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BaoFeng HT Questions

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by OFADAN, Apr 3, 2016.

  1. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    I have a BaoFeng UV-5r+ and really like it. A great inexpensive piece of kit. I'm looking to expand into the other models if I can find one that is more rugged and is physically taller in size. My concern with the 5r series is they're not waterproof at all and the cases are very fragile. And I need radios that will fit into my work vest that holds larger commercial radios. The 5r disappears into my pouch.

    Who here has a UV-82, 82HP, or one of the other models? If so is the case more rugged than the little UV series?
     
  2. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

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    I have a BaoFeng BF-F8HP, which I have bought a larger battery for, the BL-5L which has more capacity (3800mAh versus 1800mAh, I think) and adds approximately 50% more length, making the radio not nearly so dinky and easier on larger hands. It also fits into MOLLE radio pouches that are dimensionally too big without the extended battery. For me it makes the BF-F8HP much more usable, that and a Nagoya NA-771 antenna (a true 1/4 wave 2m/70cm tuned dual band antenna, which the stock antenna is not, that increases tx/rx) as well as a Paofung speaker-mic, and you have a significantly better radio than the stock configuration. Now my radio rides on my edc sling and hunt/scout pack, with the speaker-mic lashed to the strap, and I'm good to go. All these accessories are on Amazon and ebay; although be careful that the Chinese manufacturers can't seem to keep the dimensions consistent across similarly labeled models, so I have had to use a bit of light filing to make one of the 3 extra BL-5L's I've purchased fit the radio. I don't know how to avoid or ensure you don't get a battery with these slight variations, but not a big deal if you don't mind a little custom fitting.
    The BF-F8HP has 3 power levels available, 1,4, and 8 w (rated, actual wattage various a tad). If you use CHIRP programming software, you can set the band edge limits wider than the radio comes programmed with or that you can program manually (136.000mhz to 174.000mhz for 2m and 400.000mhz to 520.000mhz for 70cm; the radio comes from the factory set to 144mhz to 148mhz/2m and 440mhz to 450mhz/70cm) Obviously this is a huge feature that makes these radios great for monitoring non-amateur traffic while having the ability to program duplex CCTC/DCS repeater as well as expanded simplex potential with 8w; I haven't seen any other HT radios come out with all these potential uses for the <$100 all in for this set up. As far as waterproof, that's just not in the cards I think at this price. But, if you do 'scuttle' your radio, it's not too expensive to replace.
    I buy additional radios when budget allows, and set them up the same. They can be programmed with the FRS/GRMS channels, so there is a cross redundancy advantage with the more common HT's, but legally FRS/GRMS cannot be operated at more than 1w; and technically one should have at least a Technician Class FCC license to use these BaoFengs (it bears stating for the record).

    I'd post pictures, but I don't own a digital camera, or a cell phone! I do have a lot of radio power to go around though;)
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2016
    Hook686 likes this.
  3. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have the BF-F8HP also.

    You can get a rubber slip on case for around $5 IIRC - I have one.

    As mentioned, forget the water-proof/etc., unless you are going to put it inside one of those vinyl water-proof bags you can buy for radios/phones/cameras.
     
  4. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    +1 on the extended batteries. I've been running the UV5's since they came out and have very few complaints about them. The extended battery actually makes the footprint of the radio absolutely perfect. I also have a UV82 that's a 2m/220 split, it's ok, I still like the UV5R better.

    I've used mine in pretty much every environment possible, the one thing that does do a good job of killing them is heat, don't leave it in your car in the sun, it will kill it. As far as water immersion goes, it's killed the batteries, but not the radio.

    I would say if the UV5R/BFF8HP/etc were waterproof and also had a wideband FM receiver in them they would be absolutely the perfect HT. As it is, they're my go-to radio and I carry one with me everywhere (but I am an active ham). Personally, I've grown really fond of the little stubby antennas hyperio makes. However on my plate carrier, I used a bigger comet antenna I had that is woven into the molle on the shoulder and attaches with a pigtail wire.
     
