• 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.

What frequencies are professional race teams using?

Status
Not open for further replies.

lacofdfireman

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
10
Location
St. George, Utah
Just curious I was recently at a professional Off Road race and noticed almost all the teams were using Baofeng type radios in the pit areas for different personnel and some spotters along the course were using them also. I always thought you needed a Ham license to use these. I talked to a few guys and they said they were not hams and were using a race frequency. Now I know some of the big teams probably went through the FCC and have designated frequencies for their teams but there are no way some of these low budget teams have done this. I'm curious as to what frequencies they could use to get away with this. Also my sons Mountain bike team uses Baofeng radios for the coaches and spotters out in the course as do all the other teams. I also know that they are using some sort of private channel. How do they go about finding or getting these frequencies?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

jonwienke

Member
Joined
Jul 18, 2014
Messages
9,241
Location
PA
They could be using FRS, GMRS, or MURS frequencies. If they're feeling adventurous, perhaps marine channels. Or they might be using whatever was in the radio when it shipped from China. Or whatever the reseller programmed into the radios. Or uncle Bill's magic winning lottery number.

If you really need to know, get a scanner with Close Call, get as close as you can to the race crews, and see what it picks up.
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
10,569
Location
Taxachusetts
Private Channel ??

If it Transmits over the air, it's not Private :cool:

Put your scanner into Search, it might take sometime to be searching while they chat, but it works... 150-160 Mhz, 160-174 Mhz, 450-460, 460-470 and if no luck try 470-512
Just curious I was recently at a professional Off Road race and noticed almost all the teams were using Baofeng type radios in the pit areas for different personnel and some spotters along the course were using them also. I always thought you needed a Ham license to use these. I talked to a few guys and they said they were not hams and were using a race frequency. Now I know some of the big teams probably went through the FCC and have designated frequencies for their teams but there are no way some of these low budget teams have done this. I'm curious as to what frequencies they could use to get away with this. Also my sons Mountain bike team uses Baofeng radios for the coaches and spotters out in the course as do all the other teams. I also know that they are using some sort of private channel. How do they go about finding or getting these frequencies?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
10,910
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Just curious I was recently at a professional Off Road race and noticed almost all the teams were using Baofeng type radios in the pit areas for different personnel and some spotters along the course were using them also. I always thought you needed a Ham license to use these. I talked to a few guys and they said they were not hams and were using a race frequency. Now I know some of the big teams probably went through the FCC and have designated frequencies for their teams but there are no way some of these low budget teams have done this. I'm curious as to what frequencies they could use to get away with this. Also my sons Mountain bike team uses Baofeng radios for the coaches and spotters out in the course as do all the other teams. I also know that they are using some sort of private channel. How do they go about finding or getting these frequencies?


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
There isn't any "race channels". There is no radio service dedicated to racing of any sort.
Some large teams have FCC licensed channels they use.
Some manufacturers (BF Goodrich, Goodyear, a few others) have their own channels that they "let" teams use.

Everyone else is on their own.

Many years ago I did some research into this. I looked into what one of the "racing radio" companies was doing. They were selling high power mobile and hand held radios with "pre-programmed race frequencies". When I started pressing on them and checking the individual frequencies, they were either licensed to individual race teams, individual companies, and a few others like FRS, MURS, marine channels, etc.

This raises some legality issues, actually, quite a number of them. I won't go into the details as it's a lot of typing and it just usually deteriorates into people claiming they'll use "whatever frequency they want and they FCC will never catch them". I'm not going to try to convince anyone what's right or wrong, just holding FCC rules up and comparing it to what the "racing radio" companies are doing.

Anyway, if you do some google searches, you'll find some of the frequencies listed in various places. Mostly look into Baja1000 and similar large races.

The big issue that comes up with these BaoFengs is that the people buying them know nothing about radios. They buy them off Amazon or similar dealers and assume that whatever they came pre-programmed with from the dealer is license free and OK to use. Not the case.
Other issue is that these types of users will decide they want a private channel and will just randomly program in a frequency and claim it as 'theirs'. Again, not the case.

