Monday, January 13, 2014

My love affair with Baofeng is over

Baofeng UV-5R radio's

My love affair with the Baofeng UV-5R series of radios has ended. She was a cruel mistress, tempting me with her exotic beauty and that cute little voice that prompted me in the settings in a language that I didn't know. She was also CHEAP!

Baofeng UV-5R Comparison Chart.

 You can never have enough Baofeng radio's

The first one that I purchased was the standard Baofeng UV-5R with the sexy black case and short stubby dual band antenna. This one worked so great that I was fascinated with it and wanted more. Not only was the price tag in my range, but it was a fun little radio to use. The next one I ordered was the Camouflage colored radio (The one I have now). This one worked for about a day or so before it started acting up. The third radio was the BF-F8 with it's black LCD display. I liked it because it was a bit different than all the other Baofeng radios that were out on the market. Maybe the other two radios were jealous of the BF-F8

And then there was one.

Well after touting all the benefits of the inexpensive Baofeng UV-5R radios over the last few months, my love affair has finally ended. Out of 3 different radios, I only have one that works (almost) completely. The Baofeng BF-F8 dual band hand-held radio. The Camo UV-5r stopped transmitting voice, unless the PTT switch is moved around a little or pressed in the right spot. At first I had thought about just taking the radio apart and inspecting the PTT, but I noticed that it also does this when the speaker microphone is used. Just to add to the aggravation, the one working radio that I had (UV-5R) was traded off a few months back to a friend of mine. All in all he did need a VHF/UHF radio, so it was all good. On the Baofeng BF-F8 radio, it transmits and receives fine but the battery died. It absolutely will not take a charge anymore. I can put it in the charging cradle and the little red “charge” light will come on but after a few seconds it will turn green indicating that the battery is charged. Putting the DVM on the battery shows that it has 7.4 V. The BF-F8 radio comes on with the battery but when transmitting it immediately goes dead and the radio will not turn back on. The strange part is that the BF-F8 does work with the UV-5R battery.

The Baofeng UV-5R is not such a great deal.

So, between the 3 radios, I did end up with one working system (sort of). But at a price tag of $150 I could have bought the excellent Yaesu FT-60R and had a decent dual band radio. It is just a few bucks more.

Baofeng UV-5R crapshoot

I am sure that others out their have had better luck with the Baofeng radios. Looking at all the raving reviews on this radio, I am still not completely dissatisfied with this radio. I think of like pulling the handle on a slot machine. You just never know if you are going to hit the jackpot. If I had bought my Radio from Amazon, and used their excellent no questions asked return policy, I would have at least been able to return it or replace it, and I would have two working radios instead of just one partially working.
The Yaesu FT-60R comes with all the bells and whistles needed for Amateur Radio Communications.    Great prices on Baofeng UV-5r Radios and accessories at Amazon