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Baofeng UV-5R VHF/UHF HT

Feb 17, 2006
5,078
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
Cool! You are now the forum's SME for the Baofeng radio. LOL
 
Jun 6, 2006
6,991
currently boatless wishing Harrington Harbor North, MD
The 12.5 and 25 kHz is only use for bands that have channels. Ham does not use but you do have to agree on a band width to transmit over, hence the option to select a band width. Wider is better for reception but when a lot of folks get on a band you have to share it..... go to narrower band widths. Other wise everybody steps on each other. Not at all sure about the 20kHz in CA but then it is CA. probably a politician trying to go green and save our precious bandwidth..
 
Feb 17, 2006
5,078
Lancer 27PS MCB Camp Pendleton KF6BL
The wider bands actually affect the growth patterns of our soy and tofu crops. Can't have my tofu spoiled because someone used the dreaded 25KHz. Da-n them all, da-m them all to narrow band!
 

Rick D

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Jun 14, 2008
7,002
Hunter Legend 40.5 Shoreline Marina Long Beach CA
I have a Baofeng BF-F8HP as does a friend. It's my traveling radio for emergencies or boredom. It does have a 125 memory limitation and it's not quite as sensitive on receive as my Yaesu FT-60 but it's also a fraction of the cost. I have a dual band antenna as well as a mobile. It is easy to do a full reset and wipe all your programming (CHIRP). Both myself and a friend did it in the same week. Caution navigating the menu.
 

MitchM

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Jan 20, 2005
959
Nauticat 321 pilothouse 32 Erie PA
glad i found this thread ! our SAR group got us a bunch of wouxun's handhelds which appear to also be useful for ham on the boat. we found the reception increased dramatically with an aftermarket whip instead of the short antenna that came with the units.. looking forward to ham on the boat next spring, (we're already on the hard..)

73 de shores of lake erie...
 
May 13, 2013
29
Tayana 48DS Phoenix, AZ
Since you don't seem to have figured it out, the 12.5 kHz/25 kHz difference is two things - transmitted deviation and receiver bandwidth. 99% of ham VHF and UHF use in the US is 25 kHz channels aka "wideband". Marine channels are also 25 kHz bandwidth, as are NOAA weather broadcasts. On Commercial/public safety in the US, everyone is 12.5 kHz channels aka "narrowband" (if they're still analog - Digital is a different problem :) ) so if you're monitoring the local PD, Fire or marine police, set it to 12.5 kHz.
California (and a few other states) have gone to 20 kHz spacing between ham repeater channels to maximize the number of available channels. Your BaoFeng will handle these channels just fine, use the "25 kHz" setting. Digital channels (P25 like the USCG and other Fed government, DMR like many commercial operations and hams, also D-Star and several other ham variations exist - the UV-5 and the like are strictly analog FM.

I'd be careful trying to use a BaoFeng attached to a serious antenna or through an amplifier, as it's transmitted spurious performance is seriously compromised. Similar caveats apply to other CCRs (Cheep Chinese Radios) :)
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Please pardon my lack of background knowledge here & please permit me a stupid question that I may not have enough information to properly ask.

Around here, a few of the race committees use "private channel" radios for communications between the committee boats that they don't want the racers to hear. More than once, I've been handed a radio that had a decrepit battery or salt corrosion & did not last through the race. About 5 years ago, I considered buying one that I would maintain myself, to improve the chances of having a working radio when I needed it. Back then, between the cost of a new radio & the programming RIB, etc, I was looking at many hundreds of dollars to do that, so I dropped the idea. Is this now a $50 radio that can do the same job? with reasonably priced programming accessories?

I don't remember the model number of the Motorola radios, but I think they said Radius on them. I was told that they were basically the same radios that security guards carried. Looking around the internet now for pictures, the CP-200 looks about identical.

Any info you can give me is appreciated.

Thanks,
Jim
 
May 13, 2013
29
Tayana 48DS Phoenix, AZ
Motorola radios are well made, somewhat expensive, and (as you discovered) the investment required to acquire the programming equipment and software makes them unattractive for a single radio user. Yes, the 'Cheep Chinese Radios' can do the job for you, with the advantage of being moderately useful for other things like Marine Band and amateur radio. They also have the advantage of being cheap enough to be somewhat disposable, as our moderator noted :) Accessories are plentiful and cheap, if a bit low-rel.

In order to create the radio you want, you will need to know the frequency and any subaudible tone ("PL" or "DPL") in use. You can then program (using the front panel or a computer program and software) the radio to do what you want. For computer programming, my favorite is CHIRP [ www.chirp.danplanet.com ] - for all the Chinese radios I've encountered, the cables are either cheap or included in the package. Be aware that the instructions included with these radios is generally written in a rather needy dialect of Chinglish - but there are YouTube videos and other resources online that can help.

I personally don't like the BaoFengs, though they are likely the cheapest - a look through eBay or Amazon should show you some alternatives. Be careful to get a radio that covers the frequency range you are looking for. My suggestion would be to find out that info first so you don't get misled. If you get a radio that is FCC Part 90 Approved, it may even be legal:)
 
Aug 22, 2017
1,608
Hunter 26.5 West Palm Beach
Yes, the 'Cheep Chinese Radios' can do the job for you, with the advantage of being moderately useful for other things like Marine Band and amateur radio. They also have the advantage of being cheap enough to be somewhat disposable, as our moderator noted :) Accessories are plentiful and cheap, if a bit low-rel.

In order to create the radio you want, you will need to know the frequency and any subaudible tone ("PL" or "DPL") in use.
Thank you for the rapid response. unfortunately, you leave me with a couple more questions. First, what is low-rel? Second, if I have one of the currently-used radios, is it possible for me to plug into that one & upload the frequencies and subaudible tones? Or does someone need to have a record of that on file that they can give me?

If possible, I trust the accuracy of an upload over some records that are over 10 years old & have been handed down through several different custodians over the years, if they can even still be found.

Thanks,
Jim
 
May 13, 2013
29
Tayana 48DS Phoenix, AZ
"Lo-rel" is slang for "low-reliability" - as you might expect, a speaker-microphone that costs $9 isn't as well-made or rugged as one costing $200 :) But if you take care of it, the $9 one can work just fine.
It is unlikely that you can easily download any of the programming info from an existing radio, especially if they are Motorola. In the absence of an actual FCC license for the channels they're using, you may be doing a bit of a tail-chase to figure out what they are. At this point, they might be VHF (like your Marine radios) or possibly UHF (400-480 MHz) - something you will need to know. Also, the units might be marked in some way. If nothing else, the model number of the radio should tell you the band. BTW, "CP200" might be the model series, but the radio should have a specific model number somewhere, possibly under the battery, next to the serial number.
 

pateco

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Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
Be aware, you can custom program the UV-5R to do a lot of things the FCC would frown upon.
 

pateco

.
Aug 12, 2014
2,207
Hunter 31 (1983) Pompano Beach FL
I am now on my second one. Try not to drop it into a running diesel engine compartment LOL
2018-01-09 08.18.44.jpg

Good thing these are cheap, I would not have wanted to do this to a $200 radio.
 
Oct 17, 2011
2,808
Ericson 29 Southport..
I would be happier with it if I could field program it. The instructions are inadequate to say the very least.