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HAMS Talking GMRS


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I've had my gmrs mobile radio a little over two weeks and my license about the same amount of time..  I have only been listening, so far and honestly have learned some cool stuff.  I was on channel 18 on my tiny frs handheld and stumbled onto a regularly scheduled net every Wednesday @ 19:30.  I have a lot to learn but these guys on the Technical Net  (frq. 146.820 K7LED) were clearly HAM operators not using a gmrs repeater but talking all things gmrs.  I would one day like to be a part of those kinds of discussions.  I am in the Seattle and it looks like gmrs repeaters are not that abundant.  Do any of you participate in net repeater discussions on gmrs repeaters in your areas? I've also started to detect a bit of arrogance in the HAM community towards gmrs.  Still trying to find my niche. Comments? Thoughts?  WRMH268. 

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Well, if there are no linked repeaters in your area, try looking for a linked repeater with Zello connections. (Bronx broadnet/bronx zoo comes to mind) On Sunday nights there are regional nets held, and once a month a national net. You would need to use a PC or phone to connect, however its a start. :)

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No repeaters? Be a pillar of your community and put one up for everyone to use!

 

..but yah, you're going to find a lot of "sad hams" working their way into GMRS..  Amateur Radio/HAM is a hobby, and that's why many people get started in it.. For MANY/most people, GMRS is just a way to talk with your friends or have a SHTF option for communications.. Sad Hams dont get that.. The "non-sad hams" do, but the sad-hams dont, and they can make it unpleasant - both on the air and even in places like this and other online communities.. After a while you just learn to ignore them.

 

The group that runs one of my local GMRS repeaters has a net every Mon and Thurs  evening - I try to join when I can, but it's really not much more than practicing for what to do in an emergency, and going over club business..  

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 I've also started to detect a bit of arrogance in the HAM community towards gmrs.

 

..but yah, you're going to find a lot of "sad hams" working their way into GMRS..  Amateur Radio/HAM is a hobby, and that's why many people get started in it.. For MANY/most people, GMRS is just a way to talk with your friends or have a SHTF option for communications.. Sad Hams dont get that.. The "non-sad hams" do, but the sad-hams dont, and they can make it unpleasant - both on the air and even in places like this and other online communities.. After a while you just learn to ignore them.

 

Quick related story:

I am 10 months new to GMRS and love it.  I didn’t know anybody but have made friends in my area.  Got into it first because I retired and so had the time, and because it was so easy. 

 

But I also got interested in Ham, and so I studied and about 2 weeks ago I took my Ham technician test and got my ticket.  When I was at the testing site, there was a place on the test application form for a current call sign (if you have one, like if you’re going from tech to general or extra).  I left it blank.  When I handed my form into the VE, he asked me what my call sign was.  I said “well, I don’t have one”, and making a dumb joke, I added “unless you want my GMRS call sign” (I was proud to have it).  The VE scoffed as if it wasn’t funny at all and said “no”.  He probably didn’t really mean anything demeaning, but with voice inflection, the way it sounded to me he did.  I hope it was just me imagining things.

 

So I am a Ham now.  I pledge to never be one of those "sad-Hams" or knowingly be arrogant.  Like I said, GMRS is my first [radio] love (Ham second, CB third…yep, still like CB).  : )

 

...

 

Edit after thinking about this after posting:  To be fair, absolutely everybody on Ham has been extremely nice/cordial to me on the air, so much that I am somewhat taken aback.  There is not one exception.  I so very much appreciate that, and am truly moved that they welcomed me aboard.  So don't think for a minute that most Hams are sad-Hams.  That said, I also think it's humorous that on GMRS, the guys and gals kind of "ham-it-up" some, by which I mean trade banter, poking fun, taking jabs, bustin'-chops, whatever you want to call it.  Both Ham and GRMS are fun, and that's one of the two reasons I got into them, and I'm glad and proud to be apart of both!

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In Cincinnati there is an informal net every Sunday evening. Listeners and active participation continues to grow. A good number the participants are licensed for both GMRS and amateur services. Others are licensed for only GMRS.

 

Folks also know to monitor the repeater daily at a given time of day just in case an there is important information that needs to be shared with the community and an impromptu net is needed.

 

Some folks want to participate but cannot get into the repeater that is used. To help, there are multiple people that monitor both amateur and alternate GMRS frequencies to receive check-ins and relay questions. That shows some real dedication in reaching out to the community and a conscious degree of collaboration and cooperation. The leader of the group, Hans, is all about spreading the experience thoughout the community.

 

If there are no repeaters in your area, I see an opening for you. Put one up and share it with the community and put it to use in your daily routine. Traffic will draw traffic.

 

I cannot say that I have experienced any arrogance in the local community at all. Ignorance perhaps (i.e. not familiar with) on both sides of the aisle, but no arrogance. Locally I see cross-pollination as folks licensed in one service see the other has just another communication option. I see hams getting GMRS license and vice versa.

 

With GMRS you can do something that amateur-only folks cannot as readily and easily do: use radio to communicate with family without them having to study and pass a test first. Yet, you can achieve the exact same level of UHF FM communication experience as the amateurs can on 70cm.

