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Old 12-11-2018, 09:41 AM   #26 (permalink)
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so at my office, we have a thing called the ASS rule... meaning, Acronyms Seriously Suck.

In this thread I've seen a ton of acronyms and I have no idea what most of them mean so I gotta imagine there's at least a few others in my boat. It would be rad if someone can save the rest of us a whole shatload of googling and clear this up. And yes, there are some of these that I recognize, but for the sake of completeness:

HAM
VHF
FCC
ULS
LMR
UHF
PLMRS
MURS
FRS
CB
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:04 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Ham isn't an acronym it - it just refers to Amateur Radio Operators.

If you follow the ULS link you'd see Universal License System.

Very High Frequency.
Land Mobile Radioservice.
Ultra High Frequency
Family Radio Service
Citizens Band
Federal Communications Commission
Amateur Radio Relay League (Ham equivalent of United Four Wheel Drive Association)


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Old 12-11-2018, 10:28 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Complete radio noob here.

Local club is pushing everyone toward the Rugged Radio 5R handheld. I just looked at them again, listed as 5 watt UHF/VHF radios.

Are you supposed to get a license for these? Or does that fall under the "don't be stupid, don't get caught" mantra?

Is there any benefit to the Rugged Radios over the Boefeng handhelds? How about a vehicle mounted setup? (thinking like a CB)
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Old 12-11-2018, 10:57 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Hey guys (and gals!)! Tyler from My Off Road Radio (also new co-host on High Sierra 4x4 Podcast).

I have found there tends to be a lot of unknown information, or misinformation regarding ham radios in the off road community!

Let's settle it all right now! There isn't a Trail Communications forum yet on here, so we will do this reddit style!

Ask me anything related to Ham Radio! If I don't know the answer, I will find it!

Ready, GO!
So what is your Call Sign?
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Old 12-11-2018, 12:40 PM   #30 (permalink)
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Complete radio noob here.

Local club is pushing everyone toward the Rugged Radio 5R handheld. I just looked at them again, listed as 5 watt UHF/VHF radios.

Are you supposed to get a license for these? Or does that fall under the "don't be stupid, don't get caught" mantra?

Is there any benefit to the Rugged Radios over the Boefeng handhelds? How about a vehicle mounted setup? (thinking like a CB)
My $0.02. If I were only buying one, it would be a mobile mount for a couple reasons. Handheld is a max of 5 watts. IE about the equivalent output of a CB radio. Good for 2-5 miles on a good day and quite often much less. Mobile radios range much higher. (mine is 75 watts ~ good for 20+ miles) A hand held is sure to fall under your feet or seat when it's the least convenient. You never drop a hard mounted mobile unit.

I also have a couple hand held HAM's. They are great for walking ahead when scouting or easy to use when spotting.
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Old 12-11-2018, 03:00 PM   #31 (permalink)
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Complete radio noob here.

Local club is pushing everyone toward the Rugged Radio 5R handheld. I just looked at them again, listed as 5 watt UHF/VHF radios.

Are you supposed to get a license for these? Or does that fall under the "don't be stupid, don't get caught" mantra?

Is there any benefit to the Rugged Radios over the Boefeng handhelds? How about a vehicle mounted setup? (thinking like a CB)
The Baofeng is 8W output, IIRC. Not great, but better. Either of those radios would require a license, but you can't get one for them anyways... So it's up to you to not be stupid.

I have a UV-5R, and I'd get another one. They work. And they're not terrible colours like that crap your club wants.
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Old 12-11-2018, 04:24 PM   #32 (permalink)
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How about a vehicle mounted setup? (thinking like a CB)

I am thinking for the SXS I would like a mounted setup. Which one is ip rated waterproof, no fan etc.

FRS at first but might like to upgrade later.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:42 AM   #33 (permalink)
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Complete radio noob here.

Local club is pushing everyone toward the Rugged Radio 5R handheld. I just looked at them again, listed as 5 watt UHF/VHF radios.

Are you supposed to get a license for these? Or does that fall under the "don't be stupid, don't get caught" mantra?

Is there any benefit to the Rugged Radios over the Boefeng handhelds? How about a vehicle mounted setup? (thinking like a CB)
You need to get a commercial license in order to use Rugged's radios the way they are setup and pre-programmed. You can get one under the guise of being a "sole proprietor" business. But they are minimum of 200$... more likely to end up running you close to $500 in the end.

