GMRS Highway Channel

I know it’s a frequently discussed topic but does anyone know if the GMRS community has standardized on a channel, equivalent to CB Channel 19, for GMRS. Randy (NotARubicon Guy) proposed we use GMRS-19 for this purpose, and that sounds good to me. However, I’m in Central Florida where we have several major freeways in the area and I never hear anyone on GMRS-19. Obviously, this could be because there isn’t much GMRS activity in the area but also because the question of which channel to use is still unanswered? Any thoughts??

1 Like

According to Wikipedia, Channel 20 / 462.6750 MHz is the National GMRS calling channel with 141.3 Hz CTCSS tone.


Hey, good info, thanks. I’ve tried calling on Ch. 20, but I didn’t have the CTCSS tone set for tx. I’ve programmed that in to my radio and I’ll see if anyone answers next time I have the chance to try it. Regards and tnx again.

If ch 20 is the designated “calling” channel, then I think it might be appropriate for ch 19 to be the GMRS “emergency” channel. I created a label for my vehicle that says “GMRS EMERGENCY CH 19”.
GMRS seems to be more popular here in the Memphis, TN area now. With a Midland MXT400, MXT500, and a MXT 275, I’m hopeful the band will continue to grow in popularity.

Tom (WRQE346)

First off, there is no one out there in a position to dedicate a road channel other than the FCC and they won’t do it. Also, there is not as much traffic on FRS/GMRS as there was with CB. Channel 19 is certainly a good idea but until more people are aware of this, don’t expect to hear much there while on the road. There is no purpose in using tones either unless you are trying to access a repeater since many do use 141 as the travel tone but you have to be on the repeater pair for that and not plain ch 19. If you do use tones, make sure you only set the TX(transmit) tone and not RX tone(receive) otherwise you may not hear responses from anyone not using tones.

You are correct in stating that the FCC would be the agency to promote a particular GMRS ch for a specific function. However, at present, they have far more serious issues on their plate to deal with.
As a result, social media will be the platform to promote, and iron out any issues with a particular channel assignment.
Allowing the actual GMRS users to contribute to the discussion, and come to a consensus is probably the best solution, if possible.

Tom (WRQE346)

No… “channel 20” was the calling and emergency channel back then, too.

It’s best to leave things as is and not create confusion. A lot of repeaters are set up on this frequency with the “travel tone” enabled.

I know I don’t have the influence that Randy at NotaRubicon Productions on YouTube has with 153 thousand subscribers, and probably neither do you😂
He is a staunch supporter of GMRS 19 as the point-of-contact channel. I was just following his endorsement.
Since the FCC has failed to endorse any particular channel, apparently it’s up to the users to make that decision.

Tom (WRQE346)

1 Like

Randy, while he has provided some good information, he is also an extreme agitator. He likes to cause trouble and shake things up. He is well aware of the traditional travel frequency and tome. He has deliberately tried to change things, simply because he goes against tradition. He has a reputation of hating amateur radio operators and will go to no length to attack them whenever possible. This actually harms his credibility. He encourages division and drama. He’d be much more popular if he changed his strategy.

The new breed of “licensed CBers” has flocked to him.


I see that you are a moderator here, thanks for taking on that task, and as I don’t know you I will make the assumption that you are an amateur radio operator. This post went from trying to answer a question to beating a dead horse and now to personal insults to someone who is not an amateur radio operator. I have been a licensed amateur radio operator for over 20 years and replies like yours seem to be the normal for a lot of the radio clubs and old timers I have interacted with. I keep my interactions to a minimum these days. I still enjoy radio but don’t enjoy the tired rhetoric exhibited is this post and carried on to the airwaves.

Perhaps this youtuber you seem to dislike so much has people “flocking” to him because of the attitude displayed in your post. As amateur radio operators we need to do better.

Again, thank you for being a forum moderator,


Funny how the English language allows what you say to actually be read as the total opposite.

Sometimes people take offence where none was meant? Some of the YouTube videos do seem a bit biased, but I’m a brit, so what do I know?

It’s very clear that hams the world over are snobby about their version of the radio hobby, but that’s probably because access is licence based. In the UK, any hobby that has entrance restrictions gets the “they think they’re better than us” treatment. It’s also human nature to feel a bit smug when you are in and others are out. I’ve discovered the same thing in so many hobby areas, boating, horses, music, dance, theatre and electronics. Radio is no different.

