San Diego Miata Club

Radio Communication Information:

Our goal is to have an enjoyable day driving our Miatas. Your fun will be enhanced by obtaining a two-way radio that has the communication specification listed below. During a run we pass along driving instructions and warnings of traffic conditions to enhance the fun and safety of the event. There is also chatter about all the great sights and what ever else may come to mind.

More Information:

  1. Accessories for the radios
  2. Tutorial of operating the radio
  3. A collection of writings to the reason way we are switching to FM radios

Radio recommendation:

  • A CB radio has been the radio of choice since the forming of the club and is currently still in use today. The radio most commonly used is the Cobra 75WXST. However, with the new models of Miatas, it is proving harder and harder to install these radios, especially using a antenna adapter kit to convert the OEM car radio antenna for dual purpose of radio and CB usage.
  • In early 2019 a search for a better radio was started. It turns out we have a few HAM operators and tech savvy members who quickly came to the rescue. They settled on a dual Band handheld FM radio that will deliver secure reliable communications. They recommend switching over to a 136-174mhz (VHF) 400-520mhz (UHF) Amateur (Ham) Portable Two-Way FM radio. The brand and model recommended is the Baofeng UV-82HP High Power UHF and VHF 8 Watt output radio. However, any radio that has the frequency specifications of the UV-82HP will suffice.
  • PLEASE NOTE: The club has not yet switch to this radio and the CB radio is still in use. However, more and more members are switching and if you do not have a radio yet, we highly recommend you purchase the Baofeng radio.

Safety First:

  • Be sure to use the radios in a safe manner and mount or tuck them in a way that does not hinder driving .
  • The use of a remote microphone while driving is advised per the hand held device law passed in 2017.

Do I you need a radio license to operate these FM radios?:

There are two categories the club is exploring: This site will be updated when an option is decided.

  • Mobile Radio System (LMRS) which requires a group license and the club has applied for the license. This system is probably most suited for our needs and has a maximum transmit power of 100 watts (way beyond our needs).
  • Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS). This option does not require a license, but the maximum transmit power is limited to 2 watts, which may prove to be to weak for our needs.
  • That is the simple answer, Steve Sampson submitted a very good summary.
  • Please Note: The LMRS group license will cover you only when you are using the radio while on an SDMC run or event, even if the run is just two SDMC members. If you use these radios on non SDMC runs/events, be aware of the FCC licensing requirements.

Ordering your Baofeng UV-82HP Radio and getting it up and running:

  • The Baofeng UV-82HP radio has been available on Amazon at as of August, 2019 for $62.89 with free shipping. It is available in 5 colors and comes in a box which includes everything you need to communicate on a SDMC run. If the link has become stale, then just do a search for the radio and, of course, the price is not guaranteed.
  • Accessories: There are a number of add-ons that will enhance the use of the radio. The external microphone will be of interest to those who intend to drive while using the radios.
  • Now that you have your radio in hand, what do I do with it? Well, take it out of the box, attached the antenna, install the clip if desired and charge it in the charging cradle. It has been suggested that it is better on the battery to not leave the radio in the charging cradle for days on end. Place it the cradle the night before runs.
  • Turn the radio on and make sure it actually works, the lights will come on, the display will display something you may not understand and READ the manual. You are still going to be confused, because there are a lot of frequencies and capabilities of this radio. HELP - what do I do?
  • This radio is a programmable unit and needs to be configured to SDMC parameters. SDMC to the rescue, we have a number of members who can do that for you. Just send a request to our volunteer in order to have your radio programmed. Please tell us the area of the county you live in or the next event or meeting you will be attending. We have members though out the county, so someone may very well be in your neighborhood. A programming member will respond and you can make arrangements to get the radio configured.
  • Your radio will now be ready to use on the next event/run, have fun, use common sense, be courteous and obey the law.

Ordering other radios:

  • As stated above, your are welcome to purchase any radio that meets the frequency capabilities of the Baofeng UV-82HP. The issue may be that our programmers know how to program the UV-82HP and may not be able to provide help.
  • One such radio that has been mentioned and purchased by members is the Baofeng UV-5R. Please note that the radio is only 4 watts (not 8 like the UV-82HP), the long antenna is a "copy", the microphone does not include the 3.5mm auxiliary output to couple to your factory radio. Many of our programmers do not know how to program this radio. However, it is $24.00 less expensive.

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