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GMRS-FRS Interoperability


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I've been away from this forum for too long. I did take down my GMRS (Ballyhac) repeater as, after a year, it's had no users or local interest. Oh well.


We are working on a neighborhood support project in our county. This would involve ARES/RACES hams. One thing under consideration is monitoring a FRS frequency as many people have bubble pack radios and, if they don't, it's easy enough to get them. Also, a number of people in the group have GMRS licenses.


I have a pair of virtually unused Midland X-Tra Talk radios. In looking at the manual, in the FCC Licensing section it says that you cannot use the radios on the interstial frequencies without a GMRS license. On this radio that would be channels 1-7 and the frequencies start with 462.5625. Channels 15 up are GMRS only (yup) which then implies that 8-14 are the only license free FRS channels.


This seems to fly in the face of 47 CFR Ch. 1, 95.627 where the frequencies of Channels 1-7are noted as FRS along with 8-14.


In 95.29 (GMRS Channels Available) under (f) it cites the same intersticial frequencies as being usable by a GMRS individually licensed "small base station" (fixed, 5 watts ERP max, etc.). 


My conclusion is that the manual is in error with regard to shared Channels 1-7. Is my reading correct?


It would also imply that I can monitor any of those channels and, if someone within range calls me on e.g. Channel 1, I can then talk to them since these are shared GMRS/FRS channels. The neighbor with the bubble pack radio and no license would be legal as would I, as I have a GMRS license.





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Actually that is correct,you may only used 8-14 for unlicensed or license by rule FRS only.The other 1-7 and 15-22 technically require a GMRS license.We all know the rules need a complete make over with more plain English and true meanings of the rules and stop with the interpret problems in which everyone has their on variations of what it actually says.


I wish the FCC would produce such a simplified set of rules regarding the actual GMRS band.We can say what we think and operate how we wish but it doesn't necessarily mean the FCC will interpret the rules the same way we do,even different agents have given different interpretations to the rules when someone inquires about them ...William

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That makes sense. The Midland radio that I have has not power spec. I looked at the manual for the Motorola Talkabout MT350R and it does not say that any channels are excluded from non license operation with the exception that you have to have a license to use GMRS channels. They do provide a power spec (0.5 standard and 1.5 with "boost.") so perhaps this radio would be ok on 1-7 provided that the boost isn't turned on. Unfortunately they don't provide any specifics. Maybe the manufacturers are ambiguous because the rules are confusing - don't say anything that's incorrect but don't be too explicit. 

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AHA! The Cobra MicroTalk manual actually has details:


This two-way radio operates on GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequencies which
require an FCC (Federal Communications Commission) license. A user must be licensed
prior to operating on Channels 1 through 7 on high power
or 15 through 22, which
comprise the GMRS channels of this radio. Serious penalties could result for
unlicensed use of GMRS channels, in violation of FCC rules. Operation of this radio is
subject to additional rules specified in 47 C.F.R. Part 95.
Licensed users will be issued a call sign by the FCC, which should be used for station
identification when operating this radio. GMRS users should also cooperate by engaging
in permissible transmissions only, avoiding channel interference with other GMRS users,
and being prudent with the length of their transmission time.

Channel 1 through 7 on low power and channels 8 through 14 comprise the
FRS (Family Radio Service). No license is required to operate on the FRS.


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Yeah...GMRS has access to the lower side offsets at full power (4 watts), FRS can only use them with 1/2 watt. FRS is exclusive use only on the upper side 467 offsets at 1/2 watt. 


Been that way a long time. I have used 462.6125 and 462.6375 as my channel 3 & 4 for simplex in my Motorola's for years, repeater and T/A in  1 & 2. 

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