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FCC Part 95


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I'm going to express my thoughts about the part 95 rulings. 

To start off, when I applied for my GMRS license, I requested a copy of the rules so I could have em on hand in my laptop. How ever, the handheld transceiver regard to limited power on it said 5 watts. Others today are arguing that truth. 

Secondly, people are saying that they have the rights to use amplifiers with the GMRS mobile, base and handheld. I'm told that nobody can use a amplifier. The copy of the part 95 rules was updated December 22, 2023. 

Either way I'm complying with the rules and IMHO I believe that the FCC should crack down on this issue.

WSAE510 73s

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11 minutes ago, WRYZ926 said:

You are correct that the regulations state 5 watts maximum for a hand held and 50 watts for a mobile on GMRS. Unfortunately that won't stop some from running amplifiers. CB is another prime example, it is limited to 4 watts yet people run up to 1000 watt amps on CB.

I believe there is not a 5 watt regulatory limit on handheld portable GMRS stations on either the 462 main channels or 467 MHz main channels.  
 

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3 minutes ago, Sshannon said:

I believe there is not a 5 watt regulatory limit on handheld portable GMRS stations on either the 462 main channels or 467 MHz main channels.  
 

I very well could be wrong on that. I will have to look that information up again. I thought that FRS was limited to 2 watts and GMRS hand held were limited to 5 watts.

 

Okay straight from the FCC: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95/subpart-E/section-95.1767#

It only states that the 5 watt limit is for the interstitial channels AKA channels shared with FRS.

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§ 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. 

(b) 462 MHz interstitial channels. The effective radiated power (ERP) of mobile, hand-held portable and base stations transmitting on the 462 MHz interstitial channels must not exceed 5 Watts. 

(c) 467 MHz interstitial channels. The effective radiated power (ERP) of hand-held portable units transmitting on the 467 MHz interstitial channels must not exceed 0.5 Watt. Each GMRS transmitter type capable of transmitting on these channels must be designed such that the ERP does not exceed 0.5 Watt.

 

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2 minutes ago, WRYZ926 said:

I very well could be wrong on that. I will have to look that information up again. I thought that FRS was limited to 2 watts and GMRS hand held were limited to 5 watts.

It depends on the channels. There’s one set of 0.5 watts, one of 2 watts, and then the two “main” sets which are 50 watts, except for fixed stations. 
https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/section-95.1767

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1 hour ago, WRYZ926 said:

I very well could be wrong on that. I will have to look that information up again. I thought that FRS was limited to 2 watts and GMRS hand held were limited to 5 watts.

 

Okay straight from the FCC: https://www.ecfr.gov/current/title-47/chapter-I/subchapter-D/part-95/subpart-E/section-95.1767#

It only states that the 5 watt limit is for the interstitial channels AKA channels shared with FRS.

 

That's correct the FRS is limited to 2 watts and GMRS is limited to 5 watts

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2 hours ago, WRYZ926 said:

Sharing channel with FRS is really what limits GMRS radios. And that is why mobile GMRS radios won't transmit on channels 8-14. Or at least not legally since I know of at least one 20 watt GMRS mobile that will transmit on those channels.

Those 8-14 channels are limited for good reason, they are very close to the Repeater input freqs for GMRS. Narrow band and the watt limit prevent interference on the repeater inputs its why theyre called interstitial theyre between channels. Its not that FRS is dragging GMRS down its that those channels are designed not to interfere with GMRS (GMRS came way before FRS).

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2 hours ago, WRYC373 said:

Those 8-14 channels are limited for good reason, they are very close to the Repeater input freqs for GMRS. Narrow band and the watt limit prevent interference on the repeater inputs its why theyre called interstitial theyre between channels. Its not that FRS is dragging GMRS down its that those channels are designed not to interfere with GMRS (GMRS came way before FRS).

It is a common myth that Channels 8-14 are limited to 1/2 watt, narrowband, because they are "interstitial" between repeater input channels.

