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UK-specific radio question (not directly SOTA relevant)

This isn’t SOTA-specific though it may eventually lead a new ham to SOTA (he’s outdoorsy and aware of it)…

My manager, based in Scotland, is studying for his Foundation license in order to support some 4x4 club activities (something to do with community vehicular support and needing comms). We were talking about hardware yesterday and he mentioned a Baofeng was recommended by others in the club. I suggested one of the lower priced units from Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu as an alternative, specifically thinking of the IC-V80 ($80 here!) and similar. Well, it appears they aren’t available in the UK any longer and the ones here in the US have transmit ranges outside the UK allocation on 2m.

Questions:
Is the additional transmit range a problem (assuming responsible use)?
Are there any specific legal issues with me sending him a US-market radio (may loan him my old IC-V8 until I’m over there again)?
What’s a good local vendor for radio gear in the UK (Waters and Stanton and…)?
Any other gotchas I should be aware of in this “cross-pond” exchange of ideas?

Thanks,
Chris

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Amateur radio is the wrong medium for that purpose. There are licence free and limited cost licences available for that kind of non-amateur activity.

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Here is a Sample license from OFCOM. The business seems to cover Clubs etc. You can see the frequencies on offer and 5W is much better than the license free. This license costs about £75 for 5 years.

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Maybe, but that’s not my question. That activity is what is motivating him to get licensed, but I’m looking at use cases outside that specific case as we’ve talked about activating a summit next time I’m able to go over there. I want to get a “good” radio into his hands not only to support this activity but enable him to pursue other amateur activities after he has his license.

Back to the point of license applicability, here in the US it wouldn’t be out of the question for amateurs to engage in this in the guise of community support. I know I’ve engaged in these activities myself (local sporting events, regional govt disaster recovery testing, etc). Is the law that different in the UK?

Chris

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Reasonably priced, reasonably rugged Amateur Radio VHF Transceivers:

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Wrong. That’s how I got into amateur radio. A few friends from a 4x4 club I was in eons ago are active too, having gained intermediate or full licenses.

Some 4x4 Response groups make use of amateur bands and repeaters, and work alongside Raynet in their roles.

As to the original question,

Potentially. You need to check UK v US band allocations. They’re different for 2m for example.

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Yup. The 2m band in the US goes to 148mhz, but both start at 144mhz, so as long as he doesn’t tune past 146mhz (I think that’s the UK limit), he should be fine. I was more concerned with rules against using radios not specifically type accepted (to use our vernacular) in the UK.

BTW, you may run across this guy if you’re still into offroading with clubs. He’s in your region and I assume 4x4 clubs are roughly regional like they are here in the US (ie covering fairly large areas).

Chris

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He sent me a text about one of those just today. :slight_smile:

Chris

Chris, When you said your boss was im Scotland, I made a massive assumprion. Oil and Aberdeen. Was I correct?

I’m not so much into the of-roading these days, however if he needs any help with radios or wants to get in touch about SOTA, then feel free to pass my details on. QRZ info is up to date.

Re bringing a US HT to the UK: Many years ago [~25?] I bought a Yaesu 2m/70cm HT whilst on one of my frequent business trips to Austin Tx and the only problem I had was the HT being set up with the N/A configuration, it didn’t have the correct automatic repeater shifts for EU 2m/70cm repeaters. One can get over that by programming memories for individual repeaters with the appropriate input/output frequencies.

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Dundee and telecom.

Thanks, I appreciate the offer. If we ever get back to our pre-pandemic travel patterns, I’ll probably be back over there myself a couple times a year. That’s why I’m considering loaning him one of my spare HTs. I’ll eventually be able to retrieve it, by which point he should be able to pick one out for himself.

Having a look at the maps and now noticing the lack of direct routes between your area and his, he’s not as “nearby” as I originally assumed. Not far as the crow flies, but it’s 2-3x longer as the car rolls. :smiley:

Chris

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Ok, I’ll know someone that knows him. Tayside 4x4 Response work with Raynet and have a lot of amateurs, some of whom are involved in Motorsport safety too, which is what I do.

Yes, there is a nice line of hills blocking the way. The roads that cross over are often shut if there’s snowfall. It’s not far though.

Cheers, Fraser

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I’ve got a Baofeng. They are cheap (<$30) and they work. If others in the club are recommending them why go against this advice? If he wants to spend more later then there are plenty of options and he may then know enough to choose himself.

The only disadvantage of the Baofeng (or at least the one I’ve got) is it will transmit out of band if you select the wrong frequency but that’s easily avoided by selecting the correct frequency to begin with. :slight_smile:

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I’ve got a Baofeng, but I wouldn’t use it anywhere near a comms mast as its receive front end is wide open - disadvantage number 2. :hushed:

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Couple reasons I recommended something else:
First, he’s not “into” radio for radio’s sake like many of us here (at least not yet!). It’s a means to an end. Ergo, he may not have the patience to deal with the “quirks” of using a Baofeng. I did explain those quirks as neutrally as possible. :slight_smile:
Second, he mentioned connecting it to an external antenna on the 4x4 and my experience is that Baofengs don’t do well with higher-gain external antennas.

Chris

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