Baofengs

User avatar
oldman
Posts: 73
Joined: Sat Apr 22, 2017 11:15 pm
Location: London

Re: Baofengs

Post by oldman » Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:17 pm

easy rider wrote:Some great facts and info here thank you for sharing it.
They have a big limitation then with no repeater close enough if line of sight is broken by hill or simular.
Do any of you knowledgeable users of ham know if theirs a suitable home made wire antenna that could greatly improve range for based use .at home.
Initially listening but should the situation arise shtf would also carry my signal further.
I'm presuming 2 m and 70 coverage would be wise
Any antenna, no mater how good, will still be limited by the line of sight rule so the best method is to get your antenna as high as possible.. A hill may block the signal but if you get on top of the hill you will see a lot further, the same goes for tall buildings. Setting up an antenna could be done but I'd rather do that with a base station than a portable and the antenna will need tuning or you can break things. That said, there are many after market antenna for the baofengs and people swear that they are an improvement over the factory antenna.

I don't think the Baofengs cover much more than the 2m and 70cm bands.
"Just when one least expects it, the unexpected always happens" - Dr. Rance

User avatar
Wingfoot
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Oct 02, 2013 11:03 pm
Location: Area 7

Re: Baofengs

Post by Wingfoot » Mon Sep 18, 2017 9:52 pm

While I was studying for my licence I purchased a couple of Baofengs as I didn't want to throw big money into the subject in case I didn't want to continue with it, I actually invested more money in the antennas than the radios to begin with, which I now consider money well spent.

For VHF/UHF base operation I chose a vertical the Diamond X50, there are good copies of this antenna made by several other companies that are cheaper than Diamond & work just as good, all have X50 in the model number simply search for X50 antenna.

There are others that are slightly smaller like the X30 & others that are larger, the X200 X300 & X510 the bigger they are & the higher you can mount them the further you will transmit.

For portable lightweight work from Hill tops I like the roll up wire J-pole, you can easily make your own or get one from Nelson Antennas on eBay who make a good one, these will need to be hoisted up over a branch or attached to a telescopic fishing pole to get them up in the air, from a hilltop the J-pole is outstanding & I've had contacts into Ireland from the Shropshire Hills using mine.

As time has passed I have enjoyed the hill top activations for the SOTA award scheme & consider it very valuable in learning how to operate a radio out in the field, which is exactly what you will need to do in an SHTF emergency or loss of grid/Internet etc.

I have since invested in other more capable radios but still have a number of Baofengs that we use between our family members on a daily basis, they work fine for our purpose & offer a cheap entry into radio for the new comers, I never regretted buying mine.

Cheers
Wf
Si vis pacem, para bellum

User avatar
Jamesey1981
Posts: 896
Joined: Fri Sep 12, 2014 11:46 pm
Location: A Postbox on Baker Street.
Contact:

Re: Baofengs

Post by Jamesey1981 » Mon Sep 18, 2017 10:02 pm

Has anyone tried any of the 8 watt baofeng handhelds?
I've been doing research and think I would like a bf f8hp which is basically an 8 watt uv5r but they seem to be hard to get hold of, but there's also a uv5rtp which appears to be a bf f8hp in a mk1 uv5r case that still has the band button, there's an 8 watt version of the gt3 that's pretty reasonably priced and gets some good reviews but I really don't like the gt3, I don't like the chunky look to it, it's not a deal breaker and if someone was to say they have one and it's great then I would go for it but ideally I'd like one in the uv5r style case, it's that little bit more compact and seems more solid, so if anyone has tried the uv5rtp 8 watt I would be interested to know your opinion.

Final question is will that extra few watts actually make any difference on a handheld with a small antenna?
If it will make a noticeable difference in the real world then I would like the extra power, it could mean the difference between getting my message out or not, but my (uneducated) guess is that it might give a little more clarity at the end of its effective range but in real terms won't make that much difference, I'm not going to be setting up antennas for maximum distance on it, it'll mainly be for emergency contact, and if I'm right about that then I may as well buy a normal uv5r or bf f8 that's cheaper.

