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Can a GMRS station talk to a FRS


Guest Ken, WRQC504
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Guest Ken, WRQC504

Just got my license and waiting for it to show up on this site so I can register.

I wanted to know if a GMRS licensed operator may talk to a FRS radio

as well as a FRS talk to a GMRS operator. (CH 1-22). If the answer is yes,

Would the GMRS operator have to use his call sign? 

For CH 8-14 as I read Part 95.1763 the GMRS operator would have to use

a Hand-held portable 0.5 watts max. I believe the Bandwidth/Deviation for

FRS 12.5KHz BW/2.5KHz Deviation.  Do they make a Hand-held

GMRS that cover all 30 CHs as well as meet the CH 8-14 requirements?

 

I have a chart with freqs/bandwdth power levels but have not found anything

stating can they talk FRS to GMRS,   GMRS to FRS and would the GMRS operator

need to use his call sign.

 

Thanks,

Ken

WRQC504

N1KK

 

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Yes to both questions. Each operator must follow the rules for the class of equipment they are using. So if the radio is certified for GMRS the operator must have his license and ID with it regardless of what channel or power level they are using or which radio service the other station is operating under. A certified GMRS radio will either have a non detachable antenna and reduced power, and narrow band only if it has the ability to operate on channels 8 to 14, or those channels are not included in the radio while the power can be 5 watts on channels 1 to 7 and up to 50 watts on 15 to 22, allow wide band operation and with a detachable antenna.

With an FRS only certified radio all of the technical requirements are already built in to the radio and the operator doesn't need to ID, however one might use a type of name, unit number etc for convenience. 

One thing to keep in mind most GMRS radios use wide band FM, some can select between wide or narrow band, while ALL FRS radios are narrow band only. When using wide band FM to communicate to an FRS radio the audio can be very loud to the point of being distorted. While using narrow band to communicate to a GMRS radio the audio level can be rather low requiring cranking up the volume a lot. When communicating between a group of radios using wide and narrow band FM the large changes in audio level can get very annoying.

I use some commercial grade radios for GMRS. Those allow me to program channels in banks, or zones. I have one for wide band FM and another for narrow band FM. So, depending on which class of radio I need to communicate with I select the appropriate zone for the FM band width required.

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6 minutes ago, Lscott said:

A certified GMRS radio will either have a non detachable antenna and reduced power, and narrow band only if it has the ability to operate on channels 8 to 14, or those channels are not included in the radio while the power can be 5 watts on channels 1 to 7 and up to 50 watts on 15 to 22, allow wide band operation and with a detachable antenna.

Good summary except for this.  There is no prohibition against a removable antenna for operating on channels 8-14.  The only requirement is that the radio must be an HT.  So a GMRS-certified HT can have a removable antenna and still transmit on those channels as long as the rest of the rules are followed (narrow bandwidth, low power).

(d) 467 MHz interstitial channels. Only hand-held portable units may transmit on these 7 channels. The channel center frequencies are: 467.5625, 467.5875, 467.6125, 467.6375, 467.6625, 467.6875, and 467.7125 MHz.

OP, you can read the regulations for FRS and GMRS here:

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95?toc=1

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1 hour ago, wrci350 said:

Good summary except for this.  There is no prohibition against a removable antenna for operating on channels 8-14.  The only requirement is that the radio must be an HT.  So a GMRS-certified HT can have a removable antenna and still transmit on those channels as long as the rest of the rules are followed (narrow bandwidth, low power).

(d) 467 MHz interstitial channels. Only hand-held portable units may transmit on these 7 channels. The channel center frequencies are: 467.5625, 467.5875, 467.6125, 467.6375, 467.6625, 467.6875, and 467.7125 MHz.

OP, you can read the regulations for FRS and GMRS here:

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95?toc=1

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95/subpart-B/section-95.587

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I think that @wrci350's correction is to your statement:

1 hour ago, Lscott said:

A certified GMRS radio will either have a non detachable antenna and reduced power, and narrow band only if it has the ability to operate on channels 8 to 14, or those channels are not included in the radio while the power can be 5 watts on channels 1 to 7 and up to 50 watts on 15 to 22, allow wide band operation and with a detachable antenna.

As your quoted FCC Regulation provisions states it is a FRS radio that must have a non detachable antenna.

Additionally. an FRS HT or GMRS HT can have Channels 8-14 transmit at a maximum power of 0.5 watts, while still having the other channels transmit at higher power outputs that are within the legal limits of its particular service (FRS or GMRS).

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41 minutes ago, MichaelLAX said:

I think that @wrci350's correction is to your statement:

As your quoted FCC Regulation provisions states it is a FRS radio that must have a non detachable antenna.

Additionally. an FRS HT or GMRS HT can have Channels 8-14 transmit at a maximum power of 0.5 watts, while still having the other channels transmit at higher power outputs that are within the legal limits of its particular service (FRS or GMRS).

Yes @MichaelLAX is spot on.  @Lscott, you quoted the FRS rules.  There is no corresponding prohibition on removable antennas anywhere in the GMRS rules, which DO allow transmission (using an HT only) on 8-14 with 0.5 watt and narrow (12.5) bandwidth.  As you stated yourself, if you are using an FRS radio, you are under FRS rules and if you have a GMRS license and are using a GMRS radio, you are under GMRS rules.  The GMRS rules say nothing about removable antennas.

