Radio Preppers

General Category => VHF and Above => Topic started by: piggybankcowboy on August 21, 2012, 11:42:45 AM

Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: piggybankcowboy on August 21, 2012, 11:42:45 AM
http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-Dual-Band-SainSonic-Exclusively/dp/B007H4VT7A

I ordered one from Amazon last week, received it in a few days with free shipping. No hand mic, or USB programming cable, so it only ran about $60.

Since unboxing it, I've been playing with it non-stop (no transmitting, of course, since I will be taking my test Sept 17th). After a full charge on the battery, I'm still going strong with 3 battery bars on just scanning after nearly 15 straight hours of use.  I'm seeing claims of 1500mAh to 2000mAh hours, which is a huge margin, but so far I'm pleased with battery life.

Casing is compact and feel solidly built, like it could take a little abuse if it had to. Only thing I might be worried about is cracking the LCD screen if it feel just right on a rock or something, however, it comes with small wrist-strap that can easily be replaced with something better if you want.

Manual programming is really not as hard as people make it out to be, it just takes more time. I'll be ordering the USB cable anyway, since this is going to be my only unit once I get licensed until I can afford upgrades, but I'd say it's a good thing for anyone to know how to program these guys with the keypad rather than a computer, in case of a situation where a computer is not available.

Size is really compact, barring the antenna of course, which is easily removed for better storage in your bag or whatever. Speaking of the antenna, it's okay given the price, I think, but I'm not entirely positive how to test it properly.  So far I have just been scanning, found two local delivery companies (one is for sod, not sure what the other moves) and have been noting whenever the drivers relay they've arrived at such-and-such address. I've picked up destination confirmations from about 12 miles away in a suburban environment. Cheapest replacement antenna seems to be about $20 for an MFJ-1717SF, but the reviews I've seen claim a notable, but not huge improvement.

Depending on where you look, you can find the radio for as low as $50. I might pick up a second one just in case this one breaks for whatever reason, plus it's nice to have a spare in the event that you need to hand one off to a radio-less buddy. I understand a new, longer lasting battery is also available for this model. I feel if something ever happened to this radio, I wouldn't be too bent out of shape about it as it is easily, and cheaply replaced.

Thoughts? 
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: piggybankcowboy on August 23, 2012, 11:26:14 AM
Just some additional notes that I'm noticing about the UV-5R the more I play with it.

The signal meter is useless. If you're getting any signal at all, it always reads as full, regardless of the signal strength.

Squelch options are equally useless. The 0 - 9 settings available don't seem to make a lick of difference one way or the other.

The flashlight on top is about as good as one of those key chains you put on your keys so you can turn it on and find the key hole at night. It's a nice touch, but it might have been better suited at the back of the radio so you can still use it a bit while walking forward and keeping your radio and antenna upright. I wasn't expecting a super bright light or anything, though. Just a random feature of the radio.

All minor stuff, to be sure, but I figured I'd throw it out there. I'm learning more about this stuff as I go, so if you guys have some tips I should know about the unit, please share.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on August 23, 2012, 11:33:35 AM
Interesting, thanks. For the price, I might get one myself. It would be a nice gift idea for friends you would want to drag into prepping and Ham radio, and get a hold of during an emergency. Also great to give to family members in the same town..

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Scott on September 02, 2012, 12:06:34 AM
By and large, the most common complaints with the recent rash of Chinese sweat-shop radios is how awkward they are to program.  I would not stack these in my gear for my own use -- they'd be disposable loaners with wider feature / frequency access than FRS / CB garbage.

By comparison, my Icom IC-T70 was $250.  You could equip radio operators in 4 fire teams with these sweat-shop radios for that price, but if I need to adapt frequencies, tone, repeater offset, memory locations, etc. out in the field, I dare you to put any one of those against me to do it.  Mil-spec drop and moisture resistance ratings are nice-to-haves.  Downside: my Li-ON batteries were very expensive, as was the charger, and the radio cannot charge its own Li-ON batteries -- it can only charge Ni-MH.  You must use the external BC-193 desktop pocket charger to charge the IC-T70's Li-ON batteries.  Had I known that when I bought it, I probably wouldn't have bought it.