Any idea why baofeng have made all their model designations so confusing?
There's absolutely no sense to it at all, first they go for HP for high power, then TP for tri power which seems to be the same, they change to different screens for some models and still use the older ones on newer radios, and then on another new radio they add a band button back on that all the info I can find says won't work with current firmware.
There's also no naming convention across their products that I can fathom at all, it's like they've picked random letters and numbers out of a tin of alphabetti spaghetti and just used them as they came out!
If you're looking at an iPhone 4, 4s and 5 you know which is newest, if you're looking at a uv5r, uv5r+ bf-f8+, uv5ra, or uv5re you have no idea, there are hints, but there's no logical progression to it, you would have to actually know which is which.

It just seems like it would be bad for business to me, it's really hard to order the thing you actually want and actually know if you're looking at the right product and as there's so many cosmetic variants it's really hard to spot a fake.
Not knocking them, they're obviously selling plenty of them, it's just a really weird way to do things!

Lea_123
Posts: 16
Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 10:10 pm

Re: Baofengs

Post by Lea_123 » Wed Sep 20, 2017 8:25 pm

Jamesey1981 wrote:Has anyone tried any of the 8 watt baofeng handhelds?
I've been doing research and think I would like a bf f8hp which is basically an 8 watt uv5r but they seem to be hard to get hold of, but there's also a uv5rtp which appears to be a bf f8hp in a mk1 uv5r case that still has the band button, there's an 8 watt version of the gt3 that's pretty reasonably priced and gets some good reviews but I really don't like the gt3, I don't like the chunky look to it, it's not a deal breaker and if someone was to say they have one and it's great then I would go for it but ideally I'd like one in the uv5r style case, it's that little bit more compact and seems more solid, so if anyone has tried the uv5rtp 8 watt I would be interested to know your opinion.

Final question is will that extra few watts actually make any difference on a handheld with a small antenna?
If it will make a noticeable difference in the real world then I would like the extra power, it could mean the difference between getting my message out or not, but my (uneducated) guess is that it might give a little more clarity at the end of its effective range but in real terms won't make that much difference, I'm not going to be setting up antennas for maximum distance on it, it'll mainly be for emergency contact, and if I'm right about that then I may as well buy a normal uv5r or bf f8 that's cheaper.

Any idea why baofeng have made all their model designations so confusing?
There's absolutely no sense to it at all, first they go for HP for high power, then TP for tri power which seems to be the same, they change to different screens for some models and still use the older ones on newer radios, and then on another new radio they add a band button back on that all the info I can find says won't work with current firmware.
There's also no naming convention across their products that I can fathom at all, it's like they've picked random letters and numbers out of a tin of alphabetti spaghetti and just used them as they came out!
If you're looking at an iPhone 4, 4s and 5 you know which is newest, if you're looking at a uv5r, uv5r+ bf-f8+, uv5ra, or uv5re you have no idea, there are hints, but there's no logical progression to it, you would have to actually know which is which.

It just seems like it would be bad for business to me, it's really hard to order the thing you actually want and actually know if you're looking at the right product and as there's so many cosmetic variants it's really hard to spot a fake.
Not knocking them, they're obviously selling plenty of them, it's just a really weird way to do things!

I have the UV5RTP I haven't had any other though so difficult to compare! I find it's pretty good! At first it seemed really complicated but after some research here is my quick get up and running method!

To start you will need to reset to the factory settings this saves a lot of messing about! One thing that was confusing was that the menu button is also the enter/ confirm button!

1. To reset to factory settings you press the menu key , scroll with your up/down arrows to option 40 (reset all) then follow the instructions to reset

2. Go to menu option 14 to set the language (it may not be in English once you have reset it but it's an easy fix - go to menu, scroll to option 14 then just scroll to your preferred language- press enter (the menu key)

3. To programme in channels press the red button (VFO/MR) until it says "frequency mode" and key in the receiving channel (the little arrow will be on the top line ) press the A/B button and key in the transmitting channel (little arrow on the bottom line ) then press the menu key and scroll to option 27 (store channel) use the up and down arrow to select which channel number you want to save too and press the "enter (the menu key ) and you have the first channel programmed in!

I don't have a licence yet so only listening in until I get to do it but programmed in my local repeater and a few other "local channels" with no issues and hear them loud and clear!

Hope this helps :)

Post Reply