If you need help in picking the best BaoFeng radio, this article is of great importance to you. Talking about the most popular ham radio brand today, it is definitely BaoFeng. Being very inexpensive, the BaoFeng radios are intended to satisfy your communication requirement and extremely useful during emergency times. Moreover, people of all age groups communicate around the world using ham or commonly known as amateur radio. Usually, the BaoFeng ham radios are very portable and come with many valuable features.
Top 5 Best BaoFeng Radio: Editor’s Recommended
These best BaoFeng handheld radios are useful for socializing, outdoor operations, professional networking, and emergency wireless communication when the phone fails to work. Interact with authorities and people from all around the globe and all kinds of terrains with these long-range radios.
Though there are numerous BaoFeng radio models available in the market, we have picked the best 15 radios with the BaoFeng reviews to make the decision easy for all the radio enthusiasts. Scroll down!
- Best BaoFeng Radio Review:
- 1. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)
- 2. BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio
- 3. BTECH MURS-V1 MURS Two-Way Radio
- 4. BaoFeng 5 Pack UV-5RTP 8W Dual Band Two Way Radio
- 5. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio
- 6. Baofeng UV-5RTP Tri-Power 8/4/1W Two-Way Radio Transceiver
- 7. BaoFeng UV-5R 5 pack
- 8. Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio
- 9. TIDRADIO 8Watt Ham Radio Handheld
- 10. BAOFENG BF-888S Two Way Radio
- 11. Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver Dual Band Two Way Radio
- 12. BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Radio
- 13. BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
- 14. BaoFeng BF-UV-5RE Radio
- 15. Mengshen Baofeng BF-A58 Two Way Radio
- Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Select Baofeng Radio
- FAQs: Frequently Ask Question About Baofeng Radio
Best BaoFeng Radio Review:
1. BaoFeng BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen)
To begin with, BaoFeng ham radios have two generations; 2nd and 3rd UV- 5R. This latest BaoFeng radio belongs to the 3rd final generation which features a high power 30% greater 2000mAh battery that comes with 3 power modes; 8W high, 4W medium and 1W low. Having a maximum power output of 8W, the BF-F8HP works great at higher ranges while medium and low settings are considered as power-saving. Another noticeable feature is the powerful and 7 inches long V-85 high gain antenna for better transmission of frequency signals. The thing which is unique about this model is the new N5R-340A firmware. The comeback of customizable tri-color screen in 3rd GEN UV-5R is also great. Additionally, BaoFeng BF-F8HP supports the frequency range of 136-174 MHz VHF and 400-520 UHF.
BF-F8HP measures 10.5 x 2 x 2 inches in dimensions and weight about 8.3 ounces. Furthermore, to make it more convenient and portable for you during long outdoor sessions, this ham radio comes with a built-in LED flashlight, hand strap, earpiece, and belt clip. Moreover, this dual-band BaoFeng handheld radio offers 24 hours of battery life even on high power. Also, the latest hard radio shell casing makes it sturdy and durable. For the best part, all these features come under such an affordable price tag in addition to the 1-year warranty service.
- It is designed and made in the USA
- A high gain 7 inches V-85 Antenna
- Large 2000mAh Li-ion Battery with 3 power levels
- It has a built-in flashlight and FM radio
- 8 Watt output and 700mW of speaker output
- Single push-to-talk
- Created with N5R-340A firmware
- Tri-color display
- 1-year warranty support and concierge service
2. BaoFeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio
Particularly for all those who are looking for a compact and economical 2-way radio, the BaoFeng UV-5R dual band is a great choice to consider. This powerful best BaoFeng handheld radio belongs to the 2nd generation and comes with 1800mAh Li-ion battery offering 12-18 hours of battery life. Now, talking about the 2 power modes known as high and low; it has a maximum 4W and a minimum of 1W power output. Also, the battery life can be adjusted by using the power-saving mode.
The frequency range is 136-174 MHz for VHF, 400-520 MHz for UHF and FM has 65.0-108.0 MHz and hence it is considered as a good commercial handheld ham radio. Furthermore, you can choose from 128 channels with ±2.5ppm of frequency stability. Moreover, this dual-band and dual standby radio has a burst tone of 1750Hz. It also has alert notifications for low-battery, time-out, and emergency.