So these sweat-shop rigs have their place, but will generally be too cumbersome for flexible operation under duress.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: LakeCity on September 02, 2012, 09:27:34 AM
Very good radios for $50.00. Several known bugs. The squelch is one but the most annoying one is when scanning. If you program all your favorite repeaters and they work fine, then start to scan, some will be missed. These are those with the PL tone lower than 131.8. The ones with a PL tone higher than this will stop the scan and you can hear them.

Good advice on the programming cable. Lots of good articles online on using this radio and its bugs/features. The manual that comes with it is landfill. Written in Chi-English it is pure jibberish.

Hope this was helpful.

73's
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Pirate96 on September 02, 2012, 09:28:53 AM
The Chinese Handhelds are a tremendous value and I personally went with a  Wouxun KG-UV6D from http://importcommunications.com/ (http://importcommunications.com/). One of the critical purchase parts is the programming cable. It makes programming the Handheld simple as you can do it via a spreadsheet.

The total purchase of accessories for preparedness and radio come in way under the Big three. They make nice radios, but have not kept up with the price reduction of electronics.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Scott on September 02, 2012, 11:42:41 AM
The Chinese Handhelds are a tremendous value and I personally went with a  Wouxun KG-UV6D from http://importcommunications.com/ (http://importcommunications.com/). One of the critical purchase parts is the programming cable. It makes programming the Handheld simple as you can do it via a spreadsheet.

The total purchase of accessories for preparedness and radio come in way under the Big three. They make nice radios, but have not kept up with the price reduction of electronics.

Well, yeah.  The quality is vastly superior -- you shouldn't expect to pay premium gear prices for disposables.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Mitch on September 11, 2012, 11:40:17 AM
I ordered one up from Amazon last week for $55 primarily so I could have a radio for camping that I wouldn't be heartbroken over if it fell in the lake. I am still  in the process of learning my way around it.

Overall I feel it's an excellent value for what you get (good useable battery, drop in charger, tranceiver, basic headset, belt clip, and passable duckie antenna). However-There are some specific "scary" things about this radio you should be aware of. The major issue is this radio is a bit too frequency agile!


1. You want to play radio with other FRS radios? The UV-5R will do it on all frequencies! Problem- This unit isn't type accepted as an FRS radio, has a removable antenna, and the low power setting is still 1W (FRS is supposed to be <500 mW). You might be able to explain this away if you hold a GRMS license.

2. You want to play radio with others on GRMS frequencies? The UV-5R will do it on all frequencies! Problem- The unit isn't type accepted (I'm not really sure this is a problem yet because reading through the code of federal regulations isn't easy to do...) and for the new prepper who may not realize it another license is required to use the GRMS frequencies not shared with FRS. GRMS licensing is easier but a bit more expensive ($85 instead of $15 and no test).

3. You want to listen to NOAA weather broadcasts on 2M while out and about? The UV-5R does that on all frequencies! Problem- This unit can actually transmit on those frequencies!  ??? It's also very easy to accidentally hit the PTT button... Be very careful with this!

4. You want to play radio with others on the business bands? The UV-5R will do it on most if not all of those frequencies! I'm really no expert in this field but I know extra licenses are required. Much more trial and error research required in this area.

5. I haven't checked at all yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this little magic black box was hot on the MARS frequencies... I'll have to look later.



