• 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.

Human GMRS relay stations?

Status
Not open for further replies.

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,605
Is it legal for one GMRS station to act as a "human relay" in a simplex network?

My thought was this:

During an emergency, if an area is not served by a repeater, or the repeater is down, would it be possible / legal to set up a "human" relay station, where one member of the group has a high-vantage point and would be willing to serve as a relay among the members?

I was thinking that if the volunteer human-relay station activated only on the words "relay" after a call, he would then repeat what he heard to establish the link among the two stations that can't hear each other directly - much like a non-human repeater. Brevity is key by just using the word "relay" to get things rolling in time. THIS is where I have trouble with the legality.

The comms would go something like this:

Unit1 to Unit2...
...(nothing heard directly via simplex)....

Unit1 to Unit2 RELAY...

Unit 1 to Unit2 RELAY.. (the hilltop volunteer reacts to the word RELAY in the call, and repeats the request - would this be legal or would it be two-way communications and not a broadcast?)

Unit2 to Unit1 RELAY... (Unit2 responds to the call, but knows that to contact Unit1, he has to go through the relay, thus using "relay" at the end of the response.

Contact to the relay station directly:
Unit1 to Relay...

You get the idea. The simplex network with a human relay could easily be a star-topology, or simple linear extension.

I just have trouble with the legality of it. I suppose FRS would pose no problem, but there too I don't want to run into trouble.
 

Thayne

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
2,130
Maybe some of those that are "occupying" places all over the word could get jobs as "relays"---how much does it pay? :p
 

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,605
Licensing for GMRS is assumed, however I personally would prefer to establish a worst-case scenario with FRS actually.

I was just trying to make sure that humanly repeating or relaying couldn't be interpreted as broadcasting - but since there are unit calls involved, including the relay in this setup, I guess there is no broadcasting really. Of course anyone using GMRS freqs would have to identify with their call signs eventually.

One change I would make already is to precede the unit calls with the word "RELAY" first - that way the relay volunteer has a small advance notice to pay special attention as to what is to follow. When units are able to contact each other directly, the relay can tune-out mentally a bit to take a break and not be on edge for everything heard in the network.

Relay, Unit2 from Unit1 .... what is the water level? (from Unit1)
Relay, Unit2 from Unit1 ... what is the water level? (from Relay)
Relay, Unit1 from Unit2 ... it has risen 8 inches in the last hour. (from Unit2)
Relay, Unit1 from Unit2 .... it has risen 8 inches in the last hour. (from Relay)

The function of the relay is to merely repeat the entire message, including the word relay, so it is kind of mindless, needs little training, and can be quick with practice. And, the relay is not to modify or change the message in any way.

Error-correction between the sender and the relay is automatic, since the sender can hear the relay repeat the message to the receiver, and make sure the message is going out as intended.

It sounds more radio sexy than it really is. Relay, Bob this is Carol over - would suffice.

You could have more than one relay given enough volunteers. Relay 2, Bob this is Carol over - Carol is now trying the second relay station, where Bob is on the west side... and on and on..

I think it would be interesting to find out just what kind of coverage something like this could be, BEFORE a major disaster strikes - and of course finding out if you still have access to the high vantage points afterwards - so alternate vantage points would be good to find too.

Well, that's the gist of it - and nobody hopes to ever have to put it into play for real. But maybe some folks or even children on FRS who participate in a practice net with adult supervision might look upon their radios as tools, and not a toy if they feel like part of a community, network, etc looking out for each other.
 
Last edited:

popnokick

Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2004
Messages
1,903
Location
Northeast PA
Why bother with a person to act as a repeater?

It's really not necessary to have a person do the repeating transmission for you manually. You can use a device called a "simplex repeater" that simply records everything it hears and then retransmits it a few seconds later on the same frequency. Attach the device to a handheld radio in a high terrain location, and voila! Instant repeater. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating how one made by Radio Shack works, followed by a URL to MFJ Enterprises where you can purchase one of these devices $89.95.

YouTube demonstration:
Radio Shack Simplex Repeater - YouTube

MFJ-662 Simplex Repeater:
MFJ Enterprises Inc.
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
It's really not necessary to have a person do the repeating transmission for you manually. You can use a device called a "simplex repeater" that simply records everything it hears and then retransmits it a few seconds later on the same frequency. Attach the device to a handheld radio in a high terrain location, and voila! Instant repeater. Here's a YouTube video demonstrating how one made by Radio Shack works, followed by a URL to MFJ Enterprises where you can purchase one of these devices $89.95.

YouTube demonstration:
Radio Shack Simplex Repeater - YouTube

MFJ-662 Simplex Repeater:
MFJ Enterprises Inc.
Simplex repeaters are not allowed on GMRS per Part 95 rules the can not check to see if the frequency is clear before retransmitting
 

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
You're really asking this question? If they aren't licensed, and aren't a family member covered by a GMRS license, it's illegal for them to use GMRS frequencies.
Thank you Citywide,My reply exactly....sorry duplicate
 
Last edited:

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,605
I guess another good question for GMRS users, is what would you do in an emergency if the repeater went down, and was not able to come back up? Cabinet is toast and all you have available are bodies, portable radios, and a high vantage point. Access to the repeater site for repairs is impossible.

Anyone have a backup plan for that? Is what I described above a reasonable solution? - let's assume everyone is licensed.

Or is it just game-over?
 
Last edited:

SCPD

QRT
Joined
Feb 24, 2001
Messages
65,126
Location
Virginia
I guess another good question for GMRS users, is what would you do in an emergency if the repeater went down, and was not able to come back up? Cabinet is toast and all you have available are bodies, portable radios, and a high vantage point. Access to the repeater site for repairs is impossible.

Anyone have a backup plan for that? Is what I described above a reasonable solution? - let's assume everyone is licensed.

Or is it just game-over?
The answer is simple use simplex to communicate,50 watt mobiles are allowed on GMRS it does not only consist of the junk bubble pack radios,hook them to a base antenna if needed and relay what messages you need to get through If not move you vehicle to a elevated location and transmit from there.
 

Citywide173

Member
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,660
Location
Attleboro, MA
I guess another good question for GMRS users, is what would you do in an emergency if the repeater went down, and was not able to come back up? Cabinet is toast and all you have available are bodies, portable radios, and a high vantage point. Access to the repeater site for repairs is impossible.

Anyone have a backup plan for that? Is what I described above a reasonable solution? - let's assume everyone is licensed.

Or is it just game-over?
Sorry for the quality, but it's all about speed when this happens.....this is called a backup repeater. It's on a GMRS frequency, can be put in a car, and brought to the highest spot around, and powered from either a vehicle or a 12VDC power supply. Park the car at the "high vantage point" you referenced above, and you're set to go.

If all you have are bodies and portable radios, it's your own fault for not planning properly, but you could always blame FEMA for not properly responding to your emergency.
 

Attachments

hertzian

Member
Joined
May 28, 2009
Messages
2,605
I love seeing that portable backup repeater! Nice.

A buddy asked me why I didn't use the word "repeat" instead of "relay" in my protocol, and I told him there is a good possibility someone might actually ask for a repeat of the message - this way there is less likeleyhood of confusion for the volunteer relay. :)

Obviously ham radio is a great way to go, along with following any local CERT organization recommendations. My thought here, was worst-case - a family group or other group (FRS or GMRS-licensed) caught in a bad situation, and needing something fast and KISS. Even elevation wouldn't be a requirement if the need was just to provide a linear extension near the ground - search groups combing an area, even vehicle convoys - if you have 3 people, you've got a relay in the middle if you want it...
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top