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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After remaining silent for many months for "fear" of offending a supporting vendor I have decided to share my radio setup that costs me less than $100 per person (not including GMRS license if you use GMRS frequencies) I have used my setup for 3 years snowmobiling and 2 years ATVing. It is very affordable and reliable. I can't in good conscious see people paying more than they should be.

HERE IS MY SETUP!

I've been using Baofeng UV82 for snowmobiling and Baofeng UV5R radios for ATVing for a couple of years and love them. Both radios are very similar in features and capabilities so for all purposes consider them equal for the average non-Amateur (HAM) radio operator.

Dual band with FRS, GMRS, Ham Radio, MURS, and programmable to local SAR/EMS/Flight for Life frequencies and even has FM radio built in.

1 watt low and 4-5 watts high output.

Great battery life and easy to use and almost disposable at this price.

You can mount the radio almost anywhere on your ride or on your person. They are very small. For snowmobiling, I mount my UV82 in my avalanche bag. I use the UV82 because it is bigger and fits better in my AVI (avalanche) bag otherwise I would use the smaller and lighter UV5R. MY ACE's UVT5R is mounted to the seatbelt bracket above the left side of the seat. My wife keeps her UV5r in her side storage bag.

Here is a link to an Ebay vendor selling the radio for $39 BAOFENG UV 82 Dual Band 136 174 400 520Mhz FM Ham Two Way Radio Transceiver | eBay
Another link for the UV5R: $35 shipped BAOFENG UV 5R VHF UHF 136 174 400 520Mhz Dual Band Two Way Ham Radio Transceiver | eBay

UV82a.jpg

Above pic is the UV82 and pic below is of the UV5R. Sorry but the UV5R at this price only comes in black.

UV5r.JPG

Since I always wear a helmet. I use a helmet mounted speaker/mount system which includes a PTT switch.

Helmet Speaker and Microphone: I use this system exclusively and love it. Single cord to helmet with quick release is easy to use and not obtrusive. Great sound quality and I use this ATV and sledding. I originally mounted my PTT on front section (non-dominant hand side) of the rollcage bar but will be switching to a foot switch soon.

Helmet1.jpg

The above helmet/mic setup is from Planet Headset - Headsets and Communication Accessories and is a little pricey at $88 I own two pairs for snowmobiling but found $29 versions on Ebay that work just as well. The only difference is that the disconnect plugs on the $88 one are easier to plug/unplug than the cheaper ebay ones.

Pic of Ebay helmet headset which costs $29

Helmet3.JPG


With an optional longer whip antenna, you can easily double-triple your range and extend battery life by using lower power output option.

I've used the radio for an entire day's worth of riding 6-7 hours without any battery issues. I do carry a spare in case of emergency situations. You can also get a battery pack that uses batteries (either rechargeable or standard batteries).

Mount: I use a soft case that has loops on back of it that I ziptie to the upper left side of my seat-right onto the seatbelt bracket.

This soft case is about $10

Case.JPG

YOu can manually program the radio but your best bet is to buy an inexpensive programming cable and download a free CHIRP radio programming. I can help with programming.

Although I carry a Spot GPS tracker which has an emergency satellite 911 feature, I like the fact with the BAOFENG radios I am almost always within range of a Ham Radio repeater station almost guaranteeing I have reliable comms if I get in a bind. Getting a Ham Radio license is easy with a little bit of study time and even easier nowadays since the FCC eliminated the morse code requirement a while back :-( For GMRS use, a license is required for this radio-no exam just a little $$$. Technically this radio is not legal for FRS use due to fact it has a removable antenna and has more than 1/2 watt output.

You can program this radio to use MURS frequencies which do not require a license and are less crowded in the woods/mountain backcountry areas than FRS frequencies.

I have national SAR, weather channels, local SAR, flight for life, and 100 other preprogrammed channels stored into my radio's memory.

If anyone has questions, please don't hesitate to ask me.

For those who prefer a head injury by not wearing a helmet, a speaker microphone is your best be and are easily found online.

The local vendor sells the UV5r raidio and helmet headset for $255.60. I don't know about you but I could find better ways to spend the difference.
 

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Just want to thank you for posting this info! I've debated which route to go with, and having three helmets/bikes to outfit, saving considerable money for essentially the same equipment only makes sense. No offense to the sponsored brand, but the pricing difference is too great to overlook. I realize the Baofeng is a little less friendly as it needs programming, but again it's a no brainier for me. Thanks for confirming my instincts! Can you offer a link to the EBay headsets?


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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
RPMJOE, hate to disappoint but your post contains an inaccuracy.

The Baofeng radios push 4 to 5 watts of power at VHF/UFH frequencies and will always have greater range than any BLUETOOTH intercom radios. Maximum power output from a Bluetooth radio is 100 mW (milli-watts) for class 1, 2.5 mW for class 2, and 1 mW for class 3 devices. Bluetooth radios communicate in the microwave frequency range around 2.4GHZ. Rare events of temperature, humidity and pressure profile versus height, may produce large deviations and distortion of the propagation and affect transmission quality of a blue tooth signal. High intensity rain, snow, and foilage (leaves) must also be considered as an impairment factors.

I'm glad they work for you but most of us don't ride in the dunes and ride in areas where there are trees, mountains, and terrain that is more occluding. With a high gain Nagoya antenna, I can hit repeater stations on high power 50 miles away with my radio. For normal riding I can count at at least 4-5 miles and usually further.

The other thing is that you are limited to how many people you can speak to. The bluetooth radios are linked only to each other while with a traditional VHF/UHF radio you can have as many people as you want in your riding group and still be able to communicate with them.

