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I'd like to use my Yaesu FT-60 for GMRS repeater


kaos26
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Hi All, 

 

I'd like to use my Yaesu FT-60 for GMRS repeater can this be done? I tried looking around on youtube but was unsuccessful. 

so my wife (not ham yet) works in healthcare in a skilled nursing facility and the other day I believe it was Tmobile network was down and she was not able to make calls, Not sure what kind of back up communication system they have in place at her facility but I'd like her to be able to call out if needed.

I purchased 2 baofengs uv-82 max power mirkit programmed it to GMRS repeater but it only went 1-2 miles out.

(i got my GMRS license the other day just so I can potentially chat with her or any family member if needed, and perhaps use during camping etc.) 

 

Thanks in advance.

 

73

km6nji 

wrht806

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marcspaz - I probably should've done more research about GMRS and the potential devices to use. Well since I already purchased it I'll have to check/research if I can use it for my HAM, otherwise $ down the drain! I'll have to figure out whats a good device for GMRS.

 

OR Do some modifications to it. According to berkinet- thank you for the link, and thanks marcspaz

 

73!

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marcspaz - I probably should've done more research about GMRS and the potential devices to use. Well since I already purchased it I'll have to check/research if I can use it for my HAM, otherwise $ down the drain! I'll have to figure out whats a good device for GMRS.

 

OR Do some modifications to it. According to berkinet- thank you for the link, and thanks marcspaz

 

73!

The FT-60 is a ham radio and will work on ham frequencies only until you do the MARS mod. My father uses his FT-60 on GMRS for repeater controls only (Its the only radio he has with a DTMF keypad) so it will work, but would be frowned upon by quite a few.

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The FT-60 is a ham radio and will work on ham frequencies only until you do the MARS mod. My father uses his FT-60 on GMRS for repeater controls only (Its the only radio he has with a DTMF keypad) so it will work, but would be frowned upon by quite a few.

Me personally, I think the restrictions of type certified radios for free/public (not business or government) is completely stupid. I feel like most people don't know what is what and can easily end up breaking the rules by mistake.

 

The truth is, I believe that while most ham radios are pretty cheap in quality, they are way better than any new part 95 product on the market today. Many of them are more than capable of performing inside the restrictions of GMRS. People should be allow to use them.

 

That said, if someone is using one for GMRS, I couldn't care less, but I wouldn't go on the internet putting in writing that you are doing it and if someone asks me for advice in the forum, there's going to be a "by the book" response from me.

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Me personally, I think the restrictions of type certified radios for free/public (not business or government) is completely stupid. I feel like most people don't know what is what and can easily end up breaking the rules by mistake.

 

The truth is, I believe that while most ham radios are pretty cheap in quality, they are way better than any new part 95 product on the market today. Many of them are more than capable of performing inside the restrictions of GMRS. People should be allow to use them.

 

That said, if someone is using one for GMRS, I couldn't care less, but I wouldn't go on the internet putting in writing that you are doing it and if someone asks me for advice in the forum, there's going to be a "by the book" response from me.

I'm in agreement about doing our best to at least make people aware of the "proper" route.

 

My jaded side says at least a little bit of the certification requirement for gmrs vs ham is money-based, both in the cost of certification and licenses (similar to my thoughts on CARB certification for auto parts...)

 

That said, probably a big part of it is the amount of knowledge required for a ham license, vs gmrs being pay the fee and here's your license. This allows ham stuff to be a lot more open, as you're more expected to know where you can and can't operate, where gmrs stuff is locked down almost to the level of the lowest common denominator, so the bubble pack buyers can just grab something and go without much research or background, without the possibility of running over their local public safety frequencies (this way, their oversight can be complaint-driven, rather than having to devote staff to actively policing)

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I'm in agreement about doing our best to at least make people aware of the "proper" route.

 

My jaded side says at least a little bit of the certification requirement for gmrs vs ham is money-based, both in the cost of certification and licenses (similar to my thoughts on CARB certification for auto parts...)

 

That said, probably a big part of it is the amount of knowledge required for a ham license, vs gmrs being pay the fee and here's your license. This allows ham stuff to be a lot more open, as you're more expected to know where you can and can't operate, where gmrs stuff is locked down almost to the level of the lowest common denominator, so the bubble pack buyers can just grab something and go without much research or background, without the possibility of running over their local public safety frequencies (this way, their oversight can be complaint-driven, rather than having to devote staff to actively policing)

 

Hmmm. I doubt anything will change anytime soon, but when the rules come up for re-evaluation, I wonder if it would be worth it for the Amateur Radio community to request a hardware certification exemption if they have both licenses and the equipment is capable of operating within the rules?

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...when the rules come up for re-evaluation, I wonder if it would be worth it for the Amateur Radio community to request a hardware certification exemption if they have both licenses and the equipment is capable of operating within the rules?

