• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

First radio suggestions??

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
Hi guys,
A couple buddies and I are studying for our Technicians license.

We are looking for a suggestion on a good basic handheld that will always be useful. Kind of like that single stage press that you would always keep for certain tasks no matter how many Dillons you keep buying

I know a lot of people suggest the Baofeng handhelds due to cost. I see the UV5Rs ranging from $23 to $89.
Is the $89 just the newer model with the programming cable and such added in? Is it worth is over the $23 model?
Any other suggestions?

I can see myself growing in this hobby and getting a nice base station set up eventually but I’m really just looking to start with a handheld and learn how to tweak the most out of it.

Thanks guys!
 

Uzi2

NES Member
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
7,702
Likes
11,492
You'll never regret buying a $23 Baofeng or two or three, there is no downside to it. If you are just getting started, it's perfect. If yiu graduate to a better radio, the Baofeng just becomes a spare or something to monitor.

Grab an antenna connection adapter, some coax and make yourself ( or buy ) an outside antenna, put it as high as you can. You'll be surprised.
 

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
You'll never regret buying a $23 Baofeng or two or three, there is no downside to it. If you are just getting started, it's perfect. If yiu graduate to a better radio, the Baofeng just becomes a spare or something to monitor.

Grab an antenna connection adapter, some coax and make yourself ( or buy ) an outside antenna, put it as high as you can. You'll be surprised.
That’s what I was hoping to hear. I know they’re limited but seem like they are still handy even if just for talking around the neighborhood.
Any favored non-amazon vendors to purchase a Baofeng?
This was my next question. I would prefer not to give Bezos any of my money unless I have to.
Also I don’t necessarily trust them to send me the right radio or all the accessories. I wouldn’t mind establishing a relationship with a local shop (if there are such things) or a respected online vendor.
 

VetteGirlMA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
4,294
Likes
7,195
Location
western mass
Hi guys,
A couple buddies and I are studying for our Technicians license.

We are looking for a suggestion on a good basic handheld that will always be useful. Kind of like that single stage press that you would always keep for certain tasks no matter how many Dillons you keep buying

I know a lot of people suggest the Baofeng handhelds due to cost. I see the UV5Rs ranging from $23 to $89.
Is the $89 just the newer model with the programming cable and such added in? Is it worth is over the $23 model?
Any other suggestions?

I can see myself growing in this hobby and getting a nice base station set up eventually but I’m really just looking to start with a handheld and learn how to tweak the most out of it.

Thanks guys!

I've bought the complete Baofeng kits and all I can say is skip it, the extra pieces are junk and not worth $0.01. Just buy the radio and the parts you want afterwards. For programming cables I bought one separately and it works with chirp and programming it is super easy.
 

Tallahassee

NES Member
Rating - 100%
12   0   0
Joined
Jul 31, 2013
Messages
1,072
Likes
2,915
Location
Right Behind You
Hi guys,
A couple buddies and I are studying for our Technicians license.

We are looking for a suggestion on a good basic handheld that will always be useful. Kind of like that single stage press that you would always keep for certain tasks no matter how many Dillons you keep buying

I know a lot of people suggest the Baofeng handhelds due to cost. I see the UV5Rs ranging from $23 to $89.
Is the $89 just the newer model with the programming cable and such added in? Is it worth is over the $23 model?
Any other suggestions?

I can see myself growing in this hobby and getting a nice base station set up eventually but I’m really just looking to start with a handheld and learn how to tweak the most out of it.

Thanks guys!
I hate amazon, but they were $21 the other day, so I bought 4 of them myself.
 

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
Nice thank you!
Now I guess a real deciding factor on where I’m going to purchase is wether or not I should buy a 6 pack from bezos for $115 or I should just grab a couple from the local place?
I would like to have some extras to play with and be able to set up for the family.

That being said these can be configured to use without a license right? Just to be used as 2 ways for the kids to mess with right?
Using FRS or something?

Sorry if that’s stupid question, I’m trying to find some info online and the thread drift on these radio forums is worse than NES 😂
 

NHCraigT

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 19, 2005
Messages
5,376
Likes
6,084
Location
Southern NH
Hi guys,

I know a lot of people suggest the Baofeng handhelds due to cost. I see the UV5Rs ranging from $23 to $89.
Is the $89 just the newer model with the programming cable and such added in? Is it worth is over the $23 model?
Any other suggestions?

