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GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) Thread

Discussion in 'General Tundra Discussion' started by Zero One Actual, Sep 12, 2019.

  1. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:01 PM
    #1
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    As truck people, it is safe to say some of us will use CB radios, GMRS radios and HAM radios for communications for all sorts of reasons. I wanted to provide a dedicated thread for GMRS radio information, installation, and overall knowledge. You do need a license from the FCC. It is $70.00 for 10 years (as of September, 2019). There is no test or quiz for this license.

    https://www.fcc.gov/general-mobile-radio-service-gmrs. This is the official FCC page for GMRS radio information and where you will go for your license.

    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau...nnovation-division/rules-regulations-title-47
    link to subpart E of Part 95.
    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&view=text&node=47:5.0.1.1.5&idno=47#sp47.5.95.e
    Rules and regulations per the FCC because GMRS is governed by the FCC.

    https://mygmrs.com/ offers current and valid information on all things GMRS. Additionally, this link on the site shows you any repeater near your location. https://mygmrs.com/browse. Under "advanced search" just go to state and enter that information in and you can see what options you have.

    Here is a link to every freq. you would need to know for GMRS and GMRS repeater frequencies. You could take a screen shot of it on your phone, print it out and laminate it and keep it in your truck, etc...
    http://gmrsfrequencies.com/gmrs-frequencies-chart.html

    Here is the link to the form you need to fill out on the FCC website for your license. Just fill out the online form and submit payment and you will receive your call-sign and license within a few days.
    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/support/fcc-form-605

    How to fill out form and get your GMRS license link:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2XnY0iC_ug

    What is GMRS and all this radio stuff? This guy Eric will teach you.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQTQptqusfc

    Reviews of the midland radios which he (and others already on this thread) recommend for home and vehicle use. This radio along with some handhelds should give every family, hunting party, convoy, camping trip or party getting ready for the purge to stay in communication with each other.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTwbjbqP18M

    These two gentleman actually test and show you possible capabilities and limitations of these radios:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=If2mwSfXcpQ

    Another good review of GMRS.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E4kR4Xv9q7w

    Excellent written explanation of GMRS (written in 2013 but still valid information)
    https://hotarc.org/files/gmrs-frs/
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  2. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:12 PM
    #2
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    If there is enough interest, I would even consider contacting Midland Radio to inquire about a group buy, because we all know how much this forum loves those.
     
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  3. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:18 PM
    #3
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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    Thanks for starting this thread Zero One Actual!

    GMRS is good stuff if operated as FCC intended. I currently have Midland radios installed in both, my Tundra and my wife's Sienna. We also have a Midland MTX 400 (40 watt) installed as a home base station located in my radio shack. All with access to a local repeater network covering over 31,000 sq. miles. https://nggmrs.org/
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  4. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:20 PM
    #4
    Jim LE 1301

    Jim LE 1301 Camaro Lover

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    I was just thinking about getting one. I have several handheld ones and thought about the 40 watt mobile one. I would be interested.:thumbsup:
     
  5. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:24 PM
    #5
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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    That would be great if you can pull it off as Midland typically doesn't discount. I'm in... :thumbsup:
     
  6. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:26 PM
    #6
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    @Lars and @Porkchop Express has some very good information on radio/communication setups as well. I am a complete rookie when it comes to this, but I am going to be getting one for my truck. I live in Hurricane country and these radios are adequate enough for a Puerto Rico situation or a Bahamas situation. Oddly enough, I noticed how many GMRS repeaters are now up and running in Puerto Rico. Additionally, the handhelds work in any environment from paint balling teams, Disney, teachers wrangling kids, blah blah blah where a phone we are all dependent on stops being an option.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
  7. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:28 PM
    #7
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    I am not scared to ask.
     
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  8. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:28 PM
    #8
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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  9. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:30 PM
    #9
    Porkchop Express

    Porkchop Express New Member

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    IMG_1476.jpg IMG_1660.jpg
    I have the Midland MTx115 with their 15 watt rated antenna. Works really well communicating with handhelds from different manufactures .
     
  10. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:33 PM
    #10
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    @Porkchop Express , thank you for posting, I saw your thread as well and forgot to tag you on this. I apologize.
     
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  11. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:38 PM
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    Porkchop Express

    Porkchop Express New Member

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    LOL - no worries. I am really liking the radio , especially the weather station scanning feature. We had a small tornado warning last weekend and i was out in the truck on that thing scanning for traffic and weather updates. These radios will be invaluable in an emergency.
     
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  12. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:39 PM
    #12
    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Newish Member

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    Funny you posted this. My kid wants a good radio and I started looking into them. I saw the license, but wasn't sure how it worked.

    I'm looking for a nice set of 2 way radios. Not junk. You think Midland is the way to go?

    I'd be interested. I've had a set, not Midland, in my Amazon cart for about 4 months, not sure if they were any good.
     
