MURS Mobile Transceivers

trabkabab

Member
I've been digging around to see if there are any mobile MURS transceivers that are Part 95J approved devices but I can't find any. Yes, I probably should get an amateur license but at the moment I don't see myself and other drivers in the group going down that route.

A group of us are heading to Utah and one driver is insisting on using MURS since he can utilize his HAM transceiver to access MURS channels I'm guessing this is some sort of violation but he doesn't particularly care.

I want to be compliant but I also want to utilize a compliant MURS transceiver with the ability to connect an externally mounted antenna.

Any ideas?


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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Since MURS is limited to 2W it's pretty unlikely you're going to find any mobile radios. There are many handhelds, though. Think of MURS like FRS on steroids, 4x the power, allowance for removable antennas, etc.

The FCC describes it,

FCC said:
The Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) uses channels in the 151 – 154 MHz spectrum range. The most common use of MURS channels is for short-distance, two-way communications using small, portable hand-held radios that function similar to walkie-talkies.
FCC said:
You may operate a MURS transmitter at any location the FCC regulates radio communications, subject to certain restrictions. A MURS transmitter must be certified by the FCC. A certified MURS transmitter has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer.

None of the MURS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any user. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference.

No MURS transmitter shall, under any condition of modulation, transmit more than 2 watts transmitter power output.

The usual range of communications between MURS stations is less than a few miles; connecting a MURS radio to an external antenna can extend the range to ten miles or more. MURS stations are not allowed to be interconnected with the public switched telephone network. A station identification announcement is not required to be transmitted. Other restrictions on the use of MURS stations also apply.
Yes, your ham buddy should know that his Part 97 radio isn't legal to use in Part 90 or Part 95 services. Not that commercial radios these days are any different than most ham, but the rules are the rules.

If you want an easier than ham but flexible service you should be using GMRS.

BTW, there are some radios capable of doing both ham and other services, mainly surplus commercial (Motorola, Vertex Standard, Kenwood, etc) radios that you reprogram to work on ham bands. The way the rules are written say that you are not allowed to modify the radio in Part 90 and Part 95 and keep it's type acceptance but Part 97 does say you can self certify, you are guaranteeing the radio meets the part 97 spectral purity and noise immunity. This is because it's the only service where the user is also allowed to be the technician, IOW you can make your own gear and then use it so it's assumed you have some ability. There are some exceptions, mainly commercially-made ham amplifiers for 144MHz and lower must be tested and approved.

So technically (realize this is my opinion) if you do not open the radio or modify it any way it doesn't lose the original certification and using it within the ham band doesn't require any more than you as the ham saying it's OK. It's just frequencies you program in. But you do need to make sure you have the appropriate licenses for each service (which may be no more than sending in some money).

Where people get into trouble is modifying Part 97 gear to work on Part 95, such as using ham HF radios on CB. There is no gray area, this is not allowed. This would be the same for VHF or UHF. Using a ham-only radio for GMRS is not allowed since the original radio was never approved for that. The FCC tests ham gear under Part 15 (all electronics need this test) primarily. There isn't really any test to say a radio is type 97 approved.
 
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trabkabab

Member
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.

So the conclusion is, as an unlicensed user, I can utilize MURS using ONLY Part 95 Subpart J FCC certified transceivers. There are dual band mobile transceivers on Amazon that can utilize MURS frequencies and HAM frequencies. In that case, these are uncertified and are technically illegal if you use it in the US.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Cheers,
 

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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Thank you so much for the detailed explanation.

So the conclusion is, as an unlicensed user, I can utilize MURS using ONLY Part 95 Subpart J FCC certified transceivers. There are dual band mobile transceivers on Amazon that can utilize MURS frequencies and HAM frequencies. In that case, these are uncertified and are technically illegal if you use it in the US.

Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Cheers,
Yes, MURS does not require a license, same as FRS or CB. It's licensed by rule, which means as long as you are not a foreign government and use a radio that meets the Part 95J requirements you are good to go. With GMRS you need to send in an application and some money, but there's no test like the Amateur Service.