Baofeng UV-5R measures to be 100 x 52 x 32 mm in dimensions and 1 pound in weight. However, for hands-free operation, this radio features a built-in VOX for voice commands with a selectable range from 0-9 grades. The handheld radio has a large bright tri-color LCD screen and features a secure keypad lock.
- The output power of 4-5 Watt Max
- It has tri-color LCD
- Built-in LED flashlight and VOX function
- Secure with keypad lock
- High and low power settings
- Battery saving mode
- Emergency alert feature
- It offers 128 channels
- 1800mah Li-ion battery
3. BTECH MURS-V1 MURS Two-Way Radio
The MURS-V1 by BaoFeng Tech is a license-free and FCC Part 95J Certified MURS radio that requires no programming as it comes pre-programmed. Moreover, it has 2 power modes; the high output power is set at a maximum of 2W and low at 500mW. Also, this handheld radio comes with a 1800mAh rechargeable Li-ion battery but it is also compatible with the more powerful BL-8L battery. Another feature is that this radio is compatible with all transceivers by MURS.
Here, you get the option to change or add privacy tones up to 50 CTCSS and 346 DCS. Furthermore, there is a PTT switch that offers a dual function for the display channels with the display syncing and dual monitor feature. Generally being very easy to use, MURS-V1 has modifiable two-way 15 channels that you can transmit and receive. It also features a built-in FM radio that has a frequency range of 65-108MHz. The dimensions of MURS-V1 are 2.3 x 1.3 x 4.3 inches whereas it weighs only 7.7 ounces. Moreover. the antenna for this transceiver is the standard single-band SMA-Female antenna. Also, a bright large tri-color display allows you to choose from 3 colors. The accessories provided in the package include a wrist strap, earpiece, belt clip along with an easy-read user manual.
- Two-line tri-color LCD
- Built-in flashlight
- 1800mAh Li-Ion Battery
- The high power output of 2W
- VOX system and FM radio
- It has 2 scanning modes
- 15 channels
- Certified with FCC Part 95J
4. BaoFeng 5 Pack UV-5RTP 8W Dual Band Two Way Radio
If you want to set up a walkie talkie system, this BaoFeng set includes 5 UV-5RTP radios with each one containing all the accessories. To begin with, this 5 pack radio set comes with three power settings from high to low, the maximum set at 8W. Whereas, the 4W and 1W power mode help a good deal in saving the battery life. Each radio set has a 1800mAh Lithium-ion battery with an operating voltage of 7.4. Besides, all these have a semi-duplex or simple mode of operation. Furthermore, each set of BaoFeng UV-5RTP supports 128 channels and you can customize or choose tones from 104 DCS and 50 CTCSS.
These best BaoFeng ham radios perform really well at high frequencies, thanks to the high gain dual-band antenna that enhances the frequency transmission with the 50Ω of antenna impedance. Also, the frequency range is 400-520MHz. To let the voice do the work, this durable radio comes with the VOX system. Moreover, the large bright LCD and loud output speaker alert you about low-battery, emergency and time out.
Having a rugged and hard frame, UV-5RTP radio is a perfect companion for outdoor adventures so you and your friends don’t lose communication. Hence, this 5 pack BaoFeng radio is an excellent option for large families and businesses.
- 5 radio sets included
- 128 channels
- It has high-gain dual-band booster antenna
- 4V1800mAh Lithium-ion battery
- 3 power options: 8, 4 and 1W
- VOX feature
- Built-in flashlight
- Emergency and battery alerts
5. BTECH UV-5X3 5 Watt Tri-Band Radio
This ham radio by BTECH has a very compact and classic design. Though the case layout is very similar to other BaoFeng radio models, this is a tri-band transceiver with filtering options that not only transmit and receive UHF and VHF frequencies but 222-225 MHz frequency band is also included. The amateur radio comes with a 1500mAh battery and 7.4 operating voltage. It is also compatible with the powerful 3800mAh BL-5L battery. This two-way radio has dimensions 2.3 x 1.3 x 4.3 inches and weighs just 8 ounces.
