Author Topic: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms  (Read 10451 times)

Offline AngusBangus

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Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« on: January 27, 2014, 10:46:43 AM »
I have not yet bit the bullet and bought the Baofeng radios, though I hear from lots of Hams all over that they're great (except those who insist on  Yaseu/Kenwood while sipping their Starbucks)

If you're looking for some backups for a BOL or SHTF, these seem like a heckuva deal:
- 5-pack of 70cm-only handhelds for $95 including earpieces
- 2-pack of the dual-banded UV-5R model E (2013) with earpieces

Unlike Yaesu, the Baofengs don't use a proprietary earpiece/mic connection, so you can get your own earpiece or even a $12 throat mic for these. The single-band UHF radios would work well even on a decent-sized piece of property assuming reasonable terrain - they apparently only have 16 channels, but you can set those up for whatever simplex/repeater setup you have for your group.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #1 on: January 27, 2014, 08:32:29 PM »
bought 4 UV-3r's from amazon at Christmas for $120 shipped...Less than I paid for my 1st Wouxun a few years back...

Offline austinrob

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2014, 01:53:54 PM »
yup... $30 per has been the going rate for the UV-5r.  They've gone up a tad since.

Don't know about the 888S.  I'd look at the compatibility with chirp programming software.  I like that so it's easy to keep my channel programming consistent across different radio brands.  If 70cm is what you need, then the 888S looks to be "good enough" especially for less than $20 per. 

The standard baofeng antennas are dummy loads though.  Get something to replace it if you're going to be beyond a hundred yards or so.

Offline Ronin4hire

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 12:47:08 PM »
Just got the UV-5RE delivered (with multiple accessories) from MrHarris' recommendation on radios1234.com
Probably will pick up another HT or 2 eventually, after I get this one programmed with local frequencies needed.
Perfect to monitor communication now and just enough ability to get started once I get the license to transmit...

Offline AngusBangus

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 04:14:32 PM »
yup... $30 per has been the going rate for the UV-5r.  They've gone up a tad since.

Don't know about the 888S.  I'd look at the compatibility with chirp programming software.  I like that so it's easy to keep my channel programming consistent across different radio brands.  If 70cm is what you need, then the 888S looks to be "good enough" especially for less than $20 per. 

The standard baofeng antennas are dummy loads though.  Get something to replace it if you're going to be beyond a hundred yards or so.

You can build a pretty quick & dirty (good-functioning) roll-up J-pole for 2M/70cm for not much more than the cost of a roll of ladder line and the connectors. Here's an example 70cm J-Pole. You can make even smaller ones that are dedicated 70cm.

I built a 6M (which works well on 2M) that I can toss up in a high tree with a slingshot/550 cord and really get out on my 5W HT from deep in the woods. Obviously not for everyday use, but if I'm buying some backup UHF radios for a BOL or community emergency, a roll-up antenna that fits in a small pocket of a backpack can can be hung high up is quick and easy.

Suppose the key is to have a little whip that connects SO-239/PL-239 to whatever radio connectors your radios might be using (SMA, BNC, etc.)

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 07:38:49 PM »
Suppose the key is to have a little whip that connects SO-239/PL-239 to whatever radio connectors your radios might be using (SMA, BNC, etc.)

They must be getting more and more popular as I saw on amateurlogic.tv that one of the highlighted items in the new MFJ catalog is SO-239 to SMA leads.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2014, 03:14:44 AM »
But aren't there losses involved?

Offline idelphic

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2014, 07:17:43 PM »
But aren't there losses involved?
When you add extra connectors and short bits of cable - yes.  But sometimes it's best.  My Wouxon has a reverse SMA connector.  but I have a great mobile antenna on the truck that is SO/PL 250.  That cable and weight would break the radio SMA.  so a short pigtail would relieve the stress.

Offline AngusBangus

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2014, 10:11:28 PM »
They must be getting more and more popular as I saw on amateurlogic.tv that one of the highlighted items in the new MFJ catalog is SO-239 to SMA leads.
I build ALL of my antennas with SO-239. That way they're easy to solder and bulky/beefy enough to withsatdn being tossed around a bit. So I use a 239-SMA pigtail for my HT but can hook my antennas up to anyone's base station.

