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Old 08-18-2019, 12:14 AM
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Default Baofeng tech bf-f8hp ham radio



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Question for the knowledgeable Comm's Pro's.

Is this little hand-held ham radio as good as it appears?

(Pondering purchasing three (3))

https://www.survivalfrog.com/product...y_Baofeng_Tech
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:12 AM
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They seem to have a following. If you put your faith into cheap Chinese made comms then it may be a viable purchase. I am of the thought that you should purchase the best possible communications equipment you can afford and not only learn how to use it but to use it. The Baofeng line seems to be ok when you are in a park for family communications but beyond that they are spotty. I have had some real world experience with them with newer HAM's that purchase them. Their antennas are not up to snuf and the output wattage is spotty at best. If you pick up a Yaesu HT and hold it next to a Baofeng you will immediately notice the difference and quality of workmanship behind them. Baofeng has a following behind them that generally is people who buy them for the "Just in case event" Not always but generally I think that is accurate. They buy them thinking I need to have communications for some catastrophic event. They think because they have the radio they can somehow magically have communications without having knowledge of programming them, antenna placement and general use. You cannot just turn on one of these radios and expect to talk all over the place. Over time and experience you will learn the limitations and capabilities of your radio and others. Get in line with experienced HAM's who will gladly guide you through the process. Most are pretty darn friendly and they already have disaster networks set up and regularly have net drills setup. I would rather have a purchase of something that I can use now and use it a lot and should things go bad will still continue to function without fail than something that is spotty at best under good conditions.
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Old 08-18-2019, 01:32 AM
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You can get them on Amazon cheaper w/ free shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-F8...-1-spons&psc=1


I haven't used that one in your link, but I've had a UV-5R for years now & it works well for what I use it for. I also added this pair the other week for $57, they've gone up $3 since then. You can also get them with the smaller batteries for $7 bucks less.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-18-2019, 03:06 AM
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I'm not the Comm's guy in our BOL family group. My son is licensed & set up a powerful ham set at our off-grid BOL. Right now he is operating our off-grid placer gold mine, where there is no cell or other contact. Otherwise, I would be asking him.

I just thought 3 of these would be a good addition for comm's locally within a few mile radius of our BOL main ham station.

I'm not adverse to spending far more money, for much better quality.

Trouble is, I don't know what that is in a coat pocket sized ham radio.

I appreciate suggestions.
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Old 08-18-2019, 05:38 AM
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We should really make BaoFeng a sticky for this group as this topic keeps surfacing.

BaoFeng has been around for years now. I've had several and they work great at a very affordable price. Find attached the most popular BaoFeng model. It is comparable to the one you listed, however it is 5 watts instead of 8 watts output. You will not be able to tell the difference in real world use.

https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R...tronics&sr=1-2

I have a total of 6 BaoFengs, as well as Kenwood, Icom, Motorola, and Yaesu HT's. For $29.97 delivered, that is a lot of radio for the dollar. I've had my original UV5R for 6 years and it still works like a charm. Every Ham radio operator I know has at least one BaoFeng radio, most have multiple.

Now, stand by for incoming flak about "I'd never stake my life on a Chinese radio", and "cheap Chinese junk", etc., etc., ad nauseam.
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Old 08-18-2019, 06:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LC '92 View Post
We should really make BaoFeng a sticky for this group as this topic keeps surfacing.

BaoFeng has been around for years now. I've had several and they work great at a very affordable price. Find attached the most popular BaoFeng model. It is comparable to the one you listed, however it is 5 watts instead of 8 watts output. You will not be able to tell the difference in real world use.

https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R...tronics&sr=1-2

I have a total of 6 BaoFengs, as well as Kenwood, Icom, Motorola, and Yaesu HT's. For $29.97 delivered, that is a lot of radio for the dollar. I've had my original UV5R for 6 years and it still works like a charm. Every Ham radio operator I know has at least one BaoFeng radio, most have multiple.

Now, stand by for incoming flak about "I'd never stake my life on a Chinese radio", and "cheap Chinese junk", etc., etc., ad nauseam.
Baofeng UV-5's are available in 8watt versions. The pair I linked to in my above post are the "Tri-Power" version that can transmit with 1/5/8 watts.

