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Family use of callsigns.


johno
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I recently got enough GMRS radios for my whole family to use.  Now the question is, should there be a different identifier for each user on my call sign, WQYX 855?  On the ham bands, everyone has their individual call.

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

John

N5AZO/WQYX855

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I recently got enough GMRS radios for my whole family to use.  Now the question is, should there be a different identifier for each user on my call sign, WQYX 855?  On the ham bands, everyone has their individual call.

 

This isn't ham radio so some of the firm and fast ham rules are not necessarily required. Some times it seems that hams tend to self impose a few too many strict operating rules when they're not really needed. But remember that amateur radio licenses are issued to individuals and usually cover only that individual with some infrequent exceptions.

 

GMRS licenses are also issued to individuals, but the license covers an entire family as defined in 95E.So there's no rule about individual call signs. You all have to use the same FCC issued call sign and ID every so often, but it's up to you what you call each other on the radio. First names are ok, and so are unit numbers or car/truck numbers. Typically, a base station would be called "Base", and if you have more than one, "Base 1" or "Base 2" or "Smallville Base to Bigtown Base."

 

It's just me and the wife on a channel when we convoy with two vehicles and I always pick a quiet channel. We just use first names to initially call each other. After that, we just talk and ID when required.

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My family uses unit numbers, but not very often. Names work just as good.

 

In my family; my wife and I, and our oldest son are all hams.  Our 2 younger sons are not hams. (yet)

 

What's funny is that our youngest son takes this GMRS identification business more seriously than any of the rest of us.  I will call him on GMRS as: "Hey Mike, it's Dad, copy?"  He will respond with: "This is WQYM-Five Four One, unit 5 to unit 1, go ahead Dad."

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  • 4 years later...

It seems to me that Ham licenses are personal licenses and GMRS are group licenses (whole families) so using ham as a guide line is not really applicable.   When I was in public safety (group licenses) each user/radio did not use the FCC call sign.  FCC call signs were given (sub-audible) automatically or by the dispatchers.  That seems to be more applicable to GMRS.

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4 hours ago, kirk5056 said:

It seems to me that Ham licenses are personal licenses and GMRS are group licenses (whole families) so using ham as a guide line is not really applicable.

The FCC doesn't see it that way.  A GMRS license is an individual license.  Members of the license-holder's family are allowed to operate under that license, but the license is still issued to an individual, not a group.  "John Smith", not "The Smith Family".  It's also not a matter of "using ham as a guide".  The regulations for station ID are spelled out in 95e.  The suggestion is to use call sign + number to identify member of the family.  The only exception is for a private repeater only used by individuals operating under one license (i.e. a family).

 

§ 95.1751 GMRS station identification.

Each GMRS station must be identified by transmission of its FCC-assigned call sign at the end of transmissions and at periodic intervals during transmissions except as provided in paragraph (c) of this section. A unit number may be included after the call sign in the identification.

(a) The GMRS station call sign must be transmitted:

    (1) Following a single transmission or a series of transmissions; and,

    (2) After 15 minutes and at least once every 15 minutes thereafter during a series of transmissions lasting more than 15 minutes.

(b) The call sign must be transmitted using voice in the English language or international Morse code telegraphy using an audible tone.

(c) Any GMRS repeater station is not required to transmit station identification if:

    (1) It retransmits only communications from GMRS stations operating under authority of the individual license under which it operates; and,

    (2) The GMRS stations whose communications are retransmitted are properly identified in accordance with this section.

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