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Open Roads Forum  >  Technology Corner

 > Cost of FCC 2-Way-Radio License

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sch911

Rochester Hills, MI

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Posted: 02/23/22 12:25pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Go on over to YouTube and search for the "NotaRubicon Productions" channel. He has many videos on how to get the license, setup, and operate a GMRS radio. Everything will be much clearer for you.


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rlw999

Washington State

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Posted: 02/23/22 12:30pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

The easiest way to test them without a license is to just test them without a license, then buy the license if you decide you're going to use them regularly. Virtually no one buys a license for these blister-pack radios, and as long as you're not intentionally causing trouble, you have practically zero chance of running into problems being unlicensed. Since a 10 year license is only $70, I'd just go ahead and buy it if you're going to use them regularly on the GMRS channels


But, that said, you're almost certainly not going to find these useful for what you want to use them for -- *maybe* you'll be able to talk to your wife when she goes to the campground office 1/4 mile away if there aren't too many RV's between you and the office, but you're going to have trouble talking to her when she's 1/2 mile into the woods.

If you want a more usable solution, buy a 15W or 25W mobile radio for your RV and put a good antenna on the roof, then get your wife a good GMRS handheld with 5W output power (and a good antenna, not the 2" antenna on those midlands). Then you may be able to reach her a few miles into the woods, but I wouldn't count on much more than that if there's any significant tree cover. Maybe 5 miles or so if there's not much tree cover or other obstacles between your RV and her and if you mount the RV antenna on a high mast, you can get better range.

Bob/Olallawa

Mason Co, WA/Bullhead City AZ

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Posted: 02/23/22 12:36pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

If the campground is on one side of the ridge and she is on a trail on the other side of the ridge, good luck.


Welcome to my home, that door you just broke down was there for your protection not mine.

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 02/23/22 01:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For HAM Elmers: Is it still true that no license is required in case of a emergency transmission?

Gdetrailer

PA

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Posted: 02/23/22 02:08pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

For HAM Elmers: Is it still true that no license is required in case of a emergency transmission?


I believe you would be walking a very thin "grey" line with the "emergency transmission use" as your excuse..

FCC takes unlicensed transmission operation pretty serious and so does most Hams.. Think of this way, radio frequency bands are split up into specific uses, an unlicensed operator will most likely have no idea about the frequency band they are planning to transmit on and most likely tramp on existing band users who went about things the correct and legal way.

Do everyone a huge favor, get the license and be done with it.

On edit.

To be clear, if one wanted to transmit on a Ham band and does not hold a Ham license or Ham license for that band the only way that I am aware of is if:

There is another person who does have a Ham license for that band to be PHYSICALLY PRESENT at all times with the person who is transmitting to act as a station operator.

It is sometimes called "third party operation".

For instance, my DW and I have Ham license but my DD does not. If my DD wanted to use our Ham equipment to talk to another person on the bands we are licensed for, one of us must be physically present with the transmitting radio at all times.

* This post was edited 02/23/22 02:28pm by Gdetrailer *

wa8yxm

Davison Michigan (East of Flint)

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Posted: 02/23/22 04:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

When they speak of "xx miles over open Ground" think mountain or tall hill top to mountain or tall hill top. Take a telescope to one of the sites and you can see the other operator wave to you line of sight. NOTHING between you and no RF noise.

Most campgrounds are RF-noisy Darn few have that kind of line of sight.

Now. on the other hand one of my radios can talk half way around the globe with only 100 mW (that's 1/10th watt) of course.. I cheat (About 20 feet to a micro repeater connected to the internet and VoIP from there to other end) Actually in it's current mode it is zero power... Turned off the radio part. just use the computer part (Vocoder chip) talk direct to the internet via data cable.


Home was where I park it. but alas the.
2005 Damon Intruder 377 Alas declared a total loss
after a semi "nicked" it. Still have the radios
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Wadcutter

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Posted: 02/23/22 04:56pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

For HAM Elmers: Is it still true that no license is required in case of a emergency transmission?