A new feature that you will notice in this model is the adjustment of DTMF audio at an easy level. Offering 4 different tone burst frequencies: 1000Hz, 1450Hz, 1750Hz, and 2000Hz, it is really simple to catch signals anywhere by pressing keypad keys and PTT. The quality of the audio is loud, undistorted and very clear. Moreover, the receiver has a 65MHz-108MHz FM radio band. BTECH UV-5X3 has tone, frequency and channel scanning feature with an option to delete or add a channel.
To make it more functional, there are two antennas included: the standard V85 and another long 220MHz band antenna. Moreover, you can choose from an orange, blue or purple-colored display for the LCD screen. Also, UV-5X3 provides screen synchronization that enables the lower and upper LCD to be tracked easily.
- 1500mAh Li-Ion Battery
- 2 antennas: V-85 Dual Band Antenna and 220MHz Single Band Antenna
- It features in-built VOX
- Synchronized display
- 128 memory channels
- 5W high power output
- Tri-band radio
6. Baofeng UV-5RTP Tri-Power 8/4/1W Two-Way Radio Transceiver
The BaoFeng UV-5RTP is the updated version of the model UV-5R and ranked among the most affordable ham radios in the market today without lacking any advanced feature. This version has tri-power settings to support your communication demands: High 8W, medium 4W, and low 1W. You will hear loud, clear audio from the receiver with an output speaker power of 700mw. This BaoFeng radio has a removable high-gain booster antenna with a frequency range of 136-174MHz and 400-520MHz. In addition, there is a built-in commercial FM radio under the frequency range of 65-108MHz.
UV-5RTP is powered by a rechargeable lithium-Ion 1500mAh battery with a battery life of about 12-14 hours. A battery-saving function helps to maintain power until it is required. It supports 128 channels with dual watch and scanning mode. Other features of this durable, light-weight and sturdy ham radio include the large LCD, 50 CTCSS inputs, DTMF and Ani code.
- Dual frequency, band display, and standby
- Built-in LED flashlight
- No accidental changes with keypad lock
- rechargeable 7.4V 1500mAh Lithium-ion battery
- Maximum output power is 8W
- Dual-band high-gain antenna
7. BaoFeng UV-5R 5 pack
Here, we have another great package offered by the BaoFeng brand. This is a pack of 5 UV-5R ham radios together that are useful to communicate with colleagues or co-workers on places like supermarket and construction sites. Moreover, it’s a great option for family members or security guards to coordinate during festivals. It offers a wide dual-band frequency range of 136-174MHz and 400-480MHz with an additional built-in FM broadcast radio range of 65MHz-108MHz. Having solid construction and classic design, it is a well-built ham radio that features a maximum output power of 5W. Moreover, to conserve battery life, a power-saving with 1W output is also provided. Each UV-5R radio set comes with 1800mAh battery and pre-programmed settings.
The audio alert tones tell you about the low battery, voltage, emergency, and timeout. Like other models of BaoFeng radios, this also supports 128 channels with tone and call selection from 50 CTCSS, 104 CDCSS, and DTMF. The dual-watch receiver tracks two different frequencies and gives preference to accept the incoming call from the first station. This versatile radio is capable of transmitting on both wide 25 kHz and narrowband 12.5 kHz. Besides, you can easily program UV-5R and add channel names connecting to PC with PC03 FTDI programming cable. Other useful features comprise of VOX, flashlight and keypad lock.
- Built-in flashlight and VOX
- 128 channels
- 5W output power
- Call tone 1750Hz
- Dual-band frequency, display, and standby
- Ani and DTMF code
- 1800mAh battery
8. Baofeng UV5RA Ham Two Way Radio
This is another variant of the UV-R model by BaoFeng that is a VHF/UHF and FM dual-band handheld transceiver with an LCD. It is powered by a high capacity Lithium-ion 1800mAh battery with a supply voltage of 7.4V that provides 12 to 14 hours of running time. You get the option to select the power settings from maximum 4W to minimum 1W. Moreover, to increase the battery life, this ham radio has a ‘SAVE’ battery saving function. The portable two-way radio offers only the commercial FM radio reception ranging from 65MHz-108MHz. The frequency range for VHF is 136MHz-174MHz and for UHF, it is 400MHz-480MHz.
