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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: 21 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.
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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.
VE2CII Rating: 5/5 Sep 3, 2014 13:43 Send this review to a friend
For the money it is great.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I wanted to add some stuff that I did not see in
the reviews so far.
I checked it with a meter and the radio puts out
1 watt on high and 1 watt on low. The manual is wrong. If you use the chirps software you must
use chirps-daily as the production one has a bug,
it will not turn off the "scrambler". Only the
daily will. The software that came with the CD
also works well. The receive is not as good as
most radios and you will notice a difference. The
plus side of this is less intermod.
PD9AVB Rating: 2/5 Jul 29, 2014 22:59 Send this review to a friend
Funtoy  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
For les then 18 dollars shipped. The audio sounds very good. but the receiver is very poor. i used 2 pieces and the distance is 300 - 400 meters here in this big city. I think it's good use for kids.
G6HVY Rating: 5/5 Jul 28, 2014 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Yes, they're worth it  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
The consensus on these little 70cm-only rigs is correct: they're much better than toys and do the limited job they're designed for very well indeed.

I bought a pair so I can leave one in a coat pocket and one in my standard shoulderbag for general around-town simplex and repeater working. They're great for both, especially as the proper on-off switch means the Li battery won't discharge too quickly when I'm not using them. You can find the specs and lots of opinion elsewhere on the Web, so here are a couple of things I found that I didn't find beforehand.

CHIRP and the standard Kenwood/Baofeng USB programming cable work fine, except that the current stable version of CHIRP (0.4.0) does not handle the per-channel voice inverter or scanning channel lock-out settings properly. Once set, you can't disable them. However, the bug has been fixed so use the latest daily (beta) version and all is well. I've read various comments about what releases of the radio have speech inversion and how to tell: all I know is mine have the round red K sticker in the battery compartment and do support inversion - contrary to other reports. As far as I'm aware, the one-chip DSP radio in the beast has speech inversion as standard. (It's pointless, at least in the UK, where the radio is only legal to use on the ham band where any form of encryption is forbidden. Of course you can program it for any local service between 400-470 MHz, so if your local laws allow non type-approved radios with scramblers, or if you're an evil pirate scofflaw who doesn't mind drawing attention to yourself, off you go!)

The scanning function is enabled or disabled by selecting channel 16 and holding down the PTT and the Monitor buttons when turning the rig on. However, some commentators have said that it only works if channel 16 is not programmed - not so, in my experience. You can set and use 16 as any other channel; the only difference is that if you select it and scanning is enabled, the rig will then scan. While doing so, the green RX LED will pulse; it also lights dimly when you're on a channel with a signal too weak to break the squelch. The scan function is very limited: it won't stay on a channel even if you blip the PTT, and there's no way of knowing what channel it stops on. But it works for keeping an ear on things, and stops for long enough to keep most conversations together. With only 16 channels, it's adequate.

The channel markings are too small and black for my eyes to read, but the speech annunciator works very well - no loss.

In terms of sensitivity, overload and audio quality/volume, this is easily a match for my Baofeng UV-5R and the stock antenna seems to work better than the UV-5R's (it's single band, so I'd expect that).

I would normally knock a point off because there's no external DC power input and the supplied drop-in charger has a captive mains lead, so no easy way to charge from a car or other power source; also, the torch LED is pretty feeble. But at the price, I won't.

These are easily the cheapest walkie-talkies I've ever bought new, and the quality does not reflect that. If you think you might like one, you most probably will.
KI5DR Rating: 4/5 Jan 19, 2014 21:44 Send this review to a friend
Interesting low-cost experiment  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I bought a pair of these (eBay) for $37 or so, solely to experiment with. As you might expect, the designers have gotten just about everything cost-streamlined.
To program these, you need the USB cable and the CHIRP software. Programming was hit-or-miss (Occasionally telling the radio did not respond) but a quick retry would offer success.
16-channels of local repeater and simplex frequencies and you are on your way. By the way, setting the radio to channel 16 places the radio into SCAN-MODE. (little-known-fact).
I've also had issues with the VOX feature - something I do not use, but is turned on by default (Sneeze and you will kerchunk the repeater ;-)) I have disabled it using the software, only to find it re-enabled.

