Morse Code on GMRS

So I was way out in the boonies over the weekend and heard a single transmission in Morse Code on Channel 17.
I can’t interpret Morse Code so I’m totally clueless what it was. Who uses Morse Code on GMRS and why?

Some ham and GMRS repeaters periodically transmit an ID in CW (Morse Code), so it is possible that was what you received.

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Is there a way to transmit my id in (CW) on gmrs?

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You are allowed to transmit your call sign in International Morse Code on a handheld or mobile GMRS radio, but I’ve never done it and I don’t know anyone personally who does. GMRS is intended for voice communications, not code, and is not a “hobby” service like ham radio. Repeaters do it because they are built for it, but most, if not all consumer GMRS transceivers are not.


Can you explain the “not a ‘hobby’” aspect of this? It’s curious that GMRS requires a license, while CB does not, and therefore is like Ham in that respect. I know what I use my gmrs for, but I’m still not clear on what it was envisioned to be fore.

Amateur radio is a hobby, and the service is designed to accommodate that. Hams use it for DXing contests, data transmissions, emergency backup communications, slow scan picture and television transmissions, home radio builds, and general experimentation with radio related technologies. It’s hobby stuff.

GMRS, on the other hand, has a completely different purpose. GMRS stands for General Mobile Radio Service, and means exactly that. It was created for general use by the public for personal voice to voice communications. Some groups may consider their use of GMRS as a hobby, but that’s not really what it’s for. It’s intended for families and individuals to communicate with each other for normal, ordinary, day-to-day tasks or activities, like you would on a telephone.

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CB used to require a license. GMRS was originally aimed at individuals and businesses who needed nationwide license coverage (regular commercial licensing is for a given area). This is why some of the now “legacy” group licenses belong to companies such a American Airlines, Delta, etc. The FCC did away with group licensing and eased up on itinerant licensing qualifications in commercial radio service.

For record most FCC rules state systems can ID either via voice, morse ID or even some predefined digital ID.

I agree 100% with the replies.
CW - what you call Morse Code, but actually ham radio uses International Morse Code - which is different than telegraphers Morse code - like what you see on an old western movies with telephone poles and batteries and a key on a desk.
The reason why YOU can’t do morse code on GMRS is because your radio is FM - Frequency Modulation.
Morse Code - CW - Ham Radio, uses a form of Amplitude Modulation where the key turns on and off the transmitter carrier in such a way that it produces a tone. The receiver on the other end receives the tone. The user uses their ears to hear the tone and decipher it into letters and numbers and punctuation etc.
The benefit to using cw is that it is more efficient, because the signal it produces is very narrow and it funnels all the transmitted power into that tone. SSB - Single Side Band, where you basically suppress one of the side bands and maybe even the carrier is a phone version of Amplitude Modulation. Single Side Band is more efficient.

Amplitude Modulation - the transmitter produces a carrier and two side bands. The receiver only uses one of the side bands, throws the other away. The carrier robs half or more of the power produces, yet it does no work. So its wasted power.

so you see, GMRS is a economical way for a person with no knowledge of radio or how it works to communicate locally, while Ham Radio is a more expensive version of radio both in terms of knowledge, time invested in learning the theory and taking multiple exams to obtain the licenses necessary to gain the privileges you desire. And the equipment, since most good amateur radio HF equipment would probably put you back $1500 or more, by the time you bought the radio, power supply, antenna, swr meter, dummy load, speaker, tower, coax, extra microphones and all other peripheral devices hams uses today , even computers used to communicate digitally with other hams all over the world. You can easily spend $8000 just on a good HF transceiver, $5,000 just on an entry level beam antenna set up.

If this sounds appealing to you, maybe you ought to look closer to amateur radio than GMRS, maybe you would make a good ham.