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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R Help

Reviews Summary for Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R
Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R Reviews: 268 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $60
Description: Micro sized dual band 2m/70cm radio.
Product is in production.
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You can write your own review of the Baofeng/Pofung UV-5R.

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VE5EDE Rating: 5/5 Jun 5, 2017 18:44 Send this review to a friend
Changed Ham Radio History  Time owned: more than 12 months
I've had about 7 of these and have handed several on to new hams to celebrate after they passed their exams (In Canada new hams can secure a callsign and be on the air within 30 minutes). They make great gifts. I keep buying more at about $22 each Canadian shipped to my door. Two of mine are the triple power models. I have plenty of Icoms, Yaesus, Kenwoods and Alincos, but don't use them, because I want to see how long the Baofengs will last. Not one I've bought or any my friends' (dozens!) have failed after all these years. Some even spent the night out at -42c. OK, one volume knob fell off...

They do what they say they do, with not much pinache, but they work fine. The older ones aren't as good with desense and intermod, but the triple powers are quite a bit cleaner. The latest versions bring reports of "broadcast quality". Even the manuals are improving. The first manuals did not give adequate instructions how to manually program these radios. If you don't get it right (youtube can help) the radio simply won't work, and you'll be posting your 0 star review here.

More poor, handicapped, elderly and fixed-income hams are on the air than ever before because of this radio. And how happy they are to be participating.

4 stars for the technical, and 5 stars for their sociological contribution!
N8AUC Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2017 08:59 Send this review to a friend
Three Year Update  Time owned: more than 12 months
Well, at about the 2.5 year mark, the original UV-5R I got at Dayton finally ended up in the trash bin. The volume control failed. My initial thought was, "Oh no I have to get this fixed!" Then I remembered that I had spares, and this was only a cheap Chinese radio. So I kept the battery pack and accessories, tossed the failed radio in the trash, and pulled out a spare. Phew!

These radios are a little sketchy in the area of spectral purity on transmit. Mine meets FCC requirements, but just barely. The 2nd harmonic is -42db from the carrier. The FCC says it has to be -40dB or better. Yeah - it passed by the slimmest of margins.

Problem is, ALL the harmonics were at -42dB up through the frequency limit of the analyzer. Yes, we had the proper attenuators and test probes so we didn't overload the analyzer. The harmonic amplitude should roll off as you go higher in frequency, not stay constant. That's what you get with an SDR that has no appreciable transmitter output filtering. (Yeah, the UV-5 series IS an SDR. And based on what we saw, there isn't any transmitter output filtering. So I got lucky with this one.) A number of other UV-5R type radios tested that day did not meet the FCC requirement. I think the worst one we saw was -37db. Clearly not legal for use in the amateur service. Of all the radios we tested that day, probably 60% of them failed the spectral purity test, making them illegal for use on the Amateur Bands.

For comparison, I put my trusty crusty Icom T-8A on that same test setup. 2nd harmonic was around -60dB from the carrier (much better). And all the higher order harmonics rolled off like they should. By the time you got to the 5th harmonic, it was lower than the spectrum analyzer noise floor, which is -141dB. Now that is only a guess, because we couldn't see the 5th harmonic or anything higher than that, on the screen. The Icom cost 10x what a Baofeng costs when it was new. But the quality was MUCH better.

Although my UV-5R radios do work, and mine did pass the spectral purity test (just barely), I don't think I'll be buying any more of them in the future. You really do get what you pay for, at least in this instance.

73 de N8AUC

K2PHD Rating: 4/5 Jan 30, 2017 07:21 Send this review to a friend
Good radio for the price  Time owned: more than 12 months
I had to add a Nagoya antenna to make the radio truely usable. I developed a programming check list and now find it very easy to program from the keypad. Also use for fire/OEM receiver.

Would recommend to any hams on limited budgets.
N8EKT Rating: 0/5 Jan 29, 2017 19:56 Send this review to a friend
TERRIBLE RECEIVE  Time owned: months
VHF is terrible on this radio with the stock antenna

Can't hear repeaters that are full scale on other hts

And in a high rf area the radio is useless as it gets desensed and becomes completely deaf!

Programming via keypad is virtually impossible and the hokey chirp software and interface cable is fresh out of some toy factory in China and regularly requires rebooting and unplugging!

On vhf or uhf this radios receiver is useless unless you live on a deserted island!

