Bao-Feng UV-5R 3rd Gen question

Discussion in 'Communication & Navigation' started by gregnash, Jan 24, 2018.

  1. gregnash

    gregnash Anal Retentive Analyst SILVER Star

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    Got a big group run coming in the near future and finally going to plink down the cash for a handheld. I do not have my tech. license yet so this will be for simply listening to group chatter, lead truck instructions while going through the run.

    I have seen that the UV-5R has gone through some changes since I originally added it to my Amazon list a couple years ago, so my question is...
    - is the 3rd Generation (about $65 new) worth it over the other gens?
    - If not, would you recommend the 2nd gen (UV-5R v2) or the 2nd gen PLUS?
    - or is the tried and true first gen still the deal of deals?

    On top of that, most state that the "rubber ducky" antenna is pretty worthless and to invest in a longer antenna. Since this will be living in the truck and really only brought out for trail runs, is it worth it to do that or get something that is a mag-mount to put on the hood/roof?

    Finally, I have Mac for a computer, does anyone know if the programming cable is compatible with macs? If not, are there any alternatives or am I SOL and stuck manually entering everything?

    Thanks,
    G
     
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  2. mrbigboy

    mrbigboy

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    I've used all of those radios for trail comms. I currently have a BF-F8HP, and a UV-5RA.
    I have a Nagoya 771 antenna that I throw on the BF when I need to reach out a bit to hit a repeater. I use the little antenna they come with when I'm driving the LC, as the longer antenna can get annoying as it flops around.

    You should be fine with the UV-5R and the antenna that comes with it as long as you are within line of sight of the transmitting radio and within a couple miles. You can always upgrade to a better antenna if needed.
    The benefit to the BF-F8 is that it has 3 power settings, with the high power setting being 8 watts (supposedly). Other than that, they are all pretty much the same.

    As far as programming goes, the cable uses a USB connection to the computer. I use CHIRP software with mine, which is available for Mac too. If you don't use a computer and cable to program, it's super easy to do manually.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. surfpig

    surfpig The Anti-Tech

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    I have the same setup, with the Nagoya antenna. Definitely worth the extra few bucks. Programming shouldn’t be a problem, but I had to install an outdated usb driver for it to work for some reason.
     
  4. ChaseTruck

    ChaseTruck --

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    I use CHIRP to program my Baofeng radios, lately from a Macbook Pro running Mac OS High Sierra; for a USP-serial driver, I use the Prolific PL2303. I also use the Nagoya 771 antenna. While my SWR meter says the 8w version puts out more power than the 5w version (~7.5w vs a bit more than 4w), I haven't noticed much of a difference between the two in the limited use I've put them through
     
  5. FJ60Seth

    FJ60Seth SILVER Star

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    I hate the mag mounts. It always seems like the cable is in the way & you can’t roll your window all the way up.

    For basic trail communication, I’d buy the cheapest one and use it with the stock antenna.
     
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  6. gregnash

    gregnash Anal Retentive Analyst SILVER Star

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    Ok so sounds like for what I am looking to do the basic 1st Gen. UV-5R is more than adequate. If nothing else, upgrading to the UV-5R v2+ (think the difference in prices is like $5) is worth it. From there it is best to get one of the longer whip antennas over the mag mounts?

    Dumb question, but do they make extension cords for the mag mounts? Asking because I can easily run the line behind the dash and up through the hood gap on my 60. Basically leaving the extension cord in place and attaching the antenna on one end and the radio on the other.
     
  7. FJ60Seth

    FJ60Seth SILVER Star

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    IMO a replacement to the stock antenna is a good investment, but it probably will cost more than the UV-5R radio. I got this one for my Yaesu and it made a notable improvement in range.

    Diamond SRH320A 144/220/440 MHz Tri-Band Handheld SMA Antenna
     
  8. gregnash

    gregnash Anal Retentive Analyst SILVER Star

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    Yeah you are right about that @FJ60Seth. Even the one that Baofeng recommends for the UV-5R is about $18 which really is about 2/3rds the cost of the UV-5R/v2+ by itself. But that is not a huge worry to me, I just want something that will function reliably for me and those few times where I am out in the backcountry by myself (like near my house where I go fly fishing) and have no cell reception, if need be I can make an emergency call.

