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Old 10-30-2017, 05:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Radio/Walkie Talkie experts for paintball use on hand?

Need some suggestions on what to get and/or what not to get for radios for the primary purpose of scenario paintball games (as is why it is in the dead zone). I won't be using them out side of scenario games and am tired of my cheaper walkies cutting out halfway across the field. We will just be using hand held units so no repeaters or massive antennas in use.

The whole license needed thing for walkie talkies using FRS, GMRS, VHF, UHF, MURS ect has me a bit confused (I think some rules have changed so older information is possibly throwing me off) and I need some help with understanding what I can actually legally use both with and without a license.

I see a lot of places stating VHF and MURS (within the VHF range I think) are the better option for woods play. I read that one can operate a walkie with an antenna under 2W of power and there are certain channels available that you don't need a license, but I admit I don't know that to be true or not. MURS (I think) has 5 channels that you have to share and don't need a license for, but I honestly would love more than that.

I read up on some of the restrictions on some government websites but then became even more confused.


Basically need this information:
Frequencies better suited to communicate in thick woods up to a mile.
What frequencies do I need a license for?
What frequencies do I not need a license for?
Suggestions on decent walkies that will last me at least a few years of use.

Copy n paste, voice your opinions or just simply link a good source of information that is up to date would be great!
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Old 10-30-2017, 05:40 PM   #2 (permalink)
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As a ham radio dude, i say it is easier to use a cell phone with bluetooth. Unlimited talk, just pack an extra battery. But if no cell service, then you screwed. Unless the field has wifi and then you can use a voip app.

I forget which frequencies you can and cant use. Just google what frequencies can i use with out a ham radio license.

You will want something with ear piece to remain stealthy

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Old 10-30-2017, 06:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Assuming you're in America I can tell you the following:

For the types of radios that are available to us (at best amateur users), they are all line of sight radios (don't go through hills or over the horizon), and they all tend to be impacted by trees and construction features. This leaves us with power as the most dominant factor.

FRS (Family Radio Service) runs in the UHF band is unlicensed and, free to use. However, it only allows for power levels up to 2W (for those that have been using it for awhile, and have older FRS radios, it may be time to upgrade, as the previous systems only allowed a max of .5W). This is the most common type of radio in paintball scenario games. Therefore, at bigger events there can be a challenge in finding a channel that is not being used.

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) shares some frequencies with FRS but more importantly, it allows for transmission power beyond 2W (up to five) if you have a GMRS license. Getting a licenses for this is fillout a form, pay a fee, and you and your immediately family can use these radios as you like. Because FRS radios often include these frequencies, this is by default the second most common setup, and I'd argue that the vast majority of folks are using these frequencies illegally.

MURS is a type of VHF (line of sight) and is free to use but limited to 2W and is line of sight but, since it's not as popular as the preceding, you may find it easier to communicate without interference. In general VHF is a little more resistant to tree and building signal loss.

"VHF" is not good for paintball. There's HAM availability (at 6M / 50MHz) but, that requires fairly large antennas. There are maritime VHF radios but, those are meant for over the water.

UHF band (13cm / 2300MHz) is available for HAM use. That being said there a butt load of handheld HAM radios out there that you can certainly buy but, you are breaking the law if you don't have a license and use it anyways.

An outlier to all of this were a relatively short run of ISM band radios that were marketed and sold under "Extreme Radio Service" (eXRS) by TriSquare. They were still line of sight, so, they had the same effective range as the FRS radios but, they were frequency hopping (however, radios could and did lose sync, preventing comms).
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kaye -in response to FS price critics
Unfortunately all of you have played the one "speedball" game of paintball for so long you can't conceive of other ways to do this and hence any new ideas seem stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Death View Post
First strike rounds punish lazy people. Don't be lazy and you won't have problems with first strikes.
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Old 10-30-2017, 06:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I've had the baofeng uv-5r recommended to me, which I ended up getting. Although I believe this is one you should have a license for, but I imagine most of the people I see using them at scenarios don't have the license. I don't really use my radio that much, but when i do I'm generally just listening instead of transmitting.

Last edited by justin25567; 10-31-2017 at 01:10 AM. Reason: I can't freakin spell..
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Licensing is so political. As a licensed radio user, i just have a hard time (wanting) to understand why its illegal. I mean its air waves for cryin out loud and.....

Know what, sorry. I would do either grms and pay the fee and be able to transmit at a higher power.

