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Blazer Bash 2021 trail communications

Blazer Bash

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Desert_K5

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I'll bring what we have, I think it's 5-6 of them (handheld) if needed. I have a mobile station mounted in the K5 already.

Also have a gift for you, that's too expensive to ship.
 

Babaganoosh

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For those that are looking for a handheld mount that works slick check this out.

rad-01-1500.jpg


https://www.mobarmor.com/shop/mob-rad-hh-rad-mount-130664#attr=
 

DickeysK5

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I have two handheld radios that I will bring: a Boafeng and a Vertex Standard. Any thoughts as to frequencies? I will have to program the Vertex ahead of time. I have old KOH frequencies in both.

Are there any licensed ham operators going? My call is N5CNV.
 

HankScorpio

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Are there any licensed ham operators going? My call is N5CNV.
I was wondering this also. I hold a license, KI7MML. I own a baofang. I don't keep up on any of the ham stuff even though I have an electronics degree. Too many hobbies, not enough time. How are you guys getting around needing a license to use these radios?
 

Babaganoosh

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I was wondering this also. I hold a license, KI7MML. I own a baofang. I don't keep up on any of the ham stuff even though I have an electronics degree. Too many hobbies, not enough time. How are you guys getting around needing a license to use these radios?
Just bought it off amazon and charged it, programmed then let it rip.
 

HankScorpio

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Just bought it off amazon and charged it, programmed then let it rip.
Well sure, it will always work, but the whole ham thing requires a license to transmit. Not trying to be a pain, I am legitimately interested in the legalities. My dad does not hold a license, neither does my wife, but it would be great to be able to talk to them in the mountains. Wondering if there have been rule changes I don't know about.
 

Truckman4life

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I know nothing about radios but my quick google searching says you only need a FCC license(one per household) for GMRS? Please educate us more @ZooMad75 he might know more.
These radios do look sweet and sounds like they are higher powered and better than "legally" allowed for transmitting. Up to the user to turn down to low power. I might need some for hunting and all around mountain use where the cell doesn't work.
 

HankScorpio

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I know nothing about radios but my quick google searching says you only need a FCC license(one per household) for GMRS? Please educate us more @ZooMad75 he might know more.
These radios do look sweet and sounds like they are higher powered and better than "legally" allowed for transmitting. Up to the user to turn down to low power. I might need some for hunting and all around mountain use where the cell doesn't work.
The radios are sweet. I can hit the repeaters at 40 miles. The license is the issue and makes it not all that cool. My wife is never passing a ham exam so its not as useful as it could be, unless you ignore the FCC rules.
 

Truckman4life

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The radios are sweet. I can hit the repeaters at 40 miles. The license is the issue and makes it not all that cool. My wife is never passing a ham exam so its not as useful as it could be, unless you ignore the FCC rules.
It says on the FCC site that a licensee may permit his/her immediate family to operate under their license so if you have one then your wife would not need one.
 

HankScorpio

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It says on the FCC site that a licensee may permit his/her immediate family to operate under their license so if you have one then your wife would not need one.
That would be excellent. I thought the last time I looked into it the family thing required a permit for a specific frequency. Like I said too many hobbies, not enough time.
 

Babaganoosh

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Well sure, it will always work, but the whole ham thing requires a license to transmit. Not trying to be a pain, I am legitimately interested in the legalities. My dad does not hold a license, neither does my wife, but it would be great to be able to talk to them in the mountains. Wondering if there have been rule changes I don't know about.
Understandable, I guess my post wasn't the most political thing to say. It's been one of those days sorry. Zoo will be able to chime in once he sees this.
 

ZooMad75

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The radios are sweet. I can hit the repeaters at 40 miles. The license is the issue and makes it not all that cool. My wife is never passing a ham exam so its not as useful as it could be, unless you ignore the FCC rules.
There's the main issue is the FCC licensing. The Baofengs are handheld ham radios. For legal use it does require the operator to hold an FCC license. There is a difference between HAM and GMRS when it comes to licensing and power output. The main difference is the GMRS bands are meant for family use and the license is good for the entire family on the GMRS frequencies for 10 years. No test to take, pay the fee, and get a call sign. HAM is full-blown amateur radio. The license does require passing a test but it's not hard to pass if you put in a little study time on it. www.hamstudy.org has all the questions to review/study before taking the actual test.

