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Author Topic: Baofeng  (Read 6670 times)
K8DFI
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Posts: 22




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« on: March 31, 2013, 12:33:13 PM »

Does anyone have any experience with this brand of radio. I am on a very limited budget and would like to become active (10 year licencee, no air time) I have an old Clegg FM28, 2 meter, that I inherited from my Grandfather, but I'm not so sure it works properly. I tune it to a local repeater and get an occasional CW, but never hear any conversation. My license is in renewal mode, so I can't try to TX at this time.  I would like to get a dual band like these found on Ebay, but I don't want to waste $50+ if they're "junk". Also, if my radio does in fact work properly, does anyone know it's value?
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David
K8DFI
K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #1 on: March 31, 2013, 01:31:22 PM »

I'm not saying that my experience was the usual, but I ordered one, and it arrived DOA.  Tried everything to get it to work including calling the North American distributor, but got nowhere.  I sent it back and got a refund, and instead got an Icom HT used for around the same money.  No, it's not the newest or the best--but IT WORKS.  Another acquaintance had one for a few months, then one day accidentally dropped it on the parking lot surface at work.  That popped its cork.

The old saw--you get what you pay for--is true as far as those HTs go.  Look around on e-bay or the local craigslist, or check out the local club.  You may be better off.
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K8DFI
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Posts: 22




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« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2013, 01:36:35 PM »

I'm not saying that my experience was the usual, but I ordered one, and it arrived DOA.  Tried everything to get it to work including calling the North American distributor, but got nowhere.  I sent it back and got a refund, and instead got an Icom HT used for around the same money.  No, it's not the newest or the best--but IT WORKS.  Another acquaintance had one for a few months, then one day accidentally dropped it on the parking lot surface at work.  That popped its cork.

The old saw--you get what you pay for--is true as far as those HTs go.  Look around on e-bay or the local craigslist, or check out the local club.  You may be better off.

Thanks for your reply. Kinda what I figured.
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David
K8DFI
KA4POL
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Posts: 2128




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« Reply #3 on: March 31, 2013, 10:08:17 PM »

There is a hyperactive Yahoo group that can give you a whole lot of information. Actually there was so much traffic in that group that I stopped receiving messages.
I got a UV-5R from China. There is a risk concerning warranty etc. So buying in the US would reduce this.
It is a lot of radio that you get for the money. Actually it is a SDR.
Quality wise there are two critical points. The antenna supplied with the radio gets warm due to a design failure. The harmonics on 2m are marginal. The latter being another reason to buy in the US. The US dealers are checking the radios.
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K2OWK
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Posts: 1079




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« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2013, 11:09:49 PM »

Amazon sells this radio for about $50.00. They have an excellent return policy if needed. I have a Wouxun and it works great. A few of our club members have the Baofeng and they like them. They are tiny radios with many features. If I needed another handheld I would definitely take a chance for $50.00, but again buy it from an American distributor like Amazon in case of a problem. Just a note if you get one, get the program cable and software with it. They are very hard to program by hand.

73s

K2OWK
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K7KY
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Posts: 6




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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 10:42:16 AM »

I've purchased six if these radios in the last few months with no issues.  For less than $50 delivered, you're not taking too great a risk.  Of course, they don't rival $300 HH's, but for nearly disposable radios, they're a good value.  The manual is sketchy, but free programming software makes them easy to manage with a cheap programming cable. 
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K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 02:46:40 PM »

Thanks again for the replies. I have now heard conversations on my radio, but again, if I'm not mistaken. I can't transmit until I my license renewal is received. So I'm not sure if this radio is fully functional. It sounds like I may try one of these when I get the extra cash.
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David
K8DFI
K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 03:11:36 PM »

There is a hyperactive Yahoo group that can give you a whole lot of information. Actually there was so much traffic in that group that I stopped receiving messages.
I got a UV-5R from China. There is a risk concerning warranty etc. So buying in the US would reduce this.
It is a lot of radio that you get for the money. Actually it is a SDR.
Quality wise there are two critical points. The antenna supplied with the radio gets warm due to a design failure. The harmonics on 2m are marginal. The latter being another reason to buy in the US. The US dealers are checking the radios.