TL;DR- This seems to be the perfect hand held radio for a prepper! Just be careful with your new toy after you get your HAM ticket and play radio! Buy a double sided SMA adapter to hook it to other antennas.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: dtom1911 on September 11, 2012, 12:44:19 PM
I've been wanting to get the Baofeng UV5R and have read and watched (You Tube) many reviews on the radios. Allegedly the radios function similarly to the Wouxun  radios and the lapel speaker mics and programing cable will work on both radios.  However they say the Baofeng UV5R has a better casing than previous models. There is a video on YT of an Asian distributor running over the radio with a car and throwing it off the roof of a building. Each time the radio appeared to function after the stress test. Other YT reviewers have done other tests like checking frequency stability and transmitting power and reported good results.
These radios do have their "bugs" but for the price of what you get they're a great deal. I currently have a Wouxun KG-UV2D and really like it for $110.  The above comments on the signal meter are correct with my radio as well as the other Chinese radios based on reviews. The squelch does work but the noise rejection filters in these radios are lousy. As such I can't leave my radio on certain frequencies and set it next to my computer and CD player in my truck. These radios are Part 90 certified for commercial use but are designed, IMO,  with HAM operators in mind. While the radios can transmit on about any frequency they can receive, you can program the frequency only on the receive using the software. I don't think it can be done manually on the radio.
Unlike some HAM radios you can do split frequencies and PL tones on transmit and receive (this part is for commercial public safety use).  Otherwise you can just transmit a PL tone and leave the receive open which is how my local HAM repeaters work. Another neat feature with my Wouxun, not sure if the UV5R can do it, is I can scan for the PL tones if I don't know the tones but even that is a little quirky. I also agree the scan speed of these radios are relatively slow but not horribly slow.
I may just get the UV5R this month from MTC. I order my 2 meter mobile radio from them with free shipping and no problems.  I got my Wouxun HT from Ed at Wouxun US (importcommunications.com). He's good to deal with but charges for shipping. :)
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Mitch on September 14, 2012, 01:55:43 PM
I wanted to post some followup since I had a case of the "forum diarrhea" the other day.

The UV-5R is FCC type 90 accepted as of May of this year while operating on low power only and after December 31 also in narrow band mode (settings do not default to narrowband). Extra licenses are still required outside the allotted HAM bands.

I haven't had much good luck with finding official MARS frequencies, but all the frequencies I have located are HF so likely beyond the capabilities of this radio.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Jonas Parker on September 17, 2012, 12:01:10 PM
I went for the Wouxan as well. Unfortunately, there are no repeaters in range of my home, so I talk mostly HF... but you gotta get that general ticket!
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 05, 2012, 01:18:51 AM
Well how do you think all of the name brands have been keeping their costs under control?

They have been going to China and having them build EVERYTHING you buy (including radios) with CHEAP (government subsidized) Chinese labor!

The problem is - now China has been taught how to build the best stuff in the world - AND they've been given the specs on how to make it!

You don't like the Boafeng UV-5R? Well I just bought a Baofeng UV-3R after reading an interesting review of it over on eHam (hat tip to WA4STO for giving me a process to check up on purchases).

Beware Motorola Vertex! (http://www.eham.net/reviews/review/105781)...

The eHam reference is from someone who has both the Yeasu VX-3R and the Baofeng UV-3R and specifically compares the almost exact features the cheaper Chinese model has - and those features are in the same spot as the more expensive Japanese rig!

This is an example of what happens when you deal with the enemy as if you're rolling him - "all your technologies r belong to us..."

Personally, I bought a couple and they're headed for each of my families vehicles inside little metal ammo boxes (...which were made in America 25 years ago...)!
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KC9TNH on November 05, 2012, 06:23:48 PM
I have a Wouxun KG-UV3D; I like it & don't treat it as a disposable at all. They're about 2x a Baofeng lately from what I see. The accessory speaker/mic (the HD one) is a pretty good piece of kit. Did a bit of planning initially and used the KG-Commander s/w to load it up. I also found a quick cheat sheet somewhere that was written to aid legally blind hams that is NOT written in Chinglish.

After a bit of operating the most common key sequences come to hand quite easily. The little whip that comes with it is actually a pretty good little item that does for that radio a pretty good job. If I'm up in the clear I can hit a VHF repeater 30mi away, and can hit the same repeater from inside the house about 17 miles away. I can run in the mode of having all mem channels available (120 of 'em) and only certain ones set to be scanned when hitting the middle button on the side, something that can also be assigned initially during setup if you want.

Pretty happy with it, and good battery life so far. Then again, we have pretty robust VHF/UHF repeater networks up in this neck of the woods.

Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 05, 2012, 06:31:53 PM
Quote
They're about 2x a Baofeng lately from what I see.

Could you please elaborate on that? Thanks.

Gil.
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 05, 2012, 10:45:03 PM
Quote
They're about 2x a Baofeng lately from what I see.