So anybody could buy the Baofengs and listen on ham frequencies. Keep in mind the blue Rugged Radio handhelds are repackaged Baofengs at an elevated price with locked-in frequencies that Rugged has "licensed" specific frequencies for its customers to use. It's a dubious way to get around the law, but that's a discussion for another time. Many use the Baofengs without getting the license (including me so far) but it's best to stay off the repeater stations to limit interfering with legal Ham users.

Older Baofengs prior to last year were wide open for frequency use allowing the user to dial in HAM, GMRS, Police/fire, Marine, and business bands. I'm not sure if the ones you buy now can get to the GMRS bands specifically. That's exactly what my group has done. Some have actual GMRS radios (base units) in their trucks and use the older Baofengs programmed to the GMRS frequencies to hand off to others in the group that may not have a radio. Keep in mind, the use of a Baofeng on GMRS is technically illegal because it wasn't certified for it even if you have a GMRS license.

I'm not saying not to do it because the communication level and quality far exceeds CB in just about every way, besides the need to get a license. I'm just saying if you have the time get the test done and be legit if you can. I still plan on getting mine this year, but haven't made time for it yet. If you don't I'd say go for the GMRS radios from Midland as they are not much more expensive and actually have more wattage and range than the handhelds do.

Wade- I'd be curious to see if the Baofengs you bought can be tuned to the GMRS frequencies. Try to plug in 462.575 into the radio and see if it takes it. That is GMRS channel 16. IF it does I'd say it would be the way to go. Folks could buy either the Baofeng or get an actual GMRS radio and the frequencies used on the trail could be set to a specific GMRS channel. But by staying of HAM frequencies and or the repeater network you'll draw less static (pun kinda intended) from the HAM community which seriously frowns on unlicensed folks cluttering up the airways.
 

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Good info, thanks. I do worry about the HAM guys getting pissed. For every one of us that just wants a real quality radio for communication in the boonies there is an old HAM listening wanting to turn you in. I tried to join the HAM club at the university here. I was expecting a bunch of guys playing with radios and electronics equipment. I thought it would be a good way to keep up on the info and regulations. What I found was a bunch of old farts more interested in holding club meetings with roberts rules of order and elected club positions. The guys didn't even bring their radios to the meeting. Not my scene.
 

ZooMad75

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Mines good for it. I have 2 of these and a 50 watt in the K5.
When did you get that one? I'm wondering if it was before or after Baofeng got nailed for the part 95 certification.

Good info, thanks. I do worry about the HAM guys getting pissed. For every one of us that just wants a real quality radio for communication in the boonies there is an old HAM listening wanting to turn you in. I tried to join the HAM club at the university here. I was expecting a bunch of guys playing with radios and electronics equipment. I thought it would be a good way to keep up on the info and regulations. What I found was a bunch of old farts more interested in holding club meetings with roberts rules of order and elected club positions. The guys didn't even bring their radios to the meeting. Not my scene.
From what I've gathered that is what the HAM guys do. It's not the FCC you have to worry about coming out in the middle of the desert and finding everybody using radios illegally, it's the HAM guys running what they call a "fox hunt" to find illegal users that is going to rat everybody out to the feds.

That's the main idea behind sticking to the GMRS bands. The HAM guys won't be pissed about noise on their frequencies or repeaters.

Getting back to the actual radios. The handheld units are really good but are limited on power output and without an external antenna can still be limited on range due to the signal being absorbed inside the trucks. For a radio that you may only use on trail rides and the group is running mostly nose to tail and not out of the line of sight, it's not that big of a deal. But if you really want to get the range they are capable of, get an external antenna or get a GMRS base unit and external antenna. The base unit is going to have better power from the truck and they have more wattage. Clarity went up and the range is far beyond what we've all had with CB. Here are two of the Midland GMRS units in my group use:

MTX115

and

MTX275

You can run an external speaker off of either of these if you need more volume.
 

HankScorpio

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