OB Approved - Overland Bound Comms Frequency Guide | OVERLAND BOUND COMMUNITY

OB Approved Overland Bound Comms Frequency Guide

Discussion in 'Overland Bound Boot Camp' started by brien, Aug 7, 2018.

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  1. brien

    brien Southwest Regional Director
    Staff Member Moderator Member Supporter +

    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    Member #:

    3553

    Ham Callsign:
    K7XPO
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    The Overland Bound community has settled on some common "calling" frequencies for the most common radio types. These are meant to be a starting point for making contact with a Overland Bound members. If your local region already has other generally accepted practices, you may want stick with them instead.


    2 Meter Amateur Radio
    Frequency: 146.46
    This frequency is the generally accepted off-road calling frequency. Amateur operator etiquette means that this common calling frequency should be used primarily for initial contact. Any extended conversations or group use, like communication while on a trip or a trial run, should likely be moved to a different nearby frequency.
    Licensing: In order to operate an amateur ("ham") radio in the United States of America, you must be licensed by the FCC. Other countries have their own licensing systems, so check with your local regulations. There are other threads here on the Overland Bound forums that discuss licensing, so refer to those for more details.
    (links to existing bootcamp about getting licensed)
    Range: Range varies quite a bit depending on radio, transmit power, antenna, and geography. Typical range of a handheld on the trail is realistically around 2-6 miles, but with clean line of sight, a good setup, and higher power output, distances of well over 25 miles can be obtained.

    GMRS / FRS
    Channel: 15
    License: The FCC certifies specific radios for use on GMRS and FRS which share the same channels. Only an FCC certified device can be used on these frequencies, and additionally, GMRS use requires a household license to be purchased from the FCC that is good for 10 years.
    CTCSS / Privacy Codes: Some FRS and GMRS radios offer the ability to use what are called Privacy Codes or CTCSS tones as a way to limit the incoming transmissions to only the people in your group. Look at your radios manual for details and be aware that in order to use this option, all radios in your group must also support this feature.
    Range: Similar to the VHF amateur radios, a typical range for GMRS on the trail is likely somewhere around 2-6 miles. FRS radios (which do not require the additional FCC license) are much lower power, and therefore the range is significantly reduced, making them less desirable.

    CB
    Channel: 16
    License: There is no license requirement for CB use in the United States of America.
    Squelch: Almost all CB radios will have a squelch control, this additional knob is used to adjust the noise cut-off on the incoming signal. If you find that other people in your group can hear you, but you can't hear them, adjust the squelch down as you may be filtering too much of the incoming signal.
    Range: CB power output is limited to 4 watts, so in a typical trail situation, the range is realistically about 3-4 miles.

    Comms In a Group Run
    Before any organized run, select a trail leader and hold a quick drivers meeting where, among other things, you can announce the details of how communication will be managed on the run. Select a "tail gunner" to monitor the rear of the pack, and if the group is large, a "mid gunner" as well. Announce the chosen radio type and the frequency/channel that will be used. Many times not every vehicle has a radio, or there may be some vehicles that do not have the radio type chosen as the primary means of communication. Consider relaying some important turn callouts and such to a secondary radio. For example, if ham radios will be used primarily, you might still announce important turns or warnings on a CB channel as well. Always let drivers know to keep an eye on the vehicle behind them in the rear view mirror and to stop if they ever lose sight. This will keep the group together even in the case that radio contact is lost or unavailable. When leading a moderate to large sized group, it's best to keep the radio chatter mostly focused around trail direction. Socializing on the radio in a larger group can end up making it difficult to call out important turns or obstacles. To make up for this, it's a good idea to have some regularly time stops for bio-breaks and socializing in person.
     
    coffeeshark, Pindal, Boort and 28 others like this.
  2. Chadlyb

    Chadlyb Rank V
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    Location:
    Bend, OR, USA
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    7632

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    Thank you.....
     
    Ian McCarthy, NovaBound and brien like this.
  3. sabjku

    sabjku Rank IV
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    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
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    13840

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    Great information! Thank you! Definitely helpful for us new to comms.
     
    Julian Dahlman, NovaBound and brien like this.
  4. HappyOurOverlanding

    Member

    Location:
    Verdi Nevada
    Member #:

    9206

    Ham Callsign:
    KI7RAM
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    Good information. Thanks. I will review during our next local meeting.
     
