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GRMS/FRS Questions

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swen_out_west

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Right off the bat I apologize if some of these might be dumb questions. But I am kind of new to actually really using these freqs for the questions I have.

First: If there is a repeater on the shared FRS/GMRS channel ie 462.6125 is it restricted to GRMS licensed users only.

Second (and long winded). This made me think (this is actually multiple questions.

Is there a vehicular mounted radio for GRMS that can actually be used as a repeater and people without a license could share that. Scenario: I get my GRMS license and get a radio set up in my truck that can be used as a repeater. Then when we are out in the desert I can set this up and everyone in the group would share in it's use with me. Basically, me being the umbrella over the whole group using let's say the shared FRS 7/GRMS 15 frequency . Or would everyone have to be licensed?

Just playing with the idea. Not sure yet if I would even want to spend the money to do this.
 
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DaveNF2G

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There can be no repeaters on the FRS channels, per FCC regs.
 

bharvey2

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In GMRS land, the repeaters use two frequencies. The radios receive on 462.XXX mhz and transmit on the corresponding frequency exactly 5mhz higher. (467.XXX mhz) There are no frequency pairs available for FRS frequencies. FRS radios both transmit and receive on the same frequency.

If all of the members of your group are related to you, you can effectively share your license with them and use GMRS frequencies. If not, non family members would each need to obtain a license. I'm not aware of an off-the-shelf mobile GMRS repeater but that doesn't mean one couldn't be built if you had the desire and funds to do so.
 

ecps92

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As already pointed out. No Repeater on the 12.5 Khz channels.
Those are simplex Only.

License ? Yes to have a Repeater on the 25 Khz Channels. You need a License.

As to an on-site Repeater, Go for it, Put the Repeater in the trunk (Just be licensed)

Right off the bat I apologize if some of these might be dumb questions. But I am kind of new to actually really using these freqs for the questions I have.

First: If there is a repeater on the shared FRS/GMRS channel ie 462.6125 is it restricted to GRMS licensed users only.

Second (and long winded). This made me think (this is actually multiple questions.

Is there a vehicular mounted radio for GRMS that can actually be used as a repeater and people without a license could share that. Scenario: I get my GRMS license and get a radio set up in my truck that can be used as a repeater. Then when we are out in the desert I can set this up and everyone in the group would share in it's use with me. Basically, me being the umbrella over the whole group using let's say the shared FRS 7/GRMS 15 frequency . Or would everyone have to be licensed?

Just playing with the idea. Not sure yet if I would even want to spend the money to do this.
 

mmckenna

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As others have stated, GMRS repeaters are only on the 8 GMRS channel pairs, not the FRS or interstitial frequencies.

If the people you are trying to provide coverage for are not part of your immediate family, there isn't any way to do what you want without each of the other families getting their own GMRS license.

Mobile GMRS repeaters are a possibility, but they can be problematic based on the immediate location. Since there are some populated parts of the country that have many, if not all, of the GMRS repeater pairs in use, there is the real risk that you could end up interfering with another repeater. Since your location is close enough to LA, San Diego, etc. this might be a real issue.

But....
Since each family would need their own GMRS license anyway, might as well get them to set up with the right equipment. That would include a mobile radio with an external antenna.
Once you get away from the consumer grade radios, you'll increase your range. Even having a simplex GMRS frequency with a good external antenna will greatly improve range. Trying to use a hand held FRS or FRS/GMRS radio from inside a vehicle is about the worse case scenario for coverage I can think of.

For portable use, getting a UHF radio with an efficient antenna will greatly improve range compared to the consumer units.

