OB Approved Overland Bound Comms Frequency Guide

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HappyOurOverlanding

US West Region Member Rep
Member

Traveler I

4,070
Verdi Nevada
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9206

Ham Callsign
KI7RAM
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.
For Ham there is a testing fee for 15 dollars. There are no continuing fees. The licence, like GMRS, is for 10 years with free renewal before the expiry date of your licence.
 
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brien

Southwest Regional Director
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Supporter +

Advocate II

3,136
Tucson, AZ
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Ham Callsign
K7XPO
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.
I have all three in the rig, but ham (2m) is by far the most used, followed by GMRS, and CB only if I absolutely have to, which is almost never.
 

systemdelete

Rank VI
Member

Pathfinder I

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.
I have all three in the FJ, From what I've seen CB is still FAR more prevalent installed in the vehicles around TN, especially off road. Now the GMRS is gaining traction and handily overlaps with the second most common radios I've run into on the trails, the FRS. These are those affordable little walkie talkies(handhelds) that have popped up everywhere from wal-mart to rei in recent years. The GMRS radio I have gives me an option to chat with those folks as well. Especially handy on scout trips since our troop has a bin of the AA powered FRS radios to hand out to dad's and scoutmasters driving the vehicles on each trip. The HAM is great, and has great range so it's great for possibly calling for help, but nearly always useless for group coms unless the whole group happens to be HAMS as well. About the only time I've been able to exclusively use my HAM for ALL communications I needed for a trip has been on deployment with the Red Cross. But you can pretty much talk to whoever you like if you're traveling with something like an ECRV in your convoy. (sadly the ECRV platforms were phased out in 2013) :(
 

KDC

Rank VI
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Traveler I

2,911
Lawton, OK
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14267

I'm glad I stopped to take a look at this. It will definitely help in my decision while I upgrade from my old outdated comms to newer systems I most likely will stick with a CB and go with a GMRS or FRS setup as well.
 
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Kent R

Executive Director
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Advocate I

4,551
Placerville, CA
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1632

Ham Callsign
K6KNT
I'm glad I stopped to take a look at this. It will definitely help in my decision while I upgrade from my old outdated comms to newer systems I most likely will stick with a CB and go with a GMRS or FRS setup as well.
If your not going to go with Ham the GMRS option is better than FRS due to power output.
 

KDC

Rank VI
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Traveler I

2,911
Lawton, OK
Member #

14267

If your not going to go with Ham the GMRS option is better than FRS due to power output.
Yea I thought about ham. I haven’t used my setup since the last time I was in Ca so about 6 years or so. Any input on a gmrs setup you like or that works well?
 

Steve

lost again...
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Experimenter I

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Lorain County, OH, USA
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Steve
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This thread is about the announcement of designated Overland Bound Comms Frequencies. Let's please keep the discussion here related to that topic rather than what type radio or brand is best or what folks are using. There are already many existing threads for those discussions.

Thank you
 

MTN RNR

Rank VI
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Advocate III

2,805
San Diego 92130
Member #

13782

Ham Callsign
WD6TED
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.
There aren’t really any fees for a ham license. Just passed my exam and it was only $5 fee for the examiners to file the paperwork. As far as the FCC goes there’s no charge. Now that I’m into it I’m totally sold on ham radio. Lots of wattage in a mobile unit and lots of repeater networks (at least in calif).
 

RyanC

Rank VI
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Advocate I

3,381
Pinckney, MI
Member #

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Ham Callsign
K1RAC
my local Amateur Radio club sponsored the exam and I didn't have to pay anything.
I'm told that's not uncommon.

EDIT: I seem to have spoken without wider knowledge of the subject. Sponsored exams are not as common as my limited experience and poor memory may have led me to say they are. I would not count on having a free exam.
 
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MTN RNR

Rank VI
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Advocate III

2,805
San Diego 92130
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Ham Callsign
WD6TED
Here is what convinced me to go the ham route. I took this picture looking at the message board at the Rubicon Trail staging area (Tahoe side):

IMG_1950.JPG


No cell coverage. CB won’t help in an emergency. GMRS/FRMS are only good for, essentially, handheld to handheld communication. Tough to get help with them. I’ve owned several SPOT models since they first came out (well over 10 yrs). They don’t work well in wooded areas or slightly limited horizon areas. Also you never know if your message got through. I had a Globalstar sat phone for about 5 years but it seldom worked reliably in the Sierras even at 12,000 ft (reliably being the key word). And sat phones and service contracts are really expensive. That’s the same network used for the new text messaging feature in SPOT. There is probably no perfect solution for every place I might end up, but ham radio really adds a lot of coverage with repeaters and the ability to use voice. I still carry my SPOT with me as well.
 

KC2BUN

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Member
Supporter +

Advocate I

2,954
Salem County NJ
Member #

12025

Here is what convinced me to go the ham route. I took this picture looking at the message board at the Rubicon Trail staging area (Tahoe side):

View attachment 69012


No cell coverage. CB won’t help in an emergency. GMRS/FRMS are only good for, essentially, handheld to handheld communication. Tough to get help with them. I’ve owned several SPOT models since they first came out (well over 10 yrs). They don’t work well in wooded areas or slightly limited horizon areas. Also you never know if your message got through. I had a Globalstar sat phone for about 5 years but it seldom worked reliably in the Sierras even at 12,000 ft (reliably being the key word). And sat phones and service contracts are really expensive. That’s the same network used for the new text messaging feature in SPOT. There is probably no perfect solution for every place I might end up, but ham radio really adds a lot of coverage with repeaters and the ability to use voice. I still carry my SPOT with me as well.
Beautiful I love it!
Was talking with my dad(KB2EAH) at breakfast b4 the Hamfest yesterday about the influx of new Hams due to Overlanding, he asked what bands where being used. He suggested that HF be better for the mountains.
I've been wanting to get a 6 meters and 10 meters mobile rig for my Xterra for a long time, the icon 706s ain't cheap though.
 
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