Is GMRS For Me?
What is GMRS Radio?
True GMRS radios operate on 8 UHF frequencies that were set aside by the FCC for family use. A license is required ($65.00 for a five year term) which covers your entire family, including (grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws, sons, daughters, and pretty much any one related by blood or marriage). The purpose is to facilitate the communications of families over a limited distance.
You can enter the world of GMRS fairly inexpensively; however the extended range of repeaters is usually not available on the lower cost, Family Radio System (FRS) or “bubble pack” radios often seen at sporting goods stores, Walmarts, Targets, and the like. There is a world of difference between commercial, repeater-capable GMRS radios and the extremely low end bubble pack radios that are so widely marketed by retailers. Unfortunately for the purchaser of bubble pack radios, performance of those low end radios is far less than what is suggested by the marketing literature. This often results in immediate dissatisfaction and often one of two things happens: (1) the bubble pack radios are returned to the store or (2) they are given to children to play with. While the latter is a legal use, it does tend to create unnecessary traffic on the frequencies shared by true GMRS and its low power, low end “cousin”, FRS.
If you have questions about which radios you need, contact Gary Beckstedt, Sr., he will help you understand what is the best radio for your needs, and point you in the right direction.
What can GMRS be used for?
Pretty much anything. GMRS can be used as an alternative to a cell phone. There are many areas with limited, or no cell coverage, that have clear radio coverage. You can talk with your family or other GMRS users. It’s a way to communicate with multiple people at the same time. Some uses can include family outings outdoors, kids visiting friends or family away from home, ATV riding, hiking, fishing, hunting, traveling, camping or just keeping up with the kids. These are just a few of the uses for GMRS. You can use your imagination to come up with many ways GMRS can add to your life.
If you and your family have a business, it can be used for business communications. However, non- related employees must have their own license. You cannot share a license with a non family member.
What are the advantages of GMRS?
GMRS radios provide instant communications rather than having to dial a number each time as with cell phones. It is great for families with children because the GMRS radio is “easier to use” for kids than a phone.
By having a repeater capable GMRS radio you can open up your options and range. You may have a mobile unit in your vehicles, repeater capable walkie talkies, base stations which in combination with a repeater can extend your talking abilities from a couple of miles to 40 plus miles. Best of all, repeater access is FREE.