Radio Equipment

Radio Choices

The Hamilton County CERT program uses a variety of radios for team communication. There are so many types of radios to choose from, it can be very confusing. To help you decide which radio to select, here are some guidelines.

1 – CERT Communications can help program these radios using CHIRP software:

Radioddity GA-2S – the most basic radio which can only be programmed using a computer. This radio does not have a screen and announces the channel you are on when you turn the dial.

These Baofengs are very similar and either one is a good choice:

Baofeng UV-5R – 5 watt dual band radio, can be programmed manually.

Baofeng BF-F8HP – 8 watt dual band radio, can be programmed manually.

2 – Amateur Radio License is required for the Repeater Channels

A GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) license is required to use the shared FRS/GMRS frequencies that is able to transmit above 2-Watts of power. These licenses are good for 10 years and apply to anyone in your immediate family. To obtain a GMRS license, click here.

To use the Simplex channels or to listen to the Amateur Radio Repeater Channels you should have a GMRS license. You must have at least a Technician’s license to talk on the Repeaters.

3 – HCEM has established a Band Plan for all of the radios. This means that we are all on the same channels when we communicate using either our personal radios or any of the repeaters. This helps to simplify the communication process. To obtain the latest channel band plan, contact your CERT Strike Team Leader.

4 – Other Radios

The CERT Communication team has limited it’s support to the radios listed above. We know that people have purchased other types of radios but the comms team cannot support all of them. For example the Yaesu FT-60 and Radioddity GS-5B require different programs and connectors.  These radios are great and many of us use them, but it requires you to purchase additional software and programming cables specific to the radio and program them yourself. Programming using a computer program is relatively simple, just follow the channel band plan and program for your radio.