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BaoFeng New To GMRS

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#1 TK68

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 04:31 PM

Please forgive me in advance, for the length of this post describing my situation and concerns...

 

I'm new to GMRS and am concerned about safety for each of my family members.  When traveling, there are many things that can go wrong and put the safety of a loved one at risk.  With this in mind, I am in the process of putting together a Vehicle Emergency Kit, which consists of a first aid kit, and as many things I can think of to fit into a small backpack, that could help someone cope a little better in almost any emergency situation; and when an emergency takes place, the ability to have communication to get help is very high on the list, so as a last resort in the event that they have no cell signal, phone battery is dead etc., I'm putting a 2-way handheld radio, extra batteries, N-771 long range antenna etc. in the kit.  

 

Wanting to be in compliance with GMRS approved radios, I searched online every way I could think of, but cannot find Anywhere, a list of Which radios are approved for GMRS.  When looking at radios on Amazon.com I came across the BaoFeng/Btech GMRS-V1, saw it had a keypad for programming so I bought 6 of them to put one in each kit, even though they were more costly than I had hoped; but of course I asked myself "how much is the safety of my family members worth?".  I've spent hours upon hours searching for all the GMRS frequencies I could find in the state of Oregon, entered all the information needed (I think), using the Chirp programming software.  I got all the frequencies programmed into the GMRS-V1 but continuously ran into the issue that I could not get the + 5.ooooo frequency duplex to be saved into the radio.  I entered the information manually and it seemed to work, but when I went back to that channel to confirm I did things correctly, it was back to 000.000 time after time.  I searched for help on this and found out that what I didn't realize is that you can only program receivable frequencies!  With this being the case, there seem to be many GMRS frequencies throughout the state that are Not on the list of FCC approved frequencies permanently programmed into this particular radio, which in my case, is limiting the ability for my family members to be able to call for help if at all needed.  So, at this point, I will be returning the radios and looking for another.  I am contemplating at the least, getting the BaoFeng UV-82 5 watt radio, but am considering the UV-82HP for the extra 2 to 3 watts in case 5 watts isn't strong enough to reach out for help.  For occasional use, I plan to get a couple GMRS radios and hopefully when my wife goes to town and I'm at home, we can keep in contact.

 

So now my biggest concern is:

 

These radios will be tucked away in a small backpack and never used, unless "IF" someone finds themself in an emergency situation and as a last resort, needs to use the radio in an attempt to call for help.  But, I am worried about getting into trouble with the FCC for any transmission that may or may not ever take place on these radios.

 

Again, I apologize for the length of this post, for those who were willing to take the time to read it.

 

Anyone have any thoughts?

 

 



#2 Corey

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 05:24 PM

I would not worry about it, 1000's of them in use and nobody is doing anything about it so 6 sitting in survival kits is null. 

 

I think your survival bag is a fantastic idea with the way things are in the world that bag may be all somebody has.

 

It don't matter if its a natural disaster or armageddon people that have communication will be the ones that survive.


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Just My $.02

 

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#3 marcspaz

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 06:20 PM

There is a loose interpretation of the rules that say something like "in an emergency, forget all the restrictions you just read."  Again, a loose interpretation... but that is the basics of it.

 

That said, it never hurts to practice, practice, practice.  The two best pieces of advice I ever got was... the worst time to look for a lawyer is after you need one, and the worst time to learn how to use emergency equipment is during an emergency.


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#4 TK68

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:41 PM

I would not worry about it, 1000's of them in use and nobody is doing anything about it so 6 sitting in survival kits is null. 

 

I think your survival bag is a fantastic idea with the way things are in the world that bag may be all somebody has.

 

It don't matter if its a natural disaster or armageddon people that have communication will be the ones that survive.

