What Do You Need To Know About The Baofeng Radio Range?

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Communication is continually evolving with new technologies being adopted, facilitating the smooth flow of information.

With the latest technology, communication does not have to be complicated or expensive.

Long-range communication is no longer a concern due to the availability of cell phones.

Short-range communication during a retreat, or when you are off the grid, is managed using radio frequencies.

The Baofeng radio range is making it possible for commercial use such as hospitals and schools.

Baofeng UV-5R Range

A typical Baofeng UV-5R is a transceiver, meaning that it can receive and transmit.

The Baofeng radio range will depend on several things like obstacles, propagation, and power mode.

Additionally, the range is affected if one is in a city set up. A full battery and a radio in maximum power mode should give you between 10 to 20 km.

Baofeng UV-5R Frequency Range

Your handheld radio should be able to attain a frequency ranging from 136 MHz to 174 MHz and between 400 MHz and 480 MHz.

Later versions of the radio can achieve up to 520 MHz.

That is not all; your economical transceiver has a special VHF with a receive band of between 65 to 108 MHz that incorporates a regular band for broadcasting FM.

The radio also supports dual reception and dual watch.

How To Improve Baofeng Radio Range?

Your standard HAM radio has the maximum distance it can cover even when under a full battery.

You may want to increase the theBaofeng radio range to pick more signals for your communication.

A common way of improving the scope of coverage is to upgrade the antenna.

You will receive better signals with an upgraded antenna even with increased distance.

With a long antenna than the stock one, you have higher chances of receiving and transmitting quality signals.

For instance, if you upgrade from your 5-inch stock rubber antenna to 14.5 inches, there will be a difference.

You will be able to improve your frequency range by 15 km.

Features of 1st Generation Baofeng Radio

The original product was launched in 2012. The features of the 1st generation Baofeng radio include the following:

  • The radio has power settings for low and high at 1W and 4W respectively
  • The amateur radio is programmable
  • Radio reception for FM channels ranges between 65 to 108 MHz frequency
  • VHF and UHF settings for the radio are available
  • Channel names are customizable, same to Boot Display with a programming cable
  • Has a durable battery of 1500mAh
  • Broadband and narrowband are selectable on the radio
  • Comes with a keypad lock
  • Supports dual reception and dual watch
  • Has an inbuilt flashlight for night visibility
  • The radio supports dual standby and dual display

2nd Generation Features

The 2nd generation of the radio was updated and launched late in 2013 with the following features:

  • The model has a better anti-interference set up due to an upgrade to the SQ
  • The radio is enhanced to eliminate the tone of the new tail especially when transmission and reception of the signal is between 50 and 55 MHz
  • There is an improvement with the AGV receiver switching noise during severe changes in signal strength
  • Powerful audio and digital processor for better sound quality no matter reception conditions
  • Minimal distortion during a crossover
  • Circuit current of the radio is low quiescent courtesy of the IC amplifier
  • Minimal or no capabilities for cloning
  • Display voltage of the radio by holding ‘0.’
  • Smooth transmission on narrowband and wideband
  • Dual watch reception enabled
  • FM radio reception capable with priority given to incoming calls
  • The model supports group tones

3rd Generation Features

The third generation comes as a timely upgrade on the second generation with additional features that include the following:

  • Double power output from the standard 4 watts to 8 watts
  • The radio is more durable and hardened with a battery that is large by 30%
  • Double antenna performance from the previous model for broader reach
  • Three power settings for low, medium, and high power
  • Easy to select narrow and broadband
  • Comes with a user manual for ease of use
  • Warranty support and customer help from the manufacturer
  • Comes with a programming cable for ease of programming
  • The radio has a battery power of 2000 mAh
  • Comes with a tricolor display for the radio screen
  • Seven-inch antenna for more frequency gain
  • Comes with a push to talk button

Where To Use Baofeng Radio?

Baofeng radio can be used at commercial establishments such as schools and hospitals for communication purposes.

Staff members from the security department are significant beneficiaries of the receiver.

Additionally, the radio can be used during outdoor activities where teams need to communicate from different locations.

Baofeng radio can also be used in emergencies where a cell phone network may be a problem.

Access to frequencies using the radio will enable you to get critical information and much-needed help.

You can also use Baofeng radio in your home for FM radio broadcasting and getting weather updates.

How To Use Baofeng Radio?

The radio can be used in the following ways:

01. Call button – you can use this button to switch on the FM radio. If you are in an emergency, you will get critical information much faster. An alarm is also set using the button.

02. Push to talk button – if you need to communicate with other operators of HAM radio, this is the button to use. Usage is restricted to those with a license.

03. MONI button – the button is monitoring a specific frequency. It removes the level of squelch.

04. V/M button – you can use the button for switching between scanned frequencies and set channels.

05. A/B button – you can use the button for alternating between channel transmission and active listening.

06. BAND button – the button is used to switch between UHF and VHF frequencies that are set on your radio.

How To Program For Customization With Channels, Buttons?

Programming frequencies into your radio is essential. It helps you to identify vital frequencies that are non-amateur such as the fire department and city police. You can follow the below steps.

Step 1: Press VFO/MR on your radio and choose frequency mode

Step 2: Press A/B button and select A-side

Step 3: Choose your correct band as either 136 MHz for VHF or 470 MHz for UHF

Step 4: Disable dual standby mode by pressing the menu button, followed by 7 and back to the menu button. Select OFF from the down arrow and exit the process.

Step 5: Input frequency into your device

Step 6: Enter the transmission code as CTCSS/DCS

Step 7: Allocate frequency to the channel

What is Baofeng Radio?

Baofeng radio is a handheld radio device that facilitates communication over long ranges without using a cell phone.