  5. OFADAN

    OFADAN Brownsville, OR Well-Known Member

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    So... What I'm reading between the lines is the current UV5 will still work only it will fit better in the pouch with an extended battery (plus benefit from a longer run time to boot). So perhaps a newer radio is not needed.

    Although it sounds like the newer BF-F8HP is indeed 50% taller with the 3800 battery. So this shows some promise. Is the BF a newer radio to the UV-82HP? I don't want to buy tech on the end of its life cycle.

    Copy that on waterproofing and the flex antenna woven into the molle. You guys are a wealth of info thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  6. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have kept my HT in the trunk of my car for over 8 months.

    I mention that because I wanted to see how long a fully charged battery would last like that. I checked it this weekend and it said the battery was at 7.4 volts, which I think is somewhere around 70% charge?

    That's pretty good IMO.
     
  7. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

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    BaoFeng says that new accessories and radios have (some) backwards compatibility, but I would definitely check the reviews of products to see if that is true. The American BaoFeng website http://baofengradio.us/
    has good information, and they are pretty good with customer service. I believe the radios one buys off of Amazon come through them.
    Also check out this website which has a lot of good info and resources: http://www.miklor.com/
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2016
  8. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    My experience with Baofeng radios is that some last and some don't. Having owned MOST of their current line-up, the UV-5R and UV-5X still work well. The UV-5Ra and BF-82 both died. I would not count on these little radios to last a long time nor would I consider them for SHTF situations. BUT, for the money they are hard to beat.

    Don't forget to look at the Wouxun line-up. Same basic interface but they seem to hold up better. Nothing will replace my FT-270 though. Its waterproof, rugged and good sized. It is a 2m only rig though.
     
  9. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    With the price these sell at, you could buy a couple extras for spares even if they don't measure up to the high priced rigs for reliability.

    Keep a zip lock bag with you if you need water-proof. :)

    I have listened to a lot of wideband fm broadcasts with mine. Sounds pretty good too. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding you?
     
    cigars likes this.
  10. AMProducts

    AMProducts Maple Valley, WA Jerk, Ammo Manufacturer Silver Supporter

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    I also have a Yaesu VX7, being able to listen to everything from about .5mhz up to 900mhz is very very valuable, and also makes it an entertainment/news radio also (yaesu will receive AM also). As for waterproofing, I tend not to worry about it unless I'm going for a swim, at which point, yea, all the tech has to go into a waterproof bag. But if you've got that kinda time, may as well put the rest of it in a waterproof bag also.
     
  11. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    SHTF situation:

    You live in a small rural neighborhood of half a dozen to a dozen houses on a private road about half a mile long - but it is within 50 miles of a large metro area (the largest one in the state).

    While most of your neighbors have lived here for years, have generators for when the power goes out and maybe a few weeks of food because it is a pain to go into town more often than that just for groceries, most of them are not preppers - at least not at the level of thinking about having comms gear for SHTF.

    So SHTF happens - Cascadia earthquake. Your neighborhood is on its own. Some of your neighbors have guns, cell phones don't work after the first couple of weeks because power is down. You and maybe one other person have comms gear. You need to have at least some comms in case there is an emergency - someone has a heart attack or appendicitis, or cuts into their foot with a chain saw. Or worse, somebody sees an armed group coming up the public road.

    Are you going to stock up on expensive Japanese handhelds at several hundred each (at least) and then hand them out to the neighbors hoping they don't lose them or break them after you spent thousands to have enough for everybody?

    Or are you going to buy a dozen $30 Chinese made handhelds for the price of one Yaesu HT, hand them out to neighbors, and keep the good Yaesu or iComm gear for yourself?
     
  12. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    Good reply. I DID say for the money they are hard to beat. And frankly, in SHTF situations, all I'm worried about is my family. My neighbors are on their own. As we all really will be.
     
  13. The Heretic

    The Heretic Oregon Well-Known Member

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    To a point - for me, where it would be nice to have the cooperation of my neighbors, and to have some early warning, it would be worth a few hundred dollars to be handing out some comms - at least one to a family - to my neighbors. It wouldn't hurt to hand out a few to my more distant neighbors down the public road too.

    Also, to have one of these in each of my vehicles.