Here's a few other of the "Tri-Power" UV-5's

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0716ZCX5W...v_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B071XGQHH5...v_ov_lig_dp_it

They also make a "Tri-Band" version, but they're only 5watts max.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07MWCT2J1...v_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07VD7P3X5...v_ov_lig_dp_it

They also still have the regular 1/5 watt dual bands & a lot of other versions too.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT3LJ77...v_ov_lig_dp_it

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00YMN0SCG...v_ov_lig_dp_it
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Old 08-18-2019, 07:02 AM
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Chuckleberry, thanks for the info. It looks like the https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT3LJ77...v_ov_lig_dp_it would be the radio of choice now. It's the one I will recommend from the BeoFeng lineup from now on.

Many thanks pal and 73.
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Old 08-18-2019, 09:23 AM
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Originally Posted by LC '92 View Post
Chuckleberry, thanks for the info. It looks like the https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FT3LJ77...v_ov_lig_dp_it would be the radio of choice now. It's the one I will recommend from the BeoFeng lineup from now on.

Many thanks pal and 73.
I've been getting a bunch of the Tri-Power, they're only a couple bucks more so I figured I might as well get them while I can. These are my goto choice, but I've been ordering them with the bigger batteries. https://www.amazon.com/dp/B074Z4ZLQL...ing=UTF8&psc=1

I also got a Tri-Band, not sure if I'll get any more of those. I still have to programs the ones I just ordered, but as that is something I can do indoors & it's not high on my priority list, I'll concentrate on getting outdoor stuff done before the snow starts flying.
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Old 08-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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Bunkerbustr,

I have two of these https://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/ht/5270.html they have really worked well for me. I bought longer antennas for them vs. the standard rubber duck they came with. The standard antenna is adequate but I notice a marked difference with the longer better range antennas. If you do not have a external microphone you have to talk close to the radio because of the water proof barrier. Mine is opened up so I can talk on the bands the cars use in the desert races but that's not really a big deal. Some things you may want to think about is are you guys using a repeater for your radios? Simplex (Radio to radio) is good but if you are in an area with a lot of obstructions like hills, mountains you won't be able to talk very far. If you don't have a repeater you can set one up on the high ground of your own. I use Repeaterbook.com to help me find all of the useful repeaters in my area. If I'm going on a long multi-state trip, I use it to pre-program the radios for my intended route so I will be able to have communication in case of a breakdown and I'm out of cell range or just to talk to folks from a different part of the country.

Another quick idea to mention to your son about Echo-Link which is an app you can download on your phone and register your call sign. With that you can access HAM repeaters all over the world and talk with them. It will turn your phone into a HAM radio and is not internet or grid dependent. Hope some of this helps you and the others have chimed in with a lot of useful information regarding HT's
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Old 08-18-2019, 12:35 PM
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i'd go with the uv 82

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z52HP10...ing=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:29 AM
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I bought a bf f8-hp 3 or 4 years ago on-line for about $35. I also bought a uv5r at the same time for less than $30. I think they have recently gone up in price , thanks to El presidente’s tariff policy and trade war with China.

I became interested in them because of the incredibly low cost. I like my Yaesu ft-60r much better than either Baofeng, but the BFs are practically disposable HT’s.

They are super radios for the money. Most of the folks in our Ham club have at least one of them, most of us have one or two stashed for emergency purposes. They are extremely easy to program using CHIRP software (free download— Windows or Linux)

It is a PITA to program manually.

I got the big battery for my bf f8hp. It lasts a relatively long time even transmitting at full power (7 Watts)

If you decide to buy one (or a dozen) I think you will be pleased with it
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:44 AM
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Wish I saw this a month ago.
I paid considerably more.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckleberry View Post
You can get them on Amazon cheaper w/ free shipping.

https://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-BF-F8...-1-spons&psc=1


I haven't used that one in your link, but I've had a UV-5R for years now & it works well for what I use it for. I also added this pair the other week for $57, they've gone up $3 since then. You can also get them with the smaller batteries for $7 bucks less.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-19-2019, 11:49 AM
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Had another thought:

You can easily replace the cheesy factory antenna with any number of dual band (2 m and 70 cm) for a reasonable amount of money. They may also be used with other HT’s with SMA adapter.

