2016 Baja Communications

Ray Connolly

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Sorry for the bombardment and I didn't want to highjack the other guys thread about race radios so I started a new thread. Do most moto guys wear a headset in their helmet while racing and have it on listening the entire time and why? What frequencies ranges are used during Baja events? Most of these radios that I see like on Bajaracing gear.com only transmit on 144-148mhz. Is that all we need? These are considered amateur radio frequencies and I'm being told by hammies that we're supposed to have a license to transmit on VHF frequencies even in Mexico. Or are we just running rouge down there like doing 100 mph down the highway and stuff. I'm not saying We do 100mph down the highway, but I know most do. Does Weatherman, Baja Pits, BFgoodrich etc etc operate on the same frequency every year? I'm trying to learn all this radio stuff, researching it, and my head is about to spin off. Just picked up a Baofeng UV-82hp for the rider radio and will be purchasing mobile chase vehicle equipment in the near future. Does anyone know if a 7w hand held 136 to 174 VHF hand held can communicate with Wetherman at 25,000 feet? Wasn't really preparing for the rider to have it on the entire time listening through a headset.

Thanks!
 

Chew369

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Sorry for the bombardment and I didn't want to highjack the other guys thread about race radios so I started a new thread. Do most moto guys wear a headset in their helmet while racing and have it on listening the entire time and why? What frequencies ranges are used during Baja events? Most of these radios that I see like on Bajaracing gear.com only transmit on 144-148mhz. Is that all we need? These are considered amateur radio frequencies and I'm being told by hammies that we're supposed to have a license to transmit on VHF frequencies even in Mexico. Or are we just running rouge down there like doing 100 mph down the highway and stuff. I'm not saying We do 100mph down the highway, but I know most do. Does Weatherman, Baja Pits, BFgoodrich etc etc operate on the same frequency every year? I'm trying to learn all this radio stuff, researching it, and my head is about to spin off. Just picked up a Baofeng UV-82hp for the rider radio and will be purchasing mobile chase vehicle equipment in the near future. Does anyone know if a 7w hand held 136 to 174 VHF hand held can communicate with Wetherman at 25,000 feet? Wasn't really preparing for the rider to have it on the entire time listening through a headset.

Thanks!
For myself I have a rugged radio and have our own frequency so we don't hear anything else but what is going on between the rider and chase. If the bike breaks the rider can change the channel and try to reach one of the other pre-programmed channels like Baja Pits, weather man, BFG pits, etc. Typically the rider only has a small 5w radio and you are lucky to get 5 miles of range with out any big mountains in the way. Yes all the big guns operate on the frequencies each year
 

Ray Connolly

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Yes, all the big guns operate on their own frequencies, but are they the same every year? Do you have weatherman programmed into your 5w hand held and could he be reached?

Thanks,
 

pgarfinkle

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I am on radio expert and I have never used a CB or Ham radio but when it comes to racing and what is needed I feel I know a thing or two.

First, stop what you are doing and reach out to PCI. Their product, customer support and knowledge are 2nd to none in desert racing.

For us, each rider runs a radio as does each chase truck. The radios have our race frequencies programmed into them as well as race ops, the pit orgs, BFG and some friends race channels (in case we need to relay or have an emergency). We also carry a Spot tracker on person, a cell phone/sat phone (depends on the race). The race radio stays on the team race channel for communication when possible and needed. Be prepared to either have a charger on the chase trucks or multiple radios depending on how you split the race between riders.

All the race orgs and pit groups keep the same frequency from year to year.

Yes, we can hear and reach Weatherman and BFG relay in certain parts of the course but not all from our hand helds or via a relay.

I hope this helps.
 

rustyb

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I've never used a rider radio and with the limited range don't see the usefulness for me. We just carry a sat phone with the rider and one in each chase truck to be used in case of breakdown. If you're really competitive I could see the advantage of being able to talk to your crew as you approach a pit, saving a few seconds, but I don't fall into the really competitive category. All I have radio wise is one in the truck to listen to and contact Weatherman.
 

Ray Connolly

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I am on radio expert and I have never used a CB or Ham radio but when it comes to racing and what is needed I feel I know a thing or two.

