Author Topic: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs  (Read 765 times)

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« on: October 11, 2018, 10:24:52 AM »
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-980A1.pdf

The above FCC document has been causing a stir in the preparedness community. 
The vibe feels a bit like an impending firearms ban, where everyone is rushing to accumulate guns and ammo before the law changes.

I'm not a total snob.  If you just got your tech license, are brand new and don't have the budget, I'm not going to criticize if you get a $30 chinese special.
I own a handful of these myself.

What I don't like are people who lack the technical expertise to jumpstart a car, hoarding dozens of these HTs with the expectation of distributing to their "community" post-SHTF.  That's as sensible to me as passing out cheaply made firearms to untrained folks.  If you just want grandma to radio from the kitchen to the garage that supper is ready, a blister pack FRS is probably a better plan.

Rant over. Buy what you want, but I told you so!  ;)

Offline Sailor

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2018, 10:29:30 AM »
I am not worried, if they are smart enough to get that thing programmed manually or using chirp and the $5 programming cable with that chinese prolific chip clone that requires you to roll back your drivers 10 years they are probably capable enough to use the radio properly lol.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2018, 11:18:14 AM »
I am not worried, if they are smart enough to get that thing programmed manually or using chirp and the $5 programming cable with that chinese prolific chip clone that requires you to roll back your drivers 10 years they are probably capable enough to use the radio properly lol.

I've done all of those things. It's more annoying that complicated for me.

Maybe after the collapse I can earn a living as a baofeng consultant. "Will program your baofengs for ammo or food!"

Offline kid_couteau

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2018, 11:48:25 AM »
I have been storing away some old CBs for this sort of thing.

Neighbors I mean

Lady across the road is a nurse, boyfriend is a cop. Figured if things got crazy it wouldnt hurt for her to have an old CB hooked to a battery with a solar panel attached. That way we could converse about happenings in the neighborhood.

Unfortunately I too am a Baofeng hoarder. But for my own reasons.  8)

Offline Carl

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2018, 05:11:12 PM »
  I have 3 or 4 and it is just me ,though my dog has a radio vest that she sometimes wears. I often listen to one as a scanner or local stereo station and even use the flashlight as a nightlight during stormy nights ...the battery is rechargeable though I expect only about 10 years life....new radios will be out by that time.Better radios do offer better performance and I use those also.

Online Alan Georges

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2018, 06:37:06 PM »
Article mentioning this, among other places:
https://survivalblog.com/survivalists-odds-n-sods-283/
Hmmmm.  Noted.

I've done all of those things. It's more annoying that complicated for me.
Good Lord, what a waste of time these things are.  Oh, in the end I "won" but it wasn't worth it.  Having gotten there though, it's pretty nice to be able to program up a Baofeng at will.  Still hardly ever use'em though, and I have 3.

Quote
Maybe after the collapse I can earn a living as a baofeng consultant. "Will program your baofengs for ammo or food!"
I wonder... set up a table at the next "Prepper Faire" and charge $10 to load in a set of FRS/GMRS, MURS, marine VHF, ham simplex, etc. frequencies.  Maybe an extra $2 per custom channel.


I have been storing away some old CBs for this sort of thing.

Neighbors I mean
Similarly, I keep a half-dozen FRS/GMRS walkie-talkies tucked away for the same reason.  Way less to go wrong than with a Baofeng, including legally.  Fewer buttons for unknowing fingers to accidentally poke too.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 09:04:11 AM »
Article mentioning this, among other places:
https://survivalblog.com/survivalists-odds-n-sods-283/
I wonder... set up a table at the next "Prepper Faire" and charge $10 to load in a set of FRS/GMRS, MURS, marine VHF, ham simplex, etc. frequencies.  Maybe an extra $2 per custom channel.


Given the complexity of the (counterfeit) prolific drivers, and all the other non-sense, $10 to upload a general purpose "code plug" is actually a deal.
It takes me about 30 minutes to download multiple sets regional repeaters from repeaterbook.com and then add the FRS/GMRS/NOAA type stuff at the end.
Let the customers choose from a menu which image the want.

Offline Carl

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 09:11:54 AM »
  Also,due to the many updates and builds of the chip-set....one must use caution when downloading the base program for a radio as there are many different root-sets and often many associated problems.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 09:30:53 AM »
  Also,due to the many updates and builds of the chip-set....one must use caution when downloading the base program for a radio as there are many different root-sets and often many associated problems.

so true.

