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Publicizing My GMRS Repeater


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#1 SteveH

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 03:39 PM

My "Ballyhac" GMRS repeater has been in operation now for about a month. There are no real regular users at this point but my neighbor is getting set up to use it to communicate with his daughter's family 2 towns over and my brother in law is getting a couple of GMRS radios for his family's use. Even when they get going, that won't amount to a whole lot of use.

 

I am wondering about how best to get some new users. Word of mouth will net a few more I'm sure but probably not a whole lot.

 

Since most people really don't know anything about GMRS and, if they do, they usually put it in the same category as FRS, education is essential. If they don't know what GMRS is, then it's doubtful that they'll self-discover mygmrs.com or similar sites.

 

I've given some thought to setting up a special email address with a prepared informational note and posting a little blurb with the email address at the local post office and a couple of nearby variety stores.

 

I'd like to hear any success or disaster stories about getting the public to use GMRS and GMRS repeaters.

 

Steve

 

 

 

 



#2 PastorGary

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:01 PM

I'm just the opposite. There is NO publicity for the systems that I commonly use.   When the general public gets wind of a system, the unscrupulous will take advantage of the availability in many cases, rendering the system all but useless. Because our systems are used for emergency operations so often, we can't afford to risk unauthorized use.

 

I'd personally stick with SECURE "advertising" at the main repeater listing site at MyGMRS.com and verify call sign, mailing address and other details for any user requests that come in before you give out the access and output codes to anyone.  I would also go so far as to require a signed agreement including a System Data Non-Disclosure Clause to prevent authorized users from giving out access data to anyone other than immediate family. I also know of several systems where the owner of a system requires a cash Security Deposit for any users coming onto the system as a guaranty of non-disclosure.  If the user moves out of the area or stops using the system, the Security Deposit is mailed back to the user after an additional 3 months.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



#3 SteveH

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Posted 12 August 2013 - 04:14 PM

You certainly raise valid points. For one thing, I would never disclose freq or PL tones w/o vetting someone. Then again, how do you properly vet someone who's responding to a public posting? That'd  be the killer and that's of course my fear. The last thing I want is something like UHF CB.

 

Yes, probably best to stick to word of mouth amongst a small circle and bring in any new members slowly and cautiously.

 

Steve



#4 captdan

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 01:11 AM

I have to agree - Security is priority 1 !. 

 

In 36 years of law enforcement I've done my share of vetting people, and believe me we drilled down into some people's life - but with regards to giving out a repeater PL code - my vetting process is kinda plain and simple - if I wouldn't want you to be an overnight house guest - I don't want to listen to you on my repeater - has worked for me so far. When I want to chat with strangers there is always AOL or CB or the corner gas station or 7-11.

 

Dan

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#5 SteveH

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 07:10 AM

OK guys - I'm convinced. 

Now to paint that white antenna olive drab :)

 

A few weeks ago I tuned my Yaesu to the CB band. I haven't ever really monitored that service and I was amazed (appalled) at what I heard there. If GMRS ever began to sound like that, it would be a total loss. 

 

Steve


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#6 JohnE

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Posted 13 August 2013 - 04:58 PM

I have a list of users for my machines but few actually use it. most of them come through the sites directory. I also let them know I have a no hobby use policy for 650. the icing on the cake is I can shut it off remotely if I have to.


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#7 Logan5

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:03 AM

Wow This has turned into a great thread. I also like less publicity. lucky here in south Florida, there are very few who attempt using a GMRS repeater. yes there is much garbage on 462.xxx but none of it affects my repeater using PL tone. I do not mind licensed guest in fact I encourage it, but I do not want unlicensed users of any kind, nor do I want licensed users that do not respect other repeater users or do not operate with some common sense. I am in no way a stickler, but rude is rude. I am sitting here listening on 462.xxx now and someone is crossband repeating a 6 M signal from anchorage ak.



#8 JeremyM

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Posted 14 August 2013 - 11:55 AM

If GMRS goes the way of CB I will most likely stop using it. The whole reason I chose GMRS was because of the regulations and structure. This is also the reason I am getting my HAM cert.

