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Posted: 12/10/2013 9:04:15 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2013 9:05:43 AM EST by Adirondack1]
http://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-UV5RA-136-174-Dual-Band-Transceiver/dp/B009MAKWC0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Or feel free to suggest something in or around the same price range.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 9:58:02 AM EST
it's great for getting your feet wet. I have the UVB5 and it does more than you would expect for a $30 radio. Long term, I will be getting something like an FT-60, but $30 radios have there place.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 10:06:00 AM EST
It's what I started with....once I got a cable and chirp I was in business...punched in repeaters and talked to the 2 meter world and beyond via nets
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 10:26:26 AM EST
I've had my license for over ten years, and I bought a pair of them recently. They're not bad, as long as you fix the microphone. Some folks say that the hole is too small and others claim there's too much "filtering" material in front of th emicrophone. Whatever the cause, some don't have great or even good audio modulation out of the box.

They're very inexpensive radios. They're easy to use after they're programmed. I am going to put one in an APRS tracker because they're so inexpensive.

If you do use one, treat it as though it could break at any time, don't count on it as primary comms. Someone on here referred to them as HiPoints, and I agree, they're not full of features, but they work. Get the remote mic, get a name-brand antenna, get a spare battery, and get a programming cable unless you have a friend with one (Kenwood type cable.) The remote mic will allow you to keep it away from your eyes and brain when you transmit.


They're not bad radios, think about generic ketchup in a glass bottle.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 10:26:33 AM EST
It's a good place for a tech to start exploring 2m and 440. I added a 10m rig, got a taste of HF phone, and got my general pretty quick afterwards. :)
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 11:30:43 AM EST
If there are repeaters nearby you may have plenty of people to talk to. If not, you probably won't do much with it. A roll up j pole antenna may get you up to 15-20 miles if you and the repeater are on high ground. I have two of the UVB5 models and they are what they are, inexpensive. No comparison to my Kenwood but I find I use them more often because of the replacement cost.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 11:46:08 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2013 11:48:22 AM EST by Jupiter7200]
I would suggest you get the regular UV-5R, not the -5RA. There are larger batteries that easily fit on the -5R, but only with a lot of Dremel work on the battery and radio case to fit on the -5RA.

Also, there is absolutely NO difference under the case. All of these variants, the -5RA, -5R+, etc, are all the same but for one, a model sold by Radiomart that will work 2m/220 instead of 2m/440.

Before anyone says, "Just program in the 220 mhz freq in a regular -5R,"... yes, you can, but it won't work due to the antenna AND the filtering in the radio will not allow it to work 220. Other than that one exception, all of the variants are identical.

About batteries, the regular battery is 1800 mah. It will last about 2 days with a lot of use, perhaps a little more. There are 3600 and 3800 mah high capacity batteries. The larger battery gives the radio much better balance and handling. It is difficult to hold the radio with one hand and press buttons with your thumb. This is quite easy with the larger battery, no fingers falling off the bottom of the radio. These larger batteries will run about 4-5 days with a lot of use. One thing about this radio, it is very efficient on battery.

Antenna, let me recommend the Nagoya NA-701. It is about 8" long and much better performing than the stock antenna. There may be times you don't need longer range and do want the smaller size. Keep the stock antenna for that. Some will tell you the NA-771 gives the longest range. It does, but it is 16" long. The added range is not that much compared to the NA-701, but where 8" is manageable, the 16" antenna is a pain.

You can buy the UV-5R with the 3600 mah battery only.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/221065959973 This is a reliable ebayer and I've bought at least a dozen or more UV-5Rs from him for fellow club members. Shipping 7-8 days.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370482649911 Same seller, will pack it in the box with the UV-5R. 8" long. Genuine Nagoya, not counterfeit. Works very well.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/370487531741 Ditto. 16" long.

