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Is Baofeng Garbage?

I hear/see a lot of people trashing the Baofeng UV-5R radios saying they are garbage, they don’t work well, etc… I say consider the source.

I have had some Baofeng radios for years, long before I had my Ham, just to listen to frequencies in my area. Once I got licensed for Ham radio, I programmed my Baofeng radios for some area repeaters and instantly I was on the air.

So why do people give Baofeng a hard time? Well, there are some that will say that Baofeng are not well made. Listen, I have dropped a Baofeng on the concrete and it made a little knick in the bottom, but no other damage. Not sure what people are expecting out of $25 radios.

Last night, I sat down for dinner and walked out for about $30, so for less than a meal, you can get a radio that does about 90% of what the expensive radios do. I call that value.

If you want to go out and purchase an ICOM ID-52A and get a premium radio, go for it. But for the same money, you could outfit an entire squad with Baofeng UV-5R radios.

Something that I really like about the Baofeng UV-5R specifically is that you can not only program it with Chirp, but TID Radio makes a Bluetooth Dongle that allows you to “Chirp” your radio with your cell phone. It is pretty handy to be able to add a couple frequencies to your codeplug with a dongle and be done, if you ask me.

in conclusion, if you are starting out in Ham Radio, I would say that getting a Baofeng UV-5R is something that many of us have done. It’s probably one of the only radios that costs less than your Ham license fee with the FCC.

Buy a Baofeng UV-5R, throw away the stock antenna and get you a Signal Stick and you are off to the races!