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>I'm in the process of selecting a 2-way radio for off-highway use in our >Hummer. I'm leaning strongly toward a VHF unit that operates in the 150 >MHz range. The range, clarity and small antenna size makes these units >very appealing. I'll be getting both a mobile and a hand-held unit (so >that a spotter can stay back a safe distance and still provide assistance). > >Question: > >Which frequencies should I have the radio programmed to operate on? I've >seen a few references to 151.625 MHz. Which frequencies are used by other >Hummer owners in the Bay Area? Are there any well-established emergency >frequencies in this part of the spectrum (similar to channel 9 for CBs or >121.5 MHz for aviation)?
You can only use those frequencies for which you have an FCC license. In the 151 range it's the GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and you must apply to a frequency coordinator for a license, or buy your repeater service from a vendor. The same is true of UHF business band, but there is, I hear, a "personal communications" band in UHF for low-powered family communications which does not require a license.
The field of personal communications and business communications is changing so fast it's difficult to keep up with the options available, and I haven't, since I'm a Ham and have licenses for various police/civil defense/military frequencies.
Check with the local FCC office or a local service shop which can advise you on licenseable frequencies.
DO NOT USE 121.5 or any other aircraft frequency, you will lose you radios, your truck, your savings account and quite probably your freedom if you do. The FAA and FCC take a *very* dim view of unlicensed operations which can interfere with flight safety. DO NOT buy an ELT or EPIRB and expect to get away with using it for a vehicular emergency without a serious fine, even if it's a true emergency.....then again, I keep one in my survival vest because I'd rather pay the fine than die....but it will be that choice if I ever have to use it.
There are no established "emergency frequencies" that I know of other than CB which are available for public land mobile use.
>I'm thinking of also getting some form of hand-held CB radio in case other >Hummers in a group aren't equipped with VHF.
Good idea, and cheap too...
Your post was well taken, but you referred to the 151 VHF band as being where GMRS is located. I think it was just a typo but wanted to clear it up. The General Mobile Radio Service is located in the 460 UHF band. The new unlicensed Family Radio Service (FRS) is also located in the same area. FRS radios are now widely available from Radio Shack and Motorola but are limited to a mile or two in average terrain due to low power limitation. I dont think there is any frequency that can be had in the VHF (150-170) band without obtaining an FCC Lic.
It should be made clear that the old HOA freq. of 151.625 was LICENSED to that entity and technically could only be used by parties authorized to do so by the licensee. Since the HOA folded it is not clear if that license is even valid now. It still may be if it was held in some other 3rd party name. I think that Terry McClanahan was the license holder and he should be contacted before just using the freq if some one wanted to be legal on this.
Glenn Shaw 93 4dr/N1GBY
You can buy a radio that operates on 151.625 just about everywhere. The trick is that they are low power. The FRS radios are the same way, low power. It is no more legal to operate with higher power on the FRS than it is on the VHF 151.625. 151.625 is so common, and FRS will be that way one day, difference being that you cannot conduct business on FRS but can on 151.625 (I think). The most PC thing to do is be sure you have a radio that puts out low power for your close in communication so you are not burning up the air. As I said before, we use UHF around here but we operate under a commercial license.
Well put Gerald. It should be noted that although 151.625 is a so-called Itinerant Class Frequency you still need an FCC license for it regardless of power unless you are just going to pirate the freq. The FRS however does not require any license. These channels which came from the so-called interstitial channels in the GMRS band(which was the old Class A citizens band) are one of the rare instances of unlicensed services.
John posted that it was biased for Scott to say the FCC does not want you to have high power on certain freqs. Not so. This is just a staement of the fact that the FCC intends that range be severely curtailed on the FRS, and in order to accomplish this must limit power of the transmitters.
I would think that Ham radio would fit in nicely with our vehicle hobby and that the 2 meter band would be ideal for our use nationwide. We could use repeaters when they are needed and available and use a direct channel whenever possible. You can use reasonable power levels and get good performance. It is an easy thing to get a no-code tech license which gives priveledges on many bands including 2 meters. It is also fun to be involved with ham radio. If we were to go this route it would also help to promote ham radio by bringing new people to this hobby. This is what is needed these days to prevent Ham Radio from dying out as many are saying is happening. There is a lot of legal frequency spectrum out there in the Ham bands and as they say use it or lose it. The commercial wireless vultures are always looking for ways to get this spectrum from us/220 MHZ band as an example.
Finally, one of the big things about Ham radio has always been its ability to serve it times of crisis and emergencies. This is an established feature which would dovetail well with efforts such as the Colorado guys attempt to help during weather emergencies and such. A lot of the HML people are hams already and could assist anyone else with info on how to go about this. It is easy.
Glenn Shaw 93 4dr N1GBY
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