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Will We See A Digital Modulation Radio Service Like FRS/GMRS/MURS Any Time Soon?

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JASII

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As posted above, does anybody here think we will see a FRS/GMRS/MURS radio service any time soon? Yes, I am well ware of the Motorola DTR radios and newer versions. I also know that they are not quite as mainstream as FRS/GMRS/MURS. Would it be worthwhile to have a few frequencies on VHF, similar to MURS, where you have a maximum 2 watts on transmit and would use DMR? You could have preset Time Slots, Color Codes, and Talkgroups, or the end user could change those. My gut tells me that it would be way too complicated for many.

Similarly, what if a few UHF frequencies near the FRS/GMRS range did this? Same deal, select your frequency, time slots, color code, and talkgroup, and away you go.

I wouldn't even mind seeing some other choices in the 900 MHz band. Not that I don't like my DTR550s, because I do. They are getting a bit dates, though. Maybe a newer, smaller version, like the DLR series, add Blue tooth connectivity and the means to do SMS testing and they might have a bit more appeal.

I am even well aware of the Garmin RINOs, but they really need some serious competition. They are way over-priced and get poor ratings, often times. The trend seems to be to have a device that will connect to you smartphone. If Garmin made something like that, at a reasonable price, there might be a market.
 

ChrisABQ

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I would hate to see everything go digital. I can't really see mom and dad setting up their family radios for time slots and color codes either.
 

jonwienke

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The easiest option would be to allow DMR on MURS, FRS and/or GMRS frequencies.
 

N9NRA

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digital service like FRS? not sure.

Just read this thread, and as to the question the OP asked, i`d have to say that i`m not too sure that will happen (a digital service like FRS or MURS). I for one would be kinda cool with something like what`s done in Europe (DPMR service), however i also would hate to see everything go digital. Yes, i do like doing digital voice, but i still am a smidge old school too, and as such would not wanna see all services do the digital thingy. So that said, while having a digital license-free service might be nice on paper, i honestly don`t see it happening for two reasons, one, the radios would be GNARLY EXPENSIVE for most of the you & me users out here in the "cheap seats" of life :). And two, they would be kinda complex for the avarage you & me user as well, so given all that i just don`t see it happening anytime soon. N9NRA.
 

mmckenna

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As others have said, it's more likely that an existing personal radio service (FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, etc) would have the FCC rules changed to allow digital. The chances of a new license by rule/personal radio service happening would be unlikely. With cellular carriers and others willing to spend $Billion$ for spectrum, FCC would more than likely sell out any available spectrum to the highest bidder long before it was giving to us taxpayers.

I think the only real hope we have (contrary to what I said above) is that the FCC will eventually "MURS-ify" a few of the "color dot" UHF channels. That's basically what they did with MURS, took a few low power itinerant channels and switched them to license by rule. Before you think this was done out of the goodness of the FCC's heart, remember that most of those radios were being sold in stores like Staples, Home Depot, etc, places where any consumer could buy them and not even think about licensing. FCC basically lost control and gave up.
They've pretty much done the same thing with a few of the common UHF channels.

Us mortals (non-corporations) always have access to the amateur radio service, and digital is perfectly legal on parts of that spectrum.

If digital consumer/license by rule radios ever do happen, they'll be greatly simplified. 2 slot DMR would be confusing unless it was handled as "sub-channels", like they do with the GMRS/FRS CTCSS/DCS codes. Trying to get a consumer to understand TDMA would be impossible.
I'd think DMR wouldn't be the only option. With the push for more spectrum, taking a service like GMRS or FRS where it's an actual chunk of spectrum, not individual channels like MURS, going to true 6.25KHz channels would make more sense. More users stuffed in less space. That would point to DPMR/FDMA type services.

Personally I always hoped that someone with enough clout (money) would push for allowing FM on the CB channels, or maybe even digital. That would at least make it useful, sound better, and benefit from CTCSS/DCS or RAN controls.
 

Tech1

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If FRS-GMRS-MURS radios went digital, they would be to expensive to purchase. The FRS/GMRS radios I purchased would be useless. Aircraft radios use AM Mode, should they be switched as well ?
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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If FRS-GMRS-MURS radios went digital, they would be to expensive to purchase. The FRS/GMRS radios I purchased would be useless. Aircraft radios use AM Mode, should they be switched as well ?
It is my opinion that for the near future, any digital mode in GMRS be secondary to the current wide band +/- 5KHz FM mode.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk
 

jonwienke

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If FRS-GMRS-MURS radios went digital, they would be to expensive to purchase. The FRS/GMRS radios I purchased would be useless. Aircraft radios use AM Mode, should they be switched as well ?
There is a huge difference between "allowed" and "mandated". Nobody is suggesting or advocating that digital become mandatory.
 

jonwienke

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Personally I always hoped that someone with enough clout (money) would push for allowing FM on the CB channels, or maybe even digital. That would at least make it useful, sound better, and benefit from CTCSS/DCS or RAN controls.
DMR on CB would be awesome. Technologically speaking, AM is the worst possible modulation choice for 27MHz.
 

