Baofeng Tech is a Chinese business that produces a variety of radios that function within the Amateur Radio Frequency ranges. The radios imported by Baofeng and different distributors into the U. S. have change into wildly in style within the emergency preparedness world due to the worth. These are among the least costly full energy handheld radios in the marketplace that can function throughout the spectrum.
In many cases, the Baofeng handheld radio costs are half or much less of a comparable mannequin from Icom, Kenwood, or Yaesu. For budget-minded people who desire a technique of emergency communication, the worth alone makes these radios engaging.
In this text, we’ll look right into a head-to-head comparability of the Baofeng UV-5R vs BF-F8HP. Let’s get to it!
Baofeng UV-5R – The Radio That Started It All for Baofeng
Baofeng had different radios in its lineup earlier than the UV-5R got here to the market. They had loved restricted success with these smaller, much less strong radios, however with the introduction of the UV-5R, the US market opened like flood gates.
I grew to become conscious of the smaller merchandise provided by Baofeng once I had my retail retailer working. At the time, I used to be not a licensed newbie radio operator, however I ordered multiple of the smaller Baofeng radios to check. It wasn’t lengthy after that when the unique UV-5R grew to become accessible, and that I ordered multiple of those as properly straight from the manufacturing unit in China.
Field emergency communications had been a scorching subject amongst preppers and different outdoorsmen on the time and the Baofeng UV-5R appeared to suit the necessities for a lot of of those communications wants. Over the following few months, I took and handed my technician license examination and have become a licensed HAM radio operator
Since that point, the Baofeng UV-5R has gone by means of multiple upgrades and variations modifications. The newest iteration of the UV-5R line is the UV-5RE.
Baofeng UV-5RE – The Latest and the Greatest within the 5R line
There are a few caveats to purchasing a Baofeng UV-5RE on-line and even at a swap meet or gun show. There are lots of counterfeits in the marketplace and also you need to get a bona fide Baofeng product. The important cause is to make sure that the radio you get is licensed by the FCC to be Part 93 compliant.
The UV-5R is a flexible little radio with many options and a big selection of capabilities, offered you possibly can fathom the programming directions or are pc savvy sufficient to make use of one of many accessible radio programming software program that’s accessible on-line. Yes, you do must program these radios to make them helpful.
As far as options go, the UV-5R boasts a formidable listing for a radio that’s typically accessible with many equipment for underneath $50.
- Frequency Range – 136-174/400 – 479.995 MHz These frequencies cowl the vary of the Amateur VHF and UHF bands.
- High definition LED show in two accessible colours
- Upgraded body thing for longer life and extra sturdiness
- High/low energy settings allowing both four watts or 1 watt transmit energy
- Commercial FM radio receiver built-in
- 1500mAh battery
- Keypad lock
- Dual Display with Dual-band watch
- 128 reminiscence slots
- Vox, DCS/CTCS encode assist
- Built-in flashlight
- SMA Female antenna connection
I may get extra technical in regards to the particulars of the radio receiver and the transmitter, however these particulars are a bit past the scope and intent of this text. Suffice it to say that the UV5R is a completely succesful handheld radio with all the newest technological advances constructed into the electronics and the firmware that controls the whole lot.
What Users Like in regards to the UV-5RE
- The worth is superb for a radio with these sorts of options
- Great reception for such a small radio
- Programming with the pc interface cable and software program is simple and fast
- Great battery life
- Solid and well-built really feel to the radio. Doesn’t really feel like an inexpensive large container retailer walky-talky
- No lack of aftermarket equipment and upgrades to make an awesome little radio even higher
What Users Don’t Like About the UV-5RE
- The high quality management is a little bit sketchy.
- Use a dependable supplier and look ahead to counterfeits
- Requires a license if you wish to do extra than simply pay attention
- Hard to program manually. You should purchase the programming cable separate
- The manuals offered poorly written and are arduous to grasp
Overall, the shopper satisfaction rankings on the UV-5R are excessive, and most customers discover this radio fills their wants at an unbeatable worth.
