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HAM Radio Starter Kit - Information for Beginners

Tech Class Coming to The Dalles!
Please see the attached flyer for an amateur radio technician's class being presented by the Gorge East Amateur Radio (GEAR) club. They will also be offering exams for license upgrades on November 9, 2019 at 10am. For info, please contact Brent at K7BLD@ARRL.NET.

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I was looking at the BF-F8HP - it says it's the 3rd gen of the UV-5R. A bit more expensive, but not by much. Maybe a few extra features as well. I'm keeping an eye on who the sellers are on Amazon, to be sure that I buy only from Baofeng or BTECH - I understand those are the only 2 authorized sellers on Amazon.
It's a great radio. I have several of them. It has all of the features of the UV5r but with lots of improvements, not to mention 8 watts. The other nice thing about it is that all of the accessories with the previous radios are backwards compatible.
 
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Just started in with HAM, and licensed. Membership with a local club. Location is Brookings Harbor for the Club. My equipment is a Car Kenwood, hooked to a small battery like a motorcycle or garden type and it is on a trickle charger. Not sure what it is called, but the club Elmer installed an antenna that is about 10 ft tall with a single vertical rod sticking out of the top. I'm at about 800 ft elevation on the coast, and northward pretty well blocked. There is a Tuesday night Emergency Radio Check in and I check in for role at Harbor, Oregon,Gasquet, Calif that opens an east link to Cave Junction, Grants Pass, Ashland, and Wolf Creek part of I-5 corridor. Eureka, Calif north through Crescent City Oregon who also does a role call a little later, as does Harbor, Oregon. A few use Echo Link and even one couple checked in from Alaska where they were on vacation. I'm afraid other than passing my test for the first license, a lot to learn yet, and very slow learner This was a most interesting forum! KF7UII
 
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It's a great radio. I have several of them. It has all of the features of the UV5r but with lots of improvements, not to mention 8 watts. The other nice thing about it is that all of the accessories with the previous radios are backwards compatible.
Just bought a pair of them and are being programed. Only down side is when you transmit on the high end, it drains your battery quicker. The one seller for many of us was it has the best speaker of any of the BFs! I'm told that they might cut off the sales of Chinese radios soon, so order them now if you plan on getting one. I'm told the same radio of even close is three times as much for the same features. There are a couple of these radios that are knock offs Same radios different names.
 

ATCclears

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Here is a link to some channels that may be imported into the CHIRP software and then uploaded to one's radio. The link is a simple .CSV file that was created using the Export feature in CHIRP.
Baofeng BF-F9 V2+ channels.csv

Ramblings in no particular order:
  • Get the latest version of CHIRP from here: Home - CHIRP
  • WARNING. If you have existing, programmed memory locations on your radio then uploading this list will overwrite all programmed memory locations on your radio. You might want to merge the two lists.
  • FRS simplex are memory locations 1-7. It is illegal for you to transmit on FRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • GMRS simplex are memory locations 8-22. It is illegal for you to transmit on GMRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • Memory locations 25-26 are two GMRS repeaters in the Seattle area. You might delete those entries before uploading, or reprogram as desired. myGMRS.com - GMRS Repeater Directory
  • Memory locations 31-35 are MURS frequencies.
  • Memory locations 40-55 are NOAA weather. There are really only 7 NOAA items but I named them to align with the NOAA stuff.
  • Memory location 61 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 2M.
  • Memory location 62 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 70cm.
  • Memory locations 63+ are a variety of repeaters. You should remove or reprogram for your geographic location and needs. Repeaterbook.com - Repeater Database
 
Here is a link to some channels that may be imported into the CHIRP software and then uploaded to one's radio. The link is a simple .CSV file that was created using the Export feature in CHIRP.
Baofeng BF-F9 V2+ channels.csv

Ramblings in no particular order:
  • Get the latest version of CHIRP from here: Home - CHIRP
  • WARNING. If you have existing, programmed memory locations on your radio then uploading this list will overwrite all programmed memory locations on your radio. You might want to merge the two lists.
  • FRS simplex are memory locations 1-7. It is illegal for you to transmit on FRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • GMRS simplex are memory locations 8-22. It is illegal for you to transmit on GMRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • Memory locations 25-26 are two GMRS repeaters in the Seattle area. You might delete those entries before uploading, or reprogram as desired. myGMRS.com - GMRS Repeater Directory
  • Memory locations 31-35 are MURS frequencies.
  • Memory locations 40-55 are NOAA weather. There are really only 7 NOAA items but I named them to align with the NOAA stuff.
  • Memory location 61 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 2M.
  • Memory location 62 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 70cm.
  • Memory locations 63+ are a variety of repeaters. You should remove or reprogram for your geographic location and needs. Repeaterbook.com - Repeater Database
Regarding transmitting on FRS, GMRS, MURS with the dual band HT's, it is illegal. Although capable, (even at the lower power settings) these radios are not FCC certified to transmit on those frequencies. They are only certified to transmit on 2M/70cm. As you stated though, you can "monitor" all day long.
 