In the U.S.A., -every- radio frequency has rules attached. There are no "free" channels. Radio frequencies either require an FCC assigned license or they are what is called "License By Rule", which means you can use them without an FCC issued license as long as you follow the rules that apply to the radio service the frequencies are in. Often these cheap Chinese radios don't meet the requirements of the rules, so even when on FRS, GMRS, MURS, Marine VHF channels and the like, they are still operating outside the technical rules of the radio service.

In the end, the FCC is too understaffed to do anything about it, unless some fool programs in a frequency used by an agency with enough power to get the FCC to act.

As stated by others, people that do a bit of homework will find that putting these radios on one of the radio services like FRS, GMRS, MURS, will usually not run into any issues. Doesn't mean it's legal, but in most cases it goes either unnoticed, or it annoys someone who never does anything about it.

Usually, when confronted, these types of users will use one of a few excuses:
1. "The dealer said it was legal to use this channel." -wrong-
2. "My boss says we have a license." -rarely-
3. "I'm above the law -or- the FCC will never find me."
4. "*%#! off! I'll do whatever I want"
5. Or just claim complete ignorance -usually 100% the truth.

To do this right, there are a couple of steps that need to happen. Buying a cheap radio is not the first step, ever.
1. Identify the need, coverage expectations, exact type of use.
2. Contact a frequency coordination service to help you find a frequency that fits your proposed usage and area of operation.
3. Apply for FCC licensing.
4. One you have completed frequency coordination and have the FCC license, then -and only then- do you purchase the radios.
Far too often people will buy a bunch of radios first, they try to get a license for the frequency they are on. It doesn't work that way.

I've typed enough, and this is probably just going to trigger an argument anyway....
 

WPXS472

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2013
Messages
129
Location
Heflin, AL
The Talladega NASCAR track is near me. I have heard, through the years, that a lot of the bigger NASCAR teams have licensed frequencies and use encryption to keep competing teams from hearing their goings on. Also heard that the bigger teams spend a lot on their communications. Even to the point of in car telemetry. Don't go to races, so I wouldn't know for sure. Just what I have heard.
 

ecps92

Member
Joined
Jul 8, 2002
Messages
10,569
Location
Taxachusetts
++1
Well written

There isn't any "race channels". There is no radio service dedicated to racing of any sort.
Some large teams have FCC licensed channels they use.
Some manufacturers (BF Goodrich, Goodyear, a few others) have their own channels that they "let" teams use.

Everyone else is on their own.

Many years ago I did some research into this. I looked into what one of the "racing radio" companies was doing. They were selling high power mobile and hand held radios with "pre-programmed race frequencies". When I started pressing on them and checking the individual frequencies, they were either licensed to individual race teams, individual companies, and a few others like FRS, MURS, marine channels, etc.

This raises some legality issues, actually, quite a number of them. I won't go into the details as it's a lot of typing and it just usually deteriorates into people claiming they'll use "whatever frequency they want and they FCC will never catch them". I'm not going to try to convince anyone what's right or wrong, just holding FCC rules up and comparing it to what the "racing radio" companies are doing.

Anyway, if you do some google searches, you'll find some of the frequencies listed in various places. Mostly look into Baja1000 and similar large races.

The big issue that comes up with these BaoFengs is that the people buying them know nothing about radios. They buy them off Amazon or similar dealers and assume that whatever they came pre-programmed with from the dealer is license free and OK to use. Not the case.
Other issue is that these types of users will decide they want a private channel and will just randomly program in a frequency and claim it as 'theirs'. Again, not the case.

In the U.S.A., -every- radio frequency has rules attached. There are no "free" channels. Radio frequencies either require an FCC assigned license or they are what is called "License By Rule", which means you can use them without an FCC issued license as long as you follow the rules that apply to the radio service the frequencies are in. Often these cheap Chinese radios don't meet the requirements of the rules, so even when on FRS, GMRS, MURS, Marine VHF channels and the like, they are still operating outside the technical rules of the radio service.

In the end, the FCC is too understaffed to do anything about it, unless some fool programs in a frequency used by an agency with enough power to get the FCC to act.

As stated by others, people that do a bit of homework will find that putting these radios on one of the radio services like FRS, GMRS, MURS, will usually not run into any issues. Doesn't mean it's legal, but in most cases it goes either unnoticed, or it annoys someone who never does anything about it.

