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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 03-24-2009, 10:18 PM
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Default New user - Seeking some help

Hey everyone:

All of this stuff seems very interesting. I dont plan to get too involved in it, but I would like to get set up with some equipment to mess around with and have some fun + communicate with people.
I live in Calgary, Alberta, and I want to purchase a Yaesu VX-3R Radio (Seems functional, and compact)
Before doing the purchase, I had a few questions:

1. Would any of you recommend the radio.
2. Will I need a license in order to use it on GMRS/FRS frequencies.
3. Will I even be able to use it on GMRS/FRS frequencies
4. How can a license be acquired if I need one, and how much does it cost

Thanks
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Old 03-25-2009, 11:37 AM
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The VX-3 is not type-accepted for use in the GMRS and FRS band so even though I am sure it can be modified to transmit in those areas, it would not be legal. If you want to use GMRS you will need a radio that is type accepted for use in that band - some cheap simplex radios can be purchased at places like Walmart, etc but if you want to use a repeater, you will need a commecial raido from a vendor like Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, etc ...

If you are buying the VX-3 for use in the ham bands, I would suggest looking at something like the FT-60 or VX-6 or VX-7 simply because you will have more power when you need it for transmit. Even though the micro-size radios are easy to carry around, the other radios I mentioned are not much bigger really.

Unless .... you just wanted it for a scanner, which it would probably be okay as.

Good luck
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Old 03-25-2009, 3:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-KC8OWL View Post
The VX-3 is not type-accepted for use in the GMRS and FRS band so even though I am sure it can be modified to transmit in those areas, it would not be legal. If you want to use GMRS you will need a radio that is type accepted for use in that band - some cheap simplex radios can be purchased at places like Walmart, etc but if you want to use a repeater, you will need a commecial raido from a vendor like Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, etc ...

If you are buying the VX-3 for use in the ham bands, I would suggest looking at something like the FT-60 or VX-6 or VX-7 simply because you will have more power when you need it for transmit. Even though the micro-size radios are easy to carry around, the other radios I mentioned are not much bigger really.

Unless .... you just wanted it for a scanner, which it would probably be okay as.

Good luck
Thanks for the input, If I were to go for one of those commercial radios for the GMRS band, what kind of powers can I transmit at, and do you have any idea of what the average range would be in the city. Also, does GMRS band require licencing? (dont know if you are familiar with the laws here in alberta or not)

Thanks
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Old 03-25-2009, 5:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike-KC8OWL View Post
The VX-3 is not type-accepted for use in the GMRS and FRS band so even though I am sure it can be modified to transmit in those areas, it would not be legal. If you want to use GMRS you will need a radio that is type accepted for use in that band - some cheap simplex radios can be purchased at places like Walmart, etc but if you want to use a repeater, you will need a commecial raido from a vendor like Motorola, Kenwood, Icom, etc ...

If you are buying the VX-3 for use in the ham bands, I would suggest looking at something like the FT-60 or VX-6 or VX-7 simply because you will have more power when you need it for transmit. Even though the micro-size radios are easy to carry around, the other radios I mentioned are not much bigger really.

Unless .... you just wanted it for a scanner, which it would probably be okay as.

Good luck
He is in Canada, not the United States thus the FCC type acceptance has nothing at all to do with using a radio there. A license is not required for use of "blister pack" units in Canada. Since I am not that familiar with the in's and out's of Canadian law I would recommend consulting Industry Canada RSS 210 Annex 6. Based on my short review of the document the transmitter must be crystal controlled and operate at no more than 2 watts. Also, currently repeater use is not authorized in Canada although the referenced document implies that it could be at some point in the future. As such, the VX-3 would not be acceptable for use on Canadian GRMS/FRS but this has nothing to do with FCC type acceptance.
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Old 03-25-2009, 10:34 PM
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I believe Industry Canada still certifies radios for use on at least certain services. So an FCC type-accepted radio may not be legal in Canada if it's not I.C. certified (and of course, vise versa). I'm no expert but I do hear about Industry Canada certification requirements on new radios from time to time.

James is right, to the best of my knowledge you're limited to 2 Watts, no repeaters, and no license required. Not 100% sure on the crystal control, but it's possible. I believe removable antennas are okay in Canada. Those 2 Watts is TPO (total power output) not ERP like FRS in the US is limited to 500mW and non-detachable antenna (because a different antenna will change the ERP of the unit, breaking its certification). It's my understanding that Canada doesn't have that restriction.
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