Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio 136-174/400-480 MHz Dual-Band Transceiver (Black)
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- Dual PTT keys; A/B band independent operation
- Incorporates 105 codes "DCS" and 50 privacy codes "CTCSS" programmable.Other features include: selectable wide/narrow, battery save function, VOX, DCS/CTCSS encode, key lock and built in flashlight
- CTCSS & DCS Scanning/ CTCSS & DCS Direct input
- Emergency Alarm; LED Flashlight; Built-in key lock
- Tri-color background light selectable; 0~9 grades VOX selectable
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From the manufacturer
|UV-82HP (7W), High-Power +(3rd Gen)||UV-82C, Commercial, Employer Model||UV-5X3, Tribander Model||BF-F8HP (8W), High Power + (3rd Gen)||BF-F8+ Variants, (2nd Gen)||UV-5R & Variants (2nd Gen)|
|Output||7 Watt Max||5 Watt Max||5 Watt Max||8 Watt Max||4-5 Watt Max||4-5 Watt Max|
|Speaker Output||1 Watt||1 Watt||1 Watt||700mw||700mw||700mw|
|Frequency Range (mhz)||VHF (136-174), UHF (400-520)||VHF (136-174), UHF (400-520)||VHF (130-179.99), 1.25M (222-225.99), UHF (400-520.99)||VHF (136-174), UHF (400-520)||VHF (136-174), UHF (400-520)||VHF (136-174), UHF (400-520)|
|Push-to-Talk: Single, Dual, or Both||Both||Both||Single||Single||Single||Single|
|Disable VFO (Frequency)||✓||✓||✓|
|FCC Part 90 Licensed and Compliant for Commercial Applications||✓|
|High Gain 7" Antenna||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Updated In-Depth User's Guide||✓||✓||✓|
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The Baofeng UV-5RA is a compact, economical HT covering 2 meters and 440 MHz. It has special VHF receive band from 65 - 108 MHz which includes the regular FM broadcast band. Dual watch and dual reception is supported. You get up to 128 memories.
Other features include: selectable wide/narrow, battery save function, VOX, DCS/CTCSS encode, key lock and built in flashlight. Selectable frequency steps include: 2.5, 5, 6.25, 10, 12.5 and 25kHz. RF power may be selected at 4 or 1 watts.
1. Frequency Range: 136-174 / 400-520MHz
2. Dual-Band Display, Dual Freq. Display, Dual-Standby
3. Output Power: 4 /1Watts
4. 128 Channels
5. 50 CTCSS and 104 CDCSS
6. Built-in VOX Function
7. 1750Hz Brust Tone
8. FM Radio (65.0MHz-108.0MHz)
9. LED Flashlight
10. Large LCD Display
11. High /Low RF Power Switchable
12. 25KHz/12.5KHz Switchable
13. Emergency Alert
14. Low Battery Alert
15. Battery Saver
16. Time-out Timer
17. Keypad Lock
18. Monitor Channel
19. Channel Step: 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5/25KHz
20. ROGER SET
Frequency Range: 65-108MHz (FM Receive only); 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz (TX/RX)
Channel No.: 128
Frequency Stability: ±2.5ppm
Operating Voltage: DC 7.4V
Output power: 4W / 1W (Max 5W)
Mode of operation: Simple or semi-duplex
Dimension（W x H x D）: 100 x 52 x 32 mm
Weight: 250g （including battery, antenna）
Package Content :
1x BaoFeng UV-5RA Two-Way Radio
1x 7.4V 1800mahLi-ion Battery Pack
1x Belt Clip
1x Hand Strap
1x English Manual
1x Desktop Charger ( 110V ~ 240V )
Legal DisclaimerStatement: 1. Because of natural disasters, man-made damage to be outside the scope of free warranty. 2.1 months after the warranty of one-way freight paid by the buyer.
Top customer reviews
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So you've got to figure there's a catch, right? And there is: Programming this radio from the front panel is a royal pain in the caboose. After studying helpful web pages- not the manufacturer's manual- I'm now comfortable programming single frequencies and repeater offsets in, but I still don't seem to be able to put the in memory properly. The manufacturer supplies a program that's supposed to make programming easier, but the word is that it's as confusing as the front panel controls.
Luckily there's a fix. A group of dedicated hams have created a program called CHIRP that's available for Windows, OSX, and Linux that's as easy to use as a spreadsheet. Just type in the frequencies, offsets, CTSS, comments, etc., and hit upload. Unfortunately Amazon doesn't allow web links in reviews but you can find it by googling CHIPS and UV-5R. You'll also need the USB Programming Cable for BAOFENG UV-5R UV-3R+ Two way Radio With Driver CD to connect the radio to your computer, too. If you're interested in learning more about this radio before your order one, a good place to start is the user reference at miklor dot com slash uv-5r.
