three years ago I went ahead and got a GMRS license...and set up a repeater at home..nothing I even listed it on a gmrs repeater base...nothing....took it down....spent $70.00 for the license why?....I wish I knew...
Most GMRS radio users buy the ones at department stores. They generally do not require more than short range two way communications. The local county Amatuer Radio Emergency Services group sent letters to area FCC database GMRS license holders and offered free repeater access if anyone would join the communications team. They got exactly "ZERO" takers!
So what you experienced is pretty much par for the course.
Depends where you live and how long your system is there for. My repeater has been around since 2007 and it's only now gaining regular use from people other than those who set it up. GMRS and Ham are very different, so don't expect people to come flocking to your system.
I get more use out of GMRS than Ham -- my family can use my repeater without having to take a Ham test which is a great asset in itself.
I also obtained a GMRS license a couple years ago. I had great ambitions to setup a GMRS repeater as an alternative form of communications in the event of an emergency, black-out, etc. I was hoping to get friends and neighbors interested in the project as well.
The whole idea died a quick death. My radio buddies all wanted me to get a ham license instead. Too many issues. People who were not into radio looked at me like I was speaking in another language. They all responded that their cell phone was all they needed. That might be true, until they stop working. Then there was the problem of where to put the antenna! HOA would not allow anything taller than six feet above my roof line. Anywhere else was too expensive to rent.
The key is location, location, location here in the chicago metro area their are at least four different machines, all with limited use. But, then again their are cordonate nets that take place which brings everybody out of the wood workings.
Their are serveral groups out their that are tring to make it a notirity thing, but not everybody wants to come on borad with it. And did 70.00 dollars really hurt you that much, I have spent 14.00 for ham, 75.00 for gmrs, about 600.00 for a commerical IG license. It's a hobby excpet for what it is.....
There are only a handful of licensed users in my area. Also there is/was supposed to be a repeater here and I've never been able to confirm if it is still in operation. When I first got into GMRS I contacted some of the local HAM people to see if they knew about a GMRS repeater and there was/is one and I was given the frequencies and they were unsure of the PL tones etc.
I've never been able to "hit" that repeater and have never, ever heard any traffic on that frequency so I'm just not sure that it is still in operation. But the good thing is, that with that contact with the HAM people I got my HAM license too so now I just use GMRS simplex to stay in contact with my family while I'm at work.
Still would love it though if there WAS a GMRS repeater here!
I like how everyone says MY AREA or something similar and they have no posting on where that area is. I have a GMRS repeater in Lancaster Ohio and it gets used alot. It actually gets used more that the amateur repeater and we talk about better stuff.
I am sorry but does anyone else think that $85 for 5 years is a little steep for licensing fees? That and the lack of repeaters here is the only thing that has prevented me from obtaining a GMRS license. Something is wrong when my lifetime commercial operator license only costs $60 for lifetime and a citizen's radio service is $85/5yr.
I paid $85 for my GMRS license just to be able to use 2 mobile GMRS radios legally, I plan to set up a GMRS repeater in my area, I have several GMRS repeater in my area already but where I live I have static from them, I'm going to live in a new area that houses that are in the area are less than 2-3 years old and now there is more construction and my repeater will cover a nice area and 2 main highways, I have a very nice bunch of tall pines behind my house in my property so the antenna will be stealth painted in green and the very top of the pine.
Keep in mind, the GMRS license covers your whole family. That plays into why the license costs $85. The value of one license is greater than a commercial, Ham, or business license. Say you have 5 people in your family who will use your license. $85 / 5 = $17 per person for 5 years, or $3.40 per person per year. Have 10 people in your family? $85/10 = $8.50 per person for 5 years or $1.70 per person per year.
GMRS systems are primarily for families in the first place, not for Ham-like hobby use. So it's expected that at least 2 people benefit from each GMRS license. The FCC was kicking the idea around to lower the fee to $75 or so, but I haven't heard anything concrete since then.
Trace1,We have just put a GMRS repeater in use a couple of counties from you it shows decent range in the Gadsden area,I haven't tried that direction yet,if you want to give it a try its on 462.550 141.3 it is owned by North Georgia GMRS go to their website email them and Gary will give you permission to use it. Also look at the post above and go to mygmrs.com its the AL-550 repeater
i'd be willing to bet that 99.5% of the GMRS users are not licensed. All they see in the instructions for their blister pack radio is that 'for better range, enable GMRS by pushing this button' and whaddya know- it works!
I did the same thing- got GMRS, then HAM. Finding out that neither are really all that exciting- i'm still waiting for that big disaster to justify it.
Man, all you guys whining about a $85 license. Try paying $500 for a commerical lic.
We have 50 + users Its simply, our repeaters are a place where all of us go to talk and have better conversations then the ham repeaters. We have several repeaters linked and users can log in & talk via their PCs from anywhere in the world. A repeater is what you make it. You cant just walk up to someone on the street and expect them to join your little radio group, you obviously have to search in the right places. Here would be a nice place to start. I am sure if people looked hard enough on this website, we would all find locals to talk to that have similar interest. Anyone of decent character & intelligence interested in talking on our repeaters can email me. Or if you need help trying to get some interest in your area. Email me.