Last replace on 2020-08-11 at 14:28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Baofeng’s Newest Entry – the Baofeng BF-F8HP
The latest entry into the Baofeng handheld radio group is the Baofeng BF-F8HP. Some commercials for this radio tout it as the threerd Generation replace of the UV-5R. The BF-F8HP makes use of the identical underlying know-how because the UV-5R however gives extra energy, a brand new firmware version, and a hardened case.
The BF-F8HP additionally contains a new and extra strong battery to match the upgraded output energy. All these upgrades and additions make the BF-F8HP a bit dearer than a UV-5R. Baofeng advertises that the BF-F8HP was designed within the US to particularly meet the necessities of Part 93 of the FCC laws to make sure that customers can function safely and legally.
Feature-wise, Baofeng hasn’t left something out of the listing.
- 2000mAh, 7.4v Li-ion battery pack
- Frequency vary – 65-1008Hz (FM obtain solely), 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz
- High achieve 7” versatile antenna
- Semi-duplex operation
- Three output energy ranges – 1w/4w/8w
- Fully backward appropriate with all UV-5R equipment
- Tri-color LED show
- 128 reminiscence slots
- Vox, DCS/CTCS encode assist
- Built-in flashlight
- SMA Female antenna connection
In the radio world, extra output energy means extra distance. The benefit of extra energy is very true when speaking in regards to the UHF and VHF bands. If you want extra distance otherwise you face challenges to utilizing a handheld radio equivalent to massive buildings, terrain variations, or different interference points, the extra energy of the Baofeng BF-F8HP can justify the small distinction in worth.
Users of the Baofeng BF-F8HP – Pros
- The additional energy is properly price the additional worth.
- Works properly and hits repeaters as much as 15 miles away from my home
- The a number of energy settings are nice for saving batteries
- Programming is simple with the accent cable and software program
- This radio feels stable and properly constructed
- For a critical ham, this radio has all of the options highly anticipated on a radio costing twice as much
Users of the Baofeng Bf-F8HP – Cons
- Quality management appears to be a difficulty with Baofeng
- The SMA antenna connector is reversed from most different handheld radios
- There Is no method to copy a VFO to reminiscence.
- The buttons on the keyboard are small and never straightforward for anybody with massive hands to control.
In basic, prospects appear to be delighted with their selection of the Baofeng BF-F8HP. The feedback charge excessive on the shopper satisfaction aspect. The lack of an included programming cable appears to be the chief criticism even amongst these giving this radio excessive marks.
Baofeng UV-5R vs BF-F8HP – How Do These Two Radios Compare?
|Baofeng UV-5R||Baofeng BF-F8HP|
|Frequencies||136 – 174 MHz400 – 479 MHz65 – 108 MHz (Rcv Only)||136 – 174 MHz400 – 520 MHz65 – 108 MHz (Rcv solely)|
|Display||2 Color LED||3 Color LED|
|Included||Radio, Antenna, Li-Ion battery, Desk charger, Belt clip, Wrist strap, User guide||Radio, Li-ion battery, Antenna, Desk Charger, Belt Clip, Wrist strap, User Manual|
Feature-wise, the UV-5R and the BF-F8HP are nearly similar. The incontrovertible fact that the BF-F8HP is taken into account the threerd era of the UV-5R explains lots of this. The important variations between these two handheld radios ais within the power-output after which firmware that drives the radio capabilities.
Almost all the aftermarket equipment accessible for the UV-5R will work with the BF-F8HP radios, so if you’re upgrading an present radio to the newer mannequin, you received’t’ have to face the expense of changing all your equipment. The variations in these two radios embody:
- Output energy – The UV-5R is restricted to four watts output whereas the BF-F8HP can transmit eight watts
- Supplied Battery dimension – The Bf-F8HP comes with a 2000mAh li-ion battery pack versus the UV-5R’s smaller 1500 mAh battery pack
- Firmware – The Bf-F8HP consists of the latest firmware accessible from Baofeng. This firmware is designed to make the most of the upgraded energy of the BF0F8HP and won’t be an accessible improve to the UV-5R radio.
