• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

How to legally use my Baofeng UV-5R

Status
Not open for further replies.

dmtuska

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
16
Hello I've been looking around and didn't find an answer to my question.
I have an Airsoft team and we need radios and i found the Baofeng now i know we cant legally use them on FRS and GMRS frequencies. Now how do we use this radio as a group. Do we all need a Amateur Radio License? Or can i just get one and we only transmit on one specific frequency?

Thank you in advance sorry if this is in the wrong section, first time on this site.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
From what I understand, you must operate on the amateur bands only, and every operator must have an amateur license of technician class or higher. Confining yourselves to one frequency really means nothing in the context of amateur radio.

Hopefully, others will come along who know more about this.
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
9,456
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
Besides amateur radio your only alternative to be able to legally use a radio such as a UV-5R that is only approved for Part 90 is to get a business or public safety license or have a business or public safety licensee authorize you to use thier frequencies.
 

KB1VAI

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 8, 2014
Messages
6
baofeng uv 5r

Why not use murs radios? 2 watt handhelds should work .
no license required total of 5 channels and ctcss codes . I have a few of these and they are great for hikeing.
Kb1vai 73.
 

RobKB1FJR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
204
Location
Charlotte, NC
I would get a bunch of Baofeng I can't remember the prefix but the model number is 888. We use FRS at work with regular FRS radios which are not durable have too many features and accident tone/frequency changes. Not to mention the stupid call buttons and short battery life. I hope to replace all of the FRS rafios with the baofeng 888 with all channels programmed to the same frequency and tone. On low power of course
 

jaspence

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 21, 2008
Messages
2,436
Location
Michigan
Baofeng radio

Posting your intentions of using a radio on unauthorized frequencies seems almost like leaving your address at the scene of a crime. What makes you think a cheap Chinese radio is any better than a good FRS radio. FRS radios come in many different formats and some have a three year warranty and very usable battery life. We used that type where I worked and did replace one or two, but they did the job. Perhaps you need something like an HT 1250 which requires a license and someone with radio skills to properly program them.
 

teufler

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
2,365
Location
ST PETERS, MISSOURI
First I had to look up and see what an Airsoft team was. Paintball I knew but Airsoft was a new term. I think the FRS dedicated radios would be better, less chance of getting knocked off, though the baefengs can be locked, just have to remember what frequency rather than what channel. Setting the channel and tone would be far easier than setting the frequiecy and the tone, with the setup menu on a Baofeng. Now if the radio was individually owned, I think one person could figure it out, but as a duty radio, I think it would get messed up in the field. If one person was in charge of th radiuos, they could set the frequency and tone, then lock the radio. The baofengs have recharable batteries, the FRS may or may not have rechargables. The Baofengs can go on frequencies you are not authorized, most FRS are GMRS TOO so technicaly you can go on frequencys that you are not licensed for. Since both can be adjusted to multiple frequencies, the FRS/GMRS will potentually not go on as many frequencies and therefore the potential for trouble is reduced. The Marines have some spectrum right near FRS/GMRS so that band and power level has proved workable. In fact there was a time that some Marines took there own FRS/GMRS radios over seas and they worked very good. The Baofeng radios have a weak antenna compared to most FRS/GMRS radios I have seen. Something that in a duty environment will be important. They don't screw off and they arfe sturdy as compared to the Boefeng antennas. You team will be in say a 3 block radius, FRS can handle this, your team will be together and you don't need a license on FRS.
 

jk77

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2013
Messages
184
Location
Ohio
Those who mentioned FRS radios are right on the money. They are tailor made for such uses, and they don't require licenses. They are also fairly cheap. An alternative would be a CB handheld, which also doesn't require a license, but you might run into trouble with the CB'ers.

There really is no way to operate a Baofeng legally without having a license.
 

joeuser

The Wretched
Joined
Feb 9, 2014
Messages
1,614
Location
North Central Kansas
Those who mentioned FRS radios are right on the money. They are tailor made for such uses, and they don't require licenses. They are also fairly cheap. An alternative would be a CB handheld, which also doesn't require a license, but you might run into trouble with the CB'ers.

There really is no way to operate a Baofeng legally without having a license.
This^
 

dmtuska

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2014
Messages
16
Thank you for the replies ok so how do we go about getting licensing? And your have to realize we play on fields that can be up to a few miles across so we need strong radios and I would be setting and locking all radios.
 

com501

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
1,365
Location
127.0.0.1
Buy some VHF MURS bubble pack radios instead.

You are NOT going to get a license without a great deal of hassle. The radio you think you have chosen is going to get you in a great deal of complications.

A business license is required for most entities in Part 90. Unless you are a business MAKING A PROFIT, or a non-profit like a church or Goodwill, you can't qualify for a license.

Buy a license free bubble pack radio. A VHF MURS radio will have far better range and power than the GMRS or FRS radios.
 

