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BaoFeng UV5R


jsymmes

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Is there anyone on the forum who is versed in the BaoFeng UV5R radio? My son gave me one recently and I am trying to learn the programming and it's capability.

 

Curious if the receiver is comparable to other brands, like Kenwood, Icom or Yeasu. I have had some handheld radios that were not very sensitive (receiver) and their performance was very dissappointing.

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We have two of them we bought off Amazon for $35 (I see they're $29 now!). I downloaded the programming software (which, unfortunately, is based on Windows) and managed to sort through the procedure. I filled the channels up with the repeaters in the area on both 440 and 2m but noticed also that there is not much traffic on the repeaters (not like the old days).

 

Programming by hand or even setting frequencies by hand is non-intuitive for most of us.

 

But the radios work very well. I have the longer rubber duckie antenna for one of them, the hand microphones for both, and the easily get into the little local (very local) 2m repeater. Audio is good, too. We don't use them a lot but for $35 each they are terrific 2m/440 radios. I have an old Alinco dual band radio (the one that lets you turn it into a repeater) in my truck and they communicate just fine with that.

 

We have used a pair of 440 hand held radios for years (the DW and I are both hams) just to talk to each other when backing up, etc. I don't recall the brand even (now) but it's been at least 15 years since we bought them (at HRO in Oakland, CA on a trip). They aren't dual band and use AAA batteries (not rechargeable) and I thought these would take that job over but the Baofengs mostly reside in the Sticks'n'Brix and not the RV.

 

Battery power seems good (although we do not have the bigger battery version). Lots of hams have them and the Internet is full of information on how to program them.

 

Certainly not as easy to use as Yaesu or Icom hand helds but for $29 they're pretty spiffy. I'd love to see something with every repeater in the US programmed in, though.

 

WDR

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Toni and I have had a pair for a couple of years and are really impressed at what you can get for very little cash. Like many others, I have found that easiest way to program them is with a computer. The interface cable was less than $10 from Amazon. I found an open source project called "chirp" which has more features than the factory software. It works on several platforms, including Windows and Linux.

 

Safe Travels...

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Thanks for the feedback. I have an old laptop that runs Linux so I will load Chirp on that computer and see if I can make my handheld more versatile with the popular repeater frequencies.

 

"I have the longer rubber duckie antenna for one of them, the hand microphones for both, and the easily get into the little local (very local) 2m repeater"

 

Have you noticed any improvement with the longer rubber duckie antenna?

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I haven't noticed any real improvement with the longer antenna... but I haven't really given it much of a test either. They work fine, are amazingly cheap, and kinda cute. Just really difficult to program using the keyboard.

 

BTW: I somehow missed - or they didn't have it out yet - CHIRP on Linux. So I downloaded it and set it up yesterday and that is a big relief since the only Windows computer left in our house is the DW's laptop (which is dual-booted to Linux Mint and to Win7). If that laptop bit the dust I would be SOL.

 

We would use these a LOT more if it weren't for cell phones. :(

 

WDR

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Here is the site with a full programming and operating manual.

http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/

 

Here is the site for the CHIRP program you need to set the frequencies

http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Download

 

73's

Dan - k6lul

Wow... that second site really has a lot of information in it. Thanks for posting.

 

WDR

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I bought a UV5R when they first became available last year. I now have 3, including a 144/220 MHz version that was briefly available. Tri-band coverage for around $100 is hard to beat.

 

After I got my first one, I showed it to my boss, a radio station chief engineer who had resisted becoming a ham for over 30 years. He liked the FM broadcast monitor button on the side since he's on call 24/7 and it was an easy way to hear the radio station if he was called after hours.

 

Then he started exploring the rest of the 2 meter / 440 world and got hooked. A year later he's Extra with a full HF station set up in his house.

 

I tell people the Baofeng is a nice little radio, but it was by far the best $35 I ever spent.

 

N7LOU

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Looks like there are 3 or more different models. Is there a compairson anywhere ?

Gypsy Dan's links (I think the first one) has a bunch of information. We really haven't used ours as much as we should. In fact, I can't find them; they must still be in the RV from when we got back in January. Just checked again today.

 

3-bander would be pretty spiffy.

 

WDR

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https://baofengtech.com/pdf/CompareChart.pdf

 

There are many variations of the UV-5R - most are just minor cosmetic differences like chrome vs. plastic speaker grills, round vs. square A/B buttons, different colored cases, etc. Different models were made to allow vendors to claim some exclusivity- inside they're all the same box. The 144/220 MHz version was specially produced for one vendor and sold for about $10 more than the base UV5R.

 

The BF-F8HP is the high power version (8 watts vs. 4 watts) but is otherwise the same as the UV-5R.

 

The newest model is the UV-82 series and has the only 2 meter/220 MHz version currently available. They're slightly more expensive, have a more ergonomically rounded case and some internal improvements over the UV-5R.

 

3 banders aren't really practical because of the internal RF bandpass filtering and the problem of making a short antenna usable on both 220 and 440 MHz.

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The DW found our two UV-5A transceivers and I turned them on. They were last charged about six months ago and came right on with the "announcement". This morning I plugged the speakermic in when I headed off to work at a client's and tuned it to the local repeater but although the repeater came on a few times no one spoke. I might have to try another repeater tomorrow.

 

I like the way the little unit fits in my hand. And the audio is actually excellent. For $30 you can hardly go wrong.

 

Charged both up in their cradle last night... didn't take long to get the light to turn green (from red).

 

Next week we'll be traveling around a bit and I think I'll take at least one of them and see how it works. My real enjoyment of ham radio has always been cw but before the cell phone days the DW and I used 2m a lot.

 

WDR

K7ExJ

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You really aren't "supposed" to do this, but I programmed memory channels 101-122 with the FRS/GMRS simplex frequencies. Makes it easy to use the UV-5R instead of a FRS radio when I go on off-road trips. Use "narrow" mode or you'll blast out your friends.

Thanks for that... I was just wondering to myself if that would work. :)

 

WDR

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  • 4 weeks later...

I have both uv-5 and uv-82....obviously the uv5 is more compact, but I really like the uv82. The sound quality and battery life are superior. The double PTT is convenient when you are operating both vfo's at the same time.

 

I still miss having 500-1000 memory presets that my Yaesu's offer so everything can be loaded in.

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