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Posts posted by Lscott

  1. 6 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

    You sure, @lscott, you are an electrical engineer and not an attorney!?! 

    You sure enjoy being argumentative! Not that there is anything wrong with that! 🤣

    No, don’t have a law degree. 

    The question about is there any reason why a privacy code might be used during an emergency so I offered up a possible reason. At least it gets people thinking. 

  2. 1 hour ago, SteveW said:

    I have no idea what you were looking at, but it's plain as day...


    That’s not the FCC grant sent to the manufacturer. As other people have discovered the fccid.io site has shown inaccurate information at times. 

  3. Well if the frequency is busy the emergency communication center personal has to monitor several radios. It gets stressful trying to tell if the current traffic is directed to the communication center or between other units. If you use a privacy code so only traffic that is directed to the communication center personal gets through takes a load off them. When they hear something they'll know for sure it's for them and not SAR unit members asking each other if anybody wants a break to get coffee and donuts.

  4. 5 minutes ago, Mindmaster said:

    TBH, the FCC really isn't in the business of policing the radio bands they leave that up to the sad hams. They're basically only getting into it if you're doing something that qualifies as abuse and poor radio etiquette / repeated complaints. 

    That seems to be the current practice. More than one poster has mentioned the FCC is mainly reactive, complaint driven, enforcement action. They don't have the staff to hunt down every minor rules infraction.

  5. 1 minute ago, Mindmaster said:

    I'm not aware of the FCC chasing ANYONE down for radios provided that they aren't using bands they're not authorized to use ......

    Until it happens. Just because you don't see anything in the FCC enforcement logs doesn't imply there hasn't been any "unofficial" contact with a strong suggestion to stop what they are doing. While the probability is low it's not zero.

    People are free to chose however it wouldn't be ethical not to mention it. At least they can make a more informed decision. Maybe at some point the FCC will get around to allowing Part 90 radios to be "officially" used on GMRS even if they never had any Part 95 certification. One can hope and keep sending the FCC petitions to that effect.

  6. 8 minutes ago, wayoverthere said:

    I think I've mentioned it a couple times, but I've backed off of trusting fcc.io much due to inconsistencies in the data. One of my vertex HT shows on there as being certified for "part 9" 🤔 Actually looking on fcc.gov shows it as part 90.

    FCC.io is good for a quick check. But as you discovered the FCC database is the "gold standard". If it isn't there it's not real.

  7. Don't under estimate how many people you talk to on the radio are sitting at their computer, or smart phone, punching in your call sign into QRZ or the FCC search engine as you speak. A few ding-dongs have been found out high-jacking somebody's else's call-sign or using one that doesn't even exist.

    The FCC database is more interesting because it shows your license class. More than one Ham got caught on band segments that they don't hold the proper license class to use. You can't tell from the call sign format. I never changed mine from when I had a Tech Class license.

  8. 36 minutes ago, wayoverthere said:

    I ran the authorization number on that @SteveWpprovided through FCC and it appears to show it's 95e certified...Am I misreading this?


    Nope. You had better luck than me. When I checked it didn't find anything. Yeah it looks like its certified for GMRS.

  9. 14 hours ago, SteveW said:

    It IS FCC Part 95E compliant:  https://fccid.io/2AJGM-P51UV

    Not from what I see at that link. While the top section might show Part 95E but scroll all the way to the bottom and you'll see it's ONLY certified as Part 15B. That last part is they only thing that counts, the grant the FCC issues to the manufacture.

    This looks like the certification for Ham equipment, which typically only gets Part 15. Likely they applied for Part 95E, top of web page, but haven't received it as yet.

    This link shows what you should see. It's for one of the favorite commercial radios people buy for GMRS. These are really nice radios for GMRS by the way, built like a brick, fairly light and fit in a shirt pocket. I have a few.



    If you look at the brochure's last page near the bottom left area the FCC ID's for the different models are conveniently listed.

    If you look at the bottom of the page for the issued grant you'll see it has Part 95A, which at the time was the section for GMRS until the FCC revamped the rules a few years ago.

  10. 2 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

    Do me a favor, @Lscott since I am rushed this morning: please link me to the FCC Rules & Regs that makes your hypothetical a fine punishable event.

    I am not talking about some company manufacturing and/or importing a non-Certified Part 95 radio into the US for sale;

    I am talking about a GMRS licensee using a radio on GMRS, within the power, bandwidth limits, etc., that is either not Part 95 certified or was Part 95 certified and lost its certification, and, according to you, is subject to a $10,000 fine.  Thank you.

    Ask your nearest FCC field office. I'm sure they would be delighted to point things out for you. If anybody has a question about their radio a simple check on he following site should be enough to answer the question.


    Enter in the FCC ID for the radio as required, search, then check the grant and see what parts it's certified for by the FCC. If Part 95A (old rules) or  Part 95E (new rules) is not shown then technically it can't be used. There is no wiggle room. People are using Part 90 radios on GMRS and so far the FCC has ignored it. However if they so choose to fine somebody, well, by the rules it never was legal so they took their chances.

