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Old 02-07-2020, 12:46 AM
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That's weird. I see Pikes Peak every single day and have no problem hitting repeaters all along the front range. I live in a terrain depression and get 5x9 reports from several VHF repeaters I have no line-of-sight to.

I even had an emergency net control say something about my Yaesu when I was on a Baofeng HT in my truck.

So if someone couldn't connect with a line-of-sight receiver, I suspect the problem wasn't the radio.
Unless he was standing on top of Pikes Peak within line of site of the various transmission towers on PP and surrounding mountains and his BaoFeng receiver was desensitized. He might have been talking out fine but heard no replies.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:54 AM
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Here is a seller in Oregon who consistently sells bargain used Motorola radios programmed for GMRS.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Motorola-XT...AAAOSwXetcjxL2
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:45 AM
alco141 alco141 is offline
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i have expensive hts and baofengs, the baofengs are serviceable in my rural area, folks that try to use them in cities have more problems due to intermodulation signals from pagers etc. for the cost you should have a couple, i have the 5 watt and the eight watt. mine have held up to drops and falling off tables, the accessories are inexpensive , batteries, chargers, microphones, ear plugs, so pick up a couple and try them in your area.
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Old 02-07-2020, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
I have yet to play with one that hasn't worked.
I've programmed over one hundred of them for my local CERT group and several were bad out of the box, several had loose or missing parts, and a couple could not be programmed. I've also had multiple people come up to me later and said that their BFs died. I'm not saying that all BFs suck. Many seem to work OK at best. I even have a couple for throw away situations, but I would absolutely never trust them. I have never worked with a group of radios that have failed more than BF's. A fireman going into a burning building with a BF just totally freaks me out! Just my 2 cents.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Central Scrutinizer View Post
I actually have two dozen $2,500 Motorola Systems Saber radios. 5 watt UHF, DES-XL encryption.
And you consider these $2500 radios to be in a similar enough product category to the $30 ones that they warrant discussion in this thread?

That's like someone asking about buying a used farm truck for $7000 and you tell them to just go ahead and get the 2020 Ram 3500 Limited for $85,000.

Just because they both have four wheel drive and a short bed doesn't make them the same product.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:17 AM
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And you consider these $2500 radios to be in a similar enough product category to the $30 ones that they warrant discussion in this thread?



That's like someone asking about buying a used farm truck for $7000 and you tell them to just go ahead and get the 2020 Ram 3500 Limited for $85,000.



Just because they both have four wheel drive and a short bed doesn't make them the same product.
Nope, where did I suggest he spend tbousands for new?

Read the OP. Read what I wrote. Apparently reading comprehension is not your strength.

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Old 02-07-2020, 11:41 AM
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Ok, sugar boots. Have a good one.
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Old 02-07-2020, 12:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Dolf View Post
I've programmed over one hundred of them for my local CERT group and several were bad out of the box, several had loose or missing parts, and a couple could not be programmed. I've also had multiple people come up to me later and said that their BFs died. I'm not saying that all BFs suck. Many seem to work OK at best. I even have a couple for throw away situations, but I would absolutely never trust them. I have never worked with a group of radios that have failed more than BF's. A fireman going into a burning building with a BF just totally freaks me out! Just my 2 cents.
Your experience is definitely far broader than mine and I can't argue with that. Agree, too, on the intended use. I'm a hobbyist (outside of ARES volunteer stuff) and am not going into dangerous, hard use situations. If I think I might have to I would bring my reprogrammed Motorola HT since it is obviously a heavier duty, much better built radio.
SHTF could certainly change my needs and I work to improve my equipment but I'm not all the way there yet.
In my mind, the BF's I have at least give me some communication ability that I can use myself and hand out to others. The cost of them together doesn't even add up to one high quality HT, which, of course, I would much rather have.
I give credit to BF's for a couple reasons. They are easily affordable, better than two cans and a string and they get a lot of people started in radio. I'm maybe biased because it's how I started and how I've gotten others interested and learning. We quickly learn their limitations and recognize the need for more capable equipment. But it can be a crucial first step.

