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GMRS Prescribed Channel Uses?

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Dave_D

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Sep 30, 2005
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162
Hi all,

Does GMRS have any prescribed channel uses (official or unofficial) a la CB Channel 19? As I understand it, GMRS is meant for intra-family communications only and the mobile units have severely limited range, but then I read somewhere that some truckers and road-trippers "prefer" GMRS to CB. No ellaboration. Anybody know what they're talking about?

Dave
 

cellblock776

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Jan 10, 2002
Messages
843
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St Gabriel, Louisiana
Dave_D said:
the mobile units have severely limited range,
Dave
Dave,
I'm not aware of any particular GMRS frequencies being used for specific purposes but I'll point out that portable or mobile range is extended quite a bit through the use of repeaters and higher power, 5 and 50 watts for portable and mobile use respectivly.
 

n1das

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Nashua, NH
cellblock776 said:
Dave,
I'm not aware of any particular GMRS frequencies being used for specific purposes but I'll point out that portable or mobile range is extended quite a bit through the use of repeaters and higher power, 5 and 50 watts for portable and mobile use respectivly.
Years ago, the 462.675 MHz primary was reserved for emergency and traveler assistance use. Many REACT groups across the country operated on this GMRS freq and many still do today.

This restriction on 675 was originally intended to be the GMRS equivalent of CB channel 9. Under the old GMRS rules, you picked any TWO of the GMRS primary channels including the repeater input freqs and listed the 4 freqs on the FCC license application. The form used was the old Form 574, the exact same form that was used for other land mobile radio services. The license issued by the FCC listed the 4 freqs you applied for plus a note at the bottom stated that additional freqs were authorized by rule section 95.29 and to refer to the rules for more information. This rule section granted you authorization under your GMRS license to use the 7 interstitial channels plus the 462.675 repeater pair for emergency and traveler assistance use if 675 wasn't already one of the primary freqs you applied for. So the smart thing to do was to apply for 2 GMRS primary freqs OTHER than 675 and you'll get the use of 675 by rule for emergency use.

With the creation of the Family Radio Service (FRS) in 1996, activity grew on the 7 GMRS interstitial freqs since the first 7 FRS freqs are shared with GMRS. FRS also used the 7 interstitial freqs adjacent to the GMRS repeater inputs. GMRS didn't use these upper freqs because of GMRS being an older radio service operated with wider bandwidth than FRS does and GMRS activity there would bother the repeaters. The increased activity on these freqs left GMRS licensees wanting more GMRS-only frequencies to use to be able to get away from local FRS adjacent channel splatter.

In 1999, due to the growth and popularity of FRS, the GMRS rules were amended to allow all-channel licensing where a GMRS licensee could use ALL 8 GMRS primary freqs just like they could under the old rules where licensees were limited to TWO primary freqs. The other thing that changed was that the restriction on 462.675 being reserved for emergency and traveler assistance use went away and 675 is no more "reserved" than any other GMRS channel is. The 22-channel GMRS/FRS "bubble pack" radios started appearing after this rule change.

A GMRS-licensee is allowed to transmit with a mobile with 50W on the GMRS primary channels (through repeaters and simplex on the repeater outputs). The 7 GMRS interstitial freqs (same as FRS 1-7) are limited to 5W ERP. Mobiles can also operate on the interstitials with no more than 5W ERP. GMRS licensees can also operate through repeaters on the GMRS primary channels. Unlike the ham bands, GMRS licensees also need to secure permission from the repeater owners to use their repeaters whereas unauthorized use could be construed as harmful interference. You can have your own repeater setup on GMRS if you want to and you don't have to share its use with anyone if you don't want to. All licensees are still required to cooperate in the usage of channels, monitor before transmitting, yield to emergency traffic, etc..

Unlicensed "bubble pack" radio usage has become a big problem in GMRS. Most users don't have a clue about GMRS being a LICENSED radio service. They also have no clue (fortunately) about the full potential of GMRS (higher power, good commercial equipment, repeaters, etc.). These users are very casual users of 2-way radio. You get what you pay for and these radios really are nothing but cheap consumer CRAP. The radio manufactuers also downplay the licensing requirement ("FCC GMRS license required" is in VERY fine print). I think the FCC may someday do some form of de-licensing for GMRS to accomodate the bubble packs. Hopefully it will be license by rule for the bubble packs as they are today (22 channels, 2W or less power, antenna permanently attached, no repeater capability) but retains the license requirement for high power and repeater operation in GMRS. Local bubble pack activity can be a minor pain in the arse sometimes but I can easily talk over them with my good commercial radios I use on GMRS. The bubble packs aren't a huge problem provided they stay low powered and don't have any repeater capability.

I've been licensed on GMRS since 1992 and I've fully witnessed the changes in GMRS over the years including the bubble pack invasion.
 

rescuecomm

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Travelers Rest, SC
GMRS channels

Hello N1DAS.

