The open road draws many people for short and long term road trips whether by car, truck, RV, and a favorite, motorcycles. Communication with others is available for these road travelers. What‘s available for them?
Types of Telecommunication Devices
The ease of providing and accessing telecommunication devices specific for road traveling has made many options available. These various devices range anywhere from a mobile telephone, CB radios, Bluetooth, PDA’s, walkie-talkies, and other e-gadgets that have a variety of specialized features.
One of the more advanced options that is available to motorcyclists is the wired headset that allows both rider and passenger the ability to communicate while in transit. Who can carry on a conversation with the wind whipping by our ears and bugs flying into our mouth, eww! This sort of system is connected via wires but is required, to be manually disconnected and reconnected, when leaving the motorcycle for any length of time. A tiny inconvenience for a fun gadget, don’t you think?
Where does Thou find this Fun Gadget?
Local electronic stores, online, offline, and various mail order vendors offer to sell a few low power GMRS (General mobile radio service) radios which provide basic unit- to- unit communications but can’t be used with range extending repeaters. This would require the capability to transmit and receive in the 462- 467 MHz band plus provide ability for sub-audible control tones. One can also find used equipment and less costly models through various advertisements both online and offline from radio enthusiasts.
Wireless options allow for a greater freedom. These are available in different frequency ranges which will make communicating with a passenger or other nearby bikers quite easy. Ability to communicate over larger distances will require use of a General mobile radio service, GMRS, which operates identically to a walkie-talkie system.
Staying Legal with your Communications Device
Legal requirements exist for the use or modification of a GMRS communication radios and are as follows ;
– A person is required to obtain a license
– Minimum age of 18
– Not be representative of a foreign government
– Your immediate family members are the only other eligible persons allowed to operate your radio
– Somebody with their own license can use your radio
– Fines up to $10K can be issued for un-licensed usage even if it’s a first offense, and more, for subsequent violations
– Not allowed to lend your own private license to anybody else
– Not allowed to connect to Public switch network
– No data transmit capabilities
– Restricted to specified channels only.
The popular method to apply for a license is online through the FCC website. A fee is required and will cover the application and usage fee, usually a 5 year term. Their web site will have instructions available and necessary contact telephone numbers for any assistance or questions.
No worries of getting bugs in your mouth and eyes, or road dirt, in your hair but get to have fun with this mobile communication system. An opportunity to discuss your road trip, sights, warnings, or gab for a bit, and great, for when the mobile phone isn’t working, you know, no signal? We have the tools, right prices and now we’ll have communication 🙂
Learning in Motion
Extra Reading + Resources
ARRL- The National Association for Amateur Radio
Amateur Radio Certification – Industry Canada
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AIC| An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology, and society. She enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.