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Posted: 2/1/2013 4:51:18 AM EST
Lots of people, including me, have found the Baofeng UV-5R to be a good value in a radio. Baofeng has also put out the UV-B5 which is fairly similar to the UV-5R, but with performance equivalent to the more expensive Wouxun KG-UVD1P.

The UV-B5 is a dual band (136 - 174 MHz and 400 - 470 MHz) HT and is available for about $53 (409Shop.com). Instead of the usual flashlight common in many Chinese HTs, it has a rotary encoder. It does not share many accessories with the UV-5R (except for the programming cable and microphone), so if you have invested in additional chargers or battery packs for your UV-5R, you would be starting over with this new form factor. (If a flashlight is a must have, the radio is also available as the UV-B6 which has it.) It also does not have the 2.5 steps and has fewer memories (99) than the UV-5R. Lastly, battery life is being documented as okay, but not great.

However, even given those short-comings, it might be worth a look as the performance is being reported as excellent. The receiver handles intermod extremely well. It appears that Baofeng has made a big jump forward.

Here is a link to my page with some summary, video, and other blog posts about the UV-B6.

Anyone got their hands on one?

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E-C3ZAfbRUY/UQl6fMFKHoI/AAAAAAAAClk/-rmtXeGS9_M/s1600/uv-b5_2.JPG

Cheers,
B
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 7:12:45 AM EST
Nice looking radio! I'll have to check it out, but as I had just bought me a UV-5RA at the end of December, I don't really need another HT.........yet!


Vulcan94
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 7:48:47 AM EST
That looks a lot like the BF-888S I have.

I want to say it's like an 1100mAh battery...
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 4:16:24 PM EST
Oh boy, So now I'm thinking this would be a better choice over the 5R + model? Nice writeup btw.
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 6:06:46 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/1/2013 6:08:26 PM EST by TurboniumOxide]
Supposed to have much better Front end and stock antenna than the 5r. I ordered one. I have two 5rs which are barely O.K.
I like the rotary knob of the B5 rather than the light on the B6. I guess we will see.
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 6:47:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By TurboniumOxide:
Supposed to have much better Front end and stock antenna than the 5r. I ordered one. I have two 5rs which are barely O.K.
I like the rotary knob of the B5 rather than the light on the B6. I guess we will see.


thanks, I needed to hear that!

btw, I was snooping around on ebay, these look just like a 'blackbox' radio advertised there.........
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 9:04:40 PM EST
Originally Posted By DancingBear:
Oh boy, So now I'm thinking this would be a better choice over the 5R + model? Nice writeup btw.


Honest opinion from a 5R + owner...just get the normal 5R. Some of the battery packs commonly available for the 5R (3800 mAh) battery for example won't fit on there. Otherwise it's the exact same thing in a different case.

I think I'm gonna have to check out the B5 model.
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 9:05:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 2/2/2013 11:13:51 AM EST by Gamma762]
Ha... I read your blog and noted that radio last night, and just finished suggesting it as an option in another thread on this forum

If it can do single channel (non simultaneous dual band) operation, has alpha channel tags, and can be locked to a non-front panel programmable mode, it will be a winner once they get the Part 90 certification.

ETA:
Just finished reading the PD0AC review page. 5 character alpha tag, seriously They just can't ever seem to get it all together in the same radio. I may buy one anyway though.

Originally Posted By BrickOLore:
It also does not have the 2.5 steps

PD0AC review says it programs to 2.5 step frequencies I know the spec page doesn't say 2.5 step size, but if it will accept the correct frequency via computer or keypad, it doesn't matter at all to me that you can't scroll a VFO knob on 2.5 steps. The screencap of the programming software shows five decimal places on the frequency and he has a frequency entered that uses them all, so I tend to think it should be ok.
Link Posted: 2/1/2013 10:16:04 PM EST
Well,

Yes I have many uv-5r

8 of the latest version...

I checked everything I could...perfect freq, and stable...

Batteries seem to last quite longer than I thought...

Desktop charger works with the radio, or just the battery.

Antenna isn't great but works ok.

Just running with a bit of receive traffic...ran for at least 20 hours...

They also work with all the accessories from my kenwood radios...

Great bargain ,..

Bret
Link Posted: 2/2/2013 4:50:17 AM EST
Can you listen two/both frequency in the same time like i do with my ic-2820?
I found this particularly interesting when there is a something and you can hear a frequency but you know you are not missing anything on a second one.

