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Baofeng GT-5R.... "Legal" Model

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio News' started by WJ6F, May 21, 2021.

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  1. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    The reason that people do not like the Baofeng radio is because they are jealous, And they paid $200+ for their first single band HT. (Me included :D)

    Most HT's are just toys. Motorola is a real radio, But no Flashlight that sends SOS.
    W8LV and KO4ESA like this.
  2. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I don't like them because they are crappy radios. It didn't stop me from buying 3 or 4 of the things, they are good enough for some tasks, especially where the eventual loss or destruction of the radio is possible. My big beef is they frequently get targeted at GMRS/FRS/MURS customers but come programmed with some weird list of Chinese frequencies that probably intrude on 3 or 4 different services and manage to miss every frequency they SHOULD have :mad:

    Also note giving a new ham an analog FM radio with a wide open front end, at least around here, would lead one to think ham radios make weird buzzy sounds and maybe once a month a human voice is heard. Your $200 radio probably has/had vastly superior receive than any Bofunk or probably any modern 138 to 512 MHz wide open receive radio. Mine sure did!
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2021
    KO4ESA likes this.
  3. KX2U

    KX2U Ham Member QRZ Page

    I believe the best way to introduce students to Amateur Radio is have them build their own radio. The instructor should have them design the receiver and transmitter and have it operational while they study and pass each test and then have an unlocking ceremony on the backend section for each class they earn/pass. Just a thought.... I would have enjoyed such a class in school those many years ago....
    KO4ESA likes this.
  4. M3VPI

    M3VPI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi there from the u.k. I have a few different models of Baofeng and always found them to work really well, my first one was a uv5re and I have owned it now a good three years or so ,the only change l made was to add a larger battery pack , my original still works fine but the larger pack fits in my large hands better so I don't feel like I'm going to drop it all the time.
    Given the nature of handheld radios there's only so much money I am prepared to justify spending on one and the Baofengs working as well as they do for their low price point mean I'm not worried about using them whereas with a more expensive handheld from one of the big three if I drop it it's tears and a hurt wallet, and in all honesty the amount of money you need to outlay on the high end handheld to get even a little better performance is just too much.

    £30 for a Baofeng that works perfectly well is quite enough to spend.

    best 73 de M3VPI / 2E0FBX
    KO4ESA likes this.
  5. KO4ESA

    KO4ESA Ham Member QRZ Page

    One of my LEO friends wanted a radio. He had been keeping track of the updates on my license. When I completed my General license I found a triband baofeng to get for him.
    Of course he is now also in ham radio.
    Best money I ever spent on a friend.
  6. N6JPG

    N6JPG Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Sadly, I bought one of these things. I could only manage to program the receive on it and must admit I was impressed with the quality of the audio and receive strength. That being said, trying to program it using RT Systems failed and the thing would not transmit only sounding a tone when the Xmit button was pushed. Same thing with Chirp; no use. It wound up in the garbage. Baofengs are notorious for inconsistent quality control and this would have to be one of them. A friend of mine who knows Baofengs looked at it and he could not get it to work either. The upside is I’m only out 25 bucks. Expensive paperweight (does anyone use those anymore?).
    KO4ESA likes this.
  7. W7UUU

    W7UUU Principal Moderator Lifetime Member 133 Administrator Volunteer Moderator Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    I have a LOT of Baofengs... talk about the cheapest intercom system for 5 acres I could possibly think of!

    We have one in: kitchen, rec room, shack, carport, office, wife's craft room, barn, and the ATV I use to run all over the place on the property. We use an oddball 2m frequency with an oddball PL tone. Works great.

    About $100 invested total. If one falls in a mud puddle? (or melts in a shack fire ;)) - who cares? Beats doing the same with an expensive cell phone.

    They have their place, IMO.


    [yes, my wife is a ham as well N7ANN so perfectly legal to use the "system"]
    KO4ESA likes this.
  8. KO4ESA

    KO4ESA Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use my baofeng radios to monitor weather reports and to listen to local ragchews.
    I use my kenwood thd74 and my ic705 for transmitting.
  9. W8LV

    W8LV Ham Member QRZ Page

    The Baofeng GT-5R is a good radio. You buy it for US $26, and for more or less that again for accessories, you get a larger battery, the cables, the Mike, and toss in a US $20.00 and you've got a nice antenna.
    (Trust me, you'll STILL be using the stock one sometimes. And even it is usually adequate.)

    So hey you've got say 75 US bucks, TOTAL invested. Try buying ANY other radio, PLUS the accessories wich you WILL need and use, for less.

    Don't listen to the soothsayers! It's not that hard to program manually. No more difficult than a Big Name Radio that I purchased not that many years ago. And the CHIRP software makes that even easier, after you get through the learning curve of CHIRP itself.

    The sound quality is good. It gets the job done , and for a lot less money.

    Drop it, lose it, not breaking the bank: So if the unfortunate happens (and it does) just click on Giant Rain Forest, and it's replaced again for 26 US Bucks in a day or two. And because of this? You carry it MORE and worry LESS about babying it or just not carrying it with you often, because you don't want to lose a $300 investment. Baofeng is the radio that gets USED, and this one is spectrally CLEAN, and it.just WORKS.


    Far and above over ALL digital modes, for HTs and Repeaters, FM is still the MOST Robust if/when SHTF. And you can always find one, anytime, no pre-on line registrations or third party coordination required. That's How It Is.


    73 DE W8LV BILL
  10. KD3Y

    KD3Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    While I can understand that approach for someone who hopes to become an engineer at a radio station, that simply doesn't interest me. All I wanted to do was TALK. I don't care about building a radio from scratch, I don't care about building an antenna from bubble gum wrappers and super glue. I really don't care how my voice gets from NC to Sweden. I can respect the guys who want to understand that and who want to geek-out on such knowledge, and who want to know everything there is to know about how electromagnetic waves behave, but I think that such a requirement would dissuade a lot of people who would otherwise become contributing and happy hams.

    You used the words "student" and "instructor" in your post which hints that I may be misunderstanding your post. I didn't have an "instructor" and I wasn't a ham "student". I just wanted to be able to have a 2-meter radio and be able to legally talk on it. My motivation ended up with me earning an Extra license, but nothing I do REQUIRES an Extra license. I don't think it would benefit the hobby to set the bar so high that ham radio is an elite hobby just for techie nerds. I enjoy being a nerd at some things, but ham radio isn't one of them. I don't have to be able to disassemble the engine on my F150 into 200 pieces on my garage floor and then reassemble it all to be a good and safe driver.

    As a (maybe arguably poor) comparison, we don't require motorists to have a commercial license for non-commercial travel on our roads, we don't require out first responders to be licensed doctors, and as a law enforcement officer, I had to qualify at the range once a year just like the civilian who wants a carry permit does. I wasn't required to perform to Army special forces standards they have for their pistol range.

    What would be the benefit from me knowing how to build a radio from scratch if I wasn't going to have a career in radio repair or be a broadcast station technician?

    I was required to learn how to add/subtract/multiply in binary, octal, and hex in college to earn my degree. I haven't used that skill in 22 years. I got that "A" in the class and left it there. Today I couldn't add 1+1 in hex as I've forgotten it all. Building a radio from scratch would be just like that for me. I'd figure it out, do it, then forget all about it and go talk on my store-bought 2-meter radio.

    It would be a whole lot of effort and learning for something I'd simply forget about.

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