SCPD

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I do not see it happening. If it did they would market a odd ball format that Motorola or other vendor would come up with.
 

mmckenna

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I do not see it happening. If it did they would market a odd ball format that Motorola or other vendor would come up with.
Exactly. It would need to be something standards based, not manufacturer specific. DMR would be fine as long as it wasn't messed with.
 

prcguy

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A friend of mine and my partner in several GMRS repeaters had lunch some time ago with his friend at the FCC. He discussed the possibility of using MOTOTRBO on GMRS and the FCC person told him to file for an experimental license of some kind and they would probably issue it. I'm going to ask my friend to pursue that again.
prcguy
 

robertmac

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I don't see why it's needed. Any gain in distance will be minimal. It will just horrible for other users not using Analog. Would be better to great and new service specific for digital modes. Personally tired of hearing all the digital squawks and squeaks.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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I don't see why it's needed. Any gain in distance will be minimal. It will just horrible for other users not using Analog. Would be better to great and new service specific for digital modes. Personally tired of hearing all the digital squawks and squeaks.
huh?
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

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A friend of mine and my partner in several GMRS repeaters had lunch some time ago with his friend at the FCC. He discussed the possibility of using MOTOTRBO on GMRS and the FCC person told him to file for an experimental license of some kind and they would probably issue it. I'm going to ask my friend to pursue that again.
prcguy
That would be a start, however experimental licenses usually have some conditions and a set time limit. It would be better to get an NPRM going to address the future direction of GMRS.
 

N9NRA

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As others have said, it's more likely that an existing personal radio service (FRS, GMRS, MURS, CB, etc) would have the FCC rules changed to allow digital. The chances of a new license by rule/personal radio service happening would be unlikely. With cellular carriers and others willing to spend $Billion$ for spectrum, FCC would more than likely sell out any available spectrum to the highest bidder long before it was giving to us taxpayers.

I think the only real hope we have (contrary to what I said above) is that the FCC will eventually "MURS-ify" a few of the "color dot" UHF channels. That's basically what they did with MURS, took a few low power itinerant channels and switched them to license by rule. Before you think this was done out of the goodness of the FCC's heart, remember that most of those radios were being sold in stores like Staples, Home Depot, etc, places where any consumer could buy them and not even think about licensing. FCC basically lost control and gave up.
They've pretty much done the same thing with a few of the common UHF channels.

Us mortals (non-corporations) always have access to the amateur radio service, and digital is perfectly legal on parts of that spectrum.

If digital consumer/license by rule radios ever do happen, they'll be greatly simplified. 2 slot DMR would be confusing unless it was handled as "sub-channels", like they do with the GMRS/FRS CTCSS/DCS codes. Trying to get a consumer to understand TDMA would be impossible.
I'd think DMR wouldn't be the only option. With the push for more spectrum, taking a service like GMRS or FRS where it's an actual chunk of spectrum, not individual channels like MURS, going to true 6.25KHz channels would make more sense. More users stuffed in less space. That would point to DPMR/FDMA type services.

Personally I always hoped that someone with enough clout (money) would push for allowing FM on the CB channels, or maybe even digital. That would at least make it useful, sound better, and benefit from CTCSS/DCS or RAN controls.
And i agree with you, as i said in my post, i could see mabey something on the order of the DPMR service they have in Europe (DMR without the timeslot thingy, or at least on one slot only). That would be the only real way to do digital on license-free channels. Now as to the idea of FM or even digital on the CB channels...now THAT would be kinda intresting :). I`ve followed some intresting stuff being done with digital on HF on the amateur bands and from what the folks doing this have told me digital works quite nicely on HF. Propagation problems (like deep fading)? Not too much of a biggie, digital handles it as if the signal just dropped out, when it gets too weak to decode it just stops decoding, and when the signal returns to a strong state it starts up again. You might lose a block of what was said during the dropout, but generally digital on HF is pretty reliable, your mileage may vary however. N9NRA.
 

mancow

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A friend of mine and my partner in several GMRS repeaters had lunch some time ago with his friend at the FCC. He discussed the possibility of using MOTOTRBO on GMRS and the FCC person told him to file for an experimental license of some kind and they would probably issue it. I'm going to ask my friend to pursue that again.
prcguy
Let me know if you get any info. I would like to do the same.
 

prcguy

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One of the reasons my friend let the idea fizzle is we know other users on our repeater frequencies would jam the digital system and would never accept that it was licensed. See my other posts about Kevin Bondy and other idiots we have around here on GMRS.
prcguy

I don't see why it's needed. Any gain in distance will be minimal. It will just horrible for other users not using Analog. Would be better to great and new service specific for digital modes. Personally tired of hearing all the digital squawks and squeaks.
 
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