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Why GMRS???

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russbrill

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Jan 5, 2020
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Sacramento, CA
Hi Everyone,

Just a quick question to the Newbies on GMRS.. What motivated you to purchase GMRS equipment and get your GMRS License?

73,
Russ
 

Kaleier1

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Dec 27, 2019
Messages
227
I don't do GMRS but my guess is no technical test needed, entire family can use it with one license, and no need to apply for a license for specific frequencies from the FCC if you use it for business.
 

n1das

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Feb 17, 2003
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1,601
Location
Nashua, NH
 

N4KVE

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Mar 1, 2003
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Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
Went to the Dayton ham fest last year, & the year before. I should be there today, but it was cancelled. All the local ham repeaters were mobbed, but in my radio was a local [Florida] GMRS repeater freq. I keyed it up, & it worked in Dayton. Even the same PL. I used that the few times my friend & I were out of simplex range. Never heard anyone else talk there the whole weekend. Otherwise, I never use it here in Florida.
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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18,054
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Pt. Nemo
Just a quick question to the Newbies on GMRS.. What motivated you to purchase GMRS equipment and get your GMRS License?
Well, not a "newbie", I was licensed back in the mid 90's on GMRS, had my amateur license back in the early 90's/late 80's. I've since let it expire since I no longer need it.
But…. My extended family camps and rides ATV's. After years of riding, getting separated on the trail, missing turns, etc. I tried to get the others to get their amateur licenses. No luck. I picked up the GMRS license under my name to cover all of them. I started buying up used UHF radios and setting them up for others in the family. 462.550 with a random PL tone mainly. Carried those on the trail and they made it a much nicer experience. After a while they were hooked. Most had UHF mobiles in their cars. I had access to a high level GMRS repeater with our own PL tone. We did that for a while, then I started the amateur radio conversation again. GMRS was enough to get them interested. Once they were all licensed, the GMRS radios went out and we switched to 2 meters.

For me, I used GMRS as a gateway to get the others interested. No longer needed, I let the license expire and sold off all the UHF gear.
 

fog

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Jun 26, 2006
Messages
110
A lame reason in my case -- I already had the FRS frequencies in some of my land-mobile radios. Set as narrowband and low-power, but transmitting there would have been explicitly illegal per the FRS rules. (Albeit, apparently, widely ignored.)

But with GMRS, aside from the Part 90 vs. Part 95 debate, I can transmit there with "real" radios with detachable antennas. Also gives me options for more power / repeater use while I'm at it. Also gave me an easy, legal way to test a UHF repeater I got as part of a lot of random equipment when it wouldn't tune down to the ham band.

I don't think I've ever spoken to another person on GMRS, though. I'm probably not the best sample.
 

prcguy

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Jun 30, 2006
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Location
So Cal - Richardson, TX - Tewksbury, MA
I got into GMRS in the early 80s as an offshoot of owning a mountain top repeater business back then. I had access to big mountain top radio sites and wanted a radio service I could use with friends without amateur licenses. At one point with a partner we had high performance GMRS repeaters on many of the prime mountain top sites in So Cal like Santiago Peak, Mt Lukens, Sierra Peak and Palos Verdes.

By the late 90s interest dwindled and now we only have one active site and that equipment needs attention but we can't seem to find the time to fix it.
 

iMONITOR

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Sep 20, 2006
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10,240
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Macomb Twp, Michigan
When I was young I had great hopes for GMRS. I finally paid for a license and I was totally disappointed! There have never been any repeaters near me my entire life. 1-2 miles simplex was almost useless for me.
 

CaptDan

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Aug 11, 2013
Messages
260
Location
Ocala, Florida
Back in the day we used CB radios along the jersey shore to communicate, no cell phones, during the winter - off season - there were only about 50 families that lived on the beach island all year long - that's spread out over appx 10 miles. Most of us had CB's in our homes and vehicles.

many years later in the pocono mountains of Pennsylvania there were many areas of no service, so a lot of us in a ski community started using bubble pack FRS/GMRS radios. From there we became licensed and used a "base station" - perhaps not 100% legally, but almost as a one way radio station, because we knew a lot of the bubble pack radios could not transmit back to us, but we could transmit or "announce" that dinner was ready, time to come in etc and the radios would receive the message even though they could not answer.

The use expanded to our Jeeps, while everyone had a CB in their Jeep at rally's etc, we all also had a GMRS, quieter, advantage of the short antenna on the hand held units, just overall easier and more convenient to use.

Two way radio has it's place, even with all of today's cell phones, tablets etc. It allows group conversations, don't have to dial several numbers. We are in florida farm country now. Besides being able to ask a question once, everyone hears it an can respond as necessary, like who has the L4600 (tractor) and where is it?

While different farms -families - properties try and use different frequencies or different PL codes, everyone kinda monitors whats known as GMRS #16 so if one neighbor needs something they can just ask, anyone around that can help me do "whatever" people who are around, in the area etc that can help will answer up. Again saves making a bunch of phone calls looking for help. Another, everyday use is most of us use our ATV's as regular transportation, and most of the neighborhood kids ride them around also. Everyone generally has a radio, if someone needs something they can just ask. Parents know it just an added tool if their kids need help out in a trail

So the GMRS was our choice, no test, no problem securing a license, good effective equipment is available at reasonable rates. We are so happy we are in the process of securing a business license, and will eventually put up a tower and repeater.

I fully understand all the encouragement to become a HAM, but 2 way radio is a very effective tool to accomplish our goals and needs. No different than buying a farm tractor, meet my needs but not going to become a tractor mechanic.
 

bill4long

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Aug 6, 2012
Messages
1,291
Location
Indiana
When I was young I had great hopes for GMRS. I finally paid for a license and I was totally disappointed! There have never been any repeaters near me my entire life. 1-2 miles simplex was almost useless for me.
We have a Midwest GMRS Network with about 20 or so repeaters linked with Allstar. Pretty much constant activity. They link up to a national net every Sunday totalling something like 150 repeaters. You could put your own Allstar repeater/node up in your area and link to the system. This kind of stuff is going on a lot now. Google "GMRS networks"
 
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