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Old 02-07-2020, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by ~Black.Dog~ View Post
Your experience is definitely far broader than mine and I can't argue with that. Agree, too, on the intended use. I'm a hobbyist (outside of ARES volunteer stuff) and am not going into dangerous, hard use situations. If I think I might have to I would bring my reprogrammed Motorola HT since it is obviously a heavier duty, much better built radio.
SHTF could certainly change my needs and I work to improve my equipment but I'm not all the way there yet.
In my mind, the BF's I have at least give me some communication ability that I can use myself and hand out to others. The cost of them together doesn't even add up to one high quality HT, which, of course, I would much rather have.
I give credit to BF's for a couple reasons. They are easily affordable, better than two cans and a string and they get a lot of people started in radio. I'm maybe biased because it's how I started and how I've gotten others interested and learning. We quickly learn their limitations and recognize the need for more capable equipment. But it can be a crucial first step.

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Thank you for the reply. That makes perfect sense to me.
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Dolf View Post
I've programmed over one hundred of them for my local CERT group and several were bad out of the box, several had loose or missing parts, and a couple could not be programmed. I've also had multiple people come up to me later and said that their BFs died. I'm not saying that all BFs suck. Many seem to work OK at best. I even have a couple for throw away situations, but I would absolutely never trust them. I have never worked with a group of radios that have failed more than BF's. A fireman going into a burning building with a BF just totally freaks me out! Just my 2 cents.
No argument...just offering one way of looking at this. Quick math: out of 100, ten were bad out of the box or failed shortly after. That's a 90% functioning rate. Much lower than we'd expect from Yaesu/Kenwood/ICOM or BK...but for the price of one Big Three HT (or about 10% of a single BK), I can buy ten Baofengs and expect nine of them to work.

Outfitting a team of nine with comms is an entirely different capability than having one expensive HT for the same price.

If a family or group can afford ten Big Three radios without it affecting their water/food/hygiene/medical/ammo/etc. supplies, that's obviously the more desirable option...but most are not in that position.

As I said earlier, every radio is a compromise among various criteria and I believe Baofengs serve a purpose (but I also have a Yaesu and plan to buy more).
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Old 02-07-2020, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Just Jeff View Post
No argument...just offering one way of looking at this. Quick math: out of 100, ten were bad out of the box or failed shortly after. That's a 90% functioning rate. Much lower than we'd expect from Yaesu/Kenwood/ICOM or BK...but for the price of one Big Three HT (or about 10% of a single BK), I can buy ten Baofengs and expect nine of them to work.

Outfitting a team of nine with comms is an entirely different capability than having one expensive HT for the same price.

If a family or group can afford ten Big Three radios without it affecting their water/food/hygiene/medical/ammo/etc. supplies, that's obviously the more desirable option...but most are not in that position.

As I said earlier, every radio is a compromise among various criteria and I believe Baofengs serve a purpose (but I also have a Yaesu and plan to buy more).
`

I must be lucky then cause I have about a dozen now & all have worked. Most I just program do a few functions check & then store them away for a rainy day. The 1st one I got about 8 years ago now & I use it (mainly just listening) a lot & have had no problems with that either. While I'm under no illusion that it is as good a radio as others, it still does what I expect it to be able to do & for the price it's hard to beat. No way would I be getting a dozen $2500 radios, but a dozen $25-$35 radios plus a butt load of extra batteries & accessories is no problem.

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Old 02-07-2020, 07:03 PM
boomerweps boomerweps is offline
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Which of the inexpensive Baofeng models would be a good start, with the most power/distance, say with an added whip antenna. I see packages of 4,6,8, & 10 of the cheaper radios. I'd like to get at least four for the family.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:04 PM
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I must be lucky then cause I have about a dozen now & all have worked. Most I just program do a few functions check & then store them away for a rainy day. The 1st one I got about 8 years ago now & I use it (mainly just listening) a lot & have had no problems with that either. While I'm under no illusion that it is as good a radio as others, it still does what I expect it to be able to do & for the price it's hard to beat. No way would I be getting a dozen $2500 radios, but a dozen $25-$35 radios plus a butt load of extra batteries & accessories is no problem.
I was using his rough math. That failure rate would be higher than my experience, too.

But out of 20-ish that I have, one has failed...I think, sort of. One day it just stopped hitting repeaters. It transmits in simplex, and it can hear the repeaters, but it won't activate the repeater. It's like it stopped transmitting the CTCSS code, even though I re-cloned it and confirmed on the radio that it's programmed correctly.

So until I can figure out what's wrong, it's a $25 scanner instead.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:07 PM
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Which of the inexpensive Baofeng models would be a good start, with the most power/distance, say with an added whip antenna. I see packages of 4,6,8, & 10 of the cheaper radios. I'd like to get at least four for the family.
Sounds like you want an 8-watt dual-band version. I like the BF-F8HP (link) with an NA-771 antenna (link).

