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I bought the Baofeng BF888S for me and my wife and have been using it for the last three OPs and several local skirmishes (about a years worth). Great reception across

large terrains (ie Quarry Creek, Stinger Field). One charge on the battery will last all day.

I preferred the simpler knobs on the radio top for switching channels without having to pull the radio out of the pouch and using the front menu (ala UV5R), also the radio voice

in my Sordins informs me what channel number I switched to, nice. These UHF radios are single channel monitor which is ok until I decide to step up to squad leader and

then will need to monitor dual channels or run dual radios. I bought the programming cable and downloaded both programs for programming the UV5R (CHIRP) and BF888 (ZT-V68)

and have successfully programmed several people's radios for OPs. For simplicity and having the top knob switches, I would prefer the BF888 over the UV5R, you get the same range and

the BF888 is cheaper $17 on Amazon, for that amount of money you could by a backup radio too. I run the BF888 on the front of my PC for easy access connected to a U94 PTT to my Sordins.

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Sabre,

  I agree completely with the 888S, I've been running one for the last few months. The simplicity is great. Due to firmware limitations on the UV5R, the dual monitor feature is all but useless in a tactical environment. As long as you can either bring a laptop/cable to program on-site or you can be sure that the pre-published comm matrix is stable, they make great radios.

 

I recently discovered that the UV5R supports radio to radio cloning, and a quick search indicates the 888S does as well. I'll have to pickup a cable to give that a try.

 

For those considering a UV5R or an 888S, according to published specs, the UV5R does have a higher output power (4watts vs. 3watts), but you won't notice much difference in transmit range.

 

As always, an after market antenna will work much better than the included antenna (expect a significant increase in both transmit and receive range when using something like this: http://www.mfjenterprises.com/Product.php?productid=MFJ-1717SF). Comet, Pryme, and MFJ are all good brands to look for.

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Yes it works great, buy the converter to make it to bnc (around 5 bucks) and then a BNC extender and antenna. super easy.

 

Or I guess if you want to use the antenna supplied you could do that too with an SMA extension... never tried this though. All my antennas are BNC.

You could also try this as it converts directly from SMA F to BNC  http://www.radioshack.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3184263

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Ok sorry if I sound stupid but I'm planing on getting on getting the Bofang UV-5R, and I have been reading up on channels and learning about two way radios and how they work and how to work them and the two channels that they work on FRS/GMRS. I am wondering that with GMRS need a FCC liscense to operate/ use so I am wondering if I get the UV-5R well I need to get the liscense or not thanks for any help.

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You may transmit without license on FRS channels 1-14 at up to .5w (500mW).

You may transmit with GMRS license on channels 1-7 at power levels greater than .5w and less than 5w (and follow GMRS rules).

You may NOT transmit on 8-14 at power levels greater than than .5w as GMRS does not apply to these frequencies.

You may transmit on Channels 15-22 only with GMRS license, at any power level less than 50w (and follow GMRS rules)

 

The rules are dumb but there they are.

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Per the Wikipedia entry for GMRS: 

 

Use +/-2.5 kHz (NFM) deviation on the FRS shared channels (FRS rules permit only that deviation) and switch to +/-5 kHz (WFM) deviation on the GMRS channels (GMRS is allowed that deviation). Use (NFM) on the FRS channels (1-14) and just (FM or WFM) for the GMRS channels (15-22). 

 

But, if we could be sure everyone used narrow on all frequencies, that would be fine also. 

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Some one was talking about offsets earlier in this forum. All a offset does is use the little bit of frequency that you skip every time when you put freqs in. Ex. (455.000   455.250     455.500     455.750,   [using and offset can give you the extra bit of freq on the end of it] *455.300,   455.355,   455.400,   455.550)     those are just an example to show what I am talking about I am not to good at describing it as well as I could show or teach it. if any one has questions about radios I has lots of military training being a F.O. I use radios ALOT. (PRC 148, 152, 154) are my bread and butter.

