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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Baofeng/Pofung BF-888 Help


Reviews Summary for Baofeng/Pofung BF-888
Baofeng/Pofung BF-888 Reviews: 20 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $30.00 USD
Description: - Model: Baofeng BF-888S
- Color: Black
- Plastic material housing
- 50 CTCSS / 105 CDCSS
- VOX Function / Voice Prompt / Emergency Alarm / Intelligent Charging / Battery Save / Low Voltage Alert / Time-out Timer
- Frequency: 400~470MHz
- Power: < 5W
- 16 channels
- Powered by 1 x 3.7V 1500mAh battery
Product is in production.
More info: http://www.baofengradio.com
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G7IDJ Rating: 4/5 Nov 5, 2017 02:44 Send this review to a friend
actually good value for money  Time owned: more than 12 months
I have bought quite a few of them and experimented quite a bit within an Amateur Radio and also PMR context. Now the BF-888 is a very basic no thrills radio but it works. When they come they are programmed to some random uhf frequencies outside the HAM bands. It is important to realise. So once you order them get a programming lead with them. I did struggle quite a bit to connect the radios with the interface. The key was the data rate and one of them eventually worked and all was fine.
Now the radio itself - you got 16 channels only about 2W output power and a reverse TNC antenna socket.
Some of the radios you can invert the audio which makes it a bit like a scrambler but since it is an inversion it can be easily decoded but is not easily picked up with a scanner. Note: for HAM radio applications we are not allowed to obfuscate our communication but it may be legal in some countries for PMR applications.
The receiver seems to be really good and quite selective. The sensitivity is about the same as the £150 japanese handhelds. The audio is loud and strong and the output power seems to correspond to the 2 Watts advertised.
I did manage to access repeaters which were about 20 miles or 30km away without a problem and I used them for car to car communication just using the handheld with the standard antenna and it worked for a few miles from inside the car.
Summary:
Good Points:
- dirt cheap
- loud clear audio
- scrambler (on some)
- 2W output
- batteries last a long time
- easy to operate
- audio description of channel when turning knob
- appears to be rugged - strong plastic
- got VOX

Bad Points:
- no s-meter or display of any kind
- no possiblity to charge battery from a power lead or to operate radio from a power lead
- reverse TNC limitied to Baofeng antennas
- not straight forward to program frequencies and no possibility to program the radio without a computer and programming lead


Note:
Google Miklor for programming software

A nice radio for projects such emergency coms, radio is solid and almost ruggedised - but I havn't tried it in bad environments yet.
I noticed that armies in Syria and the Ukraine were using these radios.
The radios are dead cheap and it might be worthwhile to keep a pair of them in the car just in case you have to deal with coms problem.

For under £20 you can't really go wrong with these radios. Not a rollce royce but more like an old Land Rover with all the thrills removed.

Mike
G7IDJ/DL6MS
 
WN6F Rating: 3/5 Jul 17, 2017 12:48 Send this review to a friend
Tone Squelch Bug  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Audio quality puts high-end scanners, and some amateur transceivers to shame. The big 3 could learn something here. Loud and clean. It can be done so there is no excuse for the big 3.

Tone Squelch bug when scanning:
Noted that when scanning, unit will not decode on any decode PL of 136.5 or lower. This is a bug shared with another model, but applies to scanning only. Not that I use this as my main scanner. :)

Tone Squelch on PL's lower than 136.5 hz *does* function properly when not scanning.

My unit scanned whether channel 16 was populated or not. I did not have to leave it empty. Disabled FM reception mode, and alarm with Chirp software.

Used mostly for single-channel operations, keeping in mind what the unit is.
 
G4EDY Rating: 5/5 Dec 31, 2016 07:37 Send this review to a friend
A handy handheld!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
A perfect companion for out door activities! I take mine when I go mountain bike riding and trail running, it's been wet, muddy and at times jettisoned into the undergrowth and still comes back for more!

Programming with Chirp was simple and the battery lasts all day.

At the price it's a no brainer, buy one, program it then attach it to your belt and go out and have fun!
 
N1RIK Rating: 2/5 Nov 28, 2016 15:04 Send this review to a friend
Poor Squelch  Time owned: more than 12 months
I'm not sure if they have fixed this in later versions, but for whatever reason, fast motion would severely effect the squelch. If I was driving in my car, strong signals would not open my squelch even with a low threshold set, however when standing still, the squelch would respond perfectly fine. I had two of these radios, and they both reacted the same when it came down to the squelch. Other than the squelch, everything seemed just fine with the radio. What a poor defect.
 
JOHNR Rating: 4/5 Jul 11, 2016 06:51 Send this review to a friend
Great little radio, cheap and simple.  Time owned: more than 12 months
Decent little radio that is very simple to operate. It's a 16 channel UHF radio that puts out between 2 to 3 watts. You can normally find these little radios from $14 to $18 each.

I own one I purchased over 2 years ago from Amazon and it's still running strong and more recently purchased a yellow one from http://www.radioddity.com/

Make sure you have a programming cable because the test channels that come pre-programmed more than likely are illegal to use in your area.