  13. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:42 PM
    #13
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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    My installation:
    upload_2019-9-12_18-39-15.jpg
    upload_2019-9-12_18-41-0.jpg
     
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  14. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:48 PM
    #14
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    TruckyTruck (any relation to Boaty McBoatface?), I am new also and have been researching all things GMRS myself recently. I just got my license myself a few days ago. The process took me less than thirty minutes all together using the video and links above in my first post. The YouTube hole is deep on reviews as is the internet itself. Some sites reviewing items are probably getting paid by said vendor (which is okay, that's marketing). But I think from what I have read and watched online from people who know way more about this stuff, the Midland products seem to be popular because they are on par with other companies, but unlike overseas companies, you can call and speak to someone at Midland here in the US which might be worth it monetarily a few months or a year down the road when you have a technical question. Again, me being up front, I am a complete rookie in this game. I know there are others on this forum who will know way more than us and can show us the way. Similar to the thread that always says "what size tires on what size rims on what size lift....". We all had to learn those specs and set ups. Hopefully this thread can help people out with limited or zero communications knowledge and get them (me and you) set up properly right down to the antenna placement.
     
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  15. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:48 PM
    #15
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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    I also have a couple of Kenwood HT's

    upload_2019-9-12_18-45-10.jpg
     
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  16. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:50 PM
    #16
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    I saw your post where you said your body was trembling cutting into the metal. HAHAHAHAHA. That is super clean though.
    Question: Is that antenna car wash safe if you were ever lazy and went though one or does it come off on a quick mount or magnetic mount?
     
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  17. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:56 PM
    #17
    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Newish Member

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    Maybe.... I used to work with a couple of former Marines that called every truck a truckytruck. :)

    Ok cool, yes I've been taking a look. So if I get my license, my family doesn't need a license. Right? What if I'm not there?
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  18. Sep 12, 2019 at 3:57 PM
    #18
    P-Factor

    P-Factor New Member

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    Good question. My antenna is short enough that it clears my garage opening. It does have some give if hit i.e. it is designed to give a little but limited to approx 45o. I can send a link if interested.

    Edit: In addition, my antenna screws off the mount and a dust-water proof cap replaces the antenna when running through a car wash or just for aesthetic reasons. https://www.theantennafarm.com/catalog/antenna-accessories-481/rain-caps-hole-plugs-1026/
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  19. Sep 12, 2019 at 4:14 PM
    #19
    Black Wolf

    Black Wolf AMAROQ, Inuit Stealthy Mythical Beast

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    Great thread. What a coincidence. I just finished installing my CB antenna cable on my tunny. I have a pair of handheld Midland LXT600 GMRS/FRS units. I want to get the license so I can use the GMRS channels. May consider switching out my CB for a GMRS.
     
  20. Sep 12, 2019 at 4:42 PM
    #20
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    Here is where we get our nerd on:

    (c) Individuals who may operate a GMRS station. This paragraph establishes who may operate a GMRS station under the authority of an individual license.

    (1) Any individual who holds an individual license may operate his or her GMRS stations.

    (2) Any individual who holds an individual license may allow his or her immediate family members to operate his or her GMRS station or stations. Immediate family members are the licensee's spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

    (3) Any individual who holds an individual license may allow anyone to operate his or her GMRS station if necessary to communicate an emergency message.

    In my original post there is a direct link to all current FCC GMRS regulations so that if we do have questions, we can just click that link, read what the government tells us to do, become more confused, then sort it out here. Plus I am sure a HAM expert will appear here and correct us which is awesome, because they are the black belts of civilian communications and love to share their immense wealth of knowledge on us GMRS low lives.

    (Side note: Do not ever call them ex Marines, say "former" Marines. By doing so you prevent them eating more crayons.)

    GMRS DONT"S!!

    §95.1733 Prohibited GMRS uses.
    (a) In addition to the prohibited uses outlined in §95.333 of this chapter, GMRS stations must not communicate:

    (1) Messages in connection with any activity which is against Federal, State, or local law;

    (2) False or deceptive messages;

    (3) Coded messages or messages with hidden meanings (“10 codes” are permissible);

    (4) Music, whistling, sound effects or material to amuse or entertain;

    (5) Advertisements or offers for the sale of goods or services;

    (6) Advertisements for a political candidate or political campaign (messages about the campaign business may be communicated);

    (7) International distress signals, such as the word “Mayday” (except when on a ship, aircraft or other vehicle in immediate danger to ask for help);

    (8) Messages which are both conveyed by a wireline control link and transmitted by a GMRS station;

    (9) Messages (except emergency messages) to any station in the Amateur Radio Service, to any unauthorized station, or to any foreign station;

    (10) Continuous or uninterrupted transmissions, except for communications involving the immediate safety of life or property; and

    (11) Messages for public address systems.