Your post woke up old memories. Me and a group of guys put up a GMRS repeater on 462.700mhz in 1986. I had forgotten the two freq rule. Seems like our secondary was 462.650mhz. The repeaters had to be licensed just like the public safety/business setup with the HAAT and all that good stuff. The advent of the cheap cell phone pretty much finished the interest our group had. We used it as an adjunct to the amatuer radio stuff when doing public service things like covering the Table Rock Triathlon. They don't do that anymore and the group that used to do it kinda withered on the vine. I am thinking you are correct in that the licensing for GMRS will go away for under 5 watt radios. When they do that, maybe they will let the GMRS repeater owners be eligible for UHF business band freqs and move to them. The business band stuff is quiet these days with everyone going to 800mhz.

Bob
N4CRX
WQDL410
 
R

Rayjk110

Guest
Heh....I use a GM300 for GMRS and used to program my CDM1550 to it and that would talk waaayyyy over the bubble-crap radios. My current ham repeater was also on GMRS freqs untill someone on the LAG repeater group got in a hissy fit trying to play 'pretend cop' on the radio. I wouldn't tell him the dpl code for the input so he got mad I guess.
 

joetnymedic

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May 30, 2003
Messages
746
Location
West Haven, CT
i bought the bubble pack radios and we used the frs channels at some events we did so we could talk camera to camera that was a year or so ago. as the radios have been sitting there, i had a renewed interest in using them for the family through the city so applied for the license for gmrs and got it, now deciding just how far I want to take it at this point. maybe buy a few mobiles and some decent handhelds of ebay or something and eliminate the problems locating the kids in town at the least. Plus wife works like 4 miles away so I can use it to get ahold of her instead of racking up crazy cell bills. My wife and I are real good but I have a 17 y/o and giving him a cell phone was almost as bad as giving him a loaded gun. luckily he didn't kill anyone but when my wife got her bill- whoo boy did she want to kill him! :) Needless to say the radio thing will be alot better

Joe
 

CZ

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California
*Scratches Head* Let me see if I have this right:

1 through 14: Any Bubblepacker can talk to any other Bubblepacker.

15 - up: If the 22 channel Bubblepacks are used on these channels, a license is required to talk to other licensees on these channels, but not Bubblepacker to Bubblepacker.

Is that close, or am I way off here? :)
 
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n1das

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Nashua, NH
CZ said:
*Scratches Head* Let me see if I have this right:

1 through 14: Any Bubblepacker can talk to any other Bubblepacker.

15 - up: If the 22 channel Bubblepacks are used on these channels, a license is required to talk to other licensees on these channels, but not Bubblepacker to Bubblepacker.

Is that close, or am I way off here? :)
You're close!

On a typical 22-channel bubble pack, such as any Motorola TalkAbout model:

1-7 are GMRS/FRS shared - GMRS license required because it's operating with higher power than FRS allows (500mW max for FRS), therefore the the equipment is GMRS and a license is required. GMRS allows 5W on these freqs. The 22-channel bubble packs typically operate in the 1-2W range on these freqs like they do on 15-22.

8-14 are FRS-only. A 22-channel bubble pack operates with no more than 500mW of power on these freqs and the bubble pack meets all the tech specs in Part 95 for FRS when on these channels, so it's eligible for license by rule as FRS. A 22-channel bubble pack is basically an FRS radio with jacked up power when on the GMRS freqs (and has shorter battery life too!). Whenever a 22-channel bubble pack operates on 8-14, it behaves as an FRS radio (meets all tech specs including power level and non-removable antenna, etc.) and is therefore allowed as an FRS radio and no license is required. The power level on FRS and the non-removable antenna etc. were done to intentionally restrict range to minimize interference problems with an unlicensed radio service.

15-22 are the 8 GMRS primaries. No FRS has ever been allowed on these freqs. These are GMRS-only and therefore a GMRS license is required. The unlicensed bubble pack riff-raff has no idea that a GMRS license is required for operation on these freqs. Thankfully the 22-channel bubble packs aren't repeater capable!

So if you're an unlicensed bubble packer, avoid transmitting on the GMRS primary channels (15-22) if you want to avoid being noticed by licensed GMRS users. While on channels 1-7, the radio technically is operating as GMRS equipmnt and a license is required. However, you're less likely to get noticed on 1-7 as it's hard to tell if you're using a 22 channel GMRS/FRS bubble pack or a 14-channel FRS-only bubble pack. No harm, no foul. If you're unlicensed and want to stay 100% squeaky-clean and legal with your 22-channel bubble pack, stick to using only channels 8-14 because no license is required because you're bubble pack is operating as an FRS radio there. If your're serious about using GMRS, step up to the plate and get licensed!

