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Flaggers heard using FRS


Sean1989
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Just an observation,

I live near the junction of I-84 (major east/west) and I-5 (major north/south) Interstate highways. CB traffic is beginning to come back on I-84 which is across Columbia river from my house ( 4 miles and almost visible) I have only heard gmrs a couple of times but always on GMRS 18.(no call signs)

CB is several an hour on ch 19, and ch 17.

 

Again, just an observation.

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Here in Nebraska, CB never went out of fashion with the local short-haul trucking community.  All of the local guys still use channel 19, and we now have an expanding population of immigrant truck drivers in the area using channel 22 in Spanish.  I live 5 blocks away from a grain elevator, and 4 miles from a feed distribution site, so I hear a lot of CB traffic every hour.  The elevator uses either channel 19, or sometimes channel 12 to instruct drivers how to back around to the loading/unloading areas etc.

 

I live in the middle of nowhere, so the only thing I ever hear on GMRS is my own family, and some occasional ducting from a grandfathered business-licensed system on .625 that is used by a concrete company east of me about 70 miles.  (They have a phone patch.  Not sure that's legal even on a grandfathered system.)

 

On FRS channel 1, I quite often hear the little girls across the street playing with their walkie talkies, but that's about it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The FCC just issued a notice of violation to Traffic Control Services for unlicensed operation on LMR and GMRS frequencies in 4 mid-Atlantic sates. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357545A1.pdf

 

Another part of that notice recognized that they could've used FRS but their transmitters lacked the proper certification.

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The FCC just issued a notice of violation to Traffic Control Services for unlicensed operation on LMR and GMRS frequencies in 4 mid-Atlantic sates. https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-357545A1.pdf

 

Looks like another big company cheating the rules in the name of profits.  This company as a very well designed website, advertising over 1,600 employees with a fleet of hundreds of trucks, working over 500 active job sites per day.  They even publish a monthly employee newsletter.  I guess they will have to drop a few hundred grand on a license and new radios. ...or just go true FRS.

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The key points in the letter were the use of the GMRS frequencies and uncertified units. They are using the GMRS capable equipment for its higher power so they can cover longer distances between flagging points. The uncertified equipment would be amatuer gear repurposed for GMRS/Part 90 frequencies.

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1) They do hold a license for mobile itinerant frequencies, albeit a relatively small number of 5 watt units.

 

 

The Land Mobile Radio Service license WQOB287 authorizes Traffic Control Services LLC DBA Flagger Force to operate radio transmitting equipment on the frequencies 461.1125 MHz, 461.2125 MHz, 466.1125 MHz, and 466.2125 MHz.

 

 

2) They were allegedly operating on LMRS, FRS, and GMRS.

 

 


employees are allegedly operating two-way radios on the Land Mobile Radio Service (LMRS) frequency 464.550 MHz and on multiple frequencies in the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) including 467.6125 MHz, 467.6375 MHz, 467.6625 MHz, and 462.7250 MHz.

 

 

3) The allegedly don't hold a license for LMRS or GMRS.

 

 


does not hold a license to operate any radio transmitting equipment on the LMRS

 

 


here is no evidence that ... holds, or is eligible to hold, a license to operate radio transmitting equipment on any GMRS frequency.

 

 

4) They were allegedly using uncertified equipment on the license by rule FRS.

 

 


Although an individual license is not required to operate radio transmitting equipment in the FRS, the radio transmitting equipment must be certificated for use in the FRS in accordance with subpart J of part 2 of the Commission’s Rules.

 

 

5) As far as I can figure, they allegedly did not qualify for Part 15 exception on 464.550 MHz due to power levels and/or modes.

 

 


The only exception to this licensing requirement is for certain transmitters using or operating at a power level or mode of operation that complies with the standards established in Part 15 of the Commission’s rules.

 

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The key points in the letter were the use of the GMRS frequencies and uncertified units.

 

Unlicensed use of LMRS frequencies without falling under the Part 15 power level/modes exception is also a big point. IMHO, someone would get smacked more quickly by the FCC for unauthorized use/interference on LMRS before they would GMRS or FRS. Also IMHO, GMRS and FRS were just gravy on top of the LMRS meat for the FCC. Notice which service the FCC listed first... LMRS, ;)

 

They are using the GMRS capable equipment for its higher power so they can cover longer distances between flagging points.

