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What is a GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) Radio?

What is a GMRS Radio - General Mobile Radio Service

General Mobile Radio Service, or GMRS radio, is the communication type that inhabits the 462 MHz to 467 MHz band. It is one of the most commonly used forms of HAM radio, and you will need a GMRS radio license to operate a GMRS radio. So what is GMRS radio?

What Is GMRS Radio?

GMRS radio is a stationary or mobile-based radio system called HAM radio. These radios are robust and require a GMRS license to use. It is a cost-effective way for people to build radios that can allow them to connect with people on the horizon and even in space. 

HAM and GMRS radio are technical subjects that require constant study and could be overwhelming for the newbie. 

However, don’t get discouraged too easily! Once you understand how GMRS radio works, it makes sense. So read on and learn about the General Mobile Radio Service.

General Mobile Radio Service

The service began in the 1970s and got the label back in 1987. It allowed hobbyists to thrive while removing business influences. 

GMRS is above the Family Radio Service (FRS) in power and capacity. FRS is well-known for walkie-talkies and toys. GMRS requires a few things before you can jump into broadcasting.

A License Is Required for Using the GMRS Bands

One of the most notable things about the GMRS is that you must have a license to transmit. This is because the frequencies must be learned, and there are classes of licensure that require extra time and effort to master.

Before you get your license, you should be aware of the following facts:

  • 10 year validity – Once you pass your Technician level test, you are suitable to transmit for the next ten years. The license was extended in the past decade due to the number of people who flocked to the portability for hiking and off-roading.
  • Family usable – As soon as you can transmit on the approved frequencies, your family, in your presence, is also allowed to transmit. This will enable them to signal if you can’t make a call because of an accident.

The license is a great way to connect with other people and engage your family in the thrilling world of HAM radio. The critical thing to remember is that a GMRS radio transmits on this band, but the radios have to fit a standard that makes them efficient at communicating.

Learn More about What is a Two-Way Radio?

GMRS Radio Has Requirements Others Do Not

The electronics that are used to send a signal with the best chance of being clear are delicate and should meet a standard. 

However, there are a few things that the FCC requires of a GMRS radio, and they are easy to track down if you know what you are looking for.

The following are some of the requirements for a GMRS:

  • Detachable antenna – The antenna is a big thing for GMRS because having a detached one, like an aerial antenna, isn’t uncommon. At the same time, the petite hand-held models might not have detachable antennas; large-scale stationary platforms always do.
  • Part 95 – The FCC requires a GMRS to have Part 95E for a particular service. This means your radio must use the parts as they are supposed to be and not try to adapt them for your personal or professional means.
  • Repeater capable – Another thing GMRS radios have that others do not is the ability to connect to a repeater. Repeaters amplify the signal and allow you to broadcast to a much larger area.
  • Wattage – A GMRS radio can use more power on higher channels than other radios. For example, they can transmit around 5 watts on low channels and expand to 50 watts on the higher channels.
  • Channels – GMRS operates on some channels that other FRS and walkie-talkie radios cannot. However, they are excluded from these channels because of overcrowding, and they could drown out the other broadcasters.

Once you know what is required, all you need to do is find your radio type, and you are off to the races. Remember that having spares for each required item is always a good idea, as some parts could wear faster depending on your location.

GMRS Radio Conclusion

General Mobile Radio Service began in the 1970s as a way for amateurs to use the 420 MHz radio band. The FCC monitors the band, and if you transmit on a HAM station, you must have the appropriate licenses and radio.

GMRS radios have a few requirements that make them stand out above their FRS sisters. GMRS radios come in sizes ranging from hand-held to large desktop devices that can be hooked up to No matter what kind of radio you have, GMRS requires you to have a license and follow a set of rules for how to talk on the air. 


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