Usually, when confronted, these types of users will use one of a few excuses:
1. "The dealer said it was legal to use this channel." -wrong-
2. "My boss says we have a license." -rarely-
3. "I'm above the law -or- the FCC will never find me."
4. "*%#! off! I'll do whatever I want"
5. Or just claim complete ignorance -usually 100% the truth.

To do this right, there are a couple of steps that need to happen. Buying a cheap radio is not the first step, ever.
1. Identify the need, coverage expectations, exact type of use.
2. Contact a frequency coordination service to help you find a frequency that fits your proposed usage and area of operation.
3. Apply for FCC licensing.
4. One you have completed frequency coordination and have the FCC license, then -and only then- do you purchase the radios.
Far too often people will buy a bunch of radios first, they try to get a license for the frequency they are on. It doesn't work that way.

I've typed enough, and this is probably just going to trigger an argument anyway....
 

SteveC0625

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,574
Location
Northville, NY (Fulton County)
The Talladega NASCAR track is near me. I have heard, through the years, that a lot of the bigger NASCAR teams have licensed frequencies and use encryption to keep competing teams from hearing their goings on. Also heard that the bigger teams spend a lot on their communications. Even to the point of in car telemetry. Don't go to races, so I wouldn't know for sure. Just what I have heard.
NASCAR itself holds a major block of channels: WQJX697

And most (if not all) of their participating teams have licenses as well.

Some searching in the ULS will turn up lots of licensed racing groups.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,284
No argument here, well said. Years ago Motorola Corporate used to sponsor the Indy 500 and provided very specialised radios at little or no cost. They also managed the frequencies used at the race track to ensure no interference or IM. Then Motorola decided it wasnt worth the effort and pulled out. The very next season Mario Andretti lost a race and blamed the radio communications. I think Racing Radios commercialized the endeavor a few years later.
 

phask

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
3,117
Location
KZZV - SE Ohio
NASCAR does not allow it's teams to use encryption, but a few of NASCAR's own freqs are.

I believe Racing Radio or whatever it's aka is still manages allocations and stuff between teams. locations , broadcasters etc. etc.
 

kb2ztx

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jul 29, 2012
Messages
502
Location
South West Virginia
NASCAR does not allow it's teams to use encryption, but a few of NASCAR's own freqs are.

I believe Racing Radio or whatever it's aka is still manages allocations and stuff between teams. locations , broadcasters etc. etc.
This is not entirely true. I spent alot of time at NASCAR tracks this year and hoping to do twice the amount this year. All team communications off the track is on MotoTRBO and it is encrypted. All Driver to Spotter/Crew Chief communications are analog. For the most part they stay the same track to track. NASCAR actually utilizes MotoTRBO at all the tracks, but it is patched to an analog channel during the events for people to listen to.

Racing Electronics has the market but utilizes all Motorola radios. Normally they have CP185 and XPR series.

The frequency list can be had for $5.00 on weekend race, but the channels are also on many public sites. Over the summer I picked up 3 different lists at the track and other than start and parks all the channels stayed the same.

Lastly it varies for the track communications on camping, registration security and such. Some tracks have full blown MotoTRBO systems on site and a few still had conventional channels on site.
 

Ronaldski

MI DB Admin
Database Admin
Joined
Aug 23, 2005
Messages
2,191
Location
Bay City MI
Very simple to find active frequencies if you have a modern scanner. You have to be within oh 100 feet or less of an active radio for it to work will vary depend on what signal strength that is used. I do it every year at the boat races here for the spotter-driver and race official frequencies.
bay city river roar - Bing video

baofeng frequencies http://forums.radioreference.com/budget-entry-level-transceivers/277945-illegal-transmissions-baofeng-type-radios-2.html#post2237785

On Umidens that have the close call feature use that or on Radio shack, whistler scanners use the signal stalker.
https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=close+call+scanner
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dVJqwDkE-V8
 

lacofdfireman

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
10
Location
St. George, Utah
Some great information. I ask not for racing myself but more for hunting. Just wondering what my options are for something in the outdoors. I have my Ham but my 2 boys don't. I would think even if they did that Hams wouldn't want to hear us talking hunting on a Ham Freq. I know rugged radios etc that the off road community uses must have some other frequencies beside Frs, Gmrs or Mur. Just have no idea if you buy a rugged radio if they come with preprogrammed frequency or if you have to go through the licensing process to get your own.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

SteveC0625

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,574
Location
Northville, NY (Fulton County)
I know rugged radios etc that the off road community uses must have some other frequencies beside Frs, Gmrs or Mur. Just have no idea if you buy a rugged radio if they come with preprogrammed frequency or if you have to go through the licensing process to get your own.
That is where reading and understanding the specs carefully comes into play. Most radio ads will include that information. If not, they're available on the net for a tiny bit of searching, or ask the seller for that info.

