USA GMRS Association
Giving GMRS Licensed Users A Way To Be Represented & A Way To Advance Their Communication Abilities Across America

What is the maximum rf power output for a gmrs repeater?

     The maximum RF (radio frequency) power output for a GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) repeater is limited to 50 watts. This applies to both the transmitter output power and the effective radiated power (ERP). The FCC regulations for GMRS repeater stations specify that they must not cause harmful interference to other radio services, and the maximum power output is a part of the means to ensure that. It's important to keep in mind that operating a repeater requires a separate GMRS license and the rules are subject to change and the station must be in compliance with the rules in effect at all times.

How does GMRS differ from Amateur Radio?

     GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and Amateur Radio (also known as ham radio) are both two-way radio services, but there are several key differences between the two: Purpose: The primary purpose of GMRS is for personal or business use, while the primary purpose of Amateur Radio is for hobby and emergency communications. Frequency range: GMRS operates on frequencies located in the 462 MHz and 467 MHz range, while amateur radio operates on a much wider range of frequencies. Power: GMRS radios are limited to a maximum output power of 50 watts, while amateur radio operators can use much higher power outputs. License: To operate a GMRS radio, you need a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is relatively easy to obtain and does not require passing any exams. To operate an amateur radio, you need a license from the FCC, which requires passing a written exam to demonstrate your knowledge of radio technology and regulations. Privacy: GMRS radios are not private and the FCC does not regulate it as such, while Amateur Radio communications are considered private. Uses: GMRS radios are often used for family and group activities, as well as for certain types of businesses, while amateur radio is often used for emergency communications, public service events, and international communication with other amateur radio operators around the world. In summary, GMRS provides a simple and easy way to operate a radio for personal and business uses, while Amateur Radio provides more flexibility and capabilities, with a broader range of frequencies and power output, but it requires the operator to be licensed and have knowledge of the regulations.

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What Is A Node?

What is a node? A node, in simplest terms, is a computer like device that connects to the gmrsCONNECT VoIp network. Nodes typically have an RF radio interface as well as an internet connection. Radios can range in size from a repeater, mobile radio, to a low power handheld (HT) radio that's integrated into a node. A Node could also be a simple "Radioless Node" meaning no tranciever is used just the computer like device. A node allows you to connect to other nodes by means of Voice Over IP Protocol (VoIp) in the gmrsCONNECT network.

Nodes can take the form of an inexpensive SBC like a Raspberry Pi computer or a full size PC (laptop/desktop) running the Linux operating system.

How do I use the gmrsCONNECT VoIp System?

For many of you that are both GMRS and Amateur licensed, you probably are already fully aware of what a node is and how they work and the ability to communicate nation wide if you've been taking advantage of the Amateur world of linking. If you currently have a local FM repeater that is gmrsCONNECT enabled, or using the asterisk software as a controller for your repeater, you may already be using a "node" and don't realize it! However, if you don't have your own repeater, radio, or radioless node, before attempting to control a local GMRS FM repeater that's not personally owned by you, be sure to check with the actual owner first before attempting in taking advantage of their node for your personal use. Remember -- Proper GMRS radio etiquette applies on all nodes just like it does on an actual radio.

gmrsCONNECT is typically used in these ways:

* Via a FM repeater that is gmrsCONNECT enabled. Controlled through DTMF commands, via the internet, or the "GMRS HotLine" VoIP phone system,

* Via a local micro-node that is purchased from USA GMRS Association by a GMRS operator to join the gmrsCONNECT network,

* Via PC/Mac software that allows you to connect directly to a node. The microphone / speaker are used for audio.

* Via a mobile app such as DroidStar, DVSwitch Mobile, Zoiper, or iaxRPT.exe to connect directly to a node.

Where do we go from here?