Most likely those mobile radios are Part 95A approved for GMRS and those would be alright to use on ham if you wish (again, I must stress that I am NOT speaking with legal authority that it's OK as long as you don't open the radio). A GMRS radio would carry a Part 95A approval but would not be legal to use on MURS. It's unlikely there are any legal MURS mobile radios mainly due to the 2W limitation. There's not much market for a 2W mobile radio when it's easy to make 5W handhelds and I suspect most of them are just the manufacturer's low end business radios under the hood.

The main reason you'll find that almost all ham radios will not be 90 or 95 approved is two-fold, front panel programmability and easy access to a VFO. Ham bands are not channelized by the FCC, you can transmit literally at any frequency you wish just as long as you respect the band edges. Now by convention the ARRL and fellow hams have decided that VHF and UHF are partially channelized to prevent chaos for FM users. But there's nothing in the rules that state this must be so.

A MURS radio will have the 5 designated channels locked in and there won't be any way to change them or the bandwidth assigned to them (some are 11.25KHz, some are 20KHz).

Now most off the shelf ham radios are locked not to transmit out of band but in some cases this is easily defeated or simply not present (I don't think the FCC requires it and the Chinese models seem to usually lack this feature). With business and public service radios they are also generally not band locked, they transmit over a given range of frequencies and the responsible person (either the actual license holder or a designated tech) will put in the frequencies that the radio can transmit upon and that's it. This flexibility is required so that Motorola can submit and get approval for one radio and sell it to many types of users.
 
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prerunner1982

Adventurer
Since Dave mentioned GMRS, Midland does offer a mobile GMRS radio and are supposed to be releasing a couple more models. The one that is currently out is the MXT-100 with 5 watts, a MXT-105 is due out soon...it is a MXT-100 with weather, a MXT-115 is also due out soon with 15 watts..weather..and repeater capability, the MXT-400 is due out at some point and it has 40 watts and repeater capability but no weather.

Besides having mobile radios available there are also some GMRS repeaters. GMRS does require a license but it is pay to play (i.e. no test) and it covers your immediate family. Also GMRS hand held radios are readily available in most big box/outdoor stores so it makes it easy for others to acquire than a MURS radio.

I think mobile GMRS is a better trail/convoy radio than CB. They are FM so the sound quality is better, they have more power, smaller, and the antennas are easier to mount. The antennas require so little ground plane you can get away with mounting them almost anywhere, a CB antenna requires much more ground plane and are commonly mounted in poor locations due to uninformed users. You also don't have to worry as much about damaging a little 9-18" metal whip antenna as you do a 2-3-4-5' fiberglass antenna.

EDIT: looks like Phules beat me to it and that the MXT105 is now available.... it wasn't as of Friday.
 

dstock

Explorer
Not MURS but I recently picked up Baofeng's entry into GMRS FCC compliant radios, the Baofeng GMRS-V1 on Amazon during a flash sale for $43 to play around with a bit. I wanted a GMRS solution that I could use an external antenna with along with a battery eliminator and that is repeater capable. I don't have my HAM license yet and I wasn't ready to pony up for the MXT radios yet (now with the new more powerful models coming out, I'm glad I waited). This might be an inexpensive legal solution for the OP's friend.

https://baofengtech.com/gmrs-v1

Just getting the bits together for the antenna mount, I will post a separate thread once I get it all setup.
 

Crom

Expo this, expo that, exp
I've been digging around to see if there are any mobile MURS transceivers that are Part 95J approved devices but I can't find any. Yes, I probably should get an amateur license but at the moment I don't see myself and other drivers in the group going down that route.

A group of us are heading to Utah and one driver is insisting on using MURS since he can utilize his HAM transceiver to access MURS channels I'm guessing this is some sort of violation but he doesn't particularly care.

I want to be compliant but I also want to utilize a compliant MURS transceiver with the ability to connect an externally mounted antenna.

Any ideas?


Sent from a potato using Tapatalk
The reason you can't find any MURS mobile radios is because it would be a total marketing failure to produce one at a reasonable profit.

