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Re: [GMRS] Question about organized group use of GMRS

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  • yorkfd@juno.com
    Chuck, It all depends on how you asked the question. If each member of the community watch group acquired an FCC GMRS license, then they would be just as legal
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 29, 2007
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      Chuck,

      It all depends on how you asked the question.

      If each member of the community watch group acquired an FCC GMRS license,
      then they would be just as legal of a user group as REACT.

      However, there is no "group license" available for the group in the GMRS.


      I'm sure Stan will be able to provide some insight from a REACT member's
      perspective.

      Greg
      WQGB715

      On Sat, 29 Sep 2007 14:21:36 -0000 "qualitylights"
      <qualitylights@...> writes:
      >
      > I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
      > can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
      > group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
      > service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
      > that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?
    • Maire-Radios
      well if you use GMRS each Family get a license or do a UHF business repeater FB-6 and rent service to the group. Also if you do it as a FB-6 you can go to 100
      Message 2 of 15 , Sep 29, 2007
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        well if you use GMRS each Family get a license or do a UHF business repeater FB-6 and rent service to the group.
        Also if you do it as a FB-6 you can go to 100 watts output.

        we have a number of FB-6 we rent service on .


        ----- Original Message -----
        From: qualitylights
        To: GMRS@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 10:21 AM
        Subject: [GMRS] Question about organized group use of GMRS


        Hello all.

        I'm kind of a newbie to the hobbie (in it about 6 months or so) and
        I have a question. Now please, I am in NO WAY trying to start a
        flame war with this question. I just want some information that may
        benifit a local community watch group.

        I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
        can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
        group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
        service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
        that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?

        Any help on this matter would be GREATLY appreciated as we are
        looking for a reliable, inexpensive method of communication for this
        group. I won a local repeater and would be more than happy to let
        them utilize it at night for their watch groups.

        Thanks to all in advance for any information.

        Chuck





        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Skip Sanders
        ... Welcome to the inaccurate FCC help system. Probably, they misunderstood you to be asking if the watch group could get a license as a group, which they
        Message 3 of 15 , Sep 29, 2007
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          --- In GMRS@yahoogroups.com, "qualitylights" <qualitylights@...> wrote:
          > I'm kind of a newbie to the hobbie (in it about 6 months or so) and
          > I have a question. Now please, I am in NO WAY trying to start a
          > flame war with this question. I just want some information that may
          > benifit a local community watch group.
          >
          > I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
          > can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
          > group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
          > service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
          > that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?

          Welcome to the inaccurate FCC 'help' system. Probably, they
          misunderstood you to be asking if the watch group could get a license
          as a group, which they cannot. Only 'grandfathered' non-individual
          licenses are allowed, from many years ago, and they're not allowed to
          change their authorized system in any way.

          The Community Watch Group certainly CAN communicate via GMRS, but each
          individual member must be licensed (Families covered by a single
          license). Business of the group is allowed, as is personal business,
          etc. What's prohibited is communications for hire, that sort of thing,
          so you can't charge for group services. Repeater owners ARE allowed to
          require their users to contribute reasonably to upkeep of the repeater,
          though.
        • Lake Hodges Radio
          ... I am not sure that you have this in the right context. What the rep at the FCC probably meant was... -- A community watch group CAN use GMRS channels 1-7
          Message 4 of 15 , Sep 29, 2007
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            At 07:21 AM 9/29/2007, qualitylights wrote:
            >I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
            >can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
            >group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
            >service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
            >that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?
            -----------------------------------------------------------------------------

            I am not sure that you have this in the right context.

            What the rep at the FCC probably meant was...

            -- A community watch group CAN use GMRS channels 1-7 and 15 to 22,
            but every one who uses a radio must be licensed.

            -- Immediate family members can share one family
            license... siblings, parents, grandparents, kids, spouses, aunts,
            uncles -- just about everyone except your cousins are covered by your
            license. The main licensee has to be 18 years of age or older and not
            a representative of a foreign government.

