Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

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Gurthy
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Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by Gurthy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 9:42 am

Hi all.

I was looking for something as idiot proof as possible that I can hand out to unlicensed and inexperienced friends/family/neighbors to use around the neighborhood/town in case of emergency/SHTF only. I needed something with better range than FRS so I decided to go with the Beofeng 888s, a 5watt 16 channel UHF HT.

The question I have is what freqs should I program in? We have 1 UHF repeater within range, so that is an option. Should I program 70cm call? FRS channels so they can be used with the blister pack walkie talkies everybody has? GMRS? A selection of simplex freqs? Should I program them with dual TX/RX freqs for added "security"? A little of everything?

I have a Tech license and have two dual band HTs and a 2m mobile/base rig for myself. I'm used to the flexability of being licensed so I am finding being limited to 16 channels is surprisingly difficult when trying to make a frequency plan.

Any advise or opinions that are offered will be appreciated.
Last edited by Gurthy on Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by TacAir » Sun Mar 15, 2015 11:54 am

Can you lock the keyboard where it requires a PC/cable to unlock the keyboard so users cannot alter the settings?
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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by Gurthy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:15 pm

I chose the BF-888s because it has no keypad, just a knob to select the channel ;-)

http://www.amazon.com/BAOFENG-BF-888S-T ... B007F7MZ04

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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by ineffableone » Sun Mar 15, 2015 12:21 pm

If you can program the radios via computer there is a nice easy download file on this site https://radiofreeq.wordpress.com/2013/0 ... ency-list/ with a bunch of useful frequencies. There is also a handy printable page that you can get there that has useful frequencies listed on it.

I would agree with TacAir, if your planning to pass these out to inexperienced operators in an emergency, lock out the keyboard so they can't go outside what ever you program. One step further would be to lock out transmit ability on any frequencies that transmitting would cause interference on an emergency services channel. As in block transmit capabilities on any FIRE or Police channels you program in, so your people don't transmit on those. Scanning and listening only.

BTW not sure if you saw this, but there is a new set of radios that might make good emergency radios viewtopic.php?f=42&t=115553 I know you said you already picked out the Baofeng 888. But these new radios are worth consideration as they have built in MURS and GMRS with limiters when switched to that to make them actually legal to transmit on those frequencies. Well as long as you have a GMRS license of course, for GMRS.
Last edited by ineffableone on Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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TacAir
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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by TacAir » Sun Mar 15, 2015 3:18 pm

(Please don't roll your eyes)

If you're looking for a radio you can use without a license, then no, it is not a good radio for that purpose. This radio is not Part 90 (commercial land mobile) or Part 95 (FRS/GMRS, etc.) certified.

I've got to say this up front because the site is dead set against illegal use. By saying "it's only for SHTF" is akin to calling "King's X' or some other childish thing.

Now

What to program?

As noted, radioreference.com will have all the local public service frequencies listed.

FRS and in many areas GRMS is as big a mess as the CB band. These radios may have some value to monitor PSB channels.

Your non-licensed family members can talk on ham channels - but that's if and only if you are physically present at the time of transmission.

I was surprised to see these units are as cheap as a blister pack FRS/GMRS sets.

Sorry I can't be of more help...
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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by Gurthy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:48 pm

TacAir wrote: FRS and in many areas GRMS is as big a mess as the CB band.
Good point... I passed on CB for this very reason, but I hadn't considered that FRS would be as bad.

TacAir wrote:Sorry I can't be of more help...
Understood, and I appreciate what you did offer.

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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by Gurthy » Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:53 pm

ineffableone wrote:BTW not sure if you saw this, but there is a new set of radios that might make good emergency radios viewtopic.php?f=42&t=115553 I know you said you already picked out the Baofeng 888. But these new radios are worth consideration as they have built in MURS and GMRS with limiters when switched to that to make them actually legal to transmit on those frequencies. Well as long as you have a GMRS license of course, for GMRS.
Although it is too complex for a "layperson", that might end up replacing the handheld dual band I have in the car bag :-) A little spendy for a brand that isn't Yaesu or Kenwood, but still worth a look.

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Re: Emergency HTs- what UHF freqs to program?

Post by TheQuietSurvivalist » Thu Apr 16, 2015 3:38 am

http://quietsurvivalist.com/range-of-frsgmrs-radios/


I would go with the first 7 channels as compatible with FRS/GMRS

Next 5 with MURS if your radios are capable of both wide and narrow band transmitting

next 2 should be the UHF repeater if the range is possible in the radio
and a GMRS repeater you buy and set up for your own use

YMMV but I have a bit of experience with this kind of problem

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