If you have a good DB-9 RS-232 to USB adapter, this programming cable avoids the counterfeit Prolific chip problem and works reliably.

http://threeoldcrows.com/shop/magento/ham-radio-equipment/accessories/programming-cable-with-db-9-9-pin-serial-connector-for-kenwood-baofeng-wouxun-radios-serial-db-9-to-type-k-2-pin-connector.html

If not, and you want straight to USB, this one.

http://threeoldcrows.com/shop/magento/ham-radio-equipment/accessories/programming-cable-with-ftdi-usb-to-serial-uart-controllerfor-kenwood-baofeng-wouxun-radios-usb-to-type-k-2-pin-connector.html

Read here about programming, etc.

http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/664274_Baofeng_UV_5R_information.html



Link Posted: 12/10/2013 12:44:25 PM EST
They are ok for what you pay. I gave one to my buddy who lives about a mile from me. We tried 2m simplex with BaoFangs and could barely hear each other. He later grabbed his ft60 and I could hear him much better. Then I switched to my vx170 and we could communicate loud clear.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 1:02:37 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2013 2:58:15 PM EST by otar]
UV-5RA was my first radio. For the money it cant be beat.
Battery life is at least a day for me. I went and accessorized it and got a mic, programming cable, and nagoya antenna for it.

Also picked up a spare -5r+, well because 2 is 1 and I can buy about 4 of these for the price of one Yaseu FT-60.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 1:05:19 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2013 1:06:10 PM EST by r-2-k-b-a]
Originally Posted By Adirondack1:
http://www.amazon.com/Baofeng-UV5RA-136-174-Dual-Band-Transceiver/dp/B009MAKWC0/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

Or feel free to suggest something in or around the same price range.
View Quote


NEVER ever buy one of these as a first radio. The reason is they are difficult to navigate.

As a gift to yourself, sure have at it.

But never buy one of these to give to a first-time-ham to introduce them to the HT market.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 1:51:31 PM EST
Don't do it ......


It is a gateway drug that will lead to expensive HF rigs
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 2:16:07 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
NEVER ever buy one of these as a first radio unless you also get a programming cable, understand a spreadsheet, and download CHIRP.
View Quote


Fixed it for ya.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 2:51:58 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SpanishInquisition:


Fixed it for ya.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By SpanishInquisition:
Originally Posted By r-2-k-b-a:
NEVER ever buy one of these as a first radio unless you also get a programming cable, understand a spreadsheet, and download CHIRP.


Fixed it for ya.


Touche !

I'f you really wanna help a new ham, get them a nice VX6 and don't be a cheap bastard I say.


Link Posted: 12/10/2013 2:57:48 PM EST
The serious answer to your question is that a) the price is right but... b) it can be a very difficult radio to work with, especially if you get a "bad" cable.

If you have hams local to you that have them you'll be in good shape. Since you're dealing with (for the most part) pre-programmed repeater freqs, once it's set up you can leave it be and just use it. And don't worry, any other radio you can purchase will be easier to deal with. This one will do a good job of getting you started.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 6:14:23 PM EST
While I posted my suggestions for the UV-5R, what to get with it, etc, I do not think ANY HT is a good first radio. The limited power, antenna, usage of any HT will be very discouraging to a first time ham who wants to make contacts... and needs to make contacts to gain operating experience. I just don't understand why so many hams recommend an HT as a first rig.

I also do not recommend... no, I strongly discourage new hams from putting a rig in their vehicle. If you think driving and operating a cell phone, texting is bad, well, this is far, far worse. Please don't kill a bus load of kids while trying to figure out how to operate your new rig.

Put that shiny new VHF rig in your home on your desk, or wherever your shack will be. This is often dictated by the coax run to the antenna or mast. A J-pole or 1/4 wave ground plane can be easily attached to a roof plumbing vent, or a couple of sections of TV mast. (the galvanized pole type) Get a 22-25 amp power supply with the view to later use it also for your HF rig when you make General.

Put the mobile mounting bracket on upside down, slung under the bottom with the front panel angled up for good visibility. Some rubber stick on feet on the bottom of the bracket and you are good to go. Learn to program and operate the new rig in the comfort of your home office or kitchen or den. Don't kill any kids out on the highway. Nuns, either.