            -- You can no longer get a Group GMRS license that can be used by a
            group of people who are not related. So, one license cannot be used
            by unrelated people in a neighborhood watch group or a REACT Team or
            a CERT Team. Everyone needs their own license on GMRS,

            ---------------------------

            The solution for your neighborhood watch? Get a few people with GMRS
            licenses and each of them can use five watt radios on channels 1 - 7,
            which are dual use GMRS and FRS. Then get a bunch of 500mw FRS
            radios that also operate on channel 1 - 7. The people who are NOT
            licensed (or related to someone with a license) can use the 500mw
            radios and can legally talk to the licensed people with 5 watt
            radios. Set up a hub and spoke system with the GMRS licenses as the
            hubs and the FRS people as the spokes. All this is totally legal
            under part 95. http://www.provide.net/~prsg/part95ae.htm

            Of course, about 20 million people have purchased the 1-watt combo
            GMRS / FRS radios and have disregarded the licensing requirement for
            channels 1-7 and 15-22. I am not saying that you should do that, I
            am just noting that this happens and the FCC does not ever seem to
            enforce the GMRS licensing rules.

            Another solution is to have everyone use FRS channels 8 to 14. Those
            are license free FRS channels, as long as you operate with 500mw or less.

            If you really want to get serious, have people take the Amateur Radio
            technician test and use Ham frequencies instead. They are much more
            functional and you can do a lot more. One of the 10-year olds in my
            neighborhood got his tech license recently. Any motivated adult can
            do it. Emergency comms are much more serious and useful on the Ham
            bands, especially on 2 meters and 70cm for local emergency
            comms. GMRS and FRS are marginally useful and very short range,
            unless you have legal access to a GMRS repeater. Even then the Ham
            bands are far more useful.

            http://www.qrz.com/p/testing.pl

            http://www.hello-radio.org/whatis.html

            Some Ham groups use the Ham bands to communicate with each other over
            long distances, and then use FRS radios to talk with their unlicensed
            neighbors within a mile or two.

            Good luck!

            -- Kurt, N6MD








            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • Peter
            Once again, the FCC has NO CLUE about the rules THEY wrote. You can use GMRS for basically anything, provided ALL users are licensed according to the rules,
            Message 5 of 15 , Sep 30, 2007
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              Once again, the FCC has NO CLUE about the rules THEY wrote.

              You can use GMRS for basically anything, provided ALL users are
              licensed according to the rules, AND use the radios according to the
              rules. REACT groups personify this.


              --- In GMRS@yahoogroups.com, "qualitylights" <qualitylights@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hello all.
              >
              > I'm kind of a newbie to the hobbie (in it about 6 months or so) and
              > I have a question. Now please, I am in NO WAY trying to start a
              > flame war with this question. I just want some information that may
              > benifit a local community watch group.
              >
              > I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
              > can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
              > group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
              > service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
              > that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?
              >
              > Any help on this matter would be GREATLY appreciated as we are
              > looking for a reliable, inexpensive method of communication for this
              > group. I won a local repeater and would be more than happy to let
              > them utilize it at night for their watch groups.
              >
              > Thanks to all in advance for any information.
              >
              > Chuck
              >
            • Mike C
              As a former REACT Team president and current GMRS user, it is my understanding that GMRS can be used for REACT, Crimewatch, etc. Just NOT for money making
              Message 6 of 15 , Sep 30, 2007
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                As a former REACT Team president and current GMRS user, it is my understanding that GMRS can be used for REACT, Crimewatch, etc. Just NOT for money making businesses. Also, it is my understanding that all users need to have a current GMRS license.

                Hopefully that will shed some light on it for you. I am by no means an expert on this, but this is my experience with it.

                qualitylights <qualitylights@...> wrote: Hello all.

                I'm kind of a newbie to the hobbie (in it about 6 months or so) and
                I have a question. Now please, I am in NO WAY trying to start a
                flame war with this question. I just want some information that may
                benifit a local community watch group.

                I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
                can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
                group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
                service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
                that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?

                Any help on this matter would be GREATLY appreciated as we are
                looking for a reliable, inexpensive method of communication for this
                group. I won a local repeater and would be more than happy to let
                them utilize it at night for their watch groups.

                Thanks to all in advance for any information.

                Chuck






                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Lake Hodges Radio
                ... Chuck, I d have to say, I m pretty sure she was wrong, unless there are new rules that I don t know about. As you noted, REACT has used GMRS for years and
                Message 7 of 15 , Sep 30, 2007
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                  At 06:44 AM 9/30/2007, Chuck Pranski wrote:
                  >When I contacted the FCC, I was pretty clear in stating what we
                  >wanted to do with the radios. I told her that we would individually
                  >license each person if need be and she still told me that GMRS is in
                  >no way to be used by any group performing an organized
                  >activity. She stated that it could be used as a way for someone to
                  >report an emergency, but not for nightly watch group activities. I
                  >know that the group licenses are a thing of the past
                  >(unfortunatly). This woman actually suggested that we use CB, which
                  >I thought was pretty funny at the moment.

