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Thread: Radio usage, flexiblity, organization, reference stuff, etc.

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMariner
    Most people do not actually know the frequencies, just the channels, that's why I mentioned them.
    When talking about combo radios that are pre-programmed you get some channelization, but I have a GMRS radio where channel 8 on my radio isnt the same as channel 8 on your radio. When you get a "true" GMRS radio, one without FRS specific frequencies, you program the radio to the frequencies you want and Channels are just places to hold frequencies. There is NO concept of a standard channel in GMRS. Heck I have a radio that has channel labeled A,B,C and D

  2. #22
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    Something that is confusing me, when I read the FCC website about GMRS, it does talk about channelization. So the FCC is only presenting a suggested band plan and you are allowed any frequency usage? Or are there are assigned frequencies, but the actual channel-to-frequency numbering is simply unique to Motorola, Uniden or other manufacturer's radios?


    http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/ind...general_mobile

    Channel Sharing
    Every GMRS system station operator must cooperate in sharing the assigned channel with station operators in other GMRS systems by monitoring the channel before initiating transmissions, waiting until communications in progress are completed before initiating transmissions, engaging in only permissible communications and limiting transmissions to the minimum practical transmission time.




    http://wireless.fcc.gov/services/ind...general_mobile

    Band Plan

    There are 23 GMRS channels. None of the GMRS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system. License applicants and licensees must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference.

    Channel Allocation
    Station Type/Frequency (MHz)

    mobile station or small base station operating in the simplex mode*
    462.5625**
    462.5875**
    462.6125**
    462.6375**
    4462.6625**
    462.6875**
    462.7125**

    base station, mobile relay station, fixed station or mobile station
    462.5500
    462.5750
    462.6000
    462.6250
    462.6500
    462.6750
    462.7000
    462.7250

    mobile station, control station or fixed station in a duplex system
    467.5500
    467.5750
    467.6000
    467.6250
    467.6500
    467.6750
    467.7000
    467.7250

    * Any mobile station or small base station in a GMRS system operating in the simplex mode may transmit voice type emissions with no more than 5 watts ERP.

    ** These channels are shared with the Family Radio Service. Any mobile station in a GMRS system may transmit on the 467.675 MHz channel to communicate through a mobile relay station transmitting on the 462.675 MHz channel.
    Last edited by DaveInDenver; 07-17-2008 at 08:59 PM.
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  3. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInDenver
    Something that is confusing me, when I read the FCC website about GMRS, it does talk about channelization. So the FCC is only presenting a suggested band plan and you are allowed any frequency usage? Or are there are assigned frequencies, but the actual channel-to-frequency numbering is simply unique to Motorola, Uniden or other manufacturer's radios?
    Ok, A little history, Originally GMRS users were assigned a specific frequencies to use. You would license a specific number of mobiles, bases, small bases and repeaters based on the way commercial radio was. GMRS was suppose to be an easy access way to get 2way communications to the masses. It wasnt and still isnt suppose to be a "hobby service" Many 2 way radio shops would put up repeaters and lease time on the repeaters.That has since changed. The FCC rules has since changed to allow all GMRS licensees to use any of the GMRS frequencies. NOTE; FRS and GMRS are different services but share 7 frequencies. GMRS rules apply to GMRS certified radio's and FRS rules apply to FRS radios, For combo radios with both GMRS and FRS in the same radio, The GMRS rules apply when operating on a frequency that is GMRS and FRS rules apply when on a FRS freq. Its gets confusing when your on the shared channel because some radio's are certified as a GMRS on the shared freq and some are certified as FRS on the same freq. ONE OF THE DUMMEST things the FCC has done is allow the combo radios.

    There are 23 GMRS frequencies. 7 shared freq, and 8 repeater pairs. the Combo radio's operate on the simplex or repeater output. You may not talk simplex on the repeater inputs. also 2 of the repeater pairs and simplex channels are not legal near the Canadian border. Depending on the freq your on, GMRS is allowed up to 50 watts of power, but only 5 watts on the shared 7 frequencies.

    GMRS has no channels assignments, they have freq, What radio channel I choose to make what freq is up to me. If you buy a real UHF radio, not the little toy combo radio, they will have NO frequency programming or set to your needs., You need to have them programmed to your needs.

