The BaoFeng UV-5R is a compact hand held transceiver providing 4 watts in the frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz. It is a compact, economical HT that includes a special VHF receive band from 65 – 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. You get up to 128 memories. Other features include: selectable wide/narrow, battery save function, VOX, DCS/CTCSS encode, key lock and built in flashlight. Selectable frequency steps include: 2.5, 5, 6.25, 10, 12.5 and 25 kHz. RF power may be selected at 4 or 1 watts. This radio comes with an SMA-Female antenna, flexible antenna, BL-5 Li-ion battery (7.4V 1500 mAh), belt clip, wrist strap, AC adapter (8.4V 600ma) and drop-in charging tray. This radio requires the PC03 FTDI programming cable.
- High / Low Power Settings (4W/1W) Programmable Amateur Radio
- Frequency Range: 65-108 MHz (Only commercial FM radio reception) VHF: 136-174 MHz(Rx/Tx). UHF: 400-520 MHz(Rx/Tx)
- Customize Channel Names, the Boot Display and More by Using the PC03 FTDI Programming Cable
- 1500mAh Battery; Broadband (Wide) 25khz / Narrowband (Narrow) 12.5khz Selectable
- AUTO Keypad Lock, Dual Band, Dual Display and Dual Standby
The Baofeng UV-5R is not an APX7000, so if you’re expecting that, you’re not going to be impressed. If you want a good, reliable inexpensive dual band HT that is in fact a COMMERCIAL (it IS FCC part 90 certified) Radio, this is for you. Out of the box, it comes complete with a good 1800mah lithium ion battery, belt clip, hand strap and drop in charger. If you’re familiar with commercial radios, you’ll feel at home programming the UV-5R with the free software, but you’ll need to purchase a USB cable if you don’t already have one (this radio uses the same 2-pin Kenwood LMR style cable that Wouxun, TYT and many others use). The cables are less than $20.
You get 128 channels with any combination of VHF or UHF channels. Another plus is the radio ACTUALLY SUPPORTS NARROWBAND, INCLUDING SPLINTER CHANNELS. This is a HUGE plus if you want to use the radio to listen (or transmit, if you’re authorized) to public safety after 2013 when the FCC mandates narrowband on VHF and UHF. Many agencies are also going to channel steps most ham radios cannot properly tune (e.g. 154.8225). The UV-5R uses DSP, so it has great audio on both transmit and receive. Reports I got about my transmit audio were great, and I noticed if I spoke loudly, the DSP did a good job of attenuating the voice to a tame level.
The display is fairly easy to read, and for it’s size the keys are easy to press. What I really like is the large volume knob with integrated power switch, no accidental turn off of buttons! The PTT key is easy to actuate and you don’t get fatigue for long conversations. Speaker is loud, though I don’t think it has the 1 watt of audio the specifications state. It is loud enough to hear in a crowd or driving down the road with the window open. Construction of this HT is solid, does not feel like a $50 radio, more like a $150 radio.
The only downsides are the poorly written manual, but hey, this is a $50 radio not a $500 radio. If you’ve used LMR type radios, you’ll be able to get around in the software, the menu system also lets you control many of the radios’ features. It does have an FM radio, which actually has great sensitivity, and the flashlight feature is easy to actuate using the lower side button and actually comes in handy.
All in all, this is a great ham HT that has the unique ability to LEGALLY operate on part 90 (commercial) frequencies (for those duly authorized), has great performance, and a long battery life. For the price, you cannot go wrong with it. I would buy another and probably will.
This Baofeng UV-5R Walkie Talkie Handset comes with 12 months warranty. Brought to you by the leader in electronic devices as well as cheap walkie talkies.