Thread Tools
Old 06-26-2004, 12:30 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Right behind you!!!
Posts: 3,935
FCC license for a walkie-talkie? Do I REALLY need one?

My wife just got 2 Motorola T4500 two way radios as a free gift from a book club she belongs to. As I was reading through the instruction manual I noticed it said the use of these devices would require a FCC license. Further reading of the manual says that some of the channels operate on GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) frequencies. Apparently this is why a licence is needed. The rest operate on FRS frequencies (whatever they are) which don't require a license.

As a kid, my dad had a CB radio and he used it quite frequently. As far as I can remember he never had to get a license to use it. There are many people I know that have walkie-talkies and use them frequently for personal use, and they don't have a FCC license either.

So my questions are:
1) Why do I suddenly need a license just to operate a simple walkie-talkie.
2) Do I REALLY need to get a license for this from the FCC or can I just use them when I need them (which will not be all that frequently, I can guarantee that) and not worry about it?
3) What does an FCC GMRS license cost?
__________________
-Dragwyr
"Believe me, brother. Until you've been booed by a small mob of middle aged New York swingers wearing see-through Tarzan outfits and packing squeeze bottles of fruit flavored lubricant, you don't know the meaning of fear." - Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
Old 06-26-2004, 12:39 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: California
Posts: 8,083
Everything you want to know It looks like you'll want to just avoid the GMRS frequencies; this will save you the money, the headaches, and the constant looking-over-your-shoulder fear!
Old 06-26-2004, 07:15 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Tysons Corner, VA, USA
Posts: 11,519
On a tangent, at one time CB radios technically required a license. Then in the 70's the CB craze swept the nation, and the FCC simplified the licensing process, then I think they just gave up altogether. I don't think a license is required for CB anymore. But it used to be, and serious CB users used their call letters.
Old 06-26-2004, 09:20 AM
Guest
Join Date: Aug 2002
Posts: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas
On a tangent, at one time CB radios technically required a license. Then in the 70's the CB craze swept the nation, and the FCC simplified the licensing process, then I think they just gave up altogether. I don't think a license is required for CB anymore. But it used to be, and serious CB users used their call letters.
Yeah, the FCC is about the flakiest federal office that exists, in my opinion. To answer your questions:

1. It's not sudden. It's just a recently regulated frequency (and power), so they figure they might as well charge. Why not?

2. Short of being an ass on a regular basis from a fixed location, you probably stand a better chance of winning the lottery than being busted by the FCC for operating GMRS without a license.

3. $75 for a five year license which covers the licensee and family members, up to and including cousins, I think.


Many will disagree, but there's no way in hell I would pay the FCC $75 to rent a couple miles of air for a few hours a year.
Old 06-26-2004, 10:16 AM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: A Derby City lab
Posts: 1,292
As stated above, GMRS licences are just the cost of a piece of paper. FRS radios require no license, but are useless in crowded areas. There are also GMRS repeaters that extend the range of a GMRS radio, but GMRS sites I've seen say that these repeaters are "private property" and you need permission to use them. Geeze, you pour a sidewalk and then tell people they can't use it...

The best option, though not the easiest, is amateur radio. You need to study, then take an exam that will give you access to VHF frquencies and above. Last Saturday, I talked to two amateur radio stations 25 - 40 miles from me on just 2.5 watts, from the top of Mt. Mitchell, NC. There are also amateur repeaters all over the country and in Canada, some linked, that provide extended communications between licensed family and friends. And that's not even including Echolink, or radio with a VoIP link.

Vlad/Igor
KF4VCC
Old 06-26-2004, 10:35 AM
Charter Member
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Right behind you!!!
Posts: 3,935
Thanks for all the good info. Nametag, I will check out that link. Looks like everything I ever wanted to know, and then some.
Old 06-26-2004, 03:50 PM
Charter Member
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: Chicago's Northside
Posts: 2,543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vlad/Igor
Last Saturday, I talked to two amateur radio stations 25 - 40 miles from me on just 2.5 watts, from the top of Mt. Mitchell, NC.
Was this on a 2M repeater or simplex? Hard to believe without a highly directional antenna.

Jngl
Chicago/Milwaukee ham
Old 06-26-2004, 03:58 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Bialystock
Posts: 963
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dragwyr
My wife just got 2 Motorola T4500 two way radios as a free gift from a book club she belongs to.
2) Do I REALLY need to get a license for this from the FCC or can I just use them when I need them
The reason you need a license is that the FCC wants money. Last time I looked, the license was $75-100, but I also found it incredibly difficult to figure out the application process. Considering that the darn license cost more than the radios, I bagged it. I use GMRS constantly on the ski slopes. If the FCC is looking for me, here I am!

Seriously, I don't think you need the license. You'd be technically breaking the law (you terrorist) but this is not one of the areas that the FCC gets worked up about.

You might consider alternatives, such as shortwave/ham/more powerful radios, but this depends on the application. GMRS is great cuz
  • The radios are plentiful
  • Lots of people have them

Licensed shortwave has a ton of advantages, including repeaters, but then you need someone else with a shortwave radio! Whereas GMRS radios are plentiful; this is borne out by the amount of useless drivel I hear on the slopes.
Old 06-26-2004, 04:01 PM
Guest
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: A Derby City lab
Posts: 1,292
Quote:
Originally Posted by jnglmassiv
Was this on a 2M repeater or simplex? Hard to believe without a highly directional antenna.

Jngl
Chicago/Milwaukee ham
Simplex. I'm going to send out a QSL card to verify the distance. I was truly shocked.

Vlad/Igor
Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:05 AM.

Copyright © 2017
Best Topics: brass knuckles injuries fuck a sheep ld50 of lsd striped bag unusual christmas movies semiauto revolver wide cars vegan steak substitute visine on contacts guns biceps ssd sound poets feet best military toasts corian finish eithne pronunciation farscape talyn eating sunflower shells cat loafs horny womens chicago houseboat the pinion esophagus dilation cost papi mexican slang dvd won't load nra sticker cvs song playlist drunken disorderly bhphotovideo store bluelight kmart gorditas taco bell progressive total loss harbins ditch magic poisonous mammals dishwater blond how to give yourself a blowjob is brown sugar bad for dogs dmv eye test cheat why is fascism bad usps insufficient postage policy w-2 box 13 bk with play area 5th element meat popsicle astro van rear end noise swiss army watch battery replacement cost it's colder in here than a hot cup of worth dish soap vs hand soap can we all just get along quotes bullet hole in window apocalypse now original vs redux small cities with good public transportation poems inspired by the odyssey why don't they play baseball in the rain kidney stones distilled water connection between yogi berra and yogi bear what does sourdough bread taste like soda vending machine rental co op games for mac owner of a lonely heart lyrics meaning dear sir/madam iran contra american dad why do pickles have no calories famous plays for high school how many years are there in a millennium sales tax on discounted items cost of official nfl football getting away from the cops speed