GMRS? Baofeng?

wandererr

Adventurer
so I hold a license and picked up a pair of Baofeng 888+. Cheap feeling radios and one is working great while the other one won't receive..... so, back to Amazon they go and I'm shopping for replacements. Part of me knows that I get what I pay for and $25 for a pair of radios with chargers is an amazing price. The other part of me does not want to spend too much on radios that can be destroyed by my 3 year old ;)

So back to drawing board it is - any recommendations? Looking for something convenient for short range communications. What brought this on is that we were @ Sequoia just recently with no cell reception and when our group got separated while parking we had fun time finding ourselves. So..... I'm thinking about the plain 888's vs 888+ vs other inexpensive alternatives.
 

swduncan

Observer
I've got the G1 and the UV82. The G1 works fine, but has a little less power than the Uv82 yet has the simple interface of the 888. But the uv82 can be locked down a bit, and seems to be better quality all around for twice the price. And you get vhf (murs) capability to boot.

QC does seem to be the big issue with these radios. Buy twice as many as you need and you'll end up with a working set.

They have some advantages over midland/moto/cobra, but predictability isn't one of them :cool:


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vtsoundman

OverAnalyzer
I've got the G1 and the UV82. The G1 works fine, but has a little less power than the Uv82 yet has the simple interface of the 888. But the uv82 can be locked down a bit, and seems to be better quality all around for twice the price. And you get vhf (murs) capability to boot.

QC does seem to be the big issue with these radios. Buy twice as many as you need and you'll end up with a working set.

They have some advantages over midland/moto/cobra, but predictability isn't one of them :cool:


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I have 5 Baofung radios - all bought within 6 months about 3-4 yrs ago...3 GT-3 (fancy versions of 5r) and 2 of the 5r radios. Only two work 100%...the 2m is out on one of them, another has static on 70cm. One randomly quits. Moderate usage...so not really a value buy. All are relegated to caravaning or gmrs duty. Initially they all were awesome for 45$ radios...clean transmission, etc. Rejection was never great and some bleed into other freqs.

Would I buy again? Yes/maybe. Just manage your expectations. Would I pay more for better quality...depends.

sent via the cone of silence
 

DaveInDenver

Luddite
My own radio is vx6r but I want something that I dont mind handing to someone else and worry about it.
Instead of wasting money on these throw-away Chinese radios I'd be looking for used Vertex commercial radios. They'll be cheaper than a new Yaesu ham radio and 95% as bulletproof as a Motorola without all the CPS bull. Vertex gives you programming software for free. The most difficult or expensive part would be finding a programming cable. Look on eBay for VX-231, VX-210, VX-431, VX-417, etc.
 

paranoid56

Adventurer
Instead of wasting money on these throw-away Chinese radios I'd be looking for used Vertex commercial radios. They'll be cheaper than a new Yaesu ham radio and 95% as bulletproof as a Motorola without all the CPS bull. Vertex gives you programming software for free. The most difficult or expensive part would be finding a programming cable. Look on eBay for VX-231, VX-210, VX-431, VX-417, etc.
arnt the Vertex also Chinese radios?
 

Broko

New member
Baofeng are not type certified for GMRS, so you are breaking the law anyway if you use them on GMRS frequencies. Having a GMRS license does not get around this fact.


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Broko

New member
Oh, and if you hold a Ham license, you would know better than to transmit on GMRS frequencies without a GMRS license.


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swduncan

Observer
Ya know, I don't know what it is about discussing GMRS that brings out the rules fetishism in people, but no matter what forum I'm on, as soon as those four letters show up SOMEONE will post about the license and type acceptance rules. Despite the fact that the FCC hasn't ever cited anyone for either of those things alone (i.e., not as part of intentionally interfering with other's transmissions, law enforcement repeaters, etc.).

Ever read through their enforcement reports or documents? If you want to get their attention, your best bet is to run a pirate FM radio station.

With about 200 enforcement personnel total, nationwide (projected to be 189 in 2018), and important things like burnt out tower lights to check out, I'm not thinking going after unlicensed Baofeng users in the wilderness is even on their todo list.

If you read their budget you'll learn that license fees aren't even the drop in the bucket, more like the evaporation off the drop on the way to the bucket.

Read through their initiatives and "What we do" and it's obvious that actual big things like the internet, 5g, etc. are what they're focused on.

There are 600-700k (maybe more by now) ham licenses, but only about 10k-ish GMRS licenses - call it a ratio of 50 to one. Do you really think that Ham radios, available from maybe a hundred retailers nationwide, outsell GMRS bubble pack radios available at any big box store around by a ratio of 50:1?

The bottom line is that analog two-way radio, for most of society, most of the time, has become irrelevant. Serious users (i.e. government, law enforcement & business) have long since moved to digital that eliminates most if not all interference. Everyone else is using a cell phone. I rarely even hear kids on FRS/GMRS anymore. It's still a great tool when nothing else works - but that also happens to be when no one else is around to be bothered or interfered with.

Speeding, turning/changing lanes without signaling, passing on the right, etc. are all illegal in most areas. The odds of being cited for violating one of those are far, far higher than anything you're going to do with a two-way radio. If following rules is very important to you, it would make sense to start with those.
 

Kevin108

Explorer
Some say that a license is when your rights are taken from you, with the option of being sold back...

I tend to hold the mindset of no victim, no crime. Using a radio - at any frequency - to talk to the guy on the trail with you or to check in with base camp while you're out on a hike hardly seems to meet the criteria of a crime. I also imagine that, in the instances where radio use is a legitimate issue, that other factors would address the illegality of a misdeed long before radio use should be a consideration.

This nation has a bad habit of wanting to make a new law for every possible misuse of new technology. A recent example is the "no texting and driving" laws. As long as there have been cars, it was illegal to crash yours into someone else's car or other property, illegal to run people over, etc. Is it really necessary to have a new law for ever possible cause? But that's exactly what we've done. Don't speed. Don't drink. Don't use a cell phone that isn't hands-free. Don't text. Don't think of how to spell long words. Don't blink both eyes at the same time.

When you have too many laws, you create criminals where there are none. That our prisons here in the US are bursting at the seams is confirmation enough for me.

"What are you in for?"

I couldn't afford to pay my fines.

"What were you fined for?"

Illegal use of a legally-purchased radio.
 
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