A number of your suggestions are actually not legal. Some have been
mentioned by others already, but also note that APRS is not legal on MURS
channels. The rules clearly state that only FM voice communication is
permitted. I recently had to dig through all the rules on GMRS, FRS and MURS
in connection with some textbook work I am doing for the ARRL. Some other
points that are germain to the other related emails in today's digest:
GMRS is for communication between members of the licensee's immediate family
only - the only businesses allowed to use the service are those with
existing "grandfathered" licenses. However, if your business involves only
immediate family members, that seems to be OK.
FRS can be used for any legal purpose, BUT, the FCC has recently issued
rulings that prohibit users who are licensed or authorized for other
commercial/government services from also using FRS. The rulings specifically
targeted a big city fire department and the US Marine Corps. (Motorola is
now making a FRS radio programmed for military frequencies especially for
the Marine Corps.) Also, the FCC issued a ruling a while ago stating that
simplex repeaters are not permitted on FRS. I believe it may also be stated
on the FCC website. If I am not mistaken, the rule being applied prohibited
any device not provided as an accessory by the manufacturer specifically for
use with that model FRS radio. Apparently, manufacturers must list all
accessories in the Part 15 filing. Also, since a simplex repeater uses
"automatic control", which is not allowed on FRS (or MURS and CB for that
matter), that makes it illegal as well.
The FCC has warned hams not to use their calls on CB, since the practice
makes it difficult to tell if the transmissions are on that frequency, or
are spurious emissions from a ham frequency. I don't recall the specific
rule, but I know we were asked to make a specific reference to this issue in
the book. The FCC's official suggestion for "call signs" on unlicensed
services is to use your initials and your Zip Code. Mine would thus be
I hope this helps keep everyone out of the pokey!
Dave Colter WA1ZCN
Editor, ARRL ARECC
----- Original Message -----
From: Bob Bruninga
Sent: Monday, March 11, 2002 2:22 PM
Subject: [scoutradio] FRS radio for Scouts and HAMS...
After now a few days of driving around with the radio shack roof-mount FRS
mobile, I am pleased with the $29 purchase. (I bought 4 more). In
response to some negative private Emails I received about my interest in
FRS, I will summarize some things I think are useful:
1) FRS is a radio. Use any radio that is appropriate for the need athand
2) FRS can be thought of as a license-free entry level into HAM radio
3) Once they see the range on HAM radio, they will want to get a license
4) FRS should always consider ch 1 tone 0 as the universal calling ch.
5) But for HAMS needing to QSY to a private channel, use "73" (Ch7-PL-3)
6) As a secondary HAM channel also consider "52"...
7) The RS Simplex repeater plugged into any FRS with CTCSS is great for
supporting public service needs. We now have one on ch 7/3.
8) Being powerd from the cigarette lighter, leave it on all the time.
9) Use FRS legally. Use your HAM call to show them good procedures
10) Never criticize ANYONE on the air. Show good procedures by example.
11) APRS is not legal on FRS. Dont do it.
12) Use MULS instead if you must have a license free APRS application.
13) Its not legal to operate a HAM radio on FRS frequencies. Dont do it.
14) Buy an FRS radio and leave your HAM radio on HAM frequencies.
15) Get kids on the air responsibly. Consider FRS nights (see web page)
I have learned these things about the Radio Shack roor mount FRS mobile
* it draws 35 Ma in STBY receive, 75 MA with backlight on, and 225ma XMT
* The interface is an 11 wire cable (bummer)
* Channel "73" is 462.7125 MHz with a PL tone of 74.4 MHz.
* It has a great one-button method for turning off PL. This is perfect
for selecting to use the simplex repeater (with PL) or going direct
The IDEAL FRS radio has separate selection for TX PL and for RX PL. this
way you can LISTEN to all traffic on a channel, but still use PL to
call someone specific on the same channel. I have only found one radio
that does this. It was the MAXON FRS-214. I would love to hear of any
MY FRS WEB page http://www.ew.usna.edu/~bruninga/frsnight.html
I post this on the APRS SIG, because FRS is a great additon to any Mobile
APRS installation in support of public service events where the ability to
communicate with the general public is of great value.
de WB4APR, BOb
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