    Eventually, I want to get some good Yaesu digital comms, but a person has to start somewhere.
     
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  14. Kruejl

    Kruejl Hillsboro Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

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    I agree. And Baofengs fill a need.
     
  15. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I couldn't hand out a bunch of stuff to neighbors. So, I talked them into buying FRS radio's. We talk local. About a mile. Then, I get on 2 meter and get info and pass it to the neighbors on FRS. Interest comes and goes. A few have stuck around. Most just get bored. Interest is picking up as we get closer to the Cascadia Rising exercise.
     
  16. Foreverlost

    Foreverlost South of LesbianVille, OR. Active Member

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    FRS radio is a better option for the locals. Easy to use and maintain. Like any SHTF thingy, practice & drills before the main event is a good idea.

    Having reliable comms with the ham radio ops, get a YaeComWood. Yaesu, Icom, or a Kenwood will provide first rate service when everything around you is falling apart.

    "Get your FCC license", and learn how to handle traffic & how to use the radio!

    Foreverlost,
     
  17. PaulB47

    PaulB47 Hillsboro Well-Known Member

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    Of course you should worry only about your own family, but that will be much more doable if the neighbors are on board. Your neighbors' welfare is in your family's interest.

    This was pointed out by Ferfal (Fernando Aguirre) in his book: in Argentina, isolated households were not able to resist home invasions, which ended up with the householders being raped and tortured to death by the gang in order to get their valuables and stashed money.
     
  18. ChiefStealth

    ChiefStealth Graham, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. If neighbors are willing to help each other. Otherwise, we are just competitors for the same resources.
     
  19. tarster

    tarster Albany Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    So as a ham operator for about 2 years I have fallen into some of this stuff for fun and dont spend a whole lot of money in it, I will have to agree that the baofengs are the best bang for your buck, I would highly recommend getting radio for your truck or car, I bought one of these TYT 9800 radios for my car/truck and then a mag mount diamond antenna, I will tell you, I have a buddy with a dual band antenna on his house, about 25 ft above ground level, and with a baofeng and the mag mount antenna I could talk to him from about 1 - 2 miles in best conditions, when I put the tyt in place, I keyed up and talked to him on low power (5w) at 17 miles, and could keep solid comms with him the rest of the way into my house. The baofengs are nice.. but they are not a vehicle radio.. they just dont have the power and you will a considerable distance jump with a real radio in the rig.

    http://www.amazon.com/Diamond-MR77-...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s01

    http://www.amazon.com/TYT-TYT-TH-98...&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00
     
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  20. OutlawHoss

    OutlawHoss Klamath-Siskyou Well-Known Member

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    I have a Yaesu FT-8900R in my truck, and a Diamond CA-8900A antenna. It's a 4 band (10m/6m/2m/70cm) transceiver, and receiver-only on the 108-180 MHz, 300-480 MHz, and 700-985 MHz bands. This radio has a lot of features, and only a few cons. http://yaesu.com/indexVS.cfm?cmd=Di...514EAABAE148B93F5C&DivisionID=65&isArchived=0
    Instead of listing all the pros, one can look at the website and see for themselves. The cons are that being a 4 bander, you lose performance with the multiband antenna. I went through the whole process of making sure the antenna was DC grounded, as well ground-plane installed. It receives incredibly well, and with it's range of reception, its scanning capabilities are quite good. Another con is it is FM only, which for the 10m/6m leaves out a popularly used mode. There are people tx-ing on 10m/6m FM, just not a lot. I do get reception from 50 miles +, and can hit repeaters at the same distance, topography being the major limiting factor over tx power with this radio and my location. I can get Portland area repeaters on the 10m/6m, which is characteristic of those bands in favorable radio-wave propagation conditions (I'm in the Rogue Valley).
    Anyway, it's a great radio, and as it has cross-band repeater function, I can augment my Baofengs and FRS/GRMS radios into a temporary net, or even just manually operate as a hub/relay station.
    I have yet to get my own 'hamshack' going as a decent HF radio is pricey, but while I save money I do a lot of shopping to get the best for my buck when I can purchase gear. Giga-Parts is one of my favorite sites to get radio gear from: great service and competitive prices.