Baofeng thoughts

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Shane
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Baofeng thoughts

Post by Shane »

Looking for opinions on this:

BAOFENG UV-5R Ⅲ Tri-Band Two Way Radio VHF 1.25M UHF Walkie Talkies
$21.95

It’s 2/1.25/0.75m. It came up right after I thought Why do they never include 222?

How long does it typically take for these cheap things to disintegrate? :) How’s the receiver front end around lots of neighborhood RF? At $20 a throw it seems too good to pass up and too good to be true at the same time!
Mike Shane, CBRE
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w9wi
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by w9wi »

I've got a dual-bander. I'm not particularly active so don't have a huge amount of experience with it. It did behave usably for simplex chatting around the grounds at the Dayton Hamvention. (back when there was a Dayton Hamvention. 2020:( )

It's clearly not built to the standards of a Kenwood/Icom/Yaesu. It is, IMHO, well worth $21.95. (if it lasts six months, recycle it & buy another one. Cheaper than buying a real radio:) )

The shortcoming on these Chinese designs seems to be the programming. It is VERY non-intuitive. I could put that up to language issues but the organization of the software is such that I don't think it'd make sense in Mandarin either.
--
Doug Smith W9WI
Pleasant View, TN EM66
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Shane
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by Shane »

That’s encouraging, Doug. I reckon one can’t get hurt too bad for $21 and free shipping. Maybe I can get wifey to get me one for Xmas. :D
Mike Shane, CBRE
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RGORJANCE
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by RGORJANCE »

Hi Shane:

Ham buddy of mine has had one for some time and it has been reliable for him. No issues that I am aware of.

Merry Christmas,

Fossil
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awsherrill
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by awsherrill »

Howdy Mr. Shane:

I got one of the UV-5R HTs some years ago (dual band unit). It was actually my gateway to VHF/UHF.

I still have it and it still works, even after being dropped a few times. It might be like one of those cheap tools you buy at Harbor Fright, that you'll never break or lose track of (as opposed to the expensive Xcelite ones that will go missing inside of a week!)

The receiver in mine is not great. Even hooked up to an external mobile antenna, it has a hard time hearing repeaters that my Yaesu FT1900 can pick up with full quieting. Maybe the newer ones are better. I've also heard some hams grumble that they spew harmonics on transmit, but I've never really looked into that.

I recommend you get the programming cable with it. As Doug mentioned, programming these things from the front panel is tough duty. Mine came with programming software, but I could never get it to work. "Chirp" works great, although I'm not sure if it will work for the one you're looking at.
Nathaniel Steele
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

I have a UV-5r that is at least 8-9 years old. It still works, though I am not an active HAM at all, Iv'e used it a handfull of times and kept it in the Van When I was working Mountain top transmitter sites in Colorado by myself, In case I ever got stranded. I remember reading that they worked better with an aftermarket antenna so I got one. I used more for checking (FM) transmitters though as it had an FM radio built in to it......so I cant really comment on how good or bad a radio it is, but I can say it does still work 8-9 years later.....
jammerdave
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by jammerdave »

Just never look at a Baofeng (or similar) with a spectrum analyzer.... :lol:
Nathaniel Steele
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by Nathaniel Steele »

Pulled mine out of the van last night where it has been sitting untouched for at least 8 months. powered right up battery still fully charged....

Couldn't test it since I havent reprogrammed any of the local repeaters into it since I moved over 3 years ago.....it is a pain to program manually...I have the programming cable...somehwhere.....
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Shane
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by Shane »

Thanks, guys. This is truly a great group. And, except for Nathaniel, I believe I have met everyone in this thread. Kind of amazing considering how far flung we are.

Far flung. That’s the next radio I’m looking at...not with a spectrum analyzer.
Mike Shane, CBRE
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Shane
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Re: Baofeng thoughts

Post by Shane »

It’s here. Actually came with some accessories much to my surprise. Once I figured out the menu system it seems like it might not even be terribly hard to program manually. I do note that it did not come with software but also note from another thread on this forum that it didn’t work anyway, as Allen attested to.

The operating manual has two things going for it: the English isn’t too bad, and it’s concise. Maybe a little too concise. For example the radio comes with two antennas but the manual hasn’t caught up to that yet so I’m left to wonder what exactly the second duck is for. I suspect it’s for 220 MHz since that band isn’t harmonically related to 144 and because the addition of 220 to this product might be a new thing, explaining why it’s not in the manual.

It may have come with a programming cable. I didn’t open one of the bags of accessories yet. The manual says no but it also says it doesn’t come with earbuds and it did.

Anyone have any tips, I’ll be checking here. And happy 2021! We can finally put a bullet in 2020.
Mike Shane, CBRE
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