Best hand radio for bk up

Discussion in 'Survival Communications' started by Wizbit7, Oct 23, 2016.

  1. Wizbit7

    Wizbit7 Monkey

    Hi guys just got a baofeng uv 5r radio for emergencies 5watt output nightmare to program channels ecto without the cable..anyone got similar or recommend best budget handheld to hve as back up.?
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Have to wonder why not get a second of the same? No matter what you get, you'll have similar programming PIAs, and I see a benefit in having only one PIA to deal with. (Just get the cable and software. Life gets easier.)
  3. Wizbit7

    Wizbit7 Monkey

    Just wondered if there was a different model tht had further reach.wondering about the Faraday bag stuff as well
    GrayGhost likes this.
  4. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+++

    I suggest getting a Yaesu VX-3R for emergencies and using the Baofeng as a backup.

    You really don't want a "budget radio" as your main rig.
    3M-TA3 and GrayGhost like this.
  5. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    All of the hand-held's are going to be convoluted at best to program without the cable. Get the cable, program it for the local and surrounding area and then print off the document should you have to do it without a computer (as a last resort). It's worth it to program more than you "need" right now.

    Second, get a second one (they are cheap), get upgraded antennas (Nagoya or compatible) and get a mag-mount for the car if you are going to use it in the car at all. Distance increased 3 fold for me with the external mag-mount antenna ($12).

    For home use, build a cheap dipole or a sleeve dipole (2-Meter Sleeve Dipole | KV5R.COM). Cost about $8 in parts, including a roll of aluminum tape and I get between 18 and 22 miles on 5w 2m.
    GrayGhost likes this.
  6. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    I pretty much agree with T's "budget" radio thinking. However, budget or high dollar, two is one, one is none. Budget or high dollar, get a second unit.
    GrayGhost likes this.
  7. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey++


    I just came in to possession of one as well, last week.
  8. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    I have a handful of UR-5Rs, 4 with the extended batteries. 2 do service as a portable repeater. They are my daily use radios, though I have better trust in my Wouxun radios, just better build quality. But for $35 you just can't beat the Boafeng, just toss it when it quits. Use Chirp and program them all the same for a true grab and go solution. Oh, the extended batteries make them feel like a real radio and give all day use.
    GrayGhost likes this.
  9. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I have a pair of the Baofeng UV 5R radios and they are indeed a nightmare to program. The easiest thing to do is to download CHIRP and install it. It's open source so it's free and pretty intuitive. It will help a lot with programming, help make it bearable, and especially with copying one's programming to a second radio because many times those damn Baofeng radio will not clone/copy even with the right cable.

    All-in-all the UV 5R is a great radio for the price and its purpose.

    EDIT: Oh yeah! What @DarkLight said about a better antenna is important. I got the Nagoya NA-771R for both of mine but for distance you are going to want an external.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2016
    GrayGhost likes this.
  10. GrayGhost

    GrayGhost Monkey++

    I definitely have some research to do. Thanks, all!
  11. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    TH-G71A from Kenwood was my first ham purchase and still my favorite H/T. Any computerized device with a small surface area is going to have to have some convoluted procedures for making a few buttons do a lot of things, no way around it. If you want simple, you get fewer options.
    GrayGhost, ghrit and BTPost like this.
  12. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    If you have a ham tech level ticket, buy a couple of ICOM IC-2As. They came in 2 meter (144 MHZ) and UHF.

    No programming - just dial up the freq. Covers on the ham band of choice. 1.5 watts - and built like a brick outhouse.
    I got a working pair that looked new for $35 at a local hamfest. Battery works for an all day (90% RX) and they are stable in both hot and cold wx.

    Good luck.

    Edit to add
    Battery pacs and AA battery trays are still made/sold for your use.
    ICOM is just one of many vendors.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2016
    GrayGhost and BTPost like this.
  13. AD1

    AD1 Monkey+++

    stg58 likes this.
  14. stg58

    stg58 Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Plus one on Chirp a great piece of free software.^^^^^^^^
  15. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    I know a ton of people are using the Baofeng radios but one thing you hardly ever hear is that they are not approved by the FCC, which means if you transmit on them on FRS or GMRS you are breaking the law. FRS & GMRS are using too much power, and the other freqs require a HAM license, which most people I know using these units don't have. If you have a license, you would probably choose another radio unit.

    I know when the CB craze hit back in the 70's you were supposed to have a license for that, but so many people were ignoring the FCC that they ditched the license requirement for CB operation. Might be the same deal now, but I kind of doubt it since HAMS take their licenses seriously, and these freqs belong to them..

    Not trying to be a stick in the mud, just saying that if somebody out there doesn't like you for whatever reason then you could end up owing thousands in fines and facing time in Uncle Sam's big house.

    Using one as a receiver for scanner like listening is even suspect, since it isn't approved. Of course when the balloon goes up then anything goes, but with drones and cell towers monitoring radio traffic and triangulating locations, firing up any kind of radio transmission could get something nasty thrown at you in a Martial Law type scenario.

    Not trying to pick a fight or ruffle anybody's feathers - just saying...
  16. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    You mean everyone here isn't a ham? Why not?
  17. DarkLight

    DarkLight Live Long and Prosper - On Hiatus Site Supporter

    @Oltymer - They are in fact FCC Type accepted for HAM use (it's more complicated than that but that's it in a nutshell). I have looked up the certification for both Baofeng and Wouxun. They exist. Yes, they are not type approved for FRS or GMRS, but they don't claim to be. They can cover those frequencies but they are not sold to do so and if you do it is your fault not the fault of the manufacturer or seller.

    I currently have my Amateur Extra Class license and I own both a Baofeng and a Wouxun. I don't transmit out of my approved/accepted space for the device (but I can listen which is fun at work during a fire drill) and nothing in the law prevents me from doing so.

    I have a couple of other rigs as well for HF and VHF but use these for "quick and dirty" mobile use.

    As for the statement above:
    This isn't correct as there is no such thing as a type acceptance (there is no approval, it's acceptance by the FCC) for a receiver. If you can build it, you can listen. Listening is NOT regulated in any manner, shape, form or fashion.
  18. Oltymer

    Oltymer Monkey++

    Thanks for clearing that up DarkLight.
    DarkLight likes this.
  19. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    DL is exactly RIGHT, above... Receivers are only Part15 Approved, because they have a LOCAL OSCILLATOR... If you can receive it, it is Legal to do so... What isn't Legal, is to divulge to a Third Party, what you heard, if you were NOT a Party to the conversation. That is covered by the Secrecy Clause, of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. As far as I know, NO ONE has ever been Prosecuted for violating that Clause... Also, Yes, there is Prison Time associated with Comm Act violations, but in all my years, with the Commission, I have NEVER heard of a single Case, where Prison Time was part of the sentence. Certainly never for operation of Non-Type Accepted Radios... and both the cheap Chinese Radios ARE Type Accepted for Part 90 Operation.... in most cases...
    GrayGhost likes this.
  20. Idahoser

    Idahoser Monkey+++ Founding Member

    that's one of those "fewer options" things I mentioned - make sure it's at least modern enough to do tones for repeaters
    almost any modern computerized transceiver will have a switch to lock out transmit ability, to make sure you don't accidentally transmit without a license.
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