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Which Baofeng Product is Best?

  • UV-3R

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  • UV-5R

    Votes: 4 57.1%
  • BF-F8

    Votes: 2 28.6%
  • UV-B6

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  • UV-5RA

    Votes: 1 14.3%
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Discussion Starter #1
For Fathers-Day I'm getting to pick out my gift. I've decided to make getting my HAM license a priority this year so I'm getting a CHEAP radio to learn on and the AARL manual.

I've been following these two threads here:
http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/prepper-tools/5033-amateur-radio-prepper-communications-plan.html
http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/communications/3993-ham-license-resources.html

So specifically - for the purposes of learning and trial and error, what radio should I get from Baofeng? Yes, I know it is cheap Chinese $#!+ but since it is a learning tool, I have plans of getting something better later. I'll use this around the house for learning, then I'll throw it in the BOB as a remote com-link. But Baofeng has a viariety of radios and the Chin-glesh on their website makes some of this hard to decipher.

Choices are...
UV-3r - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-5r - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
BF-F8 - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-B6 - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-5RA - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com

Obviously these are budget radios and I'm on a budget, but if one is $20 more than the next but SIGNIFICANTLY better, then it'd make sense to step up a level. Please let me know why you recommend the radio that you do.
 
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When you get it figured out, please let me know too. I know I should do the whole HAM thing. But for now, you may as well be talking Chinese when you talk to me about HAM radios. :D
 
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When I was in the middle of my Tech class, i bought the UV-5RE Plus. Cost about $35 and I bought a few accessories from Amazon. Don't buy the programming disc if they don't include it free of charge, you can down load a better version free of charge. The longer life battery supposedly has a fit problem and requires adjusting the fit. The 12V cord is just a cigarette adapter for the battery charger and does not plug into the radio. I do recommend buying the longer (about 15 inch) antenna for it. Big difference. Here's a good site for testing yourself on the material in the book. Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM
Have fun.
 

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The BF-F8 would be my best choice.
It is the improved version of the UV5R, accepts all of the 5R accessories, and is supposed to have a wider freq range.
The 5R has the most accessories available for it, and the F8 will work with them with no modifications.
I own the 5R, and when I pull the trigger on getting another, it will be the F8.
 

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I have a UV5-RU, sold through ETEKCITY here in the U.S.. It's sold under license and has a one year warranty with a place to send it to if needed. I also bought a longer antenna first thing. It works even better hooked up to a mobil antenna.

Range is more limited than I would like, the 4W max is a drag, but it is what it is. Sometimes I can hit repeaters that are 15 miles away, other times I struggle with 8 miles, lol. I can say this though, I have received hooked up to the mobil antenna from a repeater almost 40 miles away while on a hill.

It's a great way to breaki in. I constantly hear from the grizzled Vet's of HAM that when you start out cheap is your friend. When you get to General you then find your niche and what trips your HAM trigger. Then the fun begins.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Radio Days Are Back: Ham Radio Licenses at an All-Time High | Fox News

Radio Days Are Back: Ham Radio Licenses at an All-Time High
Fresno, Calif. - iPhone, beware?

The newest trend in American communication isn't another smartphone from Apple or Google but one of the elder statesmen of communication: Ham radio licenses are at an all time high, with over 700,000 licenses in the United States, according to the Federal Communications Commission.
 
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As a person who has decided to prepare for an event they may be a true catastrophe, I feel a person needs communications that might survive the event. We also need a way to get more than propaganda from a government that spends billions and billions to build and maintain a survival system for the chosen few in DC (known as Continuation of Government) but refuses to give the average Joe the info he needs to survive and even goes so far as to say that a person who prepare is something to fear, and report as a menace to the nation and society.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
People post SHTF will be more apt to suckle at a government teat. It will be welcome nourishment and they will vote to sustain it.
 

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I've only tried the UV-5R+.. mine is currently missing.....
Still hoping I find it.

I looked into the BFF8+ but I havn't noticed it being different or with a wider frequency

Will have to check into the internal IC it uses. Note the baofang can be reprogrammed to operate on a much wider frequency band, but not all at the same time.
 

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Are any of these radios that are being discussed able to scan the 80 meter band? That is really the only one I care about. I also have NOAA and AM/FM receivers but the 80 meter band is where you will likely get real information that isn't slanted toward government goals.
 

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For Fathers-Day I'm getting to pick out my gift. I've decided to make getting my HAM license a priority this year so I'm getting a CHEAP radio to learn on and the AARL manual.

I've been following these two threads here:
http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/prepper-tools/5033-amateur-radio-prepper-communications-plan.html
http://www.prepperforums.net/forum/communications/3993-ham-license-resources.html

So specifically - for the purposes of learning and trial and error, what radio should I get from Baofeng? Yes, I know it is cheap Chinese $#!+ but since it is a learning tool, I have plans of getting something better later. I'll use this around the house for learning, then I'll throw it in the BOB as a remote com-link. But Baofeng has a viariety of radios and the Chin-glesh on their website makes some of this hard to decipher.

Choices are...
UV-3r - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-5r - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
BF-F8 - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-B6 - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com
UV-5RA - Product_BAOFENG official website_baofengradio.com

Obviously these are budget radios and I'm on a budget, but if one is $20 more than the next but SIGNIFICANTLY better, then it'd make sense to step up a level. Please let me know why you recommend the radio that you do.
I have the UV-5R and it works like a champ and i cant speak to the others. About 16 miles with the antenna it comes with (flat around here, most buildings 1-3 stories) but i would recommend picking up an after market one or making one yourself.
 

