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Official Geocaching FRS Channel Part 3 FINAL ROUND


mrcpu
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Following these Threads:

 

Discussion 1

Discussion 2

Canadian Discussion

 

It now comes down to Channels 2 and 12. The consensus is AGAINST subcodes for technical reasons, specifially the codes are not uniform from one manufacturer or model to another.

 

Channel 2 is a candidate because it is compatible with older FRS radios that only have the first couple of channels. Channel 2 is also compatible with GRMS users who pay licenses and would probably NOT wish to purchase additional radios just for geocaching.

 

Channel 12 is a popular number for some reason, partly because one or two local caching associations has picked it already. It also eliminates older FRS radio users and GRMS users from participating.

 

There has been discussion regarding how busy channel 2 or 12 can be. I've personally found that 2 tends to be more commercial traffic in the city but quiet otherwise and 12 has proven to be busier whenever I've checked.

 

A question came up as to whether or not this is just a contact channel. The answer is no, unless the channel is really busy. The idea is that if you show up at a cache you turn on your radio and if there are cachers in the area chatting you should hear them immediatly. The only reason to switch to the alternate is if it is too busy on the primary.

 

I have emailed Jeremy regarding whether or not he will support our choice and put it on the page as the official geocaching.com FRS channel. So far he has not responded, probably really busy, but once we decide we can email him again and hopefully he will make it official.

 

So the question is, do we want to go with 2 as the primary and 12 as the alternate or 12 as the primary and 2 as the alternate.

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Actually, I and my family members are ham operators, and we will likely use ham channels. But if we were using FRS, channel 2 makes the most sense. It gives the maximum possibility to be heard by the largest number of FRS users. If you need help, this is important!

 

Mike. KD9KC.

El Paso, Texas.

 

Seventeen minutes after her FIRST call for help, police officers arrived to find Ronyale White dead.

 

Prohibiting self defense is the ultimate crime. Police carry guns to protect themselves. What protects YOU ???

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It was interesting to review the original thread and see that the premise concerned an "informal" channel. My, that changed quickly!

 

I have a fair amount of geocaching experience, and have concluded that there is hardly enough geocaching activity occurring concurrently at most sites to justify an "official" channel.

 

I note:

 

1. I rarely meet other geocachers on the trails. (I've met other cachers on fewer than 2% of my attempts.)

 

2. None that I have ever met was carrying a radio.

 

So I chose the last option. When my wife or daughter caches with me, we carry radios but have rarely needed to use them.

 

I like my techno-toys too, but I think this is a bit of overkill. I saw the note about using the FRS radios for calling for help, and while I agree they could prove useful in that manner (particularly in areas with limited/no cellphone reception), I also note that I rarely hear much activity on the channels at all here in the NYC metro area. There's a good chance no one would be listening, so I think my cellphone will remain my primary "emergency call device."

 

[This message was edited by BassoonPilot on August 30, 2002 at 07:23 AM.]

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quote:

 

1. I rarely meet other geocachers on the trails. (I've met other cachers on fewer than 2% of my attempts.)

 

2. None that I have ever met was carrying a radio.


 

If we were already running into lots of cachers, we wouldn't be having this discussion!

This is about FINDING other cachers who you WOULDN'T have otherwise happened to run into on the trail.

After all, why would you need a radio to talk to someone who's standing right in front of you?

 

Did you ask the cachers you met if they had radios on them? For example, keknj and I always have our radios in the car, but we're not going to walk around with them in our hands...we currently use them for keeping in touch only with each other. If we thought that there was decent chance of other cachers who want to make contact being on a certain channel, we might....

I know for a fact that we've frequently missed other cachers, including you, by mere seconds. I don't know if, for example, King Pellenore was at all interested in saying hi, but if I knew that if he was, then he might have a radio tuned to ch.2, I'd certainly have given a shout when I passed his jeep on the way out....

 

ApK

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If we're going through all the trouble to decide, we might as well go with what others have already started. Once in the field, you can always go to any other channels/subs with your group to get clearer air. In fact, what might be useful is to acquire the FRS logo posted in an earlier thread, turn it into a decal where we could write a number and leave it in the car window. Those who know what it is could then tune to that channel when they see it. I've never seen other cachers, or even seen the same vehicles regularly when I go out.

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according to Mr. Lenkowsky, CEO,Corperation for National & Community Service in his speach for the Homeland Defense & Volunteerism this week covered some of what is being discussed here. We all have the ability to respond in Emergency situations, 1. knowing where we are, 2. The ability to communicate to one another, which ever channel we choose. I really think that we are headed in the right directions with these discussions and furthering our technical abilities as well.Ham radio communicators are already involved in these same areas. ie. weather spotters in our area, keep up the effort we need it!!!!