But if you find a radio you like, and the specs aren't clear about programming, then ask here on RR. There are too many different radios on the market, new and used, to toss out an open ended question.

CB, FRS and MURS are pretty much your only unlicensed choices. Each has some pluses and minuses which have already been chewed to death many times over here on RR.

If your boys had ham licenses, I'm sure you could find a 2 meter frequency that is unused in your area. There's enough frequencies available that your local hams could not possibly monitor them all or be using them all. I live in the Adirondacks which is pretty much hunters' heaven. Except for 146.52, the 2 meter freqs are silent. Even .52 is quiet except fror the rare convoy passing through.
 

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,284
Some great information. I ask not for racing myself but more for hunting. Just wondering what my options are for something in the outdoors. I have my Ham but my 2 boys don't. I would think even if they did that Hams wouldn't want to hear us talking hunting on a Ham Freq. I know rugged radios etc that the off road community uses must have some other frequencies beside Frs, Gmrs or Mur. Just have no idea if you buy a rugged radio if they come with preprogrammed frequency or if you have to go through the licensing process to get your own.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If you buy a radio at a RETAIL store, your options are MURS, FRS and GMRS. Of the three, only GMRS require license. The license is about $60 a year for 5 years, or about $1 a month. GMRS offers higher power than FRS. If you want higher power but unlicensed, buy the MURS radios.

If you are buying one of the cheap BaoFeng or similar Chinese models, (like from Amazon) bear in mind that unless the FCC ID on the radio is for a model that is type accepted (check FCC database), for a particular service (MURS, FRS or GMRS) you cannot legally use it on that service. CFR 47 Part 95 rules apply to CB, MURS, FRS, and GMRS

The off roaders are likely using Part 90 business radios for major venues because the venue may have licensed specific channels for coordination. Check with the venue to see what frequencies if any, competitors are allowed to access. A business license requires a coordination fee.
 
Last edited:

RFI-EMI-GUY

Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2013
Messages
3,284
I should add, that of those three MURS, FRS, and GMRS, only GMRS permits a removeable antenna and a mobile transmitter of up to 50 Watts. Otherwise portable radios are only option and limited in power.
 

cmdrwill

Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2005
Messages
3,296
Location
So Cali
CB, FRS and MURS are pretty much your only unlicensed choices. .
The statement "unlicensed" is NOT correct.
CB, FRS and MURS are still licensed by FCC Rules, Part 95.

Simple translation: IF you follow ALL the Rules you are able to use the radios.

If you do NOT follow ALL the Rules, then you are in Violation.
 

SteveC0625

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Oct 24, 2009
Messages
2,574
Location
Northville, NY (Fulton County)
The statement "unlicensed" is NOT correct.
CB, FRS and MURS are still licensed by FCC Rules, Part 95.

Simple translation: IF you follow ALL the Rules you are able to use the radios.

If you do NOT follow ALL the Rules, then you are in Violation.
Let's not get too nit picky here. I was trying to convey to the OP that those were his only choices for radio services that don't require obtaining a license. Yeah, us hobby types understand it, but most others don't understand the fine print nor do they care.

However, I will try to be more accurate and precise in the future just as I'll now expect other knowledgeable users to do the same. In other words, I'll be watching.
 

lacofdfireman

Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2016
Messages
10
Location
St. George, Utah
Great information thanks. I already have my ham so for me the GMRS license is not needed. My kids may need to get one though. I highly doubt anyone would bother us though. I'm sure the powers that be have way bigger fish to fry than someone operating a radio on a frequency. Back when I was a truck driver running CB drivers would run these big supped up CB radios with linear amps and all you would hear all day long on the cb was people telling them they are going to get caught and fined. Never heard of anyone actually getting bothered besides the guys on the other end of the mic.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top