But aren't there losses involved?
There are losses with every connection. But there are significantly less losses in the systems it creates (pairing my HT with good antennas I've built/bought) compared to the system created by putting the stock rubber ducky on my HT which makes it very similar to a loud, ammoless gun (aka overpriced club).

Offline Greekman

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2014, 11:55:44 PM »
Indeed. I heard somewhere that it  is 1 DB of losses for every connector.

I too use pigtails sometimes, especially in the car.
But in cases my HT will stay on a tabletop connected to a field atnenna, I use just an adapter (SMA Male to PL259)
In home the antenna is set to RG58 and a SMA connector. My problems actualy was in the wire with the shielding breaking. I got away with it with a 90deg SMA connector.
And I use a handmike in all cases

Offline AngusBangus

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2014, 07:47:56 AM »
Here's a link to a short forum thread at eHam on PL-259 connector signal loss. Key is primarily to make EXCELLENT connections (good solder contact, but not solder splash everywhere). Check out any pre-made wires/connectors you buy to ensure they don't have solder where it shouldn't be.

Bottom line, a small screw up in your antenna or your radio internals is going to make WAY more -dB issue for you than a well-made connector. If not, then you wouldn't see these ham shacks with accessories strung together in series with each other.

Hand mic definitely makes a big difference in the stress on the SMA connector on my HT. Using that, the only problem the unit has is my clumsiness banging it around.  ::)

Offline Ken325

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2014, 10:18:26 AM »
Quote
The standard baofeng antennas are dummy loads though.  Get something to replace it if you're going to be beyond a hundred yards or so.

It is hard to follow this discussion. 

I just bought a UV5R and a book on passing the HAM test.  Getting a HAM license is high up on my to do list, and when I saw the UV5R for $30 bucks it looked like a good deal.  Also lots of people recommend them.  I plan on taking the test in about 3 weeks.

So, I am very new at this and I would appreciate it if you dumbed down the answer to this question for me.  Do I need to buy another antenna?  If so what kind?  Should I buy a few more UV5Rs for 2 vehicles and bug out bag or should I go ahead and save up for a nicer Yeasu?  Is the Baofung GT-3 a good radio?  What would you buy if you were new to this.  The topic is Baofung for BOL so I think I am on topic with this question.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2014, 11:54:38 AM »
hmmmm You should go further than your license.
with that i mean start listening to HAMs and mingling.
HAM radio is a tradecraft if you like. You need to apprentice a bit. Or bust your face reading, trying and failing.
i.e how to make an antenna cable....

Most HAMs have cheap chinese radios as seconds, thirds & fourths
There are some features on the "real" radios that only a HAM can use, and some nice features that only can be found there.

If you look at the radios as a tool, usage defines the tool.
I think you are good for now, you will be able to judge if you need to upgrade by usage only.

Regarding antennas, yes the original antenna is there just because there should be one.
You should buy another whip antenna, 30-40cm long.
Antennas in radio is like having a sports car with wornout tires. You will never be able to run fast.

But not even with that, your radio will be maximized.
i.e search the forum for what a "roll-up J-pole"antenna is. Its a BOB-able antenna that greatly extends range.
(you can think of this as homework for a latter day)

And then there are more to come with SHTF/prepping in mind.
Alternate power for your radio (extra battery, AA battery case, 12V converter) and use of your -5R in the car (magnetic antenna, 12V converter)
(note to all: Has Jack had a podcast with simple, down and dirty radio comm stuff?)

I hope i did not scare you with too many things, and i hope my tone sounded right.

In short the plan is, get your license, minggle (builds network of contacts/people), maximize the radio you already have.
then you will be able to decide if you want to go deeper into HAM or remain a knowledgable user, then invest in gear more.

hope i was of help,,,,

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2014, 11:56:42 AM »
your new HT is a fine little radio to get your feet wet with...but don't think it'll do things physics won't allow  ;)

and more than likely you'll want an different antenna

if you will, take a sec to read this thread I posted on ar15.com:
http://www.ar15.com/forums/t_10_22/671666_Local_2m_Simplex_FM_Net_AAR__new_guys_read_me_.html

it may help you get an idea on the practical use of your HT versus a Mobile or Base Station.  I don't want to  hijack or derail this one, so take that above link in and if you'd like further-post away!

