The BaoFeng BF-888S is a compact hand held transceiver providing 2 watts in the frequency range of 400-480 MHz. You get up to 16 selectable memories (user-programmable). Other features include: selectable wide/narrow band, battery save function, VOX, DCS/CTCSS encode, and a built in flashlight. Ordered these by mistake but kept them. They are amazing little radios and as a ham I get great audio reports and hit repeaters with ease. The Asian female voice does drive me crazy, but its needed unless you want to count clicks. The price is amazing. I use Chirp for programming. You will need the programming software and a USB cable to do any thing serious with these.
At my workplace, we were looking for a simple way to communicate between our teams in a 6k-8k sq ft space located in an area with other businesses. I have used the Motorola CLS1410s but they’re quite pricey to outfit a team of 12+ people (cost will be upwards $2000) We tried these units and we were quite concerned on how long they will last or if they will even work in our workplace setting, simply because of the price… The saying of “you get what you pay for” comes to mind.
At a Glance…
- Walkie Talkie Model: Baofeng BF-888s
- Each radio has a earpiece
- 1500mAh Li-ion battery; Low Voltage Alert; Intelligent Charging
- Frequency Range: 400-470MHz; 16 channel; 50 CTCSS/105 CDCSS
- Power-saving features to extend battery life; CTCSS/DCS function/Scanning function/Emergency alarm function
Depending on the user, this is either the perfect radio and deserves 6 stars or is not even worth the cheaper price. I have tried of few of the “normal” license free radios and did a lot of research. In my case it was perfect.
– Simpler than any other license free walkie talkie. My 74 year old father and my technologically averse wife could use it. No buttons, displays, or settings other than volume and channel.
– Can be set up to work on license free in USA or Euro bands.
– Everything that should work great, does (battery, charger, switches, sound quality, power/range)
– Fantastically cheap
– Requires programming from a computer with a special cable and even more special drivers & software (open source world) THIS IS THE BIG ONE
– Antenna bends permanently, only 16 setting combinations, no dual watch, no attention ring, no baby monitor mode, earphone/mike has build quality like headsets given to you on an airline (but sound is ok).
– Not technically legal to use without a license. If programed to license free bands, there should be no problem. (technically, license free radios cannot have removable antennas and the power of this radio is not certified– otherwise it is compliant when programmed correctly)
My advice– if there is someone in your group with computer skills, buy two + a cable. If they get the programming sorted, then buy as many as your group thinks you might want. We used 5 with a family of 4 on our last mountain vacation. (one for spare and giving to friends who joined our group). First time computer configuration and radio setup was about 3 hours over 2 days. After that, I programmed another 6 radios in 2 minutes.