Table of Contents for Civilized Explorer or Burning Man
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Radios at Burning Man

[Editor's note: definitions of the acronyms are at the end - ed]

Hi Everyone!

Since 2007 Burning Man ESD has officially established that MURS channel 5 code 11 (154.600 97.4Hz CTCSS, 25kHz / wideband) is the official public 911 intake channel for BRC. We have a base-station at the communications center permanently on this channel which routes directly to our console. The base station antenna is at approximately 30-40ft in height and we have proven excellent reception of any portable beyond the BRC city limits at less than 500mW with no issues. Obviously, channel 5 needs to be kept clear regardless of which tone is in use so we can monitor for emergency calls. Channels 1-4 are of course open for anyone to use and we encourage the use for groups that need to get away from the uselessness of FRS in the city.

There are far better rigs for MURS that can be found cheaply on ebay and other sites which will allow 2w output. You don’t necessarily need to get ahold of a MURS branded radio to be compliant like you do for FRS, and yes, of course external antennas up to 60ft in height and of any gain are acceptable for MURS. Full compliance is met with 2w AT the input point to the antenna, so technically you can get away with pumping more than 2w into coax at the radio so long as measured TXPO at the point where the coax connects to the antenna is not greater than 2w.

If you plan on shopping for non-MURS specific VHF radios, just be sure that they can a) be lowered to at least 2w transmit power and b) operate in narrow-band FM mode (12.5kHz channel width) on channels 1-3. This is a requirement for using the MURS service as only channels 4 and 5 are acceptable for 25kHz wideband operation.

As far as other radio services in BRC, we only ask that if you plan on operating in the ham bands to notify us if you plan transmitting with more than 100w. Outside of the ham bands, we ask that you please notify us first of your intentions via an email to 911 (at) [NOTE: email semi-obscured to prevent screen-scraping - ed] and be willing to work with us on frequency selection and power output. This is only to prevent interference to the city’s operations in the commercial portions of the LMR bands outside the amateur radio spectrum, MURS and FRS bands. We have no interest in any communications in the FRS band or low-power RC (hobby radio control) bands so long as output power and operating practices are kept within FCC mandated limits.

If you have any other questions, feel free to let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them. [Send email to email to 911 (at) - ed]