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

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 11-10-2017, 8:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bill4long View Post
GMRS radios may use narrow band (11K0F3E). They just cannot use digital. (Which is stupid.) Only analog allowed. At any rate, there is a stockpile of decommissioned 16K0F3E commercial radios due to narrowbanding for those who wish to use 16K0F3E. Like the plague.


95.633(2) Lesser emission bandwidths may be employed, provided that the unwanted emissions are attenuated as provided in 95.635. See 95.628(g) and 95.639(f) regarding maximum transmitter power and measurement procedures.
My "issue" with narrow banding GMRS is that

1) Its not required. (yet it is kind of being forced by the cheap consumer offerings flooding the market)
2) It accomplishes little, FRS was engineered to fall into the interstitial channels with minimal effect.
3) It reduces system performance, GMRS is supposed to be a high performance service. (Yes digital could recapture this)
4) There will be a mish mash of low talkers and loud talkers on the repeater channel.

Some of us tried to persuade FCC to permit DMR in GMRS on a secondary basis, but the FCC wasn't ready for it. There are some pros and cons. In my opinion DMR is wonderful. But also analog FM is dirt simple.
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Last edited by RFI-EMI-GUY; 11-10-2017 at 8:51 PM..
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:27 AM
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GMRS is not intended for the technically inclined who want fancy performance. It is supposed to be an inexpensive way for families and other small groups to communicate over distances.

If you want techie communications, get a ham license and use whatever mode you want to.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:41 AM
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One thing...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
GMRS is not intended for the technically inclined who want fancy performance.
... has nothing to do with the other...

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Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
It is supposed to be an inexpensive way for families and other small groups to communicate over distances.
Moreover...

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If you want techie communications, get a ham license and use whatever mode you want to.
I have and I do. Irrelevant to the above.

Techies are the ones who put repeaters up for GMRS. The issue at hand here is the reasonable availabilty of radios with regard to repeaters and repeater capable radios. It's very difficult to do on cheap with the current regulation. There is no good reason to disallow Part 90 certified radios from be used. Plus they are used anyway. Like the plague.

Last edited by bill4long; 11-11-2017 at 10:54 AM..
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Old 11-11-2017, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
GMRS is not intended for the technically inclined who want fancy performance. It is supposed to be an inexpensive way for families and other small groups to communicate over distances.

If you want techie communications, get a ham license and use whatever mode you want to.
Actually FRS is the "inexpensive service" for families and small groups The GMRS service has always been a licensed service for "fancy (high) performance", by individuals and families and groups of individuals and families. My proposal only seeks to restore the availability of radios that can take full advantage of the GMRS performance parameters historically offered by the rules.

These include:

Repeaters,
Wide band 16K0F3E modulation (+/- 5 KHz),
And;
up to 50 W power output.

The numbers of new model radios offering these capabilities has become almost zero. Instead, the vendors are offering watered down performance that is based on inexpensive FRS RF components.

GMRS users in rural areas can benefit from the increased range of a wide band radio and repeater. Users in urban areas can benefit from the improved receiver IM and selectivity specifications that commercial and public safety grade radios offer.

GMRS has never been a band intended for experimentation, unlike Part 97 (amateur radio), GMRS relies entirely on off the shelf , type certified, equipment.


And yes, many users happen to be technically inclined and see value with using the best available equipment, installed using best practices. However, their family members might not likewise be so inclined to obtain an amateur license, thus GMRS is best suited for their families.

Thanks

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Old 11-11-2017, 2:47 PM
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While I completely agree with the certs and how they really don't make sense spec wise, I don't see it happening anytime soon. It would open up a can of worms if the FCC made part 90 radios legal on GMRS.

First, they would either need to keep the integrity of part 95 and the certifications that go along with it, or just get rid of it all together, as far as equipment certifications. It's a completely different radio service than LMR.

Secondly, with the newer part 90 equipment only available in narrowband analog FM, it would make sense for the FCC to eventually require narrowband only operation on GMRS if this was going to be the case. Legacy equipment is only going to be around for so long. You would have a legal hodgepodge of wideband, narrowband equipment running (although would work but not optimal) and all kinds of digital modes available on radios and repeaters that would be available to the end user, though not permitted.

It's a good idea, but it does come with a host of problems.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:41 AM
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My comments about "techie communications" were mainly directed at the comments about adding digital modes. GMRS has a very limited pool of frequencies and adding incompatible modes is not practical. The FCC has been allergic to "standards" for some time, so let's not mess with one of the few services that has one.
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Old 11-12-2017, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 12dbsinad View Post
While I completely agree with the certs and how they really don't make sense spec wise, I don't see it happening anytime soon. It would open up a can of worms if the FCC made part 90 radios legal on GMRS.