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I hope this is the final round! You'd think we were making a life and death decision. I am amazed how close the votes have been, both in this poll and the last one.

 

I still choose 2 as the main channel since it does allow compatability with other users. But I will be happy with any final decision.

 

And yes, it may be overkill as BasoonPilot stated, but so is geocaching. We could just stay home and do work around the house. icon_wink.gif Also, remember this activity is growing. Just because it may be overkill now, it may not be in the near future. If we make a decision now and if Jeremy can/will officiate it, then we won't have to go through this whole process again.

 

And as far as emergency use, if something happened and I needed help, you can bet I'd be trying all channels!

 

Money doesn't grow on trees, but there is cache in the woods.

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Yes, only channlels 1-7 are shared with both FRS and GMRS. It's only natural as time goes on and prices go down a lot of us may be getting GMRS (I've seen them for $75 each). The US fee for GMRS appears to be $75 (corect me if I'm wrong), so that may slow some of us getting one.

 

One subject that was brought up was the legality of GMRS use in Canada. Haven't found an answer for that yet.

 

Living on Earth is expensive, but it does include a free trip around the sun.

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

 

I think my cellphone will remain my primary "emergency call device."

 


 

I take my cell phone with me also. and about 95% of the time, there's no cell coverage in the area I'm hiking. -- an area that is usually within a few miles of the San Francisco Bay.

 

Don't assume, even in populated areas, that there will be cell coverage in a park.

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quote:
Originally posted by Marty Fouts:

 

I take my cell phone with me also. and about 95% of the time, there's no cell coverage in the area I'm hiking. -- an area that is usually within a few miles of the San Francisco Bay.

 

Don't assume, even in populated areas, that there will be cell coverage in a park.


 

You're right, of course. It's always best to have a contingency plan.

 

I guess we must have better coverage on the east coast. I've cached in 6 or 7 states so far, and the only place I experienced a total lack of cellphone service was in parts of Harriman State Park, NY, an area that wreaks havoc with any "line of sight" transmission ... so I guess FRS radios wouldn't fare much better unless someone very nearby happened to have one turned on.

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The Wisconsin Geocachers Association has been using channel 12. I've carried my FRS with me and have not run across anyone responding to my "CQ's". That's "any geocachers out there?" for you non-ham types. icon_cool.gif

 

The idea of posting a note on your car with the FRS channel being monitored is a good one. It reminds me of CacheCows feeling the temperature of my car's hood to tell how much of a head start I had on them at one cache. The point being, I think many of us look for familiar vehicles at likely parking spots for a cache.

 

Steve Bukosky N9BGH

Waukesha Wisconsin

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quote:
Originally posted by st_richardson:

Are we sure that GRMS units will not receive channel 12? It was my belief that current GRMS units include all the available channels. If that is the case, my vote is for 12. Otherwise I'll vote for 2.


 

Some consumer radios available now have all available FRS and GMRS simplex channels, but no, FRS 12 (467.6625MHz) is not the same as GMRS 12 (462.6000 MHz)

 

ApK

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quote:

So the question is, do we want to go with 2 as the primary and 12 as the alternate or 12 as the primary and 2 as the alternate.


 

From the results, it looks like the official geocaching.com channel will be "any channel with a '2' in it. . . ." Lucky for me I'll be scanning them all anyway....

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...Would be an awful nice thing for someone to do! (Had to do something to keep the topic alive)

 

Now that we have your attention, you might as well vote on this subject! icon_biggrin.gif This a close vote, so your vote really counts.

 

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just go away, your blocking my GPS signal!

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Just got FRS radios. Looking forward to augmenting cellular for emergency purposes. Have met Hams while out Geocaching and exchanged info. I see a license in my future.

A couple of questions and comments.

 

What would be the agreed upon term to contact other Geocachers?

 

Is there a universal FRS Emergency channel?

 

I agree with setting up a standard soon as long as those familiar with FRS radios and traffic patterns see no major conflicts.

---------

Greenjees

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quote:
Originally posted by brdad:

...The US fee for GMRS appears to be $75...


Good news is that it is $75 for 5 years and that it covers up to 6 units in the family. It's my understanding that the term family is interpreted loosely. i.e. While it may not allow six different people to buy units, it will allow me to share one of mine with someone while we're out together.