    Channel Sharing
    Every GMRS system station operator must cooperate in sharing the assigned channel with station operators in other GMRS systems by monitoring the channel before initiating transmissions, waiting until communications in progress are completed before initiating transmissions, engaging in only permissible communications and limiting transmissions to the minimum practical transmission time.
    While they use the word channel is this case they are referring to the radio channel for that freq.
    Please note they 99% off all GMRS users using combo radio violate part of the rules you outlined manly because the radio dont explain how to do it.
    Before you transmit you must montior with PL/CTCSS OFF on the channel for other people and wait till they are done, That what the monitor button on radio's are for. If you hear no one then you talk. Again GMRS what not ment to be a chit chat band but a short message type service.

    mobile station or small base station operating in the simplex mode*
    This is any station on the shared 7 frq.

    base station, mobile relay station, fixed station or mobile station
    This is the repeater output or simplex stations

    mobile station, control station or fixed station in a duplex system
    This is the repeater input

    The GMRS rules are confusing, 1 because lawyers write them, 2 they are patchwork from old services and 3 they reference other fcc rules that are not in part 95

  4. #24
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    Default GMRS/FRS Radio

    Quite the write up gary in ohio! Thank you! You seem to be very knowledgeable about this stuff. Our resident expert! Thank you!
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  5. #25
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  6. #26
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    Exclamation Radio Organization

    Now that we have the frequency band stuff more or less worked out along with legalities, how do you all organize your radios?

    What I mean here is most Ham radios have some memories, whether it is regular, band, hyper, home, etc. We no doubt have quite the variety of radios and hence different memory spots on this forum.

    Being a FT7800R owner, I have recently organized my memories to suit a pretty functional need. The radio comes with 1000 regular memories which I have used to hold all the repeaters in provinces/states and then assigned 1 bank (20 banks available) for one state/province- most of W.North America in which I travel frequently. Wish I could rename each bank for each state/province but no luck and Yaesu/Vertex/Motorola aren't interested in making any changes anytime soon. I also have a bank for Mexico repeaters, even though we need a different license to operate there, but just in case! I have a few banks free still and need to figure out how to use these most effectively and efficiently.

    I made a small tabular cheat sheet with each band number on it and which region it covers. I also have a scanning preference programed to allow for more than one band to be scanned in case of overlap between states/provinces as one crosses the border. I named each repeater for the location (6 alphanumeric) and repeater call sign.

    Also, I have programmed the 5 Hyper Memories for my top five areas and my Home memory for where I am the most.

    On another thread someone had a great idea where they got the lat/long of each repeater (I donna where?) and then programmed this into their GPS as a POI, so it gives a tone when they are within X miles of it and hence know which repeater to use. Kool, eh? Love to be able to do this with my GPS (Garmin c320) but need to find the coords first, then how many POIs will it take and how to get them in a file and then transfer to GPS.

    Any one see anything wrong with this organization or any improvements? How about how you organize your radios?
    Last edited by CanuckMariner; 07-22-2008 at 04:18 PM.
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  7. #27
    [QUOTE=CanuckMariner]
    What I mean here is most Ham radios have some memories, whether it is regular, band, hyper, home, etc. We no doubt have quite the variety of radios and hence different memory spots on this forum.

    Being a FT7800R owner, I have recently organized my memories to suit a pretty functional need. The radio comes with 1000 regular memories which I have used to hold all the repeaters in provinces/states and then assigned 1 bank (20 banks available)
    [quote]
    The banks of the 7800 give you a lot flexibility but few radio have banks.
    You need to organize to what makes sense to you. I have channels I use on a regular basis near one another within a memory range. I have a set of channels with skywarn channels back to back, even if the channels is also available in another memory slot. I have another grouping for ARES or a different town nearby. I seldom program all the channels and seldom program for anything I dont drive on a normal basis.


    On another thread someone had a great idea where they got the lat/long of each repeater (I donna where?)
    Since repeaters tend to cover a large area a local city the repeater is in would be fine for lat/long. MOST repeater owners tend to be territorial as to where the repeater is actually located so I doubt you going to get exact lat/long. Just opens them up for thieves to steal the repeater.

  8. #28
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    I love having memory banks! Running a FT8800 and mine is set up roughly as follows.

    Bank 1: Regular local repeaters
    Bank 2: NOAA WX stations (the 8800 does not have them pre-programmed like the 7800)
    Bank 3: 2m and 70cm simplex on Colorado spacing
    Bank 4: Colorado Connection state-wide system
    Bank 5: Utah repeaters (SINBAD, Moab, SLC, etc.)
    Bank 6: I-80, Tahoe, Rubicon (set-up specifically for our club Rubithon trip)
    Bank 7: Cross band repeating inputs (simplex frequencies w/ PL tones for HT TX repeat, no RX side repeat)
    Bank 8: Western slope repeaters (Grand Junction, Aspen, Breck, Vail, Salida, etc.)
    Bank 9: Open
    Bank 10: FRS stations (monitoring can be handy)

