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Midland GMRS Product updates


russwbrill
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...We have repeater owners on this very forum using part 90 equipment that have had several site inspections done by the FCC and found in full compliance. Part 90 LMR radios are allowed.

Marc. Could you point to those posts. Specifically, did the FCC find the site to be in compliance, or the radio? Also, I would not take "not finding any issues" to be synonymous with "in compliance."

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Marc. Could you point to those posts. Specifically, did the FCC find the site to be in compliance, or the radio? Also, I would not take "not finding any issues" to be synonymous with "in compliance."

 

I'd have to find the time to go looking for them.  I know Corey is one owner.  I don't remember the names of the other folks, but I recall 2 or three people said they had the same experience as Corey.

 

As far as if the site or the radio is in compliance... that seems like an awfully silly question to me.  Why would the FCC not include the repeater equipment in the site inspection or deem the repeater site to be in compliance and pass inspection if there was illegal equipment being used?  That is a major component that the FCC would issue a deficiency on if the transceivers were not correct.

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...As far as if the site or the radio is in compliance... that seems like an awfully silly question to me.  Why would the FCC not include the repeater equipment in the site inspection or deem the repeater site to be in compliance and pass inspection if there was illegal equipment being used?  That is a major component that the FCC would issue a deficiency on if the transceivers were not correct.

 

There is a world of difference between finding a site to be in compliance and not finding any problems. Also, even if a site is in compliance, that does not make the radios themselves compliant. It only means the FCC did not choose to cite them for being out of compliance.

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Just because the FCC isn't enforcing it right now, doesn't mean that it is allowed under the rules. It is right in front of us in black and white.

Also, Laura (somebody or another) with the FCC was asked in writing soon after the rule changes if Part 90 radios are allowed and she said no. This was well documented on the web if I can find it.

Regardless, it is NOT allowed in GMRS under the current regulations. If it is, please produce the evidence. I have produced evidence to the contrary.

ETA: It was Laura Smith.

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https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/08/29/2017-17395/personal-radio-service-reform

"For similar reasons, it declined to allow GMRS licensees to use equipment certified under part 90 Land Mobile Radio Service rules unless it is also certified for part 95."

...
"Further, regarding the use of part 90 equipment that is not also certified under part 95, the part 95 R&O noted that many part 90 certified radios have no technical similarity to GMRS, so such a broad exemption to the Commission's standard practice of requiring a part 95 equipment authorization would lead to unknown consequences on the service. "

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It is all clearly laid out in my previous post. https://forums.mygmrs.com/topic/1837-midland-gmrs-product-updates/?p=19047

 

Part 95 allows for exception for LMR certified equipment in the Personal Radio Services, however, it must be specified in that particular service's section. For GMRS, that has been changed to "reserved" so there is no exception for GMRS at this time in the current regulations.

 

 

 

§ 95.335 Operation of non-certified transmitters prohibited.

Except as provided in paragraph ( a ) of this section, no person shall operate a transmitter in any Personal Radio Service unless it is a certified transmitter; that is, a transmitter of a type which has obtained a grant of equipment certification for that service, pursuant to part 2, subpart J of this chapter. Use of a transmitter that is not FCC-certified voids the user's authority to operate that station. See sections 302( a ), ( b ), and ( e ) of the Communications Act (47 U.S.C. 302( a ), ( b ), and ( e )).

( a ) Exceptions. Under certain exceptions, non-certified Personal Radio Service transmitters, or transmitters certified for use in the land mobile radio services may be operated. Any such exceptions applicable to stations in a Personal Radio Service are set forth in the subpart governing that specific service. See e.g., §§ 95.735 and 95.1735.

( b ) Revoked or withdrawn certification. In the event that the FCC revokes or withdraws a grant of equipment certification for a type of Personal Radio Service transmitter, existing transmitters already in service may continue to be operated unless and until the FCC determines otherwise and gives Public Notice of that decision.

( c ) Grantee permissible modifications. Only the grantee of the equipment certification may modify the design of a certified Personal Radio Service transmitter type, and then only pursuant to and in full compliance with the requirements and procedures for permissible changes and modifications in part 2 of this chapter. See §§ 2.932 and 2.1043 of this chapter.

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I'd have to find the time to go looking for them.  I know Corey is one owner.  I don't remember the names of the other folks, but I recall 2 or three people said they had the same experience as Corey.

 

As far as if the site or the radio is in compliance... that seems like an awfully silly question to me.  Why would the FCC not include the repeater equipment in the site inspection or deem the repeater site to be in compliance and pass inspection if there was illegal equipment being used?  That is a major component that the FCC would issue a deficiency on if the transceivers were not correct.

 

This happens all of the time with federal regulatory agencies. It can help cover liability to the agency for the individual and/or entity but it cannot change regulations.

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I broke the speed limit on the highway yesterday and went past a police officer. Since I wasn't ticketed, there is no speed limit. :ph34r:

 

Non Sequitur. B)
 
ETA: If the FCC rigorously enforced the regulations regarding Part 90 equipment on GMRS, many repeaters would be forced off the air. IMHO, they know this and choose to turn a blind eye. What the FCC did NOT want to do is open a blanket exemption for all Part 90 equipment and they even stated that. The compromise they chose, knowingly or not, was selective enforcement. It would have been wiser if the FCC did the heavy lifting and crafted clear exemptions in GMRS but they didn't.