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32 minutes ago, wrci350 said:

Yes @MichaelLAX is spot on.  @Lscott, you quoted the FRS rules.  There is no corresponding prohibition on removable antennas anywhere in the GMRS rules, which DO allow transmission (using an HT only) on 8-14 with 0.5 watt and narrow (12.5) bandwidth.  As you stated yourself, if you are using an FRS radio, you are under FRS rules and if you have a GMRS license and are using a GMRS radio, you are under GMRS rules.  The GMRS rules say nothing about removable antennas.

That might be correct. I’ll have to look further in to it. 

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44 minutes ago, wrci350 said:

Yes @MichaelLAX is spot on.  @Lscott, you quoted the FRS rules.  There is no corresponding prohibition on removable antennas anywhere in the GMRS rules, which DO allow transmission (using an HT only) on 8-14 with 0.5 watt and narrow (12.5) bandwidth.  As you stated yourself, if you are using an FRS radio, you are under FRS rules and if you have a GMRS license and are using a GMRS radio, you are under GMRS rules.  The GMRS rules say nothing about removable antennas.

Humm... There does seem to be an interesting twist to what is allowed for antennas on GMRS radios. It's not specifically related to operation on FRS channels. However it has to do with data transmission which likely most radios don't do. 

95.1787(a)4

https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95/subpart-E/section-95.1787

So if you are looking at a GMRS radio that can send some kind of digital data, lets say GPS location, then you will likely find the antenna is non removable.

So yes, my prior comment in general was incorrect, but after looking at the rules a rather narrow exception to allow removable antennas seems to exist. People looking to buy a GMRS radio with built in GPS data transmission for hiking/camping need to watch-out for this for example.

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3 hours ago, Lscott said:

So if you are looking at a GMRS radio that can send some kind of digital data, lets say GPS location, then you will likely find the antenna is non removable.

Interesting: is there such a beast for sale?

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4 hours ago, MichaelLAX said:

And they have fixed antennas?

Yes, molded into the case. None of that tiny set screw business for Garmin.

They have built in topo maps, reflective color screens, and you can also send short text messages. Neither text messages nor gps locations are allowed to be relayed by repeater, so I assume that when the repeater channels are selected digital data isn’t sent. 

Also, my radio was made in Taiwan, not China, and cost as much as a higher end Yaesu HT. They have a less expensive monochrome model.

 

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48 minutes ago, MichaelLAX said:

Steve: did you leave a 2nd message and then delete it, as I have two notifications an hour apart.

If so, how do you delete a message here?

I did! 😔 I’m not sure how I double posted.  I clicked submit once and it took forever but I know better than to click it again.

So, I reported the message and asked for it to be deleted.
Click on the ellipses and choose Report. Add a note explaining what’s needed. 

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  • 2 months later...
Guest Scott

I tried communicating a Wouxan kg 935G with an frs Samcom FWCN30A radio 

using the same channel and tones (or so I thought) and neither one would recognize the other with the exception of the Wouxan

occasionally indicating a receive light from the other radio.  

Can someone explain what exactly needs to be done to match the two ? 

 

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Also note that /true (original)/ FRS radios are narrow-band FM (12.5kHz channels) while normal GMRS are legacy wide-band FM (authorized 20kHz channels -- but radios may have an option for NFM, or worse the radio may not even support 20kHz and be using 25kHz). The 2017 unification/split of GMRS and FRS has complicated matters some.

As a result, if you do get through to each other (and I concur with the prior poster -- start with NO TONES, and on lowest power, with decent separation between radios), you'll notice some -- uhm -- strangeness in vocal qualities as GMRS gets clipped to the NFM bandwidth, and FRS deviation doesn't take advantage of regular bandwidth.

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  • 1 month later...
On 4/21/2022 at 10:50 AM, wrci350 said:

Good summary except for this.  There is no prohibition against a removable antenna for operating on channels 8-14.  The only requirement is that the radio must be an HT.  So a GMRS-certified HT can have a removable antenna and still transmit on those channels as long as the rest of the rules are followed (narrow

However, the GMRS regulations specify an ERP of 0.5W -- not a radio output of 0.5W (1-7, the original GMRS interstitials, are also now specified in ERP). That means that use of a "gain antenna" (gain over dipole, or more than 2.1dBi) is going to result in an ERP greater than the regulations allow. If you use an antenna with 3dBd gain, the radio output will have to be 0.25W to be "legal".

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55 minutes ago, KAF6045 said:

However, the GMRS regulations specify an ERP of 0.5W -- not a radio output of 0.5W (1-7, the original GMRS interstitials, are also now specified in ERP). That means that use of a "gain antenna" (gain over dipole, or more than 2.1dBi) is going to result in an ERP greater than the regulations allow. If you use an antenna with 3dBd gain, the radio output will have to be 0.25W to be "legal".

Do you read through old threads looking for places you can "contribute"?  Was it really necessary to add this statement to something posted over 4 months ago?  The fact that maximum transmission power on the interstitials is expressed in ERP does not in any way prohibit a removable antenna, which is what I was commenting on.  It does, however, place the onus on staying under the limit on the user of the radio ... not that most people care, of course.

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17 minutes ago, wrci350 said:

Do you read through old threads looking for places you can "contribute"?  Was it really necessary to add this statement to something posted over 4 months ago?  The fact that maximum transmission power on the interstitials is expressed in ERP does not in any way prohibit a removable antenna, which is what I was commenting on.  It does, however, place the onus on staying under the limit on the user of the radio ... not that most people care, of course.

WoW!

Where's @TNRoninwhen we need him! 🤣

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38 minutes ago, wrci350 said:

Do you read through old threads looking for places you can "contribute"?  Was it really necessary to add this statement to something posted over 4 months ago?  

How else would he show us all how smart he thinks he is?!

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