Baofeng UV-5 for Emergency Communication

This is a discussion on Baofeng UV-5 for Emergency Communication within the Bushcraft - Primitive Skills - Survival Skills - Camping forums, part of the Related Topics category; I have been listening to a podcast that talks about communications. After hearing what they had to say, I looked into taking the first. They ...

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Thread: Baofeng UV-5 for Emergency Communication

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Baofeng UV-5 for Emergency Communication

    I have been listening to a podcast that talks about communications. After hearing what they had to say, I looked into taking the first.

    They recommended getting a handheld HAM radio. You can put it in your BOB, or keep it in your glove box, or carry it on your person.

    I thought this was going to cost an arm and a leg, but when I actually looked into it, I was shocked.

    The Baofeng UV-5 is a decent, entry-level handheld HAM radio that can be had for under $40 on Amazon!

    Amazon.com: BaoFeng UV-5RE Plus(UV-5R+) Dual-Band 136-174/400-480 MHz FM Ham Two-way Radio, Improved Stronger Case, More Rich and Enhanced Features (2013 Enhanced Version): Car Electronics

    I picked one up, plus the USB cord, and handheld mic for about $50 total.

    Now this won't let you reach China, but with repeaters, you can reach 25, 75, even over 100 miles with good reception.

    Also, in a true emergency situation, there are networks that are being developed to relay information cross-country using these little handsets and repeaters.

    If you're interested in learning more, check out AMRRON (the link doesn't work on mobile devices)
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    VIP Member Array Patti's Avatar
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    I've been debating whether or not to get one of these.

    Thanks for posting the info.
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    Good info, thanks
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    Member Array StillLearning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badey View Post
    They recommended getting a handheld HAM radio.
    Keep in mind that you must have a ham radio license to transmit with those. If you transmit without one, hams will hunt you down and turn you over to the FCC. They even put on regular games and contests of "rabbit hunting" to enhance their skills in doing that.

    Now that the Morse Code requirements have changed, getting a license is easier, just a matter of having the proper knowledge.

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    Yeah, I'll second the suggestion that you get your HAM license if you're going to keep a radio around. Sure you could just hang onto it and not actually use it, or simply listen in, which is perfectly legal to do without a license, but it's fun to actually use the radio and listening isn't really using...

    Plus, with your HAM license and your HT, you could volunteer with your local ARES/RACES and help out during inclement weather or natural disaster.

    I'm sure that wherever you are, there's someone putting on a free class that will help you pass the Technician test. A few nights of classes and a little studying and you'll have your license.
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    Good advice!
    "Don't shout for help at night, you may wake your neighbors"

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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by StillLearning View Post
    Keep in mind that you must have a ham radio license to transmit with those. If you transmit without one, hams will hunt you down and turn you over to the FCC. They even put on regular games and contests of "rabbit hunting" to enhance their skills in doing that.

    Now that the Morse Code requirements have changed, getting a license is easier, just a matter of having the proper knowledge.
    I am intending to get licensed, however, my understanding is that in an emergency situation, you don't need to be licensed to transmit.
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    Distinguished Member Array Wunderneun's Avatar
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    I don't have first hand experience with these tranceivers, but I have read that they are a nightmare to program for duplex operations and repeater offsets. The manual is a jumbled mess of instructions and is not very clear.

    Now, some of this may have changed in the past eight months or so since I read this, but you might want to do your homework before buying.
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wunderneun View Post
    I don't have first hand experience with these transceivers, but I have read that they are a nightmare to program for duplex operations and repeater offsets. The manual is a jumbled mess of instructions and is not very clear.

    Now, some of this may have changed in the past eight months or so since I read this, but you might want to do your homework before buying.
    The people at AMRRON have instructions on how to program the transceiver, and they also are available to help you over email. I have heard similar things, though, but I'll put up with a bit of a headache to program a $40 transceiver, instead of paying $160 to have an easily programmed transceiver.
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    VIP Member Array Badey's Avatar
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    Anyone thinking about getting their technician license can use this free study guide (not mine, but I have found it useful)

    http://www.kb6nu.com/wp-content/uplo...tudy_Guide.pdf
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    I have one, which I use with a home made directional antenna to help locate a transmitter on a model rocket of mine.

    There's no reason to delay getting your license; the information needed is extremely basic and the whole test bank is on line. I went ahead and took the course at hamradiolicenseexam.com -- I don't really remember why I thought it would be necessary. In retrospect it wasn't, but their course is cheap and very well designed.

    The UV-5R manual is completely useless. However, www.miklor.com has a lot of great information on it and other Chinese radios, including excellent user-written manuals.

    The only practical way to program the radio is with a program called CHIRP, which is available for Linux, Mac, and PC. It's theoretically programmable from its own keyboard, and there are YouTube videos showing how, but it's just not worth the effort. Keep in mind you don't tend to reprogram it on anything like a regular basis. Once your local channels and repeaters are in, you're pretty much set forever.

    It's a great $40 radio. Don't expect it to be a $200 radio; take it for what it's worth and you'll like it.

    sent using CPIP (see RFC 1149)
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    VIP Member Array 1MoreGoodGuy's Avatar
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    You can take practice exams on this site. The site will record your scores and track your progress so you will know when you are consistently passing the practice exams. This will be an indicator that you are ready for the actual exam.

    Practice Amateur Radio Exams by QRZ.COM
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    One of the great things about these little Chinese radios is how flexible they are. I have a Wouxun KG-UVD1P (comparable performance at a higher price) that I have loaded with National Weather Service, (receive only) HAM, marine, MURS, and GMRS. Except for stuff at work where we use digital modes this one radio lets me talk to anybody I have business talking to. Performance wise they are not Motorolas (but very few are) but for bugging out it makes a whole lot more sense to pack one of these than four Motorolas and an Icom. and spare batteries and chargers for all.

    For a SHTF scenario you should also get the battery pack that lets you use "AA" batteries as well. Even if local repeaters are down due to a hurricane or some local disaster there are even HAM satellites that you can talk through (briefly) as they pass over your area.
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    I do have some MIDLAND 2 Way radios (4 of them) and there are some channels available on there that regular schmoes like me are not supposed to use unless there is an actual emergency type situation.
    I really just have them put away for SHTF and really have no use for them in ordinary everyday life.

    Are those HAM channels on there? Feel free to provide info to the ignorant one.

    I did use two radios once - I think I set them both on Channel 1 and gave one to the Wife when we went canoeing as a just in case we got separated.
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