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Guest Dennis Goethe
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Guest Dennis Goethe

I have a new setup here in north central Illinois.  A 50W radio with a J-Pole antenna.  I can receive several repeaters very well and listen to conversations all day long on the one based in Janesville WI.  I have applied for access to the Janesville repeater several times over the past two weeks but have yet to get a response, negative or positive.  I have also applied for access to two other repeaters in my area, Rockford IL and Monroe WI. also with no reply.  Any idea how long the process usually takes?  I have no way of knowing if my transmit even works as I have yet to get any response from anyone on any of the "regular" frequencies.
Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Dennis

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Just to make sure you understand... all repeaters are privately owned and it is up to the owner to decide if, who and how people get access.  Some may be “wide open” with no permission required, while others may indeed be private and only for the use of a family or small group of friends.  So, when asking for permission, which is fine and proper, just keep in mind that the owner is under no obligation to even respond to your request.  Though, it would be nice for them to at least send a note back saying, “no, but thanks for asking.” They do not have to.

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Yes, I have had my license for several weeks (on my screen, the callsign is even listed),  To request permission from the web site, it is required.  Even before requesting access to the repeaters, I hear others granted access almost daily.  I fully understand repeaters are privately owned and as such, they are free to do as they wish.  Two of them are listed as open.  The Janesville one is the only that requires permission.  If not for hearing other newcomers since I have applied, I might think the grantors are on vacation, ill or just too busy.  I am considering setting up a repeater in my area, but at this point, I have no proof my new radio actually transmits.  The vast majority of traffic I hear is on the repeaters that are all 30-50 miles away.  It seems I am the only one in the vast corn and bean fields of northwest Illinois that has a "base station".

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You know, I can’t imagine having just one radio for GMRS, if for no other reason that to be able to confirm that other radios in the arsenal are operational. For me, given that GMRS is first and foremost a second means of family comms, having multiple radios is a practical necessity. There is always a spare radio around to use for verifying the others are working.

 

Welcome to GMRS.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Reminds me of what we used to say in the Air Force 53 years ago.  Always get two of everything, one to _hit on and one to cover it up with.   I could get a 2nd radio, but really don't need one to talk to myself.    I thought having a GMRS setup might come in handy for when the SHTF.  Maybe by the time that day comes I will finally get a reply?   lol

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I've been collecting HT's for the past year or two. If I find a good deal on one I can't help myself. I have enough to equip a small army.

Yeah, when I bout the evx's, it was a difficult debate with myself whether to just get the 2, or buy all 4 the seller had listed. I've been trying to stay off eBay since...

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 I could get a 2nd radio, but really don't need one to talk to myself.    I thought having a GMRS setup might come in handy for when the SHTF.  Maybe by the time that day comes I will finally get a reply?   lol

 

for the most part GMRS is not about talking to someone you dont know. Most GMRS users use it to talk to family or personal friends. This gets discussed monthly. If your looking to chat on a radio GMRS probably is not the best option. 

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for the most part GMRS is not about talking to someone you dont know. Most GMRS users use it to talk to family or personal friends. This gets discussed monthly. If your looking to chat on a radio GMRS probably is not the best option.

Agreed, and that is not commonly understood, so it deserves mentioning again. While you will find locations and individuals that do use GMRS for rag chewing, if that was or became the dominate use of GMRS, it could find itself useless for family comms. There are just not enough frequencies available. But admittedly, it is nice to meet, connect and chat with other licensees for short periods on the radio.

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for the most part GMRS is not about talking to someone you dont know. Most GMRS users use it to talk to family or personal friends. ....

I think many people coming from the CB world may have different expectations. Better audio quality and reliability of communications, but still with a fairly disorganized group of people looking to chat with others nearby.   It is certainly within the capability of the equipment. But, as you point out, it is not the general nature of the community. 

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Don't take it personally. Being located a bit North of you, just across the Wisconsin border, I also requested access to the Janesville and Madison repeaters some time ago and received no response. Perhaps the owners are busy, changed emails or simply want to limit traffic on their repeater. I plan on respectfully asking again sometime, but it's their repeater so it's really their call.

 

Its my understanding the Monroe repeater has been down for a long time. Looking at it's last information update, January 2014, it may no longer be active.   

 

When you look at the MyGmrs map of repeaters remain aware there are toggles at the top of the page allowing  you to view "outdated listings."       

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"for the most part GMRS is not about talking to someone you dont know. Most GMRS users use it to talk to family or personal friends. .."

LOL...   I listen to several of the daily and weekly national nets.  I would like to participate in them.  I find it a bit difficult to believe that these nation wide groups are mostly "family and personal friends."