    I use bank 1 daily and usually have both sides set up on bank 1, one side scanning and the other I might roll through a couple of main ragchew repeaters. A typical trip might be to switch one side to bank 4 and let it scan (or select the right repeater if I know) and the other side is either bank 3 or bank 8. If I'm solo, it would most likely be bank 8 (I have 146.520 and 446.000 in all banks). As we get beyond the western slope repeaters, I will switch to bank 5 for Moab, for example. Each bank would have monitoring frequencies, too, like police, NPS or USFS frequencies if I know them. This way I can organize the radio and only have to remember to set the right bank and all the appropriate memories and tones are active.
    Last edited by DaveInDenver; 07-22-2008 at 07:25 PM.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by DaveInDenver
    I love having memory banks! Running a FT8800 and mine is set up roughly as follows.

    Bank 1: Regular local repeaters
    Bank 2: NOAA WX stations (the 8800 does not have them pre-programmed like the 7800)
    Bank 3: 2m and 70cm simplex on Colorado spacing
    Bank 4: Colorado Connection state-wide system
    Bank 5: Utah repeaters (SINBAD, Moab, SLC, etc.)
    Bank 6: I-80, Tahoe, Rubicon (set-up specifically for our club Rubithon trip)
    Bank 7: Cross band repeating inputs (simplex frequencies w/ PL tones for HT TX repeat, no RX side repeat)
    Bank 8: Western slope repeaters (Grand Junction, Aspen, Breck, Vail, Salida, etc.)
    Bank 9: Open
    Bank 10: FRS stations (monitoring can be handy)

    I use bank 1 daily and usually have both sides set up on bank 1, one side scanning and the other I might roll through a couple of main ragchew repeaters. A typical trip might be to switch one side to bank 4 and let it scan (or select the right repeater if I know) and the other side is either bank 3 or bank 8. If I'm solo, it would most likely be bank 8 (I have 146.520 and 446.000 in all banks). As we get beyond the western slope repeaters, I will switch to bank 5 for Moab, for example. Each bank would have monitoring frequencies, too, like police, NPS or USFS frequencies if I know them. This way I can organize the radio and only have to remember to set the right bank and all the appropriate memories and tones are active.
    Great system, not unlike what I have found to use for my travels as well. How do you remember which bank is which? Does the 8800 allow you to rename the banks or do you have a cheat sheet?
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  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CanuckMariner
    On another thread someone had a great idea where they got the lat/long of each repeater (I donna where?) and then programmed this into their GPS as a POI, so it gives a tone when they are within X miles of it and hence know which repeater to use. Kool, eh? Love to be able to do this with my GPS (Garmin c320) but need to find the coords first, then how many POIs will it take and how to get them in a file and then transfer to GPS.

    Any one see anything wrong with this organization or any improvements? How about how you organize your radios?
    Not a difficult task at all actually, just tedious given the number of repeaters in the state, then cross referencing them in TOPO or Google Earth and adding them to the .gpx file. The myth that repeater sites are a closely guarded secret, so much so that national security is dependant on them remaining secret, is nothing more than a ham radio 'ol wives tale. Finding the sites was the easy part.

    I started by googling the club name or call sign and visiting their web sites. Many clubs or owners give the co-ordinates on their sites and a few had a link to Google Earth showing the location. The Colorado Connection site had 3D topos showing their repeaters locations. These were the real easy ones. I just plugged them into TOPO and looked for the USGS ratio tower symbol or double check them in Google Earth by entering the Lat/Long then zooming in and actually seeing the radio tower.

    Other sites gave a detailed description of the site ie "The CRA 145.145 machine is located 20mi west of Denver on Squaw Mt at 11,xxx feet". It's easy enough to look at a topo and find Squaw Mt west of Denver. Find the 11,xxx foot contour and follow it till you find the radio tower icon.

    A few machines proved more difficult but their descriptions contained clues. If the descriptions stated they were co-located with a public service or commercial site, I would look up the site owner in the FCC's ULS. Public safety and commercial sites are listed by Lat/Long in ULS. Example: if the description said "The 147.225 repeater is co-located with the Monroe County Sheriff's repeater on top of Methodist Hill" I'd look up Monroe County's License in the ULS and it gives the co-ords of all the sites operated under that license. I'd plug them into TOPO till I found the one on Methodist hill. (actually it's easier than it sounds).

    I still found that the location of 2 machines, in the SW corner of the state, to be elusive. So I looked up the owner in QRZ and shot him an email. I explained I was a ham (included my call) and the purpose of my project. The owner sent me the co-ords of the last 2 machines that I needed to complete my project.
    Last edited by Seldom Seen; 07-25-2008 at 10:17 AM.
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