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First FRS area post


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#1 PastorGary

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 02:02 PM

Since this FRS area has not seen any posting traffic at all, I just didn't want the area to 'feel' left out, so here is the first FRS posting area post.

 

Since everyone using this forum, thus far, is licensed for Amateur or GMRS, is there anyone here who actually uses FRS frequencies with all the problems of power limitations, range issues and channel usage saturation in some metro areas, as I understand it.

 

I don't own any FRS equipment, so I guess my answer is no.     ;)



#2 Logan5

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Posted 12 June 2013 - 07:14 PM

we could discus how the FCC should have never allowed the bubble pak radio manufactures to include FRS freq's on GMRS radios to begin with. or vicea versa, FRS created the need for radio manufactures to included molded non removable antennas on their radios. I consider the non removable antenna part of FRS to be the most limiting factor,  any radio that includes FRS frequency's can not have a removable antenna . FRS at a half of a watt into a "tuned gain" antenna would not be too bad.


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#3 Billy

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Posted 14 June 2013 - 08:02 AM

I do have FRS/GMRS Midland radios that get use from time to time.  Neighborhood simpex.  My son likes to take a radio when visiting friends in the area.  I take them on the golf course also, my wife will usually go down to the adjacent beach while I play nine.  So they do get used.  I have a few older Motorolla FRS radios that I give out to the neices and nephews when they are playing in the yard.  For those purposes and I am sure many others FRS is just fine, it wasn't intended for anything more.  Similar to what Logan was saying I just think the marketing of the package radios has led to unrealistic expectations and let downs. 



#4 PastorGary

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 05:38 AM

Speaking of combo radios -

 

I just picked up a Cobra PR-950DX in excellent condition at a garage sale.  No corrosion in the battery compartment, no scratches on the case and the belt clip is still there. It even had the original owner's manual.  Two watt output on the GMRS frequncies and I tested it in an urban area and got 2.7 miles to a Kenwood 4 watt portable.  CTCSS codes are accurate and frequency stability seems to be right on the money according to my UHF frequency counter.  I know what you are wondering... how much was it?  --- How does $ 2.00  sound?  :D


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#5 Logan5

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 08:59 AM

Lucky dog.



#6 JeremyM

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Posted 17 June 2013 - 10:27 AM

Thats great! Cobra seems to put together pretty good hardware.


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#7 quarterwave

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Posted 20 June 2013 - 10:10 AM

I keep a set of Uniden FRS units around, and so do my inlaws. I have a repeater and real radios, but we keep these FRS radios that run on AAA batteries so that we can take them on vacation. We use them car to car while travelling and at the beach every summer. 

 

Everything has its place. 


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#8 Billy

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Posted 22 June 2013 - 09:39 AM

I keep a set of Uniden FRS units around, and so do my inlaws. I have a repeater and real radios, but we keep these FRS radios that run on AAA batteries so that we can take them on vacation. We use them car to car while travelling and at the beach every summer. 

 

Everything has its place. 

 

 

Exactly, I like a full toolbox!



#9 BKHammer

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:43 PM

Use FRS on base here at Hickam AFB in Hawaii to keep track of my kids. Thick buildings limit LOS but can generally hit out to 1.5 to 2 miles. Works good, they get a kick out of it, and hopefully gets them started on radio tech. I agree with above comments on the "bubble pack pirates" on GMRS freqs. We basically got CB bubba splatter on most freqs here in Hawai'i and alot stronger than 0.5W



#10 PastorGary

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 06:54 PM

Brad - Thank you for the input. We all have horror stories about unlicensed op's on the  GMRS channels,  but since the 'commission' made this mess in the first place, it's much too late to correct it now because of the sheer volume of gear out in the field.  


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#11 Logan5

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:16 PM

They are likely using "CCR's" cheap Chinese radios at 1 to 4 watt's as few of them can be turned down to 0.5w. these are people that think by using FRS frequency's they are legal, however they are far from legal. I assume you only use the FRS for the kids? you have a GMRS license, get the kids new radios for summer.



