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Whats with repeater users needing permission on GMRS?


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#1 w4thm

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 04:56 PM

Greetings all.

 

I've been following the GMRS world for a bit and finally got a GMRS license. I've been a ham since 1994 and was a cb'er prior to that. One thing that has struck me really odd about this aspect of the radio hobby is the widespread need for asking for permission before using a repeater.

 

Yes, I know repeaters cost money. I'm currently the trustee of a large footprint ham repeater in Miami. As ham radio hobbyist, we put up repeaters for the benefit of the hobby and all users are welcomed without prior consent. You basically have to work at getting thrown off a ham repeater. Why is common practice on GMRS so... unwelcoming... for lack of better words?

 

 

 

 

 



#2 marcspaz

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 05:57 PM

I have several acquaintances who own GMRS repeaters. They are personal property, not owned by a club or group, installed at their homes and were put in place for use by them and their family.

I have never seen/heard of anyone licensed being turned down. However, as a property owner, it seems reasonable to have someone ask for permission to use my stuff and to want to know who is using my stuff.

I had a 2m repeater at my house for years and never stopped anyone from legally using it. Eventually I got tired of maintaining it and took it down. Now I only use it for emergency work in the field. Sometimes literally in a field. LoL
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#3 JohnE

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 06:10 PM

At the risk of sounding arrogant.

I've said this before and will re post it again

 

 

1 for the most part GMRS is intended as a Family radio service.

2  cost. I have $$$ into 3 machines. my time, my $$, it is at my digression to let others use it.

3  people can be idiots. you want to act like a fool on my machines I shut them off.

4  this is not HAM

.

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#4 Former-Member

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 10:10 PM

--



#5 Lscott

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 11:05 PM

We have only a few GMRS repeaters in my area, one of them only a few months old and private, and already I hear them being abused.

I agree with the owner's choice of keeping them private if they choose, but it seems like an impossible task.

As a side note there is a story about a Ham who really disliked people using cheap Chinese radios on his repeater. His “solution” was switching to Motorola MDC for access, which they don’t have. Predictably he got a lot of negative comments over the switch, mostly along the lines of being a Motorola radio snob. But it was his repeater if I remember right.

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MDC-1200



#6 w4thm

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Posted 09 September 2020 - 11:15 PM

The responses don't surprise me. Seems counter productive towards getting people interested in a radio hobby.

You want to talk money, we're currently burning in a brand new hytera ip addressable repeater going up with a DB420 antenna. Easily over $3k without counting duplexer, lightning protection, and cable.

This will be at 950' in downtown Miami. Open to all. Part of the reason it's being done is the general "you stay off my repeater" vibe we picked up from looking at the local gmrs listings. It was baffling to see how unfriendly this side of the radio hobby can feel.

#7 wayoverthere

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 12:53 AM

The responses don't surprise me. Seems counter productive towards getting people interested in a radio hobby.

You want to talk money, we're currently burning in a brand new hytera ip addressable repeater going up with a DB420 antenna. Easily over $3k without counting duplexer, lightning protection, and cable.

This will be at 950' in downtown Miami. Open to all. Part of the reason it's being done is the general "you stay off my repeater" vibe we picked up from looking at the local gmrs listings. It was baffling to see how unfriendly this side of the radio hobby can feel.


I've mentioned it before, but in some areas, gmrs is a very closed group, utility only mindset, more like "frs-plus", instead of the "ham-lite" hobbyist mindset you might expect looking at the web (and I had hoped for).

It's kind of a false image, though, because it's mainly the hobbyists that are the ones likely to be visiting forums like this to expand the interest.
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#8 berkinet

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 04:57 AM

The responses don't surprise me. Seems counter productive towards getting people interested in a radio hobby.

You want to talk money, we're currently burning in a brand new hytera ip addressable repeater going up with a DB420 antenna. Easily over $3k without counting duplexer, lightning protection, and cable.