This has already been tried and rejected. See: http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-turns-away-petition-to-allow-hams-to-operate-non-certificated-transmitters-on-gmrs

 

BTW, it has been previously suggested in this thread that price/cost is a factor in certified vs. ham equipment. I am not really sure that is true. It is hard to make a comparison since there are not many HAM single band UHF radios. But, for a rough comparison...

 

GMRS -

Midland MXT400 $250

Midland MXT115 & MXT275 $150

Btech 50X1 $200

 

HAM -

ALINCO DR-435TMKIII $230

YAESU FTM-3207DR $169

 

So, I'd say while the GMRS radios are a bit more expensive, the price difference is not very significant and could well be accounted for by multiple factors like, lower demand, and certification costs. Also, you have to be careful to distinguish between radios manufactured for the ham radio market by vendors like Kenwood, ICOM, Yaesu, etc. and the low end radios labeled as "ham radios" because they are simply uncertified in any service. These include most of the CCRs

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This has already been tried and rejected. See: http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-turns-away-petition-to-allow-hams-to-operate-non-certificated-transmitters-on-gmrs

 

BTW, it has been previously suggested in this thread that price/cost is a factor in certified vs. ham equipment. I am not really sure that is true. It is hard to make a comparison since there are not many HAM single band UHF radios. But, for a rough comparison...

 

GMRS -

Midland MXT400 $250

Midland MXT115 & MXT275 $150

Btech 50X1 $200

 

HAM -

ALINCO DR-435TMKIII $230

YAESU FTM-3207DR $169

 

So, I'd say while the GMRS radios are a bit more expensive, the price difference is not very significant and could well be accounted for by multiple factors like, lower demand, and certification costs. Also, you have to be careful to distinguish between radios manufactured for the ham radio market by vendors like Kenwood, ICOM, Yaesu, etc. and the low end radios labeled as "ham radios" because they are simply uncertified in any service. These include most of the CCRs

 

 

This has already been tried and rejected. See: http://www.arrl.org/news/fcc-turns-away-petition-to-allow-hams-to-operate-non-certificated-transmitters-on-gmrs

 

BTW, it has been previously suggested in this thread that price/cost is a factor in certified vs. ham equipment. I am not really sure that is true. It is hard to make a comparison since there are not many HAM single band UHF radios. But, for a rough comparison...

 

GMRS -

Midland MXT400 $250

Midland MXT115 & MXT275 $150

Btech 50X1 $200

 

HAM -

ALINCO DR-435TMKIII $230

YAESU FTM-3207DR $169

 

So, I'd say while the GMRS radios are a bit more expensive, the price difference is not very significant and could well be accounted for by multiple factors like, lower demand, and certification costs. Also, you have to be careful to distinguish between radios manufactured for the ham radio market by vendors like Kenwood, ICOM, Yaesu, etc. and the low end radios labeled as "ham radios" because they are simply uncertified in any service. These include most of the CCRs

i agree it's hard to make direct comparisons as there isn't many places you can find comparable equipment on both sides of the gmrs/ham "fence".  probably the most direct comparison i can find between the two services is in Btech.  The GMRS 50x1 is one of the very few actual gmrs certified mobile options outside Midland.  hardware wise, it looks to be identical to their mid range ham offering, the 50x2, and both ring in at the same price. 

 

definitely there was some gamble on the part of Btech to make a gmrs radio, but perhaps less for them in some others, because the gamble appears to be limited to locking down the firmware (it receives quite a lot, but is locked down to only transmit on gmrs), and getting it certified, where other manufacturers may have to start a lot further back (and thus invest/gamble a lot more) in the development process.

 

where the "money" line of thinking really comes in is in paying for the certification.  the parallel to CARB is that everything is based on certification, not the in-practice operation.... the uncertified equipment could be doing exactly what the certified equipment is doing, but you're not in compliance because you don't have that stamp, and CARB (California Air Resources Board) is similar...even if i could modify the car to blow pure oxygen out the exhaust, i'd still fail smog if the manufacturer of the parts didn't pay the state to go through the certification process to get their stamp of approval.

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While my view aligns with marcspaz, I understand where the FCC is coming from. In general, the Part 95 devices have zero field programming on the transmission side (apart from tone adjustment). There are minor exceptions (Kenwood Tactical add-on) that a dealer would only install if they know the operator won't get out of their allow frequencies.

 

Overall, this makes sense, because GMRS is a commercial system, you typically have a group of people operating under one license, such as a family camping trip, the licensee would hand out a bunch of hand helds or program UTVs with the GMRS frequencies and thus a non-knowledgeable kid/family member couldn't screw up and accidentally go to the local FD frequency and get in big trouble.  Same could be said for a business, you don't want a crew member going off frequency.