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12 being less used, 2 being the alternative. It seems to be the best solution given that channel 2 is still considered for those who can't get channel 12.

 

And yes, I'll honor any decision and will officially post it on the site. FRS (at least in the US) is gaining in popularity every day, for better or worse. They're practically worthless when snowboarding at Whistler on a busy day, for example. It would be cool, however, to run into another geocacher someday using this method.

 

Jeremy Irish

Groundspeak - The Language of Location

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quote:

What would be the agreed upon term to contact other Geocachers?

 

Is there a universal FRS Emergency channel?


 

I vote for "Helloooo Geocachers?!"

 

There is no designated FRS emergency channel, although as the most available, channel 1 would be the best place to start trying to find someone. And while some police have taking to monitoring FRS, if you need FRS for emergency rescue...you've got a real problem. Remember that practical range for FRS radio - to - FRS radio communication is often about as far as you could be heard screaming....plus, with the state of FRS, random chance says that a stranger who hears you in many areas will be a 8 year old playing hide-and-seek.

FRS's most useful safety application is that members of a group can keep tabs on each other, even if they're off doing thier own things.

 

ApK

 

[This message was edited by ApK on September 02, 2002 at 12:58 PM.]

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quote:
Originally posted by st_richardson:

Good news is that it is $75 for 5 years and that it covers up to 6 units in the family. It's my understanding that the term family is interpreted loosely. i.e. While it may not allow six different people to buy units, it will allow me to share one of mine with someone while we're out together.


 

Any one can buy as many GMRS radios as they want. You only need a license to transmit.

I'm aware of no limit to the number of family members that may operate under your license, however the term "family" is quite rigidly defined.

Here's the FCC rule concerning it.

 

ApK

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I voted for 12 then 2 just because it was choice number 2 on the list and I like 2 but not enough 2 make a real difference. Sorry I was 2ting my horn about the number 2. If everone settles this debate soon then maybe we can all 2n in2 a weekly local geocache show on the official channel. But it can't be 2 long as we won't have time 2 gecache. I am firm on this vote and won't change my 2n.

 

2 be or not 2 be, that is not a question but rather a statement of existance.

 

2dles till later.

 

GPS's...A step in the right direction!

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...in the original Canadian forum (see link at the header of this poll), I suppose I ought to contribute a comment to this (final?) kick at the cat.

 

If you read through the rather lengthy thread history that's led us to this point (two previous polls and the afore-mentioned Canadian forum), it was clear almost from the get-go that the majority of those who are interested in this idea seem to be evenly split between FRS channels 2 and 12. I won't take up forum bandwidth to reiterate what has already been thoroughly hashed out in previous exchanges ...but if you've yet to read the threads and are tempted to simply flip a coin to determine your vote on this, there's plenty of well presented cases worthy of your consideration coming from both camps; which ones strike a chord with you 'personally' will likely (and should) influence your vote.

 

Regardless of this poll's outcome, it would appear that the seeds have been well sown for the idea of a GeoCaching FRS channel. With a bit of high profile online promotion (Jeremy's) and some good ol'fashioned word of mouth, the day when you might actually make radio contact with a fellow GeoCacher while in the field and vying for the same cache may be sooner than you think; my guess is, for anyone to whom this happens for the first time, that will be a memorable day of cache hunting indeed.

 

My thanks to everyone who's shown enough interest in this to engage in the discussions and/or participate in the polls; in particular, thanks to Rob (aka 'mrcpu') for having orchestrated the polls and for soliciting Jeremy's endorsement.

 

Cheers!

 

Terry.

 

[This message was edited by Cache Canucks on September 02, 2002 at 07:56 PM.]

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I'm planning to call this poll closed on Sunday, 8 September, 2002. At this time I will evaluate the results and based on the poll results only, email the decision to Jeremy.

 

Personally, I'm a 2/12 supporter but in order for this whole thing to work we have to ensure that it is done as "scientifically" as possible.

 

I'd like to thank everyone who has made comments and I hope this whole thing hasn't dragged on too much. I could have just done it in one poll but in all fairness there are members of the community who DON'T read the forums daily!!!! icon_wink.gif

 

Keep voting and talking about your choice and look for an "official" announcment next week!

 

(Special thanks to Cache Canucks for starting this thread in the Canada forums. He has also designed an FRS logo that I'm sure he wouldn't mind people printing out and putting in their car windows.)