This will be at 950' in downtown Miami. Open to all. Part of the reason it's being done is the general "you stay off my repeater" vibe we picked up from looking at the local gmrs listings. It was baffling to see how unfriendly this side of the radio hobby can feel.

 

I would agree ham radio can probably be safely classified as a hobby. But, I would not make the same statement about GMRS. Yes, for some GMRS is a hobby. But, as @wayoverthere notes, probably a greater percentage of MyGMRS members than of the general GMRS population fit that description. 

 

Look at the history and licensing to get a feel for what GMRS is. It's roots were as a business service, and those early licenses are still grand-fathered in, and business use is still perfectly legal on GMRS. Licensing is by family unit, not individuals. This encourages use of GMRS as a practical communications tool, rather than as a hobby.  Another point of comparison is repeaters. GMRS repeaters are limited to 8 frequency pairs, have no coordinating body, and commonly share frequencies using PL, etc. to control access. GMRS repeaters tend to be used for short, task oriented communications and less for rag chewing. So, sharing channels works well. Ham radio, with frequency coordinators, etc. seeks to limit the number of repeaters in an area to avoid interference.

 

There are many other differences, but I think I have covered the main points.  But, I would add one more thing. Where is it written that either as a hobby, or a personal communications tool, that getting people interested in two-way radio is, or even should be, a commonly agreed upon or shared objective?  I think that is an admirable goal. But, I would also not fault someone who did not share that goal.


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#9 redrockjk

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 06:55 PM

Hi  WRJH488,

 

Just want to say thanks for repeater in Miami. I'm absolutely brand new to the radio hobby.  Live in Davie, but work off the Causeway.  Your repeater is the first one I'm trying to get programmed into my radio.  Haven't got it all figured out yet, but appreciate you making the huge tower available!  


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#10 marcspaz

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Posted 10 September 2020 - 08:44 PM

Hi  WRJH488,

 

Just want to say thanks for repeater in Miami. I'm absolutely brand new to the radio hobby.  Live in Davie, but work off the Causeway.  Your repeater is the first one I'm trying to get programmed into my radio.  Haven't got it all figured out yet, but appreciate you making the huge tower available!  

 

I have a house in St. Pete and in Hollywood.  There are really no other GMRS repeaters around there.  I haven't used his.  Didn't know he put one up.  I'll have to check it out the next time I am down there.

 

Do you have a Red Rock JK?



#11 w4thm

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:12 PM

Marc,

I dont know what a Red Rock is. The Miami 725 is up and running. Just got on from Homestead and machine is downtown. A preamp will be added in near future to improve receive sensitivity. I have to edit listing as it ended up on backup site for .325 ham repeater which is at 750'.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

The responses I've seen here are interesting and I guess I can attribute it to location. Most ham repeaters here are personally funded. The clubs are broke lol. Those putting up the machines do it for all to use. The few closed ham repeaters are looked down upon and heckled. You want a closed repeater? Get a cellphone. This mentality carried over to GMRS repeaters put up by hams.To each their own.

 

You guys are all welcome to use the Miami 725 when in town. No permission needed.


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#12 marcspaz

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 12:56 PM

Marc,

I dont know what a Red Rock is. The Miami 725 is up and running. Just got on from Homestead and machine is downtown. A preamp will be added in near future to improve receive sensitivity. I have to edit listing as it ended up on backup site for .325 ham repeater which is at 750'.

 

-----------------------------------------------------

 

The responses I've seen here are interesting and I guess I can attribute it to location. Most ham repeaters here are personally funded. The clubs are broke lol. Those putting up the machines do it for all to use. The few closed ham repeaters are looked down upon and heckled. You want a closed repeater? Get a cellphone. This mentality carried over to GMRS repeaters put up by hams.To each their own.

 

You guys are all welcome to use the Miami 725 when in town. No permission needed.

 

Fantastic!  Glad to hear it!  I am going to see if I can get down there for a few months this fall.  I need to check on the properties and visit some family.  I am probably going to stay in Hollywood for at least half that time.

