QSO, as they were talking Racist White Supremacy BS at 2 oclock in the afternoon on July 4th while Children were on the frequency. Yet, they run illegal radios at illegal ERP levels on wideband out of their illegal simplex repeaters. GMRS/FRS in The area around Ridgecrest, CA is really the wild, wild west all thanks to some rogue licensed Hams and the locals who ignore them.
 
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UPMan

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#8
What Uniden and Midland and Motorola (GIANT) did was make cheap 22 channel FRS radios.

To clarify, the first 22-channel combination FRS/GMRS radio was approved by the FCC for a model made by Motorola in 2001 (FCC ID AZ489FT4850). This was Motorola, not Giant (who currently licenses the brand for the category). In order to remain in the business, other manufacturers such as Cobra, Midland, RadioShack, and Uniden had little choice other than to follow Motorola's lead. No retailer would purchase a 14-channel radio and put it on the shelves when they had the option to have a 22-channel radio at higher power (on 15 of the channels) and at virtually the same cost.

Note that Cobra, RadioShack, Midland, and Uniden introduced their first 22-channel models in 2002 a year after Motorola's introduction.
 

UPMan

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#10
That listing was back when Wayne Wilson and I had control over how the products were marketed. We always disagreed with the big mileage claims, but there is no way to get national account placement without seeming to be competitive. At least we do test out to the stated range...and have found that in many cases when we check competitors product they fall far short of their own claims.
 
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#11
The 22 channel Motorola Talkabout T6400 radio from 2001 you referenced above (FCC ID AZ489FT4850) was still only calming a 5 mile range at that time:


I hate to keep harping on this topic, but it's a curious one. Manufacturers used to be realistic in their marketing, then something went off the rails.
 

W9BU

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#12
One company stretches the truth in their advertising. The other companies can call out the "lying" company, but that might be seen as antagonistic and leave the customers wondering if the first company is lying or maybe the others just have an inferior product that can't compete. So, the other companies start lying in their advertising, too. Next thing you know, everybody's lying and you gotta come up with an even bigger lie to remain competitive.
 
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#13
hmmm I need be the first manufacturer who is brave enough to offer a bubble pack radio with a 239,000 mi range since, given the most ideal and perfect conditions, I could possibly bounce a 2W FRS radio transmission off the moon :lol:
 

UPMan

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#14
We are careful to claim only what can be achieved. Actually, in our last generation we claimed only 37 miles for models that ended up achieving 50 miles in testing.


We are also careful to disclaim that claim with a graphic on the packaging depicting expected range under different situations.
 
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#15
hmmm I need be the first manufacturer who is brave enough to offer a bubble pack radio with a 239,000 mi range since, given the most ideal and perfect conditions, I could possibly bounce a 2W FRS radio transmission off the moon :lol:
1 watt signals have been bounced off the moon. It took a 40 meter dish to do it, but...
 
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#16
hmmm I need be the first manufacturer who is brave enough to offer a bubble pack radio with a 239,000 mi range since, given the most ideal and perfect conditions, I could possibly bounce a 2W FRS radio transmission off the moon :lol:
If you stand in the focal point of the Arecibo Radio Telescope and someone stands in a similar dish on the moon, then just maybe the Roger Beep will be heard.
 
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#17
One company stretches the truth in their advertising. The other companies can call out the "lying" company, but that might be seen as antagonistic and leave the customers wondering if the first company is lying or maybe the others just have an inferior product that can't compete. So, the other companies start lying in their advertising, too. Next thing you know, everybody's lying and you gotta come up with an even bigger lie to remain competitive.
Well, my opinion is that they all lie and if one company calls out the other for a lie, the whole industry collapses upon itself.
 
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#18
If you stand in the focal point of the Arecibo Radio Telescope and someone stands in a similar dish on the moon, then just maybe the Roger Beep will be heard.
That's why I'll put a little graphic on the package and a blurb in the user manual showing two people standing inside dishes on separate celestial bodies
 
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#19
...looks as if the FCC is unwilling....there has been over 2 FCC complaints and...their behavior continues.
2 complaints - that is roughly equivalent to calling the police on Sunday morning and and reporting that speeders are running 2 MPH over the limit on an interstate.
 
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#20
2 complaints - that is roughly equivalent to calling the police on Sunday morning and and reporting that speeders are running 2 MPH over the limit on an interstate.
I am confused by your comment. Are you saying that licensed Hams (with no GMRS license running close to 50 watts ERP) who are illegally using GMRS/FRS and jamming licensed GMRS users, as well as, turning their illegal FRS Simplex repeater on FRS (FAMILY Radio Service) Channel 3 into an all hours Racist White Supremacist (with language that even this 20 year sailor won't use) channel not a big deal.
 
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