 

I monitor the Janesville repeater.  The conversations reveal that most users were strangers before meeting on GMRS.  You are comparing my interest in GMRS to CB based on just my name, and newly issued license?   

"Perhaps the owners are busy, changed emails or simply want to limit traffic on their repeater"

That does not explain the routine addition I hear of others.  Including one personal friend this past Friday.

 

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"for the most part GMRS is not about talking to someone you dont know. Most GMRS users use it to talk to family or personal friends. .."

 

LOL...   

Well, since you seem to know more than the people who have responded to your post, why bother asking in the first place?

 

Perhaps, instead of telling others they are wrong, you might ask yourself what circumstances might explain what, at least to you, looks like a dichotomy.  BTW, there is a perfectly good reason, sample size and sampling methodology.

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"Well, since you seem to know more than the people who have responded to your post, why bother asking in the first place?"
I'm not sure what this comment is based on.   My "GMRS knowledge" is based only on what I have been able to find on here in this group and from listening to others talk on GMRS.  Surprising, GMRS seems to be much like what the "evil CB" you condescendingly refer to was in the early 1960's when as a teenager and had a single channel walkie-talkie..
This issue has now been resolved, but not with any of the "helpful feedback" from this thread.  I notice that most of those who replied have one other thing in common.  That is not surprising.  

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I guess it depends on region, as someone posted earlier. But, in my area, I have monitored the North Georgia GMRS linked repeater system a lot.  There are some relatives talking i.e. (OK, honey I will pick up a gallon of milk on my way home) ect.  But most of the conversions, that I here on those repeaters, are just people talking that are not relatives or even close friends. I here some people telling each other what kind of work they do & what area they live in.    Many know each other, but the GMRS  is their belonging / the way they know each other.  They talk a lot about radios, antennas & why this or that repeated behaves differently than other repeaters.  So, the hobby of radio seems to be there bond.  Of course they talk about weather & personal interest as well.  It may be to do with the fact that these linked repeaters cover a large geographic region & that you can reach out to people that you wouldn't normally know, due to the distances involved.  I'm not sure if the repeater owner intended , approves / disapproves or just allows this.  All of the members seem to observe really good protocol & etiquette.   

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Hi everyone, WRKI838 , here, I'm new to the board, and after being on here for sometime just reading a laughing, and thinking, I believe that I just wasted my money.  I wanted to get ready for camping season, and the two bubble wrapped radio's I got from Wally world, don't work anymore, reason, I forgot to remove the batteries when I put them  away.  Any ways, I was on Amazon and saw two radio's, Baofeng,, and with my points, got them for $ 24.00 . then spent $ 70.00 on my license to be able to talk.  Well, After they came, and i charged them up, and reading on the web, it dawned on me that I can't use the radio's. no FCC sticker.  So, I go back to Amazon and buy FRS radio's, $ 100.00 more.  I know what you might be thinking, yup I was born under a rock.  Now the FRS radio's will work fine for camping, the other two, not sure what to do with them. Any Idea's?  

Herb

NY

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Hi everyone, WRKI838 , here, I'm new to the board, and after being on here for sometime just reading a laughing, and thinking, I believe that I just wasted my money. I wanted to get ready for camping season, and the two bubble wrapped radio's I got from Wally world, don't work anymore, reason, I forgot to remove the batteries when I put them away. Any ways, I was on Amazon and saw two radio's, Baofeng,, and with my points, got them for $ 24.00 . then spent $ 70.00 on my license to be able to talk. Well, After they came, and i charged them up, and reading on the web, it dawned on me that I can't use the radio's. no FCC sticker. So, I go back to Amazon and buy FRS radio's, $ 100.00 more. I know what you might be thinking, yup I was born under a rock. Now the FRS radio's will work fine for camping, the other two, not sure what to do with them. Any Idea's?

Herb

NY

If amateur radio is your thing, they're usable for ham once you have that license.

 

You can listen to anything and everything they'll pick up, it's just transmitting that's a no-no. So they make decent low buck scanners, either for public safety (if your area is still unencrypted like mine is), or for frs/gmrs. For gmrs, you could use those baofengs for monitoring to conserve battery on the other radios, and then jump on the approved radio to respond if you feel the need.

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Good info and feedback here, also worth a mention is to reach out to local or neighboring radio clubs and organizations regarding repeaters . I found two that only required a brief application as to who, what, when and why and if I wanted to receive emails and updates.

The Amateur Radio Community is full of talent and knowledge which has helped my learning curve and understanding immensely. 

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