Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    (Northampton County)
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    Default GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    I thought I saw where the gmrs license fee was dropped down to like $35. or something. just wondering if this might be a viable option for family comms.
    There is at least 1 repeater in my neck of pennsytucky that I can receive traffic on. For 35 bucks ( ten more than I pay for my LTCF) it seems doable.
    Other than the correct type of radios and hook up to the trucks it would seem to be cheap insurance for when the Cells are down.
    grateful for any input.
    Roland
    " 75% saltpeter. 15% charcoal. 10% sulfur. Teach your children well."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
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    814, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    Well a license would be required by law.
    That's the legal aspect of it.
    When you say a repeater you can get traffic on , I assume you mean a GMRS repeater.
    That's kool so long as you understand you are at the mercy of the person maintaining and owning that repeater.
    On the other side of the coin , a deep cell battery , a 25 watt solar panel and your own GMRS repeater may be an option.
    Of course you would need a suitable location between you and whoever you are talking to.
    That may or may not be something you want to think about.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Phila, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    Repeaters are not cheap. Expect a $1000 for a working setup, that's grid powered. It's a lot more than just connecting two radios together with patch cords.
    Wheaties aren't made out of the same stuff today as they were 40 years ago.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Hanover, Pennsylvania
    (York County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    I think if your family is not interested in getting their amateur radio license then yes the GMRS is better than FRS, especially if you have access to a repeater.

    Amateur radio license is not difficult and can make for a fun family activity. You'll have better access to frequencies and higher power equipment should you need them in a disaster.

  5. #5
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    (Lebanon County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Roland45 View Post
    I thought I saw where the gmrs license fee was dropped down to like $35. or something. just wondering if this might be a viable option for family comms.
    There is at least 1 repeater in my neck of pennsytucky that I can receive traffic on. For 35 bucks ( ten more than I pay for my LTCF) it seems doable.
    Other than the correct type of radios and hook up to the trucks it would seem to be cheap insurance for when the Cells are down.
    grateful for any input.
    Roland
    For better or worse, they price change hasn't kicked in yet, FCC hasn't said when it will, lots of guys going for their ham ticket before the price goes up. As for GMRS, it's one more tool in the tool box, if you can afford it, I would encourage it. I like having as full a toolbox as I possibly can, so I have the right tool for the job when I need it.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    (Allegheny County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    Don't do anything until you research it thoroughly. Range is always going to be the limiting factor for FRS/GMRS/HAM handhelds or mobile stations. Without functioning and reliable repeaters you'll have to rely on "line of sight" to get any decent range and I'm talking about only a few miles. In South Western PA it especially sucks due to the mountains and valleys. I gave up on it all after experimenting. Also, forget about police, fire, or emergency monitoring that went the way of the dodo since they move to secured com's.
    Toujours prÍt

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
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    Phila, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    If you can get to a GMRS repeater then it might be worthwhile.
    You could look a amateur radio, for similar type of usage you only need the Technician license, 35 questions - need 75% to pass. Not that difficult. If you want more information, just ask.
    If you do go that route, there are a number of repeater in Northampton. https://repeaterbook.com/repeaters/l...oc=Northampton Depending on where you are adjacent county system add to the mix. The hills don't make it easy for VHF/UHF though, so no cut-and-dry answers.

    Between the two, equipment costs are about the same, though you get get some fancy ham stuff for more. GMRS gets the entire family under one license. Amateur is more flexible.
    Wheaties aren't made out of the same stuff today as they were 40 years ago.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Phila, Pennsylvania
    (Philadelphia County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    I really don't use the online Repeater Book site, so I just found this part, did not know it was there.
    https://repeaterbook.com/repeaters/m...oc=Northampton
    Repeater location in map form.

    Just noticed, it lists GMRS also.
    Wheaties aren't made out of the same stuff today as they were 40 years ago.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Northampton
    (Northampton County)
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    Default Re: GMRS gmrs license , Worth it?

    Gamer, thats it in a nutshell no interest , lol. shadow, thanks for the info i will keep waiting untill the fees drop. Hawk, Im in the lehigh vally, a few hills around but not what you fellas out in the allegheny's got. as far as you monitoring police, fire, emergency freqs, I listen to all those on my $10 dollar baofeng 888s or my $20. uv5r.
    Not all the depts in pa have gone to trunked or digital comms. most county dispatches will run both trunked and vhf / uhf because they are aware that not all local poilice or fire / emerg have the funds to switch over so they broadcast on a few different freqs. in my neck of the woods law enforcememnt , Police Dispatch - North , is on 500.51250 for the locals who aint got the scratch to make the switch. In Allegheny County there is a Police VHF Interop , on 155.88000 , along with a slew of freqs from the 460. to the 490. range that cover a shit ton of local departments. i would hazzard a guess that some where in the mix you could find local police, fire , emg to listen in on. now if all you have is the state police, then you have to dig a little deeper, one of my buddies got me a freq in the 165. range that works for the PSP barracks out of bethlehem. agree on the range issues, but 50 watts in a vehicle or 2 can work further than just a few miles in my neck of the lehigh valley.
    Sparks , thank you that where i found the local gmrs repeater in my area. they keep it going for any one using the appalachian trail.
    Thanks for the input fellas, keep the faith.
    " 75% saltpeter. 15% charcoal. 10% sulfur. Teach your children well."

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