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Category: Security Gadgets
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.
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.