Is there any standard use channel assignments for GMRS like a Calling & Distress channel to monitor for anyone calling in the blind for emergencies or local info from other users? If not, should we try to create one channel designated for this purpose?
I think there was some movement a while back to designate an emergency frequency, but I’m not sure what happened with it.
Edit: A quick search turns up that 462.675 with PL tone 141.3 was the frequency being pushed. Seems there aren’t many people aware of it, so I doubt it’s being monitored for emergencies.
Thanks for the reply Danny. To make GMRS more viable for communications, having one channel designated for Calling and Distress is important. It would give all GMRS users a channel to monitor for someone trying to report an emergency, calling for local info, or just trying to reach someone and then switch to a working channel, kind of like VHF Marine band. Being in the industry yourself, do you have any contacts or influence on the FCC to designate channel assignments? At least designate one channel as a Calling and Distress frequency. What do you think?
Is the premise of these systems that they are short range and allow individuals to communicate rather than have longer range and users become part of a big network? As such, there’s no real point attempting to force through a standard. CB radio in the 70s with their calling channel always caused grief when new people came along and just bought a couple to communicate and they’d get wasps when told they couldn’t use a certain channel. the radio hams fall out when people use internationally agreed frequencies for the wrong purpose. Most users just aren’t interested in people they don’t know. Marine, with the licences, vessel IDs and 24/7 monitoring for safety live with a channelised system the works in the main. short range radio isn’t bought in the main to be a coordinated system. you just turn a radio on, and use it. you don’t need to know about frequencies or channels - you just use the same one on all your radios and that’s it!
As Danny mentioned, most users are not aware of the existence of an emergency GMRS channel, and many probably wouldn’t care and use it for general communications anyway, defeating the purpose of a dedicated emergency frequency. There are hams who monitor all the FRS and GMRS channels for activity and emergency calls, so a designated emergency channel isn’t necessarily an issue on those radio services.
Cool, thanks for the reply Rick. If I scan, say channel 22 on my Midland 400 without any cs or pl sub numbers, will it pick up all of 22 no matter the sub cs or pl tones.?
The PL tones/privacy codes/interference eliminator codes filter out unwanted interference from other parties using the same channel, so if two operators are communicating with one another, and they are on a channel with the same privacy code, they can hear each other, but not anyone else outside their group. Any other group not using that or any other privacy code can hear them, just not communicate with them.
The short answer is that if you aren’t using PL tones, you’ll probably hear everyone on the channel, whether they are using PL tones or not. They just may not be able to hear you.