If someone needs a helmet mounted radio system, the only one that I recommend and own (no longer use since I got my Baofengs) is the https://www.collettcommunicator.com/ They talk a little about the limitations of bluetooth radios on their website and why their 900mhz helmet mounted system is superior. Its a great though a little pricey system. I used mine for a couple of years but I have a a bad neck and every bit of weight reduction reduces my pain and riding endurance.

Thanks for sharing.
 

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RPMJOE, hate to disappoint but your post contains an inaccuracy.

The Baofeng radios push 4 to 5 watts of power at VHF/UFH frequencies and will always have greater range than any BLUETOOTH intercom radios. Maximum power output from a Bluetooth radio is 100 mW (milli-watts) for class 1, 2.5 mW for class 2, and 1 mW for class 3 devices. Bluetooth radios communicate in the microwave frequency range around 2.4GHZ. Rare events of temperature, humidity and pressure profile versus height, may produce large deviations and distortion of the propagation and affect transmission quality of a blue tooth signal. High intensity rain, snow, and foilage (leaves) must also be considered as an impairment factors.

I'm glad they work for you but most of us don't ride in the dunes and ride in areas where there are trees, mountains, and terrain that is more occluding. With a high gain Nagoya antenna, I can hit repeater stations on high power 50 miles away with my radio. For normal riding I can count at at least 4-5 miles and usually further.

The other thing is that you are limited to how many people you can speak to. The bluetooth radios are linked only to each other while with a traditional VHF/UHF radio you can have as many people as you want in your riding group and still be able to communicate with them.

If someone needs a helmet mounted radio system, the only one that I recommend and own (no longer use since I got my Baofengs) is the https://www.collettcommunicator.com/ They talk a little about the limitations of bluetooth radios on their website and why their 900mhz helmet mounted system is superior. Its a great though a little pricey system. I used mine for a couple of years but I have a a bad neck and every bit of weight reduction reduces my pain and riding endurance.

Thanks for sharing.
First off the bluetooth part is so you can sinc your phone or ipod to it, has nothing to do with communication obvisouly you didnt read more than the first two lines of the item description,,,,,,, any how,,,they handle up to 6 radios depending on set you have, in the woods i have used them probably 1/8 mi to 1200feet is the most i got out of them, when in a group its all you need, as for me my woods riding days have been done for yrs, in the dunes since you can be up top on the dune the range is good, perfect set up for low cost and its effective, at 89 bucks its a deal for someone that doesnt want to spend alot of money or is cheap... but wants communication
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, if they don't transmit between each other using bluetooth, then exactly what frequency do they use and what wattage? I'm pretty sure from what I read, these are nothing more than bluetooth intercoms and that is how they are advertised. Another mistake that I don't mind pointing out you have made.

For cheap, a Baofeng with a speaker mic has greater range and is cheaper than your option. I used a speaker mic as a backup when I ripped a plug in my helmet system as a result of a minor accident. The speaker mic with Baofeng worked just fine with no degradation in comprehension. I don't care much for speaker mounted systems. They are add weight to your neck, stick out and are easily knocked off by trees/branches, and I'm not particularly a fan of EMF radiation so close to my brain.
 

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The description indicates that the range for the intercom function is 3280 feet. I don't know of any Bluetooth system that can reach that far, so it seems that they use Bluetooth for optional pairing with your cellphone for cellular calls or for connecting to your MP3 player or something, not for the intercom function. That being said, these are cheap devices that seem very short on documentation, so I doubt you'll find any specs on exactly how they DO operate.

At any rate, when discussing these devices, please do it without the little comments about each others' alleged failings. Thanks!
 

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Ok, if they don't transmit between each other using bluetooth, then exactly what frequency do they use and what wattage? I'm pretty sure from what I read, these are nothing more than bluetooth intercoms and that is how they are advertised. Another mistake that I don't mind pointing out you have made.

For cheap, a Baofeng with a speaker mic has greater range and is cheaper than your option. I used a speaker mic as a backup when I ripped a plug in my helmet system as a result of a minor accident. The speaker mic with Baofeng worked just fine with no degradation in comprehension. I don't care much for speaker mounted systems. They are add weight to your neck, stick out and are easily knocked off by trees/branches, and I'm not particularly a fan of EMF radiation so close to my brain.
the Bluetooth operation is just for the link to cell phone/mp3/ipod whatever, not for the communication, as for what frequency? no idea nor do i care really, the range is good, there light you can mount them on helmet or beltclip and they work with VOX and keep them hands free, just another option, i have had them go a long range in the dunes, i do not ride in the woods, for two radios cheap efficient and i run my music thru them, there worth the small money at 44.00 each that was the original point
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wanted to refresh this post to prevent people from spending money on over priced rebadged radios from popular vendors. You can easily get a Baofeng Radio UV5R or about $30 from Ebay. I can assure you that the Ebay radios are very rugged and dependable.

BAOFENG UV 5R Plus VHF UHF 136 174 400 520Mhz Dual Band FM Two Way Radio 610551523080 | eBay $30.99

Versus

RH-5R Rugged Radios 5-Watt Dual Band (VHF/UHF) Handheld Radio [RH-5R] - $85.00 : Rugged Radios: Headsets, Intercoms, 2-Way Racing Radios and Communication for Motorcycles, Offroad, Circle Track, Aviation, Drag Racing, NASCAR, Police, and more... <-- $85

You can buy almost 3 Ebay radios for the cost of one of theirs.

73s,
KX1J
 

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Skyliner

I was looking for a way to communicate while riding our aces and ATVs.

I purchased a set of 4 baofeng UV-9Rs.

Can you share with me what frequencies and settings you are using on your radios?

It seems that MURS is the way to go.
 
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