i have a simple yes or no question

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feel free to elaborate on your answer. ive searched and only come up with nothing that answers my question.

is it illegal to operate a marine band radio while offroading.


we all have cb radios but as you know, the range sucks. when were out in the deserts and have a stretched out group a cb doesn't cut it. especially with hills etc etc...

thanks.
 

Izzyandsue

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I'm in Yuma Arizona so the only "marine" communication around here are from actual marines and that would literally be impossible to listen in on them. they freq hop...
 
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reason I ask is everyone in my group is talking about getting marine band radios for when were out. some places here in the desert doesn't even have cell service no matter what that verizon map says. and with the group stretching out to avoid dust sometimes we need to communicate from back to front and sometimes a cb doesn't work out. it sucks waiting and having to go searching.
 
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If you have critical mass in your group I also suggest HAM. Make it a group thing to take the test. The radios are better, no legal issues and there are some slick possible setups.
 

Izzyandsue

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I'm in Yuma Arizona so the only "marine" communication around here are from actual marines and that would literally be impossible to listen in on them. they freq hop...
Thats 61 miles to the Gulf, easy distance to cover with higher power radio. Since you can't control the signal direction (unless you get a special antenna), you and the group communications can easily get mixed with marine radio. So besides being illegal, you could put someone in danger, radio waves propagate at the speed of light.

Reach out to a local HAM club, I bet they would love to have more potential operators and you can find someone to teach your group the class to pass the exam. One of the biggest advantages of HAM is you get to pick frequencies, marine radio is restricted to the pre-programmed bands. Then with HAM you can go direct between trucks, and if you get far from each other you can probably connect to a local repeater that will double or more your reach. The repeater is just that, a big ass antenna that takes your communications and rebroadcasts. Some repeaters also have phone capability, meaning you could ask the repeater to dial a number (phone patch) and make a call for you. And finally with APRS, most digital radios will track your location by repeaters (if you want) so others can see on-line where you are and your route. Looks like you have a really well sorted out rig, why not go with the best alternative for communication?
 
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Thats 61 miles to the Gulf, easy distance to cover with higher power radio. Since you can't control the signal direction (unless you get a special antenna), you and the group communications can easily get mixed with marine radio. So besides being illegal, you could put someone in danger, radio waves propagate at the speed of light.

Reach out to a local HAM club, I bet they would love to have more potential operators and you can find someone to teach your group the class to pass the exam. One of the biggest advantages of HAM is you get to pick frequencies, marine radio is restricted to the pre-programmed bands. Then with HAM you can go direct between trucks, and if you get far from each other you can probably connect to a local repeater that will double or more your reach. The repeater is just that, a big ass antenna that takes your communications and rebroadcasts. Some repeaters also have phone capability, meaning you could ask the repeater to dial a number (phone patch) and make a call for you. And finally with APRS, most digital radios will track your location by repeaters (if you want) so others can see on-line where you are and your route. Looks like you have a really well sorted out rig, why not go with the best alternative for communication?
What is the range of a typical marine band radio anyway? Take into account of my location. Lots of canyons and hills, not to mention all the desert ironwood...
 
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If you have critical mass in your group I also suggest HAM. Make it a group thing to take the test. The radios are better, no legal issues and there are some slick possible setups.
That would be ideal but I know they won't want to take any classes... I'm going to go pick up a study book on ham...
 

Skidoo

 
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Don't assume marine means ocean. Lake Powell and other large lakes use marine radio and some use repeaters. Navajo Mt had a marine band repeater at about 11,000 feet which covers a huge area. Being a repeater if you are at edge of repeater coverage and hit it you will be rebroadcast over its whole range and certainly draw some attention.

[edit] Navajo Mt now is a marine radio remote base run by the US Park Service.
 
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That would be ideal but I know they won't want to take any classes... I'm going to go pick up a study book on ham...
I learned by reading the book then doing the online practice tests. I think most folks are more able to work that into their schedule.
 
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Most of the people here know exactly where I stand with HAM radios.

Even I would not operate a marine radio on dry land.
 

jonheld

 
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IMO, using marine band for trail comms is like using a screwdriver for a hammer. Just because you CAN doesn't mean you SHOULD.
Ham radio is far and away the correct tool for the job. Folks are constantly put off by taking a test that you are given the answers to and 12 year olds can pass.
HamTestOnline - Ham Radio Exam Courses and Practice Tests is a great way to study on your own time.
 
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i ordered a book for ham yesterday. I'm going to get licensed but I still don't think my friends will want to... you know the old saying about leading a horse to water...
 
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I could probably pass it right now. I've done alot with rf when I worked out at Yuma proving ground but will need a refresher. It's been awhile. If there's any electronics in the test, I won't be worried about that.
 
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