But as these are so inexpensive, and easy to get (and on Amazon Prime) and since you're usually looking at around $150 to get one of the better brands I decided to write this article to discuss the entry-level Baofeng so folks can understand what this radio can and can't do. And since we now own 5 of them we shouldn't talk too much smack about them.
Very few people have any real plan for backup communications. That's almost crazy when you consider that for $30 you can get a device which will allow you to connect to your local community, hear severe weather alerts, get by-the-minute updates on what the emergency responders are doing, and if need be, even call for help. Enter the Baofeng UV-5R - the entry level radio everyone can afford and every family should have.
It should be said that in order to transmit with a UV-5R a License from the FCC is required, since you can only legally use Amateur Radio Services and GMRS with these types of radios. Of course that could all fly out the window in a SHTF scenario, so plan as you see fit. Also in the event of an emergency (injury, life or death) you are allowed to transmit on any band you can to search for assistance. But you have to know what channels to call on to find help, more on that later.
About the non-license required public frequencies:
You don't need a license to transmit on the FRS frequencies, which are the same frequencies the walkie-takies your kids have from Walmart transmit on. HOWEVER the UV5Rs transmit between 1 to 4 watts (it's adjustable), and the legal limit for FRS is only 0.5 watts, so it is technically illegal to transmit on FRS with these radios except in an emergency. If you set the radio power to LOW you are at 1 watt, and will *probably* be ok to operate in your area (Menu Option 2.) FRS frequencies are listed here.
They can transmit and receive on the 5 MURS frequencies, but since the UV-5R has the ability to transmit using more that 2 watts of power, it is also technically illegal to use them on MURS channels. You can dial the power below 2 watts (LOW power Menu option 2) and use MURS to comply with the rules of those frequencies, but do so at your own risk. MURS does allow you to use an external antenna so simplex transmit and receive ranges of 10 miles is not unobtainable although not the norm. I've found MURS to work pretty well up to about a mile or so on flat ground with the Baofengs. Another MURS option is to look into something like a goTenna - text & GPS on your phone, no service required.
The FCC license required frequencies:
For $90 (soon $65) you can get a 5-year license for you and your family to use GMRS which is legal to do with these radios. Here is a guide on how to do that. GMRS can use repeaters and up to 50 watts of power and external antennas. No test required, just have to buy the license. This is a good option, because there are quite a few GMRS radios out there from the big box stores so it's a big network you can get going for cheap.
Lastly yet most importantly, you can use the Amateur Radio Service aka Ham Radio Frequencies. You will need to pass an exam given by the FCC to get your Technicians License. This is really the best option but requires a some time and commitment. There is only a $15 fee to take the exam, and if you pass the license is good for 10 years. Bug Out Bag Builder has a good article showing how to get one http://www.bugoutbagbuilder.com/learning-tutorials/how-get-your-radio-license.
You don't need a license to RECEIVE transmissions.
And that is the true beauty of this radio for the average person, and why it's a necessary tool and part of your bug out communications planning. It gives you a very powerful informational tool, one that's portable, fairly uncomplicated to use, and cheap.
With a little bit of research you can find out what frequencies the ARES and RACES groups transmit on, and listen in. Those are volunteer emergency associations which assist first responders with boots on the ground information about conditions affecting their area. If you want to look for local "nets" in your area use this tool from the ARRL. It will show you the frequencies of the "repeaters" that the nets are taking place on.
There are a couple of good frequencies to program into your radio. 146.520 (on 2m) and 446.000 (on 70cm.) Those are the national simplex "calling" frequencies, meaning they are the ones monitored by other local radio operators for simplex operation. (Simplex means "radio-to-radio" ie. not using a repeater.) A conversation started on that frequency is then moved to another. You need a license for those frequencies to transmit. I've found that the simplex frequencies transmit and receive better than the FRS or MURS bands.
Hint: You might need to change your settings on the Baofeng to make 5k increments when programming frequencies. Hit the "menu" button and look for item 1 STEP. Then adjust it to 5k.You have additional options for receiving info with the UV-5R: NOAA weather alerts and FM Broadcast stations (it is an FM radio after all.)
You can monitor 2 frequencies at a time using the Dual Watch feature. Menu item 7 TDR. TDR Allows monitoring of 2 channels, by toggling between Freq A and Freq B. If a signal is received, the Receive remains on that channel until the signal is gone.
