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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 7/26/2005 5:41:42 PM EDT
I just purchased a pair of Midland 5W GMRS Radios from Sportsman's Guide. I noticed that on Midland's site, within the online owner's manual link, that it says a FCC License is required to operate the radio in high power mode. I bought the radio's for my next deer hunting trip up in the mountains and wanted something that'd have better reception than the FRS radios I now currently use. The license is $80.00 from the FCC, that expires after 3 years. Higher that the price I paid for both radios! I'm not saying I would break the law, but wondered just how much the FCC actually pursues infractions involving GMRS radios up in heavily wooded, mountainous terrain. Anybody ever seen it happen? Just curious.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:45:16 PM EDT
I have used them on the 1-watt channels before, and nothing happened to me. That was before I knew of the license requirement. Now, I use the 1/2 watt channels, and if necessary, I'll briefly switch to a 1-watt channel until I close the gap with the other radio. I seriously doubt you need to worry about the FCC swat team swooping down on you. Just be respectful and don't abuse your use of the radios in high power mode.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:45:43 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 5:48:24 PM EDT by Enigma102083]
I doubt they would persue you up in a wooded high mountain area.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:47:24 PM EDT
Theoretically, a GMRS license (and call letters) allows you access to repeated nets and such.

If you're only using it intermittently, and aren't being a dick towards other users (ie getting complaints filed at the branch office for swearing, inappropriate use, and interfering with others)?

Probability of official notice 0.047%.

They're too busy going after Howard Stern
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:49:19 PM EDT
yeah, like Tango said, obay the rules and you should be ok.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:55:06 PM EDT
There's no way I could be identified if I'm careful and use uber-tactical code names and call signs is there? Pigpen this here's the Rubber Duck, c'mon!
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 5:56:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 5:56:55 PM EDT by Kharn]
You should be ok if you only use it for "emergencies".

Kharn
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:00:59 PM EDT
Say allah akbar a lot, that will keep you safe.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:07:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Say allah akbar a lot, that will keep you safe.

Especially while saying "Fire in the hole!" too.

Kharn
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:10:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Say allah akbar a lot, that will keep you safe.



(Sssssssssrrrrrrrk!) Achmed! I am now in position at the predetermined location..I have been surrounded by the infidels in small black helicopters! Yes! I know the hunt is ruined!(Ssssssssrk!)
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:18:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 6:19:44 PM EDT by Norge1956]

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Say allah akbar a lot, that will keep you safe.




+1 That was good one!
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:22:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 6:22:56 PM EDT by fight4yourrights]
Uh, yeah.


Talk of it going away in the future......
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 6:32:47 PM EDT
Wow, the "how dare you operate without getting the licence (paying the TAX) Nazis" have not chimed in yet, are they asleep?
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 7:57:33 PM EDT

How dare you operate without getting a license?

<­BR>




My opinion is that the FCC won't go after GMRS unlicensed users until they start interfering with the licensed users. However, the fines and confiscation policies are pretty stiff for unlicensed use.

I don't think there are many GMRS licensees who pursue unlicensed users like there are in the Amateur bands. My official advice would be to either license up, or use the FRS frequencies only except in an emergency.

Jim
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 8:01:19 PM EDT
As Hollingsworth states his biggest inforcement problem comes from Advance and Extra class HAM licensee's.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 8:03:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 8:07:27 PM EDT by PsyWarrior]
Anything less than 4 watt output is fine for non-licensed use. Don't worry about it....

But check this link


wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/generalmobile/
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:09:20 PM EDT

Originally Posted By PsyWarrior:
Anything less than 4 watt output is fine for non-licensed use. Don't worry about it....

But check this link


wireless.fcc.gov/services/personal/generalmobile/



The "4 watt" rule is for the 11 meter CB band, not for GMRS.