First, they would either need to keep the integrity of part 95 and the certifications that go along with it, or just get rid of it all together, as far as equipment certifications. It's a completely different radio service than LMR.

Secondly, with the newer part 90 equipment only available in narrowband analog FM, it would make sense for the FCC to eventually require narrowband only operation on GMRS if this was going to be the case. Legacy equipment is only going to be around for so long. You would have a legal hodgepodge of wideband, narrowband equipment running (although would work but not optimal) and all kinds of digital modes available on radios and repeaters that would be available to the end user, though not permitted.

It's a good idea, but it does come with a host of problems.
Ok, but this proposal only entertains use of Part 90 radios in a manner compliant with Part 95 emissions, deviation, and power level.

Nothing in the proposal will ask for or suggest features (encryption) , modes (digital) that are prohibited by Part 95. Users that might do those things will do so on their own regardless of this NPRM.

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Old 11-12-2017, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveNF2G View Post
My comments about "techie communications" were mainly directed at the comments about adding digital modes. GMRS has a very limited pool of frequencies and adding incompatible modes is not practical. The FCC has been allergic to "standards" for some time, so let's not mess with one of the few services that has one.
Please see my last reply above. No intent in this NPRM to add any incompatible digital modes.

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Old 02-11-2018, 7:33 PM
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Default GMRS: Use of Part 90 radios on Part 95

I can certainly see the need for this --- the only problem with it would be the FCC looking at all the Chinese radios that would "Possibly" qualify under Part 90 that would then be quickly adapted to Part 95.... and the Part 95 control freaks that hold tight to keeping GMRS closed to their control would certainly fight it tooth and nail.
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Old 02-11-2018, 7:51 PM
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The FCC won't look at the "Chinese radios" - they don't have to look at them. There are published specifications for Part 95 equipment and the manufacturers would have to submit test results demonstrating compliance with those Part 95 specifications. There are many compliance test houses in China, too.

I'm not intending to be argumentative; I'm only trying to explain that the bulk of the effort lies with the manufacturers.
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Old 02-11-2018, 8:18 PM
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Originally Posted by tomharkness View Post
I can certainly see the need for this
Yeah, me too. While I no longer have a GMRS license, I was pretty active many years ago. Find radios that specifically had a Part 95 rating was not horribly difficult, but it did make passing all the perfectly good Part 90 only radios a tad depressing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tomharkness View Post
--- the only problem with it would be the FCC looking at all the Chinese radios that would "Possibly" qualify under Part 90 that would then be quickly adapted to Part 95....
Well, yes, but there's a couple of issues going on:
- FCC lets companies do their own acceptance testing, and it's all based off a "trust" thing. The issue is that some companies will gladly cheat the system if it makes them a quick buck. There have been a few low end Chinese radios that had their FCC certifications cancelled when it was discovered they'd cheated the system.
And I'm sure there are many more that didn't get caught.

- There really isn't a reason that suitable Part 90 radios that meet the specs of Part 95 couldn't be used. It would be impossible for anyone to tell the difference remotely.

- The cheap Chinese radio thing is a recent issue, but this same thing has been going on for years, long before the CCR's got here. People using radios that were out of spec, running way too much power, running high power on FRS, etc. has been happening for a long time.

- The bigger issue, at least from what I've seen, is with amateur radio operators. There's at least two issues I've run across myself:
1. "Modded" amateur radios used on FRS in wide band FM, way too much power, etc.
2. Amateurs who mistakenly assume their license gives them legal access to anything outside the amateur radio bands.

- The cheap Chinese radios are an issue. They've flooded the markets thanks to the likes of Amazon, E-Bay, amateur radio dealers, RacingRadios, etc. All with no mention of license restrictions. But it's not just impacting GMRS. They are all over FRS, MURS, Part 90, etc. I've run into a few of them at work, unfortunately, and getting people to stop using them is difficult. Problem is there are so many of them out there, and so many people that will try to justify their use, that it's impossible to fight.


Quote:
Originally Posted by tomharkness View Post
and the Part 95 control freaks that hold tight to keeping GMRS closed to their control would certainly fight it tooth and nail.
I think you'd find that there are a lot of otherwise perfectly legal GMRS users using Part 90 radios, either through ignorance, misinterpretation of the rules, or just not caring.
Done right, it wouldn't be an issue. Things are going to have to change, anyway. The older GMRS repeaters are running old 25KHz analog repeaters. As those repeaters fail, they'll have a harder and harder time finding good wide band gear.
Things are going to have to change. I just wish the FCC had done it all in one swoop.
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