Even do, not sure it does exist in the handheld world...
Link Posted: 2/6/2013 4:33:04 AM EST
I believe it is just a dual watch function - where it bounces back and forth between your two frequencies. You can only receive/listen to one at a time.
Link Posted: 2/7/2013 12:17:45 AM EST
[Last Edit: 2/7/2013 12:26:25 AM EST by Eth01]
Ho well...

At this price, i placed an order with a new antenna, the software + cable and the AAA battery adapter. 75$ + free shipping
If it's worth it, it's another solution to have two for redundancy and still the cheaper option.
Link Posted: 2/7/2013 8:46:28 AM EST
Well,

I'll say the radios seem to work excellent...

Not easy to program from the radio, but with USB cable...nice...

Chirp has just about every feature in the latest builds...

Worked with them on the bfb297 issue and the bcl issue...both solved...

So, im using chirp 99% now...VIP is not really needed...

My testing, freq is dead on, great audio, decent range, power output is dead on...

I've got 8 in use now...going to order more soon...

Only thing I'd like to see is a 6 or more charging bank...

I figue on having 12 more this summer...

I keep extras on hand and have given several to friends that are hams and they all love them...nice Xmas gift...

Bret
Link Posted: 2/7/2013 9:25:00 AM EST

Originally Posted By TurboniumOxide:
Supposed to have much better Front end and stock antenna than the 5r. I ordered one. I have two 5rs which are barely O.K.
I like the rotary knob of the B5 rather than the light on the B6. I guess we will see.

The reception of my 5r compared to my Wouxun is horrible. I am extremely disappointed in the 5r. I get better reception with the stock antenna on the W than I do an external vehicle mounted antenna on my 5r.
Link Posted: 2/7/2013 6:54:58 PM EST
Well,

I didn't have much differance in the 5r compared to my kenwoods...don't have a mag mount for the ht yet...

Do you have the channel spacing on wide?

Bret
Link Posted: 3/5/2013 6:16:00 PM EST
[Last Edit: 3/5/2013 6:22:57 PM EST by TurboniumOxide]
I have 2 of these B5s now, and they are easy to program from the keypad. Great receiver, good stock antenna.

A much better value than the 5R. I love the rotary control. I found the B5 to be perfectly usable where the 5R just wasn't doing the job.

I put the stock B5 antennas on my 5Rs and it improved the receive to usable but not as good as the B5.

I hate the "emergency" button on the B5 though. Definitely get a few before they decide to raise the price. I paid $53 shipped.

ETA: the B5 radio is easily as good as the wouxon I own (the latest high end one KG-UV6X)
Link Posted: 3/16/2013 7:37:14 PM EST
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 11:27:41 AM EST
[Last Edit: 3/21/2013 5:16:00 AM EST by SCWolverine]
the B6 (flashlight version) is showing on Amazon for $45
Link Posted: 3/20/2013 8:43:48 PM EST
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?
Link Posted: 4/7/2013 10:49:29 PM EST
[Last Edit: 4/7/2013 10:50:03 PM EST by Gamma762]
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.

It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.
Link Posted: 4/8/2013 5:11:07 AM EST
I just received the B5 and so far I like it. Got the radio from aliexpress for $43. The only problem that I have so far is the CTCSS does not appear to be working properly on 2m; 440 is OK. With the tone on both receive and transmit, I can't hear the repeater. Not sure what is causing that.
Link Posted: 4/8/2013 6:04:19 AM EST
Originally Posted By lynchfort:
I just received the B5 and so far I like it. Got the radio from aliexpress for $43. The only problem that I have so far is the CTCSS does not appear to be working properly on 2m; 440 is OK. With the tone on both receive and transmit, I can't hear the repeater. Not sure what is causing that.

Perhaps the 2m repeater isn't transmitting a tone. Is the Tone Mode set to TSQL? If so, try setting the Tone Mode to Tone.
Link Posted: 4/8/2013 8:46:29 AM EST
Link Posted: 4/8/2013 10:25:53 AM EST
[Last Edit: 4/8/2013 10:27:33 AM EST by Gamma762]
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.
It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.

If I read correctly, you have to be in Narrow Band mode before it will take those.

I just tried that, no luck.

I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.
Link Posted: 5/5/2013 4:41:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/5/2013 4:43:10 PM EST by HeavyMetal]
Link Posted: 5/6/2013 6:09:28 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/6/2013 6:10:14 PM EST by mylt1]
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.
It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.

