Walkie talkie channels not to use
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So you’ve just bought a walkie talkie that can switch channels? Are you worried about illegal channels? Well I understand, everyone one would wanna avoid the hefty fines that comes from using the channels that are reserved for licensed users.
Yes! That’s right, some walkie talkie devices will need a license if you wanna use it.
FCC said so, don’t blame me!
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Who are the FCC?
Since this article is written for US readers, let me introduce you to the FCC.
FCC stands for Federal Communications Commission, they are a governmental body that regulate radios television, wire, satellite, and cable communications
You wouldn’t wanna mess with these guys! Just kidding.
So let’s backtrack abit , lets first talk about the types of walkie talkies and what license you need to have inorder to use these.
And later on we’ll learn about walkie talkie channels not to use.
All walkie talkie manufacturers are required to submit their walkie talkie circuit plans for approval and certifications.
Why do they need to be certified? Because the radio spectrum is limited in length, radio users need to all fit into this limited space, hence the need for regulations that will evenly space out radio users.
Since the big radio, phone and internet companies all share this space, regulations are put into place to avoid interference and in some countries, some interference causing devices are banned altogether.
Different devices use operate on different transmission protocol.
There are two types’ walkie talkies, FRS and GMRS
FRS radios stands for Family Radio Service, these are used for short distance communications by family and friends.
GMRS radios are used by repeaters and radio used by truckers to communicate.
When buying a walkie talkie, you have to find out if it’s a FRS or GMRS transmitting devices, there’ll be a sticker that will denote this.
Keep in mind that some devices uses both FRS and GMRS.
Do you need a license for FRS?
If youre planning to use an FRS device, a license is not necessary as such devices are meant to be used for a short distance only and mostly for non commercial use.
GMRS, license needed?
Yes, a license is actually needed for you to use GMRS devices.
The license costs $70USD (this if for US users) and it lasts 10 years, airlines and government entities can use GMRS devices without one.
Not complying with FCC rules can get you heavily fined (upto $20,000).
But how can they catch someone using a walkie talkie without a license? Triangulation.
The FCC uses triangulation technique to determine someones location, its similar to what you see in movies, FBI agents tracing a phone call
OO’s are what you call them (Official observer) they surveil places where interference occur.
But don’t worry, the only time these Official Observers come around, is when they receive complaints of interference.
What channel must I not use on a walkie talkie?
Walkie Talkies have channels from 1 to 22, for both FRS and GMRS users
Channels 15 to 22 are reserved for GMRS users only, so you need a license for this, If youre a FRS device user, you can only use upto channel 15.
So if youre using a walkie talkie without a GMRS license, use only channels 1 to 15.