Directly from your link,


If you operate a radio that has been approved exclusively under the rules that apply to FRS, you are not required to have a license. FRS radios have a maximum power of ½ watt (500 milliwatt) effective radiated power and integral (non-detachable) antennas. If you operate a radio under the rules that apply to GMRS, you must have a GMRS license. GMRS radios generally transmit at higher power levels (1 to 5 watts is typical) and may have detachable antennas. The current fee for a new GMRS license is $80.


Jim
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:20:55 PM EDT
Yes, you need a license. A few minutes listening to CB radio should give you an indication as to why this isn't such a bad thing.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:22:56 PM EDT

Originally Posted By stator:
As Hollingsworth states his biggest inforcement problem comes from Advance and Extra class HAM licensee's.



That's quite the intruging statement, and I'm not even an Amatuer. Do you have a link or source to that? Somehow I find it hard to belive that Hollingsworth said that, but I'm withholding judgemnt until I read what he said in context.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:23:41 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Norge1956:

Originally Posted By Gunner1X:
Say allah akbar a lot, that will keep you safe.


+1 That was good one!


Yep.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:35:54 PM EDT

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By stator:
As Hollingsworth states his biggest inforcement problem comes from Advance and Extra class HAM licensee's.



That's quite the intruging statement, and I'm not even an Amatuer. Do you have a link or source to that? Somehow I find it hard to belive that Hollingsworth said that, but I'm withholding judgemnt until I read what he said in context.



As a ham, I've heard this before. On 20 and 80 meter HF, there's a lot of hams who do whatver they want. Cuss, treat outsiders like shit, and more. A lot of groups on HF are real assholes and they do get in trouble.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:38:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/26/2005 9:43:13 PM EDT by Mauser101]
Imagine this.

You are using a handheld 4watt radio and using it on the FRS frequencies. Say an ICOM F4S UHF transciever. This is illegal.

Do you think that the FCCs super secret black helos will be land on you?

The best FCC enforcers are ham radio operators, and they are not watching FRS.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 9:56:16 PM EDT
How the heck would they ever find you anyway?
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 10:17:46 PM EDT
$80?

For 3 years?

I think i paid less for my technician's license which is 10 years.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 10:27:09 PM EDT
Unless you are using them for a business I realy wouldnt worry about it.
Link Posted: 7/26/2005 10:41:40 PM EDT
I haven't had any problems with mine. They'd probably just confiscate them and the license is more than the radios.
Link Posted: 7/27/2005 1:50:59 PM EDT
Ok, now for my next questions. Say I want to be "Joe Responsible-Citizen" and decide to get my license. Do I have to spend $80 for each radio?..Or does the other operator have to buy a license to use GMRS instead? Kinda sucks either way if ya ask me. Any chance they'll drop the licensing requirement for GMRS? I just mainly wanted better reception while hunting. I'll probably not use them at all otherwise.
Link Posted: 7/27/2005 2:01:32 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Cheese:
Ok, now for my next questions. Say I want to be "Joe Responsible-Citizen" and decide to get my license. Do I have to spend $80 for each radio?..Or does the other operator have to buy a license to use GMRS instead? Kinda sucks either way if ya ask me. Any chance they'll drop the licensing requirement for GMRS? I just mainly wanted better reception while hunting. I'll probably not use them at all otherwise.



I believe that a single license will work for a family or group, but you'll need to check the FCC site (listed above) on that.

I think it is unlikely that they will drop the GMRS licenses, since there are quite a few repeaters on the GMRS frequencies.

Jim
Link Posted: 7/27/2005 2:03:15 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/27/2005 2:05:02 PM EDT by napalm]

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By stator:
As Hollingsworth states his biggest inforcement problem comes from Advance and Extra class HAM licensee's.



That's quite the intruging statement, and I'm not even an Amatuer. Do you have a link or source to that? Somehow I find it hard to belive that Hollingsworth said that, but I'm withholding judgemnt until I read what he said in context.




www.nocode.org/articles/riley_quotes.html



The following text is excerpted from an article (at page 54) in the April 1999 issue of QST describing the works and philosophy of Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, the FCC's "Chief Enforcer."

