Can a Baofeng UV-5R 2 way radio be used on the GMRS/FRS frequencies.
As the online radio enthusiast communities all go bonkers over the Baofeng UV-5R line of dual band 2 way radios, many are now being used illegally for FRS communications. Although the radios WILL communicate with other equipment like the Motorola talkabout 2 way radios, it is is still against F.C.C regulations to use the UV-5R on the FRS frequencies. But why ?
Being the spoil-sport that our big Government is, They just HAVE to put rules and regulations on everything. One of those rules for the Family Radio Service is power output. The FRS radios in the U.S are limited to 0.5 (That's HALF a WATT) of output power. Half a watt of power would be just fine, if you had an antenna on a 50ft tower. Remember, the frequencies used by FRS radios are line of sight. Put a tree, tall building or any other obstacle in the way and the signal is pretty much lost.
Fine, I will just put up a BIG freakin tower and sit on it then.
That's the OTHER limitation on FRS radios. You are limited to fixed antennas ON the radio. You can not put an external antenna on the radio. Sure, technically the UV-5R will transmit on the FRS/GMRS radio frequencies, but since you are limited in power output (Remember the HALF a watt?) and the fixed antenna, Baofeng radios do NOT, I repeat DO NOT meet Big Brothers specifications. Sure, their is the whole interference thing with other radio services, but that isn't YOUR problem now, is it?