MURS

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Multi Use Radio Service

MURS, American VHF CB, also rendered as "Multi-Use Radio Service" - not to be confused with similar services such as FRS/GMRS, regular old 26-27 MHz CB, VHF marine or licensed land mobile (business radio) services.

Short distance voice and data service for use by the general public for personal and business communications. Included in Part 95 of the FCC rules (Personal Radio Services) along with the more familiar services such as CB, FRS, GMRS, etc. Since it is a VHF CB service, MURS fills the gap between the UHF FM services (FRS/GMRS) and the original "Class D" HF AM/SSB 26-27 MHz CB service.

MURS is similar in function and intended use to the Freenet license free 149 MHz service available in Germany, the various Nordic JAKTRADIO 155 MHz license free hunting radio services, the 142 MHz/143 MHz VHF CB band in Indonesia, the VHF LADD VHF trucking channels in Canada, and the "VHF 245" 245 MHz VHF CB service in Thailand, among other similar CB-like services worldwide.


Contents

MURS Frequencies / Channels:

MURS Channel Identifier Frequency Maximum Bandwidth Remarks
MURS Channel 1 MURS-1 151.820 MHz 11.25 kHz Unofficial MURS calling channel
MURS Channel 2 MURS-2 151.880 MHz 11.25 kHz Recommended simplex repeater/crossband repeater channel
MURS Channel 3 MURS-3 151.940 MHz 11.25 kHz Recommended prepper/emergency management/disaster response calling/working channel
MURS Channel 4 MURS-4 Blue Dot 154.570 MHz 20.00 kHz Old Business Radio Service frequency, heavily used by stores, construction sites, etc.
MURS Channel 5 MURS-5 Green Dot 154.600 MHz 20.00 kHz Old Business Radio Service frequency, heavily used by stores, construction sites, etc.

MURS regulations, restrictions and other information

Maximum transmitter output power is 2 watts. No limit on effective radiated power (ERP). Antenna height is limited in FCC rules and the highest point of the MURS antenna must not be more than 18.3 meters (60 feet) above the ground or 6.10 meters (20 feet) above the highest point of the structure on which it is mounted.

Maximum bandwidth on 151.8200 MHz, 151.8800 MHz and 151.9400 MHz is 11.25 kHz and maximum bandwidth on 154.5700 MHz and 154.6000 MHz is 20 kHz. A3E and A2D emissions (AM voice and AM data) are limited to 8.0 kHz maximum bandwidth on all 5 MURS channels.

Common analog voice emissions (generally FM voice) include 11K2F3E, 11K0F3E, 10K0F3E, 9K20F3E and 9K10F3E (Baofeng radios) for MURS channels 1, 2 and 3. 20K0F3E and 16K0F3E are allowed on MURS 4 and 5. Radios used by Wal-Mart, for example, transmit 20K0F3E emission on 154.57 MHz and 154.6 MHz but transmit 11K0F3E on 151.82 MHz, 151.88 MHz and 151.94 MHz.

Digital voice modulation (for example, DMR or MotoTRBO, Project 25 or APCO-25 P25, C4FM, D-STAR) or other digital voice modes may be used legally on the MURS frequencies - provided their emission bandwidth is less than or equal to the 11.25 kHz (for the 151 MHz frequencies) or the 20 kHz (for the 154 MHz frequencies) bandwidth restrictions. The 11.25 kHz narrowband is the same as the regular narrowband FM voice - known as NFM - required for frequencies above 150 MHz by the FCC since 2013. 4K00F1E, 4K00F1D, 6K00F1D, 6K00F1E, 7K60FXD, 7K60FXE, 7K60FXW, 7K60F7W, 7K60F9W, 8K10F1D, 8K10F1E, 8K10F7W, 9K20F1E, 10K0F1D, 11K2F1D, 11K0F7W and various other digital modes, including simultaneous voice/data emissions are permitted.

Repeaters are not allowed on the MURS frequencies per FCC rules. This includes duplex and simplex repeaters, also known as "store-and-forward" repeaters. Store-and-forward packet operation is explicitly prohibited. Unattended data (or voice!) transmission (for example, telemetry) is permitted. MURS stations may not operate in continuous carrier mode (in other words, nonstop transmissions are not allowed). FCC rules specifically mention listen-before-transmit requirements for MURS systems, including datalink networks, to reduce the likelihood of interference. Even with modest outdoor antennas, MURS data link and telemetry systems can cover impressive range and cause annoying "squelch breaking" effects on FM voice radios on the MURS frequencies, especially in urban areas and rural areas with heavy farming or light industrial users where telemetry systems are common.

