Single band vs dual band value

Go with either a Diamond or Comet antenna. I run a Diamond 7900, the largest mobile they make. Built like a tank, has hit many tree limbs and never given any troubles. Moving it from roof to front left fender. Sacrificing performance so I don't beat the antenna to death. Those antennas with open coil windings are tree limb snatches. Take a piece of heat shrink and cover the coil.
 

ultraclyde

Observer
The antenna he's talking about is 1/4λ on 2m and 5/8λ on 70cm, so the gain claim could be for the 70cm side.

https://baofengtech.com/NAGOYA-UT-72

There's other issues with the marketing, like that it's even 5/8λ. If I had to guess it's just a 1/4λ on 2m and doesn't appear to have any coils, which would mean likely it's actually 3/4λ on 70cm, which has around 2dBd of gain (or 4 dBi).
yeah...listed specs on cheap chinese parts are always a "maybe" at best. But it's good enough for me to give it a shot instead of dropping $150 on a new antenna and mount right off the bat. I've gotten very good signal quality feedback from other stations so far, and reach seems pretty good for a HT at TXing 7 watts.
 

Mtn Mike

Observer
I went on a trail ride with a group this weekend. Everyone had different comm systems, but we finally settled on using an FRS channel and gave walkie talkies to the 2 guys that were still CB-only. It worked out really well. That experience alone will keep me in a dual band receiver since the FRS channels are in 70cm. It seems like the best license-free workaround for mixed groups since the WTs are cheap enough to carry some spares.
Keep in mind, the FCC doesn't want you using the FRS frequencies with any radio except the clam shell packaged toy radios that are designated for FRS. Even a Baofeng daul band radio puts out 10x the legal power designated for FRS. I'm not saying don't do it, but perhaps not advertise it.
 

ultraclyde

Observer
Keep in mind, the FCC doesn't want you using the FRS frequencies with any radio except the clam shell packaged toy radios that are designated for FRS. Even a Baofeng daul band radio puts out 10x the legal power designated for FRS. I'm not saying don't do it, but perhaps not advertise it.
FRS is regulated at 2 watts. My BF-F8HP puts out 1 Watt on the low setting, which I always use for FRS. I've got the freq saved in memory and automatically defaulted to low power.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
FRS is either 0.5W or 2W depending on the channel you're using, but your point of using low power remains valid. Another point @Mtn Mike makes is the FCC was pretty clear that the fixed antenna issue was important when they revised the FRS and GMRS rules. Anything existing at that point with fixed antennas but higher power, e.g. the blister pack radios, got defaulted as FRS.

So a Part 90 or 97 radio that is (illegally technically) repurposed for Part 95 will have to be used for GMRS. I think that's the gray area, GMRS is a service that is only now getting much selection in truly legal equipment. There's not much wiggle room, mobile, a removable antenna, high power, you're not even trying to stay legal using FRS frequencies. If you get a GMRS license then at least it seems like you're making an attempt at the spirit of the rules.

They don't want the personal radio service to devolve into a free for all like CB did so they seem to want to prevent all the illegal equipment modification from proliferating. They're also cracking down on the fringe legality of selling import radios as ham radio that don't even need a simple diode or jumper soldered on to free band.
 
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ultraclyde

Observer
Did you think it was or am I missing a tongue-in-cheek?
I honestly thought that as long as I was transmitting on a non-license-required FRS Channel under the max power output that it was. I wasn't aware that because I could unscrew the antenna on my hand held that it would be illegal. I try very hard to follow the letter of the law, and as a new ham licensee I certainly want to play by the book.

I could be hijacking this, but hell, it's my thread. I really don't get the thinking behind having separate licenses for ham and GMRS. If you have a ham license, it should cover the info and the frequencies for GMRS. If you want a corporate license for GMRS that doesn't include the "art and practice of amateur radio (or whatever the verbage is)" then pay the $70 for the GMRS-only license and be limited to those frequencies. If you have a radio that transmits under the power requirements on the FRS freqs, you should be able to transmit legally. I know I'm new to this, but am I missing some over-riding problem that requires it to be this obtuse? I really would like to understand if I'm off base here.

I mean, I'm told the CB world went nuts but I was barely around at that point. What were the real life impacts of that?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
IANAL, but legally anyone currently using unlicensed FRS has to be using a FRS Transceiver licensed/approved by FCC for FRS Use (Used to allow FRS/GMRS Combo but thats no longer being approved).. the use GMRS Radios or HAM Radios, even within FRS restrictions still requires the possession of a GMRS license..
 
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DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Since you're honestly wondering, the reason hams get a special license boils down to a few main reasons. We get to use 1,500 watts as our maximum power in most cases, our radios do not have to be tested or approved by the FCC for any transmitting requirements (commercial ham radios only need Part 15 testing, which literally everything electronic has to be tested for) and we're by-and-large self policing.

