Let me show you how little I know....

rnArmy

Adventurer
But a $30 radio is disposable.
I don't want it to fail when I'm depending on it; I don't want disposable.
I'm happy so far with my new RR radio (even though it is still in the box).
This is my starter radio to learn the basics and understand the concepts (to include getting a license now that I know I need one).
Be happy for me that I'm joining the ham club (even on a small scale - so far).
Jeeps are better than Toyotas or Land Rovers (where did that come from?).
And I don't want to interfere with other users - I'm figuring if I can program in a different channel that isn't used by others, then I'm good. Of course some of those rescue channels might be good to know. Hopefully if I'm with a group, they've chosen a channel that isn't used by major companies or such (i.e. "licensed users").
I'll ask this: what channels do folks use when off-road in a convoy on an expedition/adventure? Is there a list of open channels?
 
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Rando

Explorer
There is no license to get that makes this radio legal to use as it is programmed. Each of the commercial channels would need a commercial license ($$$) and the license may or may not be granted depending on who else is using these channels in your area. An amateur radio license would not permit you to use these commercial channels, and if you have a Ham license, the expectation is that you know better than to use these channels illegally. The GMRS channels also technically not legal without a GMRS license, but you are less likely to get in trouble for that.

See if you can get your money back and buy a true GMRS radio: https://midlandusa.com/two-way-radios/

Edit to add: this IS a $30 radio, it is just as reliable/unreliable as any other $30 radio and came from the same factory in China.


I don't want it to fail when I'm depending on it.
I'm happy so far with my new RR radio (even though it is still in the box).
This is my starter radio to learn the basics and understand the concepts (to include getting a license now that I know I need one).
Be happy for me that I'm joining the ham club (even on a small scale - so far).
Jeeps are better than Toyotas or Land Rovers.
And I don't want to interfere with other users - I'm figuring if I can program in a different channel that isn't used by others, then I'm good. Of course some of those rescue channels might be good to know. Hopefully if I'm with a group, they've chosen a channel that isn't used by major companies or such ("licensed users").
I'll ask this: what channels do folks use when off-road in a convoy on an expedition/adventure? Is there a list of open channels?
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
I don't want it to fail when I'm depending on it; I don't want disposable.
I'm happy so far with my new RR radio (even though it is still in the box).
This is my starter radio to learn the basics and understand the concepts (to include getting a license now that I know I need one).
Be happy for me that I'm joining the ham club (even on a small scale - so far).
We are but hate to see you get over charged for the same radio programmed with frequencies you won't be able to use, even when you get your ham license.

And I don't want to interfere with other users - I'm figuring if I can program in a different channel that isn't used by others, then I'm good. Of course some of those rescue channels might be good to know. Hopefully if I'm with a group, they've chosen a channel that isn't used by major companies or such (i.e. "licensed users").
I'll ask this: what channels do folks use when off-road in a convoy on an expedition/adventure? Is there a list of open channels?
Once you get your ham license you can use any of the simplex frequencies you want within the ham bands as long as everyone you are wanting to talk to is also licensed. 144.90-145.20 Mhz, 146.40-146.61 Mhz, and 147.39-147.60 Mhz.

If you are wanting a license free frequency to use, there really isn't any that that radio is approved for but....the MURS band (Frequencies below, 2 watts) would be about the best place.
1 151.820 MHz 11.25 kHz
2 151.880 MHz 11.25 kHz
3 151.940 MHz 11.25 kHz
4 154.570 MHz 20.00 kHz
5 154.600 MHz 20.00 kHz

Or FRS (note watts difference).

1 462.5625 2 W 12.5 kHz
2 462.5875 2 W 12.5 kHz
3 462.6125 2 W 12.5 kHz
4 462.6375 2 W 12.5 kHz
5 462.6625 2 W 12.5 kHz
6 462.6875 2 W 12.5 kHz
7 462.7125 2 W 12.5 kHz
8 467.5625 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
9 467.5875 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
10 467.6125 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
11 467.6375 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
12 467.6625 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
13 467.6875 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
14 467.7125 0.5 W 12.5 kHz
15 462.5500 2 W 12.5 kHz
16 462.5750 2 W 12.5 kHz
17 462.6000 2 W 12.5 kHz
18 462.6250 2 W 12.5 kHz
19 462.6500 2 W 12.5 kHz
20 462.6750 2 W 12.5 kHz
21 462.7000 2 W 12.5 kHz
22 462.7250 2 W 12.5 kHz