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Old 10-30-2017, 07:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justin25567 View Post
I've had the baofeng uv-5r recommended to me, which I ended up getting. Although I believe this is one you should have a license for, but I imagine most of the people I see using them at scenarios don't have the license. I don't really use my radio that much, buy when i do I'm generally just listening instead of transmitting.
Fcc doesnt care unless you are sending terror threats in code haha

EDIT
fcc does care but not in a sense of "your breaking the law and your gonna pay for it" they are pretty nice people. But when someones life is in danger, then things can get hairy. I have done alot of sniffing and crafting over rf and i myself have broken the law many times by accident. Now no ones data was damaged or stolen. Sniffed and heard... yes, but stolen no. Do i still do this... NOPE. People have a right to have their conversations and life be private. Regardless if email, radio, cell is unsecure.

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Last edited by LT72884; 10-30-2017 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LT72884 View Post
Licensing is so political. As a licensed radio user, i just have a hard time (wanting) to understand why its illegal. I mean its air waves for cryin out loud and.....

Know what, sorry. I would do either grms and pay the fee and be able to transmit at a higher power.

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The main purposes of the licensing scheme (speaking as someone who started working on his license) is to encourage proper, non-interfering use of RF and, to manage the limited RF spectrum. For example, if there were enough registered HAM users, the FCC could justify expanding the range of frequencies we could use, rather than allocating it to commercial special interests.

I agree though- I had a GMRS license but, I let it expire, for a few reasons, the TriSquare radios came out, I didn't get enough use of the GMRS, and they used to (maybe they still do) publish the names/addresses of license holders onto the internet (I was surprised to find mine on there and when I contacted them about it, they said they were required to).
__________________
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First Strike Round Field Listing | External Ballistics, FSRs and PBs | My Feedback
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kaye -in response to FS price critics
Unfortunately all of you have played the one "speedball" game of paintball for so long you can't conceive of other ways to do this and hence any new ideas seem stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Death View Post
First strike rounds punish lazy people. Don't be lazy and you won't have problems with first strikes.
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Old 10-30-2017, 07:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by uv_halo View Post
The main purposes of the licensing scheme (speaking as someone who started working on his license) is to encourage proper, non-interfering use of RF and, to manage the limited RF spectrum. For example, if there were enough registered HAM users, the FCC could justify expanding the range of frequencies we could use, rather than allocating it to commercial special interests.

I agree though- I had a GMRS license but, I let it expire, for a few reasons, the TriSquare radios came out, I didn't get enough use of the GMRS, and they used to (maybe they still do) publish the names/addresses of license holders onto the internet (I was surprised to find mine on there and when I contacted them about it, they said they were required to).
Ok, thats an excelent point i totally forgot about haha. I am still looking at it as if everyone were like the forums and respectful. I forget about those who would just be all rude and stuff. Cb radio is kind of like that. Unmonitored and un ruley haha.

It would be cool if fields set up a private radio service using cb bands. Then if people brought there own cb radios...

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Old 10-31-2017, 06:07 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Thank you for the wonderful bit of information UV! That gave me a good bit of a foundation on where to start.
Quick question: If I were to get a license what one do I need for these walkies? Was super confused looking through the different types.

I saw a couple people running around with that baofeng uv-5r radio, now that I know the name I will look into it a bit more. Thanks!

Last edited by paintzapper; 10-31-2017 at 06:10 AM.
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Old 10-31-2017, 11:46 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If you go the HAM route, a UV-5R is a great way to start- there's tons of videos of HAMS using / reviewing them. There's also tons of accessories for it: SMA (connector type) antennas, USB programming Cable and CHIRP software (for programming and setup via PC), Car power adapter, AAA Battery Case (allows you to use AAA Batteries rather than the NiMH), protective cases, and uses a kenwood style mic / speaker connector (I can't recall which version but, it affords a ton of options). It's really a good bang for the buck.

When you get your HAM license, you can use the radio to transmit within 144-148MHz (VHF) and 420-450MHz, at up to the radios full 4W of power (above 5W gets you into RF exposure problems). The radio can operate outside of these frequencies but, you shouldn't.
__________________
FN303SD Totmacher 13 | SP 'Woodstalker' Ion | 1989 Line SI Bushmaster SI Deluxe
First Strike Round Field Listing | External Ballistics, FSRs and PBs | My Feedback
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Kaye -in response to FS price critics
Unfortunately all of you have played the one "speedball" game of paintball for so long you can't conceive of other ways to do this and hence any new ideas seem stupid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Crimson Death View Post
First strike rounds punish lazy people. Don't be lazy and you won't have problems with first strikes.
uv_halo is offline   Reply With Quote
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