More New Radios – Baofeng UV-5R EX Handheld VHF/UHF Ham Radios

I posted about my new Radioddity GS-5B radio a couple of days ago. It’s got some great features like a really nice flashlight on the bottom, USB charging, and Bluetooth programming. It really is a nice radio and works wonderfully! That said, there are reasons one might want/need more than one radio… (Scroll to below pictures)

So, before I go any further, I’ll explain a little bit about the radios I just got. These are Baofeng UV-5R EX radios and while their main focus is on a budget price point, they didn’t take that to the extreme. These radios are only $25 each on, but I found a deal where a pair of them was only about $45. These radios feel pretty solid in the hand and come with some really desirable features. They can be programmed via PC using a program called Chirp and a programming cable. They transmit and receive on the VHF and UHF amateur radio bands, receive commercial FM broadcast radio, feature 128 memory stations, tone settings for accessing repeaters, and there’s a white LED on the top to use as a flashlight. There’s no aviation band receiving, no Bluetooth programming, only two bands, and only five watts. They’re good, basic radios with a few minor shortcomings like not as much filtering on the front end of the receiver, but we’ll just say they’re really not the worst radios you can get, especially for the money.

Now, why would I want more than one radio you might ask? Why would I buy a pair of identical radios when I already have a great radio? Well, there are a few reasons. Reason #1 was to have a backup. Radios get dropped, they get run over by vehicles, and they could even have the antenna snapped off. Whether you’re at home or in the field, repairs aren’t easy, quick, or cheap on your main radio. Two is one and one is none and a spare radio as a failover seems like a pretty great idea.

You might be thinking that a spare radio makes sense, but why two spares? I didn’t originally want to buy two radios. I wanted a radio and a spare battery, but I couldn’t find the batteries in stock anywhere. And where the prices were listed, they were $10 – $12 each. It would have been about $37 for one radio and a spare battery. For another $8 I got a spare battery, spare charge cradle, spare charger, and a spare RADIO 😁

But wait! There’s more!!! There’s another reason for wanting two radios. When working low earth orbiting satellites that function as amateur radio repeaters. When working these satellites, it’s very helpful to be able to receive and listen to the downlink WHILE you’re talking.

I’ll get into satellite operations later, but for now I’ll leave you with a YouTube video on these Baofeng radios. Have a great day and I hope to see you back here soon!

Radios – Radioddity GS-5B Handheld UHF/VHF Amateur Radio

So, I talked a little bit about the new ham radio I’d ordered before it arrived. Well, it’s here now and I’ve had a few days of playing with it and its programming software and I’m happy to say it’s been FANTASTIC 😎

As you can see, I’d ordered a Radioddity GS-5B. This radio is VERY ORANGE LOL! My first impressions were that it feels like it’s a quality item. The clicky buttons and power/volume knob all have a very positive feel. The display and button backlights are large, clear, and bright. The flashlight on the bottom is also very bright and really practical as well.

I’ve had a few chances to actually work repeaters around the local area with a very affordable magnetic mount mobile antenna and so far the reports are pretty impressive 😁 Reception on VHF ham frequencies, NOAA weather, and commercial broadcast FM frequencies has been great with both the stock rubber duck and the magnet mount antenna.

As far as programming, it’s not too bad through the keypad, but I’m glad it’s pretty easy via a PC with the included USB cable. There are a few mildly annoying limitations in the PC software, but overall it’s pretty easy. The Bluetooth programming via apps on my iPhone and Android tablets has worked flawlessly so far as well.

One other thing I’ve found out is that this appears to be very closely related to or possibly a re-branded Senhaix 8800 radio which you can see here. That’s not a bad thing at all as it would probably help bring the price down. Click that link and check out the pics. The internal chassis appears to be pretty beefy and the plastic appears to be quality in the disassembly pics.

My overall impression so far is that this is a fantastic value for the money. It appears to transmit and receive well, the other features seem to work well, and it didn’t break the bank 😉

I’ll post updates as time goes on, but for now I’m truly satisfied with my purchase 😎

WX2HOT – Getting Back on the Air

WX2HOT… That might be a bit familiar to some of y’all reading this right now. WX2HOT is my vanity call sign for Amateur Radio on file with the Federal Communications Commission. My originally assigned call sign from the FCC was KE7VYA. Now, there’s nothing wrong with my original call sign, but I thought it was funny with the rather toasty summer weather in Vegas to get WX2HOT since WX is a contraction for weather 😉

I’ve renewed my ham radio license for another ten years, but I’m missing actually having a radio. You see, things happened to some of my stuff on my truck… Anyway, as you can see above, I’ve ordered a new radio which should be delivered in the next week or two. The new radio is made in China, but no other radio I’ve found has the combination of features in this one.

This should be fun and entertaining 😁