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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 09-28-2013, 4:29 PM
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Default What is the law regarding FRS/GMRS transmit power

If I use a frequency that is shared by both FRS and GMRS, which rule as far as power and FCC call signs apply?
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Old 09-28-2013, 5:13 PM
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Quote:
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?
http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-200...ol5-part95.pdf

Study subparts A and B. They will answer all of your questions.

Your question can only be answered if you decide whether you are operating FRS or GMRS.
If you are using FRS at 0.5 watt, it's a free-for-all with no FCC call signs required. However if you want to operate GMRS on the 7 interstitial frequencies, the max power is 5 watts, GMRS license required and use of FCC call sign is required.
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Old 09-28-2013, 5:31 PM
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Exclamation

At first I thought this thread was meant as a joke, since this subject has been covered so many (i.e. hundreds) of times in this forum already.

Anyways...

FRS 1-7:
FRS only: 0.5 watt maximum
GMRS: 5 watt maximum
Repeater use: prohibited (simplex only)
Licence/call letters required: only when operating GMRS equipment greater than 0.5 watt (people sometimes use handles on FRS and GMRS; call letters must always be announced on-air regardless)
CTCSS/DCS: allowed
Regulation (FRS): 47 CFR 95.194c
Regulation (GMRS): 47 CFR 95.179

FRS 8-14:
FRS only: 0.5 watt maximum
GMRS: prohibited (though most mainstream GMRS HTs do include 0.5 watt coverage of 8-14 for interoperability purposes)
Repeater use: prohibited (simplex only)
Licence/call letters required: no
CTCSS/DCS: allowed

GMRS 15-22 (a.k.a. 550-725)
FRS only: not applicable
GMRS: 50 watts maximum (though this may change in the coming years)
Repeater use: allowed; +5 MHz shift
Licence/call letters required: always; people sometimes use handles on GMRS but call letters must always be announced on-air regardless
CTCSS/DCS: allowed (may be required to access repeaters)
Other restrictions: Channels 19 and 21 (650/700) not permitted for use near the Canadian border

And since I know somebody will probably ask (since it does sort of fall into this category):
MURS
All channels: 2 watts maximum
Bandwidth: 1-3: 11 kHz; 4-5: 20 kHz
Deviation: 1-3: 2.5 kHz; 4-5: 5 kHz
Repeater use: prohibited (simplex only)
Licence required: not required for personal use, may be required if used during the course of duties in a place of business; people sometimes use handles on MURS when conducting personal communications
CTCSS/DCS: allowed

See also:
Family Radio Service - The RadioReference Wiki
General Mobile Radio Service - The RadioReference Wiki
Multi-Use Radio Service - The RadioReference Wiki

There.

Last edited by Darth_vader; 09-28-2013 at 5:59 PM.. Reason: links; clarification; CTCSS/DCS
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Old 09-28-2013, 6:01 PM
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Default Not a Joke

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.
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Old 09-28-2013, 6:14 PM
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No need to get snarky. You WERE kinda vague.
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Old 09-28-2013, 7:42 PM
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If you are on FRS, no license required. You got 16 channels with plenty of tones, so no need to go on the GMRS channels. Mobile rigs on FRS are not allowed unless you tune it down to less than 1 watt.
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Old 09-28-2013, 7:56 PM
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Um.... mobile rigs aren't allowed on FRS, period.
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Old 09-28-2013, 8:30 PM
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Default What is the law regarding FRS/GMRS transmit power

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.
There is a very clear answer. Without a GMRS license you must follow the FRS regs which include operating on the lower power setting.
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Old 09-28-2013, 8:58 PM
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The answer is fairly simple and you as the operator are in control of what rules apply. If you operate under the GMRS rules (using those frequencies, power limits, using GMRS certified radio, operating under your GMRS license - IDing as necessary etc.) the GMRS rules apply. If you operate under the FRS rules (no license, using the FRS frequencies, power limits, using FRS certified radio, etc.) then the FRS rules apply.

Since there's an overlap of the two types of services, the applicable rules follow how you operate. If you operate totally within the FRS rule set (limited power, FRS certified radios, etc.) you can operate under the FRS rule set (but you can also operate under the GMRS rule set if desired). If you operate using anything that's outside of the FRS rules (but within the GMRS rules) you must operate under the GMRS rule set. For example, if you use one of the bubble-pack FRS radios and don't use your ID, you can operate under the FRS rules, even if you have a valid GMRS license. If your radio transmits with more power than FRS allows, but at or below what GMRS allows, you must then operate under your GMRS license and ID as appropriate.
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Old 09-28-2013, 9:36 PM
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"If you are on FRS, no licence required. You have 16 channels with plenty of tones"

14 channels, not 16.
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:06 PM
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If you just use the top 7 Interstitial GMRS channels at a home station, are you considered a small GMRS station restricted to 15 watts erp or can you use up to 50 watts and if so, what are the antenna restrictions. The small station limits you to a 20' antenna or 20' above a tree, but not your home.