                  Chuck,

                  I'd have to say, I'm pretty sure she was wrong, unless there are new
                  rules that I don't know about.

                  As you noted, REACT has used GMRS for years and many CERT teams use
                  the cheap plastic FRS/GMRS combo radios. Occasionally, they even get
                  a GMRS license, but not very often.

                  There's also the NationalSOS initiative that uses channel 1 which is
                  a shared GMRS/FRS channel -- http://www.nationalsos.com/

                  The last time I called the FCC about GMRS, the person who answered
                  did not know what GMRS was.

                  If you talk to the FCC again, ask them to cite the relevant
                  paragraphs in Part 95.

                  http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_00/47cfr95_00.html

                  http://www.provide.net/~prsg/part95ae.htm

                  -- Kurt, N6MD

                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • kvsp1160@aol.com
                  Can t see anything in the rules these days about organized groups using GMRS radios, as long as each user (unless within a family) is properly licensed. I
                  Message 8 of 15 , Sep 30, 2007
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                    Can't see anything in the rules these days about organized groups using GMRS
                    radios, as long as each user (unless within a family) is properly licensed.

                    I think the FCC operator was thinking you meant having an organization or
                    business operate on GMRS. That you can't do: having a single license with
                    multiple users.

                    Some of those operaters are useless down there. When I first heard about GMRS
                    (way, way back when), they told me that it was discontinued and CB took over.
                    They also said that CB now required a license again. ... You start to wonder
                    who trains/teaches them over there. I think it took me four phone calls to get
                    the answer I wanted, but many didn't know that even CB existed, or what CB
                    was. =c)

                    73,
                    Ryan Seregow - WPUI299, KPBZ2109
                    Owner/Coordinator
                    Bay Area Repeater Net
                    San Jose, CA
                    http://www.barnsys.org/


                    **************************************
                    See what's new
                    at http://www.aol.com


                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • wrr50w@aol.com
                    I have been an GMRS licenced radio operator for almost 15 years. You may want to review the FCC rules for the exact useage allowed for GMRS/FRS operation. You
                    Message 9 of 15 , Sep 30, 2007
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                      I have been an GMRS licenced
                      radio operator for almost 15 years.

                      You may want to review the FCC
                      rules for the exact useage allowed
                      for GMRS/FRS operation. You
                      can obtain this information online.



                      ************************************** See what's new at http://www.aol.com


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Bruce Jensen
                      ... That s certainly a good place to start - unfortunately, the rules/regulations are not written clearly, and omit specifics about uses that common sense
                      Message 10 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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                        --- wrr50w@... wrote:

                        > I have been an GMRS licenced
                        > radio operator for almost 15 years.
                        >
                        > You may want to review the FCC
                        > rules for the exact useage allowed
                        > for GMRS/FRS operation. You
                        > can obtain this information online.

                        That's certainly a good place to start - unfortunately, the
                        rules/regulations are not written clearly, and omit specifics about uses
                        that common sense would suggest are reasonable. I have read through these
                        rules numerous times, and frankly, I always find myself encountering
                        situations where the rules are ambiguous and require additional
                        clarification. Unless you ask somebody, you are faced with either
                        assuming that (1) if isn't mentioned, you cannot do it, OR (2) if it isn't
                        strictly prohibited, then it is OK.

                        I too am a licensed GMRS operator - WQGT 447.

                        Calling the FCC or sending them an e-mail frequently results in a response
                        that does not properly apply. They are often pretty useless.

                        Bruce Jensen



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                      • qualitylights
                        Thanks to all who have answered. Well, just to clarify, I was pretty clear about individual members being licensed when I spoke to the FCC rep. I told her
                        Message 11 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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                          Thanks to all who have answered. Well, just to clarify, I was
                          pretty clear about individual members being licensed when I spoke to
                          the FCC rep. I told her that I understood there was no longer a
                          group or organization license and explained to her that each member
                          would be licensed individually. She stated that it still wasn't
                          legal to use the service for organized or group activities.

                          As for parts 95 and 97, I have been through them both, several
                          times, and can not find anything about organized group use, one way
                          or the other. As stated, the rules leave A LOT open to
                          interpretation. I took the advice of someone on the board and have
                          sent and email off to Reily Hollingsworth of the FCC enforcement
                          division. I know people who have dealt with him in the past and say
                          he very happy to be able to help. I will post up his response on
                          the matter once I have it and I guess that should settle the matter
                          once and for all. After all, I don't think we can go any higher on
                          the ladder to get an informed answer.