  11. 14 minutes ago, pcradio said:

    The point of this exercise it to show the FCC says many things that are not practical and logical. What amazes me is the amount of online posters who genuinely suggest that one must purchase three radios for their truck to use services they are licensed for.

    That's petty much exactly what the rules say and requires. You would be surprised by how many people do in fact have multiple radios for the various services. It's common.

    We have one or more individuals on this form who feel that's rather inconvenient and look for creative ways to circumvent FCC regulations. Are they likely to get away with it? Yes, but if they do get busted I have some very serious doubts the administrative court would agree with their arguments. Paying attorney fees, court costs and the likely $10,000 FCC fine is an expensive way to test their arguments where it really matters.

  12. 30 minutes ago, pcradio said:

    Heading (a) refers to a Station. Heading (9) expands on that.

    What this means, in practicality, is that if you operate a GMRS station (you have a license to do so), then the equipment and area you operate this station from (vehicle, on person, or shack) must not be used to contact an Amateur station.

    If you also have an Amateur station (and license), the GMRS station supersedes that, and you must not communicate from within the GMRS station to an Amateur station. You will need a separate Amateur station in another vehicle, separate room in your home, etc.

    I come to these forums so that I make sure I'm in compliance. The FCC regulations are clear, buy more stuff because it makes more sense.

    The section of the rules quoted refers to over the air communications. It's very common to have multiple sets of radios grouped together which operate on different radios services. It makes no difference on the location or proximity of the equipment. It's not uncommon to find Ham, GMRS, FRS, CB, police, fire etc. radios all in one location. The communications are maned by people with the appropriate licenses and or agency authorizations for transmitting. You don't need a license to just monitor, a very important point.

    To further clarify what's going on is the following. When a GMRS user communicates to another station he does so under GMRS rules. If the other station replies they also must operate under GMRS rules. 

    For example if a GMRS user contacts myself on the air, using GMRS certified equipment and legal frequencies, and I respond I must also be using the same. I'm in fact dual licensed for both Ham Radio and GMRS. That doesn't preclude me from turning around and now using my Ham Radio to forward the message on legal Ham frequencies. When I do so I'm now operation under my Ham license and rules.

  13. I address the specific question that was quoted. Rule exceptions under emergency conditions are another whole topic. Mingling the exceptions with standard operating conditions does nothing but confuse people.

    People can decide themselves what to do with their equipment. What’s needed is clarity. You can have a radio that operates on both Ham and GMRS. So is it really a Ham radio modified to operate on GMRS frequencies, or is it a GMRS radio that can be programmed to operate on Ham frequencies? If it’s as you believe then why aren’t all GMRS radios out of the box designed to work on the Ham bands WITHOUT mucking with it first such as using manufactures undocumented software mod’s and “mode” changes. The same question can be asked about Ham equipment. After all what are the “MARS/CAP” mod’s?

    Reading the rules for GMRS one requirement is the frequency determining controls are not accessible outside of the transmitter. This is necessary for Part 95 certification. The channel selector doesn’t count because all legal frequencies are preset and can’t be changed by the user. Enabling a VCO type operation violates that requirement and by definition no longer meets type certification. While you may not care there are others who do and shouldn’t be misled.

  14. Ah, a slight of hand bringing up emergency communications. That wasn’t part of the original question I quoted from your post.

    Under emergency conditions the rules have a few exceptions. However as a general point, as one is lead to believe by your original question, it’s prohibited. That hasn’t changed.
  15. 3 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

    Here's a hypothetical:

    If a licensed Ham programs his 70 cm rig to transmit on 446.0 MHz and receive on 462.5625 and a licensed GMRS user programs his HT to transmit on 462.5625 and receive on 446.0, is their conversation within the FCC Rules for both services?

    No. This I had thought about this exact scenario a long time ago and rejected it for the following reasons.

    The rules state, last I read them, that stations in the Amateur service may only communicate with other stations in the Amateur service. The second I-got-you is doing what you propose is effectively making a one way transmission, see point above, which is only allowed for testing and in very few other limited conditions on an occasional basis, again for the Amateur service.

    While the method would allow one to cross communicate between services without using modified radios the rules effectively shut the door on it.

  16. 2 hours ago, Radioguy7268 said:

    I would agree. Allowing any type of automated GPS updates will kill channel capacity even if you've got just 5 or 10 high power units reporting GPS location every 30 seconds. I haven't looked deeply enough at the rules - but is the FCC requiring units to monitor the channel prior to transmitting their "brief" data burst?

    Automated location updates on repeater channels would be a disaster. I can see a point to allowing units to update automatically once every 10 to 15 minutes - or alternatively, tagging on to the beginning or end of a voice transmission like a PTT ID.

    If there is no requirement for a BCL, busy channel lockout, that would be worse, automatic interference. I also think you wouldn't want this on a repeater channel. That has the potential to block a frequency out over a very wide area if the repeater was activated.

