Yeah, I ask a lot of questions for a noob. Sorry about that, but I'm playing the role of an information sponge right now. Trying to learn all I can about this stuff.
My question is about GMRS popularity. How popular is it?
I see a lot of "SHTF" prepper-types getting into the BaoFengs and such. I get that.
I'm within pretty solid reach of a GMRS repeater here in Alexandria, Virginia. I have myself and my wife on it just fine. For those unaware, Alexandria is at the southern end of the Washington, DC area "Beltway". As such, the repeater hits a pretty broad swath of a fairly densely populated region.
For a couple days, I was convinced I had made a mistake in configuring my radios because I wasn't hearing any activity at all. I did a few radio checks and didn't get any responses.
I must have programmed and reprogrammed my repeater offsets a dozen times to ensure it wasn't my fault -- which I entirely assumed to be the case. I openly admit I'm a newbie here, after all.
Then, out of the blue, I heard from someone driving through the area and checking in on the repeater. I responded with a radio check and we had a short chat. All went fine. At least now I knew my radios were set up correctly for the repeater.
Since then, I've had a few more casual contacts and have even had a couple conversations with the repeater's owner. All good.
But, candidly, I expected more traffic here. Yeah, everyone has an iPhone or Android in 2020, so back to my questions.
How popular is GMRS? Is it growing? Is it shrinking? Are equipment manufacturers producing new products in this space? Or are the BaoFengs taking over and all the big guys' profit margins shrinking to 0 or negative?
Basically, among you experienced GMRS jockeys, how does our future look?
I'm not trying to sound pessimistic, trust me. For my primary use case (emergency comms with my family), I'm committed to GMRS. My wife will never sit for a ham exam. The shared license model here fits us perfectly. Is GMRS as committed to me as I am to GMRS?
Opinions welcome, with gratitude.