Rockford Scanner™: Baofeng UV-5R Review by KD9MAP

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KD9MAP sent us the following, thanks!

Baofeng UV-5R Review by KD9MAP

This is a $20 5-watt transceiver for 2m and 70cm, based on SDR technology I think.

It comes with Li-Ion battery, charger cradle, 7″ rubber whip antenna, and a earpiece/microphone headset.

The advertising for it is so hilariously written, and the price is so low, it’s reasonable to be skeptical whether the radio actually works.

I got mine quickly from a USA supplier for $6 shipping. I’ve used it for a week.


It works!

It’s cheap! You can carry it everywhere and not worry as much about losing or breaking it as you would an expensive handheld.

The UV-5R SDR receiver seems to be as sensitive as my “real radio” Alinco DJ-X2000 handheld scanner, which cost 15 times as much.


The charger cradle emits enormous QRM during charging cycle. You won’t want to use that charger anywhere near your shack.

There’s no DC jack anywhere on the radio to plug in a power adapter. If you want to run on external power, you have to get their $7 battery eliminator cable.

The little instruction booklet doesn’t tell you everything you need to know to program it. Adequate info can be easily found on the internet.

For easier programming, I bought the $20 BaofengTech FTDI programming cable and used it with free Chirp software. You have to press the cable into the radio with both thumbs and crushing strength to get a connection, but it does work.

(Note: Software creators like Chirp complain that Baofeng changes the firmware on these radios quite often, which makes them difficult and risky to develop for.)

Low-cap 1600 mAH battery doesn’t last long if there’s much traffic.

Bottom Line:

The UV-5R for the price of dinner is a darn good deal for a VHF/UHF handheld transceiver. I don’t know how long it will last, but so far I think the low price outweighs its minor problems.

Rockford Scanner™: POSITIVE NEWS: Ham Radio Field Day

  1. Locations:
    Northern Illinois ARES/SKYWARN 
    Laona Heights Forest Preserve 
    15402 Anderson Road, Durand, IL
  2. Rockford Amateur Radio Association 
    VFW in Roscoe
    11385 2nd St, Roscoe, IL

Everyone is welcome to attend

Field Day is ham radio’s open house.

Every June, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up temporary transmitting stations in public places to demonstrate ham radio’s science, skill and service to our communities and our nation.

It combines public service, emergency preparedness, community outreach, and technical skills all in a single event. Field Day has been an annual event since 1933, and remains the most popular event in ham radio.

ARRL Field Day is the single most popular on-the-air event held annually in
the US and Canada. On the fourth weekend of June of each year, more than
35,000 radio amateurs gather with their clubs, groups or simply with friends to
operate from remote locations.

Field Day is a picnic, a campout, practice for emergencies, an informal contest
and, most of all, FUN!

It is a time where many aspects of Amateur Radio come together to highlight our many roles. While some will treat
it as a contest, other groups use the opportunity to practice their emergency response capabilities. It is an excellent
opportunity to demonstrate Amateur Radio to the organizations that Amateur Radio might serve in an emergency, as well as the general public. For many clubs, ARRL Field Day is one of the highlights of their annual calendar.

The contest part is simply to contact as many other stations as possible and to learn to operate our radio gear in
abnormal situations and less than optimal conditions.
We use these same skills when we help with events such as marathons and bike-a-thons; fund-raisers such as walka-thons;celebrations such as parades; and exhibits at fairs, malls and museums — these are all large, preplanned,non-emergency activities.

But despite the development of very complex, modern communications systems — or maybe because they ARE so
complex — ham radio has been called into action again and again to provide communications in crises when it really
matters. Amateur Radio people (also called “hams”) are well known for our communications support in real disaster
and post-disaster situations.

What is the ARRL?
The American Radio Relay League is the national association for Amateur Radio in the USA, representing over
170,000 FCC-licensed Amateurs. The ARRL is the primary source of information about what is going on in ham
radio. It provides books, news, support and information for individuals and clubs, special events, continuing education classes and other benefits for its members.

What is Amateur Radio
Often called “ham radio,” the Amateur Radio Service has been around for a century. In that time, it’s grown into a
worldwide community of licensed operators using the airwaves with every conceivable means of communications
technology. Its people range in age from youngsters to grandparents. Even rocket scientists and a rock star or two
are in the ham ranks. Most, however, are just normal folks like you and me who enjoy learning and being able to
transmit voice, data and pictures through the air to unusual places, both near and far, without depending on
commercial systems.

The Amateur Radio frequencies are the last remaining place in the usable radio spectrum where you as an individual can develop and experiment with wireless communications. Hams not only can make and modify their equipment, but can create whole new ways to do things.
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