Forgive my inexperience/ignorance, but what is SDR? And please explain your harmonics comment. I inheritated my radio and learned just enough to get my licence, so I have a lot to learn to become active in this hobby. Thanks.
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David
K8DFI
KD0REQ
Member

Posts: 1055




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« Reply #8 on: April 01, 2013, 06:02:17 PM »

SDR = Software Defined Radio.  a bunch of A/D D/A chips and a microprocessor, a speaker on one end and an RF amp and antenna on the other.  they range from the Flex to the junkpile.

as you know, unwanted radiation up-band due to distortion products and various ignored or mistuned output circuits will put harmonics (2x, 3x, 4x etc. of the desired frequency) out the antenna.  FCC regulations require harmonics to be from 40 to 50 dB down depending on the harmonic frequencies.  doing this requires tuning circuits in the output, and the more power out, the bigger they get.

the knock on some bands of the Chinese radios is by ARRL testing, harmonics are on the line of legal, either up or down.  if there was a power-limit requirement in the law, they might not be an issue.  as a straight dB down number, there is a potential issue.

it's going to work fine.  out of band, in the wrong place at the wrong time, somebody may complain.   with any equipment, if you cause interference that deprives somebody else of licensed bandwidth, you might get tagged.

at that cost, frankly, a lot of hams are taking the (mild) risk.  borrow one when you get your ticket back.  if you like it, well, you can dump more on a full tank of gas.
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KA4POL
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Posts: 2128




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« Reply #9 on: April 01, 2013, 09:58:08 PM »

Forgive my ...
KEQ has given a very good answer to your question. Good you asked and sorry I did not go into more detail.
Take a look at the circuit of the UV-5R under http://www.uv3r.com/images/Schematic-Baofeng-UV5R.pdf
You can see the radio is mainly two integrated circuits, the large squares. The IC U2 does all the jobs getting the audio from the received RF signal. Now in this case there is no external software like in many SDRs. Here the program responsible for all the functions of this radio is written into the memory at the time of production. There is no possibility to change it afterwards.
Avery good information site for the UV-5R is at http://www.miklor.com/
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6061




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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 04:34:43 AM »

Thanks again for the replies. I have now heard conversations on my radio, but again, if I'm not mistaken. I can't transmit until I my license renewal is received. So I'm not sure if this radio is fully functional. It sounds like I may try one of these when I get the extra cash.

Keep checking the FCC website, or simply check your callsign on this website.  When you see that your license expiration date has been updated, you can resume using your transmitter--it isn't necessary for you to wait for the paperwork to arrive at your home according to the regs.
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K1CJS
Member

Posts: 6061




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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2013, 04:39:32 AM »

SDR = Software Defined Radio......they range from the Flex to the junkpile....

I'm not trying to start any arguments, and I don't have experience with the Flex line, but it has been said that both of the ends you mentioned were at the same end of range of SDRs available...   Cheesy
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AD4U
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Posts: 2186




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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2013, 06:14:44 AM »

I have 3 of the UV5R HT's that I bought for $42 each through Amazon including shipping.  I have had them for about 4 months and so far all is well.  IMO the included dual band rubber duck antenna is not a very good performer.  I replaced mine with a longer after market antenna that works MUCH better. 

In addition to being a HAM my job requires that I communicate in the commercial and municipal frequencies (VHF and UHF).  Since these HT's are type accepted for HAM and commercial service, I use mine for both.

They do not seem to be Yaesu, ICOM, Kenwood, or Motorola quality, but so far they work.

DO NOT try to manually program these radios.  Download CHIRP or similar free programming software.

Dick  AD4U
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K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2013, 09:30:44 AM »

I see where my license has been updated, so I guess I'll have to jump in and see if anyone can hear me on this old Clegg. Anyone from E TN here?
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David
K8DFI
K8DFI
Member

Posts: 22




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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2013, 05:45:43 PM »

I see where my license has been updated, so I guess I'll have to jump in and see if anyone can hear me on this old Clegg. Anyone from E TN here?

Well, I parked my butt in the van for a while and after about an hour or so and trying different frequencies. I finally got a response from someone. Going through the 146.94 repeater here, which is visible from my driveway, I finally talked with another ham that is actually between myself and the repeater. I will try again in the morning, to see if everything works out as I'm mobile on my way to work. This same repeater has a group that transmits every morning. I've been listening to them but afraid to transmit until I was sure my license was legally renewed.
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David
K8DFI
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