If you get a rugged radio, please please please reprogram it as the first thing you do with it.... And then you are still left with a platform that is the same as a baofeng UV5R (25$ on amazon).

THe thing with the Baofeng UV5R is that it is a great starter radio. It just works. You do need to make sure that you know what frequencies you are allowed to operate on, and stick to them though. Baofeng radios come pretty much completely open, so you can use any frequency. So make sure that you are using correct frequencies.

The other thing about Baofengs is that they are typically made with cheaper components, so transmitters, and receivers tend to go out a lot quicker and start transmitting harmonics spurious emissions... which means that you may have the radio set on 141.500 MHz, but it is actually transmitting on 141.500, 140.500, 142.500, 139.500, 138.500, etc etc. And you dont even know or realize that it is doing it. Below is a link to the report/study about how gross they become out of spec (upwards of 80% of radios tested on year were transmitting out of spec). So, great starter radio, but please do not plan on holding onto, and using these radios for more than 1-2 years. Think of them as a wearable item that needs to be replaced each season.

http://www.nf9k.net/wp-content/uploa...HT-Testing.pdf

For emergency communications, definitely get a hard mounted radio. But don't do it immediately. Get a starter radio and use it for a while. Get used to using repeaters, finding repeaters, echolink, and maybe even APRS. Once you figure out what features you like and what features you dont like, then spend the money on a nice, high quality hard mounted radio that has all the features you want, and none of the features you don't want.

Plus, it is always nice to have a handheld or 2 available. If you roll a vehicle and your hard mounted antenna ends up smashed in the ground, your radio won't work at all. Having a handheld will allow you to still get ahold of help if you need it. They are also great for throwing out the window to spotters or helpers in recovery situations. Communication is one of the most important things in recoveries... having handhelds available makes recoveries SO MUCH easier.
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Old 12-15-2018, 08:42 AM   #34 (permalink)
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So what is your Call Sign?
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Old 12-16-2018, 09:45 PM   #35 (permalink)
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I'll second that the Rugged Radios seem fine radios but you need that $200+ FCC license to transmit legally - or reprogram it to ham frequencies and use your ham license, but there are better radios for less money in that case.

I've been buying used Kenwood commercial (LMR) radios that are narrow-band capable and programming them to use on our club's frequency (Montana 4x4 Association ponied up for a license).

I also have some UV-82C radios that are $55 from Amazon and claim FCC certification for use on those frequencies.

Yes, they're only 5w. But you can make a big improvement if you get the adapter cable and then mount an external antenna.

Get a 19"-ish whip on a metal roof (or mount it to the middle of your lightbar) and hook it up to your 5w HT and you'll find it works a LOT better than the rubber-duck inside the vehicle.

Then you're all set for when you upgrade to a 25w or 50w mobile radio.

I've been places where I heard some folks talking on the vehicle mounted antenna, but had to get out so I swapped to the rubber-duck. They disappeared.
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Old 12-27-2018, 06:12 PM   #36 (permalink)
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I'll second that the Rugged Radios seem fine radios but you need that $200+ FCC license to transmit legally - or reprogram it to ham frequencies and use your ham license, but there are better radios for less money in that case.

I've been buying used Kenwood commercial (LMR) radios that are narrow-band capable and programming them to use on our club's frequency (Montana 4x4 Association ponied up for a license).

I also have some UV-82C radios that are $55 from Amazon and claim FCC certification for use on those frequencies.

Yes, they're only 5w. But you can make a big improvement if you get the adapter cable and then mount an external antenna.

Get a 19"-ish whip on a metal roof (or mount it to the middle of your lightbar) and hook it up to your 5w HT and you'll find it works a LOT better than the rubber-duck inside the vehicle.

Then you're all set for when you upgrade to a 25w or 50w mobile radio.

I've been places where I heard some folks talking on the vehicle mounted antenna, but had to get out so I swapped to the rubber-duck. They disappeared.
Yay! You get it! haha I need to come do some wheeling in Montanna so we can hang out and geek out over radio stuff.
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Old 03-13-2019, 12:02 PM   #37 (permalink)
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Great thread. Wish we had a trail communications specific subforum.

In my opinion, more people should be using MURS for trail communications. It's almost ideal for the task.
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