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.