Ok, so you got your little Baofeng UV-5RE radio in your hands and you have been using it non-stop since it arrived in the big brown UPS truck. Since then the battery life on the local repeater has decreased by 75% just from you talking so much to the locals, and they are starting to complain. So NOW what do you do ?
You could always set it up as a home station on a outdoor antenna but the darn thing uses a female SMA connector. Most antennas whether mobile or base have PL-259 connectors for standard coax. One way to fix this problem is to buy an female SMA to PL-259 adapter.
When Choosing your adapter be sure to read the customer reviews on the item before you make your purchase. Things to consider are how stiff the coaxial cable is. This reduces the load on the Baofeng UV-5R SMA antenna connector as you move the radio around. If you do buy one of the cheaper cables that are stiff, you have a good chance of breaking off that little SMA connector from the radio. If you plan on using your Baofeng UV-5R series of radios at home then an external mic may be a good option for you as well so that you can set the radio in one place and use the microphone when you need to communicate.
Some of the other things to look for are good quality components. Even though the SMA to PL-259 is very helpful in reducing strain on the antenna connector of your radio, it wont do you much good if it is hard to connect and disconnect. Some of he adapters that are out their have a solid screw on plug requiring that you spin the radio around instead of the adapter to connect it to the radio. What a PITA that would be if you had to move the radio back and forth on a daily basis.
One thing I like to have when using the Baofeng UV-5R plus in my car is the battery eliminator that plugs directly into your cigarette lighter plug-in in the dash of your car. You can then mount the radio in a safe comfortable position so that it doesn’t interfere while you drive. Couple that up with a SMA to PL-259 cable adapter to hook up your favorite mobile antenna and an external microphone and you are ready to communicate with your friends and family while being safe on the road and extending your range.
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