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What's a good, accessible entry-level...
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What's a good, accessible entry-level walkie talkie? Some chink shit from aliexpress? Something old and used? Any stories with them?
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I have a baofeng UV-5RE.

They're like $35 on amazon. You can use all the gmrs and frs channels, and the baofeng with have twice the range of those cheap Walmart radios.

That said, the radio is technically not legal to use on those channels (puts out too much power for frs, and isn't approved for gmrs). 6oud never get caught, ever, unless you were using them at one location every day telling your location (like a business using them for a warehouse).

For simple cheap radios, get a set of "bubble pack' radios. Any brand will work. Get a GMRS radio set, and use them. You'll need a GMRS license to use them legally, but again, you'd never be caught. The GMRS license law isn't really enforced. There's talk to try and approve GMRS for use without a license.
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>>676618
>What's a good, accessible entry-level walkie talkie?

As much as you can afford that's incapable of TX outside of CB.
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If you just need basic camp radios, you can get a pair of Midland T10s for $20-30 at most outdoor stores. 22 channels plus NOAA weather band.

Not bank-breaking, but not el cheapo shut either.
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>>677575
those sounds good enough. ty.
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>>676646
Sounds sketchy as fuck

There are HAM autists out there who spend all day searching for illegal broadcasts to report
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>>680012
If you're talking on a ham frequency without a callsign or with a fake callsign, sure, there's a chance you'll get reported. They're defending their spectrum just the same as a licensed business-band user would report someone on their spectrum.

FRS and GMRS aren't ham frequencies and you don't need a callsign. The only way someone would know you're not using a type-certified radio is from noticing that you're using more power than you should be on FRS frequencies, or, I suppose, actually spotting you using a Baofeng. Nobody's really going to give a shit if you're not shitting all over the spectrum with an out-of-spec radio or broadcasting with 200 watts or whatever. If you're just talking with a radio that otherwise in-spec, no one is going to care, or even know.
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You can also use the baofeng on MURS which is on 150 mhz which usually gets better range
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what are you using them for? i got a pair of whatever was on sale at rei for jabbering between cars on group trips and for communication on alpine climbs and they've worked great for that.
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I've got the UV5R V2+

I take my dogs on long walks at night because I work during the day, someone back home has the other one and we chat pretty much the whole way, on high power. Nobody's bothered us yet.

We only transmit on the frequency that's the equivalent to "Ch9" on camper walkies, but the dual channel feature lets us listen to the police, EMTs, NOAA, and others while we still transmit over the "Ch9" frequency.

We use code names for us and the dogs and have our route marked and divided into sections - just in case someone's listening - so we've got code names for our locations, too.
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>>676646
I've heard that they need to be programmed?
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Over?
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>>681212
you can do it from the front panel but it takes a while. the programming cables on amazon are like $5-$10
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>>680806
>>681261
my dad had a radio shack pro-528, the programming interface isn't much different
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>>680806

How do you listen to police? All the cops in my area use encoded digital signals unable to be picked up by my baofeng UV5r V2+

also what antenna do you have?
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>>681377
You don't listen to police, for the very reason that you mentioned. (unless you live extremely rural where they haven't switcher over yet).

I use a Nagoya NA-771 and an extended battery on my Bowchang. IMO both are essential addons.
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>>681212

This is a 3 part series of videos that shows you everything you need to know about programming your radio with a free program called "CHIRP" You will need the programming cable to do this, but it is cheap, and VERY worth it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arpGoThEtCE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-opjn22kbQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vc7rMM7jGxc


Pic is a list of handy frequencies to build off of.
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>>681383
>You don't listen to police, for the very reason that you mentioned. (unless you live extremely rural where they haven't switcher over yet).
Here in Chicago you can still pick up the police on them.
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>>681404
thanks for the info, but i'm still a bit confused.
why do they need to be programmed?
to save your favorite frequencies?
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>>682014

basically yes.

The baofeng UV5R V2+ has IIRC about 130 slots you can "program".

Using CHIRP and a programming cable, you can quickly and easily put 130 various channels on your radio with labels and such so you can navigate the channels more effectively.

You CAN program the radio without CHIRP or a cable, but it's more confusing, and much more time consuming. The awesome thing about using CHIRP to is how quickly you can swap out pre sets of channels if you want. 130 is a lot so you probably wouldn't need to, CHIRP just allows for very quick and convenient customization as well as organization.
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>>682787

Also I meant to mention this before: In case you didn't pick up on it early, the stock antenna the baofeng comes with is crap. You'll want a Nagoya-771 antenna for only about 15 bucks it's a huge upgrade. I've heard the stock antenna is basically garbage.
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>>682787
>>682789
Good info, Thanks!
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>>684323

Anytime brother. Let me know if you need any more help on the programming, I figured it out using only those videos provided but it can be confusing. Let us know what you get and how ya like it!
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Radio illiterate here, would it be possible, using the Baofang UV-5R for example, to reach NPS/USFS repeaters in emergency situations? Coverage is generally quite good in national parks, less so in national forests, but just curious if you could reach dispatch with one.
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>>685996

I think it really just depends on the distance man. I can pick up local repeaters in my area on it, but it's based on line of sight, and the antenna matters a lot. The latest baofeng only transmits like 3 miles I believe (could be wrong) in perfect conditions. My impression is that you can improve that with expensive antennas, but in dense forest the range will drop drastically unless you get up high.
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>>685996
Depends on the system they use. Might be analog, but a lot are moving to (or already have moved to) P25 for interop with other public safety agencies, especially as the analog subscriber units go end-of-life.

Analog has an advantage in more mountainous regions... while the signal may be noisy, it'll generally still be readable. Digital starts to "twist" at the fringe, and when that twisting happens, you get a crystal-clear but untelligible talking-with-a-mouth-full-of-marbles sound.

If they're still on analog, then yes, with the right freq split/code/tone you should be able to get on there.
P25 ... unlikely. You can receive it with most scanners, but a transceiver has to register to the network in order to use a talkgroup. (That equipment also costs a lot more than a baofeng, and the programming software is significantly more difficult.)

Fire dept. I worked with still maintains some analog equipment on the main fire dispatch TG for an area that's difficult to get coverage into (mountains/canyons). Otherwise everything else is tier-2 digital.

FS goes for the real nice (and $$$$$... your tax dollars at work) Pepro cabinets for their deployable systems. >Pic related.

As far as >>685999, distance is really subjective. Put good ears on a tower on a mountain, and a little 4W portable subscriber can hit it from 100 miles away.
For simplex operation with the rubber-ducky antennas on a baofeng, yeah, about 3mi is all i'd expect to see.
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