KF5YDR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
176
Buy some VHF MURS bubble pack radios instead.
There's no such thing as a bubble pack MURS radio, and the Baofeng is perfectly okay to use on MURS as-is, as long as you keep it under 2W.

You are NOT going to get a license without a great deal of hassle.
Getting your amateur license is dead easy and costs $15, and this is well within the privileges and duties of Part 97 as long as they don't curse. If you can pass the written portion of a drivers' license test, you can get your ham ticket.

OP, you can't *legally* use GMRS for free, but you could program a Baofeng for GMRS channels and use it without a license at FCC headquarters, and they still wouldn't bother to arrest you. No one has ever been charged, let alone tried and convicted, for using GMRS without a license.

Use GMRS if you play in open terrain and don't need to talk more than half a mile, MURS if wooded or longer distance. And do yourself a favor and throw the stock antenna away. Literally in the garbage. It's worse than useless, and you can get a decent replacement on eBay or Amazon for ten to fifteen bucks.

Inb4 the handwringing about type acceptance and GMRS licensing; no one cares (including the FCC, the sole arbiter on the matter), and it's impossible to get arrested for it. That horse has been beaten into dust and the point is moot.
 

com501

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
1,365
Location
127.0.0.1
The OP was referring to a COMMERCIAL license. I don't give a whit what you hams do to memorize questions and fake your way through a knowledge test. That being said, his ENTIRE CREW must do the same, still not a good idea, as that is not the INTENT of his purpose to get licensed.

When I say 'bubble pack' radio, you know EXACTLY what I mean, namely a radio that comes pre-packaged and pre-programmed out of the box. MURS radios are exactly that, as well as GMRS and FRS radios. You can buy them darn near anywhere, and for this OP's use, the MURS radio fits his needs better than a UHF radio.

It is admirable that you attempt to bring another newbie into the fold of amateur radio, but in this case, this OP is not going to be a good client for that purpose, and equipping a newbie with a wide open radio is a chancy proposition.

This is bad advice at best. I suggest you peruse a few years of enforcement actions before you arbitrarily declare that the enforcement division doesn't care about this matter. I certainly wouldn't bet on not getting arrested if you ignore a NAL from the FCC related to someone complaining about your illegal use of GMRS. Just sayin'.
 

KF5YDR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
176
The OP wasn't talking about a commercial license at all, because they don't even know what licenses are available.

Y'all, the FCC is never going after this guy and his airsoft team, the same way the FBI doesn't hand out speeding tickets. They approved the sale of GMRS bubblepacks with no license application included. They don't give a hoot in hell who uses it.

And the idea that it's even possible to get in trouble for using MURS with a non-type-approved radio is just plain dumb. Since there are precisely two options for preprogrammed MURS radios, most MURS use is re-programmed Part 90 gear.
 
Last edited:

KF5YDR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
176
OP, just program them for MURS or GMRS and stop listening to the kind of people who think every law is enforced.
This is the driving five over of the radio world.
 

Citywide173

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Feb 18, 2005
Messages
1,947
Location
Attleboro, MA
OP, just program them for MURS or GMRS and stop listening to the kind of people who think every law is enforced.
This is the driving five over of the radio world.
The OP is trying to do the right thing. The title of the thread is "How to LEGALLY use my Baofeng UV-5R", but you just point at the fact that scofflaws do things all the time without getting caught and encourage him to do exactly what he is trying to avoid.
 

KF5YDR

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 24, 2014
Messages
176
I'm making the argument that there's nothing TO avoid. When the law is uniformly not enforced by the agency tasked with enforcing it, it is no longer real law. See: no spitting on the street on Sunday, no carrying wire cutters across county lines.

Sure, dont use GMRS without a license. Whatever. But MURS is license-free, and quibbling over how the Baofengs aren't Part 95 approved (even though they're Part 90 approved, which is way stricter) is a discussion about angels on the head of a pin.

When people say they want to to things legally, they're looking to not incur legal consequences. Not earn brownie points for being the best Boy Scout.
 
Last edited:

com501

Member
Joined
Sep 28, 2003
Messages
1,365
Location
127.0.0.1
Legal is legal.

Illegal is illegal.

I'm sure you would impress a judge with your logic. Do you operate in real life that way?

Please don't give advice to others if that is the case. When people ask to do things legally, they are asking to NOT VIOLATE THE LAW. Regardless of what you may think of the law, how it is enforced or how ridiculous you may think it to be in your limited experience in life, do the right thing and advise them on the LAW, not on your 'ideas' about the law. Let them make their own judgements about that.

You cannot just pick and choose which laws you choose to violate, otherwise where would we be as a society? Should I just fire up my Micom and start calling CQ on 6506 or should I stick to frequencies I am entitled and authorized to use? Simply because the likelihood of being caught is small, doesn't make it legal or even OK.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top