Speaking of the old GMRS days...notice my GMRS callsign (KAE9013) looks like an old CB callsign. That's because it predates the Universal Licensing System (ULS) and GMRS a long time ago was previously known as Class A CB.... basically "UHF CB". The old GMRS callsign format was similar to Class D (27MHz) CB callsigns. The switch to the ULS did away with the old format. A new GMRS callsign issued through the ULS will be 4 letters beginning with W followed by 3 numbers. In the ULS, you get whatever callsign comes up next, with the callsign format not tied to a particular radio service. Let's say for example you apply for your GMRS license and the FCC issues one with WXYZ901 as your GMRS callsign. The next license issued through the ULS would be WXYZ902, but it might get issued to a police department (public safety wireless service). The next license issued would be WXYZ903 and might get issued to a business, etc. You get the drift. You get whatever comes up next in the system when your license is issued.

Hope this info helps.
 
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kd7rto

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Bountiful, Ut
rescuecomm said:
When they do that, maybe they will let the GMRS repeater owners be eligible for UHF business band freqs and move to them.
I hope not. In my area, GMRS repeater owners are a bigger menace than the bubble packers. They activate every tone, preventing anyone new from putting a repeater up, and they sell service to commercial users as if they were running business community repeaters.

The last thing we need to do is spread this mess to other places on the band.
rescuecomm said:
The business band stuff is quiet these days with everyone going to 800mhz.
800 MHz? Do you mean 900 MHz trunking or do you mean Nextel? Thanks to Nextel, there is very little 800 MHz commercial trunking left.

And as for 461-465, it's is not very quiet here. It's now full of LTR trunking.
 

landonjensen

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i read somewhere that (i forgot what channel) there is a channel that if you go onto it, and say ie(i need help etc or in the event of a disaster), that it is a emergency channel?
anybody heard this?
 

KCChiefs9690

CQ DX
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landonjensen said:
i read somewhere that (i forgot what channel) there is a channel that if you go onto it, and say ie(i need help etc or in the event of a disaster), that it is a emergency channel?
anybody heard this?
Yeah, there is a group called REACT that monitors that channel, and they can provide roadside assistance, directions, etc. They used to monitor CB channel 9, but they almost entirely stoped monitoring CB, and moved to GMRS.
 

cellblock776

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St Gabriel, Louisiana
landonjensen said:
i read somewhere that (i forgot what channel) there is a channel that if you go onto it, and say ie(i need help etc or in the event of a disaster), that it is a emergency channel?
anybody heard this?
Emergency channels
CB radio- Ch 9
Marine-Ch 16
Civilian Air-121.5
Military Air-243
There are no designated emergency channels for FRS, GMRS, Ham or MURS.
 
N

N_Jay

Guest
KCChiefs9690 said:
I could has sworn there is, look at this link. Look under FRS/GMRS FREQUENCIES.

http://www.welcomehome.org/rainbow/tech/radios/
From:
http://eebie38.tripod.com/gmrs/frequencies.html\

"Although there is no law or rule stating so, many organizations and licensees across the country have recommended that 462.675 MHz be designated a traveler's assistance and emergency only frequency, similar to CB Channel 9. Many areas have adopted this practice, while others have not and still conduct non-critical GMRS traffic on this frequency. 462.675, contrary to opinion, is still an open and shared frequency, although many emergency groups use and/or monitor it. "

Well said!
 

KCChiefs9690

CQ DX
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
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Location
Lewis Center, OH
N_Jay said:
From:
http://eebie38.tripod.com/gmrs/frequencies.html\

"Although there is no law or rule stating so, many organizations and licensees across the country have recommended that 462.675 MHz be designated a traveler's assistance and emergency only frequency, similar to CB Channel 9. Many areas have adopted this practice, while others have not and still conduct non-critical GMRS traffic on this frequency. 462.675, contrary to opinion, is still an open and shared frequency, although many emergency groups use and/or monitor it. "

Well said!
All right, I was wrong.
 

Napalm

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Mar 2, 2006
Messages
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Location
Clark Co., Ind.
Only channel I'd wait to stake my life on, would be 121.5 / 243 / 156.8.

Then only in a dire emergency, since I'm not licenced to transmit on any of those ;) But you know there's a fair chance someone/thing will be monitoring them. [COSPAS/SARSAT etc]

That and 2.182.
 

cellblock776

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Messages
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Location
St Gabriel, Louisiana
landonjensen said:
ok i just learned that the emergency channel/travel aid for gmrs is 462.6750.
Thanks All
But it's not. That's what we've been trying to tell you. There is no Emegency/Travel Aid channel for GMRS. Example-There is a 462.675 GMRS repeater in Baton Rouge. It is not affiliated with REACT and is not monitored for emergency traffic. It, like any other repeater pair, is for common use.
 
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