Actually it's never been true. People misunderstand what the law actually says about emergency use on amateur radio. Here's the section people don't read and understand.
ยง 97.403 Safety of life and protection of property.
No provision of these rules prevents the use by an amateur station of any use of radio communication at its disposal to provide essential communication needs in connection with the immediate safety of human life and immediate protection of property when normal communication systems are not available.

People read thru that and overlook the highlighted part. It's talking about an amateur radio station (person) using any radio. But people respond "It says station." It means person. Amateur radio stations are not licensed by the FCC. Amateur radio operators are. You the licensed amateur radio operator are the station.
Why is that specific to amateur radio operators? Because amateur radio operators have studied and taken a test showing they have some competence in what the govt use to call "the art of radio".
Here's an example of what it means. Let's say you're a Technician Class operator. That's the very basic level of licensure in the US. Technicans are limited to the frequencies they can use in the amateur radio spectrum. An Amateur Extra Class can operate on all amateur radio frequencies.
You're a Technician (amateur radio station) and see a true emergency. Under Part 97 you (the amateur station) can use any other Amateur Radio frequency even tho you are not licensed for those frequencies.
When people say they will get a ham radio, not a license, for an emergency I always ask them "And if you are in an emergency what frequency are you going to transmit on expecting someone to answer?"
I have always gotten the same answer. "I don't know."
So you just expect to pick up a radio, transmit on some random frequency, and expect someone to be listening? Good luck with that. If you happen to get anyone to answer then buy a lottery ticket but you have a better chance of winning the lottery. Even if you by dumb luck would tune in to the VHF or UHF national calling frequency the chances of getting anyone to hear you is pretty minimal to impossible.
The handhelds, even ham radio, have a very short range. Having a ham license doesn't automatically make that ham radio VHF-UHF frequency travel any farther.
Sure, you could hit a repeater with your ham VHF-UHF. Maybe, if a repeater is in range. And if you'd happen to just get the correct frequency and off set programmed. But when I've asked those not familiar radio about such programming their eyes glass over. They don't have a clue about programming a frequency or even what an off set is. +? or -? How much?
Think you'll get a ham operator to answer you in an emergency? Consider this. In the US only .2% of the population is a licensed ham. About 700,000 hams. That's not 700,000 people sitting by their radio with it tuned to a random frequency someone may be transmitting on. Of the 700,000 licensed way fewer ever operate. They may play with it after they're first licensed then when the fun wears off the radio goes in a drawer. Even an active ham operator will not be sitting by his radio 24/7/365 listening to every frequency in the amateur bands.

The other part is what is an emergency. Most people never experience a true emergency in their life. They have situations that are uncomfortable for them to handle. They have situations they aren't equipped to deal with. But most of those are not not emergencies. A flat tire on your car is not an emergency. It's aggravating. It's a pain to deal with. But it's not an emergency. Same if you run out of gas. Making a wrong turn and getting lost is not an emergency. And for Pete's sake, if you only get a 1/2 bag of french fries at McDonald's - that is not an emergency. Having spent 42 years in LE people think a minor irritation or inconvenience is an emergency.

bgum

South Louisiana

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Posted: 02/23/22 05:20pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

What I was asking: His wife could carry the radio and neither transmit unless there is an emergency such as an attack by a rabbit or other aggressive animal.

I agree just buy the license I did. I even had a CB license 50 years ago.

Wadcutter

IL

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Posted: 02/23/22 05:58pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

bgum wrote:

What I was asking: His wife could carry the radio and neither transmit unless there is an emergency such as an attack by a rabbit or other aggressive animal.


Only if it's the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog and she does not have the Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch.
Tell her not to forget. Count to 3, no more, no less. Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out. Once the number three, being the third number, be reached, then lobbest thou thy Holy Hand Grenade of Antioch towards thy foe, who, being naughty in My sight, shall snuff it.


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philh

Belleville MI

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Posted: 02/23/22 06:43pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

GMRS license cost is supposed to come down. I chose to spend the $70 as nobody could tell me when the new lower cost license was coming

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