Thanks guys!

I don't know if anyone answered the above yet, but the only really difference on the $89 model is that it is rated at 8 watts transmission.

The UV5R is 5 watts.

Also, look into the extended batteries for whichever model you get, and install an upgraded antenna (a decent antenna is the Nagoya NA-771).

I have both the 8 watt models and the 5 watt models with extended batteries and hand-held microphones. They are all chirp programmed for local New England repeaters.
 

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
I don't know if anyone answered the above yet, but the only really difference on the $89 model is that it is rated at 8 watts transmission.

The UV5R is 5 watts.

Also, look into the extended batteries for whichever model you get, and install an upgraded antenna (a decent antenna is the Nagoya NA-771).

I have both the 8 watt models and the 5 watt models with extended batteries and hand-held microphones. They are all chirp programmed for local New England repeaters.
Thanks Craig. Will the extra 3 watts really make much of a difference or is that just asking too much of such a small unit anyway?

I’m watching more videos on YouTube and should be studying the course instead but I feel like there’s a lot of technical jargon m the course and little about what you can actually do and what the different radios can do.
YouTube is keeping me jazzed up to study more.
 

NHCraigT

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 19, 2005
Messages
5,376
Likes
6,084
Location
Southern NH
Thanks Craig. Will the extra 3 watts really make much of a difference or is that just asking too much of such a small unit anyway?

I’m watching more videos on YouTube and should be studying the course instead but I feel like there’s a lot of technical jargon m the course and little about what you can actually do and what the different radios can do.
YouTube is keeping me jazzed up to study more.
I'd suggest starting with the UV5R's.

Then later move up to an Icom 7300 :)


I don't know if you have been using the "eHam" site or not, but it is an excellent resource to prepare for the test (see link below).

Each time you take a test on the site, there are different questions drawn from the large pool of actual questions being used in the tech tests.

So some of the questions on the site's practice exams will be on your test.

Main Site Here: eHam.net

Practice Exams for Tech License Here: eHam.net

I used the Gordon West books (see link below) to prep and study for the tests (along with taking a class at the local HAM club based on the book)
The club does a 2 day class every spring & fall, and then you take the test at the end of the class. I was able to move up to General + Extra with the
class and the book series. I have no back ground in anything related to radio or electrical things so everything was completely new to me.

Gordon West Radio School | 714-549-5000 | Ham It Up!
 
Last edited:

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
I'd suggest starting with the UV5R's.

Then later move up to an Icom 7300 :)


I don't know if you have been using the "eHam" site or not, but it is an excellent resource to prepare for the test (see link below).

Each time you take a test on the site, there are different questions drawn from the large pool of actual questions being used in the tech tests.

So some of the questions on the site's practice exams will be on your test.

Main Site Here: eHam.net

Practice Exams for Tech License Here: eHam.net

I used the Gordon West books (see link below) to prep and study for the tests (along with taking a class at the local HAM club based on the book)
The club does a 2 day class every spring & fall, and then you take the test at the end of the class. I was able to move up to General + Extra with the
class and the book series. I have no back ground in anything related to radio or electrical things so everything was completely new to me.

Gordon West Radio School | 714-549-5000 | Ham It Up!
Nice thank you. I’ll order the Baofengs then. Maybe I’ll go with a couple and upgraded antenna like you said.
I’ve been using hamradioprep.com and their free app for testing. Seems the app has more questions than the website does.

I’m basically going through a section or two and then going back and re doing each section test questions a handful of times to keep it fresh.
 

NHCraigT

NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 19, 2005
Messages
5,376
Likes
6,084
Location
Southern NH
Nice thank you. I’ll order the Baofengs then. Maybe I’ll go with a couple and upgraded antenna like you said.
I’ve been using hamradioprep.com and their free app for testing. Seems the app has more questions than the website does.

I’m basically going through a section or two and then going back and re doing each section test questions a handful of times to keep it fresh.

Remember the best technique for taking tests in general & overall, that are going to be timed (when you do the tech exam) is:

1. Go through and answer all the questions that you know. Completely skip the ones that you are a little stumped on.

2. Next, go back and do the less difficult questions on the ones that you initially skipped over. Continue to skip the worst ones.