First, stop what you are doing and reach out to PCI. Their product, customer support and knowledge are 2nd to none in desert racing.

For us, each rider runs a radio as does each chase truck. The radios have our race frequencies programmed into them as well as race ops, the pit orgs, BFG and some friends race channels (in case we need to relay or have an emergency). We also carry a Spot tracker on person, a cell phone/sat phone (depends on the race). The race radio stays on the team race channel for communication when possible and needed. Be prepared to either have a charger on the chase trucks or multiple radios depending on how you split the race between riders.

All the race orgs and pit groups keep the same frequency from year to year.

Yes, we can hear and reach Weatherman and BFG relay in certain parts of the course but not all from our hand helds or via a relay.

I hope this helps.
I want to be able to use my Ham radio equipment and can't afford to reach out to PCI. I would feel bad reaching out to PCI and picking their brains when I'm not going to buy anything from them ya know. Maybe they would still help. Guess you never know when we might be in a bind and need to purchase something from them down there. Thanks you about the race frequency question. I looked up repeaters in Baja and found about 15 in the upper peninsula. Does anyone utilize these ever?
 

PCI Race Radios

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I want to be able to use my Ham radio equipment and can't afford to reach out to PCI. I would feel bad reaching out to PCI and picking their brains when I'm not going to buy anything from them ya know. Maybe they would still help. Guess you never know when we might be in a bind and need to purchase something from them down there. Thanks you about the race frequency question. I looked up repeaters in Baja and found about 15 in the upper peninsula. Does anyone utilize these ever?
Feel free to give us a call. We love racing, so we will always be willing to lend a helping hand to a fellow off-roader / racer.
 

El Mamito USMC

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I want to be able to use my Ham radio equipment and can't afford to reach out to PCI. I would feel bad reaching out to PCI and picking their brains when I'm not going to buy anything from them ya know. Maybe they would still help. Guess you never know when we might be in a bind and need to purchase something from them down there. Thanks you about the race frequency question. I looked up repeaters in Baja and found about 15 in the upper peninsula. Does anyone utilize these ever?
THAT a great way of thinking but PCi are gret guys... I can also help you , since I run radios for my truck and each quad rider has one...

inbox me your cell and ill txt.. I run ICOm and you can get them cheap on ebay and I can help program them.
 

BajaboundMoto

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>Do most moto guys wear a headset in their helmet while racing?<
NO they do not. The slim minority may (very slim).
And to be listening to anything except a private channel (not always private) all the time would be a far bigger distraction than you guys or anyone needs or could stand.
If you don't have a helicopter don't even bother.
>What frequencies ranges are used during Baja events?<
All you need to concern yourself with is WMan, BFG, and Baja Pits and/or Mag7 (you'll be pitting with one of them)
>these radios that I see like on Bajaracing gear.com only transmit on 144-148mhz. Is that all we need?<
No, all you need is 1 word, PCI.
>we're supposed to have a license to transmit on VHF frequencies even in Mexico<
License hasn't been a question in many years down there. Maybe will be a subject again someday, but until then, run it.
>like doing 100 mph down the highway and stuff. I'm not saying We do 100mph down the highway, but I know most do<
No we don't, nobody should, mental midgets probably do. Every chase should max out at 65 or better yet 55 (just my opinion).
>I'm trying to learn all this radio stuff, researching it, and my head is about to spin off<
Similar to your last Baja race attempt you're concerning yourself with things you don't need to think about. Have each rider carry a Spot, have someone at home you can bounce questions off (who understands the Spot and map), and have the riders carry a Sat phone in the remote areas or an AT&T service phone everyplace else (which is most everyplace nowadays). Texting is best.
>Just picked up a Baofeng UV-82hp for the rider radio and will be purchasing mobile chase vehicle equipment<
Forget about the radios for the bikers.
Have a radio set up by PCI in your chase truck and keep it on WMan and unplug your mic. Plan on NEVER transmitting on it during the race, only listen. Don't ever ask "can I have a status on xyzX", that's your responsibility to keep track of.
> if a 7w hand held 136 to 174 VHF hand held can communicate with Wetherman at 25,000 feet?<
Probably not, but, why? Your rider would stand a better chance if broke down getting someone other than WMan on the unit, like a spectator or crew out in the hills. Don't even consider all this, just have a phone. Did i mention texting is great?