If I read correctly, you have to be in Narrow Band mode before it will take those.

I just tried that, no luck.

I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.
Link Posted: 5/7/2013 6:48:58 PM EST
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.
It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.

If I read correctly, you have to be in Narrow Band mode before it will take those.

I just tried that, no luck.

I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.


it can be programmed through the front. Just a pain in the ass (kinda like field programming Icom radios).
Link Posted: 5/7/2013 7:35:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.

Last I looked the only Baofeng that was Part 90 approved on the FCC's website was the UV3.

It's also far from what I could consider "reasonably set up for commercial users".
Link Posted: 5/10/2013 4:14:42 PM EST
I've had this POS for six months. The programming cable doesn't work. Cutting, shaving, pushing. It still dosn't work. Drivers shmivers. Still doesn't work. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttttt...............
Link Posted: 5/10/2013 4:44:16 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/10/2013 5:05:12 PM EST
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.

Last I looked the only Baofeng that was Part 90 approved on the FCC's website was the UV3.

It's also far from what I could consider "reasonably set up for commercial users".


Q: Is the UV5R FCC Part 90 certified? (Commercial)
A: Yes. This radio is certified for Licensed Commercial operation.
FCC ID. ZP5BF-5R and ZVMUV-E5
Link Posted: 5/10/2013 5:10:56 PM EST
[Last Edit: 5/10/2013 5:11:25 PM EST by mylt1]
Originally Posted By zapzap:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.
It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.

If I read correctly, you have to be in Narrow Band mode before it will take those.

I just tried that, no luck.

I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.


it can be programmed through the front. Just a pain in the ass (kinda like field programming Icom radios).


from universal radio's website.
This radio requires purchase of the USB-02 programming cable and downloading of software prior to use. These radios are certified under FCC part 90 and operate differently from traditional amateur equipment. FCC Part 90 radios do not operate natively in the VFO mode and are not as frequency agile and are best suited when frequencies are programmed into memory and operated in a channelized mode. Although they offer good value, they may not be suitable as a "first radio".


this is the 5RA not the standard 5r.
Link Posted: 5/14/2013 7:09:29 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/14/2013 7:11:04 AM EST by tanker99]
They also have a "commercial" version called the UV-6, which looks like the UV-B5 without the keypad:

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2013-new-luanch-Baofeng-UV-6-dual-band-VHF-136-174MHz-UHF-400-470MHz-Commercial-Handheld/758167065.html

Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Littlebob:
I've had this POS for six months. The programming cable doesn't work. Cutting, shaving, pushing. It still dosn't work. Drivers shmivers. Still doesn't work. Sheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeettttttttttttttttttt...............


My cable doesn't work on my Vista machine but it is 100% on my XP machine.


if you have trouble with the Chinese USB cable, you can try a serial cable with this TI chipset USB to serial adapter. I use it with Windows 7 pro 64 bit for programming Wouxun, Puxing,and Baofeng radios (actually bought the adapter for work)

http://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-USA-19HS-Hi-Speed-supports/dp/B0000VYJRY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368547130&sr=8-1&keywords=keyspan+usb+to+serial+adapter
Link Posted: 5/14/2013 7:10:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By zapzap:
Originally Posted By mylt1:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Originally Posted By Gamma762:
Originally Posted By K9-Bob:
Does the Baofeng UV-B6 have direct keyboard entry and 2.5 channel spacing?

Don't know why I didn't think of it before, I just downloaded the software for the B5 and tried it out... you don't need a radio to run the software.
It will not accept 2.5 or 7.5kHz incremented frequencies... just those on the 5kHz or 6.25kHz increments.

If I read correctly, you have to be in Narrow Band mode before it will take those.

I just tried that, no luck.

I wish there were any of these lower-cost radios that were reasonably set up for commercial users.


the UV 5RA will do 2.5kHz and is part 90 accepted. it is only programmable via USB though. it is $50 on amazon.


it can be programmed through the front. Just a pain in the ass (kinda like field programming Icom radios).


from universal radio's website.
This radio requires purchase of the USB-02 programming cable and downloading of software prior to use. These radios are certified under FCC part 90 and operate differently from traditional amateur equipment. FCC Part 90 radios do not operate natively in the VFO mode and are not as frequency agile and are best suited when frequencies are programmed into memory and operated in a channelized mode. Although they offer good value, they may not be suitable as a "first radio".


this is the 5RA not the standard 5r.