 

Ultimately most users will not use GMRS even if it does go unlicensed. The HF band provides much better distance, and for most that is the allure of radio. Most just want a way to talk to someone without relying on a cell phone. Self-sustainable telecommunications, no provider needed, plug it in and talk to someone. Since GMRS is easily impacted by obstructions and terrain (more so than the lower bands), it will be less enticing to more novice users. You will still have the "Bubble-Pack Bandits" but they will not have the range or knowledge (for the most part) to get past the CTC or DCS codes.

 

I think GMRS will remain relatively friendly to the core on which it was built: short range communications. The ignorant people will remain on CB so they can have their whip antenna on their jacked up 4x4 (no disrespect to anyone, I'm a "Good ol' Boy" myself).


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#9 Billy

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 08:23 AM

I have been hearing about GMRS going the way of CB for a while.  This is one area where we can thank the FCC and its acceptance of the Bubble Packs.   99% of those radios cannot be heard past one mile.  People buy them with high expectactions then get frustrated and they get put away.  The only real problem I have ever encountered were grandfathered business' and non-grandfathered using the frequencies illegally with good equipment.  The license fee deters most people from using GMRS to its maximum capability like most of us here do.  This is a good thing.  Anyway, interference from inexperienced persons or pirates has not been a problem. 

 

CB, on the other hand works well for the minimal investment.  I just hate needing such a huge antenna.  I do still have a 10/11m Hamstick Dipole in my attic that I can work either band on if need be.  I have a $5 garage sale CB hooked up in my garage and monitor from time to time.   Mostly southern linear traffic, that has been going on for 20 years.   Some beach 4x4 traffic but that is not constant.  



#10 captdan

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Posted 15 August 2013 - 03:40 PM

I have a couple of CB radio's - really only used while on the beach. It's just one of those things - better to have and not need - than need and not have.  It's a 2 edge sword - most concessional radio users will not spend the $85.00 for a GMRS license, and when they buy those bubble pack radios and they don't get any distance out of them - they give up. Thankfully ! Buy a Part 90 approved hand held radio - use it on GMRS and get several miles of clear communications.

 

Every thing has it's own place. While I am on the east coast of the USA and there is cell phone coverage in most places, gas stations, 7-11's and drug dealers on almost ever corner - there are a lot of places in our country, especially out west, that you can go down a road many miles without any people or services. Colorado off of I-80 for example. When you take the dogleg into Colorado Springs off of I-80 there is a sign warning you there there are no services for the next 60 miles or so.  Only way to communicate out there is by CB radio or a passing motorist. Same thing is southern Utah, the area off the grid - no electric - no cell phones - thank God for a good 2 way radio.

 

So I am just saying CB radios and their big whip antennas serve a purpose in the correct area.



#11 kelley

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Posted 09 October 2013 - 11:56 PM

I have a couple of CB radio's - really only used while on the beach. It's just one of those things - better to have and not need - than need and not have.  It's a 2 edge sword - most concessional radio users will not spend the $85.00 for a GMRS license, and when they buy those bubble pack radios and they don't get any distance out of them - they give up. Thankfully ! Buy a Part 90 approved hand held radio - use it on GMRS and get several miles of clear communications.
 
Every thing has it's own place. While I am on the east coast of the USA and there is cell phone coverage in most places, gas stations, 7-11's and drug dealers on almost ever corner - there are a lot of places in our country, especially out west, that you can go down a road many miles without any people or services. Colorado off of I-80 for example. When you take the dogleg into Colorado Springs off of I-80 there is a sign warning you there there are no services for the next 60 miles or so.  Only way to communicate out there is by CB radio or a passing motorist. Same thing is southern Utah, the area off the grid - no electric - no cell phones - thank God for a good 2 way radio.
 
So I am just saying CB radios and their big whip antennas serve a purpose in the correct area.


Just a quick FYI, I-80 is no not in Colorado. No worries ;)

#12 captdan

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 01:59 AM

Just a quick FYI, I-80 is no not in Colorado. No worries ;)

My bad I was thinking of Interstate 70 - when you get off of it near Limon Colorado and take a dog leg down to Colorado Springs. Been a few years since I was driving round the country -  I do remember that trip just typed the wrong Interstate number - sorry !



#13 PastorGary

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 04:26 AM

Kelley - Thanks for stopping in and posting. Welcome to the forum.



