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7 things you must Grasp with the GMRS

7 things you must grasp with the GMRS

Some things are worth taking the time to figure out

Just like:

  1. What is GMRS?
  2. Do I need a professional license for operate GMRS radio?
  3. Whatis the GMRS Frequency range?
  4. How to apply for the GMRS license?
  5. Does a ham radio license allow me to transmit on GMRS frequencies?
  6. What does GMRS use?
  7. What is the maximum distance you can have between two GMRS radios?

1. WHAT IS GMRS?

GMRS is a licensed radio service that uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. It's typically used for short-distance, two-way voice communications using hand-held radios, mobile radios, and systems.

2. DO I NEED A PROFESSIONAL LICENSE FOR OPERATE GMRS RADIO?

YES. GMRS originated from the old Class A Citizens Radio Service (CRS) and is closely related to the Family Radio Service (FRS) with which it shares some frequencies. While FRS does not require a license and has power limitations, GMRS can operate at higher powers but requires a license. In many countries, including the United States, a license is required to operate on GMRS channels. This license typically covers the licensee and their immediate family members. If you're considering using GMRS, always check the regulations specific to your country or region, as the rules and licensing requirements can differ. In the U.S., the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees and regulates GMRS usage.

3.WHATIS THE GMRS FREQUENCY RANGE?

While the range can vary based on the equipment and conditions, typical hand-held radios can cover up to 5 to 25 miles, and base or mobile units with higher power and external antennas can reach up to 5 to 50 miles, possibly more with the use of repeaters.

Frequency FRS
Channel
FRS Power FRS
Bandwidth
GMRS Power GMRS
Bandwidth
Notes
462.5625 MHz 1 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.5875 MHz 2 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.6125 MHz 3 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.6375 MHz 4 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.6625 MHz 5 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.6875 MHz 6 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
462.7125 MHz 7 2 W 12.5 kHz 5 W 20 kHz (1)(4)(5)
467.5625 MHz 8 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.5875 MHz 9 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.6125 MHz 10 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.6375 MHz 11 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.6625 MHz 12 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.6875 MHz 13 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
467.7125 MHz 14 0.5 W 12.5 kHz 0.5 W 12.5 kHz (1)(4)(6)
462.5500 MHz 15 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.5750 MHz 16 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.6000 MHz 17 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.6250 MHz 18 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.6500 MHz 19 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.6750 MHz 20 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)(7)
462.7000 MHz 21 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
462.7250 MHz 22 2 W 12.5 kHz 50 W 20 kHz (2)(5)
467.5500 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.5750 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.6000 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.6250 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.6500 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.6750 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.7000 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
467.7250 MHz N/A N/A N/A 50 W 20 kHz (3)(5)
FREQUENCY TABLE & NOTES FROM WIKIPEDIA

4. HOW TO APPLY FOR THE GMRS LICENSE?

Go to FCC website——> fill out a form ——> pay the license fee ——> receive your call sign within 24 working hours.
Click the link below to learn the application step-by-step: 《Application Procedures for a GMRS License》.
In any case, whether using a GMRS repeater or not, every GMRS operator has to announce the call sign at the end of a transmission, or at least once every 15 minutes. You can just spell the call sign or send it with audible tones using Morse code.

Application Procedures for a GMRS License
Application Procedures for a GMRS License

5. DOES A HAM RADIO LICENSE ALLOW ME TO TRANSMIT ON GMRS FREQUENCIES?

No, a ham radio license (often referred to as an Amateur Radio license) does not grant you permission to transmit on GMRS frequencies. In the United States, GMRS operates under Part 95 of the FCC regulations, while Amateur Radio operates under Part 97.

To legally transmit on GMRS frequencies, you must obtain a separate GMRS license from the FCC. It's worth noting that no test is required for the GMRS license, but there is a fee. The GMRS license typically covers the licensee as well as their immediate family members.

It's essential to operate within the regulations set for each radio service to avoid potential legal penalties and ensure smooth operation for all users on the spectrum. Always refer to the specific rules and regulations set by your country's communications authority. In the U.S., that's the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Basically you just need to pay $70 to FCC for the privilege of using these free airwaves for 10 years. The FCC has announced that they will be reducing the cost of that license to $35. So currently $70 for 10 years, soon it will be $35 for 10 years.

FROM Baofeng BLOG

6. WHAT ANTENNA DOES GMRS USE?

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) systems can utilize various antennas, but the type of antenna used largely depends on the specific application and the user's needs. Here are some common antenna types and considerations for GMRS:

  1. Mobile Whip Antennas: These are commonly used for GMRS mobile radios installed in vehicles. They're typically mounted on the roof or the hood using magnetic mounts or permanent mount configurations.
  2. Base Station Antennas: For fixed GMRS stations or repeaters, larger vertical antennas, often called ground plane or base station antennas, are used. These are typically mounted on rooftops, towers, or other elevated structures to achieve better range.
  3. Handheld Antennas: GMRS handheld radios come with their small rubber duck antennas. Some of these are detachable, allowing users to replace them with more effective or longer aftermarket antennas.
  4. Gain: Antennas with higher gain can help increase the range of communication, especially for base stations. A common specification for GMRS antennas is dBd or dBi, which represents antenna gain.
  5. Polarization: Most GMRS antennas are vertically polarized, which means they are most sensitive to signals on the vertical plane. This polarization matches the typical orientation of mobile and handheld antennas.
  6. Frequency Range: It's essential to ensure that the antenna is designed to operate efficiently in the GMRS frequency range, which centers around 462 MHz and 467 MHz.
  7. Coaxial Cable: The choice of the coaxial cable that connects the radio to the antenna is crucial. Low-loss coaxial cables, like RG-213 or LMR-400, are suitable for GMRS applications, especially over longer lengths.

It's worth noting that while there's flexibility in choosing antennas, all equipment setups, including antennas, should comply with the FCC's rules (or your country's respective regulatory body) regarding maximum allowable power, height, and other factors.

7. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM DISTANCE YOU CAN HAVE BETWEEN TWO GMRS RADIOS?

As with other UHF radio services, reliable range is considered to be line-of-sight and the distance to the radio horizon can be estimated based on antenna height. Theoretically, the range between two hand-held units would be about one or two miles (about 1.5–3 km); mobile units have higher antennas and a range of around 5 miles (8 km). A GMRS repeater with an antenna that is high above the surrounding terrain can extend the usable range over a wide area – for example, up to a 20–mile (32.2 km) radius around the repeater station.[8] Obstructions such as hills and buildings can reduce range. Higher power does not necessarily give a proportional increase in range, although it may improve the reliability of communication at the limits of line-of-sight distance.

FROM WIKIPEDIA

GMRS(General Mobile Radio Service) commonly used for personal communication, outdoor recreational activities, and even business purposes. Many radios sold today support both FRS and GMRS, though you'll need to be cautious not to transmit on GMRS channels or at GMRS power levels without the appropriate license.

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