Could you please elaborate on that? Thanks.

Gil.

I just checked, I think he means the price of the Wouxun KG UV-3D is 2 times more expensive than the Baofeng UV-5R (and if your comparing it to the Baofeng UV-3R - it's almost 3 times).

...but he could mean the performance...of which I have no frame of reference...
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 05, 2012, 11:02:50 PM
Yes, performance and features, that's what I wondered...

Gil.
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 05, 2012, 11:17:31 PM
WOW - just got my Baofeng UV-3R...dropped the battery in, plugged in the ear-piece and mic, hit the "On" switch, tuned it to 146.350 - and immediately heard a conversation - so I'm pretty impressed!!

It's slick, does look a bit like a little toy, but from what I've read, so do ALL of the micro-sized dual banders...

I didn't have time to play with it extensively tonight - but I'm GEEKED about tomorrow!

Maybe I'll try bouncing a signal off of a local repeater down to Gil tomorrow?!
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 05, 2012, 11:26:33 PM
Tim, try to call me on the 146.640 repeater. No tone.

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 05, 2012, 11:29:34 PM
Also, see if you can hit the Verna repeater 145.430, 100Hz PL tone. You might have to climb on your roof for that one  ;)

Gil.
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 06, 2012, 12:35:20 AM
I'll will absolutely try tomorrow! I'm voting early...then an appointment...So it will be sometime after 10:00am.

That ok with you?
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 06, 2012, 12:47:37 AM
After 11.. Text me before, we'll try..

Gil.
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 06, 2012, 01:20:00 AM
After 11.. Text me before, we'll try..

Gil.

DEAL!

We'll see how good this thing REALLY is!
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on November 06, 2012, 06:49:53 PM
Sorry We couldn't connect today Gil, I'm not quite checked out on this little unit yet!

How about I do my homework and read the instruction manual - and we try again?
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KC9TNH on November 06, 2012, 10:27:31 PM
Quote
They're about 2x a Baofeng lately from what I see.

Could you please elaborate on that? Thanks.

Gil.
Sorry gil; left that a bit unclear didn't I?  Yessir, was referring to cost.
:)
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on November 06, 2012, 10:35:17 PM
Anytime Tim  :)

Gil.
Title: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on January 25, 2013, 04:44:29 PM
Found this interesting website dedicated to what has become a very popular little HT - the UV-5R:

http://miklor-uv5r.99k.org/
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: kr4yd on February 28, 2013, 10:14:22 AM
as to the transmitting on NOOA freqs. If you progam NOOA into channel with software and take freq out off the transmit column, then it will not transmit in channel mode, or so mine works that way.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Frosty on February 28, 2013, 12:04:58 PM
Never xmit on NOAA channels, without preceding the message with a 10 second 1050hz tone ;)

Edited to add: welcome kr4yd.  No offense meant in my reply, didn't realize it was your first post.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: kr4yd on March 01, 2013, 06:49:41 PM
I ordered one up from Amazon last week for $55 primarily so I could have a radio for camping that I wouldn't be heartbroken over if it fell in the lake. I am still  in the process of learning my way around it.

Overall I feel it's an excellent value for what you get (good useable battery, drop in charger, tranceiver, basic headset, belt clip, and passable duckie antenna). However-There are some specific "scary" things about this radio you should be aware of. The major issue is this radio is a bit too frequency agile!


1. You want to play radio with other FRS radios? The UV-5R will do it on all frequencies! Problem- This unit isn't type accepted as an FRS radio, has a removable antenna, and the low power setting is still 1W (FRS is supposed to be <500 mW). You might be able to explain this away if you hold a GRMS license.

2. You want to play radio with others on GRMS frequencies? The UV-5R will do it on all frequencies! Problem- The unit isn't type accepted (I'm not really sure this is a problem yet because reading through the code of federal regulations isn't easy to do...) and for the new prepper who may not realize it another license is required to use the GRMS frequencies not shared with FRS. GRMS licensing is easier but a bit more expensive ($85 instead of $15 and no test).

3. You want to listen to NOAA weather broadcasts on 2M while out and about? The UV-5R does that on all frequencies! Problem- This unit can actually transmit on those frequencies!  ??? It's also very easy to accidentally hit the PTT button... Be very careful with this!

