Emergency Two-Way Radio Communications Gear, Info & Custom Programming
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Serving Preppers, Families, Neighborhood Watch, CERT & Organizations
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FRS (Family Radio Service) Band Info

FRS, or the Family Radio Service band is part of the PRS, or Personal Radio Service bands, as outlined by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which regulates and makes rules for the use of all RF (Radio Frequency) radio spectrum in the United States. The band is usable for personal or business two-way radio communications, and is used by kids (usually with cheap, essentially throw-away blister-pack or bubble-pack FRS walkie-talkies), individual preppers, families, community groups, and even some businesses.

Typical FRS Radios

Typical FRS Radios

The FRS service consists of 14 frequencies, which overlap on 7 channels with the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) band. Transmitting on FRS channels does not require an FCC license, but there are restrictions on which radios you can use on the service, as outlined below.

FRS Frequencies

Channel Rx Freq. Tx Freq. Std. Tx PL Mode Power
FRS/GMRS 1 CALL 462.5625 462.5625 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 2 462.5875 462.5875 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 3 EM 462.6125 462.6125 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 4 462.6375 462.6375 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 5 462.6625 462.6625 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 6 462.6875 462.6875 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS/GMRS 7 462.7125 462.7125 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 8 467.5625 467.5625 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 9 467.5875 467.5875 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 10 467.6125 467.6125 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 11 467.6375 467.6375 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 12 467.6625 467.6625 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 13 467.6875 467.6875 67.0 NFM .5 W
FRS 14 467.7125 467.7125 67.0 NFM .5 W
(Chs. 1-7 shared with GMRS chs. 1-7. NFM = ±2.5 kHz, EM = Emergency/Prepper freq.)

 

Being in the UHF band between 462 & 467 MHz (megahertz), FRS is particularly useful for indoor and urban settings, because these higher frequencies have a tendency to reflect and bounce around between obstructions, and thus reach their destination when lower VHF frequencies would otherwise be absorbed and fall off. On the same token, FRS usually doesn’t do as well in rural, outdoor settings because the UHF waves tend to be absorbed more by trees and foliage, and don’t “bend” over hills as well as lower frequencies. This is why we recommend an EmComm radio that can do both UHF GMRS and VHF MURS at the same time, keeping you safe and in contact in just about any setting. We don’t recommend using FRS or hybrid FRS/GMRS radios except for casual family use (like around your home or yard).

Unlike GMRS two-way radios, which allow external antennas and up to 5 Watts of power for handheld radios and up to 50 Watts for mobile and base station radios (which can greatly increase your operating range), FRS radios are required to have fixed antennas (non-removable) and very low power output (only 0.5 Watts). While they are still useful for short-range non-critical communications, because they are a low-end consumer-based service, the FRS channels can become crowded at times and we do not recommend them for serious recreational, prepper or SHTF emergency communications, even though FRS Channel 3 has been unofficially designated as an emergency channel.

We’ll be providing more information about this band soon.