Aloha and “hauʻoli makahiki hou” to my RFTW O’Hana
Well it is finally 2024, the year of the 34th annual Run for the Wall mission. Planning is coming along very well for Central Route. We had a Planning meeting Thursday and are well on our way to coordinate all of our stops along the way. Our State Coordinators and other leadership has been hard at work getting things coordinated for a smooth safe and meaningful RFTW. Minus a few glitches here and there the hotel list release went well. If there are any issues, please contact the State Coordinator in that respective State to sort it out.
We will have an FNG Liaison this year. Her name is Bernadette “Flat Tire” Staples” If you have questions about how we operate, please contact her directly at Bernadette.firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometime in February or March we will have an FNG Zoom Meeting so make sure you check your emails for the newsletter with the information on that.
RFTW Central Route in May 2024 will be piloting a new communications system for on-road communications while underway during our 10-Day Mission from Ontario, CA to Washington, DC. We will be using GMRS Radios and a High Power repeater. This technology has much further range than CB, and with clearer reception and transmission. CB Radios are old, antiquated, and is a dying technology. With that being said, we would like to encourage as many people to participate in the pilot program as possible this coming May. We are highly encouraging all Platoon Leaders, APL’s, Tail Gunners, Road Guards, Chaplains, and Medics to participate in this year’s pilot and test. Pack riders and FNGs are also certainly allowed to listen. There are numerous off-the-shelf radios available that can be made Bluetooth capable if you have a Bluetooth helmet headset, like a Sena or a Cardo. If you do not use a Bluetooth helmet set-up, there are some wired solutions available, as well.
Option 1: (This option is the #1 HIGHEST recommendation.)
The BEST solution we have found in trying out several options is the BTECH GMRS Pro Bluetooth Radio with a Wireless PTT Button.
This solution WILL connect to a Bluetooth Helmet set-up like a Sena, for example.
Link to BTECH GMRS Pro at Amazon – https://amzn.to/3S8dX03
Video on this Btech GMRS Pro Radio: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mkk5hY3hM2k
Link to Wireless PTT at Amazon – https://amzn.to/3S6P84z
Video on this radio: https://youtu.be/Mkk5hY3hM2k?t=179
Optional BTECH GMRS Pro K1 Adapter Cable. Allows Seamless integration with K1 Accessories, like a speaker mic or connecting to a wired harness: https://amzn.to/48NFOZ7
The radio can also be purchased here: https://baofengtech.com/product/gmrs-pro/
Any GMRS Radio like these:
TID Radio H8 GMRS Radio: **Recommended
https://amzn.to/3vsL1XR or here
https://amzn.to/3tJSpxw **Recommended (Value Pack)
Video on the TID Radio H8: https://youtu.be/8HXSlHT84yQ?si=7v9_WVTpZ0A9muRo
Baofeng UV-5RTP: https://amzn.to/3tHoUMI
*These radios are not Bluetooth from the manufacturer, so would best be used with a wired set-up, or external Bluetooth module.
External Bluetooth Module: https://amzn.to/3H6LGkg
A company called Rugged Radios are the BEST wired harnesses for those that do not have or want a Bluetooth helmet set-up, and they also offer Bluetooth for any radio, and are built for motorcycling.
Wired & External Bluetooth harnesses options from Rugged Radios. These harnesses work with almost any GMRS.
If you are an Amateur Radio Operator (HAM), you may be interested in the Anytone ATD878UVII Plus. This is a HAM radio, and can be unlocked for GMRS use, and has Bluetooth built-in that will pair to a Bluetooth helmet set-up. This option does require good computer skills to program the radio.
We will still be using CB in 2024, and will likely move to the new system in 2025 and beyond, assuming the pilot test goes well.
Listening to a GMRS radio does not require a license from the FCC.
Transmitting on a GMRS frequency does require a license from the FCC and is easy to get, and is $35 for 10-years.
One license can be used per family.
Video on How-to get a GMRS license: https://youtu.be/xOuOIB1KCQ4?t=73
Click here to establish your FCC FRN Number: https://apps.fcc.gov/cores/userLogin.do
Click here for the FCC Universal Licensing System: https://www.fcc.gov/wireless/universal-licensing-system
The Central Route RC, ARC, Comms Officer and some of our Road Guards already have their GMRS licenses.
Keep in mind the radio used must be be repeater capable and able to use CTSS encryption, which almost all GMRS radios are.
Keep your eye out for a follow on newsletter later this month about fundraising and prepaid fuel. We will be doing a 50/50 fundraiser before the RUN and will be doing prepaid fuel again this year. Details to follow on both of these topics.
If you are not receiving the newsletters in your mailbox, please sign up. Much information that is important and pertinent will be passed in the next couple of months and that information will be in the newsletters! Much easier to just open your e-mail and read about it than it is to go on FB or call and email people to get answers to things that have already been covered in a newsletter. The sign up is at the bottom of the rftw.us website and is simple to do.
In closing, Please remember to register before the cost goes up on 1 February.
This is important for us to know about how many people and vehicles we will have on the Route for our planning purposes (Think Fuel, Staging, Meals etc.). If you are in leadership, it is especially important to register NOW, so I know we can count on your attendance and participation.
Be safe start getting your bike and Body ready for the MISSION and see you soon.
MUCH ALOHA TO MY ‘OHANA
Nick “Richboy” Hentges
RFTW Central Route Coordinator 2024