MBC Radios

The club ok’d us to buy some radios and a case.

Here are some proposals. Trying to keep it under $250/200.

Not sure if the base charger will be useful. Thoughts?

10-pack: $125.

Charging base: $33

Case: $90

@BillT , @ChristalakaSvanhildr , @MattMIBronco

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I am a huge thumbs Up on the charger. We want them to be easy to charge in bulk.

People may not understand the intent with the radios. We want to have loaners and we will sell people radios at events. They will be $20 or less and easy to set up and use. We had at least 15 people each day at Bronco the Mac without one.

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When I did the Gambler we had 4 cars traveling up and 3 of us had radios. It was great. We all used GMRS ones though so we got pretty good range, we need to have charging solutions in each car going forward because after 1/2 a day they died.

I assume these are FRS Radios so those of us with GMRS could set to the correct channel and just use our radio?

These ones do GMRS,which includes the FRS frequencies as well. :slight_smile:

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Do they? I didn’t see that. Also without a license people technically can’t use the GMRS ones.

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While these can be programmed to work with FRS, does look they are a GMRS-first type.

Radios ordered. Should have the set ready for the next ride-event. :slight_smile:


A couple of comments:

  • Make sure you get a programing cable so you can use the CHIRP software
  • FCC filing for these state they are 3 watts where the description says 5 watts so not sure if you can bump the power up to 5 on CHIRP for GMRS users
  • One note I do not see that these are FCC Part 93 Accepted just Part 15 Acceptance
  • The multi-charger would be way more convenient to find one outlet vs six individual drop in chargers in a hotel or when camping
  • When using shared channels with the different users power is suppose to be for FRS @ 2w & GMRS @ 5w. Don’t think most people worry about FCC rules. Over last weekend I heard plenty of fowl language and never heard anyone use a proper GMRS call sign. As long as we don’t run on a channel where a GMRS repeater is on and cause interference I doubt that anyone cares.

Although we want to be compliant as a club and I try and obey regulations to the extent I find them reasonable, there is little risk to people using GMRS radios without a permit (I do have mine). I rarely hear call signs and having been a CB radio user, respect for the profanity restrictions have never been practiced. Our plan is to use the radios for those that come to a ride without one and even sell radios to people that would like to purchase one. We probably won’t do any customization to the club units.

I think GMRS is more relaxed on FCC rules and with the incidental use of a trail ride or an event it would be doubtful of any complaints. There is no self governing/policing like you see in amateur radio. FCC usually only gets involved with corporations when they can get a major monetary fine otherwise they do not have the funding/resources like they use to. They will get involved with smaller stuff if there is enough hard evidence of gross negligence & harmful interference.

GMRS you don’t need to use your call sign unless asked. So I have mine written on my Radio. Same with profanity, if you are on the channel and no one cares then yea, I wouldn’t worry but if someone says stop it you have to.

The licensing issue is a bigger deal because without a license you can’t respond when asked for the call sign and if 20 radios and people are using the same call sign that raises red flags.

To be technical you do need to identify per FCC Rules:

  • At the end of a transmission or a series of transmissions
  • At least once every 15 minutes for a series lasting more than 15 minutes
    When asked is not a rule it is just being cordial. But with the likelihood of anyone causing a fuss would be unlikely

Hopefully we don’t have more than a few in any one group. It’s also interesting that my license covers my family, so we could actually have multiple people with one call sign. We will issue a disclaimer when we loan them out :ok_hand:t4:

Depends on how you read it, that section is listed under the section that says when operating as a repeater. I remember when I filled out the FCC paperwork, it said you don’t have to identify by call sign unless asked. Repeaters have special rules. Because they are only GMRS, technically non-repeaters could be FRS. Hence the differences.

License always covers family. So if we had 5-10 radios its more plausible. I haven’t seen a family of 20 in some time, lol.


it’s not that hard to get the GMRS license. The only test you have to pass is navigating the FCC website to get it. Then you can go the full 50 watts on the GMRS channels and maybe the club could set up a mobile repeater for events and trail rides.
It was surprising to hear the repeaters in St Ignace. Actually seems GMRS is more active than amateur these days.

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Well, I have multiple FCC Radio Operators licenses (I actually had a job at WJR 760AM 30 years ago). I did apply for the GMRS license when I bought my radios. BUT, I dont remember anything with regard to a call sign during that process. Can someone please edjumucate me?

So when you setup a repeater which only GMRS users can do you need to follow the two rules listed above that AB8DT posted. This is also true if you’re basically broadcasting like a radio station (which you can, especially if you have a repeater)

If you are on a regular channel shared with FRS, you should do those things too but since no one can prove you are using GMRS device its hard to enforce.

Typically if someone asks for your call sign you should give it, and if you are using GMRS hardware I think its a good idea to make a label or use a paint pen and write the call sign on your radio. That way if anyone asks why you have a GMRS radio you can say because you have a license and here is your call sign.

FRS users don’t need a license obviously and can use the lower powered radios without issue. The FCC unless gross negligence is happening does not police any of this and you’d have to do something worthy of someone filing a complaint and the FCC caring about it.

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Ok. All sounds reasonable. I’m almost 100% certain I obtained a license for the GMRS. I don’t recall anything regarding a call sign (I am familiar with the concept, however). Is a call sign issued by the FCC when you obtain the license? If so, or otherwise for that matter, how do I determine my call sign? If you know off the top of your head because really I’m being too lazy by not researching this myself.

I think mine came when I registered. WRQE776 It came with my registration number as well.

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