    (12) The provision of §95.333 apply, however, if the licensee is a corporation and the license so indicates, it may use its GMRS system to furnish non-profit radio communication service to its parent corporation, to another subsidiary of the same parent, or to its own subsidiary.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019
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  21. Sep 12, 2019 at 5:07 PM
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    TruckyTruck

    TruckyTruck Newish Member

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    Wow! Ha, ok I'll fix that
     
  22. Sep 12, 2019 at 5:18 PM
    #22
    Jim LE 1301

    Jim LE 1301 Camaro Lover

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    I was just on the Midland website. If you enter WELCOME10 in the coupon box you will get 10% off your purchase and there is FREE shipping on a order over $100 . Hopefully a group buy is more than 10% off.:thumbsup:
     
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  23. Sep 12, 2019 at 7:56 PM
    #23
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    Ya, I saw that deal also and thought that will be tough to beat.
     
  24. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:25 PM
    #24
    lewi3069

    lewi3069 New Member

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    Interested, I was going to pick up a Midland MXT275 so I could mount it in the center console.

    Right now we use Garmin Rino's for our handhelds and a 40 watt Motorola on the UTV. General use is road trips and hunting.
     
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  25. Sep 12, 2019 at 8:57 PM
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    TruckyTruck

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    So just reading about the Midland 400 vs the 115, it appears the 400 is 40 watts of only gmrs. And the 115 is 15 watts with gmrs and the frs channels that you can't use, along with weather and traffic?

    Is that the short of it? So how much more powerful or rather how much better will the 400 perform over the 115?

    It's to bad the 400 doesn't have weather.

    Since this thread was posting, the only thing I've done is read up on this whole thing. :) there wouldn't be any trouble communicating with other brands of radios, would there?
     
  26. Sep 13, 2019 at 6:34 AM
    #26
    Porkchop Express

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    My stepdad is going to get he 400 Midland for his 4Runner, so i will comment when we get that set up.
    From my experience , on the MTX115 I was able to reach my father in law 10 miles away on his handheld Garmin Rhino , but he couldn't get me as his handheld is a 1 watt stubby antenna model.
    We had 5 vehicles in our convoy traveling from PDX Portland to Cody , Wyoming. I stayed in the middle of the pack and cars spread out ahead and behind . My truck acted like a relay station so the lead car was able to talk to the trail car on their handhelds. I could hear everyone clearly , and transmit to everyone.
    We typically stayed within 2-5 miles of the other vehicles, so comms were pretty clear.
    I did get a clear transmission out and back when i was on a small hill and FIL was about 10 -12 miles away. He heard me , but i couldnt get a clear response from his handheld .
     
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  27. Sep 13, 2019 at 7:22 AM
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    TruckyTruck

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    Oh really? I didn't realize it would act like a relay. I wonder if the 400 does the same. Probably so. That's 5-10 miles I'd probably all you would need for these and having access to hearing weather is nice. Looking forward to what you have to say about the 400.
     
  28. Sep 13, 2019 at 8:19 AM
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    GravityGear

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    Other than more frequencies, why should I get a license?
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
  29. Sep 13, 2019 at 8:33 AM
    #29
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    1. Once you have your license, you can legally transmit on both FRS and GMRS stations. I think what you are talking about is the legal amount of watts you can use while transmitting on certain stations. Is that what you are talking about when you say “FRS channels you can not use”? If so then......nerd......reading.....

    “Channels 8-14 are FRS regulations only, so .5 watt (500 Mw) output is the maximum permitted by law on these channels. The other GMRS channels are good for up to 50 watts output, from a mobile installation. The repeater input channels are limited to 5 watts output.”

    2. Any radio that has the FRS or GMRS frequencies available Will work with any other company radio. SO yes, a Motorola, a Midland and a Baeofang will all be able to talk on the same GMRS freq.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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  30. Sep 13, 2019 at 8:33 AM
    #30
    Zero One Actual

    Zero One Actual [OP] Member among Members

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    https://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Multi-Use_Radio_Service
    Here is a link to MURS info and freqs. And FCC info on MURS below.
    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/multi-use-radio-service-murs

    If I were to answer you question as to why you would get a license, it would be based on wattage. See below...

    “In the United States, the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is a licensed by rule two-way radio service similar to Citizens Band(CB). Established by the U.S.Federal Communications Commission in the fall of 2000, MURS created a radio service allowing for licensed by rule (Part 95) operation in a narrow selection of the VHF band, with a power limit of 2 watts. The FCC formally defines MURS as "a private, two-way, short-distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public." MURS stations may not be connected to the public telephone network, may not be used for store and forward operations, and radio repeaters are not permitted.”

    Legally, the MURS radios you are using “should” be capped at 2 watts per the rule stated above. So FRS can transmit legally up to Half a watt output. MURS is 2 watts output and GMRS is up to 50 watts output (on certain channels only) is how I am reading all the rules and regulations. Now in communication “theory”, more watts equals more power which “can” mean greater distance. All based on antenna length, line of sight to other radio, trees, buildings, nerd nerd, blah blah blah.

    So MURS and FRS work fine all day long, GMRS Just offers a bit more. Again, for $70 for ten years and no test to get the license, I would rather have it and not need it than vice versa.

    If anything I said above is incorrect or outdated, please understand I am brand new to this myself and I am just pasting information from the FCC website or other sites that know way more than I do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2019
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