Picked up a ten pack of Baofeng BF888s UHF radios today.

Uzi2

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Been wanting to put away some uhf portables for use around the farm here and as hand outs in an emergency situation.
I settled on the Baofeng BF888s 16 channel radios. Ten of them with accessories for $89.00 delivered.
image.jpeg

At that price, there is no crying if one gets lost, stolen, smashed or left out in the rain. They are a no frills 16ch radio for local coms only and compatible with everything else I already have. These will be charged, programmed, function tested and put on the shelf for when ever they are needed.
 

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Check the manual for recommendations on charging. IIRC the UV-5R says not to leave it on the charger but also to not let it go uncharged too long.
 

Uzi2

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Do you need a license to operate these things? (Or are you supposed to have a license - obviously you don't "need" a license to press the transmit button)
That all depends on what frequency/frequencies you program into them and power settings.
 
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Uzi2

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These are 5W Radios and have 16 channels?
Yes, 5w- 400-470 mhz. Must be programmed before use. You can get the sofware on CHIRP. The cable may or may not come with the radio/s depending on who/ where you buy from. For under $10 delivered how can you go wrong?

Correction on the output power, they are <5w. But they still will serve my purposes well around here.
 
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Yes, 5w- 400-470 mhz. Must be programmed before use. You can get the sofware on CHIRP. The cable may or may not come with the radio/s depending on who/ where you buy from. For under $10 delivered how can you go wrong?
Wow thanks for the info! I’m gonna pick up a few of these to have.
 

Uzi2

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image.jpeg Bought these Retevis speaker mics for the Baofeng portables.

They came in this morning and I tested each one on a portable......they actually have very good transmit and receive audio for a $3.00 speaker mic.

The clip rotates 360 and has a good spring so its not falling off your lapel or other place its clipped. Well worth the money.
 

Uzi2

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The BF-888s radios arrived.

They have test frequencies in them from the factory and all are cloned the same so I was able to test them. The audio both receive and transmit is very good. Plenty of receive audio volume, transmit audio is crisp and clear. The radios are lightweight and the belt clip is strong.

There's a few functions that can be activated or deactivated by using a combination of channel selection, side buttons and PTT switch : VOX on or off, SCAN on or off, Monitor, Voice Prompt on or off, Voice Prompt language, Chinese or English.

Still have to connect them to a computer and program them. So far these look like they are a good purchase.
 

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You have to wonder how many of those radios are out there in the wild, still operating on the factory default frequencies, without regard to licensing or the likelihood of interfering with another radio service.
 
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The BF-888s radios arrived.

They have test frequencies in them from the factory and all are cloned the same so I was able to test them. The audio both receive and transmit is very good. Plenty of receive audio volume, transmit audio is crisp and clear. The radios are lightweight and the belt clip is strong.

There's a few functions that can be activated or deactivated by using a combination of channel selection, side buttons and PTT switch : VOX on or off, SCAN on or off, Monitor, Voice Prompt on or off, Voice Prompt language, Chinese or English.

Still have to connect them to a computer and program them. So far these look like they are a good purchase.
Would like to hear how they work out for you in real world applications. Almost pulled the trigger on a bundle of these and held back due to UHF only and, well, Baofeng.

Have someone sit outside South Station and see how far you can walk down Summer St towards the common and still maintain communication. Would be interesting to see how they deal with all of the interference in such a situation.

Bring a pair to a somewhat large state forest or similar foliage-dense environment. Couple miles through a pine forest? Little interference out there, though UHF is purported to not do as well with foliage.

Be sure to set CTCSS tones so you don't have to listen to everyone else that may be on those frequencies.

You have to wonder how many of those radios are out there in the wild, still operating on the factory default frequencies, without regard to licensing or the likelihood of interfering with another radio service.
Probably a majority of them; just look for the ones using the factory antenna.

I've been seeing an uptick in folks out in the woods and on the trails with Baofeng/Retevis/CCR clipped to their packs. Anecdotal, I know. It is certainly bound to happen when WOOT is having specials on Baofeng radios and Osprey packs.
 

Uzi2

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Would like to hear how they work out for you in real world applications. Almost pulled the trigger on a bundle of these and held back due to UHF only and, well, Baofeng.

Have someone sit outside South Station and see how far you can walk down Summer St towards the common and still maintain communication. Would be interesting to see how they deal with all of the interference in such a situation.

Bring a pair to a somewhat large state forest or similar foliage-dense environment. Couple miles through a pine forest? Little interference out there, though UHF is purported to not do as well with foliage.

Be sure to set CTCSS tones so you don't have to listen to everyone else that may be on those frequencies.


Probably a majority of them; just look for the ones using the factory antenna.

I've been seeing an uptick in folks out in the woods and on the trails with Baofeng/Retevis/CCR clipped to their packs. Anecdotal, I know. It is certainly bound to happen when WOOT is having specials on Baofeng radios and Osprey packs.
As soon as I get these programmed up I'll be doing a range test. As for interference test I'd have to bring a few into town with me when I go shopping and see how they do compared to other portables. I suspect they'll be ok.

