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

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

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  1. KD3Y

    KD3Y Ham Member QRZ Page

    I use my $25 Baofeng on my boat. I've hit the repeater from 13 miles offshore with it, and talked to my buddy 40 miles away in a different town with it when my buddies $299 "Marine VHF radio" from West Marine couldn't get a reply. I consider it an excellent "backup emergency" radio for just that reason. I know that situation would be dependent on whether you could hit a repeater, but for me it works. Our local repeater is on the coast and radiates out across the Atlantic.

    The benefit I get from it my Baofeng is as a "disposable". If I accidentally drop my Baofeng overboard and it ends up on the bottom of the ocean, that sucks but I'm not going to cry over it. If some clumsy buddy drops his lead weights or his scuba tank on it and busts it, I'm not going to be mad. Now if either of that happens to my buddies $299 Marine VHF that won't reach help, he'll be out $300. For me, a Baofeng is like a Bic Lighter. You use it a few years, throw it away, and go buy a new one.

    Since my repeater is local, I can ride around in my truck and hit the repeater and talk all over town with my $25 Baofeng. It doesn't matter since the repeater is on a 300 foot tower and my town is relatively small. It keeps me from having to install a radio under my dash, run cables, run wires to the battery, and drill holes in my new truck to mount an antenna, etc. Why should I when the $25 Baofeng connects to the same repeater the 2-meter mobile would? I know some guys just like to "show off" their ham achievement with a huge antenna. And I could mount a HF whip on my bumper and just not have it connected to anything if I was just after "bragging rights".

    They ARE frustrating to program and the user manual sucks a "-2" on a scale of 1-10, but once you get over the learning curve they're not terrible radio's. Of course being cheap china, probably 20% of them are duds. I guess you just have to roll the dice and hope you get a good one, or spend hundreds on an Icom or Yaesu handheld.

    I just can't see the need for me to spend $300- $400 on an iCom/Kenwood/Yaesu handheld when my $25 Baofeng hits the same repeater from anywhere in town.
  2. KC3TEC

    KC3TEC Ham Member QRZ Page

    you will have those who have had poor experience with any radio or piece of equipment. that may be coincidental or they have simply failed to understand the limitations of it, or how much of it is just echoed trash talk from someone else.
    you do not have to learn electronics to be a ham operator But it is a benefit to learn how to build and repair radios rather than needlessly throwing money at it.
    and building them does give you a little satisfaction when you have a working system.
    build a pixie, or frog sounds qrp radio, they are cheap, easy to build and modify and a damn good learning tool
    a pixie is only a half watt, usually has a noisy harmonics but with a proper antenna can be heard far longer distances than many 2 meter radios in simplex mode
    my elmer tested mine on his 40 meter loop and made contact 500 miles away. (i would say thats yelling pretty loud for a half watt)

    I have a baofeng uv9r ( Its the first radio i purchased that i haven't built) the first thing i did was transmit into a watt-meter/dummy load for test measurement i got 9 watts
    that's still more power than a legal cb mobile or marine mobile radio

    that being said i do intend to get better radios (or build them myself).
    KD3Y likes this.

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