• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

GMRS and Organizations

Status
Not open for further replies.

samster96

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
10
Hello all,

I have a couple of questions regarding GMRS, GMRS Repeaters, Licensing, and people using those repeaters.

A bit of background first: I am looking to set up a radio system for my boy scout camp. We are a small, exactly 1 square mile area of land with only trees and maybe a building or two as obstacles, no mountains or hills.

I would like a system that would give us complete and even coverage of the area, and be able to get that system set up for $1000 or less.

Originally, I had tested some HT radios on MURS, and the worked Ok (a little static and breaking up here and there,) but I am currently looking to do better. I have been researching GMRS and repeater setups, and I think that would be the way to go. However, licensing I think is the biggest obstacle right now.

According to the FCC website, the licenses are only granted to "individuals" and that the license only extends to the licensee's immediate family members. I have been seeing some people saying online that if you have a repeater set up, than "guests" can use the repeater seemingly without a license, as long as they are on some sort of written "approved" list.

Another thing that I have seen is corporations and organizations with GMRS licenses, such as Delta Airlines, The Salvation Army, and even the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

My questions are: Is setting up a GMRS repeater and getting the proper licensing possible for us as a non-profit "organization"? Would a limited amount of unlicensed people be able to talk on a licensed repeater if it was set up by a licensed individual? If not, would any of anyone be able to suggest a different service that would give us the coverage that we need, at a reasonable price point?

Thanks in advance for any information.
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,201
Location
Maryland Shore
You should be able to cover the area you describe without a repeater. Regarding GMRS, I would advise against it. The licenses that you see for organizations predate the individual only licensing rules. Also, please note that you will not get a properly engineered repeater on the air for $1000 or less. A quality duplexer (new) runs about $1,400.

MURS is honestly your best bet. Otherwise you will want to consult a local radio shop to engineer a solution for you.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

kb2dem

Member
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
0
Location
Parlin NJ
There's no reason you couldn't find a complete repeater for under a 1000 on the used market. There’s Motorola GR300 and 500’s for under $500. There's no reason to by new unless you’re in public safety and need the constant support. Licensing is the other issue. You would probably be better off with a business license. Except there's cost there, I believe around $210 in FCC fees and $300 or so in frequency coordination fees. I did it myself with out paying a radio dealer to go through the process. I see on the FCC uls site these are a number of BSA troops with a business license. Look into it, maybe being a non profit organization the fees would be different.

Warren
 

samster96

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
10
There's no reason you couldn't find a complete repeater for under a 1000 on the used market. There’s Motorola GR300 and 500’s for under $500. There's no reason to by new unless you’re in public safety and need the constant support. Licensing is the other issue. You would probably be better off with a business license. Except there's cost there, I believe around $210 in FCC fees and $300 or so in frequency coordination fees. I did it myself with out paying a radio dealer to go through the process. I see on the FCC uls site these are a number of BSA troops with a business license. Look into it, maybe being a non profit organization the fees would be different.

Warren
Yes, I was definitely going to go used and was looking into the Motorola GR series, along with one of those $100 UHF duplexers from eBay along with a controller module. That along with about a dozen Baofeng BF-888's I was thinking was going to get us up and running pretty good.

I have been to other camps and seen them with what looked like Motorola Radius HTs, and this is with a much bigger camp and varying terrain, so I assume they have a licence or repeater setup of some sort. Of course, they also probably have a much bigger budget than us.

What frequency spectrum is the "Business Band" in? I would guess a cheap Baofeng BF-888 UHF HT would be able to operate on it.
 

KD8DVR

Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2004
Messages
1,126
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Hello all,

I have a couple of questions regarding GMRS, GMRS Repeaters, Licensing, and people using those repeaters.


According to the FCC website, the licenses are only granted to "individuals" and that the license only extends to the licensee's immediate family members. I have been seeing some people saying online that if you have a repeater set up, than "guests" can use the repeater seemingly without a license, as long as they are on some sort of written "approved" list.


