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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 09-17-2018, 12:16 AM
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Originally Posted by swen_out_west View Post
I am confused by your comment. Are you saying that licensed Hams (with no GMRS license running close to 50 watts ERP) who are illegally using GMRS/FRS and jamming licensed GMRS users, as well as, turning their illegal FRS Simplex repeater on FRS (FAMILY Radio Service) Channel 3 into an all hours Racist White Supremacist (with language that even this 20 year sailor won't use) channel not a big deal.
I think what he's saying is that it's not a big deal to the FCC. Especially the FRS part.

Not saying it's right, but that's the way the FCC tends to operate. FCC has little interest in protecting the public user, although it does occasionally happen. FCC is more interested in money. Since someone doing stupid stuff on FRS isn't impacting large paying customers, public safety users, or someone important, they kind of ignore it.

Your complaint is valid. It's the FCC that's mostly broken.
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Old 09-17-2018, 5:39 PM
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I am confused by your comment. Are you saying that (EDIT- various things that upset the OP are) not a big deal.
I'm sure you are upset by those actions, but unfortunately, 2 complaints regarding a relatively unimportant service such as GMRS are probably not going to move the earth at the FCC. My guess is that they are overworked, underfunded, and like any regulatory agency prioritize complaints - the most important, loudest squeaking wheel gets the grease. If there were 20 or 40 complaints with documented names, audio recording etc. then it might be a different story.

I'm not condoning the described violations, just injecting a little reality into the mix.
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Old 09-17-2018, 6:13 PM
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That's what I thought I just wasn't sure. I agree with you and that is obvious by the open complaints on record.

Thus, one of the reasons why when I see people post about PRS legalities I roll my eyes. It's amazing the people (usually licensed Hams) who come on CB/FRS/GMRS forums threatening to call the FCC on posters, etc, etc. The reality of the situation is that most of the illegal activity (at least around here) on FRS/GMRS is done by licensed Hams.

That's the sad part of the aforementioned licensed Hams, they go on CB harassing CB'rs and saying how the FCC is coming after anybody with an amp (even the small 203's) and then go on FRS and break every rule and take the word Family right out of FRS.

I think I derailed this thread. Bottomline as I have learned from some Hams 'who cares about the GMRS license' and as for the bubble pack radios ruining GMRS, no they haven't. The common person buying a GMRS radio from WalMart doesn't have the equipment or skill set to up the ERP on those radios nor the ability to decode a PL and cause bonafide jamming to licensed GMRS users.

Last edited by swen_out_west; 09-17-2018 at 7:01 PM..
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Old 09-17-2018, 6:23 PM
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I was once explained on another site how breaking even a small FCC rule leads to someone else breaking another and another until you have anarchy. Which is exactly what happened around here. Thus, the reason I am putting up a crossband repeater linking CB, Murs and GMRS/FRS running 100 watts out of a 6db antenna at 75 feet up.

As these hams have stated around here, the FCC does not care and what harm are the illegal repeaters doing, if you don't like what they are saying turn it off. What's good for the goose is good for the gander, IMO. Guarantee you, the day I turn it on the same people will throw a fit.

Last edited by swen_out_west; 09-17-2018 at 6:55 PM..
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Old 09-17-2018, 7:20 PM
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Originally Posted by swen_out_west View Post
(snip) Thus, the reason I am putting up a crossband repeater linking CB, Murs and GMRS/FRS running 100 watts out of a 6db antenna at 75 feet up.

(snip)
I love it, you should call it the Mohave Wormhole. Patch Channel 1 of all those services together!
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Old 09-17-2018, 9:05 PM
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Might as well add 49 MHz to the mix...
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Old 09-17-2018, 9:19 PM
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Might as well add 49 MHz to the mix...
Yeah but I am looking for PRS since they tend to believe that as licensed Hams CB/FRS/GMRS/MURS is open game to them due to the FCC not enforcing.

The stupidity of these guys were evident when a local Hispanic was using 27.5?? to talk to Mexico hams. Since one of them has a CB (for 12 years) with extra channels that he still believes are Ham 10 meter channels. He went crazy and started trying to jam him and I believe filed a complaint with the FCC. I still hear him complaining how the FCC isn't even policing Ham channels around here. Been a Ham for over 10 years and doesn't even know that 10 meters starts at 28 MHz.

Maybe i can set up a go fund me account and just tie everything in together. Get a Zello tied in 'no license' required even if on GMRS and then anybody in the world can come up on it.

Last edited by swen_out_west; 09-17-2018 at 9:32 PM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:43 PM
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We are careful to claim only what can be achieved. Actually, in our last generation we claimed only 37 miles for models that ended up achieving 50 miles in testing.


We are also careful to disclaim that claim with a graphic on the packaging depicting expected range under different situations.
Testing where? In outer space? Testing needs to be done in average, normal operating conditions. Of course, no radios will get sold when someone advertises their radios transmit 3/4 of a mile.
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Old 09-19-2018, 12:48 PM
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From the top of Mt. Scott in Oklahoma looking out toward Texas (actually, into Texas with some models). We are testing for the "Up to" achievable range. This is done in ideal circumstances. There is no industry definition of "average, normal operating conditions."

I actually asked the FCC to accept a standard testing methodology for determining maximum (i.e. "Up to") range so that all mfr's would at least be measuring using the same yardstick. They wouldn't touch it.
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Old 09-19-2018, 4:01 PM
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From the top of Mt. Scott in Oklahoma looking out toward Texas (actually, into Texas with some models). We are testing for the "Up to" achievable range. This is done in ideal circumstances. There is no industry definition of "average, normal operating conditions."

