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FRS Mobile?


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Has anybody ever tried to license a FRS mobile radio?

I am thinking something like a Midland MXT105 turned down to 2 watt and the antenna on a fixed cord.

I think it would sell great in the Jeep community with people that don't want to license.

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Subpart B - Family Radio Service (FRS)

§ 95.501 Scope.

This subpart contains rules that apply only to the Family Radio Service (FRS).

§ 95.503 Definitions, FRS.

Family Radio Service (FRS). A short-distance two-way voice communication service, with limited data applications, between low power hand-held radios, for facilitating individual, family, group, recreational and business activities.

FRS unit. A transceiver for use in the FRS.

 

FRS radios are by definition hand-held, with fixed antennas.

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21 hours ago, wrci350 said:

Subpart B - Family Radio Service (FRS)

§ 95.501 Scope.

This subpart contains rules that apply only to the Family Radio Service (FRS).

§ 95.503 Definitions, FRS.

Family Radio Service (FRS). A short-distance two-way voice communication service, with limited data applications, between low power hand-held radios, for facilitating individual, family, group, recreational and business activities.

FRS unit. A transceiver for use in the FRS.

 

FRS radios are by definition hand-held, with fixed antennas.

I guess I missed the hand-held part when I read it.

I still say it would sell well.

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15 hours ago, kirk5056 said:

Once upon a time--someone made a FRS radio with the actual radio inside the softball sized mag mount antenna and controls on a remote mic.  I owned one and it was, at best, cumbersome.  But it did work.

It was sold by Radio Shack, #21-1850

I forgot what year or years it was offered

I believe that they pop up on eBay every so often

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15 hours ago, PartsMan said:

I guess I missed the hand-held part when I read it.

I still say it would sell well.

It probably would sell.... but the rules state it has to be of a certain design that would not lend itself to being a mobile radio.

The big thing the FCC was trying to limit was the ERP or effective radiated power.  The antenna's on FRS radios are very low gain by design.

Making them permanently attached means they can't be swapped out for a high gain antenna and it also means that an amplifier can't be put in the line increasing the power. 

With the new license fee schedule making GMRS licenses $35 for a family unit, it's really just easier to have everyone that you want to communicate with get the license and get out from under the FRS equipment limitations. 

You still have some limitations with GMRS, like max of 50 watts at the radio output and no additional amplification.... but the antenna gain and height are not restricted at all.  Even on the low power channels. And you just don't bother with the low power channels other than walkie to walkie short range stuff were it's all you need. 

FRS is still good for certain applications but it's not technically legal to use a GMRS radio to even communicate to an FRS radio even though the channels overlap.  If you are talking to an FRS radio then BOTH radios are using that service.  And then both radios need to be compliant with the FRS rules.  So you CAN'T use your HT1250 that you use for GMRS while talking to an FRS bubble pack radio. 

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1 hour ago, WRKC935 said:

FRS is still good for certain applications but it's not technically legal to use a GMRS radio to even communicate to an FRS radio even though the channels overlap.  If you are talking to an FRS radio then BOTH radios are using that service.  And then both radios need to be compliant with the FRS rules.  So you CAN'T use your HT1250 that you use for GMRS while talking to an FRS bubble pack radio. 

The rules state otherwise.

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16 hours ago, WRKC935 said:

FRS is still good for certain applications but it's not technically legal to use a GMRS radio to even communicate to an FRS radio even though the channels overlap.  If you are talking to an FRS radio then BOTH radios are using that service.  And then both radios need to be compliant with the FRS rules.  So you CAN'T use your HT1250 that you use for GMRS while talking to an FRS bubble pack radio. 

Wrong. As others have pointed out it’s allowed in the rules. You should really go and read them. If you didn’t understand them the first time through go and read them again.

The confusing part is communications between FRS and GMRS radios. Each operates under their respective rules parts. If you’re using a GMRS compliant radio, talking to an FRS radio, then you must follow ALL the GMRS rules including ID’ing yourself. The FRS radio user does not. 