Thanks in advance for any information.
EVERYONE who uses a repeater requires a license. "Guests" still have to have a license. No organization can be licensed on GMRS. Rules do grandfather in Organizations that were previously allowed to get licensed, but no new licenses can be issued anyone but individuals.
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,201
Location
Maryland Shore
The questions you pose are the reasons I recommended using a competent shop. I in no way mean any offense in this but if you are asking these questions you are not in a position to try to do any of this (other than using COTS MURS radios) yourself. While there is no reason you couldn't use used equipment, issues such as licensing (coordination), programming and duplexer tuning are still going to require you to enlist a competent shop.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

gewecke

Completely Banned for the Greater Good
Banned
Joined
Jan 29, 2006
Messages
7,440
Location
Illinois
MURS radios will cover 1 square mile easily. No need for a GMRS repeater, or the licensing issues you're faced with. ;)

73,
n9zas
 

Logan005

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
117
Location
fort lauderdale
I purchased a used Phelps Dodge duplexer off E-bay for around 250.00 and another 85 for tuning. you can get a Mobile duplexer for less, but it will cost you on performance. make sure you get a duplexer with "Type N" connectors not BNC. There are many inexpensive older repeaters out there. There are also homebrew repeaters made of 2 radios and a jumper cable. Make sure you do not skimps on feed line. I recommend LMR400 or better. I am using LMR600 now with a Comet CA-712EFC at 55'. I am getting 12.4 miles of coverage distance from the repeater. Hand held Effective range is around 10 miles. Yes it can be done for a budget of 1000.00 but you will have to make careful and informed equipment decisions. If you make mistake purchase, just turn around and list on CraigsList or e-bay and get as much of your money back as possible. Again this is far more coverage than is needed for a 1sq mile plot of land. but your needs and desires may change in the future. Best of Luck, Keep us posted. Best Regards, Jim...
 

Logan005

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
117
Location
fort lauderdale
Also GMRS requires each family to have a License, there is no ORG. License. If you have 12 kids from 12 different family's on your Plot. They would each need an $85.00 license. There is no legal way around this.
 

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,319
Location
The land of broken calculators.
First on the subject of

LICENSING

For business and philanthropic use, you should get licensed for the business pool (part 90).

Why?
Because
1.) It's the radio service you're supposed to use.
2.) The licenses are cheaper over a 10 year period than GMRS
3.) You don't have to worry about the GMRS police barging in and expecting a conversation and wanting to know what you're talking about and trying to get on your repeater.
4.) Technically all unrelated persons would have to get a GMRS license

On the subject of
REPEATERS
Buying the repeater is the cheap part.
It's all the stuff that makes the repeater work that gets expensive. Duplexer, coax, antenna, power supply, cooling, housing the repeater assuming this is not going in some office. $1000 may be doable if you're like Logan above and source all of your parts on the second hand market and really know what you're doing.

My recommedations

  • Try VHF *
  • Try 5 watts*
  • If you still have a little static and that bothers you, go digital.*
  • Forget about the repeater.
  • Set up a base station and use mobile radios if necessary.
  • Get licensed

* Many radio dealers rent radios or offer demos so that you can try before you buy. Take advantage of this.
 
Last edited:

Logan005

Member
Joined
May 9, 2013
Messages
117
Location
fort lauderdale
If this is for an ORG. You may find it easier and much less expensive to just, push the members to study and get Ham lic. If it's Boy Scouts, don't they already have a "Patch" for Amateur radio? If you guys are preppers, Make an hour of your regular meetings, "Subjects" like basic electricity, Antenna building, Proper operating procedure and so on. Study together. Eventually a few members will get Licensed and they will carry their radios during outings and will attract others to study and also get their License and radio. An amateur repeater can be UHF and or VHF and offer other goodies to learn and understand. including remote control, linking repeaters and telco links.,
 

baltimorecs

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
140
Location
Baltimore, MD
How many times will you need to use this? You can pay $60 and get an STA (temporary license) from the FCC for up to 6 months. So if you only camp in the summer, for example, you would only be out $60 per year for the license for everybody. No frequency coordination is required but you use the license on a secondary non-interference basis (i.e. if someone else is licensed on one of the frequencies you cannot use it with the STA.) But if you are in a remote area you shouldn't have an issue. You can license a handful of frequencies on a single STA and use the RR databases for your county to see what frequencies are open.

By the way, my last repeater I bought was a Motorola GR-1225, and total including cabling, 30 ft mast, and two antennas (I don't use it with a duplexer) ran under $800 total.
 