The FCC allows us to work on our own radios, build our own radios, construct antennas. We are given a ton of leeway with the only stipulations being we don't cuss, use ham to overthrow the government and most importantly never transmit beyond the edges of the spectrum we're assigned.

In every other use, FRS, CB, business radios, GMRS, the radios they use must be tested to prove they work like they are designed. This is called Type Acceptance. Meaning a manufacturer has to test that the radio meets the technical requirements set forth in the rules for the type of radio it is. There is a whole package presented to the FCC and they approve it for use only for that. IOW, a radio designed for GMRS has to be tested for GMRS rules and can only legally ever be used for GMRS by a person or entity that has a license for the use.

The reason hams often get worked up over radios that are easy to modify and use illegal is they are almost always sold as ham radios, since it's a loophole in the rules. The manufacturer knows full well the end users are going to use the radio for FRS, CB, GMRS or whatever but they don't want to do the testing and follow the rules. Which usually means the FCC wants to see the radios locked down and not be modifiable. The problem is this is going to cause the FCC to remove the freedom hams have to tinker and experiment. Which may not mean anything to most people just using them on the trail but to those of us who are really ham hobbyists its going to mean our hobby will lose some of the fun stuff.
 

ultraclyde

Observer
I get what you're saying about building and tinkering, but why shouldn't a ham license allow use of the GMRS frequencies?
 

dreadlocks

Well-known member
no, HAM and GMRS frequencies do not overlap.. having a HAM does not grant you defacto access to broadcast on any frequency you want.. just those within the defined HAM bands..

I hold both a HAM and GMRS license so I can work on either.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
I get what you're saying about building and tinkering, but why shouldn't a ham license allow use of the GMRS frequencies?
Like @dreadlocks is saying, the ham license gives you a ton of freedom within the frequencies defining amateur radio. Since GMRS does not overlap you don't get special privileges beyond the band edges.

Anytime you're operating on ham bands with a ham license (e.g. transmitting with your call sign), you can use any danged radio you want as long as the primary and all significant harmonics remain below limits and within the ham bands and (b) you don't have a radio that splatters all over the ham bands and is disrespectful of your fellow hams.

Get a GMRS license and you have the authority to use the GMRS frequencies. Those rules say you are required to use a radio that has been tested and accepted for use on Part 95, though, so your ham radio can't be used for that.

It's a lot of hoop jumping through and in this modern world it should be and is possible to have a radio that can do many things. I think it would be cool if the FCC was petitioned to allow a ham with a frequency nimble radio that meets spectral purity and frequency stability to use these particular radios for other services. If you have a Motorola business radio that is narrowband capable that you're using for ham, it's every bit as good as anything else you'd see on GMRS and as a ham you are supposed have demonstrated at least some proficiency to understand what this means.

So if you get the license they require why shouldn't that be OK? Or put it another way, loosen GMRS rules to allow radios to be frequency nimble. So you could buy a Part 95 radio that Uniden or Midland would be allowed to modify for a ham to use on ham bands, similar to the MARS/CAP mods you can do to ham radios. It's channelized on GMRS but you get a VFO for the ham spectrum.

Keep FRS requirements very tight, the purpose of that is to be used by a person who doesn't care about the technical merits, so it should be restrictive.
 
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dreadlocks

Well-known member
technically, yes.. but in practice, yeah.. em.. well has anyone actually seen a certified GMRS repeater? or is every repeater in the country using re-purposed commercial or ham gear, I wonder 🤔

generally its accepted that if you hold a license for GMRS, its not the end of the world if your station is not Part 95 certified... its one of those chicken and egg things, FCC allows the use of Repeaters and now Data/Telemetry.. however if you want to use these capabilities you gotta home brew because the market is not large enough to warrant commercial device certification.. for decades literally no off the shelf GMRS/FRS radios could even work duplex for repeaters and the only way to utilize it was with commercial/ham radios that had been repurposed.. I dunno if any certified devices do now, havent looked into whats available in a while, but with the 2017 changes they clearly defined repeater inputs and are working to kick FRS devices outta those channels by forbidding dual use (licensed/unlicensed) devices off the shelf so perhaps repeaters will gain traction and support.

If your a license holder, using the band as it was intended and generally following all the rules.. the device certification part is a violation of rules, but not necessarily one to loose sleep over or get your panties in a knot over.. GMRS is a wild west of enforcement, they basically relaxed the laws since everyone was operating on licensed frequencies w/out a license.. the important thing is holding a license and using the band allocation, so we can all keep this chunk of spectrum and it dont get sold off to the highest bidder.
 
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