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Beofeng UV-5RA Duel-Band Amateur Radio Portable

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  • Beofeng UV-5RA Duel-Band Amateur Radio Portable

    OK, its "Made in China". What can I say? But its only $38 on Amazon and comes with the charger! I ordered two of them. I figured, hey... if they are junk, then I'm still not out of a lot of money.

    They arrived the other day. They are better quality than I had expected. They work just as well as the high-dollar brands. Did I mention that they only cost $38? But, there is a trade-off. You have to do all the programming for each set of frequencies, both transmit and receive, because this radio will not automatically do the frequency shift/direction for you like the higher priced radios will. I got tired of pressing buttons!

    The owner's manuel sucks. It doesn't even tell you how to enter and store frequencies. I had to go on-line and google it. There also have been a lot of "ahh haa" moments as I discovered by myself how something functioned. Did I mention that it only cost $38? I have about memorized what little was in the owner's manual now, and have written a "how to" guide for some friends who have ordered the same radio.

    It can be programmed via computer. I did get the interface cable and the software CD. Problem is, the CD is only 3" and no way fits my Mac. Downloading software off the net is an option as long as your computer isn't as ancient as mine is. My operating system is too old, I guess.

    I have now programmed 11 area 2-meter repeaters and have 6 440 MHz to enter on the second band. Nice little radio if you can deal with its idiocentricies when programming. Did I say it only cost $38?:o

  • #2
    It is a great radio. I got mine from a website out of texas. Couldn't find their page, but will get it. They had the software for free download. Ordered the programming cable for a few bucks. VERY happy with it. At the time this was a brand new model and was going for about $50-60. Good for you for finding such a good deal.
    "Oh, America. I wish I could tell you that this was still America, but I've come to realize that you can't have a country without people. And there are no people here. No, my friends. This is now the United States of Zombieland"

    "The constitution does not guarantee our safety, only our liberty!" Robert Steed before congress 3/2013

    Skills Beats Stuff


    • #3
      I've got a couple of them that I've been using for a while. Go online and get the CHIRP programming software. It's free, and lays out all the programming items in a spreadsheet so it's easy to see what you are putting into your radio. It's also a LOT faster than using the keypad. The Chirp software comes with all the FRS, GMRS, MURS, and NOAH channels preprogrammed if you want to use them. I looked online and got my county fire, SAR, dispatch, Air-to-Ground, and highway frequencies plugged in. I found the Sheriff's freq's but they are encrypted so I can't hear them.

      I've been experimenting with antennas for mine. The 6 inch antenna that comes with it is junk. I got a 771 antenna which is about 12 inches long and it works great. I can really push a signal quite a ways with it. Then I got a magnetic mount antenna for a car. Be sure you order one that has an SMA-M connector so it will connect directly to your SMA-F on your radio. With the mag-mount I was able to push a signal over 15 miles which I thought was terrific.

      Then I bought a "slim jim" wire J-Pole antenna on ebay. $25. With that antenna I've been able to push close to 40 miles with my UV-5RA on battery power. And the dang thing only weighs about 2 oz. I'm looking to buy a couple more for BOB, GHB, truck tool set, general camp gear.
      Planning to be here through it all.............


      • #4
        Found mine on Amazon for $38 ,should be here tomorrow along with the cable and antenna. Looking forward to its arrival.


        • #5
          M38 is giving you some good advice, vinnie. Get the CHIRP download and an interface cable. Manual programming is a bitch! Plus, the radio requires programming from the software in order to use names for channels and the extended frequencies for FRS. My son got the CHIRP program working on my wife's laptop. My Mini-Mac's operating system was too old.

          If you do have to program manually, I have developed a "cheat sheet" and will be happy to email it to you. PM me if interested.


          • #6
            UPDATE: I ordered two more of these great little radios! I have carried one around with me for the past month, using it on both 2-meter and 70 cm frequencies and am well pleased with its performance. The next closest inexpensive HT is still more than twice the price. I don't see how they are making any profit unless they are just trying to undercut the market. Now that I have the software working, I have constructed several files with unique frequency/band combinations so that I can pick and choose what to upload to the HT depending on what capabilities I want. Unfortunately the emergency services in my area are mostly using trunked 800 Mhz EDACS, and not capable of being monitored by these HTs.


            • #7
              Just doubled down on my uv5r's ,second radio 2 extra batteries and acc. Put Li AAAA in my FRS walkie talkies and downloaded some info from AmRRON. Been studying for my ham license.


              • #8
                That's ok. Should I decide to buy something like that I have a 3" drive that connects with a usb connecter. Surely they must be for sale some where cheap.


                • #9
                  My neighbor and I bought the MURS model, I put up an outside antenna and it works great for a short range commo system.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KSDeputy View Post
                    My neighbor and I bought the MURS model, I put up an outside antenna and it works great for a short range commo system.
                    How many miles do you consider short range?



                    • #11
                      The Baofeng UV 5 R series are good little radios for the moneys. They are also putting a big dent in the sales from Icom, Yaesu and Kenwood products. I can see why someone would want them banned.

                      I am of the belief that these are commercial radios which happen to work on the ham VHF/UHF bands....

                      They are sufficiently inexpensive that I can afford to lose one and or get one damaged and not be out a lot of monies. This works perfect for me.

                      The factory antennas of almost all Walkie Talkies are marginal at best. There are better replacements out there to be found which will make your Baofeng more efficient.

                      Also there are adapters by which one can hook up a walkie talkie to a base station antenna and thus extend ones range. I use mine often in my car with the extended capacity battery or a cigarette lighter adapter....and a dual band magnetic base antenna on the roof.

                      I have taught myself to program them manually ...not with a computer program as I recognize that in a SHTF situation one may need to add frequencies and needs not to be dependent on a computer for this task.

                      AT work I have a Baofeng radio..with the extended battery...a spare extended battery and also a roll up 2 meter antenna which I can throw up over an obstical to get more antenna altitude if needed. I can also go to the top of certain buildings ..some 85 feet up to get more range.

                      Not an Ishmaelite.


                      • #12
                        Picked up two more Beofeng UV 5 R radios and am putting them into storage for the future....

                        Plan to pick up two more down the road..and for the same reason....the future.

                        Will be working to manually program these radios for the frequencies I want.

                        Am going to be putting in them the GMRS/FRS frequencies such as you see on those little walkie talkies in Wal Mart or sports stores...

                        Also programming into them the MURS radio frequencies.

                        The others will be 2 meter/70 CM frequencies.

                        Not an Ishmaelite.


                        • #13
                          I have a Baofeng UV5R and a little UV3R. Where I am now, I cannot get more than 1/4mile simplex between the two radios and flat ground. We can hear the local repeater quite well, but cannot hit it.

                          Where I was living before, I could hit the repeater with no problem as it was line of sight. Now, not so much. Not even hooked to my Jpole at 480ish feet elevation.

                          I had to end up using the larger 45wt Kenwood to be able to be heard anywhere. So we use the Baofengs to monitor multiple frequencies at once, and the more powerful one to actually talk to people.



                          • #14
                            I've got a few. One preloaded with channels and stored in a faraday box. another in my BOB and another in my general use kit for my motorized bicycle / fishing /hunting adventure bag. My BOB gets checked once a month and radio swapped and charged.