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  • Boafeng UV-5R

    Well, I ordered a Boafeng UV-5R and finally had a chance to play around with it. Compared to my higher quality Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom radios, I have to admit that it holds its own.. I wasn't expecting that.. This tiny little radio is a powerhouse of features.

    Hooked it up to spectrum analyzer and its output is clean.. it can tap into all the frequencies including FRS, GMRS and MURS and tx/rx. Using my little Wallymart 2 way radios, I was able to input the frequency into the UV-5R and talk to them without any problems. In fact, the UV-5R sounds better on the wallymart radio's than the wallymart radio's sound communicating with each other... Pretty impressive.

    And the FM radio feature is very nice to have.. When placing the UV-5R into FM radio mode and listening to my favorite radio station, the UV-5R will cut the FM radio off and switch back over to whatever VHF or UHF frequency I happen to be monitoring if a signal shows up. If you don't want it to cut back, you just set the squelch to max and it will stay on the FM radio.

    Only one drawback so far.. The stock antenna it comes with sucks eggs.. really bad. Its fine if you want to talk a mile or so, but if you want to hit repeaters or simplex out to 10 or 15 miles, you'll need to upgrade the antenna.

    I bought a Signal Stick antenna ($20) for it and the radio got a 3 fold boost in performance on both transmitting and reception.. Signal Stick antennas are highly rated and very flexible, so if you hit them on something, they won't put stress on the radio's antenna ports.

    So far I've had the radio sitting on my desk listening to FM Radio and its been running for about 6 hours so far without any signs of the battery draining.. I have the squelch set low so I can listen to a local repeater if someone transmits.

    For $26 (and free shipping), this little radio can't be beat.. I'm going to give it another couple weeks and then probably order a few more of them. Again, only drawback is the antenna sucks so plan on spending an extra $20 for a decent antenna. Keep in mind that the stock rubber ducks suck on all radio's, even the more expensive Yaesu, Kenwood, and Icom's.


  • #2
    Nice report............thank you for posting it.
    One day you eat the chicken.....next day the left-over chicken.....next five days you eat chicken feathers, head and feet.

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    • #3
      Where did you buy this beauty?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post
        Where did you buy this beauty?
        Ebay Item Number 131296292596

        There are a variety of "fakes" on the market and they can be hard to distinguish between what is a genuine radio, a good copy, and an outright fake.
        In fact, there's even argument across various web pages that argue about what a fake radio even is. Apparently there is a breed of UV-5R that are in fact of a lower quality for some reason. There's some youtube video's, a few webpages, forums, etc where folks argue about it. I probably did $100 worth of research (time) to purchase a $26 radio.. LOL

        Seems the only thing that seems consistent is that you can only identify a "fake".. its difficult to confirm a genuine radio because of the various differences in how they're made. In other words, you can't know if you got a genuine or at least a quality radio, you can only know if you got a fake one.

        Upon taking a ($26) gamble, based on the number the seller has sold (almost 900) and his feedback rating (99.7%), it seems the seller is selling the real deal.. My "firmware" version aligns with the good radios as do all of the various plastic injection mold characteristics. Mine has none of the characteristics of the various fakes.. and seems to work well.

        Really, its the RF spectrum output that counts most and mine is on par with my Yaesu FT-60r.

        Again, be warned about the antenna's.. They suck.. You almost have to replace the antenna unless you live at the top of a mountain or just want to talk in your backyard.

        For mobility, I'd recommend the Signal Stick. I'm hitting repeaters 25 miles out and hearing the NOAA stations over 35 miles out.. Neither could be heard with the original antenna. For stationary applications, I'd recommend the N9TAX "Slim Jim".. which is far better than any handheld antenna could ever be.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by urphy View Post

          Ebay Item Number 131296292596

          There are a variety of "fakes" on the market and they can be hard to distinguish between what is a genuine radio, a good copy, and an outright fake.
          In fact, there's even argument across various web pages that argue about what a fake radio even is. Apparently there is a breed of UV-5R that are in fact of a lower quality for some reason. There's some youtube video's, a few webpages, forums, etc where folks argue about it. I probably did $100 worth of research (time) to purchase a $26 radio.. LOL

          Seems the only thing that seems consistent is that you can only identify a "fake".. its difficult to confirm a genuine radio because of the various differences in how they're made. In other words, you can't know if you got a genuine or at least a quality radio, you can only know if you got a fake one.

          Upon taking a ($26) gamble, based on the number the seller has sold (almost 900) and his feedback rating (99.7%), it seems the seller is selling the real deal.. My "firmware" version aligns with the good radios as do all of the various plastic injection mold characteristics. Mine has none of the characteristics of the various fakes.. and seems to work well.