You get what yuou pay for and this radio is a JOKE!
KM4LCF Rating: 5/5 Aug 8, 2016 06:56 Send this review to a friend
Excellent First Radio  Time owned: more than 12 months
I got my ticket on 6/10/2015, and promptly ordered one of these with a programming cable. Programming was not difficult using the Chirp software available online. For Christmas that year, I received a Nagoya NA-771R antenna and a 3800mAh battery, which provided even further range and longer talk time. I also added a "tiger tail" counterpoise to it, enabling me to hit repeaters 7 miles away from inside my house.

Compact Size
Easy to Program from PC
Battery Life

Limited functionality
Darn-near impossible field programming
No Rated Waterproofing
TX/RX range

Too Long Didn't Read Version: You get what you pay for, but several accessories are almost necessary.
NY7Q Rating: 4/5 Jul 9, 2016 20:33 Send this review to a friend
Not bad considering price  Time owned: more than 12 months
Programming is tedious but doable. built like a tank.I use a new 2016 uv-5r right now.....good reports.
KB9ZB Rating: 1/5 Jul 9, 2016 08:01 Send this review to a friend
good for garbage  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Bought one as a backup, just in case radio. Programing is just like any other radio, nothing special. It is what it is, I was not expecting a top of the line radio, but I did except it to work the time. Had a bad one, but got replacement no hassle. After presaging I was very anxious to try it out, first issue, it totally deviated my condo neighbors TV. Wiped out several channels, and teed off the neighbor, also got into a baby monitor as well. I have been operating in this environment for the last year and a half running 50 watts without any complaints or problems. Checked this out on a service monitor, talk about spurs it looked like a spark generator!!! Got a replacement, not much better than the first one, you get what you pay for in this case cheap radio cheap results.
For a first time ham not a good option, unless you want to drive them out of the service. The reason I say this is because almost all new hams do not know how to handle rfi issues or even what they really are.
KD0DUJ Rating: 5/5 Jul 9, 2016 00:27 Send this review to a friend
better internal mic  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought my UV-5r from a friend of mine yesterday and this radio works with the speaker mic and with out it and there is no problem with field programming and is a great beginner radio for new hams
KU4UV Rating: 4/5 Jul 4, 2016 20:32 Send this review to a friend
Not bad as long as you have reasonable expectations.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I recently picked one of these radios up at R and L Electronics for around $40. I went ahead and purchased the matching SMA to BNC connector for the radio as well, as I am not a big fan of SMA connectors. The radio that I purchased apparently had a bad solder connection or loose connection somewhere in the microphone. I kept wondering why no one was coming back to me on the repeaters, even though I was hitting the repeaters just fine. I finally realized that I had no audio output from the transceiver, once I monitored myself on my scanner. Slightly tapping the front of the radio near the microphone seemed to fix the problem, at least for now. R and L told me to bring the radio back in next time I was in town, and they would replace it, but for now, I will hold off on that as long as the radio is working o.k.
These radio seems to be fine, as long as you have reasonable quality expectations out of them. You can't really compare a $40 dual-band radio to a $300 radio from the 3 major manufacturers. I should add that I also work for, and we sell quite a few of these radio. I should know, as I have picked the orders for customers who bought them. I have already ordered another UV-5R from Amazon, as I can pick the 4 Watt version up from Amazon for around $20 with my employee discount. The radio does have a bit of a learning curve to it in terms of programming, especially if you are used to programming a Kenwood, Icom, or Yaesu. The radio isn't difficult to program if you follow the steps in some of the online Youtube videos.
I like the fact that the radio includes a flashlight/strobe feature. I plan on keeping on of these radios in my glove compartment for when I travel, as the strobe light is nice to have to alert other drivers in case you need assistance or have a roadside emergency. The stock antenna is a joke, as are a lot of stock handheld antennas. I highly recommend a different antenna if you purchase this radio. I have already made some satellite contacts through SO-50 using this radio along with a tape measure yagi beam. All-in-all, a nice radio with a lot of good features. For $40, I won't lose too much sleep if the thing craps out on me in a year or two.
K7VNE Rating: 5/5 Jun 13, 2016 12:58 Send this review to a friend
No complaints  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Have had 4 of these for about 2 months now, 2 - 5r's, and 2 of the 8 watt 5rTP units. These have been error free and the battery life with the standard battery has been outstanding. Highly recommended as a first radio for anyone who has just entered the world of Ham. In fact, I have spoken with several long time hammers who also own them. In order to join in on our local net from my "easy chair", I use an old Diamond D-130 to transmit on. While doing so, I have been told several times that my signal is the best on our net. Only reason I am upgrading to a Yaesu is to experience some HF.
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