The 154 MHz frequencies were moved from the Business Radio Service (Part 90 of the FCC rules) and stations previously licensed to use these frequencies with higher power levels are considered grandfathered users and may legally transmit high power transmissions. Wal-Mart, Costco, Sam's Club and other retailers that started using 154.600 MHz and 154.570 MHz back when licenses were required have continued to use these frequencies after they were made license-free. Technically this means they're "grandfathered" users and enjoy primary status on the frequency - although this is murky in the FCC rules. Wal-Mart has a habit of using 154.57 and 154.6 with carrier squelch (CSQ), even in radio congested environments like large shopping malls and urban or suburban areas. This can lead to interference issues when multiple stores are using MURS frequencies in a small area.

MURS Frequently Asked Questions MURS FAQ

  • Do you need a license to use the MURS channels? No, you do not.
  • Are the "color dot" frequencies license free or part of MURS? Yes and no. Only the Blue Dot (154.57 MHz) and Green Dot (154.6 MHz) channels are license free and part of MURS. The other color dot frequencies, star frequencies, etc. require FCC Part 90 Business Radio licenses to operate on. You must have a license to use 151.625 MHz, 151.955 MHz, 467.925 MHz, 467.850 MHz, 467.7625 MHz, 464.500 MHz and 464.550 MHz, for example.
  • Are Baofeng radios legal? This is a gray area. If you use the MURS or FRS frequencies you should be good to go. Make sure to use narrowband mode on the MURS and FRS/GMRS frequencies. Certain radios are FCC type accepted for Part 95 use. Examples include the Baofeng Baofeng Tech BTECH MURS-V1 and GMRS-V1 radios currently available on the market.
  • Are MURS channels part of the CB radio service? Legally and technically, yes. MURS is included under Part 95 of the FCC rules, as an unlicensed Personal Radio Service. Like CB, and FRS, MURS is designed as a short range voice and data radio service for personal, family, business and any other use by members of the public. MURS is not designed for public safety purposes.
  • Can you transmit voice modes other than regular FM on MURS? Yes, you can transmit analog voice in FM mode, AM mode or digital voice in any DV mode that meets the bandwidth requirements for the MURS frequencies. This includes DMR, DPMR, TRBO, C4FM, MotoTRBO, IDAS, NEXEDGE, NXDN, D-STAR, Project 25/P25/APCO-25 digital voice, etc. Mixed voice and data, including TDMA DMR 2-slot DMR as well as TDMA and FDMA P25 are also permitted.

Motorola MURS Radios - RMM2050, CP110M, RDM2020, RDM2080D, RDM2070D, etc. Default Channels

Motorola sells out-of-the-box MURS radios, their current model is the RMM2050 The Motorola equipment appears to ignore the usual MURS channel listing, instead programming MURS 4 and MURS 5 as channels 1 and 2. The reasoning behind this is that 154.570 MHz - Blue Dot - and 154.600 MHz - Green Dot - were previously part of the business radio service and therefore businesses already using radios or replacing old radios are more likely to be familiar with them.

Wal-Mart and Sam's Club make extensive use of Motorola MURS radios, including the channel plans listed below. Many stores simply use the default 154.570 CSQ and 154.600 CSQ frequencies. Others use a mixture of the MURS frequencies and VHF itinerant channels such as 151.625 MHz, 151.955 MHz, etc. In more congested areas, stores are more likely to use non-standard CTCSS or DCS tones to avoid interference.

Motorola radios tend to have 154.57 and 154.6 hard-programmed for wideband FM mode (25 kHz channel or 20 kHz bandwidth). Depending on where you look, this is defined as 20K0F3E emission or 16K0F3E emission. The 151.82 MHz, 151.88 MHz and 151.94 MHz channels are hard-programmed for narrow FM NFM mode (12.5 kHz channel or 11.25 kHz bandwidth). This would be considered 11K3F3E emission.

See also: commonly used CTCSS/DCS tones and codes on the 22 license free FRS channels.


Motorola RMM2050 VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 1, Code 1]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 2, Code 1]
  • Channel 3 - 151.8200 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 3, Code 1]
  • Channel 4 - 151.8800 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 4, Code 1]
  • Channel 5 - 151.9400 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 5, Code 1]


Motorola RDM2070D VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies (programmed in order to talk to the old Wal-Mart VHF XTN series XV2600 or CP100 series radios)

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ [Frequency 3, Code 0]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ [Frequency 4, Code 0]
  • Channel 3 - 151.8200 MHz 131 DPL [Frequency 7, Code 57]
  • Channel 4 - 151.8800 MHz 131 DPL [Frequency 8, Code 57]
  • Channel 5 - 151.9400 MHz 131 DPL [Frequency 9, Code 57]
  • Channel 6 - 154.5700 MHz 131 DPL [Frequency 3, Code 57]
  • Channel 7 - 154.6000 MHz 131 DPL [Frequency 4, Code 57]


Motorola RDM2070D VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies - Wal-Mart MURS Plan (see above as well)