I've encountered lots of MURS traffic when out on the trails in California over the last few years. I have no way to prove this, but I'm gonna guess and say that 99.99% of that traffic is from modified ham gear or Baofeng type radios. It's the path of least resistance to get on the frequencies, and as long as they are used in compliance of the established 5-freqs / deviation, I think it's a good thing.
 

4x4junkie

Explorer
^^
I agree, though I don't think it's an unreasonable proposition for someone to bring to market a mobile MURS transceiver... All a company needs to do is mount an existing PCB from a handheld design radio into a small flat box chassis, add a 12VDC input onto the back and a mic jack (and of course an ext-speaker jack), apply for a type-acceptance (which seems pretty easy to get lately), and wala, you have a part 95-compliant MURS mobile.

It's always been a curiosity why MURS never really took off, it seems like the ideal perfect replacement for 11m CB (27MHz).
Do you really need a repeater to talk to the vehicle who is a mile in front of or behind you? (repeaters have never existed on CB...) There is no requirement to submit an application (and pay) for a license to be able to use MURS, your right to legally use any external antenna you please is intact (unlike would be for FRS), and MURS has virtually none of the static and heterodynes you often hear on CB (people coming in from across the nation, etc.).


I can't recall hearing of someone who got popped for use of a (properly programmed) non-type-accepted radio on MURS, though that doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't happened (if it has happened, most likely it was someone egregiously violating the rules and causing interference to others). However all of the legal MURS handheld units I have seen do have removable antennas, so the option of making a 100%-legal MURS mobile station using a handheld unit is available.
 

gary in ohio

Explorer
Your wrong!!!

The only radio you can use on MURS is a radio specificly build for MURS use, No other radio will meet FCC requirements for murs. Even if the radio meets the techincal specs, one of the murs rules speicifcaly states the radio must be make for MURS and MURS use only. No dual band can meet this requirement. There are a couple of execption for radios made prior to 1998 (or so) but genernally MURS is MURS and only MURS>
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Your wrong!!!

The only radio you can use on MURS is a radio specificly build for MURS use, No other radio will meet FCC requirements for murs. Even if the radio meets the techincal specs, one of the murs rules speicifcaly states the radio must be make for MURS and MURS use only. No dual band can meet this requirement. There are a couple of execption for radios made prior to 1998 (or so) but genernally MURS is MURS and only MURS>
I don't know if this is directed at my comments or not, although I don't think I ever said there was a Part 95J combination radio. I did suggest that a Part 95A GMRS or Part 90 radio used on Part 97 and may not lose its original approval.

Licensed Devices Recent Rule Interpretations (10/2007):
https://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/p...Oct_07-Licensed_Devices&Recent_Interps-SD.pdf

MURS (Part 95J) combos – rejected
Part 95.655(d) states that “NO transmitter will be certificated for use with MURS if it is equipped with a frequency capability not listed in Part 95.632.” Reference FCC 02-139
Amateur (Part 97) Combos
Amateur (Part 97) combo transceivers are not permitted. The one exception is that Part 97 (Amateur)/Part 87 (Aviation VHF 118-136.975 MHz) combo transceivers are permitted provided that marketing conditions are met. The Grant condition must state:
This device is for a combination amateur (Part 97) and Aviation (Part 87) device. The holder of this certificate will market this radio only to the aviation community including licensed pilots, aircraft owners, other Aeronautical Radio licensees, and other legitimate members of the aviation industry, and to vendors for such customers, through aeronautical marketing and distribution outlets such as websites, magazines and catalogues intended primarily for such audience.
Part 97/87 Combo transceivers must be approved by the FAA Spectrum Engineering Division as specified in 47 CFR Section 87.147(d). The FAA approval letter must be included in the application as a letter exhibit. These devices must meet RF exposure requirements.
But this rule (97.11) is specifically for "Stations aboard ships or aircraft", not a general rule for all ham stations.
http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...da60a6208&mc=true&node=se47.5.97_111&rgn=div8

FCC 02-139:
https://apps.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-02-139A1.pdf

