Baofeng UV 5R

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JEBstuart
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Baofeng UV 5R

Post by JEBstuart » Sun Mar 08, 2020 9:41 pm

Hello All,

Long time lurker on this since college. Now further along in life and with a wife and baby. Slightly reviewing preps. I have 2x radios to listen into repeater and other networks. I have not got my licence yet, so I will not be xmitting.

I know a deal about radios from time in military. I am familiar with MBITR, Harris HF as well as ASIPs etc. These little devices seem to be not all that intuitive to me and was curious does anyone here have these sets? Anyone have some tips and other items for ease of use?

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woodsghost
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 09, 2020 5:07 am

If you mean "how do I program this sucker?", the only way forward is experience. You can program by hand or get CHIRP software and a programming cable and use your computer to program them. In my experience, random cables off Amazon or eBay can be cheap, but can also be Chinese knockoffs of Chinese products. They don't always work. There may also be firmware issues in the radio itself. Outdated ones get sold for very cheap and we customers don't always realize what we are buying.

If you truely are asking "how do I program this" then please be clear and more can be said. I only program mine by hand, so that is my area of "expertise." And yes, they are NOT intuitive.

Buying accessories from reputable dealers is important with this radio because of the large number of knockoffs and fake gear.

My "must have" accessories are the 3800 mAh battery and probably the Nagoya 771. Maybe the Nagoya 717 (depending on intended use). Again, buy from reputable dealers, because these are being copied by Chinese fakers too.

"Nice to haves" are a hand mic, a programming cable, and multiple 3800 mAh batteries. The batteries are especially useful if using for emergency comms. (Buy from reputable companies).

Something to consider is the N9TAX antenna with SMA adapter and length of coax, for 2M/144mhz. From what I've read I don't expect the dual band N9TAX antenna to work well on 70cm/440mhz, but if dual band performance is a must I would look at the Ed Phong antennas, with the understanding that the dual antenna will work better than the N9TAX dual bander, but I have simply not been happy with my dual band performance so far. Maybe my expectations are too high. But getting what is basically a 2M dipole for the radio is something I consider useful. A tiger tail is also useful, but I like the ability of the N9TAX monoband to be hoisted 15 ft above the surrounding area since the 2M band is LOS.

If you really want to get all "Mad Max" with your Baofengs, I would look at a way to charge them with solar or wind.

Pouches are something to consider, and Galls and other police/security supply places have radio holsters with swivel points to attach your radio to your belt but reduce breakage by allowing the radio to swing freely. Otherwise, if attaching to a Molle setup, I like the single mag pouch if using the 3800 mAh battery. I expect a grenade pouch would work if using the 1800 mAh battery.

Also, I'm slightly biased in that most of my work is on 2M. If you plan to mostly use the radio on 440mhz and your stock antenna/rubber ducky is of the V-85 type, you may want to save a few dollars and just stay with that. I've read they are actually very decent on 440, according to tests, but I can't say for sure from personal experience.

Just my thoughts and experience.

More info on how you plan to use these might steer us towards different accessories.

Lastly, these radios are NOT military durable. Nor are their accessories. They won't handle the same heat, cold, dust, moisture, and knocking around that you are used to. They are also 1/10th to 1/20th the price. And they don't have the same internal filters for stray/random radiation. Just FYI. :)
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MacWa77ace
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by MacWa77ace » Mon Mar 09, 2020 11:47 am

1. Get an app for your phone or tablet that has all your local repeaters that is filterable for finding repeaters within a certain range of important locations you visit. Repeater Book.

2. Get the hardware to program your radios, its just a USB to 2 pin mic connector, and most come with a disc and software. Amazon. the software is usually not as good as CHIRP.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008R ... UTF8&psc=1

3. Get the CHIRP software to program your radios. https://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home
The chirp software also has listings of repeaters that you can use to program into your radio and filter by location. County/State/etc.
Think of it like this. You create a file [using chirp] in your computer that has all the channels you want to program [save]. UV 5R has a 128 channel memory so you can save that many. Then you move that file you created into your radio [export/sync]. You can then move that same file into your second radio so both radios are programmed identically. Make sure you put a few simplex channels into memory there on 70cm and 2m for direct comms [after you get your ticket]

4. Learn the steps to manually program a simplex channel and a duplex channel in the UV5R, just for fun or frustration depending on your attitude. Make sure you're sober when attempting.

5. Get an app that allows you to listen to the local repeaters on your device to find out if they are busy or not, the times, and make notes to adjust your CHIRP image file [program list], and then when you update the CHIRP image file make sure you update both radios with it.

6. Always keep all your radios' channel memory channels sync'd to each other. Because in channel mode you change channels by keying a number on the keypad that has a frequency saved to it in its memory. So if you send the instruction 'go to channel 054', 054 will be the same frequency on all your radios.

7. Create your hardcopy emergency or SHTF channel reference list. https://i.pinimg.com/originals/46/36/1a ... 094464.png
Make sure you program in some of these on your UV5R as needed. And include your AO's govt use emergency or EOC frequencies to tune to to get updated on emergency situations. You can also manually type in frequencies for simplex by switching to frequency mode on your UV5R if you don't want to save these into the limited memory. Also write/type the steps for manually programming channels on your UV5R onto the back of this reference card for emergency reprogramming w/out a computer.

8. Use the search function on the ZombieSquad website and search UV5R and check out all the additional info available for the Baofeng UV-5Rs on here.