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Has anyone used any of the Midland repeater capable gmrs radios with a repeater?  If so, how do they perform?

I recently talked on a repeater approximately 34 miles from my location in the Jeep with my MTX 400 with a 6db gain antenna.  Was sitting still in a very good sized ball park parking lot, at the time.  GETTING A SIGNAL REPORT  I was told I was clear with static in the background.  My reception was very good with light static behigh the other person.

 

This was my first time speaking on the (any) repeater tho I had heard it anounce itself several times thru the week.  It was not listed on the MyGMRS site so I think it is a relatively new location along the interstate for now.  This was also my first conversation with someone I didn't know and had never been able to get a radio report till then.  I had used my mobile for Jeep rides once in the forest with others we knew.

I did have to ping the repeater one CTCSS code at a time until I heard the repeater respond.

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I discovered something new with the MXT400. We now know you can program split tones for repeater use with a programming cable and the software out there now. The discovery is, when using the MXT400 after programming, be very careful not to hit the TS/DCS button on the front panel if you're on a repeater channel using split tones. What happens is with that button which basically toggles thru "no tone"  "CTCSS" and "DCS"  when using preprogrammed split tones. Sets the radio to either CTCSS or DCS or none. Which in effect puts either the same  DCS or CTCSS tone on both the encode and decode and negates the split tone and you have to configure the radio with the software again.

 

Ask me how I know LOL

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I am learning a bunch here with this possible programming stuff.  No, im not getting ready to spring for the cable and programs.

But there is a confusing discussion going on, on FB about this as well and seems to me I have learned the difference between bandwith and frequency at least watching this conversation!

 

I don't think many understand the concept between narrow and wide band.  Thank you all for the education!  Happy with my narrow band transmissions for now.

Edited to add:

In looking up the Part 95 (DATA GMRS) I see we are only allowed 20 kHz bandwith (on specific frequencies) and not 25.

Seems I have seen 25 as a popular number here.  So I would think IF the program changes the bandwidth to 25 kHz that would place us in jeopardy with the FCC.

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Yep, crank up the volume control to listed to the NB operator, then get blasted out of the room when the next person to transmit is WB...  :lol:

You nailed it. That's exactly what ended up happening. Our area has a weekly net and the narrow band/wide band shtick got old real quick. I believe that all of our narrow-banders in the area have went to wide band radios since.

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Yep, crank up the volume control to listed to the NB operator, then get blasted out of the room when the next person to transmit is WB...  :lol:

Yes, I’ve had that experience. It’s even worse on the Ham bands with DMR when stations don’t get their audio levels set right.

 

Then there is the flip side too. North of my area there is a GMRS wide area coverage repeater specifically setup for narrow band operation.

 

I contacted the owner and had him verify it was in fact narrow band. My guess is that’s all he had or just acknowledging more users are using narrow band radios. At least with my Kenwood handhelds I can program the bandwidth for normal/narrow on a per channel basis. 

 

The radios I use have 128 channels so I program one set for normal FM and the other for narrow band. At least this helps to reduce the annoying sound level mismatch with more that two stations on frequency when the other station is stuck with one or the other bandwidths.

 

https://mygmrs.com/view?id=3768

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I failed to mention that I monitored the retransmit from the repeater with a second radio. There's just not that much traffic in my location.

Unfortunately, that test setup results in a rather subjective measurement. You are using a NB receiver and, as is normal, you have adjusted the receive volume to match the received signal from the repeater. So, it sounds fine to you. But, the issue, if and when it arises, is if a listener is hearing both NB and WB originated signals through the repeater. Then there will be a difference between the two.

 

Keep in mind there are two places where the NB/WB "conversion" can be an issue. On the repeater receiver and on the end listener's receiver.

Xmtr....Repeater.....Rcvr

  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • WB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • NB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • WB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • WB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx

​​The first and last cases are the only ones that will have no perceived volume issues. In your test, depending on the rep[eater configuration, you have used either the fifth (most likely) or first case.

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Unfortunately, that test setup results in a rather subjective measurement. You are using a NB receiver and, as is normal, you have adjusted the receive volume to match the received signal from the repeater. So, it sounds fine to you. But, the issue, if and when it arises, is if a listener is hearing both NB and WB originated signals through the repeater. Then there will be a difference between the two.

 

Keep in mind there are two places where the NB/WB "conversion" can be an issue. On the repeater receiver and on the end listener's receiver.

Xmtr....Repeater.....Rcvr

  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • WB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> NB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • NB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • NB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx
  • WB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> NB Rx
  • WB Tx -> WB Rx/Tx -> WB Rx

​​The first and last cases are the only ones that will have no perceived volume issues. In your test, depending on the rep[eater configuration, you have used either the fifth (most likely) or first case.

 

 

 

 

 

So, if I switch the receiver on the second radio to wide band, half of the possiblitiies are eliminated, right?

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  • 4 weeks later...

Found a function on the MXT400 the other day that I didn't see in the manual. You can scan for CTCSS or DCS on a channel if you long hold the CTCSS/DCS button. The codes will start scrolling. If there are active communications on that channel, it will eventually pause on the code. I've use it on the repeater channels to help figure out repeater tones if there's chatter.

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