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,319
Location
The land of broken calculators.
How many times will you need to use this? You can pay $60 and get an STA (temporary license) from the FCC for up to 6 months. So if you only camp in the summer, for example, you would only be out $60 per year for the license for everybody. No frequency coordination is required but you use the license on a secondary non-interference basis (i.e. if someone else is licensed on one of the frequencies you cannot use it with the STA.) But if you are in a remote area you shouldn't have an issue. You can license a handful of frequencies on a single STA and use the RR databases for your county to see what frequencies are open.

By the way, my last repeater I bought was a Motorola GR-1225, and total including cabling, 30 ft mast, and two antennas (I don't use it with a duplexer) ran under $800 total.
What's the point of doing that?
$60/year is going to cost a lot more than just getting a license.

For 10 years...
Getting an STA every year : $600
Business band (IG) license : $160
GMRS license : $170

That makes about as much sense as getting a repeater.
 

DisasterGuy

Member
Joined
Aug 24, 2013
Messages
1,201
Location
Maryland Shore
I really need to agree with rapid charger here. Also using a repeater without a duplexer and circulator isn't exactly sound engineering practice for many reasons.

Please understand that many things get suggested on this forum by hobbiests that will "work" but honestly don't meet standards for a professional use. There are professionals and those that design and maintain commercial and public safety systems here all saying there is no need for a repeater and to use MURS or a simplex IG pool license.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

baltimorecs

Member
Joined
Apr 23, 2012
Messages
140
Location
Baltimore, MD
What's the point of doing that?
$60/year is going to cost a lot more than just getting a license.

For 10 years...
Getting an STA every year : $600
Business band (IG) license : $160
GMRS license : $170

That makes about as much sense as getting a repeater.
I based it on the numbers when we were looking into an IG license with a repeater. It was $610 for an FCC license with coordination, application fees, etc. The STA would be a quick way to get up and running legally, work the kinks out of the system, and try out a range of frequencies, as it allows for more than one channel (single frequency or pair). The downside over a long period is indeed the cost, and it is actually $60 for six months, so yes if used year round over ten years it would not be economical at $1,200.
 

rapidcharger

Member
Joined
Jun 13, 2012
Messages
2,319
Location
The land of broken calculators.
Coordination for a low power simplex frequency or two or three isn't that expensive. Not as expensive as trying to get a repeater pair, especially on VHF. And coordination can be bypassed altogether if the OP will accept the limitations of itinerant frequencies, which may actually be quite ideal given the nature of the operations in this case and how the radios may be used at varying locations off campus for varying and unspecified periods of time.

There's about the same amount of itinerant frequencies available in just VHF than there are GMRS frequencies and you can get them all on one license. And while they're at it, they might as well apply for all of the UHF itinerants too. It doesn't cost a penny more.
 

MeddleMan

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
236
Location
Athens,GA
just curious

Are the comms only for councilors or are the scouts included? At that, there is a Merritt badge for ham radio. GOTA is a big event for scouts. Make it a learning experience.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2004
Messages
1,217
Location
Tulsa
Looking at the FCC database and searching on "Boy Scouts" shows quite a number of licenses, almost all are from the IG frequency pool and issued in the name of local Councils. You should check your Council, perhaps they can assist you with getting licensed. No need to re-invent the wheel.
 

samster96

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 21, 2012
Messages
10
Are the comms only for councilors or are the scouts included? At that, there is a Merritt badge for ham radio. GOTA is a big event for scouts. Make it a learning experience.
No, The radios are for the Staff only.

I know the ideal option would be to get everyone certified with HAM and then operate on VHF simplex at about 5 watts, but I know that won't happen as the people using the radios will vary from weekend to weekend to summer camp.

I've been looking into this business band thing, and it looks like a viable option. I am still trying to figure out how the actual frequencies are chosen / which band they are in. The price seems reasonable too. If its something that I can lock a Baofeng radio down to and push 5 watts or more, that may be how we go.

Another question I have about the business band: Is it an umbrella licence? The FCC fee schedule has the applications listed as "per call sign." I can't imagine that most Boy Scout Councils / small businesses spend that kind of money for each person who has a radio?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top