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UV-5R use without lincense?


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7 replies to this topic

#1
Goose

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How if possible can I use a baofeng UV-5R without a ham lincense?

#2
Twitch

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First off, I have an Amateur Radio License, as well as several channels licensed for business use, so I'm educated on this, and not blowing smoke with my answer. 

You need an Amateur Radio License (Ham) of Technician or higher to operate on the frequencies within the amateur radio band.  

The UV-5R is capable of transmitting on frequencies between: 
VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-520 MHz

Amateur band's in which the UV-5R can reach: 
VHF: 144-148 MHz
UHF: 420-450 MHz
(stay off these channels if you don't have a license)

Please be aware that these radios are also capable of transmitting and receiving emergency services and other business frequencies.  In most cases you can monitor and listen to any of these channels, what is restricted by the FCC is the act of transmitting on a channel you are not authorized to. 

What channels can you legally transmit on?
Multi-Use Radio Service Channels: https://www.fcc.gov/...io-service-murs
Business Channels in which you hold the business license, or are authorized by the business licensee to transmit on. 

Then comes the issue of FRS/GMRS channels.  
The FCC presently requires a GMRS license to transmit on any GMRS channels (Bubble-pack channels  15-22).  
FRS is restricted to 500mw (0.5 watts) of transmitting power. 
Is this enforced? It can be, but the FCC has pretty much let this go by the wayside. So, I'm not saying you'll be absolutely 100% safe, but I've never seen FCC enforcement of this.  - If you play nice, aren't being disruptive, or interfering with others, there is little reason to gain the attention of the FCC.   
If you are interested in getting a GMRS license: https://www.fcc.gov/...io-service-gmrs

Most airsoft events use the FRS/GMRS channels for communications.  Lately it seems that American Milsim's comms matrix has been in the business band, so I'm making an assumption on this next statement, but it appears that American Milsim has licensed a handful of business itinerant frequencies for use at their events.  Many people purchase the UV-5R as a budget radio because it can transmit on these channels, as well as others.  Is it perfectly 100% legal? Not always, but also the FRS/GMRS enforcement has little to no existence. 

Bottomline: If it's not a public use channel (meaning the FCC requires you to have a license to transmit on it), or you don't have permission of the licensee to use their licensed channel, stay off of it.  

Let me know if you have additional questions. 


Chris Nielson
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Brigade Milsim Team Leader
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#3
Big Candy

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Short answer....  yes.   Long answer.... dont ask.    :)


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#4
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Like the above.

 

Essentially, what little time and attention the FCC has to give typically goes to the big offenders broadcasting on a continuous basis. Our radio traffic by comparison is very limited per year, so I wouldn't imagine we draw much attention and that AMS is always in-the-know of what frequencies we aren't permitted to use in any given event location before posting sharing the event comms matrixes. (IE, any frequency that we might interfere with law,health, or city officials.)

 

Even more-so if you follow comms etiquette and use them as little as possible. Listen as much as you want, broadcast only when necessary with the fewest words possible.



#5
Goose

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OK thanks for the input.



#6
Downs

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They're not type certified for FRS/GMRS ect but no one is going to know what you aren't talking on a type certified unless they are standing there watching you talking on it.  The FCC has it's hands full.  As stated play nice and stay off the freqs you shouldn't be on and you will never pop up on anyone's radar.  

Heck it took the FCC almost a decade to make a move on two well known multi regulation violators on the high frequency bands.  A very recent one was a guy who had had complaints filed against him for over 4 years and finally got arrested by the NYPD for messing around on their department frequencies.  After that the FCC finally took action against him.

 

Basically they have limited resources and don't want to spend them on even Amateur Radio let alone FRS/GMRS/MURS ect.


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#7
DerOnion

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First off, I have an Amateur Radio License, as well as several channels licensed for business use, so I'm educated on this, and not blowing smoke with my answer. 

You need an Amateur Radio License (Ham) of Technician or higher to operate on the frequencies within the amateur radio band.  

The UV-5R is capable of transmitting on frequencies between: 
VHF: 136-174 MHz
UHF: 400-520 MHz

Amateur band's in which the UV-5R can reach: 
VHF: 144-148 MHz
UHF: 420-450 MHz
(stay off these channels if you don't have a license)

Please be aware that these radios are also capable of transmitting and receiving emergency services and other business frequencies.  In most cases you can monitor and listen to any of these channels, what is restricted by the FCC is the act of transmitting on a channel you are not authorized to. 

What channels can you legally transmit on?
Multi-Use Radio Service Channels: https://www.fcc.gov/...io-service-murs
Business Channels in which you hold the business license, or are authorized by the business licensee to transmit on. 

Then comes the issue of FRS/GMRS channels.  
The FCC presently requires a GMRS license to transmit on any GMRS channels (Bubble-pack channels  15-22).  
FRS is restricted to 500mw (0.5 watts) of transmitting power. 
Is this enforced? It can be, but the FCC has pretty much let this go by the wayside. So, I'm not saying you'll be absolutely 100% safe, but I've never seen FCC enforcement of this.  - If you play nice, aren't being disruptive, or interfering with others, there is little reason to gain the attention of the FCC.   
If you are interested in getting a GMRS license: https://www.fcc.gov/...io-service-gmrs

Most airsoft events use the FRS/GMRS channels for communications.  Lately it seems that American Milsim's comms matrix has been in the business band, so I'm making an assumption on this next statement, but it appears that American Milsim has licensed a handful of business itinerant frequencies for use at their events.  Many people purchase the UV-5R as a budget radio because it can transmit on these channels, as well as others.  Is it perfectly 100% legal? Not always, but also the FRS/GMRS enforcement has little to no existence. 

Bottomline: If it's not a public use channel (meaning the FCC requires you to have a license to transmit on it), or you don't have permission of the licensee to use their licensed channel, stay off of it.  

Let me know if you have additional questions. 

 

 

So Twitch- to confirm (coming from a Ham perspective as well) AMS, in theory should be licensed for the frequencies we use, at the power we are using them at?

 

 

This was a concern to me hearing us using baofengs because I know the fines violation can carry... too many stories. 


Wait a minute.... *inserts witty quote here* Ahhhh... that's better. 


#8
Twitch

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@deronion - 

In my recent experience the frequencies used by AMS at events are all within the business itinerant band.  The FCC still requires those using these frequencies to have licensed them for use.  Whether or not AMS has done this, I do not know. 

As for FRS/GMRS the UV5R is physically capable of transmitting in this band, but the UV5R is not FCC Part 95 certified for use in those bands because the radio can transmit above the maximum legally specified power for those frequencies.  So can you transmit on those frequencies? Yes.  Can you do it legally? No, not with the UV5R, again because it's not certified for use on those channels.  

I've personally never seen enforcement of the FRS/GMRS issue.  Basically they would have to catch you in the act, and inspect your equipment to confirm it's not Part 95 certified before anything is done.  However transmitting on unlicensed frequencies I have seen.  Several times. 

FCC fines for violations can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands.  

Bottomline, don't interfere with communication of others.  If you are licensed to use certain bands or channels, don't, unless someone who is licensed for a specific frequency/location authorizes you to do so.   

Be responsible with your radio. As I said above the UV5R's are also capable of transmitting in business bands, and these are also widely used for public safety.  If you begin transmitting on one of those and interfering, that's going to draw attention and enforcement.  Don't be that guy. 


Chris Nielson
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Brigade Milsim Team Leader
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