Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: Can I use the Baofeng UV-5R in a simple mode like FRS?

  1. #1

    Question Can I use the Baofeng UV-5R in a simple mode like FRS?

    We have three cars in our family and frequently caravan places together. I've used different Walmart-purchased FRS radios but hate recharging/replacing batteries, and always wanted to install handheld mics in the cars to simplify the radios' use (without installing a full CB radio).

    I recently picked up five UV-5Rs on sale for $99, thinking they were usable like FRS radios - but after doing some reading on Ham Radios, I think I "over-purchased" for our typical use. Although since Baofeng makes car-chargers, dash mounts, and handheld mics - I'd still like to make use of these radios in some way.

    Seems these can be programmed to use FRS channels, but I have two questions:

    1) Is a license really needed to use FRS channels? I've read conflicting information on the internet :-(
    2) If yes, I will go ahead and take the test for my license - but does everybody else in my family also have to (even if we just use one channel together)?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Ots's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Glendora, CA
    Posts
    85

    Default

    I believe a license is not required for using FRS channels. There may be other restrictions and perhaps other forum members might have something to say about them.

  3. #3

    Default

    It comes down to (at least in the USA) FCC "type acceptance". There are several parts of the Title 47 relating to various radio services, here is a good place to look.
    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-id...cfrv5_02.tpl#0

    The summary is this: Baofeng radios are type 90 accepted, meaning they are used for "private land mobile" use. FRS falls under type 95. Amateur radio falls under type 97. Amateurs operating under part 97 privileges may take a radio used for any other service (even home made) and use them on the amateur bands, but ONLY on the amateur bands (and the type accepted band if a license is also held or needed for it). If a ham radio operator (or anyone else) wishes to legally use GMRS/FRS, said person MUST use a type 95 compliant radio. So to answer your question, NO, you cannot legally put a baofeng on FRS.

    Many hams want one radio that does both legally. The only way this is possible the way the current law is written is to take a radio certified for part 95 use and modify it to also cover the ham bands. You cannot take a radio from a different service and use it in any other service than intended unless it is a ham band you are using it on. When you find a FRS type 95 radio that is easily put on the amateur bands without serious overhaul, please, share that information with us as there are many many here interested in that very thing.

    Wish we could pin this answer up somewhere obvious as the topic comes up multiple times a year.
    Last edited by brandon lind; Mon 3rd Jun 2019 at 15:28.

  4. #4

    Default

    and if you get a GMRS license, it will cover your whole family. But, that still doesn't let you use the part 90 baofeng for a part 95 service. A ham license lets you (and only you) use the ham bands only, its not a golden ticket into other services. I recommend getting your GMRS license (which covers the family), sell the baofengs, and invest in some part 95 mobile radios. There are also car chargers and handheld mics for the smaller frs radios that will not require licensing, that may be the route you want to take.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    INDIANA
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Look up MURS frequencies. This is not talked about much, but when you search it there is a plethora of information. It includes 5 frequencies available for unlicensed use, and sounds like exactly what you are looking for. There are limits to what are allowed on these frequencies, so make sure to read and understand those. You can purchase magna mount antennas that will greatly increase your range of communication between radios. There is a lot you can do with this.

    Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
    73s, God bless and good day. KD9KVS
    I have a brain injury.
    I am not my brain injury.
    This does not define me.

  6. #6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KD9KVS View Post
    Look up MURS frequencies.
    Those are fun, every walmart in the country uses 154.600 or 154.570. When you say hello to them, they get mad like they own the frequency. Iu would think with how big walmart is, they would just get licensed to operate somewhere else...

    But again, if legality is of concern, MURS is also under part 95. A Baofeng is a (5 watt, 3 too many) part 90 radio and you cannot take it to the MURS frequencies "legally". Not that anyone will catch you though.
    Last edited by brandon lind; Mon 3rd Jun 2019 at 16:21.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    INDIANA
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by brandon lind View Post
    Those are fun, every walmart in the country uses 154.600 or 154.570. When you say hello to them, they get mad like they own the frequency. Iu would think with how big walmart is, they would just get licensed to operate somewhere else...

    But again, if legality is of concern, MURS is also under part 95. A Baofeng is a (5 watt, 3 too many) part 90 radio and you cannot take it to the MURS frequencies "legally". Not that anyone will catch you though.
    Ahhhhhh but uv-5r has a low power option for 1 watt coupled with an external antenna, it will get done what you need.

    Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
    73s, God bless and good day. KD9KVS
    I have a brain injury.
    I am not my brain injury.
    This does not define me.

  8. #8

    Default

    In a nutshell, you can use the Baofeng UV-5R for amateur radio, with the appropriate license, legally. But that's about all. Not all models of Baofeng carry FCC Part 90 certification and use on Part 90 requires an expensive license anyway. The UV-5R is not type certified for any other radio service (FRS, MURS, or GMRS) even when the power is reduced. The FCC has already come out and said it's illegal to use them on those services.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    INDIANA
    Posts
    66

    Default

    The FCC has already come out and said it's illegal to use them on those services.[/QUOTE]

    What article did they say they were illegal for use on MURS? There are large gaps in my memory, so its possible its lost, or never known. I feel as though it used to be legal as long as it was low power. MURS does not have the antenna restrictions of frs/gmrs and as long as used below the two watt restrictions was legal, to my memory. If ove missed something I must apologize. Many things are gone, so I am learning/relearning things all the time.

    Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
    73s, God bless and good day. KD9KVS
    I have a brain injury.
    I am not my brain injury.
    This does not define me.

  10. #10

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KD9KVS View Post
    What article did they say they were illegal for use on MURS?
    MURS is in part 95 and part 95 states it must be a part 95 radio. All this was found under the link I provided in post 3.

    95.2763 MURS channels.
    Five VHF channels are allotted for shared use in the MURS. These channels, designated by their center frequencies in megahertz, are as follows: 151.820, 151.880, 151.940, 154.570, and 154.600 MHz. Each MURS transmitter type must be designed to transmit on one or more of these channels.

    95.2761 MURS transmitter certification.
    (a) Each MURS transmitter (a transmitter that operates or is intended to operate in MURS) must be certified in accordance with this subpart and part 2 of this chapter.

    This is a link from the FCC that states unlicensed MURS use follows part 95 rules. Click on the blue "licensing" tab...
    https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-...o-service-murs
    Last edited by brandon lind; Tue 4th Jun 2019 at 01:22.

  11. #11

    Default

    Thanks all for the insight and feedback. I do want to do the right (moral) thing, even though some rules don't seem to make sense (e.g. if I can actually lower the power on a radio, why can't I be compliant? Isn't driving a Ferrari on a 25MPH road the same thing?)

    Bottom line seems, if I want to use these Baofengs the way I want, I need to get my entire family licensed - then all is good.

    Or, I need to find a bunch of FRS radios that do what I want - which I haven't been able to.

    Does anyone make an FRS radio that simply looks just like a handheld mic with a cord that plugs into the 12v or USB outlet? With a dash mount, that's really all I'm looking for. Seems like a pretty simple device, to have all the components built-in, but with constant power (no batteries) drawn right from the outlet...

  12. #12

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KD9KVS View Post
    The FCC has already come out and said it's illegal to use them on those services.

    What article did they say they were illegal for use on MURS? There are large gaps in my memory, so its possible its lost, or never known. I feel as though it used to be legal as long as it was low power. MURS does not have the antenna restrictions of frs/gmrs and as long as used below the two watt restrictions was legal, to my memory. If ove missed something I must apologize. Many things are gone, so I am learning/relearning things all the time.

    Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-980A1.pdf

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2019
    Location
    INDIANA
    Posts
    66

    Default

    Thank you K6CPO, that was after my accident so even if I have read it, I have forgotten. Long reads take ages for me. So legally his radios ARE FCC compliant, if purchased after the date of publication, but not part 95 because they will operate outside of the murs frequencies. Putting aside the part 95, if he were to operate inside the murs frequencies, at 1 watt, he would probably be fine, as long as no interference was made with other people communicating on those frequencies. Every day I learn something new, even if I knew it yesterday, it may be new again today

    Sent from my SM-S767VL using Tapatalk
    73s, God bless and good day. KD9KVS
    I have a brain injury.
    I am not my brain injury.
    This does not define me.

  14. #14

    Default

    Strange - thought I submitted a reply yesterday but it's not showing?

    A little confused with all the jargon - so am I good with using the radios on low power on those specific channels? Do I need to get myself (and my family) still licensed? I'm willing to study and take the test myself, but for the rest of us, that may be more challenging.

    Thanks again...

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •