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GMRS / FRS - Discussions related to GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) communications

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  #61 (permalink)  
Old 09-23-2014, 10:23 AM
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Yes, we sane people know that...

LOL
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Old 09-23-2014, 11:01 AM
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Standard Horizon made the HX471S which was a marine VHF and FRS dual band radio and HX470S which was marine VHF, FRS and MURS.
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Old 09-25-2014, 6:21 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
Standard Horizon made the HX471S which was a marine VHF and FRS dual band radio and HX470S which was marine VHF, FRS and MURS.
Interesting radios, but not fully compliant with Part 95 requirements. They have removable antennae.
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Old 09-26-2014, 10:56 AM
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Most of Part 95 allows for removable antennae. FRS is the only service that has that restriction.
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Old 10-04-2014, 1:04 PM
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Originally Posted by PCTEK View Post
If I use a frequency that is shared by both FRS and GMRS, which rule as far as power and FCC call signs apply?

We will use the Motorola convention that identifies the FRS/GMRS channels as channels 1-22

Channels 1-7 are shared by FRS/GMRS. If you have no GMRS license, you are capped at 0.5 watts which is the FRS limit. If however, you do have a GMRS license then you can use 5 watts max.

Channels 8-14 are for FRS use only and have a 0.5 watt limit

Channels 15-22 are GMRS only channels and are limited to 50 (fifty) watts max.

On call signs: to legally operate GMRS requires you pay I believe $85 for a 5 yr license at which time they issue you a GMRS call sign which I think you are legally required to use on the air. Problem is this: the FCC allows unlicensed users (no GMRS license and no Ham license of any kind) to buy FRS/GMRS hybrid radios and "requires" them to purchase a GMRS license for $85 BEFORE using the 15 GMRS channels. "HELLO MCFLY (insert "FCC")....ANYBODY HOME?????"

How many people will fork over $85 for a GMRS license to talk on a radio with a range of a few miles when the radios they just bought cost about, ballpark, $45 for a set of two radios............ Answer: virtually NO ONE buys the GMRS license unless they are already Ham license owners and don't want to risk loosing their higher Ham license too, if caught. The only others who "might" buy the license and who don't already own a Ham license are those who buy real GMRS radios (operate on only the 15 GMRS channels and no others). These are what we call "purists" and I am guessing that these folks get licenses at a higher rate than do those who buy the hybrid radios but again, don't bank on it.

Bottom line: virtually no one buys a GMRS license meaning the FCC has mandated an unenforceable requirement which means they should dump the licensing requirement. Another reason is that when a Federal agency (the FCC) is willing to give a license to anyone stupid enough to fork over $85 and they allow this with no training required what so ever of the person they are about to issue the license to, then this is simply a "money collection scam" and the requirement should be done away with.

Think I got all that right.
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Old 11-01-2014, 5:28 AM
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Posted in wrong window.... pardon the dust...

Last edited by Jaxco; 11-01-2014 at 5:44 AM..
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Old 02-07-2015, 6:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PCTEK View Post
Perhaps I didn't state my question properly. I know the FCC rules, but thanks for the refresher. The point of my question was... a group of people are running a drill. The all have the blister pack FRS/GMRS radios from various manufactures. They have chose to use channel 6 (462.6875) which is used by both FRS & GMRS. What radio service regs takes precedence? FRS or GMRS? Or is it a free for all where an individual can use the GMRS side of the radio (understanding that he needs a license, but as we all know likely doesn't have one (due to the $85 fee), still on the same freq but now increases his power output and therefore steps all over the FRS user. I guess there is no clear answer to this question. Sorry I asked it.
I understand your question thoroughly, but these shared frequencies are just that, shared. A GMRS licensee can use 5 watts and "step all over" the FRS user unknowingly, but not intentionally. Its kinda like the split speed limit on the interstate where cars can travel 5-15 mph faster than big trucks even though both are using the same lanes. Neither radio service has a stronger claim to a shared frequency than the other. Both have equal rights to use the shared frequency. The "regs" for each service neither compete nor conflict, and neither have precedence over the other. Both are "self policing" in that its up to the users of each service to document and report any violations to the FCC. Will it do any good? Not likely. It's impossible to enforce the rules on a radio service who's users have the legal right to be 100% anonymous, as is the case with FRS and CB. I think the only solution for the group mentioned in your comment is to use CTCSS tones to block out the GMRS (licensed and unlicensed) users. This should be done even if the group switches to a FRS ONLY frequency.
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Old 02-12-2015, 11:34 AM
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nevermind
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Old 02-12-2015, 2:52 PM
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OR go out and buy proper transceivers and licenses.
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Old 02-12-2015, 7:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samdog View Post
We will use the Motorola convention that identifies the FRS/GMRS channels as channels 1-22

Channels 1-7 are shared by FRS/GMRS. If you have no GMRS license, you are capped at 0.5 watts which is the FRS limit. If however, you do have a GMRS license then you can use 5 watts max.