38. Motorola also suggests that the Commission prohibit the integration of MURS frequencies and FRS frequencies into a single radio unit in order to ensure that the frequencies are used primarily for business applications and not consumer use. On the other hand, Havens points out that integrated radios would be advantageous in terms of interoperability and for emergency communications, and Gruis states that there is no apparent reason to prohibit combined units. We believe that any benefits resulting from interoperability are outweighed by the potential for abuse and consequently, we will not permit a single radio unit to combine both MURS frequencies and FRS frequencies. MURS and FRS are separate services with differing purposes. FRS is a narrowly tailored service intended strictly for private two-way, very short-distance voice communications for facilitating family and group activities. MURS, on the other hand, is a more flexible service intended for voice or data communication. We believe that the combination of MURS frequencies and FRS frequencies in a single unit could lead to operations on FRS frequencies which are incompatible with the intent of FRS.
And to your point, they did some grandfathering in 2000.
40. In addition, we clarify that all previously licensed operations on the subject frequencies, including any waivers, are grandfathered. While we have added technical restrictions to MURS that will limit congestion and interference and encourage operations of the type that these frequencies were originally intended (and for which still may be used), these additional technical restrictions will not apply to former licensees on these frequencies. Therefore, entities that held licenses as of November 12, 2000, for the former Part 90 frequencies that were redesignated to MURS effective November 13, 2000, are granted a license by rule that authorizes continued operations under the terms of such nullified Part 90 authorizations, including any rule waivers.
FCC said more recently in Transmitters Certified Under Multiple Rule Parts Summary (10/2009):
https://transition.fcc.gov/oet/ea/presentations/files/oct09/ComboDevicesSummary_Oct09_AL.pdf

Where they specifically say it.

Section 95.665(a) states: No transmitter will be certificated for use in the CB service if it is equipped with a frequency capability not listed in §95.625, and no transmitter will be certificated for use in the GMRS if it is equipped with a frequency capability not listed in §95.621, unless such transmitter is also certificated for use in another radio service for which the frequency is authorized and for which certification is also required. (Transmitters with frequency capability for the Amateur Radio Services and Military Affiliate Radio System will not be certificated.)
These rulings imply radios can't do multiple services but they only state that a radio will not receive an approval if it's got capability beyond the intended use. I'm sure there's no dispute that this is true, the FCC would certainly not give approval for a radio that is presented to the OET that does so by default.

But does that mean reprogramming (to Part 97) is acceptable or not? My guess is the effect is manufacturers lock the radio and make it impossible to transmit beyond the approval so that no CPS or software can do this or even provide any way to program MURS, GMRS, FRS or CB radios at all (which is really only even practically an option on some GMRS anyway). But if software does exist that lets you enter ham TX frequencies into a radio that has an active approval, is this legal or not? What do they mean by "frequency capability"? Can it only have the fixed channels and no VFO? They don't say that explicitly.
 

Crom

Expo this, expo that, exp
^^
I agree, though I don't think it's an unreasonable proposition for someone to bring to market a mobile MURS transceiver... All a company needs to do is mount an existing PCB from a handheld design radio into a small flat box chassis, add a 12VDC input onto the back and a mic jack (and of course an ext-speaker jack), apply for a type-acceptance (which seems pretty easy to get lately), and wala, you have a part 95-compliant MURS mobile.

It's always been a curiosity why MURS never really took off, it seems like the ideal perfect replacement for 11m CB (27MHz).
Do you really need a repeater to talk to the vehicle who is a mile in front of or behind you? (repeaters have never existed on CB...) There is no requirement to submit an application (and pay) for a license to be able to use MURS, your right to legally use any external antenna you please is intact (unlike would be for FRS), and MURS has virtually none of the static and heterodynes you often hear on CB (people coming in from across the nation, etc.).


