FCC license

Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
592
Location
Charlotte NC
As I continue to wait for my HDJ-80 to get its timing belt, water pump, radiator, t-stat, belts, hoses, inlet/outlet pipes replaced, I am slowly accumuluating gear to outfit the rig to make it into an Overland vehicle.

One such item, which I am about to buy is a Midland Consumer Radio MXT105 Micro Mobile 5 W Gmrs Radio with Weather
now, I have been informed that one has to obtain a license for this, I get it. I already have registered with the FCC, got my FRN, but how does one answer the questions, and what license should I apply for?

I guess what I am asking is, I need a cheat sheet to pass the exam.

Cheers!!
 

Izzyandsue

Izzy
SILVER Star
Joined
Oct 31, 2014
Messages
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Charlotte, NC
If you havent yet, dont get those. If you are willing, take the Amateur Technician license exam. Easy enough that Boy Scouts get it and you will have access to much more powerful and useful radios. GMRS licence is just money, no test. GMRS uses channels, in a very narrow frequency range, and unless another GMRS is listening on the same channel, you wont get anyone. It is great as a walkie talkie within a group, but thats it.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
592
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Charlotte NC
Izzy, I'm not looking to go all out. I just want to use this radio when I eventually get out to group trail rides with ONSC. Eventually I'll go with what you recommended.
Baby steps here.
 

subzali

 
Joined
Jan 31, 2005
Messages
3,504
Location
Denver CO
A Baofeng handheld Ham is cheaper and much more useful. But you should check with the local trail club to see what they use; historically it has been CB, with Ham usage increasing in popularity starting about 10-15 years ago, but lately FRS/GMRS seem to have been gaining popularity for some off-road users. Some TLCA events like Cruise Moab require CB, so think about that as well.
 

JohnVee

SILVER Star
Joined
Dec 16, 2011
Messages
9,361
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NOVA & NC
I just want to use this radio when I eventually get out to group trail rides with ONSC.
FRS, HAM, CB. Yes, FRS sucks, but it's what most people are willing to have due to ease of use and price. Even if you have something else, keeping an FRS radio turned on and in the cab is a good idea when out with us (I use FRS for now, and on the rides I lead, I always ask for FRS folks 3-5 trucks behind me to repeat my messages for the benefit of those behind them. They usually don't; that's a giant pain in the ass and will always be until everybody is on HAM and the relay need goes away.). HAM is rapidly gaining acceptance in the club, probably even more so as people from other clubs show up and that's what they're running. As long as there's a HAM right behind me who's monitoring the FRS and repeating the info over HAM, everybody can theoretically know what's happening...except the CB'ers, but there aren't many of them. Shitty system, but it's what we have to deal with for now. Gimme a call if you wanna talk this out before dropping cash.
 
Joined
Jul 4, 2017
Messages
592
Location
Charlotte NC
FRS, HAM, CB. Yes, FRS sucks, but it's what most people are willing to have due to ease of use and price. Even if you have something else, keeping an FRS radio turned on and in the cab is a good idea when out with us (I use FRS for now, and on the rides I lead, I always ask for FRS folks 3-5 trucks behind me to repeat my messages for the benefit of those behind them. They usually don't; that's a giant pain in the ass and will always be until everybody is on HAM and the relay need goes away.). HAM is rapidly gaining acceptance in the club, probably even more so as people from other clubs show up and that's what they're running. As long as there's a HAM right behind me who's monitoring the FRS and repeating the info over HAM, everybody can theoretically know what's happening...except the CB'ers, but there aren't many of them. Shitty system, but it's what we have to deal with for now. Gimme a call if you wanna talk this out before dropping cash.
John, I will call you sometime later next week... going out of town starting tomorrow.
 

jonheld

 
Joined
Dec 8, 2006
Messages
8,024
Location
New Jersey
I don't understand the move from CB to FRS/GMRS when a ham radio costs $24.65 delivered from Amazon. Is everyone that afraid of taking a simple test that a 12 year old can pass?
One would assume if you're "overlanding" then you're going to potentially be in remote areas without cell coverage. Isn't that the concept behind "overlanding"? Good luck reaching anyone with that FRS in the event of an emergency.

None of this makes ANY sense to me.
 

george_tlc

 
 
Joined
Sep 17, 2003
Messages
3,736
Location
Sunnyvale, CA
I don't understand the move from CB to FRS/GMRS when a ham radio costs $24.65 delivered from Amazon. Is everyone that afraid of taking a simple test that a 12 year old can pass?
One would assume if you're "overlanding" then you're going to potentially be in remote areas without cell coverage. Isn't that the concept behind "overlanding"? Good luck reaching anyone with that FRS in the event of an emergency.

None of this makes ANY sense to me.
Jon, you have made a serious mistake in your post.



My (then) 9yr old passed that test (some 12 years ago) and then my (then) 7yr old went in a couple of weeks later and passed as well. So I think you exaggerate by saying a 12yr can pass it :)

cheers,
george.
 

ChaseTruck

--
 
Joined
Apr 4, 2006
Messages
1,980
I don't understand the move from CB to FRS/GMRS when a ham radio costs $24.65 delivered from Amazon. Is everyone that afraid of taking a simple test that a 12 year old can pass?.
No, but my wife can't really, really can't be bothered to take the test. She's simply not interested, and the roll-eyes I got studying up to take the test were marvelous... . Anyways. She 'wheels her own truck. CB when in the truck, GMRS outside of the truck (and I hold the necessary license, although I'm having a hard time memorizing my GMRS call sign, for some reason...), and the 50W 2m radio in one of my trail trucks (and a 50W for 2m as well as 70cm in the other...) in case there's an emergency (good thing we haven't had to rely on that, but all the pertinent repeaters are programmed) - this may not be useful for anyone else, but it's working fine for us.

