GMRS stands for General Mobile Radio Service which you can use with your family members and fellow licensees to communicate. They are easily portable devices that you can hold by the hand while receiving or sending a message.
This FM radio service covers the frequency range of 462 to 467 MHz. All of its channels are distributed within this short range. You can use it to conduct two-way voice communications just like walkie-talkies. A GMRS radio device comes with the option of repeater additions for extended ranges.
Anyone interested in using GMRS needs to obtain a license from the Federal Communications Commission or FCC. It doesn’t require you to sit for any test. All you have to do is apply for the license and pick it up on time.
Once you become a licensed user, you can only use or share the service with your family members. In order to enjoy a GMRS conversation with a friend or neighbor, you will need them to be licensed as well.
Advantages of GMRS Radio
Compared to other FM UHF radio services, the range supported by the GMRS devices is a little wider. If you are not accustomed to using it, you can assume the range to be as far as your line-of-sight. In more accurate terms, the distance between two of these handheld devices should be around a mile or two.
There are some mobile GRMS radio units equipped with higher antennas. They can extend the range to as far as five miles. To get even more coverage, you can invest in a repeater that stretches the range up to 20 miles!
Supports Duplex Mode
GMRS can give you the advantage of going on the duplex mode which is available for their specific radio channels. The duplex mode is basically when you can send and receive signals simultaneously through one channel.
As a result, you can enjoy a flawless conversation with your family over the radio without waiting for only one side’s response at a time.
Message and GPS Information
Recently, GMRS radio devices earned the advantage of supporting short data message apps. This happened in 2017 when the FCC expanded this kind of radio service. Now you can exchange important information among your family members by sending them a text message or your GPS location.
Disadvantages of GMRS Radio
If budget is one of the major concerns for you, the other varieties of FM radio units may interest you more than GMRS. These devices tend to be a tad bit expensive compared to its peers. However, surely that cannot be much of a surprise since these units deliver longer range and run on higher power!
An obstacle in the free and fun use of GMRS is its mandatory licensing policy and the limitations thereof. After you have completed the entire process for obtaining its license, you cannot start sharing messages with your partner unless he holds a license as well! This may cause a tiny disruption in short-distance communication.