3. Last, leave the questions that you are truly stumped on = do those very last. And when in doubt or have no idea = do your best guess on those.
 
Last edited:

timbo

Navy Veteran
NES Member
Rating - 100%
2   0   0
Joined
Dec 17, 2010
Messages
12,219
Likes
11,840
Location
Somewhere along a river in NH
I think there is a rule when you buy a handheld. Especially the 25$ radio. I think it’s buy more than one
I bought my handhelds from B-Tech (also Baofengtech). They are an authorized importer and in my experience, do stand by their products. I have two "tri-band" B-Tech Baofengs as well as a couple of other handhelds from Yaesu and Icom, older models. I like the B-Techs...not as rugged as my older handhelds but for the little bit I use them, they are great.
B-Tech:


They are out of South Dakota...
 
Last edited:

Uzi2

NES Member
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Sep 5, 2017
Messages
7,702
Likes
11,492
Thanks Craig. Will the extra 3 watts really make much of a difference or is that just asking too much of such a small unit anyway?

I’m watching more videos on YouTube and should be studying the course instead but I feel like there’s a lot of technical jargon m the course and little about what you can actually do and what the different radios can do.
YouTube is keeping me jazzed up to study more.
It is very unlikely that 3 more watts will make ant difference in most situations. You have to double your power to make 1 S unit difference on the receiving end.
The difference in cost could/ would be better used for an antenna, alkaline battery case, larger battery (3800mah ), speaker mic, antenna adapter, coax, etc.
 

In God We Trust

NES Member
Rating - 100%
11   0   0
Joined
May 21, 2010
Messages
11,244
Likes
6,440
Location
Emmond's Field in the Two Rivers
I hate amazon, but they were $21 the other day, so I bought 4 of them myself.
I bought two for emergencies. I’ll eventually get a license but not until buy a place where I can mount an antenna.

Any idea what the point to point range is on these?
 

Michael J. Spangler

NES Member
Rating - 100%
45   0   0
Joined
Sep 1, 2007
Messages
4,881
Likes
3,799
Location
Fairhaven, MA
It is very unlikely that 3 more watts will make ant difference in most situations. You have to double your power to make 1 S unit difference on the receiving end.
The difference in cost could/ would be better used for an antenna, alkaline battery case, larger battery (3800mah ), speaker mic, antenna adapter, coax, etc.
Ok got a 6 pack of the uv-5rs
2 for me and 2 for two other buddies. Upgraded antenna per suggestion and programming cable.
What does 1S unit mean?

Next I’m going to buy AA battery case and as I learn look into that antenna adapter and coax for home or maybe next step would be to set it up in my car.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 25, 2009
Messages
449
Likes
456
Location
Maine
Welcome to the hobby. I started with an ICOM T-70A handheld. Never regretted it, ICOM makes a newer handheld now. Well worth the money in my opinion if you can afford it. Check out the ICOM 7300 when you start looking for a base station. My Elmer is a big ICOM guy so I was “guided “ in that direction. There are other good radio MFGs out there.
 

lancecolonel

NES Member
Rating - 100%
14   0   0
Joined
Apr 20, 2011
Messages
2,942
Likes
1,165
Location
NOT in mass. finally.
I bought my handhelds from B-Tech (also Baofengtech). They are an authorized importer and in my experience, do stand by their products. I have two "tri-band" B-Tech Baofengs as well as a couple of other handhelds from Yaesu and Icom, older models. I like the B-Techs...not as rugged as my older handhelds but for the little bit I use them, they are great.
B-Tech:


They are out of South Dakota...
Thanks for the link. I just grabbed a new programming cable.
 

Individualist

NES Member
Rating - 100%
53   0   0
Joined
Jan 24, 2009
Messages
4,135
Likes
2,828
I bought my handhelds from B-Tech (also Baofengtech). They are an authorized importer and in my experience, do stand by their products. I have two "tri-band" B-Tech Baofengs as well as a couple of other handhelds from Yaesu and Icom, older models. I like the B-Techs...not as rugged as my older handhelds but for the little bit I use them, they are great.
B-Tech:


They are out of South Dakota...
Thanks. Ordered from them.
 
Top Bottom