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First FRS area post


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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.     ;)

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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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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. 

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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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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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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!

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  • 3 weeks later...

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

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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.

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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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  • 2 weeks later...

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

 

WQQS970

WH6EFI

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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.

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  • 1 month later...

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

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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.

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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.

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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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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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yep, yep, too bad you couldn't have stayed longer. I realized the other day the extension cord that ran out to the box had the ground broken off. so I replaced it today. I plan to do SWR test over the next day or so. Still haven't put the other 10 feet up, but will be soon enough. on that mobile you had, How far do you think you can run it from the head? any idea if you can run 40' or so?

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I don't know the exact distance, but I do know that RJ45 cable can effectively pass signals/information approximately 150ft without a repeater. Whether or not the radio pushes enough power to go that far and the head unit can pick it up are two different stories.

 

I wish I could have stayed longer as well.

 

Without the ground on that extension cord and your antenna/radio not being grounded, that could have been causing the SWR we saw. I would check all connections, remove moisture, make sure you don't have any shorts in the ground on your LMR400 (not grounded to the shielding by accident), and try hooking the baofeng to the antenna line through the SWR meter bypassing the duplexer. If the issue goes away then your duplexer is not tuned right, if the issue remains then you have an issue with your cabling/antenna. Easy way to rule out the duplexer.

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  • 1 month later...

I have a few loaner frs radios. They go to people who are not licensed when skiing or when we loose power and communications. They have their place. Range is limited but better than nothing at all. I use my gmrs or ham radios most of the time when we are not able to use cell phones.

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Everything has it's place.

 

We have several FRS only radios and several FRS/GMRS bubble pack radios. 

 

In an area outside of New Jersey where we have a large tract of land we use the FRS/GMRS radios frequently while working about the property to communicate.  We use the FRS because we do not want to broadcast what we are doing. 

 

There is actually a "prepper" group in that area that advocates a communications system to it's members and they recommend:

 

     *  the use of FRS only radios for use around one's individual property, for communicating among people watching - working - or protecting your individual property

 

     *  the use of a FRS/GMRS bubble pack radio by one person - they recommend the person in charge at each property - to communicate from your individual property to a neighborhood coordinator

 

     *  the use of a MURS or GMRS radio - handheld - mobile - base as needed to effectively communicate from the neighborhood coordinator to a group "headquarters"

 

     *  their "headquarters" apparently has almost every kind of radio available

 

 

The point of my post is that there is a legitimate need and use for FRS radios and I support using the least amount of power necessary in order to communicate effectively.

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