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Offset is normally used when talking on repeaters. It will "offset" your Xmit freq a preset amount, usually 600Khz for Ham repeaters. Ex: I'm listening to a repeater on 146.700 and it uses a negative offset to activate. So if I want to talk on the repeater, I set my offset to -600Khz. When I key up, the radio automatically shifts the Xmit freq to 146.100. (The input freq of the repeater)

 

What I think you are referring to is how big of step you have between freqs.

 

In the Baofeng Uv5r, the freq step is menu item 1 and can be set @2.5khz for the lowest, and 50.0khz for the highest.

 

Sorry if I confused anyone.

KE0ATL

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Baofeng equals great airsoft radio.  Well just a great radio all around.  CHIRP makes it super easy to program them.  Doing it by hand kind of sucks.  Price is right as well.  They are popular in the HAM community too due to their low cost and how good they operate.  They still generate a lot of hate from the folks that run expensive radios.

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I concur with Baofeng.

 

You can find a BF888s on Amazon for $17usd + freeship includes battery charger and ear bud. You will also want to buy the programming cable $15 which is a USB on one end and a two pin Kenwood to the radio on the other end. Connect it to your laptop, install the proper USB driver for the cable (also free on the internet), set the driver to connect to the proper COM port, and then run the software programmer that comes with the baofeng so that you can configure your 16 channels (that is what comes with the BF888s) to conform to the Op combat matrix. You can program the baofeng to work with the standard GMRS/FRS motorola channels.

 

My comm setup is $65 Element Sordin headset with U94PTT connected to the BF888s. The headset fits perfectly under my PJ fast bump helmet with the center pad removed.

 

WARNING: Do not program the baofeng to work on any police or fire emergency channels or else the wrath of the FCC god will fall upon you. Just stick with the Op matrix channels and you should be golden.

 

Pro: Battery charge lasts all day. cheap price, 4watt transmit power is great for big Op maps like Broken Home.

For me my baofeng has lasted for 2+ years and still works great.

 

Con: The radio is only single band so you can only monitor one channel at a time (so not perfect for a SQL who has to monitor dual channels).

You cannot transmit to someone standing within 5 ft of you - but then again why would you want to.

You have to use a laptop and programming cable to change the frequencies and tones on the channels (maby not a con).

Only 16 channels available - but that has been plenty for me, mostly you will only use 2 or 3 channels.

NOT WATER PROOF.

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I have a Bao Feng 3800mah extended battery for my UV5R, I charged it when I got it in early january and have been practicing programing,screwing around with my sister and her friends with it, using the led light,letting my sister listen to FM on it etc.. through all this it is still showing full bars (I just looked) still on that same charge. this is not directed to anyone but incase someone wanted to know how long a charge can last the answer is... longer than you will ever need it ,

plus the 3800mah packs are about $12 so you can buy 2 of them and have the original small battery as backup for your backup

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Just a heads up when that battery bar comes off of full you need to start looking for a charging cradle or switching battery packs.  Once it's down to two bars you have maybe a few minutes of transmit time left lol.  I use mine on my motorcycle as well for use as a mobile ham radio.  I run it off the battery on the bike to keep from having RFI issues and every one of my batteries is like that.  As soon as it gets down off the "full" indicator it's time to charge.  This is with either the 1800mah or the 3800mah batteries that I've noticed this.  I just always keep a spare in my bag.

 

 

Also the BF-888 is listed as a 5 watt radio but when you hook it to a power/swr meter the most I've seen mine put out (and many others as well) is 2 watts on high.  I think I saw 2.5 or 3 watts on a fully charged fresh battery one time.  Other than that they are great little radios.  Compact and easy to use.  I keep two of them around to give to my non-radio buddies who have no idea how to operate the Baofeng.  Makes life easier for them and me (since I'm not constantly fixing radios) when you just have a channel knob on top. 

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