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Thread: Do you need a radio license to use a baofeng/how to program it

  1. #1

    Do you need a radio license to use a baofeng/how to program it

    Hi guys,
    As the title says I am curious to know whether or not you need a license to operate a baofeng radio. Also I was wondering if anyone knew how or knew any good guides on how to program baofengs to the frequencies that are mainly used at Harris.
    Thanks,
    Jack
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  2. #2
    Super Moderator OMEGO's Avatar
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    Hi Jack,
    I don’t have anything to share about licensing, but I found that manual programming of Baofeng radios isn’t too difficult. One of my Baofengs is the ubiquitous UV5R, and I programmed it with the help of this video:

    https://youtu.be/fnnXa-nV-jc

    You will want to pay particular attention to 8:41 where he discusses switching between frequency and channel modes.
    Also, 16:27 is explains how to assign frequencies into memory channels. If you’re still having problems, you may want to start from scratch by resetting the radio as described starting at 6:36 in the video. The chart below will help you to match the appropriate frequencies with their respective channel numbers:



    At Harris Field, we typically discourage the use channels 15 through 22 because of the increased risk of frequency bleed. You’ll notice that channels 15 through 22 have frequencies that are close to that of channels 1 through 7. So, this can cause problems where a message is transmitted on one channel from the transmitting radio and received on a different channel as shown on the receiving radio. For example, we observed a player whose radio appeared to be transmitting on channel 15, but it was being heard on another radio that was set on channel 1. This indicated that the transmission was “bleeding” across two different channels that have somewhat close frequencies. We found that this was more likely to happen with the inexpensive bubble-pack radios that may not be as well calibrated as the Baofengs and the other higher-priced radios that have more features.
    Good luck to you, and thank you for starting this thread.

  3. #3
    Thank you OMEGO,
    I just got around today to program it and it seemed pretty simple.
    Thanks again,
    Jack
    Primary: P* VFC Noveske
    Side Arm: RWA Night Hawk Custom Covert Ops 1911.

  4. #4
    So I'm wondering that same licensing question about the UV-5R. I'm having quite a bit of trouble understanding the results on google and some of these radio forums. If anyone who has one of these can help, I'd much appreciate it!


    Thanks,
    Scratch
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Hutch's Avatar
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    I think you only need a license for higher powered radios, such as those that use the VHF frequencies. I do not believe you need a license for lower powered UHF frequencies.
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  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Hutch View Post
    I think you only need a license for higher powered radios, such as those that use the VHF frequencies. I do not believe you need a license for lower powered UHF frequencies.
    Thank you Hutch! That helped clear some things up.
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  7. #7
    The Man Behind the Curtain Community Supporter Jammer's Avatar
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    "Technically" you need a license to use the higher GMRS frequencies on a bubble pack radio. Most bubble pack(the radio's that typically come in plastic blister packs from WalMart or whatever) will broadcast on both the FRS(lower) and GMRS(higher) frequencies. The FCC does require you to have a license for the GMRS portion of the band. Do they enforce it? Not really. Its one of those laws that are on the books that isn't really followed. There is no test required. Just money. I got a license back about 13 years ago and if I remember correctly its good for 10 years.

    Also..there are some power limitations/requirements. To be "legal" for FRS the radio has to have a permanent antenna attached(in other words you can't remove it) and its limited to .5 watts. To have a GMRS radio with a license you can switch antennas and you can broadcast over 2 watts.

    Disclaimer: Its been awhile since I studied up on this so some of the minor details may be slightly off but the license requirement is still there. If you decide to use a radio that is capable of over .2/2 watts on the FRS/GMRS freqs just don't do anything stupid.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Jammer View Post
    "Technically" you need a license to use the higher GMRS frequencies on a bubble pack radio. Most bubble pack(the radio's that typically come in plastic blister packs from WalMart or whatever) will broadcast on both the FRS(lower) and GMRS(higher) frequencies. The FCC does require you to have a license for the GMRS portion of the band. Do they enforce it? Not really. Its one of those laws that are on the books that isn't really followed. There is no test required. Just money. I got a license back about 13 years ago and if I remember correctly its good for 10 years.

    Also..there are some power limitations/requirements. To be "legal" for FRS the radio has to have a permanent antenna attached(in other words you can't remove it) and its limited to .5 watts. To have a GMRS radio with a license you can switch antennas and you can broadcast over 2 watts.

    Disclaimer: Its been awhile since I studied up on this so some of the minor details may be slightly off but the license requirement is still there. If you decide to use a radio that is capable of over .2/2 watts on the FRS/GMRS freqs just don't do anything stupid.
    Huh...interesting. Thanks for the info!

    So in your opinion do you think I'd be okay with this radio as long as I don't screw it up?
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  9. #9
    The Man Behind the Curtain Community Supporter Jammer's Avatar
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    I can't give you legal advice but I've personally used these types(and even more powerful) types of radios for years and never had a problem. The FCC has other things to worry about. The only thing I will say is...if you do decide to use these types of radios stay on the FRS/GMRS frequencies. Don't go on the HAM bands. Hams WILL pick you up and they WILL complain if you don't have your ticket(ham license).

  10. #10
    Roger that! I'll make sure to stay off those HAM bands.
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