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Are any of these radios that are being discussed able to scan the 80 meter band? That is really the only one I care about. I also have NOAA and AM/FM receivers but the 80 meter band is where you will likely get real information that isn't slanted toward government goals.
No, they don't hit that band. I'm no HAM, but if I recall correctly, they hit the 2m and 70cm bands. (does that sound right?)
 

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Just a heads up baofang (pronounced pofung) is now rebranded as Pofung internationally (because people were calling it ba o- fang.

They have a "new" Handheld Tranciever called the GT-3 (mark II is the newest I think in 2014). I think it is selling for a little bit more than the other HTs which are all pretty much the same on the UVVUVUVU versions, but still less than anyone else. This one however is a little bit hardier by the looks of it MK II also has extended range due to a slightly better antenna.

Note that I am considering a GT-3 once I have money again, currently behind budget due to some funding not coming in as hoped, so I have no funds until after the end of the summer unless the fire season takes off.. currently 60% annual norm for this time of year.

Note the kit I'm considering right now also need to hold off on this is the uv950p by wouxun.. it is a quad band --- seems more suited to the european market.

GT-3 MK II
GT-3 Dual-Band 136-174 4 00-520MHz Ham Two-way Radio Intercom Extra Battery items in Nicheone store on eBay!

Wouxun. WOUXUN Mobile Transceiver Duplex Cross-Band Repeat Dual Receive Dual-Track Dual-Speaker Twin Band Dual Display Two Way Radio KG-UV950P

If I had the money for it in surplus right now I'd probably get the 950P, and seriously consider the GT3 Note the 950p can be master slave assigned (using two instead of one) and act as a repeater (for handhelds to extend their range)... it is s 50watt unit really sweet for the priceline imo.

But it runs about $415 US... which is a pretty hammy price... but it is pretty good none the less.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Damn! Ordered the BF last night.
 

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no biggie, it is pretty much the same radio, probably got it for less.

It is still BF, the models are all pretty much the same inside, you are still getting a very versatile little radio. The FM radio option is selected by using the call button, and the light has both solid and strobe modes. Not super bright LED but good enough to see with.

You can program it with the programming cable (I have the USB version), and there are some unlock softwares to change the frequency modes from the factory defaults depending on your model.

This is perhaps suited to another thread as it isn't pofung but rather wouxun. But I contacted them about the 950p. It seems that I may get hit on shipping but I may have sourced the product at the MRSP which is a little lower than I've seen through the net. Very seriously considering getting this. Only issue at this point is shipping which is close to a third the price)
 

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I wanted to add the GT-3 does feel like a bit different in the hand, the case is a little hardier and overall it weighs a bit more.

The attenna the type two ships with seems to be more likely to break at its taper point than the older thicker antenna which would more likely break at the connection point (greater chance of antenna breakage on the mk II but less chance of the unit itself being damaged as a result of antenna pressure The newer antenna also is more of car style antenna but way more flexible so you'd have to be really hard on bendng it for it to break like greater than 45 degrees bending. The old antenna does bend more than 5 degrees.

Sound quality does sound a little better. Overall I like the GT-3 MKII not sure how hackable/modable the new model is compared to older UV-5R+'s.

I'm still hopeful I'll find my old baofang and my extra large capacity battery.. (if so I'll have the old one as a spare and three batteries...

The GT-3 Also ships with CB style mic and ear but. Everything comes out for less than 70$ with the charger stand and otherwise.. no programming cable ships with it though.. I still have my programming cable though from the UV-5R I got.

I'll try to put a video up in a few weeks if my replacement for the dead laptop shows up ok.

They are selling on sale at amazon now with free shipping

http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-GT-3-Transceiver-Dual-Band-Two-Way/dp/B00GCZVXPI
 

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Discussion Starter #18
So far I'm plenty impressed with the BFF8.

I've been playing with it (scanning mostly) and it is still running on the charge that it had when it came out of the box. Battery is going on one week of scanning about 2 to 3 hours a day. I did key the mic on an empty channel just to see that it would key - but spoke no words. Mainly just checking to see if I needed to ship it back for any defects.
Working on studying for the HAM Tech license now.
 

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So far I'm plenty impressed with the BFF8.

I've been playing with it (scanning mostly) and it is still running on the charge that it had when it came out of the box. Battery is going on one week of scanning about 2 to 3 hours a day. I did key the mic on an empty channel just to see that it would key - but spoke no words. Mainly just checking to see if I needed to ship it back for any defects.
Working on studying for the HAM Tech license now.
You can set the radio to hit the FRS frequencies and transmit a bit. You might hear families chatting, or some business calling an employee.
I doubt anyone would care, since those frequencies are free to use by the public, but the radio isn't necessarily licensed to transmit on them. If it isn't (the UV-5R is not), then transmitting is technically a violation of FCC rules. Nobody could possibly know though.
 

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Are any of these radios that are being discussed able to scan the 80 meter band? That is really the only one I care about. I also have NOAA and AM/FM receivers but the 80 meter band is where you will likely get real information that isn't slanted toward government goals.
baofang products - now known as Pofang are primarily UHF/VHF/commercial FM band radios TX between 134 and 520 MHz

80 meter band is very low band.

The practicality of making an 80m band HT is problematic as HF radios are commonly mobile or more often base stations, not exclusive but usual.

These guys are used with repeaters for DX/ A reapter could however switch the signal over to 80M via remote dial in.
 
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