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I would have a few questions about these units:

what are the differences between these and the Baofeng UV-5r's (they look the same and have the same frequency range.

which frequencies in the range that the radio is capable of using are really available (since a number of ranges in there are either licensed frequencies or those that require less power usage)

If you reference this thread, they talk about "race radio's" including the ones from RuggedRadio's and the different frequencies and licenses, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I would have a few questions about these units:

what are the differences between these and the Baofeng UV-5r's (they look the same and have the same frequency range.

which frequencies in the range that the radio is capable of using are really available (since a number of ranges in there are either licensed frequencies or those that require less power usage)

If you reference this thread, they talk about "race radio's" including the ones from RuggedRadio's and the different frequencies and licenses, etc.
Good questions. As all this is new to me, I will reach out and see what I can find out. In the mean time I did read the thread you linked. It appears the radios could be china clones. also appears the uv-5r is harder to program and use(depending on the user of course). I know my contact at the company was getting ready to head to KOH, so may not hear back until after that but I will do my best to provide the information.
 

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Biggest difference between the RuggedRidge radio and ALL the other makes and models is that RuggedRidge makes it easier for you by programing the radios to the frequencies that you want to use. This is my opinion only. I do not program any of my radios. I just enter the appropriate frequency as needed and run that way. You still need the right paper work to be legal. Frequencies have to be pre programed also to be legal in BC. Amazon---Ebay for the best prices on radios. Also a guy on Snow & Mud Forum sells the UV 5 pre programed.
 

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$85 is expensive for that radio. As Rob said, that's a Baofeng UV-5r. They all program the same. Not really that hard, just tedious if you are loading a lot of memory spots.

But It as a ham radio, not legal for FRS, probably not GMRS either. Not legal on the business band frequencies either.
 

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These are re-branded Baofengs. Unless they have an FCC certification number on the back, they aren't legal for much.

FRS radios can't exceed 1/2 watt and the antenna can't be removable. The Rugged Radios have removable antennas and transmit at 5 Watts.

GMRS radios can put out 5 watts and can have a removable antenna, but they can't be able to transmit anywhere other than on the assigned GMRS/FRS frequencies. The Rugged Radios have a wide transmit range which eliminates them from that service.

Problems can result if people use any old frequency that comes to mind. This can cause interference with other services. I think if this gets too common, we may see these radios banned for sale in the US.

Best bet is to purchase certified FRS GMRS radios. (And apply for a GMRS license if you're using GMRS). One example of this type of radio is the B-Tech GMRS radio. It is FCC certified. It has wide band receive, but the transmit is locked on the GMRS frequencies. It has FCC type acceptance. https://baofengtech.com/gmrs-v1 these are available for around 50 bucks on places like Amazon.

But, the Rugged Radios only have a range of a mile or so.. I think if a group of Jeep owners are using them on the FRS/GMRS frequencies while wheelin' out in the desert or on remote forest trails, there's no big deal using them illegally since there will be no one else around to hear them.
 

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But It as a ham radio, not legal for FRS, probably not GMRS either. Not legal on the business band frequencies either.
Its not a ham radio. Its a commercial radio which is legal to use on ham radio. Its not much of a commercial radio at that.
 

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Can this by used instead of a CB?
 

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If you have a license it can. Different set of frequencies. This radio is VHF/UHF. CB's are HF.
 

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If you have a license it can. Different set of frequencies. This radio is VHF/UHF. CB's are HF.


Thanks. So guess can communicate with CB's.
 

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No it can't. That radio does not cover the CB frequencies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As noted above I asked Rugged if they could clairify a few questions from above. I will be updating the review to reflect some of the information below.


The frequencies available to use are the VHF channels we program in to the radio by default. They've been used in the offroad community for over 20 years and are very rarely used by anyone other than the offroad community.

Yes, if you want to use the full functionality of the radios then you will need to get licensed. We supply the equipment and it's up to the end user to ensure proper use and responsibility. ARRL.org is a great resource for anyone looking to get licensed.

Baofeng Radios are not programmed, which can add time and money to do yourself.
Baofengs are not consistent with power output, sometimes transmitting as low as 3 watts on high power. RH5R is always going to output 5 watts on VHF on high power mode.

Rugged Radios has made Firmware changes to the RH5R to allow it to get better reception near the ends of it's transmission range. This allows transmission to stay clear and static free until you run out of range. UV5R's tend to have a more consistent level of static that grows more and more until out of range.

Ours are properly programmed to follow narrowbanding regulations (Part 90 acceptance by the FCC)

UV5R's have a rather high failure rate, resulting in having to send in for replacement, assuming the place you purchased from offers that kind of support.

And of course our technical support on our radio is unmatched by anyone
 

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As noted above I asked Rugged if they could clairify a few questions from above. I will be updating the review to reflect some of the information below.
good answers, but they still didn't really answer the legality question. Yes they have chosen frequencies that aren't used often, but that doesn't mean you can use them legally.

They program it for you which makes it easier, but if you get a $10 cable and the free chirp software, the Baofeng's aren't really hard to program.

Sounds like the best bet is to get your HAM license and operate on the HAM frequency range.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
good answers, but they still didn't really answer the legality question. Yes they have chosen frequencies that aren't used often, but that doesn't mean you can use them legally.

They program it for you which makes it easier, but if you get a $10 cable and the free chirp software, the Baofeng's aren't really hard to program.

Sounds like the best bet is to get your HAM license and operate on the HAM frequency range.
I think you are correct that HAM would be best route.
 

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The problem with going the HAM route is that the vast majority of your Jeep friends/Club members will not have a HAM radio, so who will you be talking to?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
The problem with going the HAM route is that the vast majority of your Jeep friends/Club members will not have a HAM radio, so who will you be talking to?
Well you could go the GMRS fee route but its 60-70 bucks but same issues, how many buddies will shell that money out. I think the bigger issue or elephant in the room is that there are thousands of these style radios out there and most of the people who have them, have no idea they need a liceense of some kind. Sure buyer be ware, but I think some of it falls on the seller. Now is the fcc going after the two guys hunting, or fishing or the family using them for camping, most likey not, but could they sure. So in the end do you pay up or take the risk?
 

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what about the motorola dtr650. not cheap, but supposedly license free. of course, you could only talk to your friend that has one, too.
 

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You answered your own question, expensive every one else needs one. I doubt he coverage would be any better than a GMRS radio.

Really, use CB, inexpensive radio that a lot of 4 wheelers have. For short range, get some blister pack FRS radios, they are popular too.
 
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