National Overland Comms Plan


Could we have a sticky with no comments other than local overland/off road frequencies? I know there was a post or two a while ago I lost track of advocating 146.46 as a national overland simplex frequency. There were regional frequencies as well but I forgot them.

Could be a useful tool for folks programming rigs for trips.


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The Toyota Landcruiser community has adopted 146.460 for several years as it's 'offroad' frequency. Careful through the St. Georges, UT area tho. It's a repeater frequency there! IIRC started with the NorCal 80's group several years ago and has grown from there.


Expedition Leader
If you are on the rubicon (or nearby, the repeater covers a huge area, why they call it the high sierra repeater) you'll want 146.805 neg offset 123.0 PL

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I have in my notes gathered from some where:

4WD1 146.430
4WD2 146.460
4WD3 146.490
4WD4 146.580
4WD5 147.420
4WD6 147.450
4WD7 147.480
4WD8 147.540
4WD9 147.570
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Could a moderator make this sticky please?

Thanks for the responses all. Keep them coming for your area. its one thing to check a repeater directory. Its another to have locals sharing their knowledge.


Expo this, expo that, exp
It's different based on locality

It's different based on locality. Your band plan for your locality should be a guide. In my area (Southern California / San Diego) all I've heard on 146.460 is individuals accessing remote bases. And when I inspect the band plan that's what I see.

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Was thinking the same thing...

My (strictly-unofficial) observations:

  • CB (Citizens Band, a.k.a. 11m):

    Channel 4 (27.005):
    Used for trail comms.
    Occasionally can be noisy if daytime atmospheric band conditions that bring signals in from far away are present (my group often sticks between ch 31-35 for this reason).

    Channel 6 (27.025):
    The DX-er's pileup channel (AM-mode).
    Avoid this one if band conditions are present and you don't have a big huge radio lol. Source of much of the noise on Ch 4 (bleed-over).

    Channel 7 (27.035):
    Seems it may be the Spanish equivalent of Ch. 19 (see 19 below).

    Channel 9 (27.065):
    Reserved for emergency communications & traffic assistance.
    With the advent of cell-phones it's not used much anymore (though is still a good idea for everyone to switch to if involved with an active local emergency).

    Channels 12 & 17 (27.105 & 27.165):
    Seem to be the local rag-chewer's channel in many locales (at least out here on the west coast anyway), though any channel is possible for this (a radio with a scan function can help you find local groups talking).
    Good for local information (finding restaurants, gas stations, street directions, etc.) if there is an active group in the area.

    Channel 16 (27.155):
    Used for SSB (single-sideband) prior to the 40-channel band expansion.

    Channel 19 (27.185):
    Highway information channel.
    OTR-truck drivers frequently monitor 19.

    Channel 23 (27.255):
    Dual-use channel for voice/non-voice applications (car-alarm pagers, radio-controlled models, etc.).

    Channels 36-39 (27.365-27.395):
    Frequently used for single-sideband (that "Charlie Brown's Teacher"-sound heard if you do not have a SSB-capable unit)

    Channel 38 LSB (27.385 lower-sideband):
    SSB-equivalent of Channel 6.

  • FRS (Family Radio Service):

    Channel 1 (462.5625):
    Some groups have tried to establish this as a calling frequency. Indeed it is the busiest (though probably because most radios default to ch-01 when you first turn them on).

    Channel 4 (462.6375):
    As with 11m CB, is frequently used for trail comms.

    It should be noted FRS channels 8-14 (467.5625-467.7125, 25 kHz steps) are exclusive-use channels, and are less susceptible to interference (bleed-over) from high-power repeater stations in the area using the 462-MHz band.

  • MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service):

    This band is very under-utilized. No band-use plans exist that I'm aware of (official or unofficial).

    CH 1 = 151.820 MHz
    CH 2 = 151.880
    CH 3 = 151.940
    CH 4 = 154.570
    CH 5 = 154.600

    Channels 1-3 are the least busy due to not being shared with low-powered itinerant users as ch 4 & 5 are (businesses such as Target, Wal-Mart, Costco, amusement parks, and many others used CH 4 & 5 long before the MURS was established). There also still exists an occasional (grandfathered-in) business using CH 1-3 in some areas, though they are not as prevalent as they once were (the narrowbanding mandate of 2012 eliminated a large number of these users who chose not to upgrade or readjust their existing equipment).

  • GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service):
    Been out of the loop on this one for awhile... I seem to recall something channel 6 ("20" on many FRS/GMRS radios) may have been used by R.E.A.C.T. for local emergencies and disaster-preparedness operations, but I can't say if this is still the case (maybe someone else can chime in). GMRS still requires an operator's license unlike the above three radio services ($85 currently, valid for 5 years, no technical exam is required). Unlike with Amateur radio licenses, operating privileges also extend to the family members of a GMRS license holder, allowing them the use of a GMRS station under the same license.

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just my two cents but on a recent death valley trip I was one of 4 hams. The other three were on the nice little Baofeng UV-5Rs. Coms were spotty all day from the front of the convoy to the dust spaced back. One of the guys with a baofeng suggested we go to UHF and things were much better. I dont know if thats just the wavelength properties or the Baofengs (stock antennas) work better on UHF, but it was enough to add a UHF simplex freq to all our future trips. There are bound to be alot of those HTs on the trail so I figured it was worth adding.