#14 Guest_spd641_*

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:41 PM

If GMRS goes the way of CB I will most likely stop using it. The whole reason I chose GMRS was because of the regulations and structure. This is also the reason I am getting my HAM cert.

 

Ultimately most users will not use GMRS even if it does go unlicensed. The HF band provides much better distance, and for most that is the allure of radio. Most just want a way to talk to someone without relying on a cell phone. Self-sustainable telecommunications, no provider needed, plug it in and talk to someone. Since GMRS is easily impacted by obstructions and terrain (more so than the lower bands), it will be less enticing to more novice users. You will still have the "Bubble-Pack Bandits" but they will not have the range or knowledge (for the most part) to get past the CTC or DCS codes.

 

I think GMRS will remain relatively friendly to the core on which it was built: short range communications. The ignorant people will remain on CB so they can have their whip antenna on their jacked up 4x4 (no disrespect to anyone, I'm a "Good ol' Boy" myself).

Hey Buddy,

I resemble that remark,don't be making fun of my 4 wheel drive monster truck or the fact my snuff dipping 500lb wife is my cousin too!!!...lol



#15 Guest_spd641_*

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Posted 10 October 2013 - 06:58 PM

Kelley - Thanks for stopping in and posting. Welcome to the forum.

Kelley,

 

Welcome to GMRS forums,hope you enjoy the discussions we have on the different topics.We have knowledgeable members and staff which will answer your questions to the best of our abilities and if we don't know the answer we will try our best to come up with the appropriate answer,as part of the moderation team myself and Pastor Gary are here to to assist you any way possible...Welcome Aboard!!!...William



#16 JeremyM

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Posted 11 October 2013 - 08:58 AM

Hey Buddy,

I resemble that remark,don't be making fun of my 4 wheel drive monster truck or the fact my snuff dipping 500lb wife is my cousin too!!!...lol

ROFL! CB is good for what it is, but I tend to prefer a more structured (monitored) environment. I don't prefer to turn on my radio and hear obscenities which is what CB has become in this area.


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#17 PastorGary

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Posted 12 October 2013 - 05:21 AM

Just a little off topic, but I am licensed for an IG frequency just up-band from the normal CB frequencies. As everyone here knows, there are bootlegger operators running sideband equipment between CB channel 40 and the bottom end of the 10 meter segment.  My assigned frequency is 5 KHZ offset from the bootleg CB frequencies in use and I have a clear channel. I don't hear any of the illegal operations at all... only the occasional LICENSED operators still on that frequency by way of skip from Georgia and Arizona.  I have some E F Johnson equipment still on that frequency because we can get over 50 miles simplex with only 25 watts.

 

Kind of reminds me of the good old days (early 1960's) when the Texas Department of Public Safety was still running low band VHF frequencies.  I could hear their 100 watt mobiles in Wisconsin on a couple frequencies between 39.42 and 39.98 MHZ as well as between 42.04 and 42.74 MHZ.  Their 45 to 47 MHZ equipment was just coming on line at that same time and those channels were not as clear or as frequent up this way for skip.



#18 JeffRandall

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:28 PM

I'm the new guy, both to GMRS radio and to these forums. We will be installing a repeater on our farm soon. My main reasons for it is to have good comms all over the farm and to also make it available for emergency uses. I doubt we will make it public since we already talk a lot on GMRS simplex for farm use and to communciate with our instructors during a class we may be having. I don't need too much of a social life when it comes to communciating but it will be nice to reach out to other operators in case of bad weather or some other emergency. Repeater will being operated from a completely off-grid cabin we have here on the farm.


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#19 PastorGary

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:44 PM

Jeff - Thanks for registering and stopping by the Forum to introduce yourself.  Thanks for posting and Welcome !!

 

Our other Moderator, William - SPD641,  lives very close to you - perhaps you know him...???



#20 JeffRandall

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Posted 17 October 2013 - 06:49 PM

I believe he and I spoke on the radio this morning, as well as having some email comms. Wanted to make sure I could reach him from the area the repeater is going in. Like I said, I'm new to this whole thing and the more I research the more confusing it becomes, esepcailly when you start reading all the FCC rules and regs. I always do things "by the book" so it's taken me some time to dive into the repeater but well on my way now. As soon as I get it up and working I will post it here on the site.

 

Much thanks for the welcome!


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