Baofeng UV-5R : Triumph of Moore's Law

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary.  Now with pictures!

I bought a China made Baofeng UV-5R for $45 from eBay. Because of Moore's  
Law, silicon devices continue to improve in quality and decrease in price.  
Before Baofeng, the popular brand was Icom for $300. The UV-5R is a hand  
held digital signal processing VHF/UHF transceiver. It is dual band, which  
means it listens to two channels at once. The product is designed for  
corporate or ham radio club use. Amateur radio is legislated, so one needs  
to belong to a ham radio club and acquire a license to use the Push To Talk  
(PTT) button. I have not yet written my ham radio license exam. In lieu of  
legal PTT use, the UV-5R provides scanning of three bands, VHF, UHF and  
commercial FM bands. This transceiver is set up for frequency modulation on  
all bands. It can be set up with up to 128 channels. Scanning the  
frequencies, I have found marine, police, ham, corporate and public service  
chit chat even from the other side of the Salish Sea. The product is  
delivered with a "rubber duckie" antenna* and an SMA connector. Since I had  
previously made an eBay purchase of a $20 Israeli made, 15 dB, polarized,  
Yagi, log-periodic UHF antenna for OTA HDTV, I ordered a China made SMA / F  
connector adapter from eBay for $2. That permitted me to connect the UHF  
Yagi to the UV-5R. Needless to say I got even better reception from the  
other side of the Salish Sea. UHF should be "line of sight" and restricted  
by the curvature of the Earth so I think I have discovered "tropospheric  
ducting" of UHF.

The UV-5R may be programmed via a "front panel" of buttons or using a PC  
adapter cable and software. Some of the more exotic functions require PC  
programming. Ham radio clubs like to set up high power repeater stations at  
high altitude for large area coverage and to plug into the phone system.  
Repeaters listen on one channel and rebroadcast on another, generally 600  
kHz displaced. Being dual band, the UV-5R is designed to be programmed  
through repeaters

*The "rubber duckie" antenna has an interesting urban history. The UV-5R  
works on the two meter and 70 cm. RF bands. The simplest antenna solution is  
a long helical wire collapsed and encased in a rubber protective enclosure.  
This provides 0 dBi gain or possibly negative gain as a load on the 5 W  
broadcast power. The rubber duckie solution became popular with secret  
service men during the reign of JFK. Urban legend says that 5 year old  
Caroline Kennedy pointed at the rubber antenna and said "rubber duckie" and  
the name stuck.

Site Timeline