New Baofeng Disappointment

Discussion in 'VHF/UHF - 50Mhz and Beyond' started by KN4SMF, Jul 3, 2021.

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  1. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    So, my new UV-5RTP came today. I know nothing about VHF and UHF, but at $29, I figured what the heck. So, is there anybody out there? I've let it scan over and over by it's default frequency increments on both bands. At one point the tail end of some guy thanking all the participants in his net, and that he was now turning the repeater over to general use, and that was the end of it. Since then it's scanned and scanned without a peep. The squelch is set at the default 3. I can hear FM radio just fine, so I know it works. Here I am smack dab in the center of the city of Charlotte with a million people around me. And I hear zilch. Is anybody out there?
  2. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    If you're looking for simplex contacts, just put it on 146.52 with no PL or offset. Maybe call CQ from time to time. There's a fair bit of simplex activity in this area, but you might miss it as it's not constant. People routinely call "CQ 52) on that frequency though.

    Have you configured your HT for the local repeaters? You say you call the tail end of a net, but do you know which repeater that was?

    K0UO likes this.
  3. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I haven't programmed anything. All I've done is let it scan over and over. At one point it stopped scanning when it picked up the guy closing out the net. Simplex. I'm going to have to look that up. I'm a boat anchor guy. This FM VHF stuff is totally new to me. I was never the least bit interested in it. But at $29 I bought a toy. Not that I'm all excited about it. It's so small. How do they fit all those octal tubes in it? I put it on that frequency the above poster mentioned. I'll just let it sit there a few hours. I called out but nobody responded. My policy is to use my ears and not my mouth when I'm this ignorant.
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2021
  4. WB2LBV

    WB2LBV Subscriber QRZ Page

    Unless something has changed, those radios come out of the box with a bunch of random frequencies in them some of which may happen to be in the ham bands. (This is one of the complaints about them as non-hams buy them and start transmitting on the default frequencies with no attempt to verify what's legal).
    Even if some of the channels happen to be receiving local repeaters, the transmit frequencies may not be correct and/or the tone settings may be wrong and as a result you won't be able to access those repeaters just hear them.
    You absolutely WILL have to program the radio, either manually through the keypad or with software (Chirp is easier than trying to figure out how to use the Baofeng software). Plenty of online tutorials to help you get started.
    Have you done any research into what repeaters are in your area? You'll need this info to determine what frequencies to program and what PL tones they require if any.
  5. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    Are you using the radio inside or outside? If inside and if using the factory rubber duck antenna, no wonder you're not hearing much. I have a high(er) gain antenna up at about 30' connected to my 746Pro and hear signals when an HT indoors will hear nothing. The on-radio antenna is not going to work well indoors.

  6. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well well. I got something. Some guys down in Anderson SC and Columbia, with me in Charlotte. On 444.925. Works better if I walk out and stand in the road. I just let it scan till it got a hit. I would have thought there'd be chatter everywhere. I didn't buy the computer cord because just buying the radio was half-hearted enough. It came with some earplug doohicky, which I'm never going to use. I wonder it there's a way to cut the wire off and splice it to one of these old USB scanner cables around here. For one thing I live in an apartment so there won't be any outdoor antennas. I have no intention of keying down til I have something intelligent to say. Yeah, I know the antenna that came with this thing is worthless, but it's all there is. Thanks, men
    G0CIQ likes this.
  7. WA4SIX

    WA4SIX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Before accessing a repeater, you will need to program offsets & PL tones. The computer cable is cheap & makes programming the radio much easier. CHIRP is a free software for programming many radios. Till then, 146.52 is the simplex frequency (No repeater & point to point ).

  8. KA9JLM

    KA9JLM Ham Member QRZ Page

    It could be front end over load. They are bad about that.

    One of the cons with a broadband open barn door receiver.
  9. KN4SMF

    KN4SMF Ham Member QRZ Page

    I shouldn't have titled the threat that, using the word disappointment. But so far just not impressed. I wonder which band is generally busier, the 2m or 70cm. And this counterpoise idea--apparently it is not just snake oil. But I wonder if it helps the receive also, or just the transmit.
  10. KI4POT

    KI4POT Ham Member QRZ Page

    2m is generally busier. The only time I hear traffic on 70cm simplex is during a VHF contest. I hear random 2m simplex traffic daily.

    G0CIQ likes this.

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