Restructuring and Enforcement

Hollingsworth favors some sort of Amateur Radio "restructuring" and he doesn’t believe a "streamlined" approach to licensing necessarily will affect on-the-air behavior one way or the other. "We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep new blood coming into the hobby." (emphasis added) he says, pointing to "increased competition for the attention of the younger generation. He disagrees with those who suggest that altering or reducing the present requirements to obtain an Amateur Radio license will make life more difficult for him in the enforcement end.

"It sounds good if you say it fast." he quips, adding that problems related to lowered entrance standards "are just nil." The opposite isn’t true either; higher standards don’t necessarily make more compliant operators, he says ruefully. "My experience is that higher class ops are the problem ops."

More rigorous testing? "I have a gut feeling that it won’t matter in the long run," he says of restructuring proposals to ramp up the level of knowledge required by incoming amateurs. "Most of our problems aren’t technical."

These comments clearly seem to indicate that Mr. Hollingsworth doesn't lend much credence to the idea that simplifying the amateur licensing structure and eliminating unnecessary barriers to participation will result in the "doom and decay" which many pro-coders all too frequently assert as "the reason we need to maintain the status quo."

Mr. Hollingsworth also obviously recognizes the need for "new blood" in the ARS.

He's also a tremendous asset to the amateur community and has gotten off to a darned good start at dealing with cleaning up some of the trash that's infested our bands far too much in recent years.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Hollingsworth!!!

(The remainder of the QST article on Mr. Hollingsworth and the FCC's enforcement actions was also quite interesting and well worth the time to read.)

Link Posted: 7/28/2005 3:51:25 AM EDT

Originally Posted By napalm:

Originally Posted By SubnetMask:

Originally Posted By stator:
As Hollingsworth states his biggest inforcement problem comes from Advance and Extra class HAM licensee's.



That's quite the intruging statement, and I'm not even an Amatuer. Do you have a link or source to that? Somehow I find it hard to belive that Hollingsworth said that, but I'm withholding judgemnt until I read what he said in context.




www.nocode.org/articles/riley_quotes.html



The following text is excerpted from an article (at page 54) in the April 1999 issue of QST describing the works and philosophy of Riley Hollingsworth, K4ZDH, the FCC's "Chief Enforcer."

Restructuring and Enforcement

Hollingsworth favors some sort of Amateur Radio "restructuring" and he doesn’t believe a "streamlined" approach to licensing necessarily will affect on-the-air behavior one way or the other. "We’ve got to do whatever we can to keep new blood coming into the hobby." (emphasis added) he says, pointing to "increased competition for the attention of the younger generation. He disagrees with those who suggest that altering or reducing the present requirements to obtain an Amateur Radio license will make life more difficult for him in the enforcement end.

"It sounds good if you say it fast." he quips, adding that problems related to lowered entrance standards "are just nil." The opposite isn’t true either; higher standards don’t necessarily make more compliant operators, he says ruefully. "My experience is that higher class ops are the problem ops."

More rigorous testing? "I have a gut feeling that it won’t matter in the long run," he says of restructuring proposals to ramp up the level of knowledge required by incoming amateurs. "Most of our problems aren’t technical."

These comments clearly seem to indicate that Mr. Hollingsworth doesn't lend much credence to the idea that simplifying the amateur licensing structure and eliminating unnecessary barriers to participation will result in the "doom and decay" which many pro-coders all too frequently assert as "the reason we need to maintain the status quo."

Mr. Hollingsworth also obviously recognizes the need for "new blood" in the ARS.

He's also a tremendous asset to the amateur community and has gotten off to a darned good start at dealing with cleaning up some of the trash that's infested our bands far too much in recent years.

Keep up the good work, Mr. Hollingsworth!!!

(The remainder of the QST article on Mr. Hollingsworth and the FCC's enforcement actions was also quite interesting and well worth the time to read.)




