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Gmrs

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Pmc

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So I’m looking into getting a gmrs radio but have a few ? What’s the distance I would get with one and there’s a repeater here that reaches my area and the area I’m wanting to talk to is that gunna help with distance where about 40 to 50 miles away
 

mmckenna

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So I’m looking into getting a gmrs radio but have a few ? What’s the distance I would get with one and there’s a repeater here that reaches my area and the area I’m wanting to talk to is that gunna help with distance where about 40 to 50 miles away

Distance is variable. Depends on antenna height, local terrain, receiver sensitivity, band conditions, etc. Also, since it usually comes up, increasing transmitter power output does not equal a 1:1 increase in range. In other words, doubling transmitter power does NOT double range.

Since UHF tends to work by line of sight, you need your antenna up as high as you can safely get it if you want to increase range.

Repeaters, depending on their location, will give you quite a bit of range. Without knowing the exact system, it would be impossible to tell you how far it would reach. However, if it is up high enough, the "line of sight" thing works.

Keep in mind, however, that repeaters are privately owned and maintained. While many are open to all licensed user, many are not. It is strongly recommended to talk to the repeater owner and get permission before using it.
 

Pmc

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I’m on a mountain and the repeater is on a slightly higher mountain then it goes down hill to basically where I would want to talk.
 

mmckenna

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Any more information I should know about gmrs that you can enlighten me on


Yeah,
As I'm sure you know, using GMRS requires an FCC licenses. It can get confusing, because the FRS radio services uses many of the same frequencies. FRS requires 2 watts or less on most channels (0.5 watts or less on others) and non-removable antennas.
That really limits what you can do.
With a valid FCC issued GMRS license you can run 50 watts on the primary GMRS channels and repeater inputs, and 5 watts on the shared FRS channels. GMRS also allows external antennas.

To get the most range from GMRS, you'll need decent commercial quality radios. You won't get good performance out of the consumer grade junk.
Adding a good external antenna on your home and car will make big difference with performance.

I let my GMRS license expire many years ago, but back before others in my family got their amateur licenses, we used GMRS heavily. We had access to a high level repeater that gave us a lot of coverage.
Using simplex (direct radio to radio) in our vehicles, it was not uncommon to get 15 miles of range between them. Using the repeater, I once talked to my dad about 120 miles away.

Good antennas and radios make a big difference in performance. Before spending money on getting your FCC license, have a realistic discussion with yourself about what you -real- budget is. If you are looking at buying a couple of $30 radios, don't waste your time. If you are ready to invest in some real commercial quality UHF mobile and portable radios, then you are on the right track.
 

mmckenna

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How do u use the repeater

Well, first you talk to the repeater owner.
He/she will give you permission and the information you'll need to access it.
That information will consist of an input frequency (467.###MHz) and output frequency (almost always 5MHz below the input frequency, so 462.###). They will also give you the squelch codes that will need to be transmitted with the input frequency. That'll either be a CTCSS/PL tone frequency, or a DCS/DPL code.

Once you have that, you program your radios to match.

FCC rules say that you have to give your call sign every 15 minutes, or at the end of each conversation over the radio. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (eCFR)
 
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