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University using GMRS without license...


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I'm very new to GMRS so if I'm not seeing something please let me know...

I recently put up a repeater and, while monitoring the frequency, keep hearing business type radio traffic. I jump on my non repeater, non PL tone, GMRS radio and, with proper call sign, do a radio test to get a response to figure out who is using GMRS for business use. I'm to far away for a hand held but now know its traffic from either building maintenance or the student security used through campus at a university near by. I still need to confirm this the next time I'm closer to campus but if thats the case, my understanding is GMRS is not intended for business purposes espashally if they are not identifying with a call sign. Being a federal funded public university I'm surprised they are using GMRS and potentially in violation. 

I don't feel policing this is on my shoulders but I do feel if a violation is happening I do have the obligation to report. 

Am I correct in any of the above? Thsbk you in advance, your guidance is much appreciated...

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Yup, happens everywhere - virtually every channel in my area..

They could be using FRS radios instead of GMRS radios, but, it doesn't really matter.. and you are correct - policing isn't really on your shoulders unless it is creating a safety hazard or intererferring with your business, etc.. you COULD report it.. but, it wont do any good as the FCC has larger issues to deal with.

 

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1 minute ago, WRKV917 said:

462.600 is that FRS? I can look it up...

I'm just trying to educate myself as I go too...

Yeah it’s channel 17 on the bubble packs, shared with GMRS, treated as FRS if under 2 watts

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3 minutes ago, kc9pke said:

Personally (and I emphasize that) I’d call their IT director and tell them to man up and apply for a Part 90 license but that’s just me

I know... A major university with way deeper pockets then most. They could justify and spend $50,000 on a system of their own and no one would bat an eye..

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2 minutes ago, WRKV917 said:

I know... A major university with way deeper pockets then most. They could justify and spend $50,000 on a system of their own and no one would bat an eye..

Yeah, and it’d be relatively simple if they were simplex only. They could make it even easier if they used those DTR 900 MHz units if they want no license for simplex only, I’m sure any number of dealers would be willing to sell a pallet of those to them. Lots of good options out there really

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38 minutes ago, kirk5056 said:

I believe that university was grandfathered on that frequency.  They have been using it since the 80s (that I know of) when it was a licensed frequency.  I read that previously licensed businesses can keep the license as long as then dont make any changes.

 

Sounds about right, the ones that can actually afford to change don't have to be inconvenienced... It also doesn't mean I have to change anything either correct? If I want to use the frequency its my right... Or do I play nice with others and just pick a different one? I'm a little torn on that to be honest... 😉 

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Unless its different from the ham bands, licensed business users are the primary users and other licensees are secondary and must yield.  UPS is licensed on a chunk of 1.25m in the ham spectrum, but it turns out they decided not to actually use it. If, when and where UPS decides to use it, hams are secondary and have to let UPS do as they wish on the business licensed part of the band. 

You can look it up, but I have found it a bit tedious

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If they hold a license your correct. If it lapsed or expired they are no different than any other GMRS user. Accept the interference or work with other licensed folks to resolve. Again under 2 watts no license is needed.

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They seem to have a GMRS license.  

 

But, no matter where you go you may find someone using a GMRS frequency that you want to use.  We are required, by license, to share.  NO ONE has a "right" to a frequency.  So, yes, play nice.  

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11 hours ago, kirk5056 said:

I believe that university was grandfathered on that frequency.  They have been using it since the 80s (that I know of) when it was a licensed frequency.  I read that previously licensed businesses can keep the license as long as then dont make any changes.

 

They can’t let their license lapse either. If they do the FCC won’t renew it as a business and they lose any priority they enjoyed over secondary users.

I have a similar issue by me. A local mall’s house keeping is operating a repeater on GMRS channel 16, yes it’s a repeater with PL tone, it’s been “tested”. The problem is their license expired in October 2015 per the FCC database. It was never renewed as far as I can tell while the house keeping staff continues to use their radios and the repeater.

I’m waiting to see how long before somebody gets the idea to hijack the repeater and use it for local non mall related communications. If the mall complains to the FCC it likely will get shut down while the mall gets a $10k fine for unlicensed GMRS operations.

Their other choice is pay for a regular business license, get a coordinated frequency, then get the repeater reprogram and tuned. The house keeping staff use those Motorola Mag One BPR40 radios which can easily be reprogramed.

https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/business/products/two-way_radios/portable_radios/small_business_portable_radios/bpr40/_documents/static_files/mag_one_bpr40_brochure.pdf

At least they’re not using those CLS1110/1410 radios. A number of the smaller stores their personal I’ve observed using those. You might mistake them for an FRS radio at first.

https://www.motorolasolutions.com/content/dam/msi/docs/business/products/two-way_radios/portable_radios/small_business_portable_radios/cls1410/_documents/static_files/cls_specsheet.pdf

 

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On 6/6/2021 at 8:55 PM, kirk5056 said:

They seem to have a GMRS license.  