 

Thank you for responding, and I'm glad someone actually likes the idea of a survival pack.  I wish I had done this sooner, but with everything I've been able to make fit into this 10" x 17" back it should help make whatever the situation may be, a little easier to handle.  Lol, I could post the entire list of what's in the pack, but I know someone would think I'm ridiculous.  I alway try to consider, if I were in a predicament, is this an item that I would be better off having and hopefully not needing it, or be in a situation where it could have been good to have but then not have it.



#5 TK68

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Posted 14 May 2019 - 07:43 PM

There is a loose interpretation of the rules that say something like "in an emergency, forget all the restrictions you just read."  Again, a loose interpretation... but that is the basics of it.

 

That said, it never hurts to practice, practice, practice.  The two best pieces of advice I ever got was... the worst time to look for a lawyer is after you need one, and the worst time to learn how to use emergency equipment is during an emergency.

 

Thank you, I appreciate your reply.  I hadn't considered the fact that it would be beneficial for my family members to practice being new to having to now use a call sign...



#6 taco6513

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:04 AM

  With this being the case, there seem to be many GMRS frequencies throughout the state that are Not on the list of FCC approved frequencies 

 

 

The State of Oregon has authorized new GMRS frequencies? How did they go around the FCC? Did Oregon suseed from the union?

The list of frequencies listed on the FCC web site for GMRS use is the list. Any other frequencies require the proper license.

The Btech GMRS V-1 is preprogramed to  transmit on all legal GMRS channels.

WRCW870 



#7 kidphc

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:10 AM

So, at this point, I will be returning the radios and looking for another.  I am contemplating at the least, getting the BaoFeng UV-82 5 watt radio, but am considering the UV-82HP for the extra 2 to 3 watts in case 5 watts isn't strong enough to reach out for help.  For occasional use, I plan to get a couple GMRS radios and hopefully when my wife goes to town and I'm at home, we can keep in contact.

 

So now my biggest concern is:

 

These radios will be tucked away in a small backpack and never used, unless "IF" someone finds themself in an emergency situation and as a last resort, needs to use the radio in an attempt to call for help.  But, I am worried about getting into trouble with the FCC for any transmission that may or may not ever take place on these radios.

 

 

 

First off, sorry for any intrusion of privacy you may feel. I looked at your ID on the FCC database to get an idea of what the topography looks like in your area. For short distance coms I believe you will be fine, although having your home nestled in a wooded valley isn't going to help with the distance.

 

I would contact the owner of the CP650  GMRS repeater and see if you can get permission to use it. H*** the owner may come out to see if he reach that far and give you some insight locally as what to expect. Then you can see if you can further your range. You do seem to have some serious mountains between you and the town north of you. The town I keep referring to is the big one north east of you. A handheld may not be able to reach out very far.  Which may hamper you ability to contact the wife in town. 

 

Also check with the local HAM club, you have some a couple 2 meter repeaters in town. Tech license seems pretty easy (studying for mine). Then any one with a Technician license can legally walk around with the UV82. No one is going to slap you with fines if you have a family member bleeding out on a trail and calling for help on a HAM band. In fact may HAMs have facilitated in saving someone's life. Just keep in mind that the FCC's definition of an emergency is probably not the same as yours.

 

In my area (Rockville/Potomac MD) the terrain, rolling piedmont, with tons of trees. "Keep Maryland Beautiful" really translates to don't you dare touch that tree and if you do contact us and plant another one. In have some spots around my house I get awesome coverage, drive to Walgreens 3/4 miles away and even using the upper channels on the GMRSV1 it will break up quite a bit. Have toyed with a local personal repeater. The local HAM repeater 4 miles from my house, on top of a government building, I have heard as far as 16 miles away. I will have a better idea once I join the club and get my license,


Edited by spd641, 15 May 2019 - 04:09 PM.
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#8 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:02 PM

  With this being the case, there seem to be many GMRS frequencies throughout the state that are Not on the list of FCC approved frequencies 

 

 

The State of Oregon has authorized new GMRS frequencies? How did they go around the FCC? Did Oregon suseed from the union?