 

That being said, I wouldn't be opposed to addition of an exception to allow Part 90 equipment, either by license rule (if you have a HAM and GMRS), or if you have to apply for the equipment exception. Personally, they way I have my Part 95 radios programmed, while I can monitor the local PD/FD, I did not input a transmit frequency and thus locked myself from a stupid mistake on those frequencies. 

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I'm in agreement about doing our best to at least make people aware of the "proper" route.

 

 

 

That's very true. I have a couple of friends with GMRS licenses, also looking to get their Ham license when the local clubs open up again for testing, that are using non Part 95 certified equipment on GMRS. I had to advise them the use of those radios is not per the FCC rules. They had asked for some advise about equipment and operating. I felt I needed to do that as being a responsible Ham and GMRS operator and not miss lead them. They are adults and can make their own decisions. I just wanted them to be fully aware of what they are doing.

 

Some have pointed out that a number of non Part 95 certified radios are being used for GMRS that most likely meet or exceed the frequency stability, bandwidth and can be adjusted to comply with the power output requirements for GMRS. The opinion that some people just don't care if that's the case as long as the major technical requirements are met is understandable.

 

I think sooner or later the FCC will just throw in the towel on using Part 90 radios on GMRS and make it legal. It likely will be just like the FRS/GMRS combo radio mess. They knew people were not getting the licenses but used the radios on the then GMRS only channels. Rather than waste resources busting people using the radios illegally, or ignoring those people and making excuses for not doing anything, they took the easy way out and just made the already wide spread practice legal by changing the rules. Problem solved, and they don't have to make excuses anymore for not enforcing the rules. Same thing with CB radios years ago. So many people quit getting licenses, or failed to ID per the rules, and the FCC had a hard time keeping up with the volume of license applications they did get, the FCC finally dumped the requirement and made it "license by rule". Again they simply made legal what people were already doing and got rid of a administration headache at the same time, again they took the easy way out.

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When looking at equipment the biggest fault I find is the part 90 vs part 95 debate.  Esp when part 90 exceeds 95 requirements.  There are many business band fire / emergency service radios sitting on shelves due to narrow banding and they make great gmrs equipment.  Esp the repeaters.  Better and cheaper than part 95 certifications.  Glad there is a blind eye on their use. Untill you start causing problems....

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One of the other members can correct me if I am mistaken... but I believe an official opinion from either the Secretary or a Branch Chief of enforcement issued an official opinion that part 90 commercial gear was grandfathered in.

 

There are several repeater owners here who have commercial, part 90 repeaters who have had many FCC site inspections and were found to be in compliance at every inspection.

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  • 5 months later...