#12 JeremyM

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:26 PM

I agree with Logan, your GMRS license extends to cover your children. Make sure they know your callsign and all is well. This would allow for farther transmission as well since those HTs can get some decent range. If you are getting 1.5 to 2 miles off 0.5W FRS I imagine you could get 3 or maybe even 4 off a 4W GMRS HT!


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#13 BKHammer

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 03:49 PM

Thanks Logan5 and Jeremy.  The GMRS license covers my immediate family.  I stay on the GMRS authorized freqs, as the radios (UV5Rs) I have put out too much power for FRS transmit even on low power.  Looking at putting in a repeater here on Oahu, as no GMRS repeaters available that I can discern.

 

BK

 

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#14 PastorGary

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Posted 23 July 2013 - 04:36 PM

Brad - You're probably correct regarding the probability of no repeaters in Oahu.  I did a quick check and there are none listed in the normal members-only listing websites.  Just a suggestion if you do put one up... use GPS tracking in case a lava flow moves it... :D

 

Seriously - Many owners are using a CTCSS output and a DPL input to discourage unauthorized use.



#15 Logan5

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 12:06 AM

Hey BkHammer, did you ever get that repeater up and running? Update?



#16 spd641

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Posted 16 September 2013 - 02:45 PM

Brad - You're probably correct regarding the probability of no repeaters in Oahu.  I did a quick check and there are none listed in the normal members-only listing websites.  Just a suggestion if you do put one up... use GPS tracking in case a lava flow moves it... :D

 

Seriously - Many owners are using a CTCSS output and a DPL input to discourage unauthorized use.

I defiantly use DPL here at home on my repeater and on the FRS toys my 6 yr old takes outside with him.I have not saw any issues with this so far as the general public does not know how to get their radios off FRS 1 and "privacy" code 1 and I use the term privacy loosely...Willaim



#17 Rudy

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:42 PM

Since this FRS area has not seen any posting traffic at all, I just didn't want the area to 'feel' left out, so here is the first FRS posting area post.

 

Since everyone using this forum, thus far, is licensed for Amateur or GMRS, is there anyone here who actually uses FRS frequencies with all the problems of power limitations, range issues and channel usage saturation in some metro areas, as I understand it.

 

I don't own any FRS equipment, so I guess my answer is no.     ;)

 

 

Our neighborhood ERT group uses an FRS frequency channel to communicate. Although several of us have GMRS licenses most of the members do not.  Range is not a big problem for us as our development is not too large. Some areas are on the fringe, but we have several plans we are looking to to circumvent that problem.



#18 PastorGary

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 06:14 PM

One way to get communications through if a weak signal is a problem is to place any radios equipped with an external speaker/mic out in the group's fringe areas. By using that configuration, the operator can hold the radio up as high as possible while using the speaker/mic with the other hand.  Two to three feet of antenna elevation may not seem like much, but having done this several times in the past myself, it does make a difference.



#19 Logan5

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 08:01 PM

One way to get communications through if a weak signal is a problem is to place any radios equipped with an external speaker/mic out in the group's fringe areas. By using that configuration, the operator can hold the radio up as high as possible while using the speaker/mic with the other hand.  Two to three feet of antenna elevation may not seem like much, but having done this several times in the past myself, it does make a difference.

Yes PastorG, I agree,I have a good quality speaker mic on my main HT, Makes for a much more pleasant HT operating experience. easier to set the radio up high and still use it. As I have found Height is much more important than Watt's, Power. 


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#20 JeremyM

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:10 PM

Definitely agree. I helped Logan perform some tests over the weekend and earlier this week. I had experienced the difference elevation made to transmissions in the past, but I think Logan had less first hand experience with the results of elevating the antenna.

 

I have to admit, the results of our tests even surprised me. The elevation of the transmission/receiving locations made a DRASTIC difference even in flat terrain.


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