FRIENDS HELPING FRIENDS
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) and Family Radio Service (FRS) are two FCC radio services which YOU can use to stay in touch with friends day to day or during emergencies.
Dubuque has a club for GMRS & FRS users, the Dubuque GMRS Radio Club, find them on facebook or MeWe.
Regular meetings, regular nets, friendly techs to help you get started or upgrade along the way. Attend a meeting or participate in the nets or events to learn more and be prepared to better help in time of need. EAV is proudly engaged in the club and has been a big help along the way.
GET STARTED in GMRS
Check out some simple videos from Kobble Kraft KA0KAO. He is one of our local club members who, like all of us, is anxious to help folks get started in GMRS radio communication.
GMRS radio #1, the absolute basics...
GMRS radio #2, starting out
The Club REPEATERS
A "repeater" is a special radio station which, as the name indicates, repeats the transmission of calls from radio users. These transmissions are made 'real time' as the caller speaks, and are transmitted throughout the area at high power from a centrally located antenna.
The club repeater transmits on GMRS channel 22 at 50 watts, and on channel 18 at about 20 watts.
To listen to the repeater just tune your radio to GMRS channel 22 (462.725 MHz), or channel 18 (462.625). It covers a broad footprint despite Dubuque's rolling hills and famous bluffs.
Talking on the repeater requires a radio capable of transmitting on 467.725 or 467.625 when the PTT is pushed, and then returning the listen frequency when the button is released.
We ask that all operators talking on the repeater would be legally licensed with the FCC, and follow basic FCC protocols when communicating. Talk to any of our members for more information about how this can be done.
Club Meeting: 3rd Monday at Brian's (WRKE 376)
Lunch Crew: Tuesdays, Noon at Rhody's (old Hwy Rd.)
HUMP DAY Net: Weds night, 8pm, channel 22 repeater
Sunday Net: Sunday night, 7pm, channel 22 repeater
We encourage regular check-ins to volunteer as Net Control from time to time. We never know when a disaster might disable multiple radios or antennas and ONLY YOU have a functioning radio! Being comfortable with running a net may help you save the day! We even have Net Control scripts available...
Dubuque GMRS Radio Club:
Family Radio Service (FRS) is a band of 22 frequencies specified by the FCC for family use. It's not hard to find radios for less than $10 factory-tuned to FRS channels, and ready to take hiking or camping. They're a fun radio experience, allowing people to keep in touch across short distances on flat terrain.
Having a maximum 2 watts of power limits the ability of such radios to to be much beyond convenient. Due to their limited reach, the FCC does not require any licensing for such radios.
General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is the same band of 22 frequencies specified by the FCC for FRS use. These radios are common as well, though slightly more expensive and often promoted for sporting and emergency use.
The FCC does require a license for GMRS users (no testing required) since the radios are allowed to use significantly more power on some channels, and thus have a greater effective range. It is not uncommon to find handhelds tuned to this band with up to 8 watts of power, and mobile radios with up to 50 watts of power.
GMRS is the mainstay of the EAV emergency radio at the grassroots, neighbor to neighbor level. Since so many people may have a set of these radios with their camping or hiking equipment, it's only logical that these can likewise be employed for emergency use.
Most of the GMRS or FRS radios that you might buy in a blister pack set are not capable of using a "repeater", but they can all speak to similar radios via "simplex" (radio to radio), making them a good tool for communication when cell lines are down. Such simplex communication often requires careful planning ahead of time, so that information can be relayed to those who can pass it to first responders.
Amateur Radio (often referred to as HAM) is a much more technical use of radio communication across multiple frequency bands using a broad spectrum of radio equipment. Amateurs are licensed at varying levels and have proven their effectiveness over decades for support during times of emergency.
A large part of the membership of DGRC and EAV have Amateur licenses and training in various emergency services. Such people serve an important roll in compiling and relaying the radio traffic from around our community during emergencies. They also have a wealth of information for GMRS & FRS users to glean from in improving techniques and equipment for effective radio communications.
they're for FUN too!
GMRS/FRS radio is great for FUN!
Folks take their radios off-roading, mountain biking, hiking, hunting... you name it, radios can be a valuable tool or a fun toy!
Be sure to engage your radios in your other hobbies also! The more you USE them, the more comfortable you become with your radios. Comfortable radio communication can improve your other hobbies AND it can make you more effective in emergencies.
FOR GENERAL INQUIRIES OR IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN ATTENDING A MEETING OR LEARNING MORE ABOUT DGRC...