FRS radios by design, FCC requirements for certification, can’t access the repeater input channel frequencies so the issue there is moot.

The FCC created this mess by allowing the sale of combination FRS/GMRS radios in the first place. The box contained information stating the channels above 14 can’t be used unless one had a valid GMRS license. Almost nobody read that, or if they did just ignored it. Finally the FCC changed the rules which became effective in 2018 making the wide spread practice legal so they didn’t have to deal with the enforcement issue. So we have the weird situation where two radio services share the exact same frequencies AND are allowed to cross communicate.

Sooner or later newbies start asking about cross communications between Ham 70cm and GMRS. Technically it’s possible with certain radios using no modifications for out of band operations. Forget it. It’s not legal due to some rules mainly on the Ham side. That’s the conclusions I reached after looking at it myself years back. This topic has been covered on these forums before as well.

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On 3/26/2022 at 4:55 AM, WRKC935 said:

You still have some limitations with GMRS, like max of 50 watts at the radio output and no additional amplification.... but the antenna gain and height are not restricted at all.  Even on the low power channels. And you just don't bother with the low power channels other than walkie to walkie short range stuff were it's all you need. 

That 50W limitation is not a blanket statement even on the channels where it is the maximum.  If one is playing "strictly by the rules", a fixed base radio (i.e. not a repeater and not a mobile) is limited to just 15W again, even on a channel with a 50W maximum.

(47 CFR § 95.1767 - GMRS transmitting power limits.)
 

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20 minutes ago, WROZ250 said:

That 50W limitation is not a blanket statement even on the channels where it is the maximum.  If one is playing "strictly by the rules", a fixed base radio (i.e. not a repeater and not a mobile) is limited to just 15W again, even on a channel with a 50W maximum.

§ 95.1767 GMRS transmitting power limits.

This section contains transmitting power limits for GMRS stations. The maximum transmitting power depends on which channels are being used and the type of station.

(a) 462/467 MHz main channels. The limits in this paragraph apply to stations transmitting on any of the 462 MHz main channels or any of the 467 MHz main channels. Each GMRS transmitter type must be capable of operating within the allowable power range. GMRS licensees are responsible for ensuring that their GMRS stations operate in compliance with these limits.

(1) The transmitter output power of mobile, repeater and base stations must not exceed 50 Watts.

(2) The transmitter output power of fixed stations must not exceed 15 Watts.

 

A "fixed station" and a "base station" are not the same.  You have to dig around to find the definitions, which are here:

47 CFR § 95.303 - Definitions.

Base station. A station at a fixed location that communicates directly with mobile stations and other base stations.

Fixed station. A station at a fixed location that directly communicates with other fixed stations only.

If you have a GMRS mobile connected to a power supply and an external antenna on top of your house, that's a base station.  A point-to-point RF link between two repeaters would be an example of fixed stations.

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3 minutes ago, wrci350 said:

§ 95.1767 GMRS transmitting power limits.

This section contains transmitting power limits for GMRS stations. The maximum transmitting power depends on which channels are being used and the type of station.

(a) 462/467 MHz main channels. The limits in this paragraph apply to stations transmitting on any of the 462 MHz main channels or any of the 467 MHz main channels. Each GMRS transmitter type must be capable of operating within the allowable power range. GMRS licensees are responsible for ensuring that their GMRS stations operate in compliance with these limits.

(1) The transmitter output power of mobile, repeater and base stations must not exceed 50 Watts.

(2) The transmitter output power of fixed stations must not exceed 15 Watts.

 

A "fixed station" and a "base station" are not the same.  You have to dig around to find the definitions, which are here:

47 CFR § 95.303 - Definitions.

Base station. A station at a fixed location that communicates directly with mobile stations and other base stations.

Fixed station. A station at a fixed location that directly communicates with other fixed stations only.

If you have a GMRS mobile connected to a power supply and an external antenna on top of your house, that's a base station.  A point-to-point RF link between two repeaters would be an example of fixed stations.