BaoFeng UV5RA has the dimensions 8 x 4 x 6 inches and weighs 15.2 ounces. You will hear loud audio and no distortion as the output speaker power is 1000mW and receiver has 60dB intermodulation and sensitivity of 0.2 u V. It supports up to 128 memory channels and incorporates programmable 50 CTCSS privacy codes and 105 DCS codes. In addition, the BaoFeng UV5RA is encoded with DTMF and has a semi-duplex mode of operation. Talking about its performance at high ranges, this radio comes with a booster antenna having 50Ω impedance, 2.5ppm stability and supports both narrow and wideband frequencies.
The UV5RA radio model is loaded with tons of many useful advanced features that include the VOX, built-in flashlight, scan mode, and keypad lock. The LCD display has high illumination and comes with a dual-watch system. Functions such as TOT and BLCO are programmable by connecting it to PC with the cable provided.
- 1800mAh high capacity lithium-Ion battery
- Up to 128 memory channels
- RF high and low power selectable: 4W/1W
- Function VOX (voice-operated transmission)
- DTMF encoded
- Alarm function
9. TIDRADIO 8Watt Ham Radio Handheld
The TIDRADIO TD-F9GP 8Watt ham radio is the updated version of the UV-5R model. This handheld radio has many applications in the field of construction, warehouse, hotels and outdoor adventures. The striking feature of this radio set is the powerful long-lasting 2100MHA battery that lasts for days and makes it the best choice for continuous outdoor use. To make it convenient for you, there are multiple charging methods. Moreover, TD-F9GP comes with 2 batteries; one is optional. This handheld radio set can function for days without recharging, thanks to the long standby and battery saving mode.
This latest version BaoFeng radio has 3 power selection modes from high 8W, medium 5W, and 1W low. The 8W maximum output power supports long distance up to 10 miles of communication. To further increase range and talking distance, this amateur radio has the longest 14.9 inches, Na-771 very flexible and highly sensitive antenna that is unlikely to be found in any other ham radio model.
TIDRADIO has dimensions 10 x 8.4 x 2.4 inches and 1.6 pounds of weight. Like other BaoFeng ham radios, this has a commercial FM radio reception range of 65-108 MHz while the VHF and UHF have a frequency range of 136-174 MHz and 400-480 MHz respectively. It is compatible with other BaoFeng models like UV-5R and UV-82.
- Powerful two 2100MHA batteries
- Na-771, 14.9 inches long-range antenna
- 8W output power
- 128 memory channels
- Built-in VOX and flashlight
- Programmable settings
10. BAOFENG BF-888S Two Way Radio
BF-888S is one of the cheapest yet powerful ham radios by BaoFeng. This package contains 6 pieces of BF-888S two-way radios that are useful for personal communication with team members at a construction site, market, and such other places. This budget-friendly ham radio is quite different from the UV-R 2nd and 3rd series as it uses the BaoFeng BF-888S board. Powered by a rechargeable 1500mAh Lithium Polymer battery and operating voltage of 3.7V. You get 8 to 10 hours of battery life and 2-4km of communication range on this BaoFeng radio set. It supports 16 memory channels location with 50 CTCSS privacy codes and programmable 105 CDCSS.
The maximum power output is about 3W and dual power mode settings offering battery save function. Most of the settings can be adjusted using the new PC03 programming cable for PC connection. Talking about the frequency range, BF-888S supports only the UHF frequency of range 400-470MHz with no FM or VHF frequency reception. 1000mW audio power output makes sure that you receive crystal clear sound. The Voice prompt, flashlight, system alarms and scanning mode can help a great deal during an emergency. Besides, the 6 pack reduces the surplus packaging material and damage, making it easy to open. All these features make BF-888S a good hand-held radio for communicational use.
- 6km range
- 1500mAh Li-ion battery
- 16 memory channels
- Quick charging
- VOX and voice prompt
- Timer for low battery, voltage, and timeout
- Built-in high illumination flashlight
11. Baofeng UV-82 VHF UHF FM Transceiver Dual Band Two Way Radio
Baofeng UV-82 is another very prominent and famous radio model and upgraded version of the UV-B and UV-5R series. An improved feature that you will notice is the high speaker output power i.e. 1W while other models usually have 700mW audio output. This makes UV-82 transceiver much clear and louder during communication with 60-65 dB adjacent channel selectivity.