Good Luck on your test

SCW

GreekMan: here is the last Ham TSP I am aware of:
http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/ham-and-scanners-tim-glance

Offline Ken325

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2014, 03:40:21 PM »
Quote
I hope i did not scare you with too many things, and i hope my tone sounded right.

Great answer.  Thank you Greekman and SCWolverine.

I'll finish reading the book and take the test.  I have a science background so it shouldn't be that hard.  I don't know how much effort that I want to put into this.  For now I would be happy having something like a FRS/GMRS radio with much greater range (20-30 miles).  I would also like to be able to listen in to interesting stuff like police, NOAA weather, and other channels.  Part of the difficulty of being new at this is figuring out what you can do.  If you read the book it talks about communicating with satellites and stuff.  That doesn't sound fun or interesting to me.  I need to figure out what I can do with this first. 

What do you mean by mingle?  Do I need to join a club or just visit the right forums? 

Offline Greekman

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2014, 04:38:49 PM »
Everything! ahhahaha!

I mean, get on the air and talk with other HAMs for some time.
that builds trust and connections.

And things are a bit different in practice, only the tech stuff is in the books.

I strongly like joining a club, it is a hands on experience on many things, Techincal stuff, events etc.
Clubs usually have their Emergency Communications teams, but also provide services to social and athletic events.
that is a good practice, especially for a prepper

I never liked Dxing and contesting etc. I am interested in EmComm and that i found out early after i joined the club and were taking elsson for the Greek exams (at that time there were no intermediate levels, it was the full techical stuff)

What i mean to say. Spend some time finding out what your options are. And see what you like.
Its a hobby and noone can dicate/expect the level you will be involved.
And BTW, you are in a good start.


Offline AngusBangus

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #16 on: February 02, 2014, 08:49:28 PM »
I'll finish reading the book and take the test.  I have a science background so it shouldn't be that hard.  I don't know how much effort that I want to put into this.  For now I would be happy having something like a FRS/GMRS radio with much greater range (20-30 miles). 

If you have a strong science background, I would like to suggest the following... study for both the technician AND the general class exams. The tech stuff is all baseline understanding for the general. Here's why... when you sit down and pass your tech exam, which you will if you know V=IR and P=I^2R and have done practice exams at eham.net, the volunteers giving you the tech will take it, grade it, and then call you up to the front to hand you a general class exam. If you have studied/practiced, you will pass that too. If not, you will fail... because the only way you would NOT fail without any study is to have a radio background which would mean you aren't worried about tech. They will then hand you an extra class exam, which you can take if you'd like but is really not necessary. All of this is just for the cost of taking the test once and giving the FCC the licensing fee once. If you get your tech and really like it, you will very quickly want to delve into the world of HF... especially since you're a prepper. So go ahead and get your general.

I REALLY suggest taking the practice exams at eham. Use a couple of different free sites to prepare and you can be ready in a week.

The UV-5R, which I don't have yet but it basically does what my radio does, will let you practice ham locally on 2M and 70cm bands. Other than distance, very similar to FRS/GPRS. You will hear the folks locally who are generals talking about HF. It let's you expand your horizon, literally. Joining a local club is a great way to encounter HF and see what it is cracked up to be before you go spend a few hundred bucks on a radio and another few hundred on antennas, tuner, power supply, etc. to fill out a base station.

Offline dep190

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #17 on: February 27, 2014, 05:21:27 PM »
A group I work with we just ordered a bunch of these radios and assecories saving alot of money for everyone.
we ordered 30 and I have a whopping $60.00 including assecories! Not a bad deal! ;D







Offline Ronin4hire

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2014, 08:19:29 AM »
Again, based on MrHarris's recommendation & thru his radio1234 website, I picked up the longer/better SMA antenna for my HT.
Also got a few other goodies:  12v battery adapter, rechargable battery adapter (Eneloops!), programming cable and ext mic.
Considering the SMA to PL-249 adapter cable ($11?) and possibly an external antenna that can be used with my Uniden scanner.
Saw a 30-1300MHz antenna with 50ft of RG6 cable listed there too for about $38 but Im finding RG6 is 75 Ohm video cable-
Thought it was 50 Ohm RG8 that was recommended for radio transmission?

Offline Greekman

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Re: Baofeng multipacks for BOL? Community Comms
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2014, 10:32:51 AM »
that and RG223 as a lighter weight solution (more losses though)