You can also get a roof mounted magnetic base antenna to reach out further than with the original antenna. You will need a SO-239 to SMA adapter (male or female - check) to connect with that type of antenna. These little rigs are quite versatile.

I am considering buying a small VHF and/or UHF amplifier for mine. I could use it with my other 2m & 70cm gear as well.
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Old 08-19-2019, 02:33 PM
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I decided on the 5 watt model hand held. Increasing power by 60% to 8 watts does not increase range by 60%, not sure how much. It does use up battery much faster. Also i am concerned about radiation right next to your head, would like to minimize. I thought the standard maximum from ansi was 7 watts and many were saying that was too high. That was years ago.
The price increases substantially to get that extra power. I got a uv82 from ebay recently for under $20 but that was with a $5 coupon but also was with the bigger i think 2800 mAh battery. An extra battery is like half the cost of a radio. The radio does not just sit in charger, it has slots on side that slide lnto fins in charger.
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Old 08-19-2019, 10:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jose View Post
I bought a bf f8-hp 3 or 4 years ago on-line for about $35. I also bought a uv5r at the same time for less than $30. I think they have recently gone up in price , thanks to El presidente’s tariff policy and trade war with China.

I became interested in them because of the incredibly low cost. I like my Yaesu ft-60r much better than either Baofeng, but the BFs are practically disposable HT’s.

They are super radios for the money. Most of the folks in our Ham club have at least one of them, most of us have one or two stashed for emergency purposes. They are extremely easy to program using CHIRP software (free download— Windows or Linux)

It is a PITA to program manually.

I got the big battery for my bf f8hp. It lasts a relatively long time even transmitting at full power (7 Watts)

If you decide to buy one (or a dozen) I think you will be pleased with it


The regular UV-5R's can still be found routinely for under $30. Even a Tri-Power model can be found for about $30, you can buy a pair of them for $50 with some extra goodies thrown in.
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Old 08-20-2019, 09:31 AM
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What it boils down to:

Do they work? Yes.

Are they dependable? Usually.

They aren't as rugged and well built as a more expesive model, but they are what they are. A cheap, entry grade radio that will let a guy get his feet wet while learning the ins and outs of ham radio, without breaking the bank and angering SWMBO.

I have bought some, one was a brick, but hey, for the price it wasn't bad. When I could afford better radios, I have purchased them, but the Baofeng still works two years later (used mostly to listen to the local SO and vol FD freqs).

I am going to buy a better HT one day (prob Yaesu, I've learned to love that brand!), but the Baofeng will still be turned on and working.
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Old 08-20-2019, 11:58 AM
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you can get a baofeng for the price of a battery pack for a Japanese radio. if you tend to break or lose things, that is a major consideration. if you are like Bernie, who had 12 year old ray bans without a scratch, buy Japanese. If you are like me, buying 4 cheap sunglasses at the swap meet every month, buy baofeng

rumors are: difficult to program. two volume settings: off, and "turn that thing down"
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:14 PM
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I bought two as short range backups. Keep the batteries charged and better antennas and they work around the property.
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Old 08-24-2019, 06:37 PM
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I have a UV-5R. It works okay but it is a real PITA to enter frequencies, repeater offset + or -, power levels; the usual without a computer, CHIRP and a programming cable to do it.

They would be good for a guy to pass around pre-programmed and locked into FRS or GMRS channels for the kids or friends to play with.

For the price they are worth getting and learning the nuts and bolts of two-way radio, but they are definitely NOT something that you should stash and plan on learning later during a crisis situation. For $30 they are disposable.

P.S.

NEVER post your ham call sign online ANYWHERE. Wanna get doxxed? Post your call sign.
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Old 08-24-2019, 07:20 PM
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I have a TYT 10 watt and a Baofeng 8 watt, both with the longer antennas. You really want the longer antenna for either. The TYT 8000 is my first choice, but the Baofeng is a good backup. Either hits the repeater which is 30 miles away on a mountain top. You definitely want the software for programming either.
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