                          Thank you again to all who replied.

                          Chuck
                        • Walters
                          Hello and Welcome to Chuck and the rest of the group, I have not been in GMRS THAT long, however, long long ago GMRS was a mobile-to-base or mobile-to-mobile
                          Message 12 of 15 , Oct 1, 2007
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                            Hello and Welcome to Chuck and the rest of the group,

                            I have not been in GMRS THAT long, however, long long ago GMRS was a mobile-to-base or mobile-to-mobile (portable - to - portabel also) ONLY service. That's right, if you can find an OLD OLD OLD set of rules you will actually find it spelled out that way. The service was intended for mobile or portable units to contact a base (ie a family with a house or other home and family mambers away from home calling home or vice-versa). There were group licenses as well.

                            Now all that has changed. There are no restrictions in the current rules prohibiting one base talking to another. There are only grandfathered group or business licenses left and they cannot renew if they attempt to make any major changes to their existing system. There are some REACT teams in this grandfathered state (and loving it).

                            I've read the other responses and agree with them. I am not sure what the FCC rep who answered the question was thinking. Especially in light of you saying "I know each person needs a license."

                            Sec. 95.101 What the license authorizes.

                            (a) A GMRS license authorizes a GMRS station to transmit messages to
                            other GMRS stations at any geographical location within or over the
                            territorial limits of any area where radio services are regulated by the
                            FCC. These points are listed in Appendix A.

                            I bought a license. Now all these people can operate under my license;

                            (a) An individual GMRS system licensee may permit immediate family
                            members to be station operators in his or her GMRS system. Immediate
                            family members are the:
                            (1) Licensee;
                            (2) Licensee's spouse;
                            (3) Licensee's children, grandchildren, stepchildren;
                            (4) Licensee's parents, grandparents, stepparents;
                            (5) Licensee's brothers, sisters;
                            (6) Licensee's aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews; and
                            (7) Licensee's in-laws.

                            Of course if any of them want to operate their OWN system, they have to get a license of their own.

                            So how do REACT teams work within GMRS rules? Each team member who is NOT related to a license holder in a1-7 above must buy their own license. I have members of my family on my team (so should you, its fun) so we are all covered by my license. The members of the team who are not in my family (yes there some of those too) must buy their own license. At our 1st team meeting (after obtaining our charter) we reviewed all the personal radio services (FRS, MURS, CB, GMRS and Amateur). We did not consider a business class service. The team voted to adopt GMRS as THE primary team radio service. Now we are helping each person get licensed and get a decent radio. In the meantime, anyone unlicensed can always use a .5 watt fully legal FRS radio on FRS 1-14 license free. I started by buying an Icom F21GM, 1,2,4watt repeater capable handheld. I then bought a mobile antenna and a ladder-line J-pole. I have now aquired a 10 watt commercial UHF mobile and had it programmed for operation. Another REACT Team gave us an out-of-service repeater and a member of the local Amateur club tuned and tweaked it and helped us get it setup.

                            My Boy Scout troop went on a camporee last weekend and I gave each leader an FRS radio, already set and locked on CH10 (one of the 500mw 467.XXXX freqs) and all PL'd the same. We were able to have telphone quality FM over the entire area of the camporee. I had not had a chance to really try this out in a real world application but it work3d perfectly.


                            OK, sorry to ramble on. Kept thinking of other tidbitts.

                            Stan Walters
                            President, York County REACT
                            AB3EM - WQFD736 - KIS5155
                            IS 7,15,22,100,200,317,700
                            CERT, T&RA, ET&RA
                            Highway Watch
                            www.geocities.com/yorkcountyreact
                            yorkcountyreact@...



                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: qualitylights
                            To: GMRS@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Saturday, September 29, 2007 10:21 AM
                            Subject: [GMRS] Question about organized group use of GMRS


                            Hello all.

                            I'm kind of a newbie to the hobbie (in it about 6 months or so) and
                            I have a question. Now please, I am in NO WAY trying to start a
                            flame war with this question. I just want some information that may
                            benifit a local community watch group.

                            I called the FCC question hotline yesterday and was told that GMRS
                            can not be used for organized activities, such as a community watch
                            group, but I have noticed that REACT groups are a large user of the
                            service. Is there a loophole that I am missing, or was the FCC rep
                            that I spoke with not answering my question correctly?