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ [Frequency 3, Code 0]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ [Frequency 4, Code 0]
  • Channel 3 - 151.8200 MHz 136.5 Hz PL [Frequency 5, Code 21]
  • Channel 4 - 151.8800 MHz 136.5 Hz PL [Frequency 6, Code 21]
  • Channel 5 - 151.9400 MHz 136.5 Hz PL [Frequency 7, Code 21]
  • Channel 6 - 154.5700 MHz 136.5 Hz PL [Frequency 3, Code 21]
  • Channel 7 - 154.6000 MHz 136.5 Hz PL [Frequency 4, Code 21]


Motorola CP110M VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 2, Code 1]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 1, Code 1]
  • Channel 3 - 151.8200 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 3, Code 1]
  • Channel 4 - 151.8800 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 4, Code 1]
  • Channel 5 - 151.9400 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 5, Code 1]
  • Channel 6 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ [Frequency 2, Code 0]
  • Channel 7 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ [Frequency 1, Code 0]
  • Channel 8 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ [Frequency 3, Code 0]


Motorola RDM2020 VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 2, Code 1]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 1, Code 1]


Motorola RDM2080D VHF MURS

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 2, Code 1]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 1, Code 1]
  • Channel 3 - 151.8200 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 3, Code 1]
  • Channel 4 - 151.8800 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 4, Code 1]
  • Channel 5 - 151.9400 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 5, Code 1]
  • Channel 6 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ [Frequency 2, Code 0]
  • Channel 7 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ [Frequency 1, Code 0]
  • Channel 8 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ [Frequency 3, Code 0]


Kenwood TK-2200L TK-3200L VHF radio

Note, there are 2 and 8 channel versions of the TK-2200 series and TK-3200 series radios

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 154.5700 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 3, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 2 - 154.6000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 4, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 3 - 151.7000 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 5, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 4 - 151.7600 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 6, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 5 - 151.8200 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 7, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 6 - 151.8800 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 8, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 7 - 151.9400 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 9, QT Tone 1]
  • Channel 8 - 151.5125 MHz 67.0 Hz PL [Frequency 10, QT Tone 1]


Baofeng Baofeng Tech BTECH MURS-V1 VHF MURS FCC Approved Portable Walkie Talkie MURS Radio

15K8F3E emission on 154.57 MHz and 154.6 MHz - compatible with 16K0F3E and 20K0F3E emission 10K5F3E emission emission on 151.82 MHz, 151.88 MHz and 151.94 MHz - compatible with 11K0F3E emission (9K10F3E and 9K20F3E on earlier documentation).

CTCSS and DCS (PL and DPL) are user-programmable for each channel. User may select WIDE or NARROW for 154.570 MHz and 154.600 MHz.

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 01 MURS1-1 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 02 MURS1-2 - 151.8800 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 03 MURS1-3 - 151.9400 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 04 MURS1-4 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 05 MURS1-5 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 06 MURS2-1 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 07 MURS2-2 - 151.8800 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 08 MURS2-3 - 151.9400 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 09 MURS2-4 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 10 MURS2-5 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 11 MURS3-1 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 12 MURS3-2 - 151.8800 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 13 MURS3-3 - 151.9400 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 14 MURS3-4 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ
  • Channel 15 MURS3-5 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ


Retevis RT-27V MURS VHF US license free 151.82-151.94/154.57-154.6 MHz MURS specification version. Like Kenwood, CTCSS is referred to as QT and DCS is referred to as DQT. Dec is decode (receive) and Enc is encode (transmit).

Default Channels Frequencies

  • Channel 1 - 151.8200 MHz CSQ [Frequency 1, QT/DQT Dec: OFF QT/DQT Enc: OFF]
  • Channel 2 - 151.8800 MHz CSQ [Frequency 2, QT/DQT Dec: OFF QT/DQT Enc: OFF]
  • Channel 3 - 151.9400 MHz CSQ [Frequency 3, QT/DQT Dec: OFF QT/DQT Enc: OFF]
  • Channel 4 - 154.5700 MHz CSQ [Frequency 4, QT/DQT Dec: OFF QT/DQT Enc: OFF]
  • Channel 5 - 154.6000 MHz CSQ [Frequency 5, QT/DQT Dec: OFF QT/DQT Enc: OFF]


Despite their age, the Motorola CP110M series, Motorola RMM2050 and RDM2070D are still very popular jobsite radios. The RMM and RDM radios should not be confused with the Motorola RDV. RMV, RMU or RDU series radios (which require licenses to use).

CB networks on MURS, high power, militia groups, MURS repeaters, etc.

Some CB and ham radio operators also use the MURS frequencies due to favorable propagation characteristics, often with high power. This is against the FCC regulations but is widespread in certain areas due to the availability of open-band VHF/UHF radios, easily modified ham radio equipment that can transmit on the MURS frequencies and the adoption of the MURS frequencies by militia and prepper groups. MURS-based VHF systems range from simple handheld radios programmed with the MURS and FRS frequencies (for example, the Baofeng UV-5R and UV-82 series) to high powered mobile and base station simplex networks to simplex and duplex repeater networks.

