Using baofeng's dual channels to talk/listen on separate channels

Hi everyone,

I’m a newbie to the community, just getting into it.
Currently I’m just using it to transmit on FRS frequencies in the right power, so that I’m not violating any FCC rules. (basically, I’m just using it as a fancy talkabout)

I had a question about a creative use of baofeng’s dual channel, and hope that someone can help me.

I noticed that baofeng has dual channels, and while I can only transmit on 1 channel at a time, my understanding is that I can listen to another channel. Well, that got me thinking:
Can I set up 2 baofengs, so that radio1 is transmitting on channelA, but listening to channelB, while radio2 is transmitting on channelB and listening on channelA?
I’m assuming: if I do that, would I be able to talk and listen at the same time with the other radio? (so that it’s more like a phone where we can talk OVER each other instead of waiting for the end of transmission?)

I realize that this setup would only work with that particular radio pair, but I guess that’s what I’m looking for - some more “natural” communication between 2 radios on road trips between 2 cars.

Question: would something like that be possible?

A single radio is simplex, as in it transmits or receives on the same channel or it is semi-duplex and transmits and receives on different frequencies. Pressing transmit stops reception stone dead. Even if you had two of them either end, holding the receiving one to you ear and pressing transmit on another usual makes the receiver stop receiving because it gets swamped by the transmitter, so no, it won’t work.

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Hi paulears,

Thank you so much for you answer and explanation. I appreciate the expertise.

Actually you are violating FCC rules. Baofengs are not FCC certified for use on FRS frequencies and as such, it is not legal for you to use them to transmit with. The only thing Baofengs are legal for is the amateur radio service, which you must be licensed for.

Hi jwilkers,

Didn’t know that. Thanks for letting me know.

It’s confusing, b/c when I initially searched on this topic, I got the FCC answer: that says: “FRS is licensed by rule. This means an individual license is not required to operate an FRS radio provided you comply with the rules.” (from this site:

So I assumed that as long as I am using channel 8 (Freq: 467.5625) under 0.5W and using a short antenna, then I am complying with the rules, so therefore I’m good. But now that I’m looking into it more, I’m getting a little confused.

If I’m understanding you correctly, you’re saying even those old FRS channels (8-14) need to have specific approved transmitters? I thought that only applied to the newer channels (1-7).
Please enlighten me!

It is true that FRS is licensed by rule, but what “license by rule” means is that the the purchase and use of an FRS radio automatically gives you the license to use the FRS frequencies for which the radio is type accepted. In other words, in order to be licensed to use the frequencies on the Family Radio Service (FRS), you need to be using a radio that is FCC Part 95 type accepted for use on the FRS. Most all Baofeng radios are not FRS radios.

One of the requirements for FRS is that the radio cannot have an external or detachable antenna. A short antenna is irrelevant here, if it can be removed from the radio and replaced by another antenna, it is detachable.

Also, an FRS radio cannot be capable of transmitting on multiple services besides its own. Most of the Baofeng radios, including the popular UV-5R, are technically capable of operating on numerous services, including business, amateur, MURS, marine and public service frequencies, not to mention a few others. This means they can’t be type accepted for FRS.

Here is a list of FRS radios. In Episode 75 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast, we explain the different types of two way radios and the requirements for using them on the various radios services they are designed for.

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