Typically, our trucks are line-of-sight when we're on a trail; main reason for that is that it is easier this way to arrange for spotting through obstacles. So, the 'lowly' CB works fine for that. And perhaps I haven't found the right 2m antenna that can take the same beating from brush and trees as the 3-foot Firestik CB antenna on the fender of my K5 Blazer. On the 80, there's the CB Firestik on the back corner, and the 1/4 wave on a mag mount on the roof if need be. I tried the mag-mount 1/2-wave 2m antenna on the roof of the K5 - not practical where I go 'wheeling, for the most part (same is true for a CB mag shorty on the roof; I can't count the times I scraped the one off, and yes, there are trees in AZ...). I'm somewhat tempted to try a Firestik 2m antenna on the other fender. But the repeater coverage is such that the 5W HT works for the most part.

Longest distance in flat-ish terrain where we were able to make contact using a GMRS channel at 5W was ~10 miles, CB in the same area was about 1.5 miles. In somewhat corrugated terrain, we were able to make contact over about a 2 mile distance using a GMRS channel, no signal at all using CB.

I'm not really advocating that what we're using is better than a plain HAM radio (it's not...); I'm just outlining a solution that has worked for us, and yes, I'm aware of what compliance the FCC expects from using GMRS channels. Can't please them all, all the time, I reckon.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
457
Location
Palo Alto, California
Jon, you have made a serious mistake in your post.



My (then) 9yr old passed that test (some 12 years ago) and then my (then) 7yr old went in a couple of weeks later and passed as well. So I think you exaggerate by saying a 12yr can pass it :)

cheers,
george.
It isn't how hard the test is. Just putting one, simple barrier is enough to deter most people. As an example, it is well-known in user interface design that if you put something just an extra click away from somebody on the phone, they will stop going there most of the time. This is just the way people are. We can lament it but it won't change.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
457
Location
Palo Alto, California
I don't understand the move from CB to FRS/GMRS when a ham radio costs $24.65 delivered from Amazon. Is everyone that afraid of taking a simple test that a 12 year old can pass?
One would assume if you're "overlanding" then you're going to potentially be in remote areas without cell coverage. Isn't that the concept behind "overlanding"? Good luck reaching anyone with that FRS in the event of an emergency.

None of this makes ANY sense to me.
It makes complete sense. Radios are for communicating between members of the group mostly. And in that case, it just make sense to use the group consensus, FRS/GMRS/CB/VHF/UHF/semaphores/flashlight morse code, whatever.

Good luck, trying to raise somebody on ham in an emergency. You might be lucky but I wouldn't depend on luck if my life depended on it. I would not rely on any terrestrial radio system when out of cell range. I would use my Garmin InReach, my satellite communicator.

Carry an InReach or Spot or a personal locator beacon if you really are serious about emergency help.....Thinking that a Ham radio will help you in an emergency dependably is wishful thinking.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2015
Messages
81
Location
Appleton Wisconsin
It makes complete sense. Radios are for communicating between members of the group mostly. And in that case, it just make sense to use the group consensus, FRS/GMRS/CB/VHF/UHF/semaphores/flashlight morse code, whatever.

Good luck, trying to raise somebody on ham in an emergency. You might be lucky but I wouldn't depend on luck if my life depended on it. I would not rely on any terrestrial radio system when out of cell range. I would use my Garmin InReach, my satellite communicator.

Carry an InReach or Spot or a personal locator beacon if you really are serious about emergency help.....Thinking that a Ham radio will help you in an emergency dependably is wishful thinking.
The Garmin InReach works great but comes with an ongoing cost. I was on the Rubicon 2 weeks ago and hit the repeater at spider lake with no issues. Talked with someone on it and am confident it would have worked in an emergency. Then went to Sand Hollow and hit a repeater there and was able to get someone to respond. Then to Moab worked there too. You are correct the the Garmin InReach will always get out but over the years I found a good Ham radio works also.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
457
Location
Palo Alto, California
The Garmin InReach works great but comes with an ongoing cost. I was on the Rubicon 2 weeks ago and hit the repeater at spider lake with no issues. Talked with someone on it and am confident it would have worked in an emergency. Then went to Sand Hollow and hit a repeater there and was able to get someone to respond. Then to Moab worked there too. You are correct the the Garmin InReach will always get out but over the years I found a good Ham radio works also.
OTOH, I have had *zero* luck talking to anybody on repeaters on the trails. There are repeaters but nobody is listening. The $80/year I spend for my inreach is well worth it. I like the sense of security that I can reach a team of pros who know how to do recovery/rescue with a single button.
 
Joined
Nov 15, 2016
Messages
457
Location
Palo Alto, California
The Garmin InReach works great but comes with an ongoing cost. I was on the Rubicon 2 weeks ago and hit the repeater at spider lake with no issues. Talked with someone on it and am confident it would have worked in an emergency. Then went to Sand Hollow and hit a repeater there and was able to get someone to respond. Then to Moab worked there too. You are correct the the Garmin InReach will always get out but over the years I found a good Ham radio works also.
OTOH, I have had *zero* luck talking to anybody on repeaters on the trails. There are repeaters but nobody is listening. The $80/year I spend for my inreach is well worth it. I like the sense of security that I can reach a team of pros who know how to do recovery/rescue with a single button.
 
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