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Author Topic: For bow hunting communication, BAOFENG UV-5R?? License requirements?  (Read 23191 times)
KEVIN2
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Posts: 6




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« on: January 17, 2014, 04:22:34 PM »

I was reading somewhere on one of my hunting forums that getting a couple of these BAOFENG UV-5R is a great option for short range communication between hunters. I have a couple kids, and I'm usually positioned 50-100 yards away, generally within direct eye sight. The problem I'm trying to fix, is that when hunting you can't be moving much & you can't be talking either. So, to alert my kids/hunting partner that something is coming, a "walkie talkie" could possible really help out with some stealthy communication.

Thinking that a earpiece with PTT button on the earpiece would be the next great option. These units appear to come with these as well.

So, I see that Ham radio operation requires a license. My question is, can you use these "walkie talkie" sized ham 2 way radios as walkie talkies OR do I have to have a license to use them in any capacity?

 
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K3DCW
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« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2014, 07:21:54 PM »

You'll likely get a a lot of grief, Kevin, but here is a short answer.

If used within that two-meter amateur radio band (144-148MHz) or the 70cm amateur band (420-450MHz), then they require an amateur license.  If used on other frequencies they will also likely require a license as there are all types of users in the frequency range accessible by these radios.  Operating said radios in a band requiring a license while not possessing said license can subject you to fines up to $10,000 per violation. 

It would be safer and cheaper to go with FRS radios like these: http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-16-Mile-Channel-Battery-Two-Way/dp/B004RG0YMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1390015041&sr=1-1&keywords=FRS+radio   They have 7 channels (the FRS) channels on which to operate without a license, and if you want to operate on all 22, then you simply need to fill out the form that comes with the radios and get your license from the FCC for all 22 channels.

Dave
K3DCW
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KEVIN2
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« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2014, 07:33:10 PM »

Thanks Dave.

Let me ask you this, how hard is it to get the license? I've done a bit of reading on it, but not honestly sure.

If I did get a license, would what I want to do with the Ham hand held allowable then?
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K3DCW
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« Reply #3 on: January 17, 2014, 07:49:30 PM »

Thanks Dave.

Let me ask you this, how hard is it to get the license? I've done a bit of reading on it, but not honestly sure.

If I did get a license, would what I want to do with the Ham hand held allowable then?

For you, yes.  For your kids, no.  You all would need to do it, unless you were standing right there with them in which case you don't need radios.

The easiest way is really the GMRS/FRS radios I linked to or ones similar (they have waterproof ones too that are probably better for hunting).  They should have enough power to do what you want, at much lower cost (heck, you get two radios for about $20) and you are avoiding the chance of a $10,000 fine. 

The ham radio license test is not too difficult; but depending upon how much you know about radio, you may have to study a bit. Free study materials are available on line along with the complete question pool. 

Dave
K3DCW
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KEVIN2
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« Reply #4 on: January 17, 2014, 08:13:23 PM »

thanks Dave. I'll most likely do just that.

What the heck are these hand held  BAOFENG UV-5R Hams being used for?
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ONAIR
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Posts: 3525




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« Reply #5 on: January 17, 2014, 09:17:13 PM »

You'll likely get a a lot of grief, Kevin, but here is a short answer.

If used within that two-meter amateur radio band (144-148MHz) or the 70cm amateur band (420-450MHz), then they require an amateur license.  If used on other frequencies they will also likely require a license as there are all types of users in the frequency range accessible by these radios.  Operating said radios in a band requiring a license while not possessing said license can subject you to fines up to $10,000 per violation. 

It would be safer and cheaper to go with FRS radios like these: http://www.amazon.com/Uniden-16-Mile-Channel-Battery-Two-Way/dp/B004RG0YMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1390015041&sr=1-1&keywords=FRS+radio   They have 7 channels (the FRS) channels on which to operate without a license, and if you want to operate on all 22, then you simply need to fill out the form that comes with the radios and get your license from the FCC for all 22 channels.

Dave
K3DCW
   Good point.  A pair of old 11 meter Walkie Talkies could also suit his needs.  One can find them fairly cheap on ebay.
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K3DCW
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2014, 10:12:35 PM »

What the heck are these hand held  BAOFENG UV-5R Hams being used for?

For Amateur Radio communications, often during travel times or even in times of emergency, to allow communication with other licensed radio amateurs.

73

Dave
K3DCW
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KK4LGR
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2014, 11:55:34 PM »

I responded to a similar question here: http://www.eham.net/ehamforum/smf/index.php/topic,94442.0.html  I'll let you read that rather than retyping it.

The short, short version is, all of the VHF or UHF handheld communication services will have similar performance when used without repeaters.  Ham radio performs so much better because we've got so many repeaters that are open for anyone to use.  GMRS operators seldom open their repeaters to uninvited use, whereas hams tend to, the other services aren't allowed to use repeaters.

FRS is probably the easiest system for you to get into, as it will easily do what you want to do.

I'm still going to invite you into amateur radio, though!  You're a hunter, so I imagine you enjoy being outdoors.  You would probably enjoy things like hilltopping, hiking up into the mountains with a portable radio and using the high altitude to make distant radio contacts.  Or what about fox hunting?  That's where you hide a little transmitter and use radios to find it.  That one's really popular with kids.  There's lots of fun stuff to do with radios when hunting season is closed.  It's a wide open and diverse hobby that you can enjoy with your whole family.