Again, radio isn't legal to operate there but they are both license "free" bands and as long as you don't go around drawing attention to yourself or your illegal radio nobody will likely notice.
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
I have had two of the $30 Boafeng UV5Rs rolling around in my Jeep for the last 4+ years, they still work fine, but wouldn't be sad if one died or fell out of the Jeep.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
All I know is... many groups are getting away from CBs and using these UHF/VHF radios for trail communication. What channels they use I don't know (I'm learning remember[?]). I'm just trying to get with the program here/get smart on these new TYPES OF radios (I don't care who makes it). If I can program channels into the radio, then I'm assuming I can program channels that are legal or not already spoken for.
I don't know what a "simplex" frequency is - is it something my little 5W radio can be programed for within its UHF/VHF range?
I'm assuming my 5watt radio has the same abilities as far as channels as the larger 25 - 60watt radios.
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
simplex means radio to radio, not using a repeater.
A repeater is a radio with an antenna up on a tower or building that takes your signal and rebroadcast it from up high with more power there by increasing your range. However it is not nice to hog a repeater so for running with a group you would walk to talk radio to radio and there are certain ham frequencies that are recommended for that.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
simplex means radio to radio, not using a repeater.
A repeater is a radio with an antenna up on a tower or building that takes your signal and rebroadcast it from up high with more power there by increasing your range. However it is not nice to hog a repeater so for running with a group you would walk to talk radio to radio and there are certain ham frequencies that are recommended for that.
Yes; now we're getting somewhere. Simplex is what I'm planning on. According to the RR site, my little 5watt UHF/VHF radio - along with having 40 "popular preprogramed channels", has up to 128 programmable channels.

The ranges on the radio are: VHF: 150MHz-174MHz, and UHF: 450MHz-470MHz. Do all these fall in within the ham range?

Earlier someone was talking about a channel 151.625. I'm assuming that is within the VHF range. So what breaks down or separates a channel? Is it to the third decimal place? What's the next channel up from 151.625 (just randomly choosing this as an example frequency)? Is it 151.626? 151.630? 151.650? So much to learn.

And if I am running with a group and want to talk radio to radio, what are these elusive ham frequencies that are recommended as mentioned above? Literally - I will print them off and keep them with the radio for when I'm with a group to make sure we're doing the right thing.
 
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prerunner1982

Adventurer
ham frequencies are from 144-148 Mhz (VHF, aka 2 meters) and 420-450 Mhz (UHF, aka 70 centimeters) and is not broken down into channels. I could talk on 146.46 or 146.47 or 146.48 etc if I wanted to, just as an example.

151.625 isn't in a band you can use so best not to worry about channel spacing on it.
I have previously posted the channel break down for FRS/GMRS, and MURS.

Your radio should operate from 136-174 Mhz (VHF) and from 400-520 Mhz (UHF) but again, just because it can doesn't mean you are allowed to or that it is legal for that radio to be used there.
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
The BaoFeng radio says its frequency range is: VHF: 136 MHz-174 MHz, and the UHF: 400 MHz -520 MHz
The Rugged Radio says its frequency range is: VHF: 150 MHz-174 MHz, and UHF: 450 MHz-470 MHz (noted - not as wide a range as the BaoFeng radio)
https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1171&products_id=1274
Prerunner 1982 says: ham frequencies are from 144-148 Mhz (VHF, aka 2 meters) and 420-450 Mhz

I'm not trying to be a smart-butt; I'm just trying to get smart on these radios and do what's right.
So if those frequencies are correct for the BaoFeng and RR radios, and if Prerunner 1982 is correct; does that mean my Rugged Radio is not designed to handle ham frequencies (and therefore I don't need a license) since it doesn't look like it supports those ham frequencies?
I really do appreciate everyone's input on this - I'm sure to the experienced ham radio folks out there I'm asking extremely simple basic questions.
 
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Ray_G

Explorer
I'm not trying to be a smart-butt; I'm just trying to get smart on these radios and do what's right.
So if those frequencies are correct for the BaoFeng and RR radios, and if Prerunner 1982 is correct; does that mean my Rugged Radio is not designed to handle ham frequencies (and therefore I don't need a license) since it doesn't look like it supports those ham frequencies?
I really do appreciate everyone's input on this - I'm sure to the experienced ham radio folks out there I'm asking extremely simple basic questions.
It would be more accurate to say if you bought a RR radio it is not configured to operate on amateur radio frequencies and thus that license is not needed for your application. You would be operating in the 'business band' given FCC spectrum allocation.

