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Power output question from a newbie

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mjz55

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Location
PA & NJ, USA
Just received my license today for GMRS. I have a pair of motorola bubble packs which actually seem pretty cool for my very first pair. I may or not be a bit confused on output wattage for handhelds, mobiles and stations. If I understand, base stations can only be 5 watts? Mobiles can be 50 watts? Handhelds can be up to 5 watts? Can I use any mobile that is narrowband and can send/receive on the correct frequencies or must it be straight GMRS approved? I have a ham radio but no license (working on it) and wondered if I could use it for mobile on GMRS frequencies?
 

stevelton

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Apr 19, 2005
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The "small base station" is a 5w base used on the splinter GMRS channels, not the main 8 repeater channels.
Technically, only radios that have FCC Part 95a acceptance can be used on GMRS channels. There are a few Kenwood LMR radios that have both Part 90 and 95, and there is an Icom Handheld with it, but most Part 90 LMR radios do not have the part 95 acceptance. However, A radio that it part 90 accepted, like the Icom F6021 45w mobile, meet the same standards as needed for part 95, but the manufacturer never bothered to get the 95 acceptance when getting it part 90. So while not technically allow, most seasoned GMRS users use part 90 radios for GMRS, just because "actual" part 95 mobile radios are rare, and you have to "know" someone to program them. A lot of the newer radios can be programmed and set up by the end user from any laptop or desktop computer, and changed as needed with software and cable that you can buy from the dealer when you buy the radio.

As for your ham radio, no it cant be used at all on GMRS, because not only does it not have the Part 95 acceptance, but the radio doesnt even meet the standards of GMRS. So if you used it you could be throwing interference all over the place.

You can use a GMRS radio for ham though, you just have to program in the correct frequencies.

I use my Icom F6121d for my job, ham radio, scanning, and will use it for GMRS as soon as I get my license.

Steven
 

mjz55

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Sep 16, 2011
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Location
PA & NJ, USA
Thanks Stevelton, that's a lot of info but I think I am understanding it. I was looking into the ICOM 6021 because I can also use it for emergency management, which would be cool to have only one UHF radio, one VHF radio and one ham radio.

Is the part 90 mostly about narrowband?

So, a base is 5w. What is a max for a repeater? What about max watts for a mobile. That ICOM 6021 is 45w. Can we have antennas that have gains for GMRS?

thanks for your help. i have lots to learn.
 
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