GMRS In Phoenix

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WatnNY

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I know there is a GMRS section, but this is more of an area specific question, so I'm posting here. I was wondering if it's worth getting a GMRS license for the Phoenix area. I see there's 4 repeaters in the area - Is it worth spending the $85 for the license, and the money to install a mobile in the vehicle?

Mike
 

Kars10az

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I guess knowing what you're intended use will be, and what area of coverage you need. I'm not familiar with where the repeaters are, but I'm sure a little research will give an idea of what kind of coverage they provide.
 

KB7MIB

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The GMRS isn't really intended for random chit-chat with people you don't know, like Ham radio is. It's more for communicating with family who can operate under your license; with friends/coworkers that you have a need to communicate with; or for getting travelers assistance, especially when you're visiting an area you're not familiar with.
There may be GMRS repeaters where random chit-chat occurs, and is okay with the owners of the repeater(s), but that's the exception, not the standard practice.

Although I'm licensed, (WPXJ598) I'm not active. No one in my family has much interest in radio, and my radios (Icom IC U16 and Maxon GMRS 210+3) are currently not working.
 

WatnNY

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Thanks KB7MIB, I will save my money then. It isn't like there's enough ham repeaters in the greater metro area to use to talk to people.

Mike
 

KB7MIB

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If you have family or friends you'd like to be able to keep in touch with, as a backup to cell phones, and they're not inclined to study for a Ham license, then I'd say apply for a GMRS license. But if you're just looking for random people to talk to, then Ham radio (or even CB radio or the MURS) would be the better choice.
Having access to several different services, each with their pros and cons, in my opinion, is a good thing. Amateur, CB, 49MHz, MURS, FRS, GMRS, TriSquare eXRS, Motorola DTR are all radios/radio services that I have or want to have access to.
I have a handheld CB and a pair of 5 channel 49 MHz handhelds from Radio Shack, a Dakota Alert MURS handheld, a pair of GE FRS handhelds, and a pair of TriSquare handhelds, in addition to the GMRS radios mentioned earlier, and an Icom W32A dual-band HT, a Standard (Yaesu-Vertex) C558A dual-band HT (that needs repair), and a Kenwood TM-D700A mobile (that is not currently installed in a vehicle or at home). I'd like a pair of the Motorola DTR radios, and Icom has a new wifi radio system out, although I'm not sure if it's available in the US yet. (There's a thread or two about them elsewhere in the forums.)
Having multiple options, to me, is a good thing, even if I'm not all that active on the air :)
 

KB0VWG

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Listen in

If you have a scanner program the Gmrs freqs in and listen for a while, that might give you an idea if there is enough chit chat to listen too.
I got my gmrs to chat with other friends on gmrs and the one gmrs repeater that I do use provides better coverage that some of the ham repeaters done here.
kb0vwg
wqoi992
 

KB7MIB

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There are a couple of repeaters in the Phoenix Valley, but there isn't much activity on them.
 

2wayfreq

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I don't think $85.00 for just 5 years is worth it. 10 years...Maybe. I heard they might be dropping the license requirement in the future anyway and make it free like FRS. Maybe just repeater use would be licensed.
 

KB7MIB

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The FCC has been sitting on that for a few years now. I'm not holding my breath waiting for them to do something one way or the other with it. There's a thread or two in the GMRS section of the forums about it.
I would like to see the license term be extended up to 10 years, then the $85 cost would be even less over the term than it is now.
I would like to see the end of bubblepack hybrid FRS/GMRS radios being certified. Not the FRS-only ones, just the dual service ones. They are the reason there's so many unlicensed users on the GMRS channels.
The manufacturers also need to introduce more commercial grade quality Part 95 certified GMRS-specific radios, especially mobile radios. (I have specific wish lists for GMRS and MURS specific handheld and mobile radios.) They would need to be at a price point higher than the cheap bubblepacks to help keep the average consumer from just buying them up after the bubblepacks are gone.
And they need to quit with the inflated marketing hype about range and private channels and whatever else, and just be honest about the capabilities.
 
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