4. You want to play radio with others on the business bands? The UV-5R will do it on most if not all of those frequencies! I'm really no expert in this field but I know extra licenses are required. Much more trial and error research required in this area.

5. I haven't checked at all yet, but I wouldn't be surprised if this little magic black box was hot on the MARS frequencies... I'll have to look later.



TL;DR- This seems to be the perfect hand held radio for a prepper! Just be careful with your new toy after you get your HAM ticket and play radio! Buy a double sided SMA adapter to hook it to other antennas.

As for the NOOA transmit possibility. If you use the PC software to program and leave the transmit frequency empty it will not transmit on that channel.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: tinker on September 08, 2013, 10:09:38 PM
Just catching up on my reading and felt that I must post on this thread.
When a memory is used for receive only on a fully capable transceiver such as this, either a transmit inhibit (by removing the frequency in the transmit column by software as already mentioned) or manually creating a suitable offset (or split) so that if the PTT is activated by accident, you are only transmitting where you are authorized.
This technique has saved my six many times because I often monitor public service (police, fire, ambulance, coast guard, railroad, etc.) and you NEVER want to transmit in those areas unless you are authorized.
The same technique is used for my 'E' class gear (FT-1807E and FT-8800E) as well to protect me  against causing serious interference because rigs are much higher power.
Cheers.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on September 08, 2013, 11:04:26 PM
Interesting Tinker, I didn't know you could leave the transmit frequency column blank.. Is there also a way to limit output power on selected frequencies? I just ordered a UV-5R+, so the more I know the better... Thanks.

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Quietguy on September 09, 2013, 12:11:54 AM
If you use CHIRP to program your UV5R+ you set the receive frequency, but there is a column for each channel called "Duplex".  You can set it for "None" (simplex), "-", "+", "Split" and "Off".  "Off" inhibits transmitting on that channel and should be set for all channels where you positively do not want to transmit - like public safety.

Edit (error correction):  "Split" allows you to enter a specific transmit frequency while "+" and "-" allow you to use offsets.

Edit to add:  There is a column where you set the transmit power to "High" or "Low", but I don't recall what those power levels are in watts.

I don't know how the Baofeng software handles programming, I didn't try it.

Wally
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on September 09, 2013, 12:24:28 AM
Thanks Wally!
Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KC3AOL on September 09, 2013, 08:42:12 AM
Another tip for CHIRP is that you can select multiple entries and then right click, select edit and you can modify all of the selected entries at once.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 4
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 09, 2013, 11:11:04 AM
OK I bought one of these from AMAZON yesterday. You guys better be right  :)
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on September 09, 2013, 11:13:01 AM
I hope to receive mine before the week-end...

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 13, 2013, 01:13:19 AM
I got my UV-5RA today. Bat was dead. After charging it booted up nicely. Female voice with asian accent KOOL. I got it working on 146.52 simplex and experimented with a UHF repeater pair. I am happy with it. Enough of it for tonight. Tomorrow is another "Baofeng" day.  :)
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: recon_prepper on October 12, 2013, 01:09:50 PM
The prices on the original uv5r have really dropped I picked up three of them for 29 dollars a piece on amazon. The first one I bought a year ago ran me 50 dollars. Good little radios.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: raysills on October 18, 2013, 09:52:47 PM
I recently bought an Baofeng UV-5R... and the price has dropped to $32, delivered from a US vendor.  Clearly a radio made in China.  There likely is some cheap labor involved in it's manufacture, but I would guess that most of the work is done via robotic assembly devices.

Anyway, the little HT seems to work fine.. and although it is easier to program via a computer app (CHIRP), programming can be done manually.  The manufacturer's instruction book is not much help, but fortunately there is a nice on-line manual and a Yahoo group that supports it.

Hard to beat for the price... it really is a "disposable" HT.  Good for the 2M and 440 ham bands, and nearby frequencies.  You -can- program it for FRS/GMRS frequencies, but it's not legal for those services... at least not for transmitting. 

I'd say it's worth adding one or two to your stash of gear.

