Home Forums Gear Are Baofeng/Pofung radios any good?

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    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.


    Hi David, as a P2 refresher student I’m returning to PG after a couple of decades. I’m working with Jordan to regain proficiency. He suggested the Yaesu FT-70D which has only one speaker/mic plug. So I ordered an adapter cable (CT-44). Not sure which type it is (see photo). I’ll know when it arrives. Your setup sounds great. Speaker mic on the shoulder strap. Never leaves the harness. It has a PTT mic incorporated also? I’m researching the best setup. Another option is speaker and boom mike for the helmet but it becomes a little more cumbersomeIMG_0782IMG_6143. Do you remember the brand you have or where I could find it? Thank you, Steve

    David Webb
    General Member

    Hi Steve,

    Yaesu makes nice radios, so you wouldn’t miss out on anything by going with Jordan’s recommendation. I’ve never had any issues with my cheapo baofeng, but I know there are plenty of pilots out there that hate them for various reasons. Also seems to be hit-and-miss if you get a good one or a bad one (maybe I just lucked out with the one I got).

    I would avoid adding in adapters and extra connectors into the mix if you can avoid it.

    If you get the Yaesu FT-70D, it looks like this speaker mic will work:


    For my radio, I got this one:


    You only need the one connector (speaker mic plugs in, and you both talk and listen from the speaker mic). I don’t have an external PTT button, but the location of my speaker mic on my shoulder strap makes it easy to reach even with my brakes in my hand (and I can push the button with my thumb without pulling any brakes). Also, with my new harness, I now have the radio mounted in my flight deck, with the speaker mic still on the shoulder strap (so radio no longer in my back pocket). Best to talk that over with Jordan to make sure that’s an approved/recommended solution (works for me, but go with instructor advice).

    I’ve considered the boom mic / in-helmet / PTT button / wireless solutions in the past, but I’ve stayed away from them for a few reasons:

    • added complexity (when setting up on launch)
    • something else to charge (or forget to charge)
    • expensive (the nicer in-helmet solutions like SENA are expensive)

    Would also recommend against using VOX (voice-activated mic solutions) – wind noise while we’re flying makes that impractical and annoying for other pilots on frequency.

    One last recommendation: strongly recommend something soft over the mic for wind noise (it cuts down wind noise when you’re transmitting quite a bit). I use this:


    I’ve also heard other pilots that like this one (it’s a small stick-on one that just goes over the mic portion):



    Hi David,

    Thanks for your quick reply and excellent information.  I’m all for simplicity and I’d love to get rid of the radio out front and mount it in the storage compartment of the harness.

    I don’t speak on the eadio other than prior to launch so that’s not much of a factor. However my good ear is on the left and if I could place the speaker/mic on the left harness strap that would be ideal.

    You wrote that you use a clip for your setup. I don’t think this one comes with a clip. It doesn’t seem to say anyways. My harness shoulder straps do have Velcro patches for accessories  I have a hook knife on one side currently.

    if I can’t find a place to mount it,  I could always send it back to Amazon I think

    thanks again for your help.



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