 

 

The person I quoted above has a screen name of "redrockjk".  There is a limited addition Jeep Wrangler (JK model) called a Red Rock Edition (aka Red Rock JK), to honor the Red Rock offroad club.  The club has been the biggest advocate at the federal level, working to keep public lands open as multi-use land, including for recreational 4-wheeling with vehicles like Jeeps. 

 

Jeep only made 50 Red Rock JK's, one for each state in the US, and they sold for $100k plus due to being such a limited production vehicle.  I almost bought one... but couldn't bring myself to part with that much cash.  Figured it would be pretty cool if redrockjk actually owns one.



#13 H8SPVMT

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 02:17 PM

Red Rock was a step above the Hard Rock edition that I have.



#14 redrockjk

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Posted 11 September 2020 - 05:13 PM

Hi Marc,  Redrock JK is a leftover username from when I owned a 2008 JK that was the redrock color.  Definitely not the $100K version... I wish!


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#15 mbrun

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Posted 13 September 2020 - 09:57 AM

Just wanted to add a little to this topic.

On the amateur side of things I read in 95.207(e) that “Limiting the use of a repeater to only certain user stations is permissible.” So at least from an FCC perspective, amateurs too have the right to restrict use of their repeaters.

And under 95.1705 of the GMRS regulations the following appears verbatim:

(d) Individual licensee duties. The holder of an individual license: (1) Shall determine specifically which individuals, including family members, are allowed to operate (i.e., exercise operational control over) its GMRS station(s) (see paragraph © of this section); (2) May allow any person to use (i.e., benefit from the operation of) its GMRS repeater, or alternatively, may limit the use of its GMRS repeater to specific persons; (3) May disallow the use of its GMRS repeater by specific persons as may be necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this section.

So it clearly seems the that it is an licensee’s choice whether a repeater is open to the public, or restricted. And perhaps this is made even more clear by the responsibility assigned by the FCC to the licensee to determining even which family members may use it’s station(s); of which the repeater is just one such station.

In Cincinnati, there are multiple high-profile open repeaters. But there are also seems to be a multitude of lower-profile ones that are not listed or that are otherwise publicly listed as “permission only”.

I have communicated with a couple repeater owners that require permission. One granted it, one did not. I’m ok with that. I don’t own them and am not subsidizing it. However, I would be happy to contribute to one(s) which provide value within my area of concern.

73s.

Michael
WRHS965.


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#16 kb2ztx

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 06:05 AM

I think it is different depending on who owns the repeater. I have alot of funds into my systems. I did it so myself and others could use the service. I don't want unlicensed CCR junk on my repeaters for multiple reasons that I wont discuss here. I specifically have my repeaters programmed to help eliminate that. It still happens from time to time. I have never not given permission to a licensed GMRS user to use my gear. Have a valid license don't be an idiot and use it. 


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#17 jwilkers

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 05:05 PM



The responses don't surprise me. Seems counter productive towards getting people interested in a radio hobby.

You want to talk money, we're currently burning in a brand new hytera ip addressable repeater going up with a DB420 antenna. Easily over $3k without counting duplexer, lightning protection, and cable.

This will be at 950' in downtown Miami. Open to all. Part of the reason it's being done is the general "you stay off my repeater" vibe we picked up from looking at the local gmrs listings. It was baffling to see how unfriendly this side of the radio hobby can feel.


Well....GMRS isn't a hobby. GMRS is a utility service. Most users use it for functional communications with family or a small, exclusive group. It isn't amateur radio, which *IS* a hobby.

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#18 marcspaz

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:08 PM

Man... it kills me to see people keep saying that GMRS is not a hobby but Amateur Radio is.  It's like people forget the meaning of words and how subjective they can be.

 

First, I have to say, GMRS and FRS use can be a hobby. That includes rag-chew and anything else you can legally do on GMRS.  GMRS can also be utilitarian.  What makes it a hobby or utility is how YOU use it.  That's it.  Nothing else.