Channels 8-14 are for FRS use only and have a 0.5 watt limit

Channels 15-22 are GMRS only channels and are limited to 50 (fifty) watts max.

On call signs: to legally operate GMRS requires you pay I believe $85 for a 5 yr license at which time they issue you a GMRS call sign which I think you are legally required to use on the air. Problem is this: the FCC allows unlicensed users (no GMRS license and no Ham license of any kind) to buy FRS/GMRS hybrid radios and "requires" them to purchase a GMRS license for $85 BEFORE using the 15 GMRS channels. "HELLO MCFLY (insert "FCC")....ANYBODY HOME?????"

How many people will fork over $85 for a GMRS license to talk on a radio with a range of a few miles when the radios they just bought cost about, ballpark, $45 for a set of two radios............ Answer: virtually NO ONE buys the GMRS license unless they are already Ham license owners and don't want to risk loosing their higher Ham license too, if caught. The only others who "might" buy the license and who don't already own a Ham license are those who buy real GMRS radios (operate on only the 15 GMRS channels and no others). These are what we call "purists" and I am guessing that these folks get licenses at a higher rate than do those who buy the hybrid radios but again, don't bank on it.

Bottom line: virtually no one buys a GMRS license meaning the FCC has mandated an unenforceable requirement which means they should dump the licensing requirement. Another reason is that when a Federal agency (the FCC) is willing to give a license to anyone stupid enough to fork over $85 and they allow this with no training required what so ever of the person they are about to issue the license to, then this is simply a "money collection scam" and the requirement should be done away with.

Think I got all that right.
Excellent post!!
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Old 02-13-2015, 4:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jwilson2013 View Post
Excellent post!!
Eh. Got on a bit of rant there. That being said…I can go buy a Motorola APX, program it up for all the local PS stuff without a license. There has never been anything from stopping someone from purchasing a radio without a license to use said radio.

A lot of the ham/GMRS guys that tend to have GMRS licenses, are those who have repeaters to begin with. They are also the ones who generally have learnt how to talk on radio equipment, how to use repeaters, how to build and maintain them, etc. in commercial or amateur applications.

GMRS used to be heavily enforced. Although we are talking about back in the day when many businesses had GMRS licenses back in the 70's and 80's (before the FCC really did away with group licensing). Delta Airlines is an example of modern airlines that still maintain their GMRS license though.

Then again, most licensed owners who own repeaters (me for example) see no point in programming radios with the shared channels…why when you have access to the higher powered repeater channels?
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W5PKY View Post
Eh. Got on a bit of rant there. That being said…I can go buy a Motorola APX, program it up for all the local PS stuff without a license. There has never been anything from stopping someone from purchasing a radio without a license to use said radio.
It's not enforced very well (like a lot of other FCC regs), but it is illegal to possess a transmitter on frequencies for which you have no license.

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Then again, most licensed owners who own repeaters (me for example) see no point in programming radios with the shared channels…why when you have access to the higher powered repeater channels?
It limits your usefulness in a disaster. Even if your repeaters are up, you can't talk to anyone on the shared channels because you don't have them.
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Old 02-21-2015, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
It's not enforced very well (like a lot of other FCC regs), but it is illegal to possess a transmitter on frequencies for which you have no license.
It most certainly is not. There is absolutely no requirement for someone to have a ham license, let's say, to buy any of the popular 2M/70cm HT's.

And since we're talking loosely talking GMRS, please point out the laws which prohibit mere purchase of such a radio without a license, as opposed to transmission.
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Old 02-24-2015, 10:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
It's not enforced very well (like a lot of other FCC regs), but it is illegal to possess a transmitter on frequencies for which you have no license.



It limits your usefulness in a disaster. Even if your repeaters are up, you can't talk to anyone on the shared channels because you don't have them.


Nope…just illegal to transmit (the any one, any frequency, and power rule of CF47 comes into application with that) without a proper license to cover what you transmitting on.