Accessories:
I have an adapter that allows the UV5R's antenna SMA Female to connect to UHF SO-239 Female Connectors
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CO ... UTF8&psc=1
But these are fragile and will wear out pretty quick if you use them for a hand held to attach and detach to and from a mobile or base antenna. The wire pulls out of the connector.

Get back up batteries so you can switch them out. There are the rechargeable, then there are adapter kinds that allow for AA batteries, and that will allow you to plug into a cigarette lighter or USB.

Get better antennas. There are better ones that outperform the ones that come standard with the UV5R's. Make sure they are not counterfeit though.
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JEBstuart
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by JEBstuart » Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:44 pm

Apps were mentioned here a few times, anyone have suggestions, iOS preferred.

I got a couple good antennas, as well as PC cable and CHIRP. I will play with it tonight.

I also have hand mics coming, as well as a PTT remote to have on my plate carrier and if I want to listen in via a 2 tail Peltor tactical headset. PTT button is likely going on my 2 ways so I can have intervehicle and dismounted comms.

Car charger is coming for both sets. I also have inverters in each of my cars to run 110 as back up.

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woodsghost
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by woodsghost » Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:26 pm

JEBstuart wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:44 pm
Apps were mentioned here a few times, anyone have suggestions, iOS preferred.

I got a couple good antennas, as well as PC cable and CHIRP. I will play with it tonight.

I also have hand mics coming, as well as a PTT remote to have on my plate carrier and if I want to listen in via a 2 tail Peltor tactical headset. PTT button is likely going on my 2 ways so I can have intervehicle and dismounted comms.

Car charger is coming for both sets. I also have inverters in each of my cars to run 110 as back up.
Some of what you are mentioning makes me think you need to look at a better radio. I would approach the Baofengs as "learner/tester" radios and upgrade once your setup is dialed in.

I don't want to rely on a Baofeng in a critical situation. There are multiple other radios I would trust more. I have seen real experienced guys running Baofengs, but I also have friends who have torn those thing up. They are not real durable.
*Remember: I'm just a guy on the internet :)
*Don't go to stupid places with stupid people & do stupid things.
*Be courteous. Look normal. Be in bed by 10'clock.

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” -Bilbo Baggins.

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NT2C
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by NT2C » Mon Mar 09, 2020 6:38 pm

woodsghost wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 4:26 pm
JEBstuart wrote:
Mon Mar 09, 2020 3:44 pm
Apps were mentioned here a few times, anyone have suggestions, iOS preferred.

I got a couple good antennas, as well as PC cable and CHIRP. I will play with it tonight.

I also have hand mics coming, as well as a PTT remote to have on my plate carrier and if I want to listen in via a 2 tail Peltor tactical headset. PTT button is likely going on my 2 ways so I can have intervehicle and dismounted comms.

Car charger is coming for both sets. I also have inverters in each of my cars to run 110 as back up.
Some of what you are mentioning makes me think you need to look at a better radio. I would approach the Baofengs as "learner/tester" radios and upgrade once your setup is dialed in.

I don't want to rely on a Baofeng in a critical situation. There are multiple other radios I would trust more. I have seen real experienced guys running Baofengs, but I also have friends who have torn those thing up. They are not real durable.
I have to agree with woodsghost here. When I was more active in amateur radio I did 15-18 public service events per year. Baofengs and others like them were what I carried to hand out to the inevitable guy who showed up to work the event and forgot to charge his batteries; left his HT at home; snapped his antenna off in the mount; or just otherwise needed a radio to use. They were cheap, worked reasonably well (lower power than other HTs back then), and put out low enough levels of spurious radiation to be acceptable for the event. For myself, I had a FPP Motorola XTS 2500i as my primary (with half a dozen charged battery packs), a pair of Yaesu FT-60s (with spare battery packs and a dry cell pack) as backup, and then a Baofeng I kept for myself as my tertiary. (and more spare batteries, antennas, and both mobile and base radios in my truck) A lot of times those loaner Baofengs came back damaged or inoperable. I've seen them dropped, run over, sunk (maritime mobile during the swim portion of a triathlon lost it over the side), and otherwise abused. My Motorola, on the other hand, has survived a lot of drops, got run over by my truck once (10,000 lb. service truck), and has gotten completely drenched in multiple hurricanes. I'm not saying go out and plunk down a few grand on a Motorola (although the price on my radio these days is barely a tenth of what it was when I got it 10 years ago) but do consider getting one of the better quality offerings from Yaesu, Kenwood, Motorola, etc. They're worth the money, especially if you decide to get your ham ticket and actually use them to transmit as well as receive.
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by Raven_Thunder » Sun Mar 15, 2020 1:25 pm

For a good starter rig, the BF UV-5Rs are not a bad place to begin the addiction. That being said, if I had to do it all over again, I would have just saved up a few more doll hairs and got the FT-60 and a few extra battery packs. I like older Yaesu products like the FT-60 and FT-1500 (long discontinued but a fun little 2M FM rig that can be found at most HAM Fests for a reasonable price) so there is some slight bias in that statement.

I started with the BF-F8HP, then got an ICOM ID-51, then the FT-60. The BF ended up being donated to another new HAM so in the end it was still worth it. I remember using the BF with a roll-up antenna hitting repeaters in Seattle, WA (was living in Port Orchard, WA at the time) from my living room so it will do good work.
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moab
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Re: Baofeng UV 5R

Post by moab » Tue Mar 17, 2020 10:11 am

If it's of any help to anyone reading this. The only official site to buy these radios direct from the real manufacturer. and not get ripped off on a fake. Which is highly likely. www.baofengradio.com is the only official site. Prices are comparable to elsewhere. But you get real radios and accessories.
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