What you really are driving at, I believe, is if you purchase a RR radio will you be 'legal'; the answer is if you have something on file with the FCC ($70 for 5 years, I believe) for that band. https://www.ruggedradios.com/blog/vhf-and-uhf-explained/
 

prerunner1982

Adventurer
The BaoFeng radio says its frequency range is: VHF: 136 MHz-174 MHz, and the UHF: 400 MHz -520 MHz
The Rugged Radio says its frequency range is: VHF: 150 MHz-174 MHz, and UHF: 450 MHz-470 MHz (noted - not as wide a range as the BaoFeng radio)
https://www.ruggedradios.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=1167_1171&products_id=1274
Prerunner 1982 says: ham frequencies are from 144-148 Mhz (VHF, aka 2 meters) and 420-450 Mhz

I'm not trying to be a smart-butt; I'm just trying to get smart on these radios and do what's right.
So if those frequencies are correct for the BaoFeng and RR radios, and if Prerunner 1982 is correct; does that mean my Rugged Radio is not designed to handle ham frequencies (and therefore I don't need a license) since it doesn't look like it supports those ham frequencies?
I really do appreciate everyone's input on this - I'm sure to the experienced ham radio folks out there I'm asking extremely simple basic questions.
I would be more inclined to believe that RR locked the ham frequencies out. It's simply part of the software used to program the radio, I can do it on my baofengs too. To be honest I am surprised that RR would do that though since they seem to thumb their nose at the FCC.
I have already provided you with the "license free" frequencies even though the radio isn't legal there either. ANYWHERE else you have to have a license of some sort (GMRS - radio not legal to operate there either, Business band, or ham band).
 

rnArmy

Adventurer
I would be more inclined to believe that RR locked the ham frequencies out. It's simply part of the software used to program the radio, I can do it on my baofengs too. To be honest I am surprised that RR would do that though since they seem to thumb their nose at the FCC.
I have already provided you with the "license free" frequencies even though the radio isn't legal there either. ANYWHERE else you have to have a license of some sort (GMRS - radio not legal to operate there either, Business band, or ham band).
Yes you did in post #18, and I appreciate it. I am going to make a little booklet to keep with the radio with the list you gave me of "license free" frequencies, and the list outback97 posted in post #6. That way if I'm with a group and they say we're on frequency "XYZ.ABC", I can check my little booklet and make sure it is not an already designated channel (business band, etc.).

And Ray_G thank-you for the link. I don't mind spending money for a license of some sort, or studying for a test if that's what I need to do to be "legal".

I'm sure I'm not the only one that is coming from using CBs to this new UHF/VHF radio thing (ok; new to me), and wants to do the right thing. I'm just trying to figure out what right looks like. You guys have been great pointing me in the right direction.

So if my RR radio has the ham frequencies locked-out, then I figure I don't need a ham radio certificate (still might do the technician thing since it looks interesting). But it sounds like I need register with the FCC.

From Rugged Radio (from the link Ray_G provided):

Rugged Radios offers radios that work in the commercial band and as a result, they do not require testing as they fall outside the range of a HAM radio.

However, a licensing and filing fee should be done with the FCC for our radios. For the frequency range we deal with, you would need to file for a PLMR (Private Land Mobile Radio) license. There's a couple steps involved and the fee is nominal. You can do some research online for additional details, but these two links may be a great place to start your process…

https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/bureau-divisions/mobility-division/private-land-mobile-radio-services

https://www.fcc.gov/help/applying-new-license-universal-licensing-system-uls
 
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outback97

Adventurer
I would be more inclined to believe that RR locked the ham frequencies out. It's simply part of the software used to program the radio, I can do it on my baofengs too. To be honest I am surprised that RR would do that though since they seem to thumb their nose at the FCC.
...
I was curious about this too, looks like it can vary... most of them have frequencies below 150 MHz locked out but it sounds like some users have been able to enter regular 2M frequencies.

http://dualsport-sd.com/forums/index.php?/topic/22246-baofeng-freq-rugged-radio-freq/
http://dualsport-sd.com/forums/index.php?/topic/20693-need-help-with-my-rugged-radio/
 

Rando

Explorer
You would need a PLMR license for the specific frequencies programmed into your radio. FYI a PLMR license is $260 plus a processing fee. You will need to talk to a frequency coordinator to see if the channels you want to use are available in the area you are in without interfering with other more senior license holders. Needless to say, this would be a ridiculous way to get a radio to chat with your buddies on the trail. You could get your amateur radio license and reprogram your radio to use amateur frequencies, but all your buddies would also need to do the same.

Heed the advice you have been given, return this thing and you and your buddies can all by nice GMRS radios and get an $80 license. Easy to use, inexpensive, nice and legal.
 
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