I live in the boonies in Kentucky on 110 mostly wooded acres with the surrounding area all large farms for the most part and it is a very RF quiet area. HF is a dream to listen to out here, no plasma tv noise, no electrical noise from power lines or machinery etc. South Station area is six years in my past.....and even then very infrequent.[smile]

Yes, I'm well aware of the "pine forest"/ foliage issues, where every pine needle is approaching a 1/4 wave. Its really bad on 800 and 900Mhz radio systems.....virtually a wall against RF at those frequencies even with a yagi. I have other UHF portables and they work very well around here.
 

Uzi2

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Hey, if "NES" got a 100 pack, or a 200 pack, what would the price be each?
I don't know, look them up on fleabay and see. Find a seller and send them a message asking for a price quote. I suspect you might get them for $6-7 each delivered. Mine were $9.00+- for ten.
 

Uzi2

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You have to wonder how many of those radios are out there in the wild, still operating on the factory default frequencies, without regard to licensing or the likelihood of interfering with another radio service.
Probably quite a few.
 

Uzi2

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Ok, report on the BF888s radios.

Got them in a couple of days ago and programmed them all. The power output is just under 2w measured on a Telewave meter into a known good antenna for the test frequency.

The audio is excellent.....even better than my UV5R's. Even the $3.00 Retevis speaker/mics sound great. Crisp clean audio on TX and RX that is good quality even at max volume.

Able to talk to a local friend here portable to portable 2.5 miles with full quieting. That will more than suffice for my needs here. I have an onsight GMRS repeater and there is no problem getting into it from anywhere on or around my property or the surrounding few of miles.

There is no facilities in the CHIRP programming to up the power( also the battery is only 3.7v) so about 2 watts is the limit.

We discovered that turning off the voice prompt must be done on the radio by selecting ch-10 then holding the monitor button and the PTT buttons while powering the radio on. You will hear the word "OFF".

I did not make a scan list as I want them as simple to operate as possible for anyone who might be handed one in an emergency or otherwise but they are capable of scanning whichever channels are selected in the software.

For the price and capabilities these were a good purchase in my opinion. If I lose one no big loss.....they're $9.23 each delivered.

YMMV, and everyone has their pet peeves and requirements.....these were just the ticket for my uses.
 
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You know, if there are, let's say, 5 NES people and/or friends (club, etc.) in any town, that would be enough to have a network of people who could communicate. This network could then talk to the next town, etc. If there are more than that, even better. Not sure for what purpose, but for less than $10, why not?


Edit:

Silly question: Did you buy these to work with these OTHER RADIOS YOU BOUGHT:
Picked up a few radios for my farmer friends to get everyone on the air.
 

Uzi2

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You know, if there are, let's say, 5 NES people and/or friends (club, etc.) in any town, that would be enough to have a network of people who could communicate. This network could then talk to the next town, etc. If there are more than that, even better. Not sure for what purpose, but for less than $10, why not?


Edit:

Silly question: Did you buy these to work with these OTHER RADIOS YOU BOUGHT:
Picked up a few radios for my farmer friends to get everyone on the air.
To answer you question, no I bought these portables to put away on the shelf for emergency purposes although the radios I bought for my farmer friends do have several of the same frequencies in them. I have several portables of various models in use now for around the farm, UV5R's, UV82's, UVB6's, about half a dozen of each.

The radios I bought for my friends are small mobile radios using magnet mount antennas that will be mounted in their equipment so when harvest time comes, everyone is on the air when moving machinery from field to field on the cointry roads and there are escort trucks in front and rear, especially at night. The combines are huge and slow and sometimes visibility is limited due to dust and darkness so its nice to have commo with a ground guide going through gates and other tight spots.
 
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To answer you question, no I bought these portables to put away on the shelf for emergency purposes although the radios I bought for my farmer friends do have several of the same frequencies in them. I have several portables of various models in use now for around the farm, UV5R's, UV82's, UVB6's, about half a dozen of each.

The radios I bought for my friends are small mobile radios using magnet mount antennas that will be mounted in their equipment so when harvest time comes, everyone is on the air when moving machinery from field to field on the cointry roads and there are escort trucks in front and rear, especially at night. The combines are huge and slow and sometimes visibility is limited due to dust and darkness so its nice to have commo with a ground guide going through gates and other tight spots.
Are the mobiles you bought for friends also of the Baofeng variety?
 
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How do these compare to those UV5R ones? How about in comparison to some Uniden walkie talkies? (FMRS?GMRS?)

Was thinking for the price, these would be good for the family for ski trips, and for camping at Nickerson State Park and beaches. That might be about 4-7 miles.
 

Uzi2

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How do these compare to those UV5R ones? How about in comparison to some Uniden walkie talkies? (FMRS?GMRS?)

Was thinking for the price, these would be good for the family for ski trips, and for camping at Nickerson State Park and beaches. That might be about 4-7 miles.
The UV5R is a different radio, they are dual band VHF/UHF with a higher rf output. I don't know about the Uniden radios, I've never used or owned any.

For the price per radio, why not just grab a few and try them out? If they don't work in the locations you go to you won't be out much and you can still use them for other functions.
 
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