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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I have noticed that on my last two cache hunts, and visits out to my own cache, there has been exactly 0 persons on either channel. I think people have to keep in mind that FRS radios don't broadcast very far, and the range is even shorter in mountainous and/or heavily wooded areas. So if there are no other caches within the immediate vicinity (i.e. within FRS range)of the cache you are looking for - you'll most li kely not hook up with anyone on either channel. I like the idea of having a channel, kind of more just for kicks and fun. But I can see only chance encounters with other cachers on either channel, mostly due to FRS's limited range.

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quote:
Originally posted by Cygnus-X1:

"...I have noticed that on my last two cache hunts, and visits out to my own cache, there has been exactly 0 persons on either channel..."


 

Keep in mind that neither channel has yet to be adopted as a universal GeoCaching channel and, in turn, there has yet to be any 'promotion' of an FRS GeoCaching channel to the GeoCaching community at large. That aside, the chances of you bumping into a fellow GeoCacher 'on air' while hunting a cache will be no better than the number of GeoCachers who would otherwise be engaging the same cache (and at the same time) as you are ...with or without an FRS radio. If the caches you hunt are typically 'low traffic' (ie: 1 or 2 logged visits per month), you can be reasonably sure that you'll likely be on your own when you pay them a visit (having an FRS radio isn't going to change that); on the other hand, if the caches you hunt routinely see several logged visits on any given weekend, your chances of 'being out there' at the same time as another GeoCacher are probably much higher (...and if some of those same people happen to have seen the GeoCaching.com FRS promotion and be carrying FRS radios - bingo icon_smile.gif !).

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quote:
Originally posted by NightHiker:

In fact, what might be useful is to acquire the FRS logo posted in an earlier thread, turn it into a decal where we could write a number and leave it in the car window. Those who know what it is could then tune to that channel when they see it.


 

I believe this is the FRS Frequency Logo you were referencing being made into a window decal. If people are interested I have a local company that our EMS have dealt with for our vehicle decals and window decals. They are top notch and inexpensive.

 

GPS's...A step in the right direction!

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quote:
Originally posted by MedicP1:

 

I believe this is the http://opentopic.Groundspeak.com/0/OpenTopic?a=tpc&s=1750973553&f=3000917383&m=2240989035&r=8250940135#8250940135 you were referencing being made into a window decal. If people are interested I have a local company that our EMS have dealt with for our vehicle decals and window decals. They are top notch and inexpensive.

 


 

As a matter of fact, earlier today I forwarded a more refined rendition of this logo (in versions for both Ch2 and Ch12) along to 'mrcpu' in anticipation of its possible use in promoting the GeoCaching channel once it's selected (which included potential use as a car window decal):

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/57962_1600.jpg

 

http://img.Groundspeak.com/user/57962_1700.jpg

 

If there's enough interest in this being available as a car window decal, perhaps this is an item that could be added to the stable of 'GeoCaching Gear' that's offered for sale through GeoCaching.com ...?

 

Of course, there's nothing stopping someone from simply making a colour print of the logo (scaled to an appropriate size), getting it laminated at the local 'Kinkos' or 'Staples' store, then placing it in their car window whenever it's needed.

 

[This message was edited by Cache Canucks on September 03, 2002 at 02:21 PM.]

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This race is as hard to call as a deaf hog up a sassafras tree! I really wish there was a wider spread one way or another. Another instance where the "don't care" votes could have helped, but that's another topic!

 

I think once this catches on more, people with caches in vicinity of their house may listen in with mains powered FRS and strike up an occasional conversation with fellow geocachers, maybe giving support or an extra hint if needed.

 

The decals sound cool too, would like to see them available.

 

Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Just go away, your blocking my GPS signal!

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Ummm.. There are 2 choices for "Don't care"...

 

3. I don't care

4. I'm going to use my own channel.

 

As for the decals... I printed out the geocaching logo on Kodak High Gloss photo paper a while back and stick it in the window on the dash when I park my car.

 

I'm planning to change it to the approprate FRS logo instead.

 

Cheers,

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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Makes most sense to me to note the combination, vs. having one be the "official".

 

And really... is changing from 2 to 12 that big of a deal if the entire geocaching community can get in on the act?

 

Turn on your radio. Check 2... noone there? Check 12. Noone there? Go caching. If you have two radios with you and you're standing next to each other... keep one on two and one on 12 if you're interested in monitoring the bands.

 

I personally prefer 2 (no knowledge of channel traffic, mind you) because it opens the door to legacy equipment and those who use the licensed radios. Anything that increases accessibility is a good thing.