I own one of those Baofengs, and it's a good little radio.  You've got to learn how to program it, but once you do, it works great.  I use mine to ragchew (that is, have informal conversations) with other hams, to help out with local public events like triathlons, or as a backup communications system in case of an emergency.  I also use mine to listen to the weather radio broadcasts.  Some folks use them (with better antennas than the one it comes with) to talk to the astronauts on the ISS since the space station has an amateur station and many of the astronauts are licensed hams.  The astronauts often talk to school kids via ham radio.  There are even satellites in space just for hams, and you can use a handheld like a Baofeng to listen to them, like this:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mv4K41Ztax8  There's lots you can do with it, and it just barely scratches the surface of the tip of the iceberg that is ham radio.  It's a wide and diverse hobby.

73 (That's radio talk for best wishes),
Adam
KK4LGR
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KE5GAE
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Posts: 153




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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2014, 04:17:03 AM »

thanks Dave. I'll most likely do just that.

What the heck are these hand held  BAOFENG UV-5R Hams being used for?
Well, some hams like them (for various reasons).  But to be honest, probably a lot of them get sold and used on the GMRS freqs, which is technically illegal, even with a GMRS license (since they are not type certified for GMRS use).  They seem to be popular with the "SHTF/TEOTWAWKI" crowd for comms in the "ZPAW."  As for being sold and used -- "illegally" -- on the GMRS freqs, I suspect that there is far more "illegal" use of the type certified bubble pack walkie talkies, i.e. people buying them, and then using the GMRS frequencies without bothering to get a license.  Has the FCC ever gone after anyone for doing this?

Basil
KE5GAE
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6252




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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2014, 05:30:10 AM »

...What the heck are these hand held  BAOFENG UV-5R Hams being used for?

Some people will buy anything.  If you look here on this site, some lunatics are buying these to use on the public service bands for--of all things--personal duty radios for firefighters!  (See the 'Emergency Communications' forum and look for "UV-5R FOR PART 90 FIRE DEPT USAGE" there, on the second page.)    

The frequencies that these radios operate on are ALL either restricted or require a license to use.  The factories in China and that government doesn't really care, though, as long as they can get $$$ for their stuff, just like anybody else.

These radios are in the same class as the Ranger and similar supposed 10 meter rigs--that are really meant to be used in the 11 meter citizens band.  Illegal to use, but hard to stop because of the grey legal areas--and the lackluster performance of our government in actually giving these things approval to be sold here.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2014, 05:32:49 AM by K1CJS » Logged
G3RZP
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Posts: 8123




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« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2014, 05:37:39 AM »

Don't the FCC rely on the report from a "independent" Test House for equipment certification? Having seen some of those, they are not worth much and do the FCC have enough engineers to evaluate the results? I suspect that in many cases, the Test House takes the photographs, fills in the measurements, ticks the boxes and that's that.....
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K1CJS
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« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2014, 10:12:57 AM »

Don't the FCC rely on the report from a "independent" Test House for equipment certification? Having seen some of those, they are not worth much and do the FCC have enough engineers to evaluate the results? I suspect that in many cases, the Test House takes the photographs, fills in the measurements, ticks the boxes and that's that.....

That's exactly what I mean, and what I'm getting at.  These HTs fall in a grey area of the regs and are just barely meeting them, yet the 'independent testing houses' that the FCC rely on passed them.  The FCC didn't even check the specs--or the conclusions made by the supposed testing house!
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KE4JOY
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Posts: 1418




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« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2014, 12:48:09 PM »

There is a local group of hams whom in concert with the fcc are monitoring local hunters using the amateur radio frequency spectrum. Most likely with Baofengs.

I hear the report every week on the local net. They take themselves quite seriously and plan prosecution.
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G3RZP
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Posts: 8123




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« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2014, 02:47:42 PM »

K1CJS,

Some 15 years ago, I was involved in a case where a US Test House submitted 'measured data' on an equipment against a European standard. 12 months later, they submitted data on a similar equipment from a different manufacturer and you could lay the two spurious emission results over each other to get a 100% match. But they were different manufacturers.....

There are UK test houses no better. One of the mandatory EU tests include EMC tests involving a power supply interruption. After the power failure, the device must comply - meaning (among other things) not coming up on the wrong frequency. A certificate of compliance was issued for a synthesised pager tx, and complaints came in of them coming up on 145.000 MHz rather than up in the 150MHz region - 145.000 is a repeater input frequency here. In some cases, SWR was so high that the tx failed!

Then there's the European  test houses that issued compliance certificates for artificial hip joints  that released metal poisons into the bloodstream....We can go on....

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KA5IPF
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Posts: 1406


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« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2014, 04:41:43 PM »

...What the heck are these hand held  BAOFENG UV-5R Hams being used for?

Some people will buy anything.  If you look here on this site, some lunatics are buying these to use on the public service bands for--of all things--personal duty radios for firefighters!  (See the 'Emergency Communications' forum and look for "UV-5R FOR PART 90 FIRE DEPT USAGE" there, on the second page.)    

The frequencies that these radios operate on are ALL either restricted or require a license to use.  The factories in China and that government doesn't really care, though, as long as they can get $$$ for their stuff, just like anybody else.

These radios are in the same class as the Ranger and similar supposed 10 meter rigs--that are really meant to be used in the 11 meter citizens band.  Illegal to use, but hard to stop because of the grey legal areas--and the lackluster performance of our government in actually giving these things approval to be sold here.


FWIW the Baofengs and Wouxuns I own are Part 90 Approved. Sticker on the radio. Perfect for volunteer firemen.
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