I bought some Baofengs

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by longbedder, Aug 13, 2019 at 10:06 PM.

  1. longbedder

    longbedder 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Posts:
    4,821
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    These things have been around for a while...known as the $30 Amazon 2-way radio gems.

    HAM enthusiasts tend to disdain them...but also keep 1 or 2 around because they couldn't afford not to.

    I bought them because I've been conditioned to buy stuff I don't need before bans. The FCC is banning the sale of these things (effective 30 Sep 2019) as they are configured today because they are capable of transmitting on more than one band (as I understand it). Possesion is not banned. I don't intend to transmit illegally.
     
    KirsL and tRustyK5 like this.
  2. GoGoGirl

    GoGoGirl 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Posts:
    453
    Likes Received:
    751
    Location:
    Vermont
    Build(s):
    1
    I’ll shamelessly admit that I’ve bought a few over the years. One UV5 in 2013 or so, which I lost while hiking, and UV82s since then. A bunch of them to stash in each car, at work, etc.

    Shameless, like I said. I’m a lifelong radio nerd and licensed operator. I don’t care what others in the hobby think. Frankly at two hamfests I’ve been to this year, people were shocked that I was carrying “one of those fancy Yaesu HTs” when everyone else (with one exception) had Baofengs on their belts.

    I swear the single, rocker-style PTT version of the ‘82, as opposed to the two-button setup, are far better quality. Antenna connection is more solid, speaker audio less distorted at high volume, and most importantly RX more sensitive by far.

    My favorite radio of the moment is the Anytone 868. I’ve had mine for a year and the more I learn about how to use it, the more I love it.
     
    TerryD and longbedder like this.
  3. HankScorpio

    HankScorpio Customize everything Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Posts:
    830
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    Location:
    Laramie WY
    I have one. BF-F8HP Its great. I put a longer antenna on (Nagoya NA-320A) and it really has some serious range. I have hit a repeater at 30 miles nice and clear. Pretty surprising for a little handheld. Great battery life too.
     
  4. TerryD

    TerryD Mildly demented... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    4,086
    Likes Received:
    816
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Build(s):
    1
    I've got one of the older UV5Rs I've had for a while. Is a solid little radio.

    I've recently picked up a VX-5R and FT-60R that I've been using. I think the cost difference is worth it myself now. But the Baofeng still gets used.

    I've considered picking up a couple more but honestly I'd rather find a couple more VX Yaesus.
     
  5. Russell

    Russell LLY Escalade Status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2000
    Posts:
    8,243
    Likes Received:
    1,151
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Build(s):
    2
    I run a VX-6R Yaesu triple bander hand held. I'm happy with it.

    I haven't brought myself to buy the Beofeng stuff yet, I don't know if I ever will.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  6. JoshHefnerX

    JoshHefnerX 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Posts:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    Build(s):
    1
    I have a couple, and have bought some for other people. Programmed all the channels we use for when I'm out in the desert. Good radio. Didn't know they were getting banned... may have to pick up a couple more... damn. I will say each time I get one the antennas are different on them, but the chinese like to substitute with whatever they can get ahold of at the time. slightly different revs. Hasn't affected the use.
     
  7. JoshHefnerX

    JoshHefnerX 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2015
    Posts:
    3,681
    Likes Received:
    2,197
    Location:
    Glendale, AZ
    Build(s):
    1
    Thanks for the notice on that. I knew they had the potential to be used illegally, but didnt know the ban hammer was coming. Just picked up a couple more for backups. Wonder what rugged radio is gonna do about that - they use them in their own systems. Just in blue plastic and they charge outrageous money for them...
     
  8. KirsL

    KirsL Diesel maniac Premium Member

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2008
    Posts:
    1,979
    Likes Received:
    1,941
    Location:
    Merritt Island, FL
    Build(s):
    1
    So other then the usual reasons the government bans stuff.

    Why is this being banned?

    I may go buy a couple to have just cause.
     
    muddybuddy likes this.
  9. longbedder

    longbedder 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Posts:
    4,821
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Long story short: Baofengs are *capable* of doing illegal things easily.

    Specifically, they can transmit on both unlicensed (GMRS/FRS) bands as well as licensed/protected bands from the same unit.

    What stupid/crooked people do with readily available hardware spoils it for the rest of us.
     
    KirsL likes this.
  10. HankScorpio

    HankScorpio Customize everything Premium Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2016
    Posts:
    830
    Likes Received:
    1,111
    Location:
    Laramie WY
    So why does that matter? Nobody has ever asked for my license to buy my kenwood or yaesu. If someone wants to transmit on a channel they are not licensed to use its not the hardwares fault.
     
    F-ingrob likes this.
  11. longbedder

    longbedder 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2005
    Posts:
    4,821
    Likes Received:
    1,719
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    It only matters because the FCC is a bloated bureaucracy with control issues.
     
    F-ingrob, KirsL and HankScorpio like this.
  12. GoGoGirl

    GoGoGirl 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2016
    Posts:
    453
    Likes Received:
    751
    Location:
    Vermont
    Build(s):
    1
    I’ve got a ton to say in response to the above. In no particular order...

    The Nagoya antennas, if you find the real ones, do work great. I have both the one there is 8” or so as well as the one that is 12” or so. As my office building is a huge steel and brick structure that hates RF, I’ve done side-by-side, unscientific tests. The longer Nagoya beats out the shorter one by a tiny bit on both VHF and UHF. Just under one “S” unit perhaps...the radio’s meter flickers that extra segment.