The thing about shared channels, every one else will already be on them. Remember, legal power limit on the shared channels is 5W…50W on a repeater channel. There are very few FRS only radios floating around today (that don't have the simplex side of the repeater channels). Does not having the shared repeaters limit your usefulness? Depends, those channels may take up valuable memory in your radio for amateur frequencies that you may be associated on with an emergency response group (because in reality very few use GMRS for disaster relief).
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Old 02-24-2015, 3:42 PM
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The REAL reason for the power and hardware type-acceptance restrictions is to help avoid technical blunders by non-technical users in a general-purpose non-technical service that is designed to be short-range, not a wide area network.

Consider: Business CAN use FRS. They can also use GMRS, but only if it is an immediate-family business, or ALL the unrelated employees are individually licensed as dumb and costly as that would be. Covered in another thread.

Non-removable antennas for FRS: If this were lifted, what is the first thing that most users (business and otherwise) would do? Attach a 4-bay dipole array on top of their building, and now the front-end of the bubble pack is prone to image, intermod and desense. Attempts at "self coordination" by non-technical users would be useless. What is one of the prominent features of handheld scanners that have weak front-ends? An ATTENUATOR button.

On the FRS and shared GMRS channels, it would be sheer bedlam.

Part of the desire to do this is the 20-30+ mile range stated on bubblepack packaging. Under perfect conditions, this can be done, but when a hobbiest or business attempts this with radios of this type, the first thing they want to do is raise power and/or use larger antennas. Doing so with radios of this type would typically mean that they would be transmitting large amounts of power, but with a weak front-end, would hear nothing but images, intermod, and desense back - jamming basically as they continue transmitting with poor results on receive.

In other words, while technically correct under certain circumstances, bubblepack packaging promises wide-area network features that the service wasn't really designed for!

Licensed GMRS users using bubble-packs would also be filing false complaints with the FCC against other spectrum users showing up as images or intermod since there is no technical test to recognize these issues, and the inexpensive hardware typically does not contain the super tight front-end bandpass filters that can deal with large antennas in a dense rf-environment.

Power and fixed antenna restrictions helps persuade business users to actually use business frequencies and business capable hardware, and not try to cheap out with no formal frequency coordination, and use inexpensive radios not well suited to the purpose if they are thinking long-distance.

That actually protects the FRS or GMRS family using it as it was intended from unknowing business users trying to take over on the cheap with shoddy technical installations.

Last edited by hertzian; 02-24-2015 at 4:46 PM..
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:41 AM
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Nope…just illegal to transmit (the any one, any frequency, and power rule of CF47 comes into application with that) without a proper license to cover what you transmitting on.
Incorrect.

§90.427(b) Except for frequencies used in accordance with § 90.417, no person shall program into a transmitter frequencies for which the licensee using the transmitter is not authorized.

This is found in Part 90, which, while not being the rules that govern GMRS or any other service, do apply to everyone who might wish to have a radio that is capable of transmitting on Part 90 channels.
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Old 02-27-2015, 10:43 AM
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Originally Posted by W5PKY View Post
Does not having the shared repeaters limit your usefulness? Depends, those channels may take up valuable memory in your radio for amateur frequencies that you may be associated on with an emergency response group (because in reality very few use GMRS for disaster relief).
Another common fallacy - "The rest of the world is just like my neighborhood."

GMRS is a resource for disaster relief communications in some areas.
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Old 02-27-2015, 2:04 PM
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Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
Incorrect.

§90.427(b) Except for frequencies used in accordance with § 90.417, no person shall program into a transmitter frequencies for which the licensee using the transmitter is not authorized.

This is found in Part 90, which, while not being the rules that govern GMRS or any other service, do apply to everyone who might wish to have a radio that is capable of transmitting on Part 90 channels.

and then read 90.417 and you will see it is perfectly legal to program in whatever frequency you want.
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Old 02-27-2015, 2:21 PM
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and then read 90.417 and you will see it is perfectly legal to program in whatever frequency you want.
Wrong. That only means that different licensees that share the same frequency can communicate with eachother in an emergency, or they can transmit on thier own frequency and listen to another station's frequency.
See 2.405 (d)
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Old 02-27-2015, 3:20 PM
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Wrong. That only means that different licensees that share the same frequency can communicate with eachother in an emergency, or they can transmit on thier own frequency and listen to another station's frequency.
See 2.405 (d)


§90.417 Interstation communication.

(a) Any station licensed under this part may communicate with any other station without restriction as to type, service, or licensee when the communications involved relate directly to the imminent safety-of-life or property.

IANAL but would not that mean without restriction to type acceptance, service (band/frequency), or license authorized?
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