So, in reality, you may not actually need a repeater to do what you need.
 

swen_out_west

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So the two repeaters that I keep hearing on the shared frequencies are actually outlaw repeaters. I know they aren't actually repeaters. The are just re-broadcasters,
 

swen_out_west

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Part of the OP was to actually find out who supersedes the use of a shared GRMS/FRS frequency. A while back in another area, I transmitted on one of these channels that had a repeater(simplex only) and was torn into about not having my GRMS license. I informed the guy that it was an actual shared FRS/GRMS frequency and he was all uptight spouting that GRMS licensed users get precedence and to get off their channel.
 

swen_out_west

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nsumer units.

So, in reality, you may not actually need a repeater to do what you need.
It's not really myself that I am looking to extend. Let's say there is a large gathering of a group at Cuddeback Lake. You could theoretically set up a simplex repeater for the outing and everyone that has a cheap frs radio could then be covered by it. Even if it stays at the legal limit of 5w it would connect everyone in the immediate area, it is noting more than a huge dry lake bed. Asking someone to buy a GRMS radio and then a license for a combined cost of $100 would never happen. But for someone to stop at wally world and get a $10 POS radio is.

I think this uptightness about 'You don't have a license and I do' is keeping those shared (key word: shared) channels from being used to their full potential.
 
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ecps92

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IF it was a repeater Frequency, the simplex use is also allowed,

However being a Repeater Frequency, immediately points to it being GMRS and requiring a license.

Part of the OP was to actually find out who supersedes the use of a shared GRMS/FRS frequency. A while back in another area, I transmitted on one of these channels that had a repeater(simplex only) and was torn into about not having my GRMS license. I informed the guy that it was an actual shared FRS/GRMS frequency and he was all uptight spouting that GRMS licensed users get precedence and to get off their channel.
 

ecps92

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Rather than talk of "shared freqencies" be specific, name the frequency, so we know we are all on the same page

There is a big difference between a Repeater and a Recorder that then replays the message back
So the two repeaters that I keep hearing on the shared frequencies are actually outlaw repeaters. I know they aren't actually repeaters. The are just re-broadcasters,
 

SteveC0625

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Part of the OP was to actually find out who supersedes the use of a shared GRMS/FRS frequency. A while back in another area, I transmitted on one of these channels that had a repeater(simplex only) and was torn into about not having my GRMS license. I informed the guy that it was an actual shared FRS/GRMS frequency and he was all uptight spouting that GRMS licensed users get precedence and to get off their channel.
FCC law 47 CFR Part 95a and 95b govern the GMRS and FRS service respectively. GMRS is limited to 5 watts on the 7 interstitial frequencies. FRS is limited to 0.5 watts on all 15 of the FRS frequencies. Frequencies 8 through 15 are for FRS use only.

www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/CFR-2009-title47.../CFR-2009-title47-vol5-part95.pdf

If you'll download a PDF copy of the rules and look them over, the repeated theme is that all users are to cooperate on selection and shared use of frequencies. Users are specifically barred from interfering with one another. There is no mention of precedence of one service over the other on the shared frequencies.

A lot of your questions are answered pretty clearly in Part 95. Since you appear to be seeking a way to legitimately operate a radio system for your group, it would really be to your benefit to have a copy of the rules and become familiar with the applicable parts.

Just an observation here... There's always a price associated with better performing radio systems. You have some options here, depending on the makeup of your group. First, if you have several members of several families, it might be worth it to obtain a GMRS license ($70) for each family. That gives you a wide selection of 4-5 watt portables and 25 to 50 watt mobiles plus repeaters that are readily available on the new and used markets.

However, if your group has very few family members, each person getting a GMRS license is a lot of money when you add it up. In this case, you could spend a few hundred dollars (or more) for a Part 90 FCC station license and then each member would need Part 90 type accepted equipment. That can be pricey, too, but there are a lot of bargains to be had on the used market. I know a lot of the desert racers have their own itinerant frequencies.

