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SteveH

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SteveH last won the day on October 10 2017

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    http://maine-ares.org

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  • Location
    Midcoast Maine, FN54kb
  • Interests
    ARRL SEC for Maine. Digital Traffic Station for Radio Relay International.

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  1. We have one planned for Spruce Head but it's not operational and no estimated date. It is listed in the repeater directory. Not aware of another one around here. 73, Steve
  2. A friend of mine (a licensed GMRS user) purchased out of curiosity an EASYTALK ET-M3, described as a Mini Walkie Talkie 16 channel FRS/GMRS two way radio. This, and a multitude of similar little radios, seem to be widely available. The ebay link is https://www.ebay.com/itm/172702266455 There is no FCC ID on or within the radio that we could find and the specs say 400-520 MHz, power less than/equal to 2.5 watts. Programming cable available as an extra. Something tells me this thing isn't quite legal. Anyone have any further knowledge of these devices? 73, Steve
  3. SteveC7010 - yes, poorly worded but maybe easy to understand for the average consumer. N4GIX - As for the digits after the decimal point, I guess that's how the testing companies get the big bucks. I'm sure radio to radio variations make that meaningless. I've been looking at some FCC test results for a few different radios. For example, my Midland GXT740 is 1.202 watts for the shared channels and a miserable 0.150 watts for FRS only. The Cobra CXT645 (now discontinued) is 2 watts and 1/2 watt (no useless digits!) Gee, that fits the new rules. The Uniden SX377 is 1.59 and 0.45 watts but there's a boost for the shared channels to 2.5 watts according to the manual. (FCC report doesn't seem to mention this.) The Uniden GMR 5095/5088/5098) is 1.92 and 0.44 watts. As with the previous radio, the report doesn't mention the boost feature.
  4. I'll bet it comes sooner rather than later. The rules were approved this past May but have been gestating since 2010. The Midland GXT1000 has a high power of about 3 watts, low at just under 1/2 watt and at mid power (per Midland), 2 watts. Seems like a FRS radio could be made with a firmware change and some testing. I'd have to think that the manufacturers have had a few product designs in their back pockets. I did find a listing of current FRS/GMRS radios that would be non-compliant with the new rules. See https://www.buytwowayradios.com/blog/2017/09/which_frs_gmrs_radios_are_license_free.aspx The only FRS/GMRS radios I have are a pair of GXT740s. That model is a bit over 1/10 watt for FRS and a bit over 1 watt for GMRS.
  5. Now that the new Part 95 rules are in place and combined FRS/GMRS radios will be phased out over the next 2 years, has anyone heard about any plans to provide dedicated FRS radios? Presumably these would have up to 2 watts on channels 1-7 and 15-22; 1/2 watt on 8-14.
  6. I renewed my license a couple of days ago. $70 for 10 years.
  7. 1 second packet bursts with an interval of at least 30 secs I believe. It was pushed by Garmin for their walkie talkie trackers. They wanted it for GMRS as well as FRS.
  8. In the summary is says: In addition to the comprehensive review and update of the rules to reflect modern practices, the Commission enhanced the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) to allow new digital applications, allot additional interstitial channels and extend the license term from five to ten years.
  9. Looks like the 90 days should have passed by now.
  10. Here's a link to an update on the program in my area. We're focusing on our little midcoast Maine peninsula that consists of a half dozen communities. http://ballyhac.com/Knox_Peninsula_Project_Final.pdf We reviewed it at our county ARES/RACES-CERT meeting yesterday and we're going to try to get non-ham Skywarn spotters engaged in using the radio to report during storms. Also included are the results of a test from the So. Thomaston EOC to the new warming shelter about 2.5 miles away using MURS and simple, slightly elevated antennas. Perfect solution and cheap.
  11. The state EOC (MEMA) is way behind the curve on communications other than public safety VHF, satellite and WebEOC. They do have an FNARS station and there's some ham gear there but it's not used much and the HF side of things is woefully lacking. So, the quick answer is no. The counties are where the action is.
  12. I probably made the mistake of trying to force GMRS as a solution as we're trying to promote that in our area. Then the goose chase for the fee waiver that really doesn't exist for individual licenses. Our default for warming shelters is FRS and several are close enough to the centers of activity that FRS works. In one town we replaced FRS with wifi mesh telephony and we'd like to see more of that. The warming shelters are staffed by volunteers from the community so the model is more of an informal CERT effort. Of possible interest, I stumbled on FEMA's CERT communications presentation. It's dated 2012 so it's mostly up to date. It covers everything from sneaker net to Part 90 to ham with landline, cell, satellite, computer network, FRS, GMRS, MURS and CB in between. The only service specifically not recommended under any circumstances is CB. There are a few errors like MURS being repeater capable and the equipment availability being a bit off. See https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1449695072664-f9e63377160573cd3050158874dc548c/cert_emergencycommunications_ppt_100615.pdf
  13. After a couple of email exchanges with Mark K6LED/WQXR567 at BetterSafeRadio.com I purchased one of the TERA TR-505 MURS/GMRS radios. They are on back order until sometime in the next week due to a revision to the 2 watt VHF output. (Sounds to me like a calibration adjustment issue that had to be addressed.) It will be interesting to compare it to my Dakota Alert base station radios.
  14. The killer for FRS only, even at 2 watts, would probably be the attached antenna. We'll find out in a few days. Another approach might be MURS. I've got a couple of Dakota Alert base station MURS radios and decent antennas to try.
  15. The next move is to look for shelter workers who are related to each other.
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