There are several known variants of this radio. All of them are the same hardware, the only difference is the firmware (software) they ship with. If you buy on Amazon you are probably getting the latest firmware, but there's no guarantee. It's not a game changer, they all pretty much run the same from what I can tell.
Don't drop these too much. They aren't cream-puffs but they are not meant to be roughed up like some other radios are. But the build feels solid enough for what it's meant to do.
Our suggestion is to get a good HT from Icom or Yaesu if you can spring the +$150, and get a few Baofengs as beaters and backups. Strength in numbers. But if you want something today buy the Baofeng and you rest easy that at least you covered it.
Not horrible, but only if done on a computer. If all you care about is 4-5 frequencies then you can do it on the unit. You need the computer program CHIRP to program the HT. You also need the right USB cable (this one BTECH PC03 FTDI Genuine USB Programming Cable for BTECH, BaoFeng, Kenwood, and AnyTone Radio.) Avoid the cheap knockoffs. Been there done that and they don't work.
RECEIVE AND TRANSMIT
The antenna on the unit can throw a few miles to a repeater typically. For radio-to-radio simplex, you're lucky to get a mile. You can replace the antenna on these. Small or big. For $100 can get an adapter cable, 25/50' of LMR -240 low loss cable, and a N9TAX dual-band antenna to throw in a tree or get up high with. This will help get your signal out there and catch better signals to you.
The power outputs only 5'ish watts on these things so don't expect miracles. For a couple of hundred bucks more you can get a unit with 65 or more watts, but that means a 12v to 110 converter and a power source to connect it to. That's the next level stuff we'll talk about another time.
Scanning channels on these things is slooooow if you are trying to check every frequency in existence. My suggestion is to program in a few dozen local repeaters, the NOAA channels. FRS, MURS and maybe GMRS and call it a day.
Miklor.com has extensive documentation on these radios, and is your best source for digging into them if you want to. Probably too much info for your average consumer, but it's good to see someone collected it all in one place. Some more info about using radios for emergency communications can be found at http://www.bugoutbagbuilder.com/learning-tutorials/bug-out-communications
ACCESSORIES TO CONSIDER
Baofeng BF-S112 Two Way Radio Speaker
M1Surplus MOLLE Style Green Color Tactical Radio Pouch + PATRIOT FLAG Morale Patch Fits BaoFeng BF-F8HP UV-5R UF-5RA V2 UV-82HP UV-5X BF-F8+ GT-3 GT-3TP Motorola XTS5000 HT Walkie Talkie Ham Radios
ExpertPower XP-771 14.5-Inch Dual Band SMA-F Antenna For Baofeng Radios
Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna
MPD Digital smaF/pl259f SMA Female to UHF SO239 PL259 Female RG58 Adapter Cable, 3-feet
BTECH PC03 FTDI Genuine USB Programming Cable for BTECH, BaoFeng, Kenwood, and AnyTone Radio
The reason why I purchased this radio is to have a means of communication to the outside world if there is ever any kind of major disaster. Our world is a scary place right now and you never know when we will lose satellites and cell phone towers. That's when you resort to Old Fashioned Ham radios.
PROGRAMMING: Let's face it, I am by no means an expert when it comes down to programming or using these radios. But baofeng makes it very easy for me to figure out how to be able to communicate to others using this radio.
It comes with everything you need in order to get started. You could easily program all of the NOAA frequencies and all of your local emergency frequencies as well.
It's very time-consuming and tedious to hand punch all of the frequencies into your baofeng radio therefore I purchased the programming cable so that I could hook up the radio to my computer using a software program.
Unfortunately you have to purchase the baofeng programming Cable in order to easily program all of your frequencies. I highly suggest purchasing the more expensive authentic cable because all of the other cables that are not authentic will not work.
RANGE: The two way radio does come with an antenna but I do recommend purchasing a longer antenna if you need to have a longer range. Again, I suggest purchasing authentic items when dealing with baofeng products. It is worth the extra few dollars you need to spend if you ever do need to use this in an emergency. With all that being said I was able to communicate with my son on his radio about two and a half miles away with the original antenna. We were on flat cleared land. When we were in the woods I was able to reach him approximately one mile away. I was not able to test these radios in the city but I would assume that the range would probably be cut in half.
LEGALITY: in order to communicate with others on designated radio frequencies, most frequencies require you to have a license. Check your local laws and use common sense. Some frequencies do not require you to have a license. But if the STHF, I don't think they're going to be coming into your house looking for your license.
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