Done it with the 5RA. Have a friend who has one I work it like the 5R+ just fine.
Link Posted: 5/15/2013 8:54:46 PM EST
Anyone looked inside their drop-in charger yet?

I don't think Baofeng is going to be slapping a UL sticker on that puppy any time soon!
Link Posted: 5/24/2013 9:49:45 PM EST
1 week update: REALLY impressed with this radio.

- Excellent battery life: Runs a full day (24 hours) with 99 percent receive / 1 percent (high-power) transmit time.

- Decent receiver: I live in a very RF-dense neighborhood, and haven't noticed any problems with intermod or desense.

- Standardized accessories: Uses the same USB interface cable, speaker-mike and antenna connector as the Wouxun UV2, so adding one more Chinese HT to the collection doesn't necessarily entail any additional expense for accessories.

- Solidly built: I accidentally subjected mine to a 3-foot drop on a concrete floor - Didn't phase it.

At 43 bucks (delivered), it's a steal.
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 2:50:46 AM EST

Does it take the same KENWOOD speaker-mic style programming cable ?

( which works on the UV-5r )

.
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 3:37:36 AM EST
Yep.
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 10:27:30 AM EST
Originally Posted By Skibane:
At 43 bucks (delivered), it's a steal.

I've got older HTs that I haven't even bothered to buy batteries for, when I can buy a whole new radio for about the price of a battery. Just can't decide what to pull the trigger on.
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 10:57:09 AM EST
[Last Edit: 5/25/2013 3:13:32 PM EST by Derek45]
Which older radios ?


. . . . Wait ....this is ARFCOM....GET BOTH

I wish i still had my old FT-411 and FT-530
both were cool
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 2:56:44 PM EST
Originally Posted By Derek45:
Which older radios ?


. . . . Wait ....this is ARFCOM....GET BOTH

I wish i still had my old FT-411 and FT-530
Boh were cool

FT-530 is one of them, also have an FT-415 (or something like that) that uses the same battery as the 530, and an FT-50. And some Vertex LMR radios, VX400 and VX210s that we used on the farm.
Link Posted: 5/25/2013 6:31:27 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 8:12:30 AM EST
I'm currently waiting on a UV-B5 to arrive, and was wondering if its absolutely necessary to have the USB cable to program it? If so, is there a cheap cable that ships from the USA that I can use?
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 10:20:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By narcotik:
I'm currently waiting on a UV-B5 to arrive, and was wondering if its absolutely necessary to have the USB cable to program it?

Probably not. But you want a copy of Chirp and a USB cable anyway.

If so, is there a cheap cable that ships from the USA that I can use?

Can't help you there, but here's one from China.
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 10:43:39 AM EST
Originally Posted By wdlsguy:
Originally Posted By narcotik:
I'm currently waiting on a UV-B5 to arrive, and was wondering if its absolutely necessary to have the USB cable to program it?

Probably not. But you want a copy of Chirp and a USB cable anyway.

If so, is there a cheap cable that ships from the USA that I can use?

Can't help you there, but here's one from China.



Call Robert at Main Trading Company. they stock the Wouxun cable which is what we used to prog my buddies 5B

Link Posted: 5/31/2013 12:15:22 PM EST
Originally Posted By SCWolverine:
Originally Posted By wdlsguy:
Originally Posted By narcotik:
I'm currently waiting on a UV-B5 to arrive, and was wondering if its absolutely necessary to have the USB cable to program it?

Probably not. But you want a copy of Chirp and a USB cable anyway.
If so, is there a cheap cable that ships from the USA that I can use?

Can't help you there, but here's one from China.

Call Robert at Main Trading Company. they stock the Wouxun cable which is what we used to prog my buddies 5B

If you have a computer with actual serial ports, I have a suspicion that a serial programming cable might be less trouble than the hassles that folks are having with the USB cables and drivers.
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 12:16:36 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 12:17:05 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 12:58:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By HeavyMetal:
Use the provided software and stay away from Chirp until they get the bugs worked out.

It does screwy things to the settings.

Sorry, missed that earlier.
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 5:16:54 PM EST
Does the B5 have the same Tx range as the 5R? Specifically can it transmit on the MURS frequencies?
Link Posted: 5/31/2013 7:59:44 PM EST
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