Sunday, December 30, 2012

Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Radio

When I got one of these for Christmas I was pleasantly suprised!
I have never seen or held one of these before, but thinking about how cheap it is selling at the moment and made in China, I wasn't sure what to expect. I had read some good reviews on the internet.

I was amazed when I opened the box and assembled this little beauty. Not plasticy and light, but solid and feels more like a £200 radio not one that costs less than £50! The radio covers 144Mhz and also 432Mhz FM with either frequencies or channels. The dual display is clear and easy to read and the audio is powerful. The Baofeng is easy to use of you are just scanning through the bands, a bit like 'tuning high to low' on 144Mhz (go on...who remembers that?)

Programming is another can programme channels from the keypad, but with repeaters and tones is a bit of a pain. I bought a programming cable and downloaded the Baofeng software. The software is pretty straightforward, but the drivers for the cable are a total nusance!
It seems that all the cables are cheap and nasty and the drivers are not compatable with any computers. I got mine from Amazon, at first I thought it was working, but now my computers don't even recognise the cable despite numerous versions of the drivers.

On 432Mhz I have been listening to the GB3CR repeater with just the rubber duck antenna and reception is fine. What I don't understand is why I can't hear anything on my base station vertical, I bought a F to BNC adaptor (which works) but even though I can hear stations at S9+ on 144Mhz with my FT 817, I can't hear anything at all on the Baofeng with the same antenna...very strange! I'm still investigating that one!

I really like this this radio, it even talks to you! I'm not too bothered about programming, I would rather just scan around. It would be nice to to access some local repeaters, but i'm working on it!

Here is a great site that explains everything about using the Baofeng:

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