Moreover, other changes include the sturdy design with large buttons and better signal reception with a long-range antenna. BaoFeng UV-82 has dimensions 2.4 x 2 x 11.3 inches and weighs about 214g. Like other ham radios, it supports VHF 136-174MHz, UHF 400-520MHz, and a commercial FM reception range of 65.0MHz-108.0MHz. Dual frequency, dual-display, and dual-band are the BaoFeng thing that allows you to watch 2 different frequency channels at the same time. Also, this handy radio has a VFO system that can be turned on/off at any time.
It has the ability to switch between narrowband and wideband frequencies making it a good amateur radio. Perfect for long-distance transmission, UV-82 also comes with a 1800mAh rechargeable battery that lasts for around 2 days. The portable UV-82 radio allows the storage of 128 memory channels with 105 DCS programmable codes and 50 CTCSS privacy codes. Select from the tri-color display for the LCD screen. For added security, UV-82 has a keypad lock which prevents the accidental frequency and channel change. A built-in flashlight helps during the dark times in outdoor adventures.
- It has Maximum 5W output power
- Enables up to 128 memory channels to be stored
- 1800mAh Battery
- DTMF encoding
- Dual Reception and dual watch
- VOX and alarm functionality
- The adjustability of Level Threshold Squelch
12. BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Radio
If you want a compact, small size ham radio, then UV-82HP is one powerful handheld radio by BaoFeng that you can buy at an affordable price. What makes this device unique is the single and dual push-to-talk ability which allows the user to communicate with two frequencies using a single radio. The PTT button offers to transmit of frequency A and B that also helps in scanning, the PTT switch can be synchronized for single push-to-talk. There are 3 power modes with the maximum output of 7/8 watts.
For long-range communication, it comes with a dual-band V85 high-gain antenna. Also, it supports frequency ranges of 136-174, 136-174 MHz and a commercial FM radio reception. The model UV-82HP is upgraded particularly in terms of power, firmware, and hardware. Moreover, it features 4 tone burst settings, tri-color display, 128 memory channel storage, latest N82-33 firmware, and BaoFeng chipset. Other features include reset lock-out, CTCSS, DTS and DTMF tones, flashlight and easy programming. UV-82HP is available in many vibrant colors like Blue, red, yellow, camo, black and has dimensions 4 x 10 x 7 inches. Weighing less than 1 pound, the ham radio is extremely easy to carry. This personal radio is useful for communication, military, and commercial purposes.
- 3 power levels: high 7/8 W, medium 5W and low 1W
- Dual and single push-to-talk
- It comes with V-85 high gain antenna
- 1800 mAh battery
- 1-watt speaker output power
- ANI and DTMF tones
13. BaoFeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
If you are wondering why there are 20 pieces of BaoFeng BF-888S ham radios in this pack, then let us make it clear for you that this set is for both commercial and personal use. It is a perfect purchase for all looking to create a large communication network. This 20 pack BF-888S is useful for security guards, policemen, construction site workers, office, and retail sector and restaurant employees, hiking for cost-effective and better communication. Moving forward to features BF-888S has, it is a two-way radio that supports only UHF frequency 400-470MHz as it has wide usage in the professional sector.
In addition, there are 16 memory channels with programmable 105 CDCSS and 50 CTCSS tones. The power output is 3W with another low power 1W setting. The compact radio is powered by 1500MAh Li-ion rechargeable battery, an operating voltage of 3.7V and a power-saving mode to extend battery life. The transmitter uses F3E modulation mode while the receiver has a high 1000mW speaker power delivering loud audio. To enjoy the hands-free experience, Voice Prompt, VOX function and earpiece are included in BF-888S. Other features that enhance this radio set’s functionality include flashlight, TOT, PC programming, scanning, emergency and battery alarms, and fast charging.
- It has in-built VOX
- 3W output power
- 7V 1500MAh Li-ion battery
- 2-4km of communication range
- Battery saving mode
- Allows storage for 16 memory channels
14. BaoFeng BF-UV-5RE Radio
Another affordable radio model BF-UV-5RE by BaoFeng, this low-priced handheld radio is reliable when it comes to performance and functionality. Made from a high-quality rugged steel metallic frame and better design makes it a durable radio that will last for many years and won’t break or damage with accidental falls. The power output is pretty much good enough for personal communication i.e. 4W. This radio is built to help you in the toughest situations; the speaker output is 700mW which is enough to hear clear loud audio under all conditions. Moreover, BF-UV-5RE comes with a 2-color display option bright LED screen offering 100% clarity during the day and nighttime.