My Experiences – The Boafeng UV-5R vs BF-F8HP
i’ve multiple of each fashions in my assortment. A few my UV-5Rs date again greater than 5 years, and i’ve by no means upgraded the firmware or performed something to them besides including some new batteries because the older battery packs started to age.
i’ve had the older Baofeng UV-5R’s die for no obvious cause. They simply stop working. It occurs, particularly with handheld radios that go outside in some harsh climate or trip round within the console of a truck on a development job. The wonderful thing about the Baofeng radios is that I don’t fret an excessive amount of over the loss as a result of the funding was not that much.
I just like the Baofeng radios. I feel they’re a superb funding for the worth, particularly for those who intend to make use of them solely in emergencies. I hold a UV-5R in all my go-bags, get house luggage, and three-day evacuation luggage. I tape a small card to the again of the battery with directions on how one can use the radio and what channels to watch for emergency broadcasts.
The built-in means to watch industrial FM broadcasts is an important characteristic that makes the BaoFeng radios stand out for me. In an emergency equivalent to a hurricane or twister, FM radio would be the most well-liked technique for emergency businesses to speak updates and knowledge. This characteristic means I don’t have to hold or fear a couple of separate radio to listen to these broadcasts.
As I start to exchange my older UV-5R’s, I might be selecting the brand new BF-F8HP for the straightforward cause that extra energy is only a good factor in my e book. More reach in an emergency communications state of affairs means a greater probability of being heard. I wholeheartedly suggest everybody, whether or not you’re a licensed newbie radio operator or not, to have a few these BaoFeng BF-F8HP radios in your equipment.
Licensing – The Big Roadblock for Some People
Yes, for those who function on any of the Amateur Radio bands utilizing a Baofeng radio, you might be required to have a minimum of a Technicians License issued by the Federal Communications Commission. Now, it isn’t unlawful to purchase, own or take heed to a radio that operates in these frequencies. You should purchase and take heed to anybody working on these frequencies however don’t push the TALK button and begin transmitting.
Many persons are underneath the misperception that they will purchase a Baofeng and program the MURS, GMRS, or FRS frequencies and start transmitting instantly. Not so. All these frequencies require a license issued by the FCC. You don’t need to inadvertently find yourself with an FCC enforcement agent knocking in your entrance door since you used your handheld radio to speak to your spouse out of your workshop throughout the yard.
For extra details about FCC licensing, you should visit this website. The American Radio Relay League (ARRL) has all the knowledge on how one can research for a check and get licenses, together with follow checks with the precise questions used on the FCC licensing examination.
Last Minute Update (as of August 2020)
Just as I used to be closing out this text, I observed on the Baofeng Tech web site a small and hardly noticeable line of their product chart. i’m not certain of the publish date of the Baofeng Tech web site. The chart now lists the Baofeng UV-5R with different discontinued radio fashions.
Checking across the internet, I discovered that the Baofeng UV-5R continues to be broadly accessible from different sellers. I can’t verify how lengthy these shares will final, however in order for you a Baofeng UV-5R, it could be clever to buy prior to later.
I nonetheless suggest that you just spend a little bit extra and purchase the newer Baofeng BF-F8HP. I don’t suppose you can be dissatisfied, and the added options will definitely improve the usage of the radio.
Getting on the Air
No matter which radio you select, I hope that this text has offered some understanding of the choices and variations within the Baofeng UV-5R vs BF-F8HP radios.
Don’t overlook that to transmit on both of those radios, licensing is required. If you might have questions, feedback, or different experiences, please share them within the feedback beneath.