Baofeng… The best little HT I’ve ever owned!

I was skeptical at first, but pulled the trigger on the UV-5R. It’s a decision I will NEVER regret. This is the best performing handi-talkie I have ever had the pleasure of operating. Other than the somewhat confusing menu abbreviations and the backlight that comes on during recieve, I love it. Now that backlight can be set multiple ways, but turning the recieve light off is a minor inconvenience because it is also the standby light. The keypad won’t light up if you have it off and push a button.  

This little radio outperforms my Motorola tenfold with just a stock antenna at 5 Watts. In fact, it works best with only the stock antenna. I have both a Comet and Nagoya and neither one works as well as the 10″ “rubber duck” that came with the radio. I also bought the upgraded full-sized, aka “extended” battery. At 3800 MAH,  it should be able to stand by for a week with no charge and provide many more hours of transmit at full power than the regular battery or any commercial radio I have ever owned. The next HT will be the $60 tribander (144/222/440,) the UV-5X3, or the DMR capable DM-5 series.

Hope my few followers are enjoying my blog so far! 

73, catch you farther down the coax!

KD8IZD

My Gear, and a little about choosing a radio. (aka. – The missing post)

My home station gear:  

(Note:  This section purposely written in some areas to explain my setups to people who are unfamiliar, or hams just starting out.  This is what I like to use, and though it is my opinion, I recommend you do the research and select the gear that best suits your needs and preferences.  Sometimes cheaper isn’t always better, but sometimes you can find a diamond in the rough for under $50, and with a little research, you may find you don’t need expensive radios and antennas for the kind of radio work you want to do.  If you are a new tech and just want to get on the air on your local 2 meter repeater but can’t afford the new Yeasu or Icom mobile everyone talks about, plus the power supply, coax and antenna, a $30 Baofeng HT and a homemade coat hanger antenna may be your answer.)

  • Kenwood TS-440S running a G5RV antenna in an inverted V at around 45′ up a tree, I sometimes use a homemade long wire cut for 20 meters.  Software is HamRadioDeluxe (the old free version) for rig control, digital modes and logging.
    • Mic is a cheap broadcast style directional on a scissor and shock mount, but works great.  I have it running into a Shure Mic mixer with custom, home-brew cables going to the rig from the mixer.  (A quick word of advice, ALWAYS verify your mic ohms with the radio before you attempt to connect it.  This will save you a lot of time and headaches later on when the mic wont work and you have no idea why…  The mixer fixed this for me.)
    • External MFJ inductive tuner (“SuperTuner” style with no meter.)
  • Motorola Spectra programmed identical to car radio, this radio is not currently working due to alignment or capacitor issues.  Still have the RadioShack 10 channel as a backup.

As you’ll see later on, and from the last statement, I prefer commercial radios, particularly Motorola for 2 meter.  I don’t do much with 70 centimeter as there just isn’t a market for it around here.

 Portable:

  • Motorola HT-2000 (Jedi Model 1, top mounted LCD) programmed to match channel order of base and mobile rigs.  (Currently out of order, blew another LCD)
  • Wouxun KG-UVD1P dual band, 5W VHF, 4W UHF.  Shares antennas and mic ports with the Kenwood, so no need to haul around more equipment for the extra radio if I’m doing some serious portable work. (Now out of service due to internal speaker failure, may be selling with a shoulder mic.)
  • Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band HT with 3800mAh extended battery pack.  Just ordered from eBay last week, hasn’t arrived yet.  Will do a review at a later time, maybe even my first video review, so stay tuned.

Mobile:

  • By far my smallest setup, I run a VHF Motorola Spectra in the car, and yes, I still keep a CB in there as well to check on traffic reports. Lack of space has forced me to remove the CB from service though.  Antenna is a Hustler dual band (V/U), Coax has been modified to accept the radio’s Motorola UHF connection without an adapter (been there, done that… Every adapter I bought was too lossy for my liking and liked to unscrew itself from the radio after a few potholes, hi hi!)
  • Uniden Home Patrol Model 1 P25 digital scanner.  This for the obvious reason, I listen to the active calls on the way in to work.  It is a very handy scanner, because in a pinch, you can program it on the fly with just a city name or Zip code.  Of all the digital scanners I have been around, this is by far the easiest to program, with or without the software, and the touch screens highly descriptive menus are much more simple to operate that the traditional pushbutton scanners.

Missing Post

Well, I put about a half hour into a post when I first started the blog.  It basically entailed how I got into ham radio and a couple of general thoughts on gear to go along with the shack pictures I’d posted previously, as well as a description of my gear.  It seems to have gone missing, but it needed updated anyway.  I’ll retype it again here soon and get it posted along with pictures of the mobile and portable radios.

Joining a new radio group.

Tonight at 9PM Eastern, 0200 UTC, I will submit my fourth and qualifying check-in for the Country Cousins Net (Southern Section net.)  Anyone is free to check in on this net. It meets nightly at the above time on 3.970.00 MHz.  Go see what they are all about here… http://www.qsl.net/ww4scc/  (not sure if the hyperlink came through, if not, just copy and paste.)

Feel free to drop in.  This is a “ragchew” style roundtable net, but short-time stations can check and run.  See you on the radio!

73- de KD8IZD

Going to try to get back into the blog again.

To my small amount of followers thus far, I’m surprised anyone stuck around.  I don’t post very often due to my somewhat hectic life of shift work.  At this point, I am on the 0000-0800 hour midnight shift, then back to 1600-0000 afternoon shift for January, so I’ll have a lot of time in the next month or so to get things going.  I do have some new developments in the HF world to share, and finally have the long awaited shack pictures to go along with the descriptions.  I also may be airing from a new QTH soon, more on that after the first of the year, so STAY TUNED!!!

73 de KD8IZD

Long time, no post…

Haven’t been around for a while.  I have been kind of busy.  Haven’t been on the air much for the past few months due to broken dipole ropes, nor have I been here due to how hot the radio room gets.  I have added some new equipment to my inventory including an MFJ-943 Versa-Tuner and will be posting pictures as soon as I clean up the shack a bit.

Since Field Day, I have upgraded to Amateur Extra and got my ARRL Volunteer Examiner credentials.  I also fried my HTs high power final transistor that same day…  I have upgraded it from a Kenwood to a Motorola MT 2000 Jedi top display (model 1 for all you technical folks out there.)  After I got it programmed, I took it apart to fix a speaker that sounds like aluminum cans rattling around and managed to damage the ribbon cable that connects the display and speaker.  Waiting now on a parts radio that if works, i may use full time as it has more features than the one I have now.  I hope everything is going well with any followers I have so far.  Planning on becoming more active with this page in the future, but life gets in the way sometimes.

73 everyone!

-KD8IZD