Thursday, January 16, 2014

Going Bananas over the Baofeng UV-5R


Playing again with the Baofeng UV-5R.

Or, why doesn't this darn BL-5 battery work with BOTH radios. After having a fallout with the excellent little Baofeng UV-5R and BF-F8 dual band handheld radios, I once again have taken up the topic and decided to dig into them just a bit more. Having a BF-F8 with a dead battery, I am forced to use the UV-5R battery even if it doesn't match the BF-F8 and looks a bit odd. The UV-5R is Camouflage in color. Too bad the PTT doesn't work on this one. Both radios use the BL-5 1800 battery, but I couldn't figure out for the life of me why the UV-5R battery (Which is a BL-5) fit tightly on the BF-F8. This is where having geeky friends come in....

I know Geeks in LOW places.

As it turns out, the UV-5R battery (Which is still a BL-5) did not quite sit right on the BF-F8. When used on the UV-5R it had to be forced. The reason is that the little nubs do not quite line up on both radios. If pressed down the battery slips right into place. This is where the geeky friends come in. He was able to compare the two batteries and conclude (all within 1 minute) what the problem was. It all boils down to quality control. Even though they are exactly the same battery (Still a BL-5) they are slightly different in the shape.

What do you mean you can't hear me.

The UV5R in Camouflage has a potent signal into the local repeater out here. Too bad the Audio is completely non-existent. Sure, it will transmit just fine. Just NO audio output. Well, wait a minute, I am embellishing a bit. It WILL work if you press the PTT really hard and move your thumb around. If you listen on a second radio (BF-F8) you can hear the audio cut in and out. What's strange is that it does the same thing with the external hand microphone.

Onto problem number two.

The BF-F8 radio still has a bad battery. If I wasn't such a cheapskate I would probably just order a new one since they are all the same. Instead, I am planning on digging into the battery and maybe resetting the micro controller. You know, that stupid little chip in the battery pack that tells the charger what state the battery is in ( I know what state it is in, since I live here). I hope that after all is said and done, that I will end up with at least ONE working radio. Just not sure which one it is going to be just yet. I like the looks of the BF-F8 but it looks ridiculous with the Camo colored battery. Dare to be different I guess... These words are here to run the word count up, so that I can have 500+ words in the article. DO not read these. Stop! You're not listening. It sure is nice having a total GEEK for a friend. Thanks KL.
  Great prices on Baofeng UV-5r Radios and accessories at Amazon