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"Hybrid Radios"

John Huggins

Some manufacturers have received approval to market radios that are certified for use in both the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Other manufacturers have received approval of their radios under the GMRS rules, but market them as FRS/GMRS radios on the basis that: Radios marketed as "FRS/GMRS" or "dual-service radios" are available from many manufacturers and many retail or discount stores. The manual that comes with the radio, or the label placed on it by the manufacturer, should indicate the service the unit is certified for. If you cannot determine what service the unit may be used in, contact the manufacturer.

If you operate a radio that has been approved exclusively under the rules that apply to FRS, you are not required to have a license. FRS radios have a maximum power of watt (500 milliwatt) effective radiated power and integral (non-detachable) antennas. If you operate a radio under the rules that apply to GMRS, you must have a GMRS license. GMRS radios generally transmit at higher power levels (1 to 5 watts is typical) and may have detachable antenna.

The 22 Channel Plan as it appears to be

Frequency Notes Max
1 GMRS Interstitial 5625 462.5625 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 1 5 Watts
2 GMRS Interstitial 5825 462.5825 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 2 5 Watts
3 GMRS Interstitial 6125 462.6125 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 3 5 Watts
4 GMRS Interstitial 6375 462.6375 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 4 5 Watts
5 GMRS Interstitial 6625 462.6625 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 5 5 Watts
6 GMRS Interstitial 6875 462.6875 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 6 5 Watts
7 GMRS Interstitial 7125 462.7125 MHz FRS and GMRS Channel 7 5 Watts
8 467.5625 MHz FRS Only Channel 8 0.5 Watts
9 467.5875 MHz FRS Only Channel 9 0.5 Watts
10 467.6125 MHz FRS Only Channel 10 0.5 Watts
11 467.6375 MHz FRS Only Channel 11 0.5 Watts
12 467.6625 MHz FRS Only Channel 12 0.5 Watts
13 467.6875 MHz FRS Only Channel 13 0.5 Watts
14 467.7125 MHz FRS Only Channel 14 0.5 Watts
15 Lower 550 462.5500 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
16 Lower 575 462.5750 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
17 Lower 600 462.6000 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
18 Lower 625 462.6250 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
19 Lower 650 462.6500 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
20 Lower 675 462.6750 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
21 Lower 700 462.7000 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts
22 Lower 725 462.7250 MHz GMRS Only 50.0 Watts

Most FRS/GMRS radios seem to have the same 22 channel frequency assignments noted above. If this is true of all the 22 channel radios, this will really help keep things straight when someone says "Go to channel 11."

You should take care to ensure you operate on channels 8-14 if you do not have a GMRS license. The FRS/GMRS radios I have transmit more than 1/2 watt when on channels 1-7 and 15-22. Only on 8-14 (the FRS only channels) do they reduce power to the 1/2 watt FRS limit.

If you find yourself the least bit confused by all this, either do not get the FRS/GMRS radios or pay the FCC the money to get the five year family license. Or you may also just purchase a FRS only radio which has all fourteen FRS channels within the legal power limit.

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