1 Like

Im only positng about my perceptions and experiences. Sorry I wasnt “politically correct” enough for you. I wasn’t insulting anyone. I prefer to be hunest and dont sugarcoat things, just because someone’s feelings may be hurt in this day and age

I am a ham. I dont attack non hams. I do take a dim view of those who choose to insult people because they are hams.

Thanks for your thanks! I appreciate it.

…and I was just pointing out my perceptions and experiences as well. I am not, nor have I ever been politically correct. I don’t “play well” with others and don’t fit in with most clubs and cliches. You didn’t hurt my feelings or anything else because I don’t care what you or anyone else on the world wide web types. What I was doing was pointing a finger at hams, including myself, suggesting WE could do better representing our hobby.

And now, to pull it back to the original topic… There is no officially designated travel channel. It doesn’t matter what once was. People being people will probably never agree on anything unless it comes down from the FCC and then we still won’t agree. If nothing else, the internet is a great place to argue.

All over the world - governments are providing this kind of service, and none of them are remotely interested in band planning because people can do what they want and no resources are made available to police it. Add in the fact it’s meant to be local area, any kind of nationwide structure in big or small countries is down to well meaning groups and national societies - but it’ll never be guided.

As a retired Broadcast Engineer, I’ve had friends during my 79 years on this earth that were/are Ham radio enthusiasts. 2 of them really tried to get me to become one. Having heard plenty of them on the air, over the years, I found the conversations technically boring. So much of the time is spent comparing signal strength, Xmit power, antennas, etc. I guess I was looking for an escape from that world for obvious reasons.
I’m aware that the Ham hobby is in decline now. Broadcasting was much more exciting and satisfying when you could sit down at a workbench with a drawer full of resistors, capacitors, inductors, vacuum tubes, and build a transmitter. That feeling of accomplishment has been replaced with high tech off-the-shelf buys!

Hams have contributed so much to the technology of signal transmission in the past. However, I understand it has been taken over by political polarization now which is extremely unfortunate.
Paulears, brought up the subject of Hams possibly thinking that they are technologically superior to everyone else. I think there is definitely some truth to that theory based on my interaction with them.

What I’ve observed so far is that GMRS seems to serve the public interest in a more useful way.

Tom (WRQE346)

I have had my record number of ebay pre-sales queries from a ham here in the UK who wanted to buy a DMR mobile. He is licenced.
Does it need and antenna - yes
can I have a very small one - er, yes but you wont get very far, how far is the nearest repeater?
Answered with a new question - can I program it with his repeater - yes, which one is it?
Do I need a computer? _ i remind hom the advert on ebay says DO NOT BUY THIS IF YOU DON’T DO COMPUTERS
I suggest maybe he buys a portable.
He orders a mobile.
I sigh, knowing it will come back.
He gets it delivered. He emails asking if it is faulty as the numerous buttons on the radio and mic don’t do anything - I point hom to the CPS software where you select in drop downs, what each button and knob does.
Do I have to use a computer? - Yes, we did mention this
Oh - OK, can you let me have the software. - I put it on a piece of paper and put it in the box - lots of handy links on my server.
Do I type that into the internet? - er, well, yes
My computer wants to download something, is this OK? Yes - download it and install the app and save the documents
I can’t make it work? - Have you plugged in the USB cable that is in the box and installed the app? No
let me know when youve done that - silence

I just lost my top seller status. Too many returns where the customer had used the reason - faulty. Not one was. Worse - I cancelled to sales where the buyer was clearly never going to work the radio. I said they were out of stock, really sorryt and refunded them. Ebay say this is bad too.

Hams used to have a basic understanding but now it seems the exam really IS too easy.

Paulears, You have way more patience with these “Hams” than I would have! Now that they, (Hams) don’t build anything anymore, maybe the test requirements need to be updated to reflect the need for computer competency BEFORE being able to earn a ham license.
That might deter some of these folks from attempting to enter the amateur radio hobby❗️
I’m the proud owner of 2 Uniden digital radio scanners. Simply programming them is a monumental challenge in itself. It requires a LOT of reading upfront.
Maybe the amateur radio crowd might want to consider learning computer fundamentals so they can keep up with today’s technology.