The list of frequencies listed on the FCC web site for GMRS use is the list. Any other frequencies require the proper license.

The Btech GMRS V-1 is preprogramed to  transmit on all legal GMRS channels.

WRCW870 

 

I apologize for any confusion if I am mistaken.  I am very new to GMRS and could very well be wrong in my understanding.  Though I am new to all this, I have spent hours reading and trying to educate myself.  With that said, from what I understand about available frequencies is, FRS has 14 regular channels for their use (all of which seem to be shared with GMRS), 8 repeater channels used by GMRS and FRS, and then 8 repeater channels specifically for GMRS.  When I compared the repeater frequencies with the ones I found on myGMRS.com for the state of Oregon, there seem to have been several that were the same as what I had found in other searches, but it also seemed like there were several more available for GMRS that didn't appear to be on the list of frequencies that I found programmed into the GMRS-V1.  Again, I could very well be wrong or confused since there seems to be so much to learn.  I've been keeping notes, copy & paste etc. on Microsoft Word so I don't have to try to remember which site said what, in hopes that I can understand it all.



#9 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:51 PM

I would contact the owner of the CP650  GMRS repeater and see if you can get permission to use it. 

 

 

Also check with the local HAM club, you have some a couple 20 meter repeaters in town. Tech license seems pretty easy (studying for mine). 

 

When I clicked on the CP650 link, is shows that it's an open repeater.  However, I will go ahead and contact that person to ask permission.  When it comes to asking for permission to use a repeater, I have not had that pleasant of an experience so far in asking for permission.  I sent an email to two different people with repeaters that require permission on the "myGMRS.com list of repeaters in Oregon", told them what I was doing for my family, and mentioned that if any of them happened to find themselves in an emergency situation within transmittable distance of the repeater in their area and needed to call for help...., and asking how I may go about asking for permission.  This was simply asking for permission to most likely "Never" need to actually use it, but to at least have it programmed into my radio for "just in case".  What are the odds?  Anyway, one of the repeater owners didn't even have the courtesy to give a reply, and they other one treated me as if I was an idiot.  Here's what his reply was: 

 

"Your callsign shows you are in Jacksonville, Or.  So I have no clue as to why you think you can operate through a Portland GMRS repeater 250+ miles away.  You do realize GMRS only operates 5 to 25 miles, even when using a repeater? 50 miles if you are lucky?  No worries, it's all part of learning!  Oh, your last question....on how enter frequencies into GMRS radios, MOST cannot be programmed.  So buying a better commercial walkie and mobile is about the only way to get onto existing GMRS repeaters.  Most closed (private GMRS) repeater owners don't want weak off the shelf cheapy walkies on their systems, so we put in private (secret ) access codes that off the shelf walkies don't or cannot have.  This is not like CB radio.

I would suggest a bunch of Baofeng UV-B6 or UV-B5 walkies (they can be programmed through their keypad) and include all CTCSS and DCS codes that commercial radios have, so they are your best (cheapest) walkie to outfit your family with."

 

I tend to take things personal.  I felt like I was being lectured and treated like I was stupid or something.  1) I did not say anything to the effect of someone trying to contact their repeater 250 miles away for help!  Any idiot would know if they needed help, it would be from contacting the nearest repeater to them that is within their reachable transmission distance.  2) I did Not ask him how to enter frequencies into my radio, I was asking permission to enter their repeater frequency into my radio!  And 3) it felt like to me, he was assuming that my radio was a "cheapy", I never said anything about thinking that it was like CB; I simply asked how I would go about "receiving permission", in the event there was ever a need.  With all this, I never got permission from either of the repeater owners that I contacted.  I just hope that the one with CP650 is reasonable to deal with.  Sorry to have rambled on...



#10 berkinet

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 03:52 PM

Tip... Make sure any radios you will not be using on a regular basis can run on Alkaline (or lithium) batteries. Then store two or three sets of batteries with, BUT NOT IN, the radios and tag each set with the date. Never leave batteries in or connected to a radio you will not be using in a regular basis. Also, make sure everyone knows how to install and change the batteries. Then, once year replace one set of batteries (choose the oldest set if they are not all the same age) with a fresh set and use the, now surplus batteries, in some non-essential device.