etrain16

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Here is a link to some channels that may be imported into the CHIRP software and then uploaded to one's radio. The link is a simple .CSV file that was created using the Export feature in CHIRP.
Baofeng BF-F9 V2+ channels.csv

Ramblings in no particular order:
  • Get the latest version of CHIRP from here: Home - CHIRP
  • WARNING. If you have existing, programmed memory locations on your radio then uploading this list will overwrite all programmed memory locations on your radio. You might want to merge the two lists.
  • FRS simplex are memory locations 1-7. It is illegal for you to transmit on FRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • GMRS simplex are memory locations 8-22. It is illegal for you to transmit on GMRS using the higher power, but you can still receive.
  • Memory locations 25-26 are two GMRS repeaters in the Seattle area. You might delete those entries before uploading, or reprogram as desired. myGMRS.com - GMRS Repeater Directory
  • Memory locations 31-35 are MURS frequencies.
  • Memory locations 40-55 are NOAA weather. There are really only 7 NOAA items but I named them to align with the NOAA stuff.
  • Memory location 61 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 2M.
  • Memory location 62 is the simplex 'hailing' frequency for 70cm.
  • Memory locations 63+ are a variety of repeaters. You should remove or reprogram for your geographic location and needs. Repeaterbook.com - Repeater Database
Good to have on hand, thanks!
 

etrain16

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It's a great radio. I have several of them. It has all of the features of the UV5r but with lots of improvements, not to mention 8 watts. The other nice thing about it is that all of the accessories with the previous radios are backwards compatible.
I'm definitely considering making that my first starter radio. Price is decent and performance and support seem to be quite good. Not a bad way to start learning things as a novice.
 

etrain16

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Regarding transmitting on FRS, GMRS, MURS with the dual band HT's, it is illegal. Although capable, (even at the lower power settings) these radios are not FCC certified to transmit on those frequencies. They are only certified to transmit on 2M/70cm. As you stated though, you can "monitor" all day long.
Though, in a true emergency situation, it's nice to know the option is there.
 

etrain16

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Started studying for both my general and extra licenses. Planning on taking both on 10/6. I may not need that level for a while, but i figure it's best to get through them while everything is fresh in mind. Using HamTestOnline for studying for both exams, and I'm really liking it over just reading a study guide. More interactive. Easier for my style of learning.
 
OK, you all may already know this, and I'm not pandering so I apologise if you know it already: I didn't. 1 ordered 3 off ebay and a few days later googled BF-F8HP manual to read up and I got one of the links below. I was shocked. Who counterfeits the cheapest radio in the world? But as crazy as it sounds, the BF-F8HP has all kinds of counterfeiters. If you find a "bargain", it's most likely an imitation 5RA that they rebranded to look like and F8HP. For example, you find a F8HP on ebay for a great price of $30. So you buy several. 1 for your car, one for the house and one for the faraday cage. Smart move? Nope. Turns out that the rebranded 5RA isn't BAOFENG (now its Paofeng as they changed their name due to the counterfeiting). The fakes only last 3-5 months it's said. So the fake BF-F8HP isn't even a fake 5RA worth $20. You *cough**me**cough** got ripped off. If you bought them from Aliexpress: buh by money. Ebay, good chance you'll be make whole. I sent an email to the company through ebay asking for a refund claiming that the 3 I recieved were fake. I included photos. The seller said they were real Baofengs but not the 8watt model and would I accept $20 off as suitable? "Nope, they are fake, I want my money back, give me a full refund and tell me where to send this crap".

"OK, they said, take a hammer and beat the crap out of them and send photo to us of destroyed fakes and we will give you your money back."

"Nope, I will NOT do that. I will send them back to you and you will give me a full refund. I will NOT play your stupid game and try and destroy them, I will send them to you and you can do it if you wish."

"No, cost to much to ship back here (because Chinese and Americans pay to ship to china from the US, but the US postal service gives the Chinese free freight over to us. ) I waited 2 days, told ebay about these lying F**(*!Ks and they gave me a full refund within 5 min. So now I have 3 free fake Baofengs. Here's more info.

How to identify FAKE Baofeng Products and Accessories (2) BF F8HP

BF-F8HP: The counterfeit problem on eBay, Alibaba, Wish, and other webstores.

Now you know. You can get free ones like I did accidentally or just avoid being ripped off. You have to buy the BF-F8HP from Baofengtech (BTECH).
 