 

--------

trippy1976

 

migo_sig_logo.jpg

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Has anybody heard anythign about this from Jeremy yet? I still think two is the most logical choice, it is the most compatable with different types of FRS radios. Also, Ch 2 has the most votes. icon_cool.gificon_razz.gificon_cool.gif

 

If you are talking via communicatior to Captain Picard, remember this, for it is the single most important thing you can learn... Never give him a straight answer, make sure he has to come on down to the planet and see for himself.

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Sounds like a good idea, but probably won't work. The likelihood of someone being close enough, on the same channel, at the same time, is very slim.

 

I carry a handheld CB radio. Cops and CB folks nationwide monitor CB channel 9.

 

FR = Family Radio. Need help? Call 911 on your cell or channel 9 on a CB radio.

 

-----------

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

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quote:
Originally posted by Da Rebel:

Sounds like a good idea, but probably won't work. The likelihood of someone being close enough, on the same channel, at the same time, is very slim.

 

I carry a handheld CB radio. Cops and CB folks nationwide monitor CB channel 9.

 

FR = Family Radio. Need help? Call 911 on your cell or channel 9 on a CB radio.

 

-----------

"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything." - Mark Twain

 


 

Sorry.. you have doubts about what? The idea of the GC channel is to improve the chance of finding a fellow geocacher while visiting a cache. Lots of caches are a < 2km walk from the nearest parking so in all probability IF there is a fellow cacher with an FRS radio then you could find them.

 

Cheers,

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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We do not have these radio's in Canada and they are not legal here.

 

Reading the posts I see some think we need to consider them also.

 

This was a a vote for FRS and since it is used in both countries the other radio's don't count in my book.

 

I still stick with my vote for channel 2 as the channel to allow as many users the chance to talk to someone.

 

gm100guy

http://members.rogers.com/gm100guy/cachepage.htm

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I don't know why I didn't notice that post.

 

quote:
Originally posted by Cache Canucks:

quote:
Originally posted by MTBguy:

Has anybody heard anythign about this from Jeremy yet?


 

Read his comments about a dozen posts back.


 

If you are talking via communicatior to Captain Picard, remember this, for it is the single most important thing you can learn... Never give him a straight answer, make sure he has to come on down to the planet and see for himself.

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quote:
Originally posted by Da Rebel:

Sounds like a good idea, but probably won't work. The likelihood of someone being close enough, on the same channel, at the same time, is very slim.


You are probably correct at this point in time but I'll still look forward to the shock of someone answering me or calling during a cache hunt.

 

quote:
I carry a handheld CB radio. Cops and CB folks nationwide monitor CB channel 9.

My backpack is too heavy now. My FRS and Cellphone together would weigh less than 15% of my clunker of a handheld CB.

Lets give the FRS a chance and see how it goes. We have nothing to lose.

Cheers, Olar

 

wavey.gif

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Voting is now closed!

 

The winner by a reasonable margin is:

 

Channel 2, Primary

Channel 12, Alternate

 

The results at this time are:

 

Out of 75 Votes

 

Ch 2 Primary, Ch 12 Alternate 33/44%

Ch 12 Primary, Ch 2 Alternate 29/39%

I don't care. 10/13%

I'm going to use my own channel. 3/4%

 

Firstly, let me say that this has been really close. The MAIN idea here is to have a channel to start out looking for cachers on and one to switch to if that channel is too busy. In some areas 2 is a bit overloaded and in others 12 can be overloaded.

 

By Choosing 2 we include GRMS and older FRS users in such a way that hopefully someone will be talk to another Geocacher.

 

Another way to look at it is this; If you are out and not actively chatting with another cacher, leave your radio on 2. If 2 is overloaded then jump to 12 and leave it there.

 

Thanks for all the great discussion! The next step is for me to bring this forward to the powers that be and have it added to the FAQ.

 

Cheers,

 

Rob

Mobile Cache Command

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quote:
Originally posted by BassoonPilot:

Yep, I'm really looking forward to the first time I'm out suffering through the hunt for a deviously difficult cache, and the owner of the cache calls in to say he's sitting on an adjoining hill laughin' his butt off. icon_wink.gif


 

And I'm hoping you come back to Maine to find my soon to be released cache so that I have the chance to do just that! icon_biggrin.gif

 

Thanks to all who contributed to the decision, especially Cache Canucks for instigating the issue and mrcpu for handling the polls.

 

Now that this is over, I'm at a loss, what now? Official caching soft drink? Handshake? Vehicle? icon_wink.gif

 

When life gives you urine, make urinade.

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