Another option, and probably least expensive is for everyone to get their Tech ham license. Yes, there's a bit of studying to be done, but the license fee is pretty minimal and it's good for 10 years unlike the 5 year GMRS license. And the Tech level is outrageously easy to achieve. Ham radios don't require any type acceptance and there are loads of them available in all price ranges, both new and used. For your purposes, 2 meter (VHF) or 70 centimeter (UHF) are probably the best choices. There's less power restrictions although hams are expected to only use enough power to successfully communicate. And the operating rules are a bit more formal. Since you could be sharing the frequencies with other hams, they'll expect you to follow the rules. Overall, the ham choice can be a very good one. Convincing your members to study for and then take the test is the biggest challenge. But with the available online study guides and the smartphone practice test apps, it really is very, very easy.
 

SteveC0625

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It's not really myself that I am looking to extend. Let's say there is a large gathering of a group at Cuddeback Lake. You could theoretically set up a simplex repeater for the outing and everyone that has a cheap frs radio could then be covered by it.

I think this uptightness about 'You don't have a license and I do' is keeping those shared (key word: shared) channels from being used to their full potential.
Frankly, the store and forward repeaters become very, very annoying very quickly. Every transmission is repeated and while it is being repeated, no one else can use the channel. It's great for things like tone activated dispatch systems where only the initial dispatch is repeated, but otherwise: ANNOYING.

Repeaters of any type are not allowed on the 7 interstitial FRS/GMRS frequencies. And, bluntly, it is a waste money to buy an expensive repeater to be used at 0.5 watts. If you're going to dump several hundred dollars or more into a mobile repeater, get some kind of license, and use 25 or 50 watts in your car or truck. And, maybe invest in a portable antenna system while you're at it. Get that antenna 15 feet in the air (or higher), and a low power repeater in the desert will perform magnificently. You'll get some real decent coverage with the users on 5 watt portables, even with stubby antennas.
 

swen_out_west

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FCC law 47 CFR Part 95a and 95b govern the GMRS and FRS service respectively. GMRS is limited to 5 watts on the 7 interstitial frequencies. FRS is limited to 0.5 watts on all 15 of the FRS frequencies. Frequencies 8 through 15 are for FRS use only.
Another option, and probably least expensive is for everyone to get their Tech ham license. Yes, there's a bit of studying to be done, but the license fee is pretty minimal and it's good for 10 years unlike the 5 year GMRS license. And the Tech level is outrageously easy to achieve. Ham radios don't require any type acceptance and there are loads of them available in all price ranges, both new and used. For your purposes, 2 meter (VHF) or 70 centimeter (UHF) are probably the best choices. There's less power restrictions although hams are expected to only use enough power to successfully communicate. And the operating rules are a bit more formal. Since you could be sharing the frequencies with other hams, they'll expect you to follow the rules. Overall, the ham choice can be a very good one. Convincing your members to study for and then take the test is the biggest challenge. But with the available online study guides and the smartphone practice test apps, it really is very, very easy.

Yes, we aren't on the same page. Maybe I shouldn't have posed this question on a Forum full of HAMS. Because it always seems like every time a comm question is asked on my other forum, within 2 posts you'll get the post 'GET YOUR LICENSE...blah, blah, blah'.

What I am looking for is putting out a public bulletin within a group of like minded people or even word of mouth for that matter it's not 'My group', per say. 'Next month there is a campout at Blah, Blah lake. We will all be monitoring FRS channel 4 and/or CB channel 13(or whatever). Every Tom, Dick and Harry is welcome. The odds of Joe Blow getting his license for one weekend isn't going to happen. I guess I'll just stick to haphazard comms across the 12 mile long lake bed.

HAMS and GRMS licensed people should actually embrace the idea. Once people see the benefits firsthand, yes, they might get licensed eventually..

And yes I understand the difference between a simplex repeater and an actual repeater, 20 years as a Navy Electronic Technician kind of taught me the difference between simplex and duplex. But the last time I used the words re-broadcaster I had some Ham jumping on me for not using the proper terminology. Now, I use the word the way he said was right, and some are saying that I am not clear enough in my definition thus the confusion, What is it?

