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    Warning: If you TRANSMIT on frequencies reserved for HAM radio without a license you will be considered a “Pirate”. This is against FCC regulations and they can find you, fine you and take all your radio equipment. In order to get you started on obtaining your HAM radio license here are two excellent resources. National Association for Amateur Radio and Practice Exams.

    Having reliable communications is always important but it is essential during times of crisis. I think it is imperative that you and your family have reliable communications in times of an emergency or disaster. If the power goes out and the landlines and cell towers are disrupted having the ability to communicate and gather information prevents you from feeling isolated and hopeless.

    Keeping the above in mind and also wanting to price out a budget friendly starter package for the beginning ham radio enthusiast or SHTF emergency contingency I recommend the following. It’s cheap, works well and it is easy to add more radios as needed.

    Baofeng UV-5R UHF/VHF Ham Radio – $32.23
    ExpertPower 7.5″ Dual Band Two-way Radio Antenna SMA-Female – $14.99
    Baofeng BF-S112 Two Way Radio Speaker Handheld mic – $6.59 or the Pro Two Way Radio Earpiece Headset – $19.97
    Spare Baofeng 7.4v 1800mAh Li-ion Battery for UV-5R – $10.29
    Car charger cable – $3.91. This plugs into the charging cradle and not the radio directly.
    Genuine Baofeng Programming Cable – $20.46
    Chirp – Free Open Source Radio Programming Software. Chirp Emergency Radio Config IMG file here and Emergency Radio Config CSV file here. List of frequencies further down the post.
    Baofeng UV-5R Programming With a Computer (3 part video walk through on using CHIRP to program this radio)

    So after ordering several of the items listed above I have:
    2 Baofeng 2-way radios.
    2 Expert Power 7.5″ antenna upgrades. These are flexible and will not snap like the antennas that come with the radios.
    2 Handheld Mics. Good for clipping to your shirt.
    2 Spare batteries.
    1 Car charger. This plugs into the charging cradle and not the radio directly.
    1 genuine Baofeng programming cable

    For a total of $152.57 I have two radios with upgrades and accessories which is less than one Yaesu FT-60R handheld.

    List of frequencies included in the Chirp Emergency Radio Config IMG file here and Emergency Radio Config CSV file here. Same info different file formats.

    1 70SPX1 446
    2 2SPX01 146.52
    3 2SPX02 146.535
    4 2SPX03 146.55
    5 2SPX04 146.565
    6 2SPX05 146.58
    7 2SPX06 146.595
    8 2SPX07 147.42
    9 2SPX08 147.435
    10 2SPX09 147.45
    11 2SPX10 147.465
    12 2SPX11 147.48
    13 2SPX12 147.495
    14 2SPX13 147.51
    15 2SPX14 147.525
    16 2SPX15 147.54
    17 2SPX16 147.555
    18 2SPX17 147.57
    19 2SPX18 147.585
    20 FRS1 462.5625
    21 FRS2 462.5875
    22 FRS3 462.6125
    23 FRS4 462.6375
    24 FRS5 462.6625
    25 FRS6 462.6875
    26 FRS7 462.7125
    27 FRS8 467.5625
    28 FRS9 467.5875
    29 FRS10 467.6125
    30 FRS11 467.6375
    31 FRS12 467.6625
    32 FRS13 467.6875
    33 FRS14 467.7125
    34 GMRS1 462.55
    35 GMRS2 462.575
    36 GMRS3 462.6
    37 GMRS4 462.625
    38 GMRS5 462.65
    39 GMRS6 462.675
    40 GMRS7 462.7
    41 GMRS8 462.725
    42 MURS1 151.82
    43 MURS2 151.88
    44 MURS3 151.94
    45 MURS4 154.57
    46 MURS5 154.6
    47 NOAA1 162.4
    48 NOAA2 162.425
    49 NOAA3 162.45
    50 NOAA4 162.475
    51 NOAA5 162.5
    52 NOAA6 162.525
    53 NOAA7 162.55
    54 MVHF16 156.8

    Profile photo of MountainBiker

    Thanks. Ham radio is on my “to do” wishlist. A prepper friend over in the Adirondacks got hsi license and my son is also interested.

    Profile photo of sledjockey

    Very good list of freqs and parts. The Baofeng radios are actually not too hard to program with a PC and CHIRP. That makes life much easier. Still can’t get the offset programmed properly with the keypad, but that is 100% my fault for not being able to remember the steps without a cheet sheet.

    Have you checked to see if there was a transmit block on those freq ranges like most other radios have?

    Profile photo of c

    Thanks, Flatlander. That is good information. :)


    @MountainBiker – The test is relatively easy to pass and just reading the Ham Radio License Manual published by the ARRL. You can cram for the test by reading the Q&A’s in the back over and over till you get them down.

    @Sledjockey – The entire frequency range from 130- 174 MHz and from 400- 480 MHz is open to both TX and RX. You need to be careful though as Ham license only allows you to TX on 2m from 144- 148 MHz and on 440 from 420-450mhz. The radio doesn’t qualify for the FCC certification and would not transmit to the Marine VHF, MURS, FRS/GMRS, or business radio or emergency services radio frequencies that lie in these frequency ranges. Doings so will result in FCC action.

    Profile photo of Vep

    One of the Baofeng and a good HF radios, like a Ranger or one of the President series export radios would be a good combo. While it is hard to get nailed if you are using a mobile unit, getting your technician level HAM license is not that hard.

    Profile photo of KOS

    Are hams opsec post shtf?

    Never be afraid to do the righteous thing, nothing righteous is ever easy.


    Kos I’ll go into how to keep in contact with your group and others and from getting found when using your radio after thanksgiving. Have a Happy Thanksgiving :)

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