I can't recall hearing of someone who got popped for use of a (properly programmed) non-type-accepted radio on MURS, though that doesn't necessarily mean it hasn't happened (if it has happened, most likely it was someone egregiously violating the rules and causing interference to others). However all of the legal MURS handheld units I have seen do have removable antennas, so the option of making a 100%-legal MURS mobile station using a handheld unit is available.
I think you're 100% right on technical feasibility side. Not difficult at all. However there is a tremendous amount of overhead with bringing a product to market. I think that's what makes it a losing proposition. It would be fun to speculate on this. First would would be the price in the marketplace for such an item? Then figure out the cost to develop, test, source parts, supply chain management, mechanical engineering testing, product liability insurance cost, materials for product packaging, storage cost, marketing, advertising, and salary for people to do work, etc. Whatever that totals up, you gotta figure out what the profit margin would be, then determine how many units to sell to break even, and then finally profit. IMO, the costs would far exceed profit margins on such an item especially given the alternatives, FRS/GMRS/ amateur radio. If such an item exists, I would scoop up a set at a max price of $50 each. Any more than that, I'll pass onto licensed GMRS. <---Awesome.

I'm very much with you in same camp. MURS would be a great replacement for 11m CB. VHF/UHF alternative would be a huge win for many many reasons, fm modulation, shorter antennas, etc.

Regarding type-acceptance. I have an announcement.

It is my understanding after personally conducting about 80 hours of legal research, type-acceptance has never ever been enforced against an individual person operating a transmitter. NEVER.

Type acceptance is only enforced against manufacturers, and sellers of equipment.

Similar goes for GMRS enforcement actions. I have never ever found a single violation for individuals using bubble pack radios. Not once!

GMRS licensing as far as I could tell, has only ever been enforced against BUSINESSES (Hotels, Malls, tow truck companies, maid services, etc.) LOCAL GOVERNMENTS, or license holders of GMRS abusing the service. The first two should have been using business itinerant licenses. The later group, was out of compliance or using transmitter to jam, etc.

Examples: Four points Hotel, Repeater Group in So Cal., local government, small business, another business

This clown who jammed GMRS, cost him $24K

Searching back very far I could only find two instances of MURS enforcement actions.

This knuckle head selling gear on eBay, in 2006 And this 2009 order against Walmart

The FCC is like an animal, and It's a simple affair of searching and reading comprehension to understand how they operate, and how they behave. Everything is published in the public domain which is fantastic for transparency.

http://transition.fcc.gov/eb/FieldNotices/2015.html

I know I'm way off topic, but it's fun!


:)
 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Enforcement of using improper equipment probably happens most often to CB users and the far second most common is probably businesses either (knowingly or not) to avoid licenses and assigned frequencies. I suppose those are really operating outside of the rules (no CB amps!) and equipment lacking any type acceptance (intended for ham or export only).

I agree I highly doubt the FCC could hope to ever significantly enforce using improperly type accepted equipment and for GMRS/MURS/FRS it's a low risk. However hams should not be blatantly flaunting rules, it's a matter of principle. Even if I think regulation is at best a confused mess of interconnected alliances and crony protection. We should try and be good at least.
 
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Crom

Expo this, expo that, exp
I can't quantify a statistical breakdown of which class gets more violations. What I looked at were field office actions, so agents-boots on the ground type stuff.

I was surprised by the amount of persons operating rogue FM broadcast stations!

The FCC moves quite quickly to investigate and stop any interference to life safety radio services. That seems to have a top priority. They also lay the ********** down on cellular companies that setup transmitters that don't comply with those rules.

In many instances where a citation were issued, there were very long drawn out timelines, like 2-5 years, but not always. Almost always the FCC issues a warning first.

Honestly, after reading these things, I have very little regard for the recipients of citations using linear amps. They must have like 2-3 neurons firing in their skulls.


Hightech CB Shop, $7K in fine (for selling) timeline almost 4-years.
Larry J. Duckworth, numbnuts got caught operating linear CB amp, not once but twice, only two months later, 10K fine.
Wesley ("Wes") Noe, d.b.a. GI Joe's Radio Electronics, (for selling) linear amps, timeline almost 3-years, $21K fine
Richard Ross for operating multiple liner amps after several warnings, timeline 5-months, $10K fine


Sorry for the off topic side discussion!

MURS is great, wish there were more MURS radios!!!
 
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