There are reports of cross-band repeaters using the FRS frequencies and MURS, in addition to high powered MURS simplex repeaters located on mountaintops or tall buildings in urban areas. See also: CB repeaters.

MURS repeaters simplex repeaters cross-band MURS repeater listing

Reported MURS simplex repeater frequencies and tones include:


  • 151.8800 MHz MURS Channel 2 156.7 Hz CTCSS/PL - Mount Jackson, Virginia (Shenandoah County, VA) very large coverage area - 151.880 MHz 156.7 Hz CTCSS. The Mount Jackson, VA MURS simplex repeater - Confirmed active May 2020 - has 50+ mile radius coverage in the valleys below and even further from higher elevations in the Blue Ridge Mountains and Virginia Piedmont region. Coverage extends into portions of West Virginia and western Maryland. Very large footprint.

MURS Calling Frequency - Prepper/Militia Users - MURS Channel 3 151.940 MHz

There is an effort (the AmRRON CH3 Project) to standardize the use of "channel 3" as a general "prepper" or emergency preparedness "calling" channel across the three Part 95 services, MURS, CB and FRS (MURS channel 3 - 151.94 MHz, CB channel 3 - 26.985 MHz and FRS channel 3 - 462.6125 MHz) in conjunction with HF/VHF/UHF amateur frequencies. MURS channels 1, 2 and 3 often have less activity on them compared to channel 4 and 5.

Emergency preparedness recommendations include monitoring channel 3 (CB, FRS and MURS) for 3 minutes at :00 (top of the hour), :15, :30 (bottom of the hour) and :45, so 3 minutes every 15 minutes - for emergency calls/communications. FRS users may also use channel 1 as the "default" channel or de facto calling channel, while higher power GMRS users officially use 462.675 [141.3 Hz CTCSS/PL]. See the FRS and GMRS pages for more information.

Militia groups are encouraged to set up simplex repeaters on the MURS and FRS frequencies, ideally more than one (one for general use and another for "private" or "discrete" use). With CTCSS and DCS, there are literally hundreds of options and repeater access protection is possible even in urban areas with congested MURS and FRS/GMRS frequencies. You can use a different CTCSS or DCS (aka PL or DPL) tone for input and output, making the input tone "discrete" and only available to certain persons.

The cautionary statement above still applies. Prospective MURS repeater operators should monitor the channel they intend to use for an extended period of time. They should make note of any/all activity heard on the channel, with special attention paid towards the CTCSS/DCS (PL/DPL) tone squelch tones or codes in use. Even if a channel appears to be quiet with casual listening...that is often not the case. Some users only appear during specific times of the day/week. Make a list of all the CTCSS and/or DCS tones in use on your intended channel and exclude these from any simplex MURS repeater programming/channel plans you intend to use.

Militia Patriot MURS VHF and UHF FRS Tactical Frequencies

Additional information (main page) - Militia Patriot Radio Channel Plans - Militia Radio Frequencies VHF UHF FRS MURS GMRS.

See also: Common VHF Itinerant Frequencies, Hunt Club Frequencies and the American Redoubt Radio Operators Network (AmRRON) and The American Preparedness Radio Network (TAPRN) pages.

Data bursts on MURS, telemetry systems MURS datalinks

Because the FCC rules allow for any mode on the MURS frequencies (as long as the bandwidth restrictions are followed), MURS is becoming more and more popular for unlicensed fixed or point-to-point data link and telemetry systems. Someone scanning the MURS frequencies will often hear short data bursts (often just breaking the radio's squelch). Sometimes multiple systems can be heard on the same frequency during favorable band conditions and depending on the height of the receiving (and transmitting) antennas.

Short range on-site paging and one-way voice driveway sensors are also found on the MURS channels. Due to the favorable propagation characteristics of the 150 MHz VHF band, telemetry systems using MURS are sometimes used as an alternative to unlicensed 26 MHz/27 MHz telemetry systems. However, FCC rules permit higher power for telemetry, data links and telecommand purposes on the six 27 MHz R/C frequencies. The MURS rules specifically permit use of all 5 MURS channels for telemetry, data links or telecommand.

The MURS rules are more permissive regarding voice transmissions mixed with data (for example, the Dakota Alert systems) compared to other license-free bands. The 2 watt power limit is comparable to the 4 watt / 25 watt power limits on the 26/27 MHz RC data frequencies. It is much easier to set up high gain antennas on VHF vs. 11 meters/CB frequencies.

Motorola RMM2050, a commonly used MURS handheld radio often found on construction sites, retail stores, and for similar purposes.



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