Over the last few weeks, there have been some interesting conversations and system changes.
As of 1/1/23, the GMRS Live! network will be a paid membership system. They are asking $15/year to help maintain the system. We see no problem with that, as the cost of running a system is significant. Just ask our electric company; Add to that the internet connect, the hardware and software, and you could easily incur significant expenses.
Is the PA GMRS Network going to start asking for donations? No. We are providing the opportunity to link your repeaters, hot spots, and radio-less nodes into a system that serves Pennsylvania at no cost to the users. However, if you decide to acquire a GMRS Live node, there will be a donation to them.
In discussions with Scott Horton, WROE945, and through the Greater Pittsburgh Area GMRS Users group on Facebook, we found that there are several ways to link repeaters together in addition to the AllStarLink/HamVOIP software. People are using Zello not only to link to their local reprater, but as a way to link repeaters together. Scott Horton mentioned that the HT app available on Android and Ios systems could be used the same way. And the are other networks, such as myGMRS.com, USAGMRS, and USGMRS available that folks are using with the AllStarLink software.
With all of the changes and new information, we have decided to find a way to link to some of the other systems in use in Pennsylvania. We will also look at issuing our own node numbers to those folks who don’t want to join any of the other groups or systems. It means a lot more work, but it can be done.
The myGMRS.com system will be tied into the network through myGMRS.com node 24223 and linked to the state hub. We will be requesting at least one node from the USGMRS system to tie the folks from Pennsylvania. The nodes will be running on computers separate from the main network computer, with the goal of linking PA repeaters into one cohesive system.
We have been keeping a low profile during the start-up. but now that the system is running fairly smoothly, we think its time to start advertising a little. We will be creating a Facebook page and a Mastodon user account to share information. We ask that everyone follow the same rules we have for the system: No foul language, no political or religious discussions, and stay on the topic of GMRS networking in Pennsylvania. If you are a GMRS license holder and think that linking is not legal or should not be allowed, these are not groups for you.
Thank you for your time and support in making this happen.