Besides, this goes with the same thing I am talking about on the CB threads. Talking to someone 500 miles away is cool, but what about the guy 3 miles away from me that I don't know from Adam.
 
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bharvey2

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Use of the frequency is on a first come first served basis. GMRS users don't have preferred status. That doesn't mean that if you used it last week it belongs to you. It's a matter of courtesy. If someone else is using it, be gracious and wait until they're done. Then you can use it. If it is a true emergency, the emergency should take precedence.

There isn't a way around the licensing requirement. those who transmit on GMRS must have a license for GMRS. Otherwise, those people would be limited to one of the "Licensed by Rule" categories such as FRS, MURS or CB.
 

swen_out_west

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Use of the frequency is on a first come first served basis. GMRS users don't have preferred status. That doesn't mean that if you used it last week it belongs to you. It's a matter of courtesy. If someone else is using it, be gracious and wait until they're done. Then you can use it. If it is a true emergency, the emergency should take precedence.

There isn't a way around the licensing requirement. those who transmit on GMRS must have a license for GMRS. Otherwise, those people would be limited to one of the "Licensed by Rule" categories such as FRS, MURS or CB.
Ok, so back on that now that my rant is over. How in the world am I in violation of not having my GRMS license if I transmit on a shared frequency that just happens to have a simplex repeater on it that re-broadcasts my transmission 3 seconds later?

If the group that owns it doesn't want me on it, then shouldn't they move it to a GRMS only freq.

(Note: I am getting my GRMS license for legal use when I am out on Lake Superior and want to get off VHF Marine Channels) But I am asking these questions from a novice perspective.
 
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jonwienke

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Ok, so back on that now that my rant is over. How in the world am I in violation of not having my GRMS license if I transmit on a shared frequency that just happens to have a simplex repeater on it that re-broadcasts my transmission 3 seconds later?

If the group that owns it doesn't want me on it, then shouldn't they move it to a GRMS only freq.
Repeaters aren't allowed on the FRS/GMRS shared freqs. If you're keying a legal repeater, you're on a GMRS-only frequency.
 

swen_out_west

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Add to that the topic I saw in the Rant Forum about PL Codes. lol.

'This is Private Channel how did you even get the PL Code.' Umm, let's see... If I am receiving with no PL Code I can hear everything you say. Then I just change PL codes until you can hear me.
 

swen_out_west

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Repeaters aren't allowed on the FRS/GMRS shared freqs. If you're keying a legal repeater, you're on a GMRS-only frequency.
I was clear about this from the get. The frequency in question is FRS 3/GRMS 11 (462.6125 MHz). So the yahoo claiming I need a GRMS license is actually the one breaking the law.
 

ecps92

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No he isn't in any violation

The OP has clarified, that the 12.5 Khz channel is the shared FRS/GMRS frequencies and someone has "store and forward" device on it. Not a Repeater


Repeaters aren't allowed on the FRS/GMRS shared freqs. If you're keying a legal repeater, you're on a GMRS-only frequency.
 

bharvey2

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Ok, so back on that now that my rant is over. How in the world am I in violation of not having my GRMS license if I transmit on a shared frequency that just happens to have a simplex repeater on it that re-broadcasts my transmission 3 seconds later?

If the group that owns it doesn't want me on it, then shouldn't they move it to a GRMS only freq.

(Note: I am getting my GRMS license for legal use when I am out on Lake Superior and want to get off VHF Marine Channels) But I am asking these questions from a novice perspective.
I'm not suggesting that you were doing anything improper. Quite the opposite.If you were using an FRS radio on a shared frequency, all is good. I'll assume that it was quiet when you began using it. Nothing wrong with that. Someone else coming on and telling you that they have dominion over the channel? That is incorrect. It is shared and you are perfectly within your right to use it as long and you didn't disrupt their conversation.
 
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