Now go enjoy ham radio.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 6:49:22 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By CaptainSkullet:
Don't do it ......


It is a gateway drug that will lead to expensive HF rigs
View Quote


No shit
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 7:14:37 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
*SNIP* I just don't understand why so many hams recommend an HT as a first rig.

*SNIP*
View Quote



Sticker shock..... nothing more. Especially now with the $30 HTs.

Every point you made that I snipped out is completely valid and advice new hams would do well to follow.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 8:36:13 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By sburggsx:


Sticker shock..... nothing more. Especially now with the $30 HTs.

Every point you made that I snipped out is completely valid and advice new hams would do well to follow.
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Originally Posted By sburggsx:
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
*SNIP* I just don't understand why so many hams recommend an HT as a first rig.

*SNIP*


Sticker shock..... nothing more. Especially now with the $30 HTs.

Every point you made that I snipped out is completely valid and advice new hams would do well to follow.

I could be operating an octo-copter and taking video of a local sports event with it while driving and I'd still be driving better than 1/2 the people behind the wheel in Condition White around here.

Nevertheless, Jupiter's point(s) are all well taken.
Link Posted: 12/10/2013 10:09:50 PM EST
[Last Edit: 12/10/2013 10:13:38 PM EST by Mr_Harry]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Jupiter7200:
*SNIP* I just don't understand why so many hams recommend an HT as a first rig.

*SNIP*
View Quote



I have to agree a decent 2 meter mobile as around $140. I have even used an old car battery
in a battery box (outside my window) as a power supply, with a float charger to charge it.

Next is a used HF radio (techs have 10 meter privileges), you don't
Need all those fancy filters and new wiz bang features, Just a basic rig.


This is Amateur Radio, go get the pieces and build something



Link Posted: 12/10/2013 10:46:17 PM EST
Take a look at Alinco radios

I had them years ago and they were a whole lot better than the Baofengs


Link Posted: 12/11/2013 12:17:50 AM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Take a look at Alinco radios

I had them years ago and they were a whole lot better than the Baofengs


View Quote

Sadly, I did look at Alinco.

The DR635T is $309 for 2m/70cm

The Kenwood TM-V71A is $363 for the same bands. The only thing you get extra is EchoLink capability, 1,000 memories (vs either 200 or 300 for the Alinco), and 50W out (vs 50W/35W V/U on the Alinco).

So that's a pretty good value whichever one you go with. My long term plans have changed, so thanks for getting me to take a 2nd look at these, Mr_Harry.

On the other side of the coin, the 2m only radio clearly goes to Kenwood at $135 vs $160 for the Alinco. Plus the Kenwood comes with weather alerts.

Although exactly WHY one would want only a single band radio still escapes me. Frankly I'm ticked I can't find 144/220/440 all in one mobile unit. But that just depends on what you want in a radio, I suppose.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 12:29:10 AM EST
do it

don't expect it to be awesome - it'll get you started but the real cool stuff is a licence level and ~$500 higher usually....
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 3:42:58 AM EST
Since September the BowFungs have cost me a little over $6700 !
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 3:51:22 AM EST
I am brand new to ham having gotten my license on December 3rd, and the UV-5R Plus was my first radio. I also have a Wouxun KG-UV920P-A sitting on a desk in the living room. The antenna is sitting on a piece of galvanized sheet metal because at 7 degrees outside with snow and ice everywhere, an outdoor antenna is NOT going up any time soon. My first couple of net and rag chew contacts were done using the Baofeng, which actually did a better job than the Wouxun. The repeaters I'm hitting are between 6 and 20 miles away in hilly, wooded terrain. Given my limited experience and knowledge, I'm really impressed and pleased with the Baofeng.

I'm still not sure where I'm going with my new hobby, so having a low investment to start is really attractive.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 8:50:17 AM EST
[Last Edit: 12/11/2013 8:50:54 AM EST by Mr_Harry]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MCSquared:

Sadly, I did look at Alinco.