    If were are going to tolerate GPS updates why not have it restricted to one channel only leaving everything else open for normal traffic? In the Ham world there are several frequencies in the band plans set aside specifically for packet and APRS. Keep it on one of the 8 low power, 1/2 watt, FRS channels. They are sort of useless for GMRS as it is.

  17. 2 hours ago, mbrun said:

    I did explore this, and yes indeed the Tx time per digit and interval between digits can be changed. I made a variety of changes and still experienced unreliable decoding whereas my other radios were always rock solid regardless of which of the few combinations I tried.


    Oh, I hope you tried changing the timing parameters on the other radio(s) not on the 905G.

  18. 2 hours ago, mbrun said:

    I did explore this, and yes indeed the Tx time per digit and interval between digits can be changed. I made a variety of changes and still experienced unreliable decoding whereas my other radios were always rock solid regardless of which of the few combinations I tried.


    It was worth a shot if it fixed it. Perhaps a firmware update at some point might do the trick.

  19. On 10/3/2021 at 6:28 PM, wayoverthere said:

    small expansion on this point; there are a few dual band antennas focused on the commercial/MURS end of VHF that are a decent match for GMRS as well.  I have (but haven't tested) a Comet 2x4SR nmo that is supposed to play well with MURS, 2m, 70cm, and GMRS, but trades a little bit of a gain for the wider range.  this again requires a nmo mount of your choice, and it's on the long side (~3ft).  it DOES fold over, though, and there is a spring kit available to give it a little more flexibility.

    I have one of the 2x4SR antennas, and a buddy here at work put one on his pickup truck using a lip mount on the front hood near the roof pillar. They work OK, but being a 5/8 wave design you need a REALLY good ground plane.

    I did an SWR scan using a RigExpert AA-1000 and downloaded the data to a CAD package for plotting. As promised the SWR was under 2:1 around the GMRS frequencies and very surprisingly very low on the MURS frequencies. 


    The antenna is somewhat sensitive to mounting location even with a good ground plane. If you want one antenna to cover Ham and GMRS its a good option.

    2x4SR  Trunk Lip Mount SWR Scan.jpg

  20. 1 hour ago, mbrun said:

    DTMF decoding all my KG-905G is very poor (to the point of being completely worthless), but rock solid on some other models I have.

    When another radio with DTMF sends out its ANI-ID/PTT-ID (usually 3-6 digits) the radio display should reflect the code it just received. Or, if the transmitting radio has DTMF buttons and sends out characters followed by #, the 905 should display them.

    If you have two units you can perform a test. Use the software to program two different PTT-ID codes into the radios and enable it to transmit each time you press PTT.

    So far the uses I have learned for DTMF include: Identification of the transmitting radio, use in some radio calling functions (to alert another radio), to control certain repeater functions, as an alternative to PL codes for opening squelch on another radio, for gaining access to a repeater, for dispatch software recognition of the radio transmitting.


    Do the TX'ing radios allow changing the timing parameters for encoding the DTMF tones? I know on the commercial Kenwoods I have there are timing parameters I can tweak. Maybe your radio needs longer duration tones and slower sending rate to give it more time to decode.

  21. 12 hours ago, wayoverthere said:

    It's primarily something that carries over from the ham origins of the radio. There are repeaters set up to accept commands via DTMF tones, things like changing frequencies or turning off the transmitters. since much of the hardware can carry over to gmrs, this feature may be out there on gmrs repeaters as well.

    The vestigial part (at least for gmrs) is that on the ham side, DTMF tones can be used to dial numbers on an autopatch equipped repeater to make phone calls....these are explicitly not allowed for gmrs though (interconnections to the telephone network).

    On the Ham side DTMF tones have been used to access other linked analog repeaters using for example Echolink. I'm not sure if any linked GMRS repeaters use a similar system to access a specific linked repeater.

  22. 8 hours ago, tweiss3 said:

    While it is a compromise antenna, it is still the best one available (that carries 4 bands, I use 220 a lot), and is enough for the 6m repeaters in the area (I use 2 regularly) and have been successful with simplex contacts while hiking the local parks network. It doesn't nearly meet my vertical dipole 19' above ground that is powered by my 7300, but it works well overall.

    If it’s working for you cool. Sounds like you’re one of the few people that utilizes the radio’s full set of features, most don’t.

    Myself I would like to see Kenwood come out with a version of the TH-D74A but use DMR in place of D-Star. That would be a killer radio.

    I’ve scanned 220 around here by me and it seems basically dead. 

    I have a cheap TYT TH-350 triband I use as a scanner at home. Mostly used to monitor the local mall security frequency, house keeping along with the neighborhood FRS stuff and the local GMRS repeater. For a CCR it’s an OK radio. 

  23. Most Linux distro's have a VM function. If it isn't installed then you can add it. If you don't want to go that route then you can get the VirtualBox add-in for Linux here.


    Your next stop is to pick up a copy of Windows. An older version will likely work just fine for your needs. Look here.


    CHIRP will run on Linux. Some instructions are found here.


    Good luck.

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