Outside of minor programming glitches, the radio does well on the air locally, the battery life is decent for a small lithium cell radio. This is one of those radios you can throw in your pocket for something to listen to, without worrying about bringing your $400 Yaesu.

Are they subsidized by the Chinese Gov't? We may never know. I'm sure the Japanese MFG's are taking notice. I doubt they will last as long, but I'm also killing my pocketbook for a couple of Starbucks and a slice of pizza as-opposed to a couple of Mercedes car payments. Big difference!
VE6JJO Rating: 4/5 Nov 15, 2013 11:25 Send this review to a friend
$16  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Thats $1.00 per channel, delivered to my door. Strong signal, great reports back on readability. Easy to program. I think Yaesu, ICOM and the others are in big trouble if the Chinese make their product much better and maintain the price point. Added a better antenna and just like with my VX-7, performance increased by quite a bit. The BF-888 is no VX-7 but then the VX-7 doesn't cost sixteen bucks. One could, I suppose, set the BF-888 up to work GMRS frequencies very easily although that would be illegal.
N8MRC Rating: 4/5 Nov 12, 2013 21:53 Send this review to a friend
Good little 440 radio  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I bought 2 for $35 off from eBay. Good little radios for what they are, I live about 1/4 mile from our clubs 440 repeater and they work great for that
KH6HOU Rating: 4/5 Nov 4, 2013 21:44 Send this review to a friend
Great Cheap Rig for the Non-technical  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Great basic rig for under $20! Easy to use with controls for volume, channel and PTT.

Not the best made and certainly not the best performing, but it's enough for local repeater work and short range simplex.

The antenna can be replaced with a Nagoya NA701 for under $10 for better range, but then you're getting into real moeny. ;-)

If you don't mind a little complexity, the UV-5R, UV-B5 or UV82 cost a little more and give better performance both in transmit and receive as well as 99-128 channels and greater flexibility and power.

Check out for help with Baofeng and other Chinese Radios.
N7AF Rating: 4/5 Aug 29, 2013 07:47 Send this review to a friend
Good except not as sensitive as most amateur handhelds.  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
These are available for less than $20 and represent a remarkable value for a UHF transceiver. They are quick and easy to program, have good loud clear audio from speaker, and a very secure belt clip. The only downside for amateur use is that the receiver is not as sensitive as those in units designed more for hams like the UV-5R. Therefore, unless you are in prime coverage area for a repeater, you may not be able to hear the repeater even though you can get into it. I have several of these transceivers and they all perform similarly. In addition, they do have a scan function though it's hard to tell which channel it stopped on since there is no display. There is also a built-in flashlight that comes in handy.
K4AX Rating: 5/5 Jul 19, 2013 10:41 Send this review to a friend
Great for what it is  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Picked up one of these on Amazon for 18 dollars shipped!

Programming software is a bit clunky, and Chirp is not working with this model yet. Software for the BF 480 is used to program it. You can put in repeater pairs or simplex, split PL's, and there are sixteen channels controlled by the knob on the top, with voice announcement to tell you what channel you're on.

It will scan, work with speaker mics, has a monitor button, and a led flashlight built in. Two watts out at most, high and low setting in software seems to do nothing, power output is always 1.6-2 watts. Loud RX audio.

First one of these I had, TX audio was terrible, got it replaced and the second one sounds great on the air, and has loud receive audio.

I don't have a way to measure the SWR with the included antenna on 440, but I am hitting a machine that is about 60 miles away with no issues, with about the same signal that my other HTs do. I've also tested the antenna with a freq counter with signal strength meter against a lot of other antennas I have, and it was just as good as the best, which I attribute to it being a single band whip.

All in all, for 18 dollars delivered, I've certainly gotten my use out of it for just a around the house and town rag chew throw away HT. I've played with about twenty of these new due to a friend buying a large batch, and they all programmed easily, and all of them are still working.

I would not recommend this radio as your only HT of course, but as a back up or hiking rig it will do great. If you smash it, get it went loose it or whatever, you're out the cost of a plate of tacos and a couple of beers at your fav Mexican restaurant.

There is a Yahoo group for this radio like all others which helps. I recommend buying this from Amazon directly, so if you have issues they will ship another and issue you a return label to ship the other back for free. Only ones I've seen listed are for UHF though.
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