OK, you all may already know this, and I'm not pandering so I apologise if you know it already: I didn't. 1 ordered 3 off ebay and a few days later googled BF-F8HP manual to read up and I got one of the links below. I was shocked. Who counterfeits the cheapest radio in the world? But as crazy as it sounds, the BF-F8HP has all kinds of counterfeiters. If you find a "bargain", it's most likely an imitation 5RA that they rebranded to look like and F8HP. For example, you find a F8HP on ebay for a great price of $30. So you buy several. 1 for your car, one for the house and one for the faraday cage. Smart move? Nope. Turns out that the rebranded 5RA isn't BAOFENG (now its Paofeng as they changed their name due to the counterfeiting). The fakes only last 3-5 months it's said. So the fake BF-F8HP isn't even a fake 5RA worth $20. You *cough**me**cough** got ripped off. If you bought them from Aliexpress: buh by money. Ebay, good chance you'll be make whole. I sent an email to the company through ebay asking for a refund claiming that the 3 I recieved were fake. I included photos. The seller said they were real Baofengs but not the 8watt model and would I accept $20 off as suitable? "Nope, they are fake, I want my money back, give me a full refund and tell me where to send this crap".

"OK, they said, take a hammer and beat the crap out of them and send photo to us of destroyed fakes and we will give you your money back."

"Nope, I will NOT do that. I will send them back to you and you will give me a full refund. I will NOT play your stupid game and try and destroy them, I will send them to you and you can do it if you wish."

"No, cost to much to ship back here (because Chinese and Americans pay to ship to china from the US, but the US postal service gives the Chinese free freight over to us. ) I waited 2 days, told ebay about these lying F**(*!Ks and they gave me a full refund within 5 min. So now I have 3 free fake Baofengs. Here's more info.

How to identify FAKE Baofeng Products and Accessories (2) BF F8HP

BF-F8HP: The counterfeit problem on eBay, Alibaba, Wish, and other webstores.

Now you know. You can get free ones like I did accidentally or just avoid being ripped off. You have to buy the BF-F8HP from Baofengtech (BTECH).
Unfortunately what you described is the downside of the lower end radios. Everybody wants to cash in on Btech's reputation. Buying from Btech is the way to do it, they sell via Amazon as well as direct. I have had a couple of problems in the past with a couple of radios I got from them but their customer service is pretty awesome. In that regard, I don't think they differ much from the big manufacturers.
 
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OK, you all may already know this, and I'm not pandering so I apologise if you know it already: I didn't. 1 ordered 3 off ebay and a few days later googled BF-F8HP manual to read up and I got one of the links below. I was shocked. Who counterfeits the cheapest radio in the world? But as crazy as it sounds, the BF-F8HP has all kinds of counterfeiters. If you find a "bargain", it's most likely an imitation 5RA that they rebranded to look like and F8HP. For example, you find a F8HP on ebay for a great price of $30. So you buy several. 1 for your car, one for the house and one for the faraday cage. Smart move? Nope. Turns out that the rebranded 5RA isn't BAOFENG (now its Paofeng as they changed their name due to the counterfeiting). The fakes only last 3-5 months it's said. So the fake BF-F8HP isn't even a fake 5RA worth $20. You *cough**me**cough** got ripped off. If you bought them from Aliexpress: buh by money. Ebay, good chance you'll be make whole. I sent an email to the company through ebay asking for a refund claiming that the 3 I recieved were fake. I included photos. The seller said they were real Baofengs but not the 8watt model and would I accept $20 off as suitable? "Nope, they are fake, I want my money back, give me a full refund and tell me where to send this crap".

"OK, they said, take a hammer and beat the crap out of them and send photo to us of destroyed fakes and we will give you your money back."

"Nope, I will NOT do that. I will send them back to you and you will give me a full refund. I will NOT play your stupid game and try and destroy them, I will send them to you and you can do it if you wish."

"No, cost to much to ship back here (because Chinese and Americans pay to ship to china from the US, but the US postal service gives the Chinese free freight over to us. ) I waited 2 days, told ebay about these lying F**(*!Ks and they gave me a full refund within 5 min. So now I have 3 free fake Baofengs. Here's more info.

How to identify FAKE Baofeng Products and Accessories (2) BF F8HP

BF-F8HP: The counterfeit problem on eBay, Alibaba, Wish, and other webstores.

Now you know. You can get free ones like I did accidentally or just avoid being ripped off. You have to buy the BF-F8HP from Baofengtech (BTECH).
Baofegtech is making knock offs also and using another name. I can't recall it because not all of the currant updates are not on them or what the reason was. It was pointed out by our Radio Club president as being a different name but made by BF. I always buy from Amazon and through the Tech side of it. They are the only ones who can do any warranty repair or exchanges without going clear to china. They are fast and replace anything that hasn't worked and answered any and all questions. I'm told that it's possible with the trade unrest, it is best to get any Chinese radio now before there are any restrictions or even a cut off of sales. I noticed that rifle hunting scopes that Amazon used to carry that were made there are no longer carried. I bought one that was really quality for it's price, and compared it to some many times that amount that didn't have as good of features. I have found that these little radios I have not had an easy time programing them. They come with so many options, they are amazing! I order everything through BTECH.
 

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