Check out my EMCOMM Kit page for how I put kits together for each of my vehicles.
http://www.tothewoods.net/Comms-vehi...EMCOMM-kit.php
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:08 PM
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I was using his rough math. That failure rate would be higher than my experience, too.

But out of 20-ish that I have, one has failed...I think, sort of. One day it just stopped hitting repeaters. It transmits in simplex, and it can hear the repeaters, but it won't activate the repeater. It's like it stopped transmitting the CTCSS code, even though I re-cloned it and confirmed on the radio that it's programmed correctly.

So until I can figure out what's wrong, it's a $25 scanner instead.
That's about all use mine for anyway (now anyway), but even so, in a pinch it's spare parts for the other 20 you have. I found a site that sells individual parts for them, but honestly you'd be better off buying a complete radio for the parts, that's how cheap they are. However I am still tempted to get the parts to build 1 complete radio just to learn more about them. That was one of the best things about building my AR's & Glocks, I learned a whole lot more about them.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:17 PM
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If you look around there are going to be a BUNCH of late model VHF radios narrowband/12.5mhz available. These were post narrowband conversion. Current "fad" here in Iowa anyhow is that MUST go 700mhz/800mhz. This means FD are dumping 2012/13 $500 Vertex, ICO, Kenwood portables for nifty new $3500 portables that will cook you breakfast, blow in your ear, and wipe your rear. And solve every possible commo issue. NOT. Moronic.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:24 PM
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That's about all use mine for anyway (now anyway), but even so, in a pinch it's spare parts for the other 20 you have. I found a site that sells individual parts for them, but honestly you'd be better off buying a complete radio for the parts, that's how cheap they are. However I am still tempted to get the parts to build 1 complete radio just to learn more about them. That was one of the best things about building my AR's & Glocks, I learned a whole lot more about them.
Yeah, probably cheaper to buy than repair. But those parts can be used to modify and customize, too. Better to learn on a $ radio than a $$$ one!

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If you look around there are going to be a BUNCH of late model VHF radios narrowband/12.5mhz available. These were post narrowband conversion. Current "fad" here in Iowa anyhow is that MUST go 700mhz/800mhz. This means FD are dumping 2012/13 $500 Vertex, ICO, Kenwood portables for nifty new $3500 portables that will cook you breakfast, blow in your ear, and wipe your rear. And solve every possible commo issue. NOT. Moronic.
A lot of jurisdictions are moving to digital too...so there may be some analog models on the secondary market.
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Old 02-07-2020, 08:28 PM
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Baofengs are the Yugo of the radio industry. They are extremely undependable, so consider yourself lucky if you have one that works. Last year extensive tests were done and not even 10% passed FCC compliance. If you put one on a service monitor, you will see why. People say "you get what you pay for", but in this case they're not even worth $25. Just my 2 cents (which happens to be about what they are worth).
Another problem with these cheap Chinese radios is that they do not produce full wideband (+/- 5.0 KHz) system deviation. If you are using the radios for Ham radio or GMRS, you are losing a big chunk of system performance by buying these radios. If the radio happens to be FCC certified (most are not) check to see if they have 16K0F3E or 20K0F3E on the grant certificate. If they do not, or are not certified at all, steer clear. Radios with narrow band or weak deviation will sound weak on the air, be noisy, and the CTCSS may be unreliable.

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Old 02-07-2020, 08:53 PM
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have both the ever lovin Yaesu FT60 as well as a Baofeng F8HP ...

i have to admit though, my FT gets baby'd...tends to live in my GHB, or at the house, the cheapo Baofeng I thought was going to be a throwaway..so I've treated it like crud..it gets banged around daily, lives on the floorboard of the truck, freezing cold nights, sizzling hot summers in the parking lot at work when the dash says 110+ other than upgrading the antenna, I've shown no mercy or love to the radio...and for the past couple years it's been solid...radio checks in my hood and thru our 2 area repeaters all report strong signal. and i have a mag mount on the car roof that makes all the difference in our area as well.. I can imagine that consistency in chinese production can be an issue for these radios.. I'm counting myself fortunate that i seem to have a decent one...and for it to just be a knockaround HT....yeah..it's fine.
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:13 PM
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I was just thinking about getting some radios. I am glad I came across this thread. While these dont seem to be the highest quality there is something to be said about quantity having a quality all its own.
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