BaoFeng UV-5R VHF/UHF Dual Band Radio 136-174 400-480Mhz Transceiver
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Features: Frequency Range: 136-174 / 400-480MHz Dual-Band Display, Dual Freq. Display, Dual-Standby Output Power: 4 /1Watts 128 Channels 50 CTCSS and 104 CDCSS Built-in VOX Function 1750Hz Burst Tone
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Now on for the rest. Programming is great when using CHIRP but you need a cable for it. Order OEM Baofeng and you won't be disappointed. Order from someone in mainland China who says its OEM Baofeng and you may or may not get OEM. I got a knock off which required so much work that I ended up buying OEM and having it shipped priority. The knock off is a 10 year old version of the chipset and the UV5R uses a modern chipset that downloads the drivers automatically without further install of driver software.
The radio performs well, expect that you will put 4 watts out ONLY if you have an adequate groundplane. Your arm is not an adequate groundplane so figure keep it on high power and using it handheld will get you about 1 to 1.5 watts out. Maybe 2. Hits repeaters well on VHF, iffy on UHF depending on distance, line of sight, and what's between you and the repeater. Simplex works, but you will maybe get 25 miles with nothing between you and the other unit. Maybe. Not a shoe in. Works good with mobile antennas, and Nagoya makes one for this unit that matches it well.
All in all, don't count on the charger. There are numerous complains about it bouncing around the net. Mostly the biggest complaint is it needs 10 volts into the cradle to charge it. You can purchase step up USB cables and step-down cigarette lighter plug adapters on eBay just be prepared to wait.
Also, go for the BL-5L 3800 mah battery. It will give you double the life. All in all for $25 the radio is worth it but the charger is junk.
1) The accompanying cd is garbage.. I tried installing it and it is in Chinese and would not load anything at all, So not quite sure what is on my computer now. I understand now I have to use a 3rd party program to be able to program the radio. Its called "CHIRP"
2) the programming cable that come with it... Oh wait. it didn't come with it...
Baofeng... You have an awesome product. Package the right accessories with it!!!!
This transceiver is very nicely made. I would thought that for the price it would be broken easily espeically when it came with a strap, ear/microphone and a charger. Now this transceiver is not for the beginner ham who doesn't have experience with programming this radio. It is highly suggested that if you buy this rig, that you get a programming cable so it is easier to program. Since the repeater offset is only good in Frequency mode, channel mode it does not save to memory.
In order to save to memory you first put in the RECEIVE frequency then Transmit frequency. Now be sure to put in the T-CTS (menu 13) or if the repeater transmits a tone then you set the R-CTS (Menu 11) For example 147.280 uses CTCSS then you would set Menu 11 and Menu 13 to the same tone. which is set in each menu item and it always starts from 67.0 even if it is set to say 100.0 good The good thing is you can type the tone in eg. 1035 will input the tone of 103.5hz before saving to the memory. Then after saving that you then have to set the offset frequency which will be 147.880 and save it to the same memory channel. When you save the receive frequency into the memory it will confirm by saying "Receiving memory." and the offset frequency by saying "Transmitting memory" and to confirm the settings exit the menu and switch to Memory mode and go to the channel you saved. It will show a +- on the top of the display. Then if all is set right you should be able to access the repeater.
You have to repeat this for every channel you program. It is fine if you have 5 repeaters in your area, but very tedious if you have 25. This is why the usb programming cable is a must. This package has the handstrap even though it does not state that like other sellers do. For a radio around $50.00 it is an excellent buy for the cash strapped ham. Also a huge suggestion if you need to hear the repeater tail you must turn the STE from 5(ms) to 0(MENU 35) and RP_STE to off (MENU 36) and RPT_RL (MENU 37)
Flashlight Feature (tap MONI to turn on and off this is NOT in the manual)
FM Radio Feature (Tap CALL to turn on and off this too is NOT in the manual)
5W/1W Transmitter both bands.
Dual-Watch (Suggesting that you set your TRANSMIT BAND TO A or B not OFF in MENU 34 otherwise you may transmit on the wrong band)
Color led display for TX/RX/Idle (Orange/Blue/Purple) Menu settings 29-31
Green/Red square LED to indicate Rx/Tx respectively.
Very loud receiving speaker. 1000mw. First time I owned a radio this loud.
1800mAh Battery for long standby time and a decent talk time.
Earpiece Microphone. (watch the volume level it can blast your ear out)
Very limited manual.
Difficult/tedious programming scheme.
F-SMA (Reverse SMA) can be adapted from F-SMA to M-SMA for wider compatibility with an adapter there are also F-SMA to BNC as well as F-SMA to SO-239 ones that can expand types of antennas used.
This has an unlocked transmitting range on both bands so be careful if you use as a scanner, you may accidently transmit in areas you are not authorized.
Slow Scanning speed despite what the manual says.
This really is a fantastic deal, and all hams who use VHF/UHF should have one! Of course the manual is really hard to use. There are sites on the net with English as a first language explanations. Also, it goes without saying that you should use the programming software to program this rig. Makes it much easier, even though the software is also hard to understand. But it works. Buy the correct USB cable. Don't skimp on the ones with the fake prolific chip, you will have driver woes forever.
For those just browsing, please remember this is an amateur radio, and you do need an FCC license! This not a replacement for a "family radio". Search for FRS if that is what you are looking for!