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Midwest Scouter

BSA Nationwide Radio Itinerant FCC License and Frequency

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I was wondering if anyone on the forum new of a BSA, Nationwide Itinerant, FCC Part 90, Radio License and Frequency, that our troop and venturing crew could use during some of our events/activities?  In the past, there had been a few FCC Licenses that were shared among BSA Troops for nationwide use, but it now appears those radio licenses are expired.

 

Or, do we just pay the $160 for the FCC Application and License for our own official callsign and use?

 

Any ideas?

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It's a radio frequency we can all use on a nationwide basis for scouting activities and just piggyback off of a district, council, etc., Federal Communications Commission FCC License instead of applying for one of our own.

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I'm wondering if this is a question for Bryan on Scouting or Scouting Wire.

It sounds like someone once voluntarily purchased the license, but lacking positive reinforcement from the few scouts who used the frequency, decided to let it lapse without fanfare.

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It's a radio frequency we can all use on a nationwide basis for scouting activities and just piggyback off of a district, council, etc., Federal Communications Commission FCC License instead of applying for one of our own.

 

I would contact your district or council to see if any units are on JOTA. These ham-radio guys know everything. In my area they are to go-to people for such things. I am sure they would know. You can try this group and this group. Here's another source. Lastly, here's a forum where you might find someone from a group of experts that happen to also discuss Scout stuff.

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If you are talking about hiking or camporee activities, I would suggest the FRS or MURS radios.  Both of these are license free, however they are a bit short range.  You will be lucky to get a couple of miles out of them, but if that is all you need then that would be fine.  You can also get GMRS radios which technically require a license (very few actually get it) but has significantly better range.  Don't believe the advertisement of 25 or 30 miles, but you can usually get 3 or 4 miles out of them in general conditions.   All of those radios are easily purchased at big box stores or on line from Amazon etc... and run on rechargeable battery packs or AAs.    I will say that the leadership having radios at Summer Camp or camporees where there is no cell service in invaluable.  

 
If you need longer ranges utilizing commercial repeaters (think Philmont size area), you may then need to get a licence and a dedicated frequency.  Keep in mind that the radios will be more expensive.  Also you need someone to program them and you also need a repeater (if necessary) which is another cost.  

 

As mentioned, find a Ham operator around.  He/She will likely be more than happy to give you their two cents.  

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I have personally obtained a FCC business radio license for our Boy Scout Troop and put the Scout Master on the license as the person in charge. 

We have several VHF frequencies available to use anywhere in the U.S.A. including Territories such as Puerto Rico. 

Since we could prove our nonprofit status the regulatory fees were waived free. We only had to pay the current FCC application fee of $70.

Our license is good for 10 years. 

We chose to use Digital DMR VHF frequency radios for better clarity over far longer distances than unlicensed toy frs , gmrs or murs radios could offer.  VHF frequencies even work better over hills that UHF gmrs or frs frequencies will not work through.  A few bonuses of digital DMR radios.

We have GPS models. If a radio or the user is lost, we can ping the location and find the radio if it is turned on and within range.

If a radio is stolen , we can ping it's location if it is turned on and within range.

If some one is using one of our radios in a inappropriate or malicious manor we can remotely stun the radio making it so the user thinks that it is locked. We can still un stun or un lock the radio when it is recovered. 

We can and do use digital voice encryption. 

There seems to be no reason those outside of our group should be able to listen in and hear our conversations. What if Tommy needs his medicine for example?

We also have the ability to text message or speak privately 1 radio to 1 radio or to a portion of the group. 

We can even tune in and listen to the NOAA national weather service transmitters ...

Digital DMR radios start at $75 and go up to several hundred dollars. 

Our TYT brand model MD390 VHF GPS  equipped radios cost about $125 each.

We purchased from a Ebay and Amazon seller from California going by the business name of "Let's Get Ready"

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