How far can I talk on my Baofeng UV-5R dual band handheld radio
OK, so you finally broke down and bought the inexpensive baofeng radio. With it's wide transmit and receive coverage it is an ideal radio for your service. But just how far can this radio really talk ?
baofeng uv5r dual band two way radio black
Looking for more information on the baofeng UV-5R radios? Find MORE HERE!
Genuine Nagoya NA-771 (Updated) SMA Female 15.6' Dual Band Antenna (144/430Mhz) BaoFeng Tech - BaoFeng, Kenwood, Wouxun Compatible
Telling tall tales.In the FRS (Family Radio Service) radio service, wild exaggerations of usable distance became common with some manufacturers claiming up to 60 miles or more with the use of a little 1/2 watt UHF radio and permanently attached antenna. Most of these tests were either done on a dry salt lake with an absolutely flat surface and nothing to prohibit the distance, or were just flat out lies. They would set one station up to transmit on the FRS radio and then set another up a distance away that had a very sensitive receiver and external antenna.
In the real world VHF (Very high frequency) and UHF (Ultra high frequency) signals do not work this way. When you add in a hill or two and a few trees the distance is decreased rather quickly. In a real world scenario you can expect up to a 2 mile range at best.
If you use an external antenna on your Baofeng you will need adapters
Signals travel differently as you change bands.VHF and UHF signals do not move around like a signal from the HF (High Frequency) band. Signals in the HF band, like CB radio, tend to bounce around along the ground as the move. With VHF and UHF signals are line of sight. Any obstacles in the way will decrease your range.
The Baofeng UV-5R series of dual band handheld radios are in the VHF/ UHF range. They also put out 5 watts of power which will increase your range. I usually get about 10 miles with the stock antenna, and about 20 to 25 miles with an aftermarket antenna like those available from ExpertPower. I could increase the range even more by adding a dual band antenna mounted at a high point. With a dual band j-pole I can talk to other ham radio operators in the area on simplex up to about 35 miles and hit most of the repeaters in the area up to 50 to 60 miles. Just keep in mind that if you are going to use an external antenna that you purchase the female SMA to PL-259 adapter. The Baofeng UV-5R radios all have a reverse SMA antenna connector.
Increase the range of your Baofeng Radio with one of these GREAT aftermarket Antennas.
If you have to use an aftermarket antenna and still do not have the range that you need, another item that can help increase the range of these radio's is a handheld speaker microphone. This will allow you to hold the radio in an upright position at a higher point. Remember, VHF/UHF radios are line of sight, so the higher the antenna the farther the coverage. If you can find a hilltop or other high point you can expect greater coverage.
If you are lucky enough to own a beam antenna then you could almost double the 20-30 mile range. A beam antenna at a high point will direct all of your transmitted power in one direction and also allow you to hear stations better. Beam antennas require that you have a way to rotate them and be pointed in the right direction to allow communications. A small beam can be homemade with little effort or purchased. Depending on how many elements the beam has, your signal will be increased.
baofeng uv5r dual band two way radio black
More antennas to increase the Range of your Baofeng series of radios can be found at CB Radios
2M/440 external antennas to punch a signal through when the stock antenna isn't enough
OK enough already, I just want to know how far I can really talk.So, in a real world in average terrain how far will the Baofeng UV-5R radios really transmit. With 5 watts of output power and a good antenna expect 20-30 miles. If you live in an area with lots of hills and trees, you can cut that figure almost in half without an external antenna. If you are using the stock baofeng antenna then expect 5 to 10 miles.
Is the Baofeng UV5R legal for Public Service? Find out HERE!
Genuine Nagoya NA-771 (Updated) SMA Female 15.6' Dual Band Antenna (144/430Mhz) BaoFeng Tech - BaoFeng, Kenwood, Wouxun Compatible Baofeng UV-5RA now available at SEARS!