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RADIO - dual use FRS+GMRS and 70CM HAM

Guest KC2GIU

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Guest KC2GIU

Took 19 tries to get a message to post.  Color blinded people can't read the colored Capcha.  One or two letters or numbers can not be determined. Even the refreshing doesn't help at all. :o  :o  :o 


OK, seeing I can now post, I hope, I need a radio with dual use.  FRS+GMRS and Ham 70CM band.


Being a ham for well over 40 years mostly on 2M, 10M and 40M with use of voice or data or CW, life circumstances tends to change how one uses radio. 


In my area, 2M is nearly dead, both repeaters or simplex. 


My kids have FRS, the neighbors all FRS and one has GMRS up the road.  With that said, I'm the odd one out of the chit-chat.


Are there radios with dual use?  Ham 70CM and the FRS+GMRS.  And to remain in the FCC rules of power wattage output on the frequencies of the FRS+GMRS realm.  Additionally is there a radio with the CTCSS and DCS functionality as well.  Basically I would like something that covers an ALL-in-One approach.


My plan is to have a GMRS license and a 50W radio mobile for dual use even in the Ham allocated 70cm (440).  It's not dual band because the two radio services are basically right next to each other. :P  Sure, Ham side could go higher in wattage, but the vehicle battery gets taxied too much. Plus, Ham is secondary use in that band anyway.


So, rather than spend countless hours poking around on the web, what is the understanding of a solution for an ALL-in-One radio?





PS, if I don't reply soon enough, it's because I can not make out the colored capcha and get too frustrated. :rolleyes:  Purples, browns, reds, dark orange are a washed out mess.  Can't make out any of it.  There are capchas out there just B&W that work wonderfully.  :D  


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Good Morning Steve.


No, there are no amateur radios manufactured that are strictly legal for use on FRS+GMRS+70cm amateur band.


If you read the internet enough I am certain you will conclude that some folks have found radios that can they have activated or modified in some manner to make it possible to technically to do this.


If you did find a radio that would allow it, and you were going to comply only with the spirit of the rules, you would need a radio that could be programmed to limit output no more than 1/2 watt on some frequencies, no more than 5 watt on others, and no more than 50 watt on the remaining. That 1/2 watt limit limits the pool of hardware even further, and failure to keep power low on the those designated 1/2 watt frequencies can have an adverse affect on GMRS repeater operation.


Sorry, but I have no hardware recommendation for you.






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There are no type accepted radios that can talk on GMRS, FRS and HAM. You could pick up a Part 90 radio and program what is needed.

True. Any radio that will work in the above situation will likely be a commercial radio.


Try looking for a Kenwood TK-370G-1, 128 channels, TK-3170, 128 channels or a TK-3140, 250 channels. These are 1 to 4 watt switchable hand held radios, and can be programmed to do wide or narrow band FM on a per channel basis. All of these are Part 95 certified. The radio I normally use is the 370G-1.







While the official lower frequency limit is 450MHz for the models that cover the GMRS frequencies  but I have programmed them down close to 440MHz in the Ham band. The software pops up a warning window every time you try to enter the out of band frequencies but will accept it when you click OK. The radios will work a few percent outside of the official range. Most of the Ham simplex channels and repeaters are located between 440 MHz and 450 MHz per the ARRL band plans anyway.


The main point with these kind of radios is there are I means to front panel program them and nothing like a VFO on a Ham only type radio. What I did on mine is program a sequence of channels with frequencies like 446.000, 446.025, 446.050 etc. The channel names were 446-000, 446-025, 446-050 etc. This gives a fair simulation of a VFO with a 25KHz step size which is pretty standard on 70cm.


I think most Hams have their radios programmed for repeater access with a few simplex channels used  by a local groups.


I’ve recommended the aboveKenwood radios because that’s what I have. There are other very good radios from Motorola and others that members can recommend too. 

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Second to Kenwood, I have TK-3170 (that is HT) and TK-880 (mobile), and they will do what OP wants with some limitations.

3170 and 880 are Part 95A (pre-2017), so totally legal to be on GMRS and some (not all!) FRS channels. They both will also work on 70-cm Ham band.


TK-3170 (and other Part 95 HTs) will work and legal to use on 462.xxx0 (limit 50W) and 462.xxx5 (limit 5W + narrow band), provided you have GMRS license and follow GMRS protocol (throwing out call sign every 10 minutes). You can't legally use them on 467.xxx5 channels, where rules specify 0.5W and non-removable antenna.


TK-880 (and similar mobiles) are legal to use on 462.xxx0 with it's 50W limit, following GMRS protocol. Also will work on 70-cm Ham band. 462.xxx5 are out, since these radios do not go as low as 5W. And 467.xxx5 are out because these freqs are strictly FRS.


So, there is interoperability FRS-GMRS-Ham but overlap is not 100%. Besides what was already mentioned, there are other Part 95 HTs and mobiles from Kenwood, Motorola and others. Many of them are covered in great detail on these forums. There is also a bottomless abyss of Part 90 radios, but that's not really legal, you know... But let's not beat up a dead horse again.

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Actually, after re-reading your original post, Steve, I have some additional comments.

I do not have 2m Ham equipment in my cars. I have Kenwood TK-880H-1 (40W) that I use for talking to family when camping and for 70cm repeaters in my area. With Part 95 (and Part 90) equipment you are not going to have VFO, but that seem to be a very minor problem. Repeaters are programmed in advance, 446.000 MHz and few other freqs are pre-programmed too. Lscott covered this already few posts above. There is a front panel programming option with some radios, that do not require a hardware mod, thus not violating Part 95 even in it's stricktest-ever sense.

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  • 1 month later...

You will probably find that just getting a Wouxun 805G for $80 is a lot cheaper than trying to find some special triple band radio.

Many commercial radios (I think) can only be programmed with a computer. 


I'm also a long time ham and bought a pair of 805G's so I can use with the wife and fishing friends etc.

It just worked out best that way.


You will find that your 440/70cm antennas work well though.

Also, Wouxun works with some Kenwood accessories like speaker mics.



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