                            Any help on this matter would be GREATLY appreciated as we are
                            looking for a reliable, inexpensive method of communication for this
                            group. I won a local repeater and would be more than happy to let
                            them utilize it at night for their watch groups.

                            Thanks to all in advance for any information.

                            Chuck






                            ------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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                          • qualitylights
                            Per Mr. Hollingsworth himself: RE: Clarification of a GMRS questionĂ¾ From: Riley Hollingsworth (Riley.Hollingsworth@fcc.gov) Sent: Thu 10/04/07 4:57 PM If
                            Message 13 of 15 , Oct 4, 2007
                            • 0 Attachment
                              Per Mr. Hollingsworth himself:

                              RE: Clarification of a GMRS questionĂ¾
                              From: Riley Hollingsworth (Riley.Hollingsworth@...)
                              Sent: Thu 10/04/07 4:57 PM


                              If every user is licensed it is ok


                              I guess that definitively answers the question. Once again, thank
                              you to all that have responded and for all the suggestions and help.




                              --- In GMRS@yahoogroups.com, "qualitylights" <qualitylights@...>
                              wrote:
                              >
                              > Thanks to all who have answered. Well, just to clarify, I was
                              > pretty clear about individual members being licensed when I spoke
                              to
                              > the FCC rep. I told her that I understood there was no longer a
                              > group or organization license and explained to her that each
                              member
                              > would be licensed individually. She stated that it still wasn't
                              > legal to use the service for organized or group activities.
                              >
                              > As for parts 95 and 97, I have been through them both, several
                              > times, and can not find anything about organized group use, one
                              way
                              > or the other. As stated, the rules leave A LOT open to
                              > interpretation. I took the advice of someone on the board and
                              have
                              > sent and email off to Reily Hollingsworth of the FCC enforcement
                              > division. I know people who have dealt with him in the past and
                              say
                              > he very happy to be able to help. I will post up his response on
                              > the matter once I have it and I guess that should settle the
                              matter
                              > once and for all. After all, I don't think we can go any higher
                              on
                              > the ladder to get an informed answer.
                              >
                              > Thank you again to all who replied.
                              >
                              > Chuck
                              >
                            • Bruce Jensen
                              I got a similar response from the FCC on a similar question. I asked, for both GMRS and FRS, if folks who are not family or related want to use the radios for
                              Message 14 of 15 , Oct 5, 2007
                              • 0 Attachment
                                I got a similar response from the FCC on a similar question. I asked, for
                                both GMRS and FRS, if folks who are not family or related want to use the
                                radios for group activities such as wildlife watching or etc., would it be
                                OK - and the answer was yes, every user may communicate with one another
                                for these activities. GMRS must have licenses, of course.

                                Bruce Jensen
                                WQGT 447
                                ********

                                --- qualitylights <qualitylights@...> wrote:

                                > Per Mr. Hollingsworth himself:
                                >
                                > RE: Clarification of a GMRS questionĂ¾
                                > From: Riley Hollingsworth (Riley.Hollingsworth@...)
                                > Sent: Thu 10/04/07 4:57 PM
                                >
                                >
                                > If every user is licensed it is ok
                                >
                                >
                                > I guess that definitively answers the question. Once again, thank
                                > you to all that have responded and for all the suggestions and help.
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                >
                                > --- In GMRS@yahoogroups.com, "qualitylights" <qualitylights@...>
                                > wrote:
                                > >
                                > > Thanks to all who have answered. Well, just to clarify, I was
                                > > pretty clear about individual members being licensed when I spoke
                                > to
                                > > the FCC rep. I told her that I understood there was no longer a
                                > > group or organization license and explained to her that each
                                > member
                                > > would be licensed individually. She stated that it still wasn't
                                > > legal to use the service for organized or group activities.
                                > >
                                > > As for parts 95 and 97, I have been through them both, several
                                > > times, and can not find anything about organized group use, one
                                > way
                                > > or the other. As stated, the rules leave A LOT open to
                                > > interpretation. I took the advice of someone on the board and
                                > have
                                > > sent and email off to Reily Hollingsworth of the FCC enforcement
                                > > division. I know people who have dealt with him in the past and
                                > say
                                > > he very happy to be able to help. I will post up his response on
                                > > the matter once I have it and I guess that should settle the
                                > matter
                                > > once and for all. After all, I don't think we can go any higher
                                > on
                                > > the ladder to get an informed answer.
                                > >
                                > > Thank you again to all who replied.
                                > >
                                > > Chuck
                                > >
                                >
                                >
                                >



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