    This is the one that Baofeng recommends https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01K10B9XK/_encoding=UTF8?coliid=I3QRYJWDEFPCRL&colid=JH92U9CF9K19&psc=1

    Again, main purpose of this unit will be communication during club/group runs. Where I live we have a pretty diverse setup for repeaters so being able to connect with other should not be an issue.
     
  9. Kofoed

    Kofoed

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    That antenna is just an SMA connector. I have an SMA/UHF to run my HT through the roof mount 1/2 wave antenna, if necessary. Something to consider
     
  10. gregnash

    gregnash Anal Retentive Analyst SILVER Star

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    So it is just a standard SMA connection cable, male one end, female the other. Meaning I could get one from amazon and do like I stated and run it through my firewall into the cab where I would have the radio handy and then in the engine bay have the other end connect to my external mag mount antenna that would be on top of the vehicle.
     
  11. Kofoed

    Kofoed

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    Yeah, the link says SMA connector (I can't verify this by looking at the amazon link) SMA directly to NMO may not exist.

    This sma to uhf that I have for my FT-50 Yaesu

    th.jpg
     
  12. BlueMarblePA

    BlueMarblePA

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    Am curious what frequencies people program into the baofeng. Just took technician test yesterday and ordered baofeng same day.
     
  13. ChaseTruck

    ChaseTruck --

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    Check out Repeaterbook.com - Home - you can look up repeaters in your area, or your area of interest, and if you use CHIRP for programming your radio, you can load the info from repeaterbook straight to the radio
     
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  14. 1911

    1911 chupacabra

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    You will probably want to put in the national 2M calling frequency, 146.520 MHz. Beyond that, you will want to put in the paired frequencies for any local repeaters, and any simplex frequencies that are used by your trail mates, radio club, etc.
     
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  15. Joel Kasper

    Joel Kasper

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    Take a look at this website and you will get some ideas. As you will see they only thing in common is the national calling frequency and to program some local repeaters. Location maters on what people use as standard frequencies.

    Offroad VHF 2m simplex frequency list

    This is what I have programmed for simplex frequencies in my radio.
    146.43
    146.46
    146.49
    146.52 *
    146.55
    146.58
    147.42
    147.45
    147.48
    147.51
    147.54
    147.57
     
  16. jonheld

    jonheld

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    This will vary by location. For example 146.460 is the LC chat frequency out west, but it runs into a repeater here in the northeast. Best to look at repeaterbook.com or get in touch with your local clubs.
     
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  17. Joel Kasper

    Joel Kasper

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    I would not think 146.46 would be used for a repeater as it is not in the band plan. There is nothing technically preventing it but I know here in Wisconsin we have a repeater association that manages the spectrum to help prevent overlap and they would never allocate that frequency.

    Is this fairly common in the Northeast?
     
  18. e9999

    e9999 You want to do what...? Moderator

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    aren't most of those chinese handhelds problematic to use now?
     
  19. Joel Kasper

    Joel Kasper

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    No you will be fine. It is mostly about sales of radios that can transmit out of band. If you have a licence and use them only on the Ham band the FCC will not come after you. There is plenty of low hanging fruit if they want to start enforcement just going after unlicensed or malicious users would keep them busy for years.
     
  20. jonheld

    jonheld

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    Honestly I don't know.
    My original band plan was based off some chart I downloaded that outlined repeater frequencies. Since 146.460 was a defacto LC chat freq and was being used by the Rising Sun LC club for Cruise Moab management, I figured it would be a good choice for the GCLC management frequency.
    Unfortunately, during our 2014 July event I was interrupted over the air by some folks who manage a repeater who's RX was 146.460. According to repeaterbook.com, there are 5 repeaters in PA with an RX of 146.460.
    I then revised my band plan according to repeaterbook.com and moved the GCLC management frequency to 147.460, and cross checked the other 17 simplex frequencies we use for CMCC trail rides.
    It took a bit of time, but they all should still be clean.
     
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