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 FRS (Family Radio Service) Radios Answers

Question: Do I need a licence to use a FRS radio?

Answer:
No, you do not need a license to use FRS radios. However, you are required to obey FCC restrictions and conditions on the use of FRS radios.

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Question: Do I need a licence to use a GMRS radio on the FRS frequencies?

Answer:
No, you do not need a license to use GMRS radios as long as you only use the FRS frequencies (channels 8 - 14). In addition, you are required to obey FCC restrictions and conditions on the use of FRS radios.

On any brand of GMRS/FRS 22-channel radio, channels 8 through 14 are FRS only and not shared with the GMRS service. Therefore, all 22-channel radios are designed to operate within the FRS operating parameters for bandwidth, non-removable antennas, tight frequency tolerance and 500 mW maximum effective radiated power when operated on those channels.

Because of this, as long as the GMRS radio is operated on channels 8 through 14, it can be operated legally without a license.

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Question: What are the FRS frequencies?

Answer:
There are 14 FRS channels. The first seven are shared with the GMRS band; the second seven are FRS only.
FRS / GMRS FRS Only
1. 462.5625 MHz 8. 467.5625 MHz
2. 462.5875 MHz 9. 467.5875 MHz
3. 462.6125 MHz 10. 467.6125 MHz
4. 462.6375 MHz 11. 467.6375 MHz
5. 462.6625 MHz 12. 467.6625 MHz
6. 462.6875 MHz 13. 467.6875 MHz
7. 462.7125 MHz 14. 467.7125 MHz

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Question: What are the CTCSS frequencies for FRS radios?

Answer:
The CTCSS frequencies used by Motorola are different from those used by RadioShack. The chart below shows the frequencies used by each.
Tone RadioShack Motorola
Sport
Motorola
TalkAbout
67.0 1   1
69.4 2    
71.9 3   2
74.4 4   3
77.0 5 A 4
79.7 6   5
82.5 7   6
85.4 8   7
88.5 9 B 8
91.5 10   9
94.8 11   10
97.4 12 C 11
100.0 13   12
103.5 14   13
107.2 15 D 14
110.9 16   15
114.8 17   16
118.8 18 E 17
123.0 19   18
127.3 20 F 19
131.8 21   20
136.5 22 G 21
141.3 23   22
146.2 24   23
151.4 25   24
156.7 26   25
159.8 27    
162.2 28   26
165.5 29    
167.9 30   27
171.3 31    
173.8 32   28
177.3 33    
179.9 34   29
183.5 35    
186.2 36   30
189.9 37    
192.8 38   31
203.5     32
210.7     33
218.1     34
225.7     35
233.6     36
241.8     37
250.3     38

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Question: What does "Tone Burst" and "Quiet Code" mean? Is it a type of CTCSS?

Answer:
"Quiet Code" does refer to the CTCSS function (see above). Using this function allows you to set a sub-tone and filter on your radio, so that you will only hear transmissions which are using the same sub-tone as your radio. By using a Quiet Code, all cross-talk interference is eliminated (unless, of course, someone else is on the exact same channel and Quiet Code).

"Tone Burst" is a unique scheme used by the RadioShack FRS-109 Radio (Cat. No. 210-1809) to accomplish the "Quiet Code" function. It is not CTCSS and is not compatible with the standard 38 tone CTCSS Quiet Codes. Out-of-the-box, the 210-1809 FRS radio is an open carrier (no tone burst required) -- both switches are set in the Down position. Setting either (or both) switch(es) to the Up position activates Tone Burst on TX and requires the same Tone Burst setting on RX. This allows the 210-1809 to provide a very low cost version of ""Quiet Code." Even though only 3 settings are possible, because it is not compatible with the CTCSS Quiet Codes, all cross-talk interference is eliminated unless someone else is using a pair of 210-1809's locally on the exact same channel and tone burst.

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Question: What can I use my FRS radio for?

Answer:
The following information is taking from FCC documentation. You may only use FRS to conduct two-way voice communications with another person [95.193(a)]. Only these types of one-way communications are permitted [95.193(a)]:
  • To establish communications with another person (to call them)
  • To provide "traveler assistance"
  • To make a voice page
  • To conduct a brief test
  • To send an emergency message

    The FCC defines an "emergency message" as "concerning the immediate protection of property or the safety of someone's life".

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Question: Can I use my FRS radio for business communications?

Answer:
Yes. According to FCC Report and Order, WT Docket No. 95-102, at 20(D), small businesses can use FRS in their business activities.

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Question: Can I use my FRS radio to communicate with a General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) radio?

Answer:
Yes. However, you may not use an FRS-only radio to communicate through GMRS repeaters, nor on any of the GMRS primary channels, nor on any channels not already built into and certified for use by your FCC-certified FRS radio.

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Question: Can I connect my FRS radio to the telephone?

Answer:
No.

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Question: Can I broadcast music over my FRS radio?

Answer:
No.

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Question: Can I transmit continuously over my FRS radio?

Answer:
Transmitting one-way FRS signals for the purpose of "monitoring" anyone or anything is not allowed. You can use your radio to transmit only as long as you are either having two-way voice communications with another person, or transmitting one of the types of lawful one-way communications.

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Question: Can I get an external antenna or antenna booster?

Answer:
No. FRS radios are constructed so that the antenna that comes with the radio is the only one that can be used with the radio. It is not legal to substitute, modify or amplify an FRS antenna.

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