I actually asked the FCC to accept a standard testing methodology for determining maximum (i.e. "Up to") range so that all mfr's would at least be measuring using the same yardstick. They wouldn't touch it.
I am not surprised the FCC walked away from that.

There is no standard range test for radio units, there are way too many variables.

Commercial LMR radios are tested to EIA / TIA603D (or latest version), and the specifications are published. From that one would have the actual power output, the modulation, the receiver sensitivity, the IM, Spurious and adjacent channel rejection etc,.

An educated consumer can then determine if a radio has a decent receiver and meets other specs. One can determine a signal link budget, though portable antenna losses are seldom published (However there is a useful IEEE reference paper listing typical body losses for various portable antennas). One can also make a judgement as to the suitability of a radio to operate in an urban or suburban environment without receiver being blocked.

The ARRL does testing on Ham radios and publishes sort of a heat map of the performance specs from red to green, green being good, and comparing to manufacturers published specs.

A lot of hand held Ham radios rely on the crummy antenna to hide the fact that the IM and front end selectivity are poor. User often complain when connecting a mobile whip or base antenna that reception degrades.

I have considered building a noise power ratio fixture (when I win the lottery) to subject a portable radio and its integral antenna within a TEM cell to a desired signal as well as wide band noise (notched at desired) in order to simulate a controlled "real world environment". This would weed out "low parts count" radios from those that have properly filtered RF and IF stages. The results of the test would be a ratio between desired and undesired signal in dB to attain 12 dB SINAD reference.

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Last edited by RFI-EMI-GUY; 09-19-2018 at 4:06 PM..
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Old 09-19-2018, 5:31 PM
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People just need to start returning the radios and maybe these manufacturers will start waking up. Amazon, Walmart, etc., could care less why they are being returned, and the manufacturers will have to start eating the cost of only being able to sell them as used or refurbished. And when the used/refurbished ones don't work, return those too!!

The average consumer has NO IDEA what the range on these radios should actually be. They are living in a world where you pick up a cell phone or Skype and talk to anyone in the world instantaneously. UPMan and others can try to justify their range claims all they want, but it's simply these companies lying to the consumers to make a sale. Shame on you!

Might as well try setting up some EME rigs with these handhelds so you can be the first company to say you can use your bubble pack radios to talk to your buddies on the moon. Would be a great sales pitch for when we start sending people into space commercially. I can see it now! The New Motorola X1000! Talk to your friends in space! While in reality, you can't talk to your friend a few blocks away.

And really, why stop at 50 miles or even go to mountain tops to test? Using the GMRS side and a good repeater, you can talk a couple hundred miles to the other bubble pack radio. Why not put that on the box?

I just had a co-worker buy a pair of Motorola bubble packs for a camping trip (without consulting me first, unfortunately) at a site with no cell service. 50+ miles! No problem reaching out from the campsite to a hiking trail 6.5 miles out then, he thought. They didn't even work a half mile using full power.

He returned them and will never buy another radio from them (or any of ya'll after I did some explaining) again. They lost a customer and now have to eat the cost of the radios. Sure, if they listed some sort of realistic range, he probably wouldn't have been a customer in the first place, but now they still don't have a customer, and he's completely pissed off at all you radio companies for being bald-faced liars.

To get back on topic, GMRS has become a wasteland. Everybody is running power, using noise toys, roger beeps everywhere, CB-esque handles. Personally, I would not submit any complaints to the FCC at all. They aren't going to enforce anything, and if they see that the band has become a wasteland and enforcement nightmare throughout the country, they're just going to take it away and sell it to Verizon or T-Mobile or the highest bidder. 27 MHz isn't very disirable, but 460 MHz? Eh, you just never know.
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Old 09-19-2018, 5:57 PM
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I hate those Rodger beeps and squawks. We had a bad hurricane last year and beforehand I went on Nextdoor to suggest that folks in my neighborhood should break out their FRS radios an MONITOR channel 1, no tone, in case anyone had an emergency. I even went so far is to suggest that kids play on another channel.

Well as luck would have it the channel was filled with kids playing and Rodger beeps. We did have some folks behind in the woods communicating house to house, but the rodger beeps were intolerable. Mostly the kids speak before hitting the button so you hear nothing but a word or two and beeps.
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Old 09-22-2018, 5:44 PM
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Quote:
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What Uniden and Midland and Motorola (GIANT) did was make cheap 22 channel FRS radios.
IIRC, Motorola's deal with Giant International to manufacture their TalkAbout bubble packs ended a couple of years ago. The Motorola TalkAbout newer T-series models like the T465 are genuine Motorola. My only complaint about them as bubble packs is they are ruined by Motorola's X-Pand audio companding. At full volume they are a struggle to hear even when a received transmission properly compresses the transmit audio. The companding sukcs in general and I wish Moto would get rid of it or make it a user selectable feature. It doesn't matter to me anyway because I only use good commercial gear on GMRS.

GMRS does appear to be getting ruined by the bubble packs. For GMRS to retain it's full potential as a licensed service and remain a licensed service, it is a use it or lose it situation.

For my local on-site simplex type use with family and friends, I abandoned GMRS and use Motorola DTR and DLR series FHSS digital radios and they work excellent. I own a small fleet of DTR and DLR radios. They provide an all-digital solution that's higher quality and more professional than FRS.

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