Hopefully you guys learned a lot at your last attempt and you'll use what you learned. I'm afraid you're going to concern yourself with too much nonsense wasting time and money (and brain cells).
Yes you do need more than 1 chase truck, right?
Your bike does not need to go fast, a max sped of 75 is plenty to get it in the top 9 overall of bikes, if executed correctly.
And the college UTV team did NOT need to concern themselves with the siltbeds near rm380 or especially with the crap near rm480 because there was no way they were gonna get that far.
And don't park your support truck on the street in Ensenada unguarded, right?
 

Ray Connolly

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>Do most moto guys wear a headset in their helmet while racing?<
NO they do not. The slim minority may (very slim).
And to be listening to anything except a private channel (not always private) all the time would be a far bigger distraction than you guys or anyone needs or could stand.
If you don't have a helicopter don't even bother.
>What frequencies ranges are used during Baja events?<
All you need to concern yourself with is WMan, BFG, and Baja Pits and/or Mag7 (you'll be pitting with one of them)
>these radios that I see like on Bajaracing gear.com only transmit on 144-148mhz. Is that all we need?<
No, all you need is 1 word, PCI.
>we're supposed to have a license to transmit on VHF frequencies even in Mexico<
License hasn't been a question in many years down there. Maybe will be a subject again someday, but until then, run it.
>like doing 100 mph down the highway and stuff. I'm not saying We do 100mph down the highway, but I know most do<
No we don't, nobody should, mental midgets probably do. Every chase should max out at 65 or better yet 55 (just my opinion).
>I'm trying to learn all this radio stuff, researching it, and my head is about to spin off<
Similar to your last Baja race attempt you're concerning yourself with things you don't need to think about. Have each rider carry a Spot, have someone at home you can bounce questions off (who understands the Spot and map), and have the riders carry a Sat phone in the remote areas or an AT&T service phone everyplace else (which is most everyplace nowadays). Texting is best.
>Just picked up a Baofeng UV-82hp for the rider radio and will be purchasing mobile chase vehicle equipment<
Forget about the radios for the bikers.
Have a radio set up by PCI in your chase truck and keep it on WMan and unplug your mic. Plan on NEVER transmitting on it during the race, only listen. Don't ever ask "can I have a status on xyzX", that's your responsibility to keep track of.
> if a 7w hand held 136 to 174 VHF hand held can communicate with Wetherman at 25,000 feet?<
Probably not, but, why? Your rider would stand a better chance if broke down getting someone other than WMan on the unit, like a spectator or crew out in the hills. Don't even consider all this, just have a phone. Did i mention texting is great?

Hopefully you guys learned a lot at your last attempt and you'll use what you learned. I'm afraid you're going to concern yourself with too much nonsense wasting time and money (and brain cells).
Yes you do need more than 1 chase truck, right?
Your bike does not need to go fast, a max sped of 75 is plenty to get it in the top 9 overall of bikes, if executed correctly.
And the college UTV team did NOT need to concern themselves with the siltbeds near rm380 or especially with the crap near rm480 because there was no way they were gonna get that far.
And don't park your support truck on the street in Ensenada unguarded, right?
Interesting. We're not planning on running a headset, I was just wondering if it was becoming the next big thing or how they were being utilized. I think I figured out what's going on with those radios in that I believe they are being modded to be able to transmit outside the range of 144-148Mhz. Well, the cheaper ones anyway like the ICOM 2300H and the Kenwood TM-281a for example. Depending on what you get I guess depends on how tricky it is to mod. From our experience last time, AT&T cell phones sucked. They helped keep track of the rider for a while and then no coverage for about 5 hours down the peninsula. We were able to get rider status from Weatherman at the Bajapits pits using there radio. Had no Idea that this was forte because I heard it quiet often. He even helped us get an extraction organized even. Will definitely make sure we keep it to a minimum if at all this time. I asked about the hand helds being able to reach Weatherman because Sat phones and cell phones don't always work either. Don't get me wrong, I am heeding your advice and we're still going to use them to there extent this time also. Just wanted a last ditch effort to possibly relay a message off weatherman down to the chase vehicle because I know there is little chance they will reach from rider to chase vehicle. About speeding, we pulled over quiet a bit so that we weren't holding anyone up and everyone's lights were blinding the poop out of us at night.
Yes, we learned so much last time. On here and down there and I can't thank everyone enough for all the help. I'm just trying to be more prepared this time. We will have radios in both chase vehicles this time and one on the rider and I just want to be able to use them to the best of our ability.