 

I've had my gmrs mobile radio a little over two weeks and my license about the same amount of time.. I have only been listening, so far and honestly have learned some cool stuff. I was on channel 18 on my tiny frs handheld and stumbled onto a regularly scheduled net every Wednesday @ 19:30. I have a lot to learn but these guys on the Technical Net (frq. 146.820 K7LED) were clearly HAM operators not using a gmrs repeater but talking all things gmrs. I would one day like to be a part of those kinds of discussions. I am in the Seattle and it looks like gmrs repeaters are not that abundant. Do any of you participate in net repeater discussions on gmrs repeaters in your areas? I've also started to detect a bit of arrogance in the HAM community towards gmrs. Still trying to find my niche. Comments? Thoughts? WRMH268.

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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With GMRS you can do something that amateur-only folks cannot as readily and easily do: use radio to communicate with family without them having to study and pass a test first. Yet, you can achieve the exact same level of UHF FM communication experience as the amateurs can on 70cm.

 

I have been a licensed ham for several years, but only recently got my GMRS license as well, for exactly the reason you mentioned. Although I would like some of my family members to get their amateur radio licenses, so far none have expressed any serious interest in doing so. With GMRS we can do most of the things I wanted to do if they were to become hams, without them needing to go through that process. What we can't do, as of now at least, is communicate over distances of a hundred miles or more like we could if we were all hams. The primary reason we can't is that the necessary infrastructure isn't there (i.e. linked repeaters), at least not where I would need it.

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I got my extra class ham license in 1985 and live out here in Spokane.

I often monitor the ham repeater system here that covers essentially the whole eastern half of Washington state.

I also belong to the Spokane VHF Club.

 

I find that most of the hams are surprisingly receptive to GMRS and many (or most) of them have their GMRS license.

They talk about GMRS on the ham repeater now and then.

They also have discussed it on the VHF club net and at meetings.

 

The reason is that most hams have family members and fishing buddies who are not hams.

So ham is pretty useless for communicating at camps and family outings. 

Most hams love all kinds of radios.

 

Also, hams believe that GMRS brings people into ham radio.

So they don't see it as competition.  They see it as something that promotes amateur radio.

 

Of course there will always be some delicate egos out there.

A few guys see ham radio as a religion.

They worked very hard to get a license and don't like people who just "wrote a check".

 

I almost like GMRS better than ham sometimes because it is less exclusive.

Ham is sometimes just too quiet.

 

Vince

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GMRS and Amateur radio are different. Amateur has lots of bands and open for experimentation. It is a hobby. For regular communication it may not be the best. I find it more challenging to encourage others to talk on the amateur bands about subjects other than radios. My experience is that radios are the main topic. Outside of that it is challenging to go into other topics with others. When you do get into a conversation outside of radios it can be rewarding. I have made some good friends on the air.

GMRS to me is much better for those who wish to use it for its intended purpose of communication. When on the GMRS side, it is a tool. The focus is the person in the other end and the purpose of the conversation. 

I really enjoyed participating in ham studying sessions on the GMRS band. Yes, the topic is radio related, but the main focus is in education of others not how much power and antenna types with a 599 report. During covid those sessions brought a lot of people together. 

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Motorcycles and what makes good pizza and where to get the best pizza always bring out the local lurkers on the ham repeaters in central MD; round table practice and memory test as to where you belong in the rotation everytime pizza comes up.  Hunting and guns once in a blue moon. 

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On 4/27/2021 at 6:03 PM, Citizen said:

 

Edit after thinking about this after posting:  To be fair, absolutely everybody on Ham has been extremely nice/cordial to me on the air, so much that I am somewhat taken aback.  There is not one exception.  I so very much appreciate that, and am truly moved that they welcomed me aboard.  So don't think for a minute that most Hams are sad-Hams.  That said, I also think it's humorous that on GMRS, the guys and gals kind of "ham-it-up" some, by which I mean trade banter, poking fun, taking jabs, bustin'-chops, whatever you want to call it.  Both Ham and GRMS are fun, and that's one of the two reasons I got into them, and I'm glad and proud to be apart of both!

Congrats on the ticket. When ever that was.

Now to fully be a ham. You will need to adopt the round plump size which can correspond with you personal knowledge base. Or conversely you can adopt the skinnier eccentric body/personality type.

Personally, I choose the former rather then the later. Took me a while to figure it out why I couldn't lose any weight anymore. Wife promptly informed me it was because I was on my fat ass playing with radios or electronics instead of running around with the kids anymore. ROFLOL.. Actually, realized it was true and made me almost cry, not....

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5 hours ago, kidphc said:

Congrats on the ticket. When ever that was.

Now to fully be a ham. You will need to adopt the round plump size which can correspond with you personal knowledge base. Or conversely you can adopt the skinnier eccentric body/personality type.