Ah, I see. Well, in context he was referring to those who were granted HAM licenses under relaxed standards (no code, 5WPM, etc) vs. those who were held to a higher technical standard. I can't really take this to mean that he has more problems with say, Extra class Amatuers than he does CB, FRS, or GMRS operators.

Maybe he does, though. Either way, thanks for the extra info!
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 4:14:03 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Cheese:
Ok, now for my next questions. Say I want to be "Joe Responsible-Citizen" and decide to get my license. Do I have to spend $80 for each radio?..Or does the other operator have to buy a license to use GMRS instead? Kinda sucks either way if ya ask me. Any chance they'll drop the licensing requirement for GMRS? I just mainly wanted better reception while hunting. I'll probably not use them at all otherwise.



A single license covers you and your whole family and all the radios you want to buy.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 5:53:54 AM EDT
I bought some a few years ago to use on vacation.
When I read that license stuff, I almost blew a gasket!

I fired off a couple of emails to the FCC, to the fact that Walmart selling the radios for $30 a pair is making criminals out of normal folks, and they should drop the license requirement.

I got a form letter in response.

I just couldn't justify using them in violation of the law, even though it's a stupid law.
So, I took mine back to the store, and got some of the 1 mile radios.

They worked fine for keeping track of the kids on the beach.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 6:03:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 6:19:02 AM EDT by TexasSIG]

Originally Posted By leelaw:
$80?

For 3 years?

I think i paid less for my technician's license which is 10 years.



You didn't pay anything for your technician license. Ham licenses are FREE.

You paid someone $13 or so to administer the test to you. The .gov doesn't get that money.

Also for the GMRS, it's $80 for the license, but that allows you to operate a "system"
and only one family memeber needs a license. Still pretty pricy but the radios
do work so much better than the FRS it's not even funny BUT.

The BUT is only when you are using some kind of external antenna. The extra
wattage doesn't really add as much distance as you would think. It's all in the antenna.

I have considered installing a GMRS repeater on the roof of my house with a 50 watt xcvr
for my family to use. They are not interested in 2M or getting a license. This would
give pretty decent coverage around town.

Might be VERY interesting to play with in a bug out location, to have a repeater of some kind.
GMRS repeaters are a lot cheaper than regular 2M.


Link Posted: 7/28/2005 11:57:44 AM EDT
Dang! Some of you men are really up on this FCC stuff! Since ya'll are so good at answering all my questions, (which I truly appreciate) I'll ask yet another. As a licensed user, do I have to identify myself by some kind of callsign or license number everytime I want to communicate? That'd be teh suhk!
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 12:41:09 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 1:25:01 PM EDT by TexasSIG]

Originally Posted By Big_Cheese:
Dang! Some of you men are really up on this FCC stuff! Since ya'll are so good at answering all my questions, (which I truly appreciate) I'll ask yet another. As a licensed user, do I have to identify myself by some kind of callsign or license number everytime I want to communicate? That'd be teh suhk!



Yes, you have to ID at each transmission and once every 15 minutes if it's a long
back and forth conversation. You can add a station ID to the call sign for different people,
you just make that part up.
If you use a repeater for your family system, the repeater does not need to ID itself
as long as the people talking on it ID themselves. Makes repeaters less costly.

You have a license to operate the family system, and anyone in your family can use it,
all under the same call sign.

Now, the FCC does define what family members that is. I don't remember exactly
who is included in that.

Remember, no business stuff at all as in messages for money. There were business using GMRS once upon
a time, and you might hear them here and there. You CAN talk about your business
if the licensee is a corporation or non profit organization.

Also if you set up a repeater
you will want to coordinate frequencies and CTSS codes in your area so there are no
problems.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 12:57:48 PM EDT
I believe you need to "ID" every 10 minutes of on air use an/or at the end of transmissions. That is to say, if you are actively chatting on the air, you need to ID every 10 minutes. If you are merely monitoring you don't need to ID. If you have a short contact, (less than 10 minutes), you just ID at the end of the contact.