    Some people hate Baofengs due to alleged lack of spectral purity, aka splatter on TX. I’ve never found this to be the case. I’ve put in some weird splinter frequencies and the radios seem pretty tight. Granted I’ve never hooked the radio to a spectrum analyzer as some people on QRZ have, but it’s certainly tolerable enough for consumer/amateur use. The people who stay up losing sleep over this stuff are probably the same ones who would call the FCC and have a fit if they bought a “certificated” CB at Walmart and found out it was transmitting 4.0001 watts.

    That being said, the front end on the radios is as broad as a barn door. Receiving without a tone generally sucks and will be punctuated with bursts of static. Cheap car chargers aggravate Baofengs a lot. Anything remotely leaky or dirty for power or RF will find its way to your speaker somehow. I think someone once said the radios truly transmit narrow down to 5kHz or so, but despite that the receive is always wider.
     
    JoshHefnerX, longbedder and TerryD like this.
  13. TerryD

    TerryD Mildly demented... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    4,086
    Likes Received:
    816
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Build(s):
    1
    There have been issues with people using them on the older public service frequencies that haven't been upgraded to trunked systems and causing interference.

    The lack of control in quality and the fact that they are sold as business class radios but are not limited to business frequencies also puts them in violation of FCC rules regarding their certification.

    No one asks for a license for the "big three" because the folks that would cause issues on the band's typically aren't going to drop $300 for a radio to do it(yes I realize the are cheaper radios). But $30 for a Baofeng is no issue.

    Baofeng radios have gotten a lot of folks legitimately interested in amateur radio and I'm thankful for that. They also allowed clubs to give radios to newly licensed hams to get them on the air. It was actually one of them that got me back into radio after a couple year absence and led to me being as active in radio as I am now. But the fact remains that they do allow folks to cause issues across a broad swath of frequencies.

    I have to routinely refuse to program them for hunters at work. They want me to set them up to work in the marine bands, business bands and even ham bands. One of my Elmers likes to hunt around on 2m/440 with his big beams and find someone using them without a license, then call CW CQ over them till they move out of band.

    And Rugged Radios should have been run out of business YEARS ago for the shady $hit they do and the trouble their "product" has caused on the air around events and popular destinations.
     
  14. muddybuddy

    muddybuddy 3/4 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2004
    Posts:
    9,146
    Likes Received:
    109
    Location:
    Arlington, VA
    I may have to as well. Then I’ll just have to figure out how to use it.
     
  15. RivMan

    RivMan 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2010
    Posts:
    387
    Likes Received:
    431
    Location:
    Pinckney, MI
    Build(s):
    1
  16. TerryD

    TerryD Mildly demented... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    4,086
    Likes Received:
    816
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Build(s):
    1
    That'll work. They're all basically the same innards. They just change up the case a little.

    Get the ARRL license manual and give it a read through. Take some practice tests then go here https://www.laurelvec.com/ and find one of their free test sessions in your area. That easy.

    I recommend you find and join a local club just for the expertise and so you're kinda known on the local repeaters so you'll be more comfortable using your radio and learn proper protocol to keep the bands clean and effectively communicate over the airwaves. There are plenty ham activities that you can do to supplement offroading like the SOTA program or working QSO parties from remote areas of your state where people normally don't operate.
     
  17. ZooMad75

    ZooMad75 1/2 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2003
    Posts:
    3,726
    Likes Received:
    5,945
    Location:
    Pueblo, CO
    Build(s):
    1
    Don't have my ham licence, but given how insanely cheap these are I figured I should get one just to have. I've been really looking into ham radio and will likely get a unit for my K5 but just haven't done much more than look and read up on it.

    Looked on Amazon and found a lightning deal on a UV-5R+ for $22.43 with free shipping.

    Time to look into the study guides for the test I guess.
     
    TerryD likes this.
  18. Babaganoosh

    Babaganoosh 1 ton status Premium Member GMOTM Winner

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Posts:
    12,802
    Likes Received:
    5,636
    Location:
    Phoenix Arizona
    Build(s):
    2
    Thanks for the heads up, just bought a second one.
    https://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-136-...eywords=UV-5R&qid=1565899601&s=gateway&sr=8-7
     
    ZooMad75 likes this.
  19. Wes Harden

    Wes Harden 1/2 ton status Premium Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2005
    Posts:
    441
    Likes Received:
    324
    Location:
    Southern Califorina
    I purchased a Baofang UV-5R in the spring after spending $$ on Rugged Radio handheld, I was after the programing cable, witch most places is @ 15.00. The Baofang radio and Kit, 2 batts 2 antenna remote mic program cable program, was 30ish.
    The Manx Club went to the vhf radios, the run after I got my CB all dialed in on my buggy. I Have a Rugged Radio RM-60 60 watt vhf mobile run through their intercom RRP660 plus. All of that equipment is my 2nd effort at getting Rugged Radio to work, had a lot of defective components. PPT cable Headsets my 1st intercom, I will say Rugged Radio made it all right w/o any grief.
    The Manx Club has GMRS license. I decided to get my own so I can use the 3 radios I have with Family.

    With all the discussions about Baofang UV-5r being band, I thought about picking up another or 2. I am becoming more and more curious about Ham. Maybe getting Technician class license.
    as I was browsing Amazon for Baofang I saw this radio coming up on a lighting deal. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B076T5W2X..._m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=ZW3CPQ7HDCH425MV01EN
    Would this be a good choice for an entry level Technician?
     
  20. TerryD

    TerryD Mildly demented... Premium Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    Posts:
    4,086
    Likes Received:
    816
    Location:
    Covington, Va
    Build(s):
    1
    I've never even heard of that brand. Check out the Anytone DMR radio. They're affordable and come highly recommended in some local DMR circles.

    DMR is catching on but you might want to see how popular it is in your area before spending the extra money on a radio that does it. It will do standard FM as well so it'll still be useable.
     

Share This Page