Getting on the gmrsCONNECT Network is as simple as:

Step 1: Read The Beginners Guide: Beginners Guide

Step 2: Apply for Node Number (Requires A Valid GMRS FCC Issued License): Apply For A Node Number

Step 3: Download & Install gmrsCONNECT software (Distributions are available for PC, Raspberry Pi 2, 3, or, purchase a ready-to-go (plug & play) node from us): Downloads

Step 4: Check to see that your node is showing to be registered: Status Information

Step 5: Download & Install PC & Phone Apps As Required

Step 6: Start Connecting With Other Like GMRS Operators

gmrsConnect Features

* gmrsConnect/app_rpt is a complete repeater (or simplex node) controller with VoIP linking and more features that most repeater controllers.
* Asterisk/app_rpt can run on many single board computers including the Raspberry Pi or as a Virtual Machine in a data center.
* Multiple repeaters (nodes) may be interfaced at one site while only running one instance of Asterisk/app_rpt on one computer.
* Ad-hoc connectivity. Any node can connect with any other node.
* Any number of nodes can connect to a node (subject to bandwidth limitations) forming a hub.
* Voting and simulcast over IP networks with gmrsCONNECT Radio Thin Client Module (RTCM).
* All of the security features in Asterisk are at your disposal (Public/Private keys, IP address filtering)
* No central authority for authorizing connections. You are free to use our gmrsCONNECT, or set up a your own completely isolated network of systems.
* Registration-based authentication method for gmrsCONNECT nodes to handle Internet connections with dynamic IP addresses.
* The ability to remotely execute a DTMF command on any node from any other node.
* Multiple hardware interfaces supported including the Quad Radio PCI card (EOL), the CM1x (USB), WM5102 (RPi), TLV320 (RPi) and RTCM.
* MDC-1200 support and integration
* Audio Filters - Optional filters for making the audio wider on both the lower and upper frequency limit.
* Secure remote base access using individual user logins to prevent unauthorized access.
* Control and access to the radio via USA GMRS Association's GMRS HotLine VoIp Systems.
* SIP and/or IAX for soft phone access to nodes.
* iaxRPT soft dispatch console for Windows. Android IAXRPT for Android phones and tablets.

* and, most important of all --- you no longer have to be attached (connected) to one link 24/7/365. You will now be able to select what node you wish to connect to then disconnect or choose to stay connected. You are in control of who you communicate with --- one node, many nodes, local nodes, state wide nodes, nation wide nodes --- it's all up to you because you have full control over your own node.

gmrsCONNECT is based on the open source Asterisk PBX software and is released under the GNU GPL and is free for anyone to use. The core of gmrsCONNECT is the powerful app_rpt application and associated modules that are included in the Asterisk PBX software.

Can multiple GMRS repeaters be linked together?

Yes, multiple GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) repeaters can be linked together to form a wide-area network that allows users to communicate over a large geographic area.

Linked repeaters are commonly used in situations where a wide area coverage is required, such as in the case of emergency communications or events, or by businesses that need to coordinate communication among multiple locations.

There are a number of ways to link GMRS repeaters together, including:

This method involves physically connecting the repeaters together using cables, such as using a leased telephone line or internet connection.

This method involves linking the repeaters together wirelessly, such as using a radio frequency link or a microwave link. This can be useful for situations where running cables is not practical or possible.

GMRS radios can be set to roam, which means that the radio will automatically search for and connect to the strongest available signal from a repeater, which allows for users to move around and maintain communication.
It's important to keep in mind that linking multiple repeaters together requires a GMRS license for each repeater, and to comply with the FCC regulations regarding GMRS operation.

It is also important to ensure that the system does not cause harmful interference to other radio services, and is in compliance with the FCC rules and regulations.

Remember, keep in mind that the FCC regulations and technical requirements are always subject to change and any device should be in compliance with the current rule set.

USA GMRS Association
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What's The Difference Between GMRS & FRS.."

Well for one, FRS radios have lower transmit power (like .5 watts of RF power output), must not have the ability to remove the antenna, and FRS channels require no license to transmit on them.

GMRS radios can run more power (up to and a max of 50 watts with no max on ERP) and GMRS users may use handhelds.

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