I'm not absolutely positive about GMRS radio, (I think I heard it to be true), but that is the rule in amatuer radio. It should work on GMRS.
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 1:16:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/28/2005 1:22:46 PM EDT by TexasSIG]
Here ya go, more than you want to know about GMRS operation.

FCC GMRS Rules

Understand that very few ham radio regs carry over into the commercial radio world.

Also keep in mind that although this is shared frequency space, users are REQUIRED
to coordinate frequencies and PL tones, also unlike Ham space where the band
plans are just "recommendations".

No auopatches either for GMRS.

In particular here is the ID requirement:


(a) Except as provided in paragraph (e), every GMRS station must transmit a station identification:

(1) Following the transmission of communications or a series of communications; and

(2) Every 15 minutes during a long transmission.

(b) The station identification is the call sign assigned to the GMRS station or system.

(c) A unit number may be included after the call sign in the identification.

(d) The station identification must be transmitted in:

(1) Voice in the English language; or

(2) International Morse code telegraphy.

(e) A station need not identify its transmissions if it automatically retransmits communications from another station which are properly identified.



Link Posted: 7/28/2005 2:00:48 PM EDT
Thanks guys for all the help! I guess I'll have a lot of things to think about concerning this subject. While I would hate to pay $80.00 for approximately 3 weeks of use total, I also try my best to follow the letter of the law. I've got some good info here to help me make a more informed decision now. It is much appreciated!
Link Posted: 7/28/2005 2:05:14 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Big_Cheese:
Thanks guys for all the help! I guess I'll have a lot of things to think about concerning this subject. While I would hate to pay $80.00 for approximately 3 weeks of use total, I also try my best to follow the letter of the law. I've got some good info here to help me make a more informed decision now. It is much appreciated!



Shortest answer is that without a repeater, FRS radios will have basically the same range in most circumstances.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 10:05:41 PM EDT
UPDATE:

Well, I did the honest method and applied for a station license. I hated to spend the extra $80.00, but at least I won't be feeling guilty for violating the law of the land. The online process was quite easy and licensing was approved by the second day. I'm almost ready for deer season!
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 10:15:50 PM EDT
It all depends on how much one respects the law.
I have my GMRS license.
Link Posted: 8/6/2005 11:18:46 PM EDT
You guys need to understand that some of the GMRS frequncies are shared with FRS.

With these small handhelds, you are legal as long as you stay on the frequencies shared with FRS. It is when you use that GRMS only freqs that you should get the license.

That said, odds are you will only have someone track you down if someone has a GRMS repeater and you are causing interferance. Of course, if I had a RMS repeater I paid $1000-1500 or more to set up and an unlicensed user with a $30 wally world radio was making it unusable, I would be pissed also.

Of course, getting the license does open up new posibilities.... IIRC correctly you can have mobile radios up to 50 watts, and a repeater.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 12:27:53 PM EDT
Your chance of being caught is very remote.

Link Posted: 8/7/2005 12:32:15 PM EDT

Originally Posted By entropy:
Your chance of being caught is very remote.




But the cost of getting caught is very high. Keep that in mind. Licensed users with
a repeater would likely be the only people looking for you anyway, as mentioned above.

But, they do practice "fox hunts" a lot so tracking roving transmitters is pretty simple.
Link Posted: 8/7/2005 1:03:01 PM EDT

Originally Posted By Garand_Shooter:

With these small handhelds, you are legal as long as you stay on the frequencies shared with FRS.



IF, and only if, the radio is transmitting at FRS power levels. I *think* the dual-use radios are accepted for unlicensed use on the FRS frequencies at the FRS power levels, but I'm not that familiar with those rules.

Jim
Link Posted: 8/8/2005 5:26:41 PM EDT
My Midland 550's automatically go to the lower power setting on channels 8 - 14. Can the FRS radio's access all the channels available the the GMRS radios 1 - 22? Only at the lower wattage settings? I'm a little bit confused about the channels/frequencies differences. I guess what I'm asking is - is it just mainly a wattage difference?
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