Home Forums Gear Are Baofeng/Pofung radios any good?

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    Jerome Daoust
    General Member

    To help people with an upcoming radio purchasing decision, I am copying over my posting/review from PG Forum >  Baofeng 2m radio

    I have had a positive experience with the Baofeng/Pofung radios I purchased for my school, using a set 5 including these models: UV-B5, UV-5R and one BF-F8HP for transmitting at higher output to students.
    Their weakest point is the base of the antennas, which can break when the antenna is snagged by a riser or arm and over-bent. But the same happened on a much more expensive Yaesu VX-6R I was using before. I purchased a set of 10 antennas for $12, so replacing them is a non-issue (only did a few times over 7 years).
    Other than the antennas, I have been impressed by their tolerance to the physical abuse dispensed by the students.
    Also their user manual isn’t great, but otherwise easy to set up, and have a somewhat intuitive menu.
    Batteries have faired well, and I have had more issues with my Yaesu VX-6R needing a replacement.
    With the BF-F8HP I use to transmit to students, I sometimes feel the battery get hot if transmitting for extended periods, but it has not caused a malfunction.
    One downside I see for using the Baofeng VS a Yaesu, is that for charging the battery I need to separate the radio (or at least the pack) to place it on a charging base, while for my personal Yaesu VX-6R I can leave the radio velcro-ed on the flight deck and charge it from a side connector plug. Not an issue for the student radios, which I easily charge on their bases. I will eventually replace my Yaesu with a Baofeng, and just have an easier (not relying on Velcro) way to release the radio for charging.
    The Baofeng/Pofung have been offering a loud/clear volume for my students to follow instruction in flight.
    A downside common to many other brands, is that it may be easy for the volume knob to turn down the volume (UV-5R better than the older UV-B5), which sometimes happen during setup, which is why I do a volume check prior to each launch attempt.

    Sometimes you only get what you pay for, other times value is disconnected from brand name.

    David Webb
    General Member

    So far, I’ve had good luck with mine. Mine is velcro’d upside down in the top of the zippered back pocket of my harness, with a speaker mic cable running through the hydration line opening and then clipped onto my shoulder strap. For charging, I simply unvelcro it and remove the battery to charge it in its dock (and the radio stays where it is). I leave the radio in my harness and with the antenna tucked under the stretchy pocket in the back, haven’t had any problems with stuff catching on it or stressing the connectors.

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