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First FRS area post

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Hi Gang, My first post, long time lurker.


Not sure if this should be a seperate topic. 


I noticed in my area (Minneapolis/St Paul) that a number of small companies are on FRS/GMRS shared Freqs.  And even on the freqs that I thought were FRS only.  Our local reniassance festival is doing this.  I brought out my cheapie bubble wrap FRS radio because I suspected they were doing this and sure enough, they were. 


Discussion point, if there are only FRS freqs, is it just ignorance?  Or are they trying to get by as cheap as possible?

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Hi, Jim and welcome to the posting side of the Forum.


In general terms, the stipulations on who and what can take place on FRS authorized channels is found below and the regulations are not well written in some areas -




§95.193   (FRS Rule 3) Types of communications.

(a) You may use an FRS unit to conduct two-way voice communications with another person. You may use an FRS unit to transmit one-way voice or non-voice communications only to establish communications with another person, send an emergency message, provide traveler assistance, provide location information, transmit a brief text message, make a voice page, or to conduct a brief test.

*Non-voice communications. (1) The FRS unit may transmit tones to make contact or to continue communications with a particular FRS unit. If the tone is audible (more than 300 Hertz), it must be transmitted continuously no longer than 15 seconds at one time. If the tone is subaudible (300 Hertz or less), it may be transmitted continuously only while you are talking.

(2) The FRS unit may transmit digital data containing location information, or requesting location information from one or more other FRS units, or containing a brief text message to another specific FRS unit. Digital data transmissions must be initiated by a manual action or command of a user, except that an FRS unit receiving an interrogation request may automatically respond with its location. Digital data transmissions shall not exceed one second, and shall be limited to no more than one digital transmission within a thirty-second period, except that an FRS unit may automatically respond to more than one interrogation request received within a thirty-second period.

© You must not use an FRS unit in connection with any activity which is against federal, state or local law.

(d) You must, at all times and on all channels, give priority to emergency communication messages concerning the immediate safety of life or the immediate protection of property.

(e) No FRS unit may be interconnected to the public switched network.



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  • 1 month later...

I have about six of the bubble pack radios in addition to my "real" radios.  Some of them are about the size and weight of the microphone for my Motorola.  For family stuff, If we are only going to be a couple of hundred yards apart, there is no need to lug around the big four watt units.


When there is another hurricane I can leave an FRS unit on one of the interstitial channels at the guard shack at the entrance to my neighborhood and give another to the HOA president who lives two doors over and the rest can be given out to our CERT people when they do the damage survey.

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  • 11 months later...

IL/WI eastern state line area FRS use has dropped a bit due to the local repeater owners due diligience

to keep the FRS users informed of there illegal fine-able activity. Yes we get some traffic and some on

our repeater frequencys but that is what the vox scanner and recorder are for. Have one radio set-up to

scan just 22 channel frs with open pls and labeled according to there use GMRS or just FRS.

The monitoring stations/repeater owners have been able to slow down the use of our repeater freq's

by talking to the users in a normal tone of voice no matter how foul mouth the Youngsters or Adults get.

So the tapes and files are sent to FCC for review and tracking the (continued use) individuals down.

Enough complaints and the FRS operators do get a visit for the MAN HIMSELF.

Been to long since there was a posting here about this, so i had to for 2015 to get thing started again.

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  • 4 weeks later...

     I have a 14 year old kid in my neighborhood that heard me on his bubble pack radio and called for me. I answered and told him about the GMRS thing. He now listens to ch15, our receive for our repeater pair, and pushes his call button on ch1 when he hears me get home. I talk to him all the time now. I told him to tell his parents what he is doing and keep them informed. He knows who I am and what I do, and has confirmed it with the deputies at his school. His parents are fine with it and he is really getting into radio because of it. I found him a scanner for next to nothing, and have cleared it with his parents to give it to him. He wants to be a police officer and really likes talking with me. I think he is even going to join my office's explorer group. All that from hearing us on a bubble pack radio. Sounds like a next generation radio guy.



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  • 1 year later...

Very late reply to what is probably a dead topic, but I use FRS more than GMRS. Admittedly, I am a newbie to GMRS and I actually only own a couple of sets of bubble packs, but I use the radios mostly when camping with my son's Cub Scout pack. While he and I can use my GMRS license, others can't, so I tend to stay on FMRS.

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  • 6 months later...

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.

I was sitting in a parking lot in Culpeper, VA with the radio on scan when I heard two guys obviously putting a radio on the air for the first time and doing some brief testing on 462.550. I broke in and told them they were loud and clear at my location and asked where they were. It turns out they were in a neighborhood 32 miles north of me, but at an altitude of about 1100 feet! There's a whole community of houses on that flat mountain top plateau and only two licenced GMRS operators. Too bad one of them doesn't put up a repeater.

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not much action here in glen burnie md on frs or gmrs....ive only heard one station id on gmrs in a month and no traffic on balt 675, kinda sucks....

I was just on that repeater last weekend about 4:00 PM asking for a radio check from Warrenton but got no reply. Got a solid tone back from it 72 miles away.

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  • 1 month later...

I generally only use FRS frequencies when I need close range communication with family members. The FRS/GMRS combo radios can be small and compact for this purpose, and, may seem more suitable for those that aren't experienced such as my family. Also, because I don't simply feel comfortable with my family using my better equipment or using other frequencies. They're not experienced and only know how to transmit. So, I generally lock the keypad and make sure It's all ready for them to use. PTT button is all they need. I also feel FRS is nice for privacy. I keep them handy for comms, storms and NOAA. I use the other stuff on my times. Sometimes I may pass through if I'm bored.

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  • 9 months later...
  • 4 months later...

I heard some kids playing with FRS, likely bubblepacks, that they received for birthday. I knew it was a birthday gift because they said it was. I just listened until they faded away in a few days. Batteries probably dried out and now their little WT’s are thrown into a drawer where they will be soon forgotten. There are probably millions of these buubepack WT’s sitting in drawers, collecting dust. They are good for car convoying, as long as the cars stay close..

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