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hand-held radio rules?  RSS feed

 
Denise Kersting
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Hi all, not sure if this is an appropriate place for this post, but I wondered if there are any other GRSM radio users out there. We got radios for up at our off grid cabin, and for general wandering through the woods. (I like to wander off) Anyway, I am abiding the "rules" and am obtaining an operator license w/the FCC, but their website only confused me more. I wanted to know in a clear way, how we are supposed to legally use these radios, do we have to state our call sign every time I want to tell my husband I'm off chasing butterflies again? I applied for the license because I don't think the FSM freq. will have enough signal strength in the woods we are typically in, even if we aren't that far apart. So if there are any other walkie-talkie users out there that understand the FCC rules, I'd really appreciate it if you could break them down for me in a non-technical way.
Regards,
Denise
 
Devin Lavign
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I am a HAM technician licensed. I think you might mean GMRS, General Mobile Radio Service which is a licensed radio service that uses channels around 462 MHz and 467 MHz. I was not aware of any call sign requirement for GMRS. Though I will admit I am not licensed for GMRS so I can't speak with authority on this, and I don't typically monitor those frequencies so never heard a GMRS convo.

In HAM we send out our call sign typically when we start a conversation, and when we end it. All the back and forth between we don't need to repeat the call signs more than every 10 min.

From what they say here http://forums.radioreference.com/gmrs-frs/252828-gmrs-identity-procedures.html GMRS is pretty much the same but you have 15 min between needing to identify. But you can see there is a lot of confusion and interpretation going on over there about what the rules are. Now I would suggest if your out and you call in identifying yourself then don't talk for 5 or 10 min, you might still want to identify again. Usually best to error on the side of caution. Otherwise, if your talking with your husband, just toss your call sign every 15 min or so. No penalty for being early with it, and I doubt anyone would gripe if your a little late either.
 
Denise Kersting
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Location: South Central PA
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Thank you Devin, I appreciate your response. You are correct, I did mean GMRS, and your explanation is great, that was exactly the info I was trying to clarify!
 
Devin Lavign
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Glad to help answer your question, it did take me a bit to figure out you had even mixed up the letters in GMRS, I have mild dyslexia so looked fine to me LOL.
 
Mike Jay
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We bought a set of walkie-talkies with some GMRS channels on them several years ago. My brother-in-law looked into the FCC rules at the time to see if we needed to get licenses. At the time he found that hundreds of thousands of those radios had been sold in the past few years and only a few thousand FCC licenses were applied for. So the impression we got was that very few people get the license. Not that it's right of course and we certainly got our licenses but just wanted to let you know that (per his research) you'd be in the minority of people who actually got the license.

We also found that their advertised range was far greater than what we actually got. Over open water we'd get 4-5 miles but on relatively level ground in the woods we couldn't get more than a mile or two.
 
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