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MURS

A hand-held 2-way MURS radio gives you a way to contact other Playa WiFi users for help, as well as the Emergency Services Department and the Art Support Services team.

MURS is the Multi-User Radio Service, which is a license-free radio band. It's similar to the more commonly used FRS/GMRS radio band, but nowhere near as well known or heavily used; this is a major advantage at Burning Man, where the FRS/GMRS radio bands are largely useless during the event because there are too many participants trying to use them.

For Playa WiFi in 2014, we're suggesting that folks use MURS channel 3 (151.940 MHz, narrowband FM), code 15 (CTCSS 110.9 Hz). Note that this is different from past years, where we suggested MURS channel 4, because the Art Support Services team has claimed channel 4.

The Playa WiFi team will try to keep an ear on the MURS radio when we're at the NOC, and maybe other times as well, but we make no promises... The Playa WiFi team's primary responsibility is running the WiFi network for Burning Man departments, not the best-effort public access participant WiFi. Even if we don't answer on MURS, though, you might be able to get WiFi help from other participants on the channel.

In addition, MURS is an officially supported way for theme camps with an emergency to contact the Black Rock Emergency Services Department (ESD); it's the closest thing to calling 911 on the Playa. To contact ESD, set your MURS radio to channel 5 (154.600 MHz, wideband FM), code 11 (CTCSS 97.4 Hz).

To contact Art Support Services, if you're a supported art project, set your MURS radio to channel 4 (154.570 MHz, wideband FM), code 11 (CTCSS 97.4 Hz).

ESD's page (linked above) provides "a partial list of compatible models":

  • Dakota Alert MURS portable (operational controls just like common FRS radios, with selectable channel and code on the display) $89 http://www.dakotaalert.com/catb2b1/product_info.php?cPath=36&products_id=193
  • Fostek MURS Radio (set-up is easy with just a few switches to set internally) $94
  • Motorola XV100 Business band radio (operational controls just like common FRS radios, with selectable channel and code on the display) $189
(the list of suggested models in no way endorses them over other brands or compatible model radios)
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