The fact of the matter is that historically before the 2017 Reorganization, Channels 8-14 were FRS only and not accessible by a GMRS licensee, except for those GMRS licensees who used "combo" radios that allowed both FRS and GMRS or strict FRS radios, and in essence when using Channels 8-14, they were using them under FRS rules and not GMRS rules.

The restrictions on Channels 8-14 were instituted to keep the Family Radio Service from interfering with each other.  Those restrictions were carried forward in the 2017 Reorganization.

Channels 1-7 are also "interstitial" between repeater output channels, yet allowed to transmit up to 5 watts on GMRS.

The opportunities for interference  to repeaters is a factor not only of power and frequency proximity, but also geographical proximity.

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10 hours ago, WRYS709 said:

It is a common myth that Channels 8-14 are limited to 1/2 watt, narrowband, because they are "interstitial" between repeater input channels.

No its not a myth. In the 2017 rule changes the FCC increased the power to 2 watts on FRS EXCEPT those particular channels for a reason. FRS was never intended to have repeater access. Channels 8-14 being located between the high power GMRS exclusive repeater input channels can lead to interference and "possibly" keying up of a repeater since the frequencies overlap to a degree. That depends on how tight the repeater input filters are and how close the FRS radio is to it where enough signal can leak through them. The FCC couldn't ignore the existing population of combo radios so they left the specifications lower for power and bandwidth. That was about the best they could do under the situation.

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3 hours ago, Lscott said:

No its not a myth. In the 2017 rule changes the FCC increased the power to 2 watts on FRS EXCEPT those particular channels for a reason. FRS was never intended to have repeater access. Channels 8-14 being located between the high power GMRS exclusive repeater input channels can lead to interference and "possibly" keying up of a repeater since the frequencies overlap to a degree. That depends on how tight the repeater input filters are and how close the FRS radio is to it where enough signal can leak through them. The FCC couldn't ignore the existing population of combo radios so they left the specifications lower for power and bandwidth. That was about the best they could do under the situation.

Again, it is a common myth that the power limitations for Channels 8-14 at 1/2 watt and the bandwidth being mandated as narrowband have nothing to do with these channels being "interstitial" between repeater input channels; and your suggestions after your disagreement with me do nothing to support your assertion otherwise.

Let me unpack your statements:

"In the 2017 rule changes the FCC increased the power to 2 watts on FRS EXCEPT those particular channels for a reason." -- We are not discussing "EXCEPT those particular channels;" that is we are not discussing Channels 1-7.  There may be one or one hundred reasons why the FCC in 2017 decided to allow FRS radios to transmit on Channels 1-7 and at 2 watts; the fact that the FCC did so, does NOT change the historical reason that the FCC limited Channels 8-14 at 1/2 watt; that was because they wanted to minimize interference between different FRS users on the same channel.

"FRS was never intended to have repeater access." -- thank you for this truism but just like saying "the sky is blue" in response to "the water is grey" this statement is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

"Channels 8-14 being located between the high power GMRS exclusive repeater input channels can lead to interference and "possibly" keying up of a repeater since the frequencies overlap to a degree. That depends on how tight the repeater input filters are and how close the FRS radio is to it where enough signal can leak through them." -- The conclusions in this statement are why I ended my last comment with the statement: "The opportunities for interference  to repeaters is a factor not only of power and frequency proximity, but also geographical proximity."

"The FCC couldn't ignore the existing population of combo radios so they left the specifications lower for power and bandwidth. That was about the best they could do under the situation." -- Again this is why I ended my last comment with the statement: "The opportunities for interference  to repeaters is a factor not only of power and frequency proximity, but also geographical proximity."

Let us return to the days of FRS Radio BEFORE the 2017 Reorganization: there were only 7 FRS channels and they were all limited to 1/2 watt, narrowband.

BUT when the FCC did expand FRS to also allow Channels 1-7 at 2 watts; these are also "interstitial channels" of repeater output channels and based upon power and geographical proximity these channels can also cause interference to GMRS repeater users by interfering to their ability to hear the repeater outputs and by definition even more so at 2 watts than only 1/2 watt.