The radio transmits communication via licensed frequencies and supports very high frequencies and ultra-high frequencies.

It is becoming common for commercial uses such as in municipalities and hospitals.

Are Baofeng Radios Legal To Use?

Legality is a question that boils down to complying with relevant certifications from authorities.

The straight answer is yes, if the radio complies with the FCC certification, specifically part 90.

Baofeng radios that operate within the specified frequencies are legal to use.

How To Use Baofeng Radio Legally?

Using Baofeng radio legally demands compliance with existing FCC regulations. Your Baofeng radio, therefore, needs to comply and operate within 144 to 148 Mhz and 430 to 450 Mhz for ultra-high frequencies. UV5R or UV5RA Baofeng radios will be your best bet. UV-5R V2+ will land you in problems as it transmits above 145 Mhz, which violates available operational bands.

Which Bands Care Permitted For Use?

There are exceptional cases for using some bands of Baofeng radio closer to the borders.

Operators of Amateur Radio can transmit frequencies between 144 and 148 Mhz for Very High Frequencies (VHF) and frequencies between 420 to 450 for Ultra High Frequencies (UHF).

Purpose of Using Baofeng Radios

Once you program your Baofeng radio, you can use it for several purposes. First, you can listen to the FM radio that comes with it.

You can get critical information if you are in an emergency by pressing the call button.

Additionally, you can use it to communicate with other operators of ham radio.

However, to communicate with other operators of ham radio, a license from FCC is required, failure to which can amount to hefty fines.

The radio can also be programmed to tune into weather update frequencies for relevant updates.

Benefits of Using Baofeng Radios

Baofeng users derive several benefits from using them. First, compared to other radios in the market, Baofeng radios are relatively cheaper to acquire.

Acquisition price usually is the great inhibitor of having one.

Secondly, Baofeng radios operate on both VHF and UHF, making them versatile for most communication uses.

It is much quicker and convenient to use the phone with the use of the single button for scanning.

You don’t need to go through the screen menu to start your scanning.

The phone also comes with a long-lasting battery with 2000 mAh that allows for extended use without requiring a recharge.

Such is ideal for activities or communication that happens remotely where source to power may be limited.

Baofeng radios will also allow you to access useful frequencies like weather updates and critical information you may need during an emergency once you program them well.

With the Push to Talk button, the radio allows you to communicate with other ham radio users, which is essential when communicating at events and other locations.

Additionally, the radio comes with a full software which makes it easy for future upgrades. What’s more?

The manufacturer also offers you technical support on your current software.

Limitations of Baofeng Radio

Baofeng radio has its shortcomings from the user experiences.

If you are looking for a robust build that will withstand extreme weather and few drops during usage, Baofeng radio is not the ideal choice.

The plastic case of the phone could be better to withstand more abuse in the field.

Additionally, the phone design has an easy feature for programming it.

However, you can only achieve the programming by use of a computer. The programing is therefore not easy as it calls for further efforts.

Visibility of the Baofeng radio during the day is also below par. The LED intensity of the screen is weak as a starting point.

Besides, when exposed to bright light, screen visibility becomes feeble.

Baofeng Radio Wattage

Baofeng radio comes with different settings for power output.

You can have your power settings at 1 Watt, 5 Watts or 8 Watts.

Even when the radio is on low power mode, it transmits more power.

Available Models in The Market

Baofeng radio models available in the market include the following:

  • BF-F8HP radio which is a dial band and two-way operational
  • UV5RA Ham which is a two-way radio
  • BF-888S that transmits UHF
  • UV-5R V2+ which is a two-way radio
  • UV-82HP the Amateur portable type

Baofeng Radio Cost

With just $ 30 or below, you can get yourself a good Baofeng radio for your use. The average price range $30-$100 depending on the features and ranges.

The FAQ’s About Baofeng Radio Range

What is the best Baofeng radio?

A genuine radio from Baofeng will serve you best. Once you settle on the brand, you can make your pick based on other factors.

Does Baofeng receive frequencies from aircraft?

No, it does not. Baofeng supports FM frequencies while airlines operate on AM frequencies.

How expensive are Baofeng radios?

They are not expensive; they go for as low as $ 30 for a decent unit.

Can I improve the range of my Baofeng radio?

Yes, you can improve the range with an external antenna different from the stock one.

Does Baofeng radio have a product warranty

Yes, the radio comes with warranty and customer support.

What is the Wattage of Baofeng radios?

The Wattage for the radio is 1W, 5W, and 8W.

Can I use the radio for general communication with family?

Yes, but you will require a license for that.

Can I use the radio as a scanner?

Yes, you can scan frequencies and channels with the radio.

Final Words

No matter your expertise level, you can still find value with Baofeng radio.

Despite your needs and budget, there is a Baofeng radio suitable for that.

For a starter, a walkie talkie is your top bet among the Baofeng brand.

They come in twos at a minimum; hence you can share with friends.

Baofeng radios are handy, and at their affordable retailing price, they are worth the amount beating many competitors to it.

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1 thought on “What Do You Need To Know About The Baofeng Radio Range?”

  1. John,

    The frequencies of the UV5 and UV82 changed. From BOAFENG..

    As you may notice, we have UV5R and UV82 back in stock. But before you make any purchases, make sure you read the product detail page carefully, since the UV5R and UV82 we have in stock right now is different from the original one.

    The main difference is the frequency range, before the frequency range for UV5R and UV82 is VHF 136 -174 MHz, UHF 400 – 520 MHz, Now, in order to make them legally in Canada, we need to restrict their frequency to HAM radio band which is VHF 144 – 148 MHz, UHF 430 – 450 MHz.

    That takes out their use for FRS and GMUS service.


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