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The FCC has *denied* petition to allow Non certified equipment on GMRS


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> The FCC has *denied* <http://www.fcc.gov/document/
> dismissal-friedlander-gmrs-rulemaking-petition> a /Petition for Rule
> Making/ (*PRM* <http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment/view?id=6017689262>)
> filed by a Florida radio amateur that sought to permit hams who also hold
> General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) licenses to operate on GMRS channels
> with transmitters that have not been certificated for GMRS use, provided
> the transmitter meets GMRS technical standards. Mark Friedlander, KV4I, of
> New Smyrna Beach had asserted in his May 29 filing that the proposed rule
> change would facilitate interoperability in emergency situations, since
> many emergency response groups utilize both radio services.
> “I think it would facilitate emergency communications with CERT groups and
> other EmComm workers if we could eliminate the need to check with the FCC
> for each radio,” Friedlander said in a statement seeking support for his
> petition and which was posted on the East Coast District ARES (Florida)
> forum. “Doing so would also minimize confusion about the permissibility of
> ham operators using their radios for transmitting on both services.”
> Transmitters used in the Part 95 GMRS must have FCC certification prior to
> sale and marketing; in general, Part 97 Amateur Radio transmitters do not.
> In a June 20 letter to Friedlander, the FCC pointed out that GMRS
> transmitters that also can be used on Amateur Radio frequencies will not be
> certificated. The FCC said it adopted that rule “to prevent the possible
> proliferation of GMRS equipment that is also capable of operating on
> frequencies for which the GMRS licensee is not authorized.”
> Friedlander has noted that the Amateur Service and the GMRS operate on
> similar frequencies. He argued that Amateur Radio operators who are
> authorized to design, build, and operate transmitters without equipment
> certification in the 420-450 MHz amateur band should be allowed to do so on
> the 462/467 MHz GMRS channels, the FCC said.
> “We conclude that the proposed rule change would undermine the prohibition
> on GMRS equipment with Amateur Radio frequency capability,” the FCC said.
> “An exception to [the rule] would allow for the proliferation of
> home-built, non-standardized transmitters in the GMRS, with no practicable
> way for the Commission to monitor and enforce regulatory compliance for
> these devices.”

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The staff members at MyGMRS are not lawyers, but we have seen enough rulings over the years, such as this, to know what the outcomes usually are.  As we understand it, this ruling applies ONLY to the petition as it was filed - regarding the temporary use of Amateur Part 97 equipment in GMRS Part 95 service during disasters or emergencies.  Since Part 97 equipment usually carries no certification, the Commission is concerned that technical standards would not be met and interference might be present to other radio services and users, among other concerns, so they disallowed the petition.


As we understand it, since Part 90 equipment was not the subject of the petition or of the ruling, this ruling does not apply to Part 90 equipment in any way from a legal wording standpoint. According to Internet scuttlebut, from the reports of several GMRS system owners, Commission field inspectors usually have no issue with Part 90 repeaters and mobiles being used in Part 95 service - the tech standards for frequerncy stability and harmonic suppression, etc., are nearly identical.  Since there is no 'official' Commission position on this matter (yet), it would take a dedicated petition to the Commission to have an official ruling on this matter and that has not been undertaken by any individual or corporation to our knowledge.  If anyone here has documentation concerning any Part 90 use of equipment in Part 95 service petitions being filed with the Commission, please furnish that documentation in this thread.


Forum Disclaimer: "Until such time as 'official' word is published, it is the responsibility of every licensed GMRS operator to personally comply with current Part 95 rules under their own interpretation - even though the Part 95 rules are worded vaguely in some areas, at best."

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  • 4 months later...

Where they went wrong in their petition was bringing up amateur transceivers. Any commercially marketed amateur transmitter (in the US) has to be type certified for operation in Part 97 and the receivers have to be at least Part 15. However, being amateur radio, any home brew or "modified" (this includes Part 90 gear running in ham land) equipment just needs to meet the technical standards of Part 97. Most of the current petitions out there (or most recent) are from hams who won't suck it up and get a radio without VFO. There is tons of surplus Part 90 (and 95) equipment out there that simply did not meet narrow banding. Ham's either A) trying to petition the FCC to allow Part 97 equipment or B) trying to petition the FCC to allow hams to use GMRS without applying for the licensing and using equipment that meets or exceeds the technical specs won't get anywhere.


Also if you look into the emergency side of the statement, you'll realize that many of the guys who are a part of RACES/ARES and utilize GMRS also hang up their Part 97 FM transceivers in an emergency in favor of Part 90 FM transceivers because they are more or less idiot proof, much more rugged, and allow for easier interoperability between all emergency personnel.

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  • 10 months later...

Unfortunately, this still does not fully apply a definative ruling to the 15+ year long discussion concerning using ACCEPTED Part 90 equipment in Part 95 service.... :(


Typically, in that case, when looking up the FCC ID on such a radio, you would see a Part 95(a) certification as well as a Part 90 certification.  If it doesn't have the part 95 certification, it's no good... unless there is some sort of grandfathering in, prior to certification rules?

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Typically, in that case, when looking up the FCC ID on such a radio, you would see a Part 95(a) certification as well as a Part 90 certification.  If it doesn't have the part 95 certification, it's no good... unless there is some sort of grandfathering in, prior to certification rules?

There is a cluster of confusion in the rules. You can read the rules like many read the constitution (if it doesn't say you can't do something, then go ahead or by only what is there in print). In Part 95A the rules actually say that transmitters must only be certified for use in GMRS and then in the next sentence it states the rules must only meet the technical standards for GMRS...so the two sentences contradict one another. If you actually dive down into the technical standards, then they actually require a crystal controlled radio (which I might add, most of the FCC OET database only goes back to 1982 when radios began to become synthesized) but we know that since the rules were written in 1989 that Motorola, Icom, Kenwood, Standard Horizion (Vertex), and General Electric (Harris) have all manufactured synthesized radios with 90/95A certification. 


As a result, many just run whatever Part 90 radio they can get their hands on (because they meet technical specifications).

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