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10 minutes ago, WRYS709 said:

BUT when the FCC did expand FRS to also allow Channels 1-7 at 2 watts; these are also "interstitial channels" of repeater output channels and based upon power and geographical proximity these channels can also cause interference to GMRS repeater users by interfering to their ability to hear the repeater outputs and by definition even more so at 2 watts than only 1/2 watt.

Which is far more serious than an FRS radio getting into a wide area coverage repeater on the input side with a 20 to 30 mile range. Once an FRS user on the output of a high power repeater gets hammered by the repeater output they typically go away to another channel. That's why it's not a really big issue compared to the input. That's how I've got rid of a few in my area.

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40 minutes ago, Lscott said:

Which is far more serious than an FRS radio getting into a wide area coverage repeater on the input side with a 20 to 30 mile range. Once an FRS user on the output of a high power repeater gets hammered by the repeater output they typically go away to another channel. That's why it's not a really big issue compared to the input. That's how I've got rid of a few in my area.

An interesting observation, but still not the reason why the FCC limited Channels 8-14 to 1/2 watts historically.

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1 hour ago, WRYS709 said:

An interesting observation, but still not the reason why the FCC limited Channels 8-14 to 1/2 watts historically.

The question is why is it "still currently limited" at low power and a narrow bandwidth? One other point is licensed GMRS radios also have the same exact limitation for the same reason, to reduce interference to the repeater input frequencies. It's not just an FRS thing.

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20 hours ago, Lscott said:

The question is why is it "still currently limited" at low power and a narrow bandwidth? One other point is licensed GMRS radios also have the same exact limitation for the same reason, to reduce interference to the repeater input frequencies. It's not just an FRS thing.

Being Socrates does not change what existed in 2017 - the historical reason why the FCC limited FRS users to 1/2 watt and narrowband before the 2017 Reorg...

The purpose of Channels 8-14 is the same now as it was both before and after the 2017 Reorganization: to offer handheld users a wireless service with minimal interference to each other, whether for FRS historically, or as now, for FRS and GMRS.

I have personally spoken to users of those channels, and that is the reason they have told me they use them, when appropriate, instead of Channels 1-7: wireless communications in a smaller defined geographical area, that have a lesser chance of interference.

Since they are FRS users, they have little or no concept nor concern about their proximity to repeater channels.  They just transmit and receive.

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1 hour ago, WRYS709 said:

since they are FRS users, they have little or no concept nor concern about their proximity to repeater channels.  They just transmit and receive.

So GMRS as a licensed service that's allowed to run much higher power everywhere else and wide-band is limited to to same tiny 0.5 watts and narrow band. Makes no sense until you consider the interference issue with the repeater input frequencies. The FCC in 2017 increased FRS to 2 watts EXCEPT for those channels. FRS was also initially limited to 0.5 watts. If the desire was to keep FRS as a low power short range service they would have kept the 0.5 watt limit on all channels. They didn't. Of course allowing GMRS users to run up to 5 watts, or 50 watts in some cases, is the carrot to get people to fork over $35 to the FCC for a license and enjoy the perks FRS users don't get. FRS users pay nothing to use the spectrum.

Remember that GMRS also has interstitial channels, shared with FRS, 1 through 7. However nether are limited to the same tiny 0.5 watts. GMRS is even allowed wide-band on them. Any potential interference on the repeater output channels would be due to simplex stations and would be over a much more limited range as well. The simplex station(s) could simply switch to another simplex channel to eliminate any interference. Switching to another channel in the range of 8 though 14 just ends up being next to another repeater input frequency. So, switching to one of those doesn't really fix the interference on a repeater input frequency issue. Most of the available repeater channels are now home to various wide area coverage machines in my location. Two can't be used because we're past the FCC "Line A" mark.

Your comment that "FRS users have no concept nor concern about their proximity to repeater channels" explains why they are limited to 0.5 watts and narrow-band. If there was no concern the FCC wouldn't have kept the power and bandwidth restrictions in the first place on those channels when they increased the power limit for the other channels. They had to do what the ignorant FRS users couldn't figure out for themselves, apparently, and fixed, more like tried to mitigate it, through the technical rules new FRS, and don't forget GMRS as well, radios must meet.