When I help out a fellow ham with this, I ALWAYS first download FROM their radio and paste my CSV (MS Excel edited) contents on top, then upload that specific thing back to their radio.

Unlike "big 3" radios, when you download/upload from a baofeng, you're copying portions of firmware, not just channel memories.

For an Icom/Yaesu/Kenwood, the worst case is wiping out the programmed frequencies.  You're not able to "brick" those models (that I know of) using CHIRP.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 10:08:40 AM »
Which of the more established makers’ HTs would be better for stockpiling?  Yaesu FT-60?

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 03:36:34 PM »
Which of the more established makers’ HTs would be better for stockpiling?  Yaesu FT-60?

I don't think stockpiling or hoarding beyond what experience people can operate makes much sense.  But then again, I'm not one of those people who buys rifles to pass out to his neighbors either.

I really like my FT-60, and if you have $150 to spend on a basic HT it's a good choice.  Though unless you are very wealthy I can't suggest having more than a couple such radios.  Most people end up with a D-star capable HT, an analog and some number of the cheaper chinese brands.

What people carry during public service events and drills may be telling.

Offline Greekman

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #11 on: October 16, 2018, 10:28:16 AM »
Which of the more established makers’ HTs would be better for stockpiling?  Yaesu FT-60?

Why don, t you stay up to date with the lithium battery FT-65?
« Last Edit: October 16, 2018, 01:23:55 PM by FreeLancer »

Offline Greekman

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #12 on: October 16, 2018, 10:38:04 AM »
https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-18-980A1.pdf

What you are specifically facing is exactly what happens in Europe and Greece.
All big brands radios come "locked"  in the ham bands freqs.
So, even hams buy them as is and then mod them. There is always an easy "fix",  like removing a diode.

More business for Alan I bet...

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2018, 01:26:02 PM »
Why don, t you stay up to date with the lithium battery FT-65?

That’s a good point. Stockpiling anything with a NiMH battery doesn’t make much sense.

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2018, 06:50:56 AM »
I'm heavily invested in Wouxun (2m/440) (2m/6m) (2m/220).  Still using the 1 I bought in 2011 when I first got my ticket.  I'm one of 6 hams in the US that has never bought a UV-5R (and won't).  I've found the UVB5 and UV82 to be far superior across the board when compared to the 5R (personal experience).  If I were in market for a Cheap-Chi-Com HT the UVB5 (if found for $30 or less) would be my pick, otherwise the regular power UV82 would get the nod.

All of that said to say this.  I have almost 2 dozen HT's and almost NEVER use any of them.

Offline Carl

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2018, 07:32:21 AM »
  BUT...you are ready for the radio-pocolypse....

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2018, 01:34:19 PM »
I'm heavily invested in Wouxun (2m/440) (2m/6m) (2m/220).  Still using the 1 I bought in 2011 when I first got my ticket.  I'm one of 6 hams in the US that has never bought a UV-5R (and won't).  I've found the UVB5 and UV82 to be far superior across the board when compared to the 5R (personal experience).  If I were in market for a Cheap-Chi-Com HT the UVB5 (if found for $30 or less) would be my pick, otherwise the regular power UV82 would get the nod.

All of that said to say this.  I have almost 2 dozen HT's and almost NEVER use any of them.

Don't you folks have public service opportunities like parades or marathons to support?  Weekly NET check-ins with county ARES team?

My sample size is terribly limited, but having worked the same annual events (so same volunteer shift duration, location and seasonal weather) for a few years, I've concluded that I don't like the UV5r nearly a well as my Yaesu FT60.  People could hear me better and further on the FT60. 

Offline SCWolverine

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2018, 02:16:29 PM »
Yes we are pretty active.

our County EMA has about 5 dozen FT60's that are used across the services (SAR/CERT/ARES).


Online Alan Georges

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Re: Please don't tell preppers to stockpile baofengs
« Reply #18 on: October 17, 2018, 05:04:53 PM »
When I help out a fellow ham with this, I ALWAYS first download FROM their radio and paste my CSV (MS Excel edited) contents on top, then upload that specific thing back to their radio.
^^^ this exactly.  None of my 3 UV-5R's files are cross-comparable, but cutting & pasting csv data, even chirp window to chirp window, works great.