Similar to other BaoFeng radio models, BF-UV-5RE also has the standard 136-174 and 400-479.995 MHz frequency range with a commercial FM radio receiver. You need not worry about constant charging; it features a powerful 1800 mAh Li-ion battery with 7.4V operating frequency. This allows the radio to monitor 2 frequencies at once and give priority to the incoming call from the first station. Also, BF-UV-5RE radio acts as a light source with a built-in flashlight. A hand strap and belt clip included makes it very convenient for carrying during outdoor adventures. The other noteworthy features of this set include alerts, TOT, keypad lock, privacy tones, and channel monitoring. The user manual and instructions are now translated into German, French, and English for easy understating and usage.
- Dual-color bright LED
- 4W output power
- Storage of 128 memory channels
- 1750 call tone
- Metallic frame
- Keypad lock
15. Mengshen Baofeng BF-A58 Two Way Radio
The Mengshen BaoFeng BF-A58 is unique from other models because it is IP57 total waterproof and dustproof. No matter if you drop this handheld radio in water, BF-A58 is going to function properly. Another noticeable feature is it’s super powerful 2500mAh Lithium-Ion battery that offers a battery life of more than 2 days. Moreover, it comes with a power switchover setting with a high 5W output. Loud and clear audio will be received, thanks to the 1W speaker output power. This dual-band, dual-frequency, and dual standby radio support UHF and VHF frequency range with a priory scanning function. Other prominent features of BF-A58 include battery saving, backlight display, VOX, keypad local and battery alerts.
- IP57 Super Waterproof and Dustproof
- VOX Function
- 3 power settings
- 2500mAh Li-Ion battery
- Band selection (narrow/wide)
- Voice Prompt
Buying Guide: Things To Consider When Select Baofeng Radio
If you are new to this handheld ham radio, then there are few things to know and consider for making the right purchase. Keep in mind that technical specs are very important to look before you buy the best BaoFeng radio.
- Frequency Range
Firstly, you need to check is the frequency range you require for your ham radio. You will notice that generally, BaoFeng models are mono, dual or tri-band radios that support three frequency modes: UHF, VHF, and FM. All ham radios operate at different frequencies. Ultra-high Frequency (UHF) has a range of 420-450 MHz and particularly performs better indoors as these waves have the ability to easily pass through obstructions. Whereas, the very high-frequency waves (144-148 MHz) are best for outdoor long-distance and emergency communications. However, it is better to look for a ham radio that can transmit dual-band frequency. Moreover, the general coverage feature also supports FM, AM broadcast and TV frequency receptions while the advanced versions can also receive CW and SSB signals.
- Power and battery
The output power is essential for successful long-range communication. A good ham radio must have 3 to 5W of power output even for flat area coverage. The highest power output on the latest BaoFeng radio models is 8W which has much better coverage and performance. Also, look for adjustable power settings (high/low) to save battery life.
The batteries used in ham radios are rechargeable and sealed with multi-cells. Radios using the alkaline (AAA) batteries are useful in emergency situations when recharging is not possible. BaoFeng radios come with Li-Ion rechargeable batteries which have the highest energy density among all other batteries. Higher the energy density of a battery, the longer will be the battery life. Moreover, look for drop-in or desk type chargers than wall-mounted ones as they might cause inconvenience and charge slow. Cables and power supplies must deliver the maximum current which radio requires at correct operating voltage.
- Display and design
You are more likely to encounter difficult situations outdoor during night time. Using ham radio in dim light can be tricky so look for the backlight display option. Moreover, BaoFeng has some models that have a large tri-color display.
Having a well-built metallic casing makes the radio sturdy enough to withstand breakage and damage; durable. The ham radio should be water-resistance so it doesn’t stop working during situations like floods and rainfall.
The choice of antenna also determines the effectiveness of communication. Most handheld radios feature flexible and sturdy antennas commonly known as rubber-duck. More efficient, longer and better antennas are also available. The antenna is usually rated with reference to gain in dB; how fine the signals are concentrated in the desired direction. Each 3dB gain increases the strength of the signals to double.
