FRS GMRS Radio Operating Tips and Technical Explanations: Part IV
Other options available with FRS GRMS radios and how to use them continued.
I covered some information back in the main article about the channels. I'll
briefly go over this again and then break it down in more detail. When you select
one of the 22 channels available, you can only use the FRS channels from 8 to 14
without an FCC license. These channels will handle most of your needs for short-
If long range is needed such as 10 or more miles, or your terrain in your local area is diverse, then the GMRS available channels from 1 to 7 and 15 to 22 should do the trick. These frequencies allow maximum power from your handheld portable or base camp radio to be used when necessary to complete your communications.
So again, channels 8 through 14 are pretty much open for almost any kind of communication.
But remember, anyone in range with other FRS or common police scanners can hear
your conversation. Normally this is not a problem but if things do happen and there
is a national emergency then keep this in mind. Not all who could be on the air is
a friend. Reports have been made from Los Angles and other parts of the country where
a motorist needing assistance was assaulted or killed when calling out on CB radios
for help. Sort of like a wounded dove waiting for the fox that is driving by in the
area and monitoring the common channels. Now this is not going to be the case in
most instances. But again, if times become uncivil please just be aware of any issues
that could make you vulnerable! In Part-
So remember for the GMRS user channels 1 to 7 and 15 through 22 require an FCC
license, or only low power usage at .5 watts or less is allowed for the unlicensed.
This set of frequencies has available 5 watts of power on some hand-
Now, lets look at antenna height and location to receive and transmit the maximum
distance. Most antennas are in a vertical or horizontal position. If you hold your
radio correctly in your hand the antenna will be pointing straight upward. This is
the vertical position, to hold your radio sideways will give you a horizontal position.
What does this all mean? Well, the wave or signal once its polarized vertically (Holding
straight up as in normal use with the antenna pointing up) when it leaves your radio
and heads toward your partners radio, will operate best if its received holding the
radio vertically upward as well. So if you hold your radio upright and your partner
holds it sidewise, this could make or break you in completing your transmission.
Sometimes in canyons and mountain areas you may actually need to turn your antenna
one way or another because the wave having to travel in a non-
By Scott Hensler 0/12/2013
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