 

There is no indication that they were using mobiles or running over power limits in GMRS. Their license for itenerant frequencies is for 5 watt units. That's no less than what a certified GMRS unit would be capable of. Besides, why wouldn't they have simply used more units than they had licensed since the wattage is the same and the frequency range isn't that much different so propagation differences would likely be negligible, barring some kind of interference. No, I don't believe this was about higher power output unless the FCC forgot to document it in the notice; which is something I would find unlikely.

 

 

The uncertified equipment would be amatuer gear repurposed for GMRS/Part 90 frequencies.

 

It didn't have to necessarily been amateur gear. The document doesn't state that they were running Part 15 certified or home brew equipment.

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Addendum:

 

 

 

on the Land Mobile Radio Service (LMRS) frequency 464.550 MHz and on multiple frequencies in the Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

 

Notice that FRS is nestled between LMRS at the front and GMRS at the end? When I was writing legal notices and might have to argue them (in a previous lifetime), I would put the most important first, the least important in the middle, and the second most important last. The first and last generally stay in the minds of those reading/hearing an argument the most. B)

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  • 1 month later...

I'd been using a pair of FRS handhelds to let my kids know when it was time to come out to the bus (I wait out in the nasty weather where I can see down the road, they wait inside. Fair trade, right?) and one day as I'm turning the units on I hear flaggers coordinating on channel 1. I decided that was a good day to fall back to the ol' "waving arms vigorously" to signal the kids.

 

Turned out to be very handy, hearing the flaggers, because the highway in front of my house was the section reduced to one-way traffic with the stop points out of view in either direction. Made it less worrisome pulling out and driving to work!

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I have been thinking about this thread for about a week.  I drive around with my radio scanning all the GMRS (including shared FRS channels).  Every day, Monday through Friday, from about 6 AM until about 6 PM (some channels, 24x7) every single GMRS and FRS frequency is in use by at least one business.  Some channels are being used by multiple businesses in the same county.  Some businesses are using multiple GMRS and FRS frequencies.

 

After noticing this... I came to the conclusion that regardless of the laws and whats permitted, it is really impossible for practical use of GMRS and FRS in my area without causing interference or being the recipient of interference.  I know I invested in the gear I have for when we go offroading... but it seems grossly unfair that businesses are using GMRS channel and flooding FRS channels, making it so the service is mostly unusable to a private party around here.

 

Truth be told, using CTCSS (TSQL) and DCS can be a workaround so I can't hear them, but using these squelch methods noticeably reduces the ability to receive weak signals.

 

Of course, this is just a moral opinion and a point of aggravation on my part.  I'm done venting.  LOL

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  • 1 month later...

This is a pretty common practice.... flaggers,, framers, etc. using FRS and GMRS blister pack radios. There's a lot of construction going on where the old Denver University hospital used to be between 8th and 9th going north/south and Colorado and Bellaire going east/west, plus several shops being renovated along 8th, and all those crews are using them. A few are using MURS and some sort of crew somewhere a bit further out has been running 151.505, so VHF isn't dead.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For the most part, yes. Though 8 through 14 are exclusively FRS and the GMRS repeater inputs are between those dedicated FRS frequencies.

 

Power and radio type are (for the most part) the only significant characteristics that set them apart from each other.

 

That's from the old rules. There are now no longer exclusive FRS channels. There are only exclusive GMRS repeater inputs. The 22 simplex channels of both FRS and GMRS are all the same frequencies now.

 

 

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.563

 

§ 95.563 FRS channels.

The FRS is allotted 22 channels, each having a channel bandwidth of 12.5 kHz. All of the FRS channels are also allotted to the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) on a shared basis. The FRS channel center frequencies are set forth in the following table:

 

 

 

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/95.1763

 

§ 95.1763 GMRS channels.

The GMRS is allotted 30 channels - 16 main channels and 14 interstitial channels. GMRS stations may transmit on any of the channels as indicated below.

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