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Baofeng radio help

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Stealth-X, Aug 19, 2015.

  1. Stealth-X

    Stealth-X Corvallis, OR Member

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    Hi guys. I've finally added a couple Baofeng radios to my preps, but I'm currently feeling overwhelmed by the amount of knowledge I DON'T have regarding use and programming.

    I have watched several youtube vids, and read posts and articles, but soo much of it goes over my head, I don't know where to start.

    Here's what I know now: I should get a tech license (HAM) and that will help greatly. It's planned, but it will be a while before I can invest the time into that. I should program them with CHIRP using the programming cable (purchased). I should upgrade the antenna. That's about it ;)

    I would like to get these programmed so they can at least be useful in a SHTF scenario. So from what I've gathered, I need to program channels/frequencies (C/F) into each radio. If all are set to the same C/F then they can talk to each other like a standard 2-way. How do I choose a C/F to use? These are dual band radios, so which band should I plan on using? I assume the 2m HAM band has better range/more power?

    After I get them setup to talk to each other (in an emergency) Then I need to figure out how to reach/listen to people I dont' know. I have seen websites that have frequency lists for emergency/fire/rescue/police/schools/other agenciesetc listed by area (city/county etc.) But at that point I got overwhelmed. There are tons of them. Which ones do I want? How do I find other prepper channels? If SHTF and I only have my 2-way C/F setup, (no internet or cell phones) how do I go about finding F/C to listen to or communicate with? The instructions I've found for scanning with the radios seem to imply that the baofeng will only scan through the saved F/C on the radio vs. scanning for active channels within it's F/C range. Am I wrong? Seems very limited if you can't scan for active channels you don't know about.

    Also, I've heard CHIRP is the best way to program the radios. On the CHIRP site, it makes it seem like I can copy the C/F I want into the spreadsheet and simply copy it over to any other radios I have (like a CHIRP programming image or backup file). So perhaps there is someone around the Oregon I5 corridor that has their Baofeng radios already programmed via CHIRP that is willing to share their CHIRP image with me?

    Do we have any prepper F/C that I should add?

    It seems like it would be a good idea to add the GMRS channels to the Baofeng so they can be used with the more common 2-way radios found at cabelas/walmart/Costco. Is there a downside to this? (I understand this is illegal to use unless in an emergency. These are emergency radios though, not hobby radios.)

    Let me know if you guys can either answer my questions, share a CHIRP image, or point me towards some REALLY beginner-friendly resources where I can start to pick this stuff up. I live in the Hillsboro area but could end up anywhere between Portland and Roseburg.

    If it matters I have 3 of the UV-82HP and the programming cable.

    Thanks,
    Nate (radio n00b)
     
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  2. 45alive

    45alive South Douglas County- Orygun Well-Known Member

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    Maybe see the similar threads below this thread:s0092:
     
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  3. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    You need help! An FCC amateur radio license would be required to use the repeaters maintained via the amateur radio service. There are "ham radio clubs" just about everywhere. Contact those and get your license.

    In the event of a SHTF thingy, amateur radio operators will be manning those repeaters & frequencies. Any idiot without training to handle radio traffic will only get in the way. That is not the time to be a problem.

    Foreverlost,

    PS: FCC licensed for about 5 decades.
     
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2015
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  4. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Listening is more important than transmitting.
    18AUG2015 / SPARKS31


    Many of you don’t realize how much more important it is to be able to listen, than it is to transmit, and that the first thing you should listen to is what’s going on in your own local area of interest (AI).

    img_20150801_143908587.jpg

    If you are just starting out, the first thing you should get, before you even buy a squad radio/HT, is monitoring equipment. Of that monitoring equipment, the first thing you should have is a good police scanner that will enable you to hear your local/county/state public safety and other related communications. If you do not have a police scanner, it should be the next piece of commo gear you purchase.

    img_20141021_145801015.jpg After you get the scanner, put together a portable monitoring package like the one shown above. Now you have everything together and ready to go for when it’s needed.

    Now go and use your scanner. Read the manual. Learn how to use it. Program in local frequencies. Listen in whenever you can so you can quickly get a feel for the local comms in your area. Take lots of notes. Find other frequencies of interest. You will soon get an accurate picture of what’s going on in your AI. This is important. More important than transmitting.

    http://www.radioreference.com/ is where you should begin. It’s not a 3% or prepper site, but you aren’t going there for that. Visit their database and Wiki. Get your local frequencies. Find out what makes/models of scanners can monitor your local systems.

    The Net and Web are full of exaggerated and outright incorrect stories designed to trap you, and I’m not even taking about the opposition. By listening in to the locals, you will find out what’s really going on in your AI.

    Meatspace. It’s where you need to be.
    https://sparks31.wordpress.com/2015/08/18/listening-is-more-important-than-transmitting/
     
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  5. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Get your tech license. I live in Hillsboro as well and could show you the ins and outs of the Baofengs. I have 3 of them. But don't shy away from getting your license. Emergency or not, HAM radio can be very handy and fun if you get to know how to use the equipment.
     
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  6. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on that step forward; there's no going back now.

    Tons of information to learn, so sit back and take it one step at a time.

    Hamexam.org provides free practice exams.

    Add a Tecsun PL 600 shortwave radio to your kit.

    I have a Baofeng pdf reference sheet; came off the web...easy enough to find.

    I'd also recommend finding your county's ARES/RACES frequencies...can also be found on the web.

    GMRS freqs work on the Baofengs, but I don't want to speculate on your permission to "spit" into a +5 watt microphone.

    A simple "J" Pole antenna with adapter will boost your capability.
     