73 de Ray
K2ULR
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on October 18, 2013, 09:59:56 PM
The first one I got had a bad microphone jack. It would only key the trasnmitter with an external mic. The second one works great. I am waiting for a third one for free, to replace the first one.. Yes, when you get a good one, they do work great.

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KC3AOL on October 19, 2013, 08:11:25 AM
I actually don't understand the issues people have with manually programming. I had to do it a few weeks ago on a friend's uv-5r and had no trouble doing it. I never read any instructions or anything. Other than accepting your choices, it seemed pretty intuitive to me. Once I figured out how to accept (on second try), it was a snap.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 4
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KK0G on October 19, 2013, 11:57:49 AM
On the programming difficulty: I don't own a UV-5R but I did play with one a few weeks ago. A non-ham friend of mine is interested in getting licensed so he purchased one and showed it to me. After much button pushing, scrolling and deciphering of the cryptic menu I was finally able to successfully program in a local toned repeater without the benefit of any instructions. I've been an active ham for 14 years and in that time I've hand programmed lots of VHF/UHF handhelds and mobiles including Icom, Yaesu, Kenwood, Alinco, KDK, Standard, Radio Shack and several I've probably forgotten, programming the UV-5R was a pain in the ass by comparison. I'm sure if I were to play with it longer I would flatten the learning curve but it's definitely not as intuitive of most other radios I've used. That said, I don't think it's anywhere near the nightmare to program by hand that many on the internet make it out to be, after all I did it with no instructions, tutorials, Youtube videos, etc, I can definitely see how computer programming it would be much easier though,  the truth is closer to the middle of the two extremes.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: gil on October 19, 2013, 12:04:37 PM
You can buy the programming cable for $10.. Mine was included in the sale. I don't understand why anyone would want to save ten bucks and waste time pressing tiny buttons.. I have maybe fifty entries in my memory.. My second UV5R took a minute to program since I already have the file. It's nice to have a backup.

Gil.
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: KC3AOL on October 19, 2013, 12:47:24 PM
You can buy the programming cable for $10.. Mine was included in the sale. I don't understand why anyone would want to save ten bucks and waste time pressing tiny buttons.. I have maybe fifty entries in my memory.. My second UV5R took a minute to program since I already have the file. It's nice to have a backup.

Gil.
I definitely agree. I have almost 100 channels set in my UV-B5. I certainly wouldn't want to manually program all that, but I wouldn't want to manually program that on ANY radio. It's just that some people seem to have the notion that it is completely indecipherable and there's no way anyone could possibly understand the programming menu. It's really not that bad.

Sent from my Transformer Prime TF201 using Tapatalk 4
Title: Re: Baofeng UV-5R: Good disposable radio to add to gear?
Post by: White Tiger on October 19, 2013, 09:41:37 PM
Hey - it's been quite awhile since I've posted (been a lot of changes at work), but as usual I see the topics are exactly what I'm thinking about!

I too have a UV-5R - so this thread is relevant to me. I'm not technically savvy, so I thought these struggles with my radio were JUST due to operator error. I have YET to even hit a local repeater near me!? If you are an experienced operator, or IT pro - and like low-priced gear - the problems are minor annoyances for you - but for a non-tech individual - the difficulty factor of working this little radio is also very high. I have not had much luck with it.

After reading about folks who LOVE this radio - I decided to give it another try. I recently ordered the programming cable and have rekindled an interest in figuring it out - glad there are others here I can bounce questions off when I get to the point of trying to program it for operation!

Additionally - I was recently induced into a subscription to CQ Magazine - mostly for the calendar (pics of vintage rigs and Hams in their shacks). I don't know if anyone gets this magazine - and if they do - ordered/saw the calendar? "Miss November" 2015 (tongue planted firmly in check)? It shows her operating digitally via an IC-80AD HT! She uses a laptop with a small sound card interface kit running  FLdigi and EasyPal software!!

I immediately began googling for a similar UV-5R setup, found it & bought it.

Then Ibasked my friend Luck, WA4STO who opened the door to digital/TNC - planning to run the UV-5R with a PakRatt data controller as well!

So - questions - A) anybody here actually do this? And B) what are your experiences?