The DR635T is $309 for 2m/70cm

The Kenwood TM-V71A is $363 for the same bands. The only thing you get extra is EchoLink capability, 1,000 memories (vs either 200 or 300 for the Alinco), and 50W out (vs 50W/35W V/U on the Alinco).

So that's a pretty good value whichever one you go with. My long term plans have changed, so thanks for getting me to take a 2nd look at these, Mr_Harry.

On the other side of the coin, the 2m only radio clearly goes to Kenwood at $135 vs $160 for the Alinco. Plus the Kenwood comes with weather alerts.

Although exactly WHY one would want only a single band radio still escapes me. Frankly I'm ticked I can't find 144/220/440 all in one mobile unit. But that just depends on what you want in a radio, I suppose.
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Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MCSquared:
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Take a look at Alinco radios

I had them years ago and they were a whole lot better than the Baofengs



Sadly, I did look at Alinco.

The DR635T is $309 for 2m/70cm

The Kenwood TM-V71A is $363 for the same bands. The only thing you get extra is EchoLink capability, 1,000 memories (vs either 200 or 300 for the Alinco), and 50W out (vs 50W/35W V/U on the Alinco).

So that's a pretty good value whichever one you go with. My long term plans have changed, so thanks for getting me to take a 2nd look at these, Mr_Harry.

On the other side of the coin, the 2m only radio clearly goes to Kenwood at $135 vs $160 for the Alinco. Plus the Kenwood comes with weather alerts.

Although exactly WHY one would want only a single band radio still escapes me. Frankly I'm ticked I can't find 144/220/440 all in one mobile unit. But that just depends on what you want in a radio, I suppose.




I have used 2 meters far more than 440 (and I used to even own a 440 Repeater)

So for a mobile the Kenwood tm-281 is a great deal.

As far as HTs the Alinco DJ-175T is $89.85
and the Alinco DJ-V57T is $129.95

The Baofeng radios really are poor quality.

Link Posted: 12/11/2013 1:34:24 PM EST
Consider the Baofengs like a Bic pen.
Link Posted: 12/11/2013 2:12:10 PM EST
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:




I have used 2 meters far more than 440 (and I used to even own a 440 Repeater)

So for a mobile the Kenwood tm-281 is a great deal.

As far as HTs the Alinco DJ-175T is $89.85
and the Alinco DJ-V57T is $129.95

The Baofeng radios really are poor quality.

View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Originally Posted By MCSquared:
Originally Posted By Mr_Harry:
Take a look at Alinco radios

I had them years ago and they were a whole lot better than the Baofengs



Sadly, I did look at Alinco.

The DR635T is $309 for 2m/70cm

The Kenwood TM-V71A is $363 for the same bands. The only thing you get extra is EchoLink capability, 1,000 memories (vs either 200 or 300 for the Alinco), and 50W out (vs 50W/35W V/U on the Alinco).

So that's a pretty good value whichever one you go with. My long term plans have changed, so thanks for getting me to take a 2nd look at these, Mr_Harry.

On the other side of the coin, the 2m only radio clearly goes to Kenwood at $135 vs $160 for the Alinco. Plus the Kenwood comes with weather alerts.

Although exactly WHY one would want only a single band radio still escapes me. Frankly I'm ticked I can't find 144/220/440 all in one mobile unit. But that just depends on what you want in a radio, I suppose.




I have used 2 meters far more than 440 (and I used to even own a 440 Repeater)

So for a mobile the Kenwood tm-281 is a great deal.

As far as HTs the Alinco DJ-175T is $89.85
and the Alinco DJ-V57T is $129.95

The Baofeng radios really are poor quality.


There are a lot of 440 repeaters around my AO, and about 13 220 MHz repeaters.

As for the quality of the Baofengs, one button has already died on my UV-B5, but it's like the 3rd most used button (channel up) for me. Which is why I got a radio with a jog knob instead of a flashlight, well that and the fact that I carry a 230 lumen flashlight on my person.

I'll have to look into the Alinco HTs as well, but my focus at the moment is on mobile radios that can be used for a base temporarily.
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