HAM radio as scanner

Hello, I’ve been reading a lot about HAM recently, and bought a book as preparation for the tech exam license. I just got through it and I’m about to take the exam. In the mean time I bought a radio, and just received it. I’m not going to use it to transmit until I get my license and that’s official, but I have been looking though the manual, the programming software, and I did put a few channels in the radio to see how the uploading and downloading works. I’m also attempting to try to use it as a scanner, but having an issue.

I have a few FRS/GMRS radios, and I tried setting my HAM radio to transmit/receive on 462.5625. Then using it as a receiver I transmitted on my FRS radio and it picked right up on the HAM radio speaker, but I switched to a different channel on the FRS radio, and the Baofang picked it up on 462.5625, even though I was transmitting from a different FRS channel.

I’m trying to make sense of this. Any insight would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you,

I had to smile when you said you reading a lot about ham - I had visions about piles of food, and people eating ham sandwiches? Remember that HAM is an abbreviation of amateur - as in amateur radio. You can’t read about ‘ham’ because we don’t think of that word in that way. you can say ham radio - but not ham on its own.

I suspect your problem isn’t a problem. Many of the pre-packaged radios come with one frequency programmed but with three or six different CTCSS tones, to prevent other people being heard. The Baofeng hears everything, but your radio may just be transmitting a different tone on the next channel position and still using the same frequency - which is very normal. Some of the little cheap radio packs only have 6 channels, but claim 36, because each of the 6 different frequencies has 6 different tones. Clever marketing!

Thank you, I knew of the different CTCSS tones, but didn’t realize the walkie talkie radios had channels that were the same frequency but with different tones. I thought there was a subset of tones for each channel, but you are correct. After looking more closely at the walkie talkie radios I have, they don?t have subset CTCSS privacy tones for each channel as I had initially thought.
Now that you say that about HAM, I had to laugh. That makes sense.
And you are correct, that definitely is clever marketing.

I suppose it does work in practice - the different tones cutting out the chatter from other users to a large degree - so they work as if there are more actual frequencies. Here in the UK it’s actually quite fun to hear multiple conversations at the same time - the order for table two wiping out the order for a pair of size 6’s from the shoe shop next door - but neither user realising why the radios keep “**** things keep cutting out - their rubbish radios” being a typical comment. Nothing wrong with the radios, but a switch to say channel 7 would cure it as it’s empty!

Bear in mind, it is NOT LEGAL to use a Baofeng on FRS/GMRS frequencies. The Baofengs do not have the necessary FCC certification required to legally operate on these frequencies.