Noobie radio question

JMacs

Observer
While wolf watching in Yellowstone last week, we found that a lot of the amateur watchers have organized a bit better and are using hand-held radios to communicate with each other. Per a website, they are using frequency 464.5000 PL 131.8. I understand that the 464.5000 is the frequency. I have learned that the PL 131.8 is a private line. We currently have some Midland FRS/GMRS handhelds. Those don’t have 464.5000 listed.

If I want to be one of the cool kids at Yellowstone, what type of radio do I need that can send / receive 464.5000? And is there any special training / licensing required for one of these?
 

nwoods

Expedition Leader
464.5000 is neither FRS/GMRS nor is it HAM. It’s a private band used for private commerical entities by license with the FCC.

A non-regulated radio (not type certified by FCC), such as the inexpensive and easy to use somewhat ubiquitous Baofeng UV-5R can dial it in, not but “legally”.
 

JMacs

Observer
Hmmm. Doesn't sound like something a bunch of retirees would be using. I am going to be that the website that listed that frequency is wrong. I didn't think to ask them when I was there what frequency they used. Gives me another excuse to head out there. :)
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
That is a bit unusual. GMRS use 462 or 467mhz. So called "race radios" use vhf. Easy enough to program a baofeng to do it if you don't care about being legal. I wonder if its a club that is doing that?
 

Ozarker

Well-known member
You can listen to any frequency lawfully, it's transmitting on restricted frequencies is unlawful.

Might double check the freq, to be used.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
More googling comes up with Wolf and Wildlife Watchers. They may have actually licensed business radios. Looking at their gear they certainly have the financial resources.
 

Ozarker

Well-known member
More googling comes up with Wolf and Wildlife Watchers. They may have actually licensed business radios. Looking at their gear they certainly have the financial resources.
That makes chirping take on a whole new meaning.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
They're very serious about their wolf watching. I doubt they want to chat with every tom ******** and harry with a gmrs radio.
 

JMacs

Observer
They are very serious about it. One of the Park researchers logged 6175 consecutive days out watching and observing the wolves. No matter how cold. He is now retired and still goes out every day. A lot of people do it just for fun and enjoyment. Most are pretty nice and willing to help you find them, or let you know where the den is.

They may be licensed. That might allow them to use the radio repeater system that the park has installed for their employees. (??)
 

Ozarker

Well-known member
They may be licensed. That might allow them to use the radio repeater system that the park has installed for their employees. (??)
If you plan on using repeaters installed for use by National Forest Service or other federal government agencies I hope you get your affairs in order before they haul you off.

I've not heard of any government entity putting up radio systems for use by the general public, it might be possible but that just doesn't follow the usual and customary operations of governments.

In '78 a soldier thought it was a good idea to mess with radio transmissions at Ft. Polk, he got on various frequencies including the airfield tower freq. I know because I issued NOTAMS about it. CID caught him, he got a discharge, fined and ten years.
 

craig333

Expedition Leader
  • 464.5000 PL 131.8 Wolf & wildlife watchers. Used mostly in Lamar and Hayden Valley to coordinate wildlife sightings.
  • 464.5500 PL 229.1 Secondary channel for wolf & wildlife watchers.
  • If they're using a repeater I would think it would have to located outside the park.
 

DaveInDenver

Middle Income Semi-Redneck
  • 464.5000 PL 131.8 Wolf & wildlife watchers. Used mostly in Lamar and Hayden Valley to coordinate wildlife sightings.
  • 464.5500 PL 229.1 Secondary channel for wolf & wildlife watchers.
  • If they're using a repeater I would think it would have to located outside the park.
Seems you found the Radio Reference page.


It's not rocket surgery if you're familiar with the FCC to find their license. It's an itinerant mobile 4W, class is MOI, 20 units.

They are not licensed for a repeater, which is class FBx. Typically for a dedicated closed repeater it would FB2 for mobile relay class.

WRDJ678: https://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/license.jsp?licKey=4160260

It's really not that expensive or difficult to get a commercial/industrial radio system going. This seems to be administered by an individual and the address of record is a home near Ogden, UT.

And does come with some benefits such as a little more privacy and less interference. It's not illegal or tough to monitor them but the FCC does take reports of interference with itinerant users fairly serious so don't step on them without a license on cheap Chinese radios.
 
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craig333

Expedition Leader
I doubt I'd even bother to listen to them when I visit. Nothing against wolves but its the geology of the park that has the greatest draw for me.
 

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