 

FRS-GMRS Channels Layout.pdf

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25 minutes ago, Lscott said:

So GMRS as a licensed service that's allowed to run much higher power everywhere else and wide-band is limited to to same tiny 0.5 watts and narrow band. Makes no sense until you consider the interference issue with the repeater input frequencies. The FCC in 2017 increased FRS to 2 watts EXCEPT for those channels. FRS was also initially limited to 0.5 watts. If the desire was to keep FRS as a low power short range service they would have kept the 0.5 watt limit on all channels. They didn't. Of course allowing GMRS users to run up to 5 watts, or 50 watts in some cases, is the carrot to get people to fork over $35 to the FCC for a license and enjoy the perks FRS users don't get. FRS users pay nothing to use the spectrum.

And that's cited as the reasoning in the FCC Docket where all these decisions were documented: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-344617A1.pdf  The FCC was concerned that a user would increase the power on the interstitial channels to exceed the 0.5 watt limit which could interfere with repeater operations:

Quote

Our decision not to permit detachable antennas for GMRS portable units is based upon a concern that an inline amplifier from a detachable antenna port could allow 467 MHz interstitial operations greatly exceeding the 0.5 Watt power limit and could interfere with repeater operations.

 

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1 hour ago, Sshannon said:

And that's cited as the reasoning in the FCC Docket where all these decisions were documented: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-344617A1.pdf  The FCC was concerned that a user would increase the power on the interstitial channels to exceed the 0.5 watt limit which could interfere with repeater operations:

How dare you insert facts into this debate?  😛

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On 1/24/2024 at 5:55 PM, WSAE510 said:

I'm going to express my thoughts about the part 95 rulings. 

To start off, when I applied for my GMRS license, I requested a copy of the rules so I could have em on hand in my laptop. How ever, the handheld transceiver regard to limited power on it said 5 watts. Others today are arguing that truth. 

Secondly, people are saying that they have the rights to use amplifiers with the GMRS mobile, base and handheld. I'm told that nobody can use a amplifier. The copy of the part 95 rules was updated December 22, 2023. 

Either way I'm complying with the rules and IMHO I believe that the FCC should crack down on this issue.

WSAE510 73sb

I guess there are some rules and regulations within FCC Part 95E that can be confusing. On the other using a 5-watt HT could be connected to an amp, providing you're only using channels 15 through 30 and not exceeding 50 watts. Channels 01 through 07 may not exceed 5-watts. Of course, most handhelds that has the full 30 channels, won't be so easy to use, because channel 08 through 14 is restricted to a half watt and must have permanent antenna.

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On 1/24/2024 at 3:55 PM, WSAE510 said:

I'm going to express my thoughts about the part 95 rulings. 

To start off, when I applied for my GMRS license, I requested a copy of the rules so I could have em on hand in my laptop. How ever, the handheld transceiver regard to limited power on it said 5 watts. Others today are arguing that truth. 

Secondly, people are saying that they have the rights to use amplifiers with the GMRS mobile, base and handheld. I'm told that nobody can use a amplifier. The copy of the part 95 rules was updated December 22, 2023. 

Either way I'm complying with the rules and IMHO I believe that the FCC should crack down on this issue.

WSAE510 73s

For the current regulations for GMRS use this government site:

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

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Thank you for your help

2 hours ago, wrci350 said:

The only place that appears in Part 95 E is where it talks about data transmissions.  Otherwise GMRS HTs may have detachable antennas, even if they can transmit on 8-14.

 

2 hours ago, Sshannon said:

For the current regulations for GMRS use this government site:

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

 

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6 hours ago, Sshannon said:

And that's cited as the reasoning in the FCC Docket where all these decisions were documented: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-344617A1.pdf  The FCC was concerned that a user would increase the power on the interstitial channels to exceed the 0.5 watt limit which could interfere with repeater operations:

 

That was quite the read. A true history lesson there. Thanks for the post. 

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