          Really, its the RF spectrum output that counts most and mine is on par with my Yaesu FT-60r.

          Again, be warned about the antenna's.. They suck.. You almost have to replace the antenna unless you live at the top of a mountain or just want to talk in your backyard.

          For mobility, I'd recommend the Signal Stick. I'm hitting repeaters 25 miles out and hearing the NOAA stations over 35 miles out.. Neither could be heard with the original antenna. For stationary applications, I'd recommend the N9TAX "Slim Jim".. which is far better than any handheld antenna could ever be.
          Thank you VERY much for this informative thread. Communications is one of my thinnest prep spots, and I am still learning...

          Ha. I do the same as you: spend a ton of research time before buying anything. The education is worth the trouble because I want my blows to hit the mark and not strike the air.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by GrizzlyetteAdams View Post

            Thank you VERY much for this informative thread. Communications is one of my thinnest prep spots, and I am still learning...

            Ha. I do the same as you: spend a ton of research time before buying anything. The education is worth the trouble because I want my blows to hit the mark and not strike the air.
            I'm buying the UV-5R radio's because I already have all the required communications I require using the higher quality units like Yaesu, Kenwood and Icom..

            I would NOT recommend using a UV-5R for anything but secondary low(er) level requirements or as backups. I want to purchase a few of them so I can hand them out like candy if needed. For myself, wife, and close friends, we stick with the higher quality units like Yaesu, Kenwood, and Icom.

            In a SHTF situation where your life may depend on your ability to communicate, don't go low quality.. You can find good Yaesu/Kenwood/Icom radio's on the used market for $100 or less.. I bought a Kenwood TH-28A for $25 at a garage sale. I'll take that 25 year old Kenwood over a Boafeng any day.

            Before going cheap, buy yourself a Yaesu FT-4XR or an FT-60R so you know you have at least one really good and reliable unit. Heck, buy two or three of them, even used is fine... then purchase the cheap Chinese crap.

            If I was gardening, running and gunning, digging a latrine, or chopping wood, I would not be comfortable having a UV5R on my belt clip.. They just aren't built well enough for that kind of duty..


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            • #7
              Sounds nice. I also need to work more on communications.

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              • #8
                If your budget is really tight, a UV-5R is better than nothing.. If someone asked me to choose between four of the UV-5R's (4x$26) or just one Yaesu ($110 to $150), I'd have to admit that would be a hard decision.....

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                • #9
                  Thank you! Yes, my budget is tighter than a frog's butt in the wintertime.

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                  • #10
                    Well with the way things are spinning, we should think about dusting off the skills books again. I just talked a friend into picking up these and some accy. Neww antennas , extra large batteries, and the USB charge cable. he was on the fence about them then with a bit of explanation about the things they can do. with a better antenna he can go longer range than his cobra 2 ways walkie talkies,they can be programmed with various freq including the coast guard weather, lots of interoperability ,, the ability to plug into an SMA coax. hes now awaiting the shipment.

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                    • #11
                      I think the baofengs are a hell of a lot for the money.

                      the 8watts especially. Those plus good antennas are great!
                      "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

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                      • #12
                        I think the baofengs are a hell of a lot for the money.

                        the 8watts especially. Those plus good antennas are great!

                        Agree with myakka...the Baofengs are excellent little rig/value for the monies.

                        I can afford to lose or damage them and not be out alot of monies.

                        Not that I would deliberately so do.

                        Have several of the extended oversized batteries for them. Also better more efficient antennas and antenna adapters.

                        Have both 5 and 8 watt models.

                        With this tropical storm bearing down on us from down in Florida...one of the first steps I have taken in Prepping is to put a charge on all my Baofeng walkie talkies ...the spare batteries too.... and have them on standby and while I was doing other hurricane preps..


                        Footnote...

                        As an experiment..should I have to operate in the field in very rainy conditdions...I have been able to get into local repeaters while using my Baofeng walkie talkies in a zip lock bag....

                        You do not need to have the antenna outside of the bag...but in the bag too.

                        Thought some of you might like to know this information.


                        It is my way....


                        Orangetom
                        Not an Ishmaelte.
                        Last edited by orangetom1999; 08-03-2020, 01:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Kept a Baofeng 8 watt radio on line all night with the Tropical Storm Isaias bearing down on us and mostly monitored but occasionally checked into the local ham Emergency group to give my status report.
                          Used the stock issue antenna as I was unable to find my more efficient one. Will have to remedy that situation soon.

                          The Walkie Talkie is now back on the charger for the next time....I need it on the ready line..

                          There is another suspected storm front working it's way out at sea....monitoring it on the National Hurricane link on the web.

                          https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/




                          Orangetom
                          Not an Ishmaelite.


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