BTW, Although virtually all even half-decent radios come with rechargeable batteries, many, like the Baofengs, have optional packs that can hold alkaline batteries.

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#11 kidphc

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:03 PM

It is quite fine to ramble on. He just sounds like an jerk. For all he knows you have a mother in law there, that you go to visit 2x a month. Asking permission was just a courtesy. Brush it off. There are plenty of awesome repeater operators and folks out there. A lot of the ones i contact just tell me the repeater no longer exist or etc. Their money their equipment.

In your terrain you may be quite frustrated with the range of a HT or even a mobile unit.

I have you thought of a sat phone or an aprs unit with text capabilities? Although the aprs units (ie. Spot etc) have their own limitations.

Personally, I am still working on my bugout gear (three tiered).

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#12 berkinet

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:16 PM

...
"Your callsign shows you are in Jacksonville, Or. So I have no clue as to why you think you can operate through a Portland GMRS repeater 250+ miles away. You do realize GMRS only operates 5 to 25 miles, even when using a repeater? 50 miles if you are lucky? No worries, it's all part of learning! Oh, your last question....on how enter frequencies into GMRS radios, MOST cannot be programmed. So buying a better commercial walkie and mobile is about the only way to get onto existing GMRS repeaters. Most closed (private GMRS) repeater owners don't want weak off the shelf cheapy walkies on their systems, so we put in private (secret ) access codes that off the shelf walkies don't or cannot have. This is not like CB radio.

I’d suggest you might set aside your ruffled feathers for a moment and read the email you posted carefully. While I may not agree with everything he wrote to you, a lot of what he said is good advice and at least good food for thought. If you discard all the advice that is given in a tone that disagrees with you, you may be missing a lot if valuable information.
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Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#13 Elkhunter521

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 04:19 PM

Wow, there are jerks in this world and then there are JERKS,!!!

Just got off another post here about HOA membership and how they did not exclude
A$$ #ole$.
Looks like owning a repeater does not guarantee a human response to a request for information.
Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!

#14 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:12 PM

BTW, Although virtually all even half-decent radios come with rechargeable batteries, many, like the Baofengs, have optional packs that can hold alkaline batteries.

 

I appreciate the tip... In the pack (besides the factory battery pack) I have 4 extra battery packs.  I hadn't thought about getting a battery pack that holds alkalines.  I'll give that some consideration.... Thank you



#15 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:25 PM

In your terrain you may be quite frustrated with the range of a HT or even a mobile unit.

have you thought of a sat phone or an aprs unit with text capabilities? Although the aprs units (ie. Spot etc) have their own limitations.

 

No, I hadn't thought of a sat phone, and I don't know what an aprs unit is; I'll google it and see if it's something I could get.  I also am not familiar with what an HT is,,,,I'm guessing it's a Home Transmitter...

 

I'm new to using forums, but if I can figure out how to email you through here, I'll send you a list of everything I had thought of for my packs.



#16 kidphc

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:26 PM

Ht. Handheld transmitter

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#17 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 05:49 PM

While I may not agree with everything he wrote to you, a lot of what he said is good advice and at least good food for thought. If you discard all the advice that is given in a tone that disagrees with you, you may be missing a lot if valuable information.

 

I agree, though I didn't like his overall response, I did take note of the positive feedback he gave for consideration.



#18 BoxCar

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:12 PM

You may also want to consider a solar charger for use as an alternative power source. 


Old and wise infers you were once young and stupid


#19 TK68

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 07:20 PM

You may also want to consider a solar charger for use as an alternative power source. 

 

I hadn't thought about that option as well.  Thank you.



#20 n4gix

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Posted 15 May 2019 - 08:27 PM

Handy Talkie... ;)







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