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 Radioddity.com, 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!