 

I would wager to state the opinion that Amateur Radio is far more utilitarian than GMRS would ever be.  Just because you can legally conduct business on GMRS and FRS doesn't take away that fact that for many private owners, it's purely an entertainment device.  It also doesn't take away the utility value of Amateur Radio.

 

Amateur radio is called such because of non-commercial exchanges, and no other reason.  The organization and practice of amateur radio has led the world for more than a century with new inventions of methods for moving data, messaging and voice comms.  There is wireless experimentation, self-training in electronics engineering, private recreational use, and emergency communications.  If that isn't less a hobby and more utilitarian, I don't know what is.  Radiosport, contesting and rag-chewing is just a small part of Amateur Radio culture.  And again, what makes it a hobby or a service is how YOU use it.


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#19 mire

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 07:47 PM

A former roommate of mine, when I lived in North Carolina, she had a sister who lived elsewhere in the state. She (the sister) bought a pack of Motorola MR-355R blister pack radios and let her kids play on them. Like so many others who bought these 22 channel ‘hybrid’ radios, she either never read or completely ignored the bit on the packaging about a license being required to operate on Channels 15 - 22, nor did she read the owner’s manual or about the repeater capabilities of those radios. Her kids ended up getting on a repeater, and she walked in as they were getting chewed out about being on a repeater, and then caught it herself when she took the radio and demanded to know what the meaning of all of it was. We ended up losing exclusivity on 15 - 22 because of radio manufacturers, hordes of squatters lurking on 15 - 22, and apathy and poor foresight on the part of the FCC.

People still don’t realize or else ignore that GMRS requires a license. So they’ll either think it’s okay to get on a repeater or completely ignore the law (and remain willfully ignorant of the responsibilities of the repeater owner insofar as what is transmitted over it). Some do it intentionally, thinking that if they persist enough, we’ll end up with UHF CB “just like Australia”… except CB culture in AUS and the US are two different worlds, and good luck finding willing repeater owners if trailer trash culture that has become prevalent in US CB migrated to UHF.
Front Range GMRS had that problem with squatters, especially with the flood of cheap BaoFeng radios into the market. So now instead of single tone CTCSS from the standardized list, they use split and non-standard DCS tones and are ready to implement PTT-ID if it comes to that. It wasn’t done for the sake of being snobbish or wanting to be insular - it was done because squatters made it necessary.
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#20 berkinet

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Posted 14 September 2020 - 08:25 PM

Man... it kills me to see people keep saying that GMRS is not a hobby but Amateur Radio is.  It's like people forget the meaning of words and how subjective they can be. ...

Sorry to disagree Marc. But your own words defeat you. Yes, while GMRS, FRS, MURS, even LMR can be hobbies, that is not the basic nature or history of those services. Just read the descriptions in the respective parts of the FCC regulations. Similarly banking and money management are not hobbies, but there are people who collect coins. Chefs cook for a living, and for others cooking is a hobby. So, I think Jwilkers (nice to see him on here again) pretty much made the case for what GMRS is.

However, for Amateur (ham) radio, it is quite different. It is by definition not professional. That does not mean it can’t be useful, and, indeed, some people actually make money from ham radio. Emergency services organizations are not hobbies either. But, at it’s heart, it is a hobby for people interested in all aspects of radio. People forget that radio amateurs not only operate radios, they design and build them, they build antennas, keys, software tools, and all sorts of related paraphernalia. On GMRS, as you point out, we can’t even modify any element of a radio for which it has been certified. On the other hand, there is no such thing as a certified ham radio. You can tinker with them as much, or as little, as you wish.

Just to make the point clearer, has anyone been to a GMRSvention?

So, maybe it is a small point, but it is also an important one, while some people, including me, may make a hobby of GMRS, that does not mean that GMRS as a radio service is essentially a hobby.
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