I hate the way the rules are written. Others have said you can use only the top 7 channels mobile, so I'm confused. Searches of the FCC data base have not come up with much. Can you give me specific rules to look at so I know what is and is not legal.

I only care about programming the top 7 channels and using a couple repeaters that are a part of them, The other channels would not be programmed into the radio at all and it's a legal Kenwood radio that puts out 25 watts and yes, I have a GMRS license. Is the 50 watts what the radio puts out or ERP from your antenna so that you have to take gain of the antenna into account.

Thanks, John
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Old 09-28-2013, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcato16 View Post
Um.... mobile rigs aren't allowed on FRS, period.
Check out this thread. http://forums.radioreference.com/gmr...ml#post1842538
It met the regs by having the transceiver in the mag mount with the antenna.
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Last edited by davedaver1; 09-28-2013 at 10:26 PM..
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davedaver1 View Post
Check out this thread. http://forums.radioreference.com/gmr...ml#post1842538
It met the regs by having the transceiver in the mag mount with the antenna.
Yes, that would be the one exception. I don't think that is what he had in mind since he mentioned reducing power in a mobile.
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Old 09-28-2013, 11:46 PM
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Huh. Interesting concept; never seen one of those units before.

I do recall seeing some sort of under-dash mobile FRS rig at R$ some ages ago, like a CB radio but probably with the microphone and aerial hard-wired to it. Think that might have been around the late-'90s, around the time they (and Moto) really started agressively pushing FRS. Might have just been a GMRS unit.
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Old 09-29-2013, 1:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth_vader View Post
Huh. Interesting concept; never seen one of those units before.

I do recall seeing some sort of under-dash mobile FRS rig at R$ some ages ago, like a CB radio but probably with the microphone and aerial hard-wired to it. Think that might have been around the late-'90s, around the time they (and Moto) really started agressively pushing FRS. Might have just been a GMRS unit.
I remember those and they were strictly FRS units and they looked funny with a integrated antenna and all controls in the hand mic.
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Old 09-29-2013, 1:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcato16 View Post
No need to get snarky. You WERE kinda vague.
Looks like he just asked a question to me and others were thinking it was a joke,are you a GMRS user BTW?
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Old 09-29-2013, 8:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spd640 View Post
Looks like he just asked a question to me and others were thinking it was a joke,are you a GMRS user BTW?
No, I'm not a GMRS user, BTW. Does that mean I shouldn't post here?
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Old 09-29-2013, 8:55 AM
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A "legal" FRS radio cannot operate at GMRS power levels, so that part of the question is moot.

A FRS user operating on the "shared" channels should also be aware that GMRS stations might cause interference because they (a) operate at higher power levels and (b) might not hear the FRS stations.
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Old 09-29-2013, 9:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dksac2 View Post
If you just use the top 7 Interstitial GMRS channels at a home station, are you considered a small GMRS station restricted to 15 watts erp or can you use up to 50 watts and if so, what are the antenna restrictions. The small station limits you to a 20' antenna or 20' above a tree, but not your home.

I hate the way the rules are written. Others have said you can use only the top 7 channels mobile, so I'm confused. Searches of the FCC data base have not come up with much. Can you give me specific rules to look at so I know what is and is not legal.

I only care about programming the top 7 channels and using a couple repeaters that are a part of them, The other channels would not be programmed into the radio at all and it's a legal Kenwood radio that puts out 25 watts and yes, I have a GMRS license. Is the 50 watts what the radio puts out or ERP from your antenna so that you have to take gain of the antenna into account.

Thanks, John
This question is for GMRS use only, the radio would only be programed with the top 7 GMRS channels. Is 5, 15 or 50 watts the legal limit? It's all too vague to me. The radio would have no FRS channels programed into it.

John
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Old 09-29-2013, 7:44 PM
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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.
Welcome to the FCC Please try to keep your hear on as we spin you around with rules that overlay with other rules.

I thought you had a valid and honest question. But to be truthful, there are no regulations (to my limited knowledge) regarding FRS and GMRS channel overlay.
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