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Author Topic: FRS mod'd mobile?  (Read 1603 times)
BPEVANS
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Posts: 10




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« on: February 27, 2001, 09:25:24 AM »

Hi,

I'm new to all this and haven't yet got a license or radio but would like to get an idea of what costs and work are involved in what I'd like to do.

I want to mount a 2m radio in my suv & one in my buddys vehicle for our offroading/road trips.  We are looking for something sized & mounted like a small CB radio and not too expensive (hoping in the sub $300 range).  We are looking into ham/hf/2m (whats the difference?)  because we have read that they can be modified to work on FRS frequencies.  Since we already have & use an arsenal of FRS handhelds this would be really helpful to us for vehicle to person communication.  This is feasable right?

What does a license cost & take to obtain for a radio in this class?  How much should I expect to invest in a radio that can be modified?  Will an experienced club member be likely to help me modify a radio or will I be pointed to a internet how-to?  If a how-to, how difficult is it? How far could I expect mobile to mobile communication to be? Right now we get 1 mile or less with our FRS handhelds.

Thanks for any info,
Barry
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K3UOD
Member

Posts: 145




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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2001, 02:59:07 PM »

Modifying any kind of radio to work on FRS is illegal.  Don't do it.

If you and your buddy want to become hams, check out   www.arrl.org  for info.  Cost is very low but requires a considerable investment in studying for the test.  Kids as young as 6 have passed, it just takes determination.  VHF range directly from radio to radio (we call this simplex operation) will be about the same as a properly installed CB (basically 2-10 miles depending on terrain) however, there is much less interference than on CB.  We also have "repeaters" that will relay signals from mobile stations so that everyone within a 50 mile radius from the repeater can hear each other.  HF range varies considerably from a few miles to world-wide depending on the frequency.  Finding a clear channel on HF is very difficult, if not impossible.  Note that no one "owns" any frequency; we all have to share.

I assume that you want something with more range than FRS.  Check out the Multi-Use Radio Service.  This new service allow the use of 2 Watt Business Band radios on about 5 or 6 of the so-called "color dot" channels that were formerly reserved for business use only.  No license required.  You can buy the radios from Radio Shack.

The General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is another possibility.  If you and your friend want to help the community you can join REACT (an organization of people who help stranded motorists, etc. using CB and GMRS).  There is a fee (I think $80 for 5 or 10 years) for the license.  PRYME makes radios that work legally on both GMRS and FRS.

Of course, I'd like to see you take the ham radio route.  We need new blood, and hams with 4 WD vehicles are especially useful in emergency work.  However, we only want you if you will abide by the FCC regulations.  That means get your license, use properly constructed, legal gear, operate in accordance with accepted practice and be courteous to others.  We don't need more CB types operating illegally on the ham bands.
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KG6FGX
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #2 on: March 21, 2001, 05:07:26 PM »

Regarding your comment "Modifying any radio for FRS use is illegal."  Is it the modification the FCC is concerned about or transmissions on FRS frequencies above 1/2 watt.
What if you modify a HT that has a 1/3 watt power output setting.  If the radio was modified, and transmissions on FRS frequencies were only made at the 1/3 watt power setting, is this illegal.
I thought experimentation was what Ham radio was about.  I don't see harm in the above modification.
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K3UOD
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Posts: 145




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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2001, 12:13:32 PM »

The modified radio wouldn't be type accepted.

                  Power is not the only concern. FRS channels are wedged between GMRS channels so the frequency tolerance is tighter than for most radios. Also,
                  deviation is limited to +/- 2.5 KHz.

                 Experimentation may be what Ham Radio is all about, but FRS is not Ham Radio. Homebrew rigs are not acceptable unless you go through all of the hoops to acquire type acceptance. Ditto for CB, business band, public service, marine service, aeronautical, etc.
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K3UOD
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Posts: 145




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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2001, 12:15:51 PM »

BTW, modifying an FRS radio for use on the 70cm ham band would be legal.  Might be fun to try it.
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KG6FGX
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Posts: 13




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« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2001, 01:25:15 PM »

That makes sense.  Thanks for the info.
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W8TVI
Member

Posts: 3




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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2001, 11:27:22 PM »

To answer this question, it is not illegal to mod a radio so that it can transmit on FRS or any other non ham freqs...  what IS illegal is transmiting on those non ham freqs.  there is nothing wrong with having a radio that can tansmit on any non ham freq, as long as you don't transmit.

I won't get into the good uses for being able to transmit on FRS freqs right now (e.g. helping some one thats lost in the woods with there FRS radios, etc. )

Noel W8TVI
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