I have heard some people say their 888 has a Part 90 sticker but none of mine do so they are not legal for commercial use. Also note that they are not legal for FRS/GMRS either since they are not Part95 compliant. They are great little radio though for a hamfest or close comms with an amateur license.
 
N4FDG Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2016 07:45 Send this review to a friend
Excellent for me!  Time owned: more than 12 months
For less than $14.00 on Amazon these can't be beat. I use mine for cross banding and the local repeaters. Chirp works for programming. Best money I've ever spent on radios.
 
G6IYD Rating: 4/5 Mar 3, 2016 13:39 Send this review to a friend
Basic 70cm HT   Time owned: 6 to 12 months
For such a cheap radio, they are surprisingly good value. Useless without the software, but very simple to set up with a suitable programming lead and Chirp. Not as sensitive as a Yaesu or Icom, but what do you expect for the price! If all you want is a simple 16ch 70cm handheld for local repeater use or keeping in touch with nearby hams, they will do the job. Good TX reports through a repeater 17 miles away on the supplied antenna. Mine gives out between 2-3 watts. If like me, you have a licensed XYL, buy two.
 
W5PFG Rating: 5/5 Apr 1, 2015 12:20 Send this review to a friend
As Advertised  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio exceeded my expectations. I bought four of them on Amazon for less than $15 each. Using the Valley Enterprises $15 FTDI-chip programming cable and CHIRP software, I was able to get them up and running in no time. The battery life is good. I have found the range to be acceptable, about 1.5 miles in my terrain. Obviously that will vary for you.
 
KJ5RM Rating: 5/5 Jan 23, 2015 12:13 Send this review to a friend
Good, cheap, 70cm FM HT  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
5 points for what it is and it does very wellÖ

I needed a low power UHF (70cm) FM transceiver for a project that I was working on. On Amazon I came across a pair of these for $17 (on special). Couldnít pass up that price ($8.97 a piece!) for what I needed. Upon receipt, I programed the units with Chirp daily build (0.4.1) and in a few minutes I was on the air.

I was concerned about the cheapness (price wise) of the units and decided it would be best to check for spectrum purity before using them too much. Both units were on frequency with no detected spurs noted inside or outside the ham band. Both of my units measured out between 1.6 and 2 watts of power based on where they were in their operation range (400-470).

I use one of the units primarily around the house/neighborhood for accessing my personal simplex IRLP node and for also keeping in contact with the XYL at parks, malls, and other venues. I have not used the unit outside the ham band as I am not licensed for any part 90 uses. The low power output of the units does limit its range (8 to 10 miles max) and I rarely use it on area repeaters due to this fact. If you lived fairly close to a repeater it would no doubt work great. The included antenna is somewhat of a dummy load so range would be increased with an antenna upgrade.

The units are small and very light weight and the plastic case is strong enough to stand up to drops and roughness of outdoor work. You hardly know itís on your belt until you hear a signal come through the speaker. An added bonus for outdoors is the included flashlight LED function. The light is surprisingly bright and you never know how useful having a flashlight in a radio is until you do (you listening big three radio manufactures!). I have used the flashlight quite a bit since purchasing the radio and it came in very handy at field day.

There are three possible flavors of these radios, the BF-666, BF-777, and BF-888. Very minor differences exist between the models (including/excluding the scrambler function etc.) Any of the models will work fine for the 70cm amateur band as none of the functional differences we (hams) use. Units can be programed for any frequency from 400-470 MHz, with either simplex or repeater offsets, tone, tone squelch, or DCS settings. The unit can store a maximum of sixteen channels. Channel selection is made with a rotatable knob on the top of the radio and a pleasant voice announces the channel selection.

The radio comes with a 3.7 1500Ah battery pack and desk charger. The desktop charger is a little cheesy but charges the battery from dead to full in about 4 hours. The battery life on the radio is astounding with a standard charge lasting days on receive and light transmit. The speaker volume on the radio is very loud at full volume (one of the loudest I have heard on an HT of this size).

Final thoughts: Some computer knowledge and the appropriate interface cable (Kenwood HT or Beofeng) is required to set these radios up. This radio isnít fancy, no display, no DTMF buttons, and no menus. You program your frequencies into it and it goes to work. If you need simple "program and forget" radio for short range low power 70 cm FM communications then this is a good cheap option. If you damage it or lose it, then youíre only out the price of a lunch at a fast food restaurant. Canít go wrong with that!
 
KK6JBX Rating: 5/5 Jan 4, 2015 21:39 Send this review to a friend
$16 powerhouse  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I've got a few HTs including a $400 Kenwood yet I often reach for this little radio that has all my local repeaters stored in memory. With the Nagoya NA-701 antenna I can hear and be heard clearly on the Wins System repeater in Santa Barbara from my home in Thousand Oaks, over 60 miles.

I use ChIrp's daily build (not version 0.4.1) because only the daily build will turn off/on the scrambler function. Right-click the channel and click edit to do this.
 
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