Personally, I choose the former rather then the later. Took me a while to figure it out why I couldn't lose any weight anymore. Wife promptly informed me it was because I was on my fat ass playing with radios or electronics instead of running around with the kids anymore. ROFLOL.. Actually, realized it was true and made me almost cry, not....

we were out walking the dogs yesterday, and there was a gentleman going the opposite direction walking solo, and talking on the radio (was across the street, so no guess on brand or band)...kiddo commented that that'll be me when i get older

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we were out walking the dogs yesterday, and there was a gentleman going the opposite direction walking solo, and talking on the radio (was across the street, so no guess on brand or band)...kiddo commented that that'll be me when i get older
You are well on your way. Soon all the towers with antennas you never saw will start appear in your vision no matter where you look.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Congrats on the ticket. When ever that was.
Now to fully be a ham. You will need to adopt the round plump size which can correspond with you personal knowledge base. Or conversely you can adopt the skinnier eccentric body/personality type.
Personally, I choose the former rather then the later. Took me a while to figure it out why I couldn't lose any weight anymore. Wife promptly informed me it was because I was on my fat ass playing with radios or electronics instead of running around with the kids anymore. ROFLOL.. Actually, realized it was true and made me almost cry, not....
The weight doesn't come off. I can verify this. I did, however, only start gaining weight after I renewed my license. Odd.

Sent from my SM-A125U using Tapatalk

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Well im anything but a sad ham. Im a general class license Ham. And am a VE. Ive only been a ham about a yr and a half. And gmrs peaked my interest from meeting and hearing several other Ham friends that are also on gmrs. So i just got my gmrs license about 2 weeks ago. And my first gmrs radio was delivered today. Havent even turned it on yet. My truck in shop getting maintenance done and its a mobile radio. So no hurry till get truck back which should be tomorrow. Anyway just thought id say Hi. 

 

John,  WRML452

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Don't have my ham ticket yet but, I do monitor several local ham repeaters in the San Antonio area.  I hear them discuss GMRS sometimes and a week or two ago a guy offered up his unused GMRS repeater to another ham for FREE!!!  I hope he does a good setup in my area. The La Vernia repeater gives great coverage to the south and along I10 but I'd love for some good coverage up alone I35 and towards the city. My little RT97 and lack of place for antenna altitude are not ideal but that's not stopping me from trying.  Already saving up for a better repeater setup. 

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On 5/7/2021 at 4:24 AM, BoxCar said:

Welcome from a new Tech KO4OCP

Congratulations... I have a question...  My Grand daughter and I will be sitting for our Tech exam end of this month... do they give you call sign after you pass and they plug in your FRN number and score in the system OR do you get an email or mail and how long does it take.  

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Congratulations... I have a question...  My Grand daughter and I will be sitting for our Tech exam end of this month... do they give you call sign after you pass and they plug in your FRN number and score in the system OR do you get an email or mail and how long does it take.  
No. It can take a week or so if they file electronically. If they do it manually could be a wee bit longer.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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5 hours ago, MacJack said:

Congratulations... I have a question...  My Grand daughter and I will be sitting for our Tech exam end of this month... do they give you call sign after you pass and they plug in your FRN number and score in the system OR do you get an email or mail and how long does it take.  

Kind of depends on your VE and how they submit; I did mine electronically via GLAARG. Tested on a Saturday evening (they use the hamstudy.org system), and had an email from hamstudy Monday evening with my callsign, followed by an email from FCC just after midnight Monday night/Tuesday morning. I understand GLAARG submits electronically. Some sites take longer.

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Congratulations... I have a question...  My Grand daughter and I will be sitting for our Tech exam end of this month... do they give you call sign after you pass and they plug in your FRN number and score in the system OR do you get an email or mail and how long does it take.  

Mine was received 15 hours after passing the test. I tested on a Wednesday evening and completed exam by 8. After testing was completed, the VEs hung-around the club house and submitted everything to the FCC electronically. I received an email from FCC around 10:30AM the following day.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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13 hours ago, MacJack said:

Congratulations... I have a question...  My Grand daughter and I will be sitting for our Tech exam end of this month... do they give you call sign after you pass and they plug in your FRN number and score in the system OR do you get an email or mail and how long does it take.  

Actually I had my call sign in about 48 hours. I took the exam on Saturday and it was electronically filed that day with the call sign in hand on Monday. You can monitor ULS with your FRN and it will show as (most likely) autogranted within 48 hours. It depends on the VEC Coordinator and how they process the results.

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As BoxCar says, you can manually check the FCC website and see if your call sign has been granted quicker than waiting for the email.  

I tested on a Saturday and the Laurel VEC's submitted electronically and I confirmed via the FCC site on Monday morning.  I started checking at 9 am and saw new grants, but mine wasn't posted until about 10:30 am.   Around 11:00 am I called a sign I was familiar with and the ham responded, my first contact the same morning! 

The other sources get the data from the FCC ULS site, even the FCC mail looks there. 

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Thanks guys, that is very helpful.  I did not want to order a radio if I did not pass.  That is my motivation...  

We are doing 3 lessons a day within 10 topic session and now we know a better way to study to help grand daughter as she does not have life lesson to draw from... Makes for fun conversation and she enjoys the stories to why this or that.  So it has paid of as we both are getting 80-90-100% on the quiz.  Now if we can remember that on test day at the end of month.  So after lessons and quiz we will take the mock exam just to see how we are doing...  Then start over with the 10 topics study to raise our scores.  

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