I have a FT-60R and it works fantastically on Ham, GMRS, FRS, and MURS and any other service within it's frequency range following modification.  I'm not going to say here whether or not I actually have ever done it because it is not certified for non-ham frequencies and therefore it is not legal for Part 95, 90, 80, or 22 use, but that radio can also be programmed for the exact Part 95 power limits for each Part 95 service and frequencies as well.  It is much better at this than any of the Chinese radios regardless of certification.  It is almost as if Yeasu knew going in that there would be responsible Hams that also wanted to use it on GMRS, MURS, FRS, Marine, Commercial, and Ham radio.  For example, you are allowed 5 watts on GMRS/FRS splinter simplex frequencies on FRS channels if you have a GMRS license (and type-accepted radio).  The FT60 will do this.  Furthermore you can run wide or narrow bandwidth.  Current GMRS rules require narrowband emissions with a 5 watt limit on FRS channels 7-14, for example if you have a GMRS license.  There is also a 2 watt power level setting which just by coincidence is the power limit for MURS, an FCC licensed-by-rule service like CB radio.  There is also a 1/2 watt setting that can be used for pure FRS, but once again, not legally.  The FT60 is very good at maintaining these power levels across it's band capability regardless of frequency.  There is a very simple diode-removal modification available from many sources if you google "FT60 Mod" to do this but you have to have a very steady hand so you don't destroy the radio because the diode is almost microscopic.  I encourage anyone doing this to do their absolute best to conform to emissions requirements, including power, bandwidth, and spurious emissions for any band you plan to use it on, keeping in mind that is not legal to use it in the USA on anything but Ham frequencies.  Also keep in mind that there are 2 bandwidth requirements within the MURS band depending on which channel you are using. Personally, I am OK with using the same radios across radio services as long as you conform to ALL of the other FCC regulatory requirements including RF emissions, but that is up to the individual to decide if that is an acceptable thing for them to do because it is not legal due to FT-60's lack of FCC Certification. I also like having maximum frequency range transmit capabilities in case of a life or death emergency, which is allowed by the FCC.  Here's a review of the FT60:  https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=4286#:~:text=Battery%20life%20is%20excellent%2C%20easy,trip%20the%20%22wires%22%20key.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a FT-60R and it works fantastically on Ham, GMRS, FRS, and MURS and any other service within it's frequency range following modification.  I'm not going to say here whether or not I actually have ever done it because it is not certified for non-ham frequencies and therefore it is not legal for Part 95, 90, 80, or 22 use, but that radio can also be programmed for the exact Part 95 power limits for each Part 95 service and frequencies as well.  It is much better at this than any of the Chinese radios regardless of certification.  It is almost as if Yeasu knew going in that there would be responsible Hams that also wanted to use it on GMRS, MURS, FRS, Marine, Commercial, and Ham radio.  For example, you are allowed 5 watts on GMRS/FRS splinter simplex frequencies on FRS channels if you have a GMRS license (and type-accepted radio).  The FT60 will do this.  Furthermore you can run wide or narrow bandwidth.  Current GMRS rules require narrowband emissions with a 5 watt limit on FRS channels 7-14, for example if you have a GMRS license.  There is also a 2 watt power level setting which just by coincidence is the power limit for MURS, an FCC licensed-by-rule service like CB radio.  There is also a 1/2 watt setting that can be used for pure FRS, but once again, not legally.  The FT60 is very good at maintaining these power levels across it's band capability regardless of frequency.  There is a very simple diode-removal modification available from many sources if you google "FT60 Mod" to do this but you have to have a very steady hand so you don't destroy the radio because the diode is almost microscopic.  I encourage anyone doing this to do their absolute best to conform to emissions requirements, including power, bandwidth, and spurious emissions for any band you plan to use it on, keeping in mind that is not legal to use it in the USA on anything but Ham frequencies.  Also keep in mind that there are 2 bandwidth requirements within the MURS band depending on which channel you are using. Personally, I am OK with using the same radios across radio services as long as you conform to ALL of the other FCC regulatory requirements including RF emissions, but that is up to the individual to decide if that is an acceptable thing for them to do because it is not legal due to FT-60's lack of FCC Certification. I also like having maximum frequency range transmit capabilities in case of a life or death emergency, which is allowed by the FCC.  Here's a review of the FT60:  https://www.eham.net/reviews/view-product?id=4286#:~:text=Battery%20life%20is%20excellent%2C%20easy,trip%20the%20%22wires%22%20key.

I would recommend you download the service manual for the radio and read through the manufacturers specifications.

 

https://www.qrzcq.com/pub/RADIO_MANUALS/YAESU/YAESU--FT-60-Service-Manual.pdf

 

The first thing that pops up is the frequency stability is only 5PPM. I believe on the GMRS frequencies it needs to be 2.5PPM.

 

The second thing is the narrow band performance. The better radios, typically the commercial radios, have two filters in the receiver section, one narrow band and the other wide band. They are switched in depending on the band width programed. The cheap Chinese radios, and most of the Ham gear from the major manufacturers, save money by using the wide band filter for both. The only thing that gets switch is the max deviation setting and audio gain, increased for narrow band. That means trying to operate with closely spaced stations isn’t going to work so well. 

 

While the radio will “work” the poor frequency stability may cause issues with adjacent narrow band channels. All radios will drift in frequency with temperature. The better ones use temperature stabilized reference oscillators to minimize this. The receiver filter issue may result in interference from an adjacent narrow band station’s transmitter.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I would recommend you download the service manual for the radio and read through the manufacturers specifications.

 

https://www.qrzcq.com/pub/RADIO_MANUALS/YAESU/YAESU--FT-60-Service-Manual.pdf

 

The first thing that pops up is the frequency stability is only 5PPM. I believe on the GMRS frequencies it needs to be 2.5PPM.

 

The second thing is the narrow band performance. The better radios, typically the commercial radios, have two filters in the receiver section, one narrow band and the other wide band. They are switched in depending on the band width programed. The cheap Chinese radios, and most of the Ham gear from the major manufacturers, save money by using the wide band filter for both. The only thing that gets switch is the max deviation setting and audio gain, increased for narrow band. That means trying to operate with closely spaced stations isn’t going to work so well. 

 

While the radio will “work” the poor frequency stability may cause issues with adjacent narrow band channels. All radios will drift in frequency with temperature. The better ones use temperature stabilized reference oscillators to minimize this. The receiver filter issue may result in interference from an adjacent narrow band station’s transmitter.

 

I'm not saying you're wrong, because you're not - but sometimes technical specs can be misleading. Think cars and horsepower. Some measure at wheels, some at crankshaft, some "derate" horsepower in various ways for whatever reasons ...

 

I would suspect Yaesu to be much MUCH more conservative in their metrics, and I'd expect Baofeng to be extremely optimistic.

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