Baofeng GT-5TP Uses?

Greetings folks. Been scouring YouTube videos for the past week and found lots of great info. Just received 2 radios. A couple of quick questions…my main reason for buying these is a way to have 2 way communication with my wife while camping (backing in the camper etc…). It will all be fairly close range. I know there are limits on me using them to transmit without a license. Is it as simple as tuning both to a walkie talkie frequency and using that for the 2 way? What freq should I use for this?

Originally I thought I would be able to get police freq but not it appears most are encrypted and that is not possible now. Is that pretty much right?

Ok, third question…I noticed that the FCC offers a family license for under $100 that allows me to use certain amateur bands. Thoughts on this? Waste of money or a good thing?

Anyways…looking forward to reading more and learning how to use my radios. Thanks for all the info on this site!

Hi, to answer the first question, it isn’t quite that simple. Although technically speaking, one could assign any frequency within the operating limits of the radio, using the frequency is a different story.

We do not carry the GT-5TP, so I do not know if it even has an FCC-ID, but I am aware that is similar to the UV-82, which we did carry until recently, and it was not FCC type accepted for use on any service except amateur radio.

Two way radios sold in the US are required to be approved by the FCC for use on specfic bands and frequencies. The FCC recently issued an enforcement advisory against the use of import radios such as the Baofeng GT-5TP on any frequency for which it was not specifically authorized to transmit. For this reason, we discontinued all Baofeng models except the UV-5R, which is FCC Part 90 certified for use on business and amateur radio bands only. You can hear a full discussion on it in this episode of our podcast.

TWRS-128 - Crackdown on Import Radios

That depends on what law enforcement agencies are using in your area, However many have moved to digital radios and the Baofeng is analog only. If the police in your area are using digital, you aren’t going to hear them.

You may be confusing GMRS with amateur radio bands. The GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) consists of 30 frequencies (22 frequencies shared with the Family Radio Service above 2 watts, plus 8 repeater frequencies). A GMRS license currently costs $75 and covers the entire family. The license is valid for 10 years.

Amateur “ham” radio is a different service and is intended for use by radio “hobbyists”, although anyone can obtain a ham license at any age. You would need to take a test and the cost is usually $11-15, depending on who administers it.

Based on the information you provided, there are several options, and some of them are license-free. You could opt to use FRS radios, which are now allowed to operate up to 2 watts. You could use CB radios, which have a power limit of 4 watts. There are also MURS radios, which can work well outdoors, and 900MHz digital radios, which are low power, but have good range and allow for greater privacy. These services do not require a license.

GMRS is also a viable option, and both you and your wife would be covered under one license. There are also a few GMRS mobiles available now with higher power and detachable antennas, which would help increase range while camping or on the road.

You may want to do more research before doing anything else with those Baofeng radios. Our podcast, The Two Way Radio Show, covers many of your questions in depth. You may want to give a few of these a listen. You can hear it on iTunes, Blubrry, Spotify, Stitcher Radio, TuneIn, Google Podcasts and the Amazon Echo. You can also listen to them directly in these forums in The Two Way Radio Show forum.

This article explains the types of radio services and may help clear up the confusion.

Types of Two Way Radios

Thank you for this info! It clears up a lot.

I will check out the podcasts on here.

I appreciate it.

Well, short and sweet.

You CANNOT use these radios without at least an amateur radio license. Period.

These radios do not have the necessary FCC certification for use on FRS and MURS, which are the unlicensed services in the USA. As such, they cannot be used legally on these services.

They also do not have the required FCC certification for use on GMRS, which is a licensed service.

The only option left is for you and your wife to get an Amateur Radio license.

Sorry for the bad news, but as it stands now, you cannot legally operate your radios in a transmit capacity.

I will be getting the tech license. The test does not look too complicated. Thanks for the help!

No offence intended but I’m starting to get really niggled by the notion that taking the (in my opinion) far too simple ham radio exam is the solution to family and friend communications. With family and friend comms, you wish to talk to people you know about any subject you like, and talking to strangers is very low on the priority list. You have no interest in the actual radios, or developing your skills to enable you to contact more and more people - or perhaps you see the other users as people to avoid. This is completely against the history and ethos of amateur radio - the self-training in the use and development of radio communication which is the core of hobby. It’s a bit like joining a model steam club or association to get some info on diesel locomotives. You join a community and have very different aims. In the US and the UK, there are licences available for what family and friends wish to do, but ham radios are cheaper, and the licence very easy with a few hours study. Buy some business radios, use the non-ham bands and be happy. Ham radio is a poor place for non-hams, save a licence.

I can appreciate your point but it does open the door to growing the Ham community which should be a goal. I purchased these Baofengs because I found out that I not only got a radio that will work with my wife who probably is not interested in talking to others, but I also got a true Ham radio that I can play with and learn more about. Come to find out they are very controversial at the moment. I started to get a Ham license many many years ago and gave up because I really didn’t want the hassle of having to learn and test on Morse Code. I found out now that I don’t need it and as you mentioned it seems almost too easy to get it now so I figured why not. It will allow me to play with my radios and see if this is something that I want to grow interest in. My plans are to mount an antenna on my roof and learn more about my SDR dongle as well as give hamming a shot with my little Baofengs. So much to learn and so far it has been a blast just watching and reading without even keying the radio :slight_smile:

The interesting conundrum about ham radio is that, technically speaking, it is both a means of communication and a hobby. There are many facets to the hobby, and folks get into it for different reasons. Some want to use it as a tool for communication, some want to use it as a social media connection to other hams, some use it for emergency and disaster preparedness, some for contesting, some for experimentation and technological development, and others to simply learn more about radio in general.

I’ve met a lot of amateurs and aspiring amateurs in my business, and each has their own reason for getting into ham radio. As a licensed ham myself, I find it interesting how most hams seem to view the hobby from only one perspective as an absolute, when it is so much more.

For instance, when I first got into amateur radio, I encountered a group of hams who were into DXing. I had no interest in it, and frankly I saw contesting as about as productive a pastime as Pokemon Go, a fun game but merely a diversion, and in the case of DXing, a potentially expensive one at that. However, I also learned many hams consider it a skill for practical use in times of a national or international crisis, To them, that was what ham radio was all about.

Conversely, there are a dedicated group of hams who are strictly in the hobby for experimentation and to develop new technologies. Some of these are engineering types, and some of them are not very interested in social interaction with others. They just want to build and experiment. To them, that’s what ham radio is all about.

There are hams who use the hobby to participate in handling emergency communications and emergency weather preparedness. To them, that’s what ham radio is all about.

There are hams who use it strictly for educational or training purposes. There are hams who use it for basic communications in International Code. There are hams who use it to stay in touch with family members and friends in parts of the world where standard phone and internet communication is difficult, impractical or nearly impossible with government censorship or restrictions on other forms of communication.

The term “hobby” usually refers to a leisurely activity in a specific interest with specific parameters, such as biking, fishing or coin collecting. There are few hobbies as diverse as ham radio, in which there are subsets that take the hobbyist in numerous different directions. For this reason, I don’t think one has to defend oneself for wanting to obtain a ham license to use their own radio.

True, if all you want to do is communicate with family members on a camping trip, a GMRS license and a set of decent GMRS radios is probably a better way to go. However, it sounds to me like your interest in radios is something more, and even if your wife doesn’t want a social connection to other hams, there’s nothing wrong with both of you wanting to get amateur radio licenses to talk with each other.

My son and I did the same thing, and we did it because we wanted to share the experience together. It was a wholesome bonding experience and it was a lot more educational and productive than playing video games or sitting around the TV.

To me, that’s what ham radio is all about.