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,...
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