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Question on FRS versus GMRS....

guitar_199

Sr. Member
Mar 8, 2011
715
959
103
Deer Park, TX
Digging around in my closet today I came across a bag with a pair of older Cobra FRS radios with a charger. They had been buried away for a LONG time so I pulled them out and put them on to charge. There was also another little cheaper FRS unit that did not recharge but took three AAA batteries... so I fed some in and lo and behold it came to life.

I found the "scan" feature and lit that off.... and within minutes was listening to local traffic on Ch 20 and just "sandbagged" for a while.
I later went out and found the "info sheet" for this radio AND the Cobra set and pulled them down. Looking through the manual sheets... I saw the
frequency lists on these radios... and I noticed something.....

Channels 1-7 are marked FRS/GMRS
Channels 8-14 are marked FRS, and
Channels 15 - 22 are marked GMRS.
So my question..... can I transmit this radio on GMRS without having a GMRS license? It IS an FRS radio........ which I thought "generally" did not require a license.....but am unsure.
I did turn on the spectrum analyzer and moved off to channel 22 and I can tell you ..... it IS transmitting.
AND it DOES have an FCC ID on it. (no ... it is NOT a Baofeng! This is a genuine FRS radio with a fixed antenna)
So what say you folks... is it legal to talk on and use without a license .... or not
 

brandon7861

Well-Known Member
Nov 28, 2018
287
312
93
Some frequencies are shared between GMRS and FRS. The difference in license requirement is power level and whether the antenna is removable (for attaching an external). You are totally fine using them without a license.
 
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Alabama Buckeye

Dogma Heretic
Jul 29, 2022
245
192
43
Magic City Alabama
Some frequencies are shared between GMRS and FRS. The difference in license requirement is power level and whether the antenna is removable (for attaching an external). You are totally fine using them without a license.
I'm not sure about that last statement. Order of statements is confusing.
Yes some of lower power level GMRS freqs are shared.
Yes you're fine using them without a license; channels 1-14.

I got my GMRS license maybe 3-4 years ago. Cost practically nothing then; good for I believe 5 years. I've heard/read somewhere the cost has gone up, considerably. Licensing is all about collecting more taxes :(

And WHAT is wrong with Baofeng? My HT Baofeng radios have all 22 genuine FRS/GMRS frequencies programmed into them, and another 100 frequencies :). These are excellent Prepper radios, backed by a UV-50X2 Base Radio, 228 channels, all 5 squads will be updated on Zombie pack movements ;)
 
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ljh505

Active Member
Nov 29, 2020
73
192
43
Albuquerque
Just buy a GMRS license for $35, good for 10 years. You'll probably want a repeater-capable radio, anyway, and those are usually high power with external/removable antennas and require the license.
 

towerdog

one-niner-seven
Nov 18, 2009
644
128
53
NC
"Type Acceptance" What's that, Like Kosher? Blessed for Great Unwashed.?
The Baofeng is neither blessed or kosher, and unworthy of transmission or reception outside of the ham or weather band. We tried to use these up on the towers years ago, the rx is easily overloaded by anything, the audio output is lame, the crash like a shitty old PC, and they FAIL. Most of ours died in 2 months. And the solder joint on the antennas breaks easily but you don't know it till you take it apart. Unlocked ham gear or Motorola Pro Series is the way to go for zombies hands down, but it ain't Kosher or Blessed but neither is bacon.
 

AudioShockwav

Extraterrestrial
Staff member
Apr 6, 2005
7,864
6,059
593
Nor Cal Sierra Nevada
The Baofeng is neither blessed or kosher, and unworthy of transmission or reception outside of the ham or weather band. We tried to use these up on the towers years ago, the rx is easily overloaded by anything, the audio output is lame, the crash like a shitty old PC, and they FAIL. Most of ours died in 2 months. And the solder joint on the antennas breaks easily but you don't know it till you take it apart. Unlocked ham gear or Motorola Pro Series is the way to go for zombies hands down, but it ain't Kosher or Blessed but neither is bacon.
I have a couple and my brother has a few, the are a ok entry level 2 meter 440 radio, but suffer badly from a wide front end in noisy commercial environments.
I know someone else that bought several of them to use as work radios and the did not hold up to 8hrs a day use.

73
Jeff
 
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towerdog

one-niner-seven
Nov 18, 2009
644
128
53
NC
Yeah I will admit they are ok if you don't take them in the woods and just want to recreationally ragchew on a repeater. And they are good for projects. It's a $30 radio, it's not a deal, that's exactly what it's worth. I still think even China has better options. I loved my FDC-150 and it was about the same price, but not dual band. On the other hand I had not one Motorola Pro series fail and the things are so cheap nowdays I have no use for China radio.
 

Alabama Buckeye

Dogma Heretic
Jul 29, 2022
245
192
43
Magic City Alabama
I've 5 "cheap" Baofeng UV-* HT and a UV-50x2, not so cheep, with supposedly 50W PEP. I listen to the weekly 2M check-in on the UV-50 and that's it. They are all essentially unused, but kept fully charged, and ready for SHTF deployment. I've given reoccurring thought and have read the HAM licensing bible. I'm tired of formalities, yet I'll address you as Sir, young or old, when deserved; not when it's required. The formalities of licensed operating inhibits my moving forward, hell, at times I forget my own fictional 11M call sign.

Reminds me of the time when a doctor, a Major, gets out of his car in a nearby reserved parking spot and walked uncovered, that is without his hat on, towards me standing under a drive through with an overhead cover, at which point neither a hat nor saluting is required. He passes me then backs up, "Sergeant, don't you know your'e suppose to salute". I whipped up a sharp salute and he walks onward, with me following still holding my salute. He begins opening the door and I said, "excuse me major" he turns to looks at me, and I continued, "would you mind helping me down". At which time he responded with a growl on his face and proceeded on. I didn't press it any further. In case you don't get the gist of that, he was suppose to return a salute, before I was to lower mine. Formalities.

Damn 0s; Never knew one who wouldn't salute with a cupped hand nor could they find the outer point of their eyebrow.
 
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ljh505

Active Member
Nov 29, 2020
73
192
43
Albuquerque
I've given reoccurring thought and have read the HAM licensing bible.
This thread is about GMRS. No license test, you just register on the FCC website, pay the $35, and you're licensed for the GMRS service for 10 years. You do have to play by the GMRS Part 95 rules, especially on the repeaters.
 

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