Author Topic: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB  (Read 1154 times)

Offline Alan Georges

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FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« on: April 30, 2017, 10:21:56 AM »
Article over at QRZ Now
Eye-glazing details over at the FCC site

TLDR/summary version (if I skimmed it correctly):
  • MURS is essentially unchanged
  • CB is largely left alone.  Talking skip will become legal, as will Bluetooth mics
  • FRS will be able to go to 2 watts
  • the borderland of FRS and GMRS is somewhat clarified (but it's still confusing)
  • existing gear will largely fit into the new categorizations and remain legal to use
It's all relatively minor.  We'll probably see the FRS/GMRS bubble-pack radios re-labled as FRS and slightly modified to do 2 watts across the board.  Maybe the biggest changes will be for the serious GMRS users, but how that works out will be between the FCC and the radio manufacturers.  From a modern survival standpoint, most of us wanting to use higher power in that neighborhood have already gone ham and know all about the nearby 70cm band.  Overall, a big "meh" for the moment.


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Offline iam4liberty

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2017, 11:52:38 AM »
From a modern survival standpoint, most of us wanting to use higher power in that neighborhood have already gone ham and know all about the nearby 70cm band.  Overall, a big "meh" for the moment.

2 Watt on FRS will be a huge boon for hikers and skiers as it allows transceivers to reliably hit satellites.  Right now high schools and colleges around the world are setting up emergency satellite system clubs to monitor for emergency signals.  Currently the systems use HAM band APRS as that is an already deployed capability which can be immediately enhanced by these satellites.  But the next generation GMRS/FRS radios are being slated to put in the simple mathematics to predict when these satellites will be overhead and to communicate with them.  So we are very near to having a global emergency beacon system that the average person can afford.  Not too mention companies like gotenna developing units which will be easily able to piggy back on them to potentially create a worldwide text messaging system.

See here for example news story talking about this: http://www.timesofisrael.com/israeli-high-school-kids-build-life-saving-satellite/


Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2017, 12:32:10 PM »
Eye-glazing details over at the FCC site

Eyes are duly glazed.  Thank you. :)

I'm making myself a table of contents for that 114-page FCC PDF.

  • p.1: Intro, useless Table of Contents by paragraph number :P, Background
    This document has been circulated for tentative consideration by the Commission at its May open meeting. The issues referenced in this document and the Commission’s ultimate resolution of those issues remain under consideration and subject to change. ...
  • p.5: Discussion
  • p.41: APPENDIX
    The Federal Communications Commission amends Parts 1, 15, 73 and 95 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) as set forth below...
    • p.41: Part 1 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
      PART 1 – PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE...
    • p.42: Part 15 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
      PART 15 – RADIO FREQUENCY DEVICES...
    • p.42: Part 73 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended as follows:
      PART 73 – RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES...
    • p.43: Part 95 of Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is amended, in its entirety, to read as follows:
      PART 95 – PERSONAL RADIO SERVICES...
      • p.46: Subpart A – General Rules for the Personal Radio Services...
      • p.56: Subpart B – Family Radio Service (FRS)
        FRS is a short-distance two-way voice communication service, with limited data applications, between low power hand-held radios, for facilitating individual, family, group, recreational and business activities. ...
      • p.59: Subpart C – Radio Control Radio Service
        RCRS is a non-commercial short-distance radio service for wirelessly controlling the operation of devices, including, but not limited to, model vehicles such as aircraft and surface craft. ...
      • p.62: Subpart D – CB Radio Service
        CBRS is a mobile and fixed two-way voice communication service for facilitating personal, business or voluntary public service activities, including communications to provide assistance to highway travelers. ...
      • p.68: Subpart E – General Mobile Radio Service
        GMRS is a mobile two-way voice communication service, with limited data applications, for facilitating activities of individual licensees and their family members, including, but not limited to, voluntary provision of assistance to the public during emergencies and natural disasters. ...
      • p.74: Subpart F – 218-219 MHz Service
        The 218–219 MHz Service allows licensees to provide fixed and mobile telemetry and other telecommunications services on a commercial or private basis in specific service areas. ...
      • p.81: Subpart G – Low Power Radio Service
        LPRS is a short-distance voice and data communication service for providing auditory assistance to persons with disabilities (and others), health care related communications, law enforcement tracking, and for certain other purposes. ...
      • p.86: Subpart H – Wireless Medical Telemetry Service
        WMTS is a short-distance data communication service for the transmission of physiological parameters and other patient medical information via radiated electromagnetic signals. ...
      • p.90: Subpart I – Medical Device Radio Communications Service
        MedRadio is an ultra-low power radio service for the transmission of non-voice data for the purpose of facilitating diagnostic and/or therapeutic functions involving implanted and body-worn medical devices. ...
      • p.102: Subpart J – Multi-Use Radio Service
        MURS is a two-way, short-distance voice or data communication service for facilitating personal or business activities of the general public. ...
      • p.105: Subpart K – Personal Locator Beacons and Maritime Survivor Locating Devices
        PLBs are small transmitters that provide a means for individuals in remote areas to alert others of an emergency situation and to aid search and rescue personnel to locate those in distress. MSLDs are devices intended to aid in the location of persons in the water. ...
      • p.108: Subpart L – DSRCS On-Board Units
        OBUs are low-power devices on vehicles that transfer data to roadside units in the Dedicated Short-Range Communications Service, to improve traffic flow and safety, and for other intelligent transportation system purposes. ...

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2017, 12:41:03 PM »
So we are very near to having a global emergency beacon system that the average person can afford.  Not too mention companies like gotenna developing units which will be easily able to piggy back on them to potentially create a worldwide text messaging system.
Now that is something to look forward to!

I'm making myself a table of contents for that 114-page FCC PDF.
You sir have far more patience than I for this sort of thing.  I'm going to kick back and operate with what I've got for then time being, and when new stuff shows up on the shelves down at the local Academy Spoits I'll sort it out then.  :)

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Offline Mr. Bill

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2017, 12:47:17 PM »
You sir have far more patience than I for this sort of thing.

I had a sudden nerd attack. 8)

Regarding radio communications, I've been in some-day-I-oughta mode for a few decades.  I've got a 40-year-old dysfunctional CB buried in a back room, and that's it.  Maybe these changes will spur me to do something.

Offline Alan Georges

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2017, 01:00:28 PM »
Regarding radio communications, I've been in some-day-I-oughta mode for a few decades.
Ah well, not everybody needs to geek-out with a giant HF antenna strung across the back yard.
Quote
I've got a 40-year-old dysfunctional CB buried in a back room, and that's it.
Now Mr. Bill, you know darned good and well that all CB radio is completely dysfunctional these days.  (Doesn't stop me from having a good time with it though. ;D)

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Offline iam4liberty

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Re: FCC changes coming to FRS, GMRS, MURS, & CB
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2017, 01:04:50 PM »
Now that is something to look forward to!

Yes, indeed.  Gotenna just raised a second series of funding of $7.5 million.  They already have in hand:

  • Optimized fractal antennas for practical sized devices.
  • Established mesh architecture for both text and position.
  • Strong encryption for security verified as backdoor free (of course, always subject to further review).
  • Top notch mapping software for satellite image, street, and topo maps.

They still need a base unit system which will by necessity part of the "pro" series for professional emergency personnel. My personal guess is a wifi enabled device which you hang that will not only pass mesh signal over-the-air but will also do so to nodes on the net. So we may only be a few years away from a decentralized communication system for the masses that is tons more resilient than cellular (though only text not voice/image capable).