The squelch function in ham radio prevents distortion and unwanted noise reaching the output speaker unless correct signals are achieved. The portable ham radios have the simple, carrier, squelch type to make radio silent if there is no signal higher than that of the preset limit. BaoFeng radios feature the Tone receive squelch known as DCS, CTCSS, and DTMF that can produce access tones for a sub-audible repeater.
Another handy feature that you would want in a handheld radio is the flashlight that facilitates walking, finding the route in a dark or emergency state. Luckily, all BaoFeng ham radios come with an in-built bright LED flashlight that consumes very little power.
How to Program a BaoFeng Radio?
BaoFeng radios can be programmed according to your preference by connecting it with PC. However, to make it simple for you, here are some easy steps to program a BaoFeng radio.
- The right type of connecting cable
To connect the BaoFeng radio to your PC, you need a USB cable. But remember that any ordinary USB connecting cable will not do the work. Generally, each BaoFeng radio series have specific programming cables like The BaoFeng UV-PROG, FTDI and RD-201 cable that supports Windows (10 and 7) and iOS system. However, the connecting cable is most of the time included in the package.
- Software for programming
You need to download BaoFeng programming software and the available ones are depending on the operating system:
- BTECH (for SQL adjustment)
- OEM VIP
Once you have downloaded the software, turn off the radio and connect it to the PC via the USB cable.
- Begin the radio programming
Open the CHIRP software to find the option of ‘Go to Radio’ and then click on the download from the radio. At this time, the radio begins to communicate with your PC. To eliminate the previous settings, Press Menu and button 40 to reset factory settings. For language settings, click on the button no. 14 to change Chinese to English.
- Frequency setup
The VFO/MR button in orange color selects the desired frequency mode, whereas button 1 on Menu is for the frequency settings. Also, the up and down arrow keys will change the frequency. However, the ideal frequency level for most ham radios preferred by users is 10k.
- Setting the tones
The CTCSS tone is set by pressing the 13 numbered button on the Menu. Similarly, the upward and downward arrows will help you select the desired tone. Make sure you press the MENU button after completing each set.
- Transmitting Frequency and Memory channel
Button 25 on the menu allows you to pick negative or positive offsets to your preference for the toggle switch. 00.600 offset is set with the button- 26 and button 27 to select the memory channel.
However, BaoFeng radios have no feature to automatically select the transmitting frequency. Therefore, you need to manually set it by pressing the VFO button that opens the frequency mode, enter your desired INPUT and press 27 after clicking on the MENU.
Despite being different in models, the setup is almost the same for each model. For more clear programming instructions and understanding, read the user manual thoroughly.
FAQs: Frequently Ask Question About Baofeng Radio
Q.1- What BaoFeng Radio is Best?
Though all BaoFeng radios are good BF-F8HP (UV-5R 3rd Gen) is far most advanced and latest than other models. What makes this radio best in performance is the high 8W power, high-gain antenna and 30% better battery life. Hence, this upgraded version is a versatile and portable radio that satisfies all indoor and outdoor communication needs. Also, it supports HF ranges, VFO, dual-band, 3 power modes, N5R-340A firmware and a long-range.
Q.2- Are BaoFeng illegal?
No, the FCC and Enforcement Bureau issued a report that 2-way radios which operate further than the certified band and don’t abide by rules of FCC are illegal as they can have a negative impact on public safety and federal operations. Many BaoFeng models are part 90 certified and don’t permit to select outside Part 90 band except some UV-5R series models. No ham radio is illegal for the licensed Amateur radio operator.
Q.3- Do I need a license to use a BaoFeng radio?
Yes, it is better to use BaoFeng radio with the user license approved by FCC. Once you have the license, using BaoFeng radio that is Part 90 certified is legal as it supports VHF and UHF.
Q.4- How far can a BaoFeng transmit?
As the rule says, more wattage output power means more transmit. Most of the BaoFeng radios have 4-5W of output power hence it provides 6 miles of coverage.
Q.5- Does BaoFeng makes a CB radio?
No, BaoFeng radios don’t operate the low AM frequency or SSB which CB generates.
We have provided the best BaoFeng radio reviews that have different features and specifications. Now that you know all about BaoFeng radio, choose the handheld radio that matches your budget and requirements. Though all the models listed in this article makes a great choice for portable radios, they can be a lifesaver during emergencies by providing communication source.