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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 06-28-2017, 10:27 PM
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Default Do FRS Radios Have PL Options For Each Channel?

Now that the kids are out of school, I hear them more often on the FRS channels, especially Ch 1. However, I also noticed a PL was used (PL 67.0). I never recalled or noticed PL being used on these radios. Is this a new feature? Do FRS radios now give the user an option to use/change PL, or are different radios randomly built in with different PLs for each frequency/channel?
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by N2ZGE View Post
Now that the kids are out of school, I hear them more often on the FRS channels, especially Ch 1. However, I also noticed a PL was used (PL 67.0). I never recalled or noticed PL being used on these radios. Is this a new feature? Do FRS radios now give the user an option to use/change PL, or are different radios randomly built in with different PLs for each frequency/channel?
Its been out for years. You can change the pl/dpl on the bubble pack radios to personal radios. Most people just use 67.0 I use the same pl as the public safety uses where I lived at.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:44 PM
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Most current manufacture FRS radios with 14 channels, or FRS/GMRS hybrid radios with 22 channels, will allow you to select the tone you want to use on any given channel.
If the radio has more than 22 channels, those extra channels will have a tone permanently set to the frequency.
Different manufacturers may have different frequency/tone combinations from channel 23 on up, so different radios from different manufacturers may not be compatible with each other, when used on a channel above channel 22.
You should be able to find lists online that show the various manufacturers combinations.

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Old 06-28-2017, 10:52 PM
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Thanks. It makes sense to avoid interference. I guess 67.0 is the default PL for each channel unless they choose to change it.
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Old 06-28-2017, 11:57 PM
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The manufacturers love PL and DPL tones because they like to refer to them as "Privacy Codes" (yes, we know they do nothing for privacy), and the general public eats that stuff up.

Pretty much as long as FRS has been around, they've had PL/DPL tones. That was one of the big benefits of going from an AM modulated CB radio to an FM modulated FRS radio. Being able to filter out the stuff you don't want to listen to. Originally there were some of the very low end models that didn't have PL/DPL tones, just carrier squelch only. Not common to see that as an option on a new radio now.

As for default PL tones, it can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer. Some of the first Radio Shack brand GMRS radios used a default PL of 100.0Hz. Most of them do seem to use 67.0 as the default.
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Old 06-29-2017, 12:01 AM
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Yes. Years ago I bought a bunch of Uniden bubble pack radios.
They were on clearance and i got them for like $5 each. The
radios I have call them "Sub Channels" with a smaller number
appearing next to the channel number. So, you can be talking
on Channel 1 Sub channel 15 (just an example ) I never tested
these with my other radios since it wasn't very important to know
about FRS.
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Old 06-29-2017, 7:27 AM
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I think it is funny how they word things for the general consumer. Sub channels and privacy....leading them to think they are buying encrypted radios.

Someone earlier mentioned Radio Shack FRS radios. Do they actually still make radios? I thought radio shack went totally bankrupt.
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Old 06-29-2017, 8:43 AM
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Default FRS PL

67.0 is the default because it is the first one in the list and most people are too lazy or don't read how to change it.
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Old 06-29-2017, 8:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N2ZGE View Post
I think it is funny how they word things for the general consumer. Sub channels and privacy....leading them to think they are buying encrypted radios.

Someone earlier mentioned Radio Shack FRS radios. Do they actually still make radios? I thought radio shack went totally bankrupt.
Somebody else would have made them...Radio Shack only ever made a very few things, they contracted their products out to existing manufacturers. And I doubt that any are being made now. Some may turn up in various forms of liquidation.

I've educated a few people who thought that the sub-channels actually gave some measure of privacy by showing them that a scanner or other radio with no PL/DPL entered will hear their "encrypted" FRS radios just fine...it always results in some raised eyebrows. The level of ignorance the general public has about radios is incredible...but if you think about it, they have no reason to know. So the manufacturers take advantage of this. Same deal with the "40+ mile range" claims. Sure, under absolutely ideal conditions, you can push a readable signal that far with half a watt through a really crappy antenna...in the real world, it's going to be far less.
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Old 06-29-2017, 9:08 AM
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Exactly, turn on the radio and it's Ch.01 and Tone 01 aka 1-1 in many radios.
Why change channels, waste time programming when it works
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67.0 is the default because it is the first one in the list and most people are too lazy or don't read how to change it.
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Old 06-29-2017, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DJ11DLN View Post
Somebody else would have made them...Radio Shack only ever made a very few things, they contracted their products out to existing manufacturers. And I doubt that any are being made now. Some may turn up in various forms of liquidation.
There were probably a dozen or so FRS radios made at TRS-China factory (RadioShack's house factory). I developed all of them.

Actually, I developed probably the first 5 or 6 products in the category at all (all RS branded but only 1 or two of those first/second generation models were made by RadioShack's factory). The first ever FRS radio was a re-purposed Motorola business-band radio. $179.99 got you one radio that had one channel at .5W. Now you can get 2 radios, 22 channels, 244 PL, submersible for $99.

The last FRS made by RS was probably around 2003.
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Old 06-29-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
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There were probably a dozen or so FRS radios made at TRS-China factory (RadioShack's house factory). I developed all of them.

Actually, I developed probably the first 5 or 6 products in the category at all (all RS branded but only 1 or two of those first/second generation models were made by RadioShack's factory). The first ever FRS radio was a re-purposed Motorola business-band radio. $179.99 got you one radio that had one channel at .5W. Now you can get 2 radios, 22 channels, 244 PL, submersible for $99.

The last FRS made by RS was probably around 2003.
I did not know that. The old bald-headed fellow who worked at the local RS from "when" until he retired in disgust in the early 2000's once told me that they were just a house brand, and outsourced everything. Well, he was very knowledgeable with electronics, I guess I can't expect him to have known all about the business end too!
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Old 06-29-2017, 1:32 PM
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RS's factory made some FRS, corded phones, answering machines, primarily, but a smattering of other products over the years. RS-branded FRS were also made by Headline-CN and Tekcom-TW during that era. I don't think either of those companies exist, now (or at least not under those names).
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Old 06-29-2017, 2:22 PM
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At one time, Radio Shack had a really nice GMRS only portable radio with their name on it. I think my brother still has one.
I don't recall the specifics, but it was a well built, well designed radio.

I'll have to see if he still has it somewhere.
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Old 06-29-2017, 5:07 PM
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Check this link out. It shows what the PL corresponds to the sub channel on the FRS radio. Typically, the big number tell you which channel (FRS / GMRS Channel you use) and the small number will correspond to a PL / DPL.

FRS radio privacy tone list | henryranch.net
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