Thanks again.
 

pgarfinkle

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Ray,

If I may offer a suggestion. Try to make it to the 500 next year. Not to race but to have a chance to check everything out without the distraction of racing. Maybe help pit/chase for a team. Part of racing the Baja is getting a feel for it. I think you would get a lot of your question answered this way and you can see first hand what works and what doesn't.
 

BajaboundMoto

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and everyone's lights were blinding the **** out of us at night.
YES !!! You hit a nerve with me on this one (my wife calls me "quirky and grumpy" ;-)
WHY do all these chasers feel the need to run ALL their mega HIDs/LEDs all the time? Even in the daytime guys will run all the candlepower, why?
Sure out on open long stretches far away from communities or other drivers or in areas with livestock, go for it. But how about kill the lights when you spot another driver ahead of you or when there are oncoming vehicles. Yes we know you are super bitchin' cuz you have massive lights, got it, now quit being an arse.
It drives me nuts (but you figured that out already).

At this recent 1000, during prerun, there was apparently an issue with the police in San Felipe ticketing (or whatever) vehicles that were running their big lights. IMO, good. The big chase lights are not needed anywhere around there, Gonzaga all the way to VdT, not at all.
And on race night as we chased back up north (we were early'ish, our bike was 5th on the road, we chased the entire thing, Hwy.1, thru Cocos, up 5 & 3) there were tons on car team chase trucks coming south blazing their lights for really no reason. Super lame.

OK, rant done.

And yes, @pgarfinkle is 100% correct, come out to the 500 and learn more. Just be careful who you get tied in with as some "expert advice" will make you dumber.
 

El Mamito USMC

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I already explain to him the riders radio usage...

>
And the college UTV team did NOT need to concern themselves with the siltbeds near rm380 or especially with the crap near rm480 because there was no way they were gonna get that far.
if I had known that we could keep going even doe being dnf by CP time, they would keep going.. and the other 2 drivers had more experience that the first one. so I would be confident that they would had made it if we didn't stop by rm116. if the 11s pass it. im sure the 4x4 utv would have also.

*BACK TO TOPIC..
 

Ray Connolly

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YES !!! You hit a nerve with me on this one (my wife calls me "quirky and grumpy" ;-)
WHY do all these chasers feel the need to run ALL their mega HIDs/LEDs all the time? Even in the daytime guys will run all the candlepower, why?
Sure out on open long stretches far away from communities or other drivers or in areas with livestock, go for it. But how about kill the lights when you spot another driver ahead of you or when there are oncoming vehicles. Yes we know you are super bitchin' cuz you have massive lights, got it, now quit being an arse.
It drives me nuts (but you figured that out already).

At this recent 1000, during prerun, there was apparently an issue with the police in San Felipe ticketing (or whatever) vehicles that were running their big lights. IMO, good. The big chase lights are not needed anywhere around there, Gonzaga all the way to VdT, not at all.
And on race night as we chased back up north (we were early'ish, our bike was 5th on the road, we chased the entire thing, Hwy.1, thru Cocos, up 5 & 3) there were tons on car team chase trucks coming south blazing their lights for really no reason. Super lame.

OK, rant done.

And yes, @pgarfinkle is 100% correct, come out to the 500 and learn more. Just be careful who you get tied in with as some "expert advice" will make you dumber.
Yeah, were getting a train of people with massive lights behind us so we'd just pull over and let em buy when we could to avoid the blindness. I can't even imagine how bad it was on a looper and having them come down the opposite direction. Man, if I could only make the 500 this year to test out all the radio equipment that would be awesome, but that whole time and money thing is just not part of that equation. I would love to help out another race team if they would be willing to help me out getting down there. lol If you guys are tired of my trying to save money by learning from you all, and asking you all to many questions, I can stop. ;-) ha ha BajaBoundMoto, wasn't one of your riders Tyler Gagnon 731x? One of our riders knows him and we helped him out with his gofundme page. We also watched him the entire race. Maybe I'll call it quits after this question.