 

But, no matter where you go you may find someone using a GMRS frequency that you want to use.  We are required, by license, to share.  NO ONE has a "right" to a frequency.  So, yes, play nice.  

It would be a grandfathered Business License in the GMRS band, not a GMRS license. I don't think a club or business entity can be granted a GMRS license.  If it is in fact a valid grandfathered business licensee, GMRS users have to yield, not the business. 

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  • 1 month later...

Step #1.... Determine if their license is still valid, or if they allowed it to lapse.  That information should be available on the FCC site.  If it has lapsed, they may be operating as they used to, and since it sounds official on the air, no one has challenged them. 

If their license is valid, you will need to find another frequency to use.  

If it has lapsed, you don't need to "throw them to the lions".  Send them a nice letter, letting them know that their secret has been discovered.  Give them some time, but if 6 months goes by with no change, send them another letter, this time let them know that you also sent a copy to the FCC (and do so).  If it gets to that point, I bet the problem will sort itself out quickly.

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1 hour ago, daschnoz said:

If it has lapsed, you don't need to "throw them to the lions".

Yeah, a mall by me has a GMRS repeater setup on RPT16, the same channel the local repeater, fortunately using a different tone, I use is on only 6 to 7 miles away with around 80 registered users. Their license expired in 10/2015! They still use it.

They way I look at it their choices are as follows.

1. Keep using it. Ignorance is bliss.

2. If the repeater gets "hijacked" by licensed GMRS users, ignore them. (see option 6 why this might be the better choice for the moment)

3. Get a legit business only licensed frequency. Then have their radios reprogrammed, repeater reprogrammed and the duplexer re-tuned to use it.

4. Shut it all down and go away.

5. Switch to using FRS radios instead giving up the repeater.

6. Complain to the FCC about their repeater getting "hijacked" by licensed GMRS users, get shut down by the FCC and pay $10k's in fines for operating illegally without a license for almost 7 years. Then go to option 3, 4 or 5 anyway.

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Yeah, a mall by me has a GMRS repeater setup on RPT16, the same channel the local repeater, fortunately using a different tone, I use is on only 6 to 7 miles away with around 80 registered users. Their license expired in 10/2015! They still use it.
They way I look at it their choices are as follows.
1. Keep using it. Ignorance is bliss.
2. If the repeater gets "hijacked" by licensed GMRS users, ignore them. (see option 6 why this might be the better choice for the moment)
3. Get a legit business only licensed frequency. Then have their radios reprogrammed, repeater reprogrammed and the duplexer re-tuned to use it.
4. Shut it all down and go away.
5. Switch to using FRS radios instead giving up the repeater.
6. Complain to the FCC about their repeater getting "hijacked" by licensed GMRS users, get shut down by the FCC and pay $10k's in fines for operating illegally without a license for almost 7 years. Then go to option 3, 4 or 5 anyway.
I like option 2. Perhaps social media can encourage local participation during the holidays.

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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21 hours ago, daschnoz said:

Step #1.... Determine if their license is still valid, or if they allowed it to lapse.  That information should be available on the FCC site.  If it has lapsed, they may be operating as they used to, and since it sounds official on the air, no one has challenged them. 

If their license is valid, you will need to find another frequency to use.  

If it has lapsed, you don't need to "throw them to the lions".  Send them a nice letter, letting them know that their secret has been discovered.  Give them some time, but if 6 months goes by with no change, send them another letter, this time let them know that you also sent a copy to the FCC (and do so).  If it gets to that point, I bet the problem will sort itself out quickly.

The license info is available online, but it can be nearly impossible to determine.  Around me there are hundreds or maybe thousands of business license holders.  Some are held by holding companies that are parents of the known name of the location.  Many have multiple licenses for the same location in various bands. 

You CAN, but its not always easy

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1 hour ago, AdmiralCochrane said:

The license info is available online, but it can be nearly impossible to determine.  Around me there are hundreds or maybe thousands of business license holders.  Some are held by holding companies that are parents of the known name of the location.  Many have multiple licenses for the same location in various bands. 

You CAN, but its not always easy

That's true.

In my case I had to monitor for some weeks to catch them when they use their repeater. It wasn't until I heard the same voice on the licensed mall security frequency on the GMRS repeater frequency several seconds later mentioning the same issue to the mall's house keeping staff I figured out who it was.

The next step was looking up the mall's security FCC license info, I had their FCC assigned call sign. Then I used the FCC's "FRN" number for the mall to do a search by FRN for ALL licenses held by the mall in the FCC database. That's when when I saw the expired GMRS license. The detailed info showed the exact frequency they were originally licensed to use, which was the one I heard the activity on. That nailed it.

The FCC database is a gold mine of info. But you have to know how to use it.

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