  7. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Someone have a link to last year's thread? There was a ton of info in there

    Singed
    Lazy Mike
     
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  8. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    If you really gotta!

    There are a few things to consider on the communication issue. Most police/LEO radio comms are encrypted; listening to them are out of the picture. The scanners on present markets don't work. Chances of anyone getting the encryption keys are about zero.

    A scanner plus extra batteries or means to recharge the scanner/etc would be a good resource. Then comes the question, what to listen to??

    The amateur radio service most likely will provide comms during and after any large disaster. The states of Washington, Oregon, & California can be tied together via ham radio repeaters. Some of these repeaters have backup power in the event main electrical service goes down. But that isn't going to last forever. Owners if they can get to the repeaters damaged by an event (CSZ) might be able to get them back on the air via a portable generator.

    Using Katrina & Sandy as an example, ham radio operators "outside" of the affected areas will provide most of the comms. Know how to program your scanners to various ham repeaters. A radio/scanner which can receive the 75, 40, & 20 meter amateur bands will be a plus!

    At a recent public forum held by the U of O; one of the guest panel members re-enforced cell phones, land lines, police radios, etc would not be working after a CSZ event. Ham radio will provide all comms!

    Take note: OWIN........Oregon Wireless Interoperability Network........The rug from this political boondoggle was pulled by our ex-gov Kitz. Millions spent on a zero project. Great idea to tie police, fire, EMT's, all together. Except politicians can't function mentally, their only purpose is to funnel money to their pals.

    The means are already there and the cost is free......."HAM RADIO".

    Foreverlost,
     
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  9. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    I have the same problem as the OP. Have the radios am working on license. the manual that came with the radios is useless it tell me where the buttons are but not what they do or how to make the buttons do what there supposed to. I to need help with programing the radios. I see nothing in the reply's that really help. Although there is a lot of info there.
     
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  10. DuneHopper

    DuneHopper Douglas County. Well-Known Member

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    There are also allot of facebook groups and several threads on Survivial Monkey, programming is easy once you understand how. I can program mine in less then 5 minutes hard to explain over a posts.
    also one should be aware there are several fakes out there that may work but are old software etc.

    Yes a Ham license is the way to go lots there are sample tests and a ton of information here for free and this is a great resource to start with the sample tests give an idea what included in the real test as its taken from the real test. http://www.arrl.org/

    You can buy a book on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1625950136?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00

    That kinda helps with the website as well.

    I found this video to be the same way I do mine for programming
     
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  11. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    can you provide as link for the video (I can't read it) I have two diff. books that I use for study.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  12. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    Start th video in the post then click on the 'you tube insignia ,bottom right,it will take you to you tube where you can watch it as large as you need
     
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  13. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Send your email in a PM and I will email you the pdf.

    So simple once you get the hang of it.

    You can even turn off the domineering-histrionic mother's voice.....:D

    Free and unlimited practice tests at hamexam.org; it even offers a feature that remembers a weakness, and programs the weakness(es) into the next test(s) accordingly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2015
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  14. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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  15. Stealth-X

    Stealth-X Corvallis, OR Member

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    Thanks guys! I appreciate the input and info. I found miklor also, and it appears to have a ton on these radios. Also, for anyone else interested in this stuff, check out this site I found (below), which had EXACTLY what I was looking for... a downloadable list of channels to shove down my radios throat using CHIRP. It has 99 of the most common channels/frequencies, including some prepper frequencies.

    https://radiofreeq.wordpress.com/20...iness-weather-marine-ham-channel-frequencies/

    -Nate
     
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  16. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    Information is priceless!

    Among the many lessons-learned in electronics, is the realization that there is a lifetime of learning ahead for almost everyone...

    Your local ARES/RACES group can be researched on your local jurisdiction's Emergency Management web-site. There, you should also find the interoperability frequencies.
     
  17. pokerace

    pokerace Newberg Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the info. guys. Helps a lot.
     
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  18. Oathkeeper1775

    Oathkeeper1775 Coast Range Well-Known Member

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    The absolute most informative radio community I have found is called AmRRON (The American Redoubt Radio Operator's Network). They operate a mind-blowing number of methods to stay in touch and informed...; email over radio, HF, SW, phone, email, 2 meter, forum, etc.

    They are a group of constitutional Americans, HQd in the American Redoubt which includes parts of Eastern Oregon and Washington, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and also virtually across the country. They are also affiliated with TAPRN (The American Preparedness Radio Network). They also sponsor what is known as the Channel 3 project that is totally-worth looking into.

    Anyone interested in looking into a seemingly-infinite type and amount of information, should visit this group and consider joining the AmRRON corps.

    They offer an SOI (Signal Operating Instructions) that will knock your socks off; I think they ask something like $5.00 for the PDF download.

    Among all the other modes of communication, they have a "Z" Net; a web-based Zello channel; people from all over the country check in and or report situations in real time. Zello works on data-plan phones, tablets, and PCs; situational calls come in from all across the country in real time.

    The 2nd best thing about this group, is even though they are much more experienced than I am, and speak in different dimensions (technically) they always take the time to promptly answer every question I ask....very nice people who truly love our country and our countrymen.

    http://www.amrron.com/

    Not wanting to supplant the preparedness threads here, just something to share/consider.
     
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  19. Hardcore46

    Hardcore46 Spokanistan New Member

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    I disagree with the statement that MOST LE freqs are encrypted. In my experience, the normal channels that we use are open. We do have tactical channels which are encrypted, and much of what used to go out over the air now goes over our MDC.
     
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  20. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    so what are your Freqs?
     
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