Interesting...  Wondering what would constitute a 'fixed station' beyond, for example, two base stations in addition to talking to mobiles and portables, but were also used to talk between themselves. would that not constitute 'fixed station operation?

Kinda mute in the bigger picture, as who would really know (or care) unless said operation was causing interference to another GMRS operation, such as a distant repeater.

Still, outside the two base stations talking to each other scenario, what would be an example of fixed station operation (data link?). 

While legal, one would think using a GMRS frequency as a point to point link between repeaters 'might be annoying' to other users.  It is a valid point (no pun intended) in any event.

🙂

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1 hour ago, WROZ250 said:

Still, outside the two base stations talking to each other scenario, what would be an example of fixed station operation (data link?). 

Those aren't fixed stations.

"Base station. A station at a fixed location that communicates directly with mobile stations and other base stations."

So two base stations talking to each other are ... base stations.

Honestly I cannot think of where a "fixed station" would be used in GMRS.  The key difference is that a fixed station talks ONLY to other fixed stations.

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A lot of regulations are boilerplate at the FCC needing only a few words to be changed along with the section number. I doubt the FCC figured anyone would set up a fixed station using GMRS repeater channels but, just in case, they threw in the limits.

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6 hours ago, wrci350 said:

Those aren't fixed stations.

"Base station. A station at a fixed location that communicates directly with mobile stations and other base stations."

So two base stations talking to each other are ... base stations.

Honestly I cannot think of where a "fixed station" would be used in GMRS.  The key difference is that a fixed station talks ONLY to other fixed stations.

Telemetry stations are fixed stations. 

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On 3/24/2022 at 2:48 PM, PartsMan said:

I think it would sell great in the Jeep community with people that don't want to license.

I am not sure I understand the point of this thread: 

Either get an $35 GMRS license for you and your family and use a $100 DB-20G mobile (or some more expensive inferior Midland mobile) or use an FRS HT!

What’s the debate?

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On 3/24/2022 at 4:48 PM, PartsMan said:

I am thinking something like a Midland MXT105 turned down to 2 watt

Wondering how you might do that? 

AFAIK, the MXT105 does not allow programming.  It also does not allow FRS channels 8-14.  And, the only power settings are low/high, 1w/5w respectively.

...

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4 hours ago, Citizen said:

Wondering how you might do that? 

AFAIK, the MXT105 does not allow programming.  It also does not allow FRS channels 8-14.  And, the only power settings are low/high, 1w/5w respectively.

...

OH. I am not going to "do that". I just think if some radio company did people would buy them. The bubble pack mobile.

They could be included in a new off road vehicle or even rental jeeps/atvs. It wouldn't matter who ran it.

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20 hours ago, Sshannon said:

Telemetry stations are fixed stations. 

Indeed they are! Those huge travelling "sprinklers" farmers use are controlled via GMRS simplex, as are remote controlled gates, and a host of other systems that require remote control.  😉

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On 3/28/2022 at 1:38 PM, PartsMan said:

OH. I am not going to "do that". I just think if some radio company did people would buy them. The bubble pack mobile.

They could be included in a new off road vehicle or even rental jeeps/atvs. It wouldn't matter who ran it.

As I pointed out: It already exists: the Radioditty DB20-G for $105 you plug it into your cigarette lighter, connect an antenna and you're on the air!

Get a GMRS license for you and your family for $35, or don't: The only difference is having to say your callsign every now and then!

One guy on this Forum even installed one in his Ferrari!

Radio.thumb.jpg.728c5717a84d6d1d6f3b66f4f5f21765.jpg

Bubble Wrap GMRS Mobile in a Ferrari

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2 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

As I pointed out: It already exists: the Radioditty DB20-G for $105 you plug it into your cigarette lighter, connect an antenna and you're on the air!

Get a GMRS license for you and your family for $35, or don't: The only difference is having to say your callsign every now and then!

That's a GMRS radio, not FRS.  The only difference is that if someone uses it without a GMRS license then they are in violation of FCC regulations.

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