Does anyone know all the frequencies for Weatherman, BFGoodrich, Bajapits, Mag7, EMS etc etc?
 

rustyb

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This is from a few years ago, but I would imagine it is still correct:

151.625 - Weatherman
151.715 - BFG Relay
154.980 - Baja Pits
151.925 - Checkers
153.395 - BFG Pits
153.380 - Mag 7
151.775 - Locos Mocos

If no one else verifies, I will check my radio when I get home tonight.

Ray, stop apologizing for asking questions, I check here all the time just hoping someone is talking Baja, and I bet a lot of other users feel the same...
 

PCI Race Radios

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This is from a few years ago, but I would imagine it is still correct:

151.625 - Weatherman
151.715 - BFG Relay
154.980 - Baja Pits
151.925 - Checkers
153.395 - BFG Pits
153.380 - Mag 7
151.775 - Locos Mocos

If no one else verifies, I will check my radio when I get home tonight.

Ray, stop apologizing for asking questions, I check here all the time just hoping someone is talking Baja, and I bet a lot of other users feel the same...
All of the frequencies that you posted are correct.
 

pgarfinkle

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Beat me to it @pciraceradios.

Ray,

As stated before PCI is THE source for all race radio question. :)
 

y2kbaja

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We raced a single seat buggy at the NORRA this year and had a malfunctioning radio in the car that wouldn't broadcast more than 50' but could receive from a few miles away--so similar to a hand held. We also carried sat phones in the car and chase truck. The phones saved our butt when we broke down, I was able to talk directly to the crew. Texting worked great because once the car was running I sent a text and took off. In the mean time the race radio helped to talk to recovery vehicles that were nearby. If I were to do it again I would make sure to have a sat phone (1 in the car and 1 in every chase truck) and a hand held. Hand helds are great because you can climb to a nearby peak or out of a wash to have better communication.
 

Ray Connolly

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This is from a few years ago, but I would imagine it is still correct:

151.625 - Weatherman
151.715 - BFG Relay
154.980 - Baja Pits
151.925 - Checkers
153.395 - BFG Pits
153.380 - Mag 7
151.775 - Locos Mocos

If no one else verifies, I will check my radio when I get home tonight.

Ray, stop apologizing for asking questions, I check here all the time just hoping someone is talking Baja, and I bet a lot of other users feel the same...
Ok, I'm slowly starting to get smarter here. So what it's looking like is everyone of these companies is trying to stay in the MURS (Multi Use Radio Service) frequency range that does not require a license by the FCC. However, we are a bit outside the rules because you're not supposed to transmit with any equipment over 2 watts and there are only 5 frequencies allotted to transmit on with 38PL tones to try and keep from walking on someone.
  • 151.820 MHz
  • 151.880 MHz
  • 151.940 MHz
  • 154.570 MHz
  • 154.600 MHz
65 watts in most of our cases is pushing the limit a bit, but who's counting and I doubt anyone will know your wattage if they pick you up and we're not technically using it for commercial use. I'm assuming PCI, Bajaracinggear, etc etc are programing there radios with MURS frequencies and using the many PL tones to break up the traffic a bit. So this brings me to another question. Don't worry fellas, they should start slowing down.

Are the quoted racing companies and Weatherman using any PL tones in the frequencies?

Thanks again fellas for continuing to help!
 

pgarfinkle

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Ray,

I don't want to curb your enthusiasm for radio tech talk but I think more energy spent on prepping the bike and rider would be far more important. It seems like you are focusing on some small details here that won't really have any impact on race day. You really don't need a radio when on a bike. The chase trucks need one but only for emergencies. You should have a cell and a sat phone, both far more useful than a radio in a Baja race.

And if you must know these radio details (sorry I have no idea what you are talking about here), call PCI. They will help you.

And please don't take this as a slight towards your questions. I applaud you for asking. Too many guys watch D2G and then just show up at the starting line thinking they are ready.
 
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