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Thread: Setting Up A Baofeng For Backcountry Skiing/Snowmobiling

  1. #1

    Default Setting Up A Baofeng For Backcountry Skiing/Snowmobiling

    Hi guys!

    Total noob, even though I have had my Tech lic now for 2 years I just got around to setting up my Baofeng UV-5R the other day.

    I was doing some research on how I should set up my radio for use while out in the backcountry here in Idaho and ran into some questions. My thoughts where to set up the radio for emergency use and personal communication with some non ham licensed friends. To do this I would buy a GMRS lic and add GMRS only (no FRS) channels to the radio along with local ham frequencies and NOAA channels. With that said here are my questions:

    1) Is is legal with a GMRS lic for use of personal friends to communicate on that license (non-immediate family members)? Or would they each have to get a GMRS lic as well?

    2) Is is legal to use the Baofeng on GMRS is you have GMRS lic? I found this post on another thread here:

    Quote Originally Posted by kalikid021 View Post
    This is an older thread, however here's my 2 cents.

    What the OP really should be considering is the GMRS frequencies not FRS or MURS. Buy a license for GMRS, this will cover you and your whole immediate family to use these frequencies. GMRS frequencies can be referenced here http://wiki.radioreference.com/index..._channel_chart

    550 and above are available for up to 50 Watts, the lower channel selection is limited to 5 watts. You can't use FRS in any circumstance with these radios (UV-5R) so don't it's illegal. However you can run these radios on high power in everyone's hand in your family with a license. Program them with GMRS only channels in the memory, and then lock the keypad for safety. On yours do the same except add repeaters and any other frequencies that you are legally allowed to use with your technician license you plan to get, and then you are fully covered. With the 2 licenses you are your family can use GMRS to communicate with each other legally and over fairly decent distances, and you having a technician license as well with have HAM frequencies at your disposal additionally.

    I believe this is accurate according to my knowledge. Here is the FCC info on GMRS for reference as well http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/gene...o-service-gmrs
    But just wanted to confirm that is 100% accurate, as there is a lot of mixed information on the internet.

    3) Are there any other channels that would be recommended to add to the radio? Maybe look up some local search and rescue frequencies? Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    Default

    The brief answer to questions 1 and 2 is No.

    Only immediate family members can operate on your GMRS license. Any friends you wish to communicate with will have to have their own license.

    The Baofeng cannot be used on GMRS, even if the individual has a license. Radios used on GMRS must be FCC certified for that service and the Baofengs are not.

    https://www.fcc.gov/general/general-mobile-radio-service-gm

    Question 3 is a little more difficult to answer. If you're looking for SAR frequencies that you could use to contact someone in the event of an emergency, it's not a good idea. A lot of agencies look at unauthorized users on their frequencies with little or no tolerance, even if it's an emergency. You would be better served by finding if there are amateur repeaters that cover your area and program those instead.
    Last edited by K6CPO; Tue 15th Nov 2016 at 19:18.

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the info. I found a post where another user said it was certified and linked to the following:

    http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com...ofeng_UV5R.pdf

    So I thought because of that it was fine to use with GMRS but not FRS.

    The problem is that if friends have to each go out and buy a GMRS license it might just be better to go out and buy a set of MURS handsets instead don't you think? But don't you give up power with MURS over GMRS?

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Vegas_Sirk View Post
    Thanks for the info. I found a post where another user said it was certified and linked to the following:

    http://www.gordonwestradioschool.com...ofeng_UV5R.pdf

    So I thought because of that it was fine to use with GMRS but not FRS.

    The problem is that if friends have to each go out and buy a GMRS license it might just be better to go out and buy a set of MURS handsets instead don't you think? But don't you give up power with MURS over GMRS?
    That certification is for Part 90, the Land Mobile Radio Service. GMRS/FRS come under Part 95, the Personal
    Radio Service. The Baofeng is not certified for Part 95. MURS could be useful to you but with a max transmitter power of 2 watts, it's not going to be terribly effective in the mountains.

    My thought is that you encourage your friends to go out and get their Technician licenses as well. At most it's going to cost them $15 to take the exam and then whatever they might spend on a radio. Even with a full power ham HT (usually five watts) you're going to have issues with long distance communications in mountainous terrain. It's just the nature of the beast...
    Last edited by K6CPO; Fri 18th Nov 2016 at 04:46.

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