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New To GMRS


Guest Droopy
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Guest Droopy

Hello. I am a new the GMRS radio. I used to drive a truck over the road for 38 years and used CB Radios everyday in my work profession. Never needed a license to operate a CB but just currently applied for my new license through the FCC a couple of days ago. Any inputs on how to communicate on the GMRS Radio when I get my license and any recommendations on radios, antennas ect. I have a CB Base station at home and like to communicate still with my local friends but wanted to look into trying something new. Thanks. 73's to everyone.

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Guest WRNP643

Also new. My brother in-law sent me a little radio as part of a gift of some survival kit.

You've probably found local repeaters, which greatly extend your range, but many are "private". Once you have your call sign, you should sign up with these around your area and also program in any "open" GMRS repeaters in your area. (You may want to plug in some "amateur band repeaters (for ONLY life/death emergency use). But you can listen...and maybe find you want to pursue that type of license.

The National Weather Service is usually around the same frequency in the same local (http://weather.gov/nwr/stations?State=CA)

Here's a link to GMRS frequencies and FCC power requirements (remember, in a life/death emergency, requirements are merely suggestions) https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/FRS/GMRS_combined_channel_chart

Stay off repeater channels for local (simplex/point to point) comms (camping/local comms w/family, etc...).

 

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9 hours ago, Guest Droopy said:

Hello. I am a new the GMRS radio. I used to drive a truck over the road for 38 years and used CB Radios everyday in my work profession. Never needed a license to operate a CB but just currently applied for my new license through the FCC a couple of days ago. Any inputs on how to communicate on the GMRS Radio when I get my license and any recommendations on radios, antennas ect. I have a CB Base station at home and like to communicate still with my local friends but wanted to look into trying something new. Thanks. 73's to everyone.

On the radio side you have basic several choices to make.

1. Do you want a hand held radio?

2. Do you want a mobile only radio, that could also be used as a base?

3. Numbers 1 and 2 above.

4. Do you want a purpose designed GMRS radio?

5. Do you want a used commercial radio, lets say a Motorola, Kenwood or Vertex for example.

6. Do you only want Part 95 certified radios, highly recommended?

The prices will vary from under $100 to well over several $100's depending on your choice. Usually the performance is better with the higher price points, but not always. The general opinion is the used commercial radios perform better than the cheaper offerings from the Chinese manufactures.

Personally myself I have a rather large collection of commercial Kenwood hand held radios. Another member is a very strong advocate for Motorola gear and won't touch anything else. One thing is for sure, you'll get a lot of opinions one way or the other.

One other point, if you are considering getting a Ham license at some point that may change your choice of which radio(s) to get. Some model of radios will allow you to enter NON GMRS frequencies in them, like for the Ham 70cm band. For those radios you can use on both services without requiring two separate radios.

One radio I've been using lately, which is Part 90 and 95 certified is the Kenwood TK-3170. The software will allow out of the officially supported band range frequencies so I have both GMRS, and a bunch of Ham 70cm repeaters programmed in to it. The later when entering those frequencies the programming software will generate a warning but accepts the entry when you acknowledge the message. 

The Kenwood radios I have in my collection that have the required Part 95 certification for GMRS are:

TK-370G-1

https://mra-raycom.com/wp-content/uploads/simple-file-list/Specifications/portables/TK-270G-370G-Product-Brochure.pdf

TK-3140 type 1

http://rsws.zapto.org/RadioSoftware/Kenwood/tk-2140-3140.pdf

TK-3170 type 1

https://www.wirelessvoicedata.com/downloads/kenwood/kenwood-tk-2170-3170-brochure.pdf

TK-3173 type 1

http://www.secomwireless.com/KWLIT/LIT_TK-3173.pdf

TK-3180 type 1

https://www.ameradio.com/doc/Kenwood_TK-2180_TK-3180.pdf

TK-3212 type 1

http://www.deisradio.com/files/TK-2212-3212 Brochure.pdf

The commercial radios come in different frequency ranges. Make sure the "type" you are buying covers the frequency range for GMRS, 462 MHz to 467 MHz.

Also don't forget for any radio you'll need to get the programming software and cable for it. That's very important for the commercial radios since they can't be programmed from the font panel.

Antennas, coax, mounting etc. that is a whole other topic.

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  • 5 months later...

I am Also new to GMRS, have done the ID thing paid the $$. looking at the right way to enter/exit, be a good user etc. looking at repeater protocal  info and how to make this stuff useful. While abuse is never welcomed, constructive guidance is taken as good learning  experiences.  

Regards, WRAV981

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On 8/4/2021 at 7:39 PM, Guest Droopy said:

I have a CB Base station at home and like to communicate still with my local friends

I still have an old Cobra 2000 GTL base station, but sadly, there are very few users using AM CB in 2021-2022. My employer still has to put AM CB in tractor's for their licensed transportation drivers, part of their union contract, to have something besides corporate FM (Trunked P25) Motorola radios and cell phones. That is all I tend to hear when monitoring. GMRS has become so popular and the price of admission has come down for hardware. With repeaters, many can get out much further than they could with handhelds, so more to listen to and more to chat with if you are up for it. Good luck on GMRS, there is a lot of good information here, and some that like to "stir the pot" a bit. welcome to the site.

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