    Ruben Ferran likes this.
  5. KC2BUN

    KC2BUN Rank IV
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    Location:
    Salem County NJ
    Member #:

    12025

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    I tend to use 146.580 simplex for everything. It's a forgotten simplex frequency so it's easy for the family to use candidly
     
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  6. Nickzero

    Nickzero Rank IV
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    Location:
    Sanford Florida
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    12727

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    Some insightful info here. Thanks for sharing. I will be getting my Ham Op license this year some time. Comms are critical out on the trails.
     
    Overland 505, Graeman, KC2BUN and 2 others like this.
  7. KC2BUN

    KC2BUN Rank IV
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    Location:
    Salem County NJ
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    I've been a ham for 22yrs don't regret it except not getting my general ticket. 2meter is a great band but I want to get into 6meter and 10meter
    The HF bands can get ya over mountains
     
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  8. Lost-Again

    Lost-Again Rank I
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    Texas
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    13072

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    Good to know! I'll be tuned in!
     
  9. BeeeCeee

    BeeeCeee Rank I
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    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
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    Thank you. I'm learning stuff every day.
     
  10. Norcalbear55

    Norcalbear55 Rank I
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    Awesome! Hope to find one of ya'll out there someday!
     
    HappyOurOverlanding likes this.
  11. Kyle & Kari Frink

    Member Supporter

    Location:
    San Diego, California
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    6376

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    @brien

    Thanks for the detailed information, I am positive people will appreciate the information.
    Appreciate the time you have put into this post.
    Our family just runs the CB and hand held radios for those who don't, been considering getting a HAM license though.
     
  12. Blue Moser

    Blue Moser Rank I
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    Location:
    Milton, Pennsylvania
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    13326

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    I use both cb and gmrs. ( with fcc ZA license ) The new midland mxt400 mobile really sends the signal out at 40 watts.
    Plus the ability to use repeaters. Now I can talk almost 75 % percent across the state of PA almost anywhere.

    -WRCA690 / Milton, PA
     
    Overland 505, Graeman, KC2BUN and 2 others like this.
  13. Overland Commander

    Member

    Location:
    245 Lewis Avenue, Westbury, NY, USA
    Member #:

    13744

    Ham Callsign:
    KD2QMS - The Commander
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    Which is most common in the membership? 2M or GMRS?
     
    KC2BUN likes this.
  14. KC2BUN

    KC2BUN Rank IV
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    Location:
    Salem County NJ
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    I like 2meter but that's just my opinion
     
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  15. Overland Commander

    Member

    Location:
    245 Lewis Avenue, Westbury, NY, USA
    Member #:

    13744

    Ham Callsign:
    KD2QMS - The Commander
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    Maybe I should get both - 2 is 1, 1 is none.
     
  16. HappyOurOverlanding

    Member

    Location:
    Verdi Nevada
    Member #:

    9206

    Ham Callsign:
    KI7RAM
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    #16 HappyOurOverlanding, Sep 9, 2018
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2018
    It's always good to have a main comm device (I prefer Ham) and a couple of GMRS radios for relay, spotting or hiking comms. If you are out with a few others and Ham is the main Comm but a few have CBs, the GMRS radios make good relay comms to one CB person to relay info to the other CB folk.
     
    KC2BUN and Firemom like this.
  17. oz45c

    oz45c Rank II
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    Noble, Oklahoma
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    Thanks for the info
     
  18. Ruba-Su

    Ruba-Su Rank I
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    Location:
    Columbia, Tn
    Member #:

    13319

    So what is the most common choice? And then what's the most common dual set up?
    I'm building my first rig and trying to decide what to buy.
     
  19. Blue Moser

    Blue Moser Rank I
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    Location:
    Milton, Pennsylvania
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    13326

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    Cb is non licensed and free to public use.
    Gmrs has a 70 dollar fee ( no testing ) for 10 years and covers your entire immediate family under one call sign.
    ham requires testing and fees to use.

    I myself based off of compatibility for my area. I use both CB and GMRS. Some places I travel to there is no cell phone reception. But I can use a GMRS repeater and contact people all over if need be.
     
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  20. Blue Moser

    Blue Moser Rank I
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    Location:
    Milton, Pennsylvania
    Member #:

    13326

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    IMG_0365.JPG


    With GMRS I can talk to almost half the state I live in. CB is good for local group chatting. But with the capability of gmrs ( including data transmissions ) I’m able to communicate farther than a CB.
     
    Graeman, Kent R and Ruba-Su like this.

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