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Thread: FRS/GMRS Radios

  1. #1
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    Default FRS/GMRS Radios

    FRS (Family Radio Service), GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service), and MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service) radios are a valid alternative to a CB radio. I will discuss MURS at a later date.

    FRS/GMRS radios are typically found as a combination or multi-service radio, also sometimes known as "Bubblepack radios" due to their packaging.

    These radios operate in the UHF frequency range, specifially in the 462 and 467 Mhz frequencies.

    FRS:
    No License required
    1/2 watt
    non-removeable antennas
    no repeaters
    Typical communication range
    : 1 mile +/- (longer communication is possible from hill top to hill top with no obstructions, 30 miles+.... not typical conditions)

    GMRS:
    License REQUIRED (85, good for 5 years, no test, covers immediate family)..... (For reference an Amateur radio license is 15, good for 10 yrs, fairly easy test, only covers individual, but many, many, many more frequencies available)
    50 watts max (handhelds will have upto 5 watts. Commercial radios that can operate within the GMRS frequencies can be used if they are Part 95accepted. Not as commonly found as the handheld radios).
    External antenna allowed (base or mobile)
    Repeaters available that can extend normal use range (30-40 miles +/-)
    Typical Communication range: handheld to handheld- 2miles +/-, mobile to mobile - 5 miles +/-)




    These radios will can have 22 channels: (You do not have free range of the frequency, but set channels like a CB)
    Channels 1-7 are shared (FRS and GMRS): GMRS limited to 5 watts on these channels.
    Channels 8-14: FRS only
    Channels 15-22: GMRS only
    There are also "sub-channels" which use sub-audible tones that only the radios can hear to allow many users only one frequency but still be able to keep conversations seperate. Example: If your radio is set to channel 8-1, if gives off a sub-audible tone that only radios set to channel 8-1 will hear allowing only those radios on channel 8-1 to receive your transmission. You will not hear uses on any other sub-channel of channel 8. (8-2, 8-3, 8-4, etc).

    Neither FRS, GMRS, or MURS radios can communicate with a CB radio so for this radio to be useful the individuals you are wanting to communicate with will also have to have this type of radio.

    You are also not likely to see anywhere on the packaging that to use the GMRS frequencies you are required to have a license. This has led to mis-use of the frequencies by non-licensed individuals... also known as "Bubble pack pirates".

    Links:
    FRS:
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service"]Family Radio Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/fami...io-service-frs
    GMRS:
    [ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Mobile_Radio_Service"]General Mobile Radio Service - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
    http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/gene...o-service-gmrs
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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    That's a good write-up. One thing worth mentioning in the comparison between GMRS and Ham is that commercial use of GMRS frequencies is allowed, such use of amateur bands is prohibited.

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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    Be interesting to see whether UHF use expands over there.

    ... altho you'se have been 27mhz for so long .... UHF might be as popular, as a Fiat Cherokee ..


    This is where we are with UHF at the moment.

    http://www.uhfcb.com.au/80-Channel-UHF-Information.php
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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    I'm set up for GMRS (and I have a license) in my XJ.

    Prerunner, you might change the OP as the license is now 90.

    The rules of GMRS are very vague, condescending (especially the part about equipment) and dated…most of them haven't been rewritten since 1989 when group licensing was removed from the rules. Those with group license were allowed to keep renewing said license (one current example is that of Delta Airlines).

    That being said, signaling is allowed and telemetry is not and on the 8 repeater channels, there is not a stated ERP limit.

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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    They make an ok but not great way to stay in contact on the trail especially if you don't want to mount a radio into your vehicle. I usually keep a couple on hand for those folks who show up to runs without a radio on board.
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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    The furthest out I regularly use mine is about 35 miles. 10 miles covers most of the stuff I use though.

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    Default Re: FRS/GMRS Radios

    Quote Originally Posted by downsy View Post
    They make an ok but not great way to stay in contact on the trail especially if you don't want to mount a radio into your vehicle. I usually keep a couple on hand for those folks who show up to runs without a radio on board.
    I have a set of Motorola radios like these that I have used when traveling with multiple vehicles so we could communicate back and forth if needed... But I plan on carrying them once I get the XJ ready for the trails to have as backups when someone has an issue, or of folks that don't have radios...
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