Communications

 

An Introduction to the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)

An Introduction to the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)

For some individuals, volunteers, and family groups wishing to be prepared, the licensed radio services (e.g., Amateur Radio, General Mobile Radio Service, et al.) are not an option.  Unlicensed services (e.g., Citizen Band, Family Radio Service, et al.) may be crowded, lack sufficient range, or be suffering from serious interference.  There is another option though:  Multi-Use Radio Service or MURS. The Multi-Use Radio Service is a private, two-way, unlicensed radio service in the 151—154 MHz VHF spectrum range.  The service has five (5) channels available.*  In some respects, it is similar to Citizen Band and the Family Radio Service (FRS).  The service was originally established by the Federal Communications Commission in the year 2000.  Transmissions may be in the form of voice or data communications.  Unlike amateur radio, business-related radio traffic is allowed on the service.  Unfortunately, “store and forward” type operations are not permitted.  The use of radio repeaters is also not allowed on the service.  The maximum output power is two (2) watts.  As of 2014, Canada is reviewing the possibility of allowing MURS operations in the country. Benefits for Preparation: The Multi-Use Radio service is unlicensed.  Any member of a group or family may use the technology. The output power of 2 watts is four times that of the 0.5 watt limitation on the Family Radio Service. Unlike the Family Radio Service, external antennas are permitted.  MURS antennas can be up to 60 feet above the ground. A transmission range of up to ten (10) miles or more can be achieved with this technology.  Some sources report up to twenty (20) miles under ideal conditions. Unlike Citizen Band,...
An Introduction to the Family Radio Service (FRS) for Preparedness

An Introduction to the Family Radio Service (FRS) for Preparedness

Imagine for a moment your family is caught in the middle of a major disaster.  The phone lines are dead.  The cellular service is jammed.  The power is out and even with a generator there is no connection to the Internet.  Satellite phones are not available for use.  You need a way to communicate with all the members of the family as you coordinate bugging out or working to recover from the disaster.  How do you communicate in the local area with unlicensed family members?  There are a few options, but one available since 1996, is the Family Radio Service (FRS).  The following is an introductory guide to the service brought to you by Disaster.com. The Family Radio Service is a two-way, voice and digital radio service that is designed for families and other groups to communicate over short distances.  No license is needed to operate on this service.  FRS radios have fourteen (14) channels.  The first seven are shared with the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), while the next seven are exclusive to FRS.  GMRS transmissions may not be conducted on channels eight through fourteen.*  Unlike amateur radio, FRS radios may also be used by business entities and related organizations.  It may be used by any person of any age in the United States, except for official representatives of foreign governments.  Very similar services exist in Canada and Mexico. Benefits of Family Radio Service for Disaster Preparation: Transceivers are available nearly everywhere.  The cost of the units are, generally, the lowest of two-way radios. Some units recharge from recharging stations, while others are powered via standard battery sizes.  Many may...
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