GMRS Frequencies

GMRS Radio - GMRS license - GMRS repeaters


GMRS Radio History & FRS Origins

GMRS was started up in the 1960s by the FCC who called it the class A citizens radio service. At this time radios were very expensive for the average consumer and the band was used mostly by businesses and industry. At that time, tube transceivers abounded. The regulations specified that 60 watts input was permitted on these new frequencies, with Frequency Modulation wideband, 15 khz spacing, of 50 khz per channel. Just a few years later, the FCC decided to narrow the spacing to 12.5 khz in order to allow more channels. Some years later in the 1970's, regulations changed to allow 50 watts output In the 1980's, the FCC decided to discontinue licensing businesses on this band in order to encourage them to move to newer frequencies. Congestion was getting to be an issue.

FRS was created in 1996 by the FCC as a low-cost, low-power, no licensing required alternative to the pricier GMRS radios, which were mostly the previously mentioned professional grade radios. They still are the least expensive route to choose if you need communications within a couple blocks, or, within a half mile or so, although it is hard now to find a cheap new FRS radio; for example, Icom still makes an FRS only walkie-talkie. It's very highly rated (Amateurs know that Icom is synonomous with quality) but the little Icom FRS handie is definitely not inexpensive.

GMRS changes...

Basically, FRS and GMRS are now combined but the changes are more or less transparent to the user.  FRS will be permitted on most GMRS channels with 2.0 watts, although the original 7 FRS channels will still be limited to 0.5 watt.

Existing 'hybrid' FRS/GMRS radios, which operated on both FRS (0.5w) and GMRS (2.0w) will now be classified as license free GMRS (yay!)

In addition, you can now legally use these radios for business purposes (many people already were, but were breaking the law).

So what if you want to get a higher power 'professional' type radio that will run 5 watts?

Radios on GMRS can put out up to 5.0 watts output and these radios will be the 'new' GMRS radios which will require a license.  BUT!  The license is $70 for the whole family and is now good for 10 years!

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