Extra Just in Case HT radio

Grant Hopper kb7wsd at gmail.com
Mon Apr 27 12:35:02 PDT 2015


I'd echo Scott's comments and add the following:

(and I'm adding this with the following in mind: I'm the alleged Radio
Officer for the City of Everett (no actual active program and no
willingness to spend $ to maintain one) and the co-leader of a group of
emergency preparedness minded citizens of the city of Everett who have
resorted to staging our own training and exercises for the purpose of
preparing the neighborhood citizens and the neighborhood associations for
self-help in an 'event'.)

The BaoFeng UV5R is amazingly inexpensive and that is it's chief virtue.
It is inexpensive enough that people that only got training and earned
their license to help out in a disaster, are more than willing to buy the
radio and requred accessories and keep it in a drawer until the disaster
strikes.  It is a complicated radio to use like an 'ordinary' ham might,
with doing all sorts of stuff like swapping Tx and Rx on a repeater in
order to listen on the input, or to quickly and easily program on the fly,
but works well as one might use a communication tool: critical settings
like power on and volume and channel are easily set and adjusted.

The microphone/earphone connector is the same as a Kenwood, and there are
plenty of inexpensive options for that.  The one shortcoming I feel it has
in no direct DC input (or charging for that matter) but the practically
mandatory 'extended' battery does have that option.  I would add the
following things to the list of "mandatory" and indeed the 'recommendation'
sheet I hand out lists the following things one "must have in order to find
the radio a useful tool despite the circumstances": Alkaline battery pack,
preferrably AA size (there is a AAA size too), shoulder microphone/speaker,
earphone, SMA to BNC adapter, spare (whip) antenna, extended battery and DC
power cord, preferrably with cigarette plug adapter and APP connectors
too.

We don't make it mandatory, mostly because enough people have them to
facilitate programming, but CHIRP and a programming cable are well advised
too.

We recommend some other stuff too, but that's based on how we're training
here in the city and YMMV.

Personally, we have at least one in each car along with the listed
accessories, in our CERT gear, and in office desk drawers along with the
'office disaster kit'.  I have two more that are used as 'work radios'
around the house since we got tired of risking our nicer HTs when we're
doing household chores, travel, or other stuff where the extra, easier to
use features of the D72/F-6, etc., simply are not that important and
killing a $25 radio because it was dropped, lost, damaged, would cause less
heartache.  It's also way less hard to decide to loan a $25 radio than a
$300 radio :-)

In my disaster response leader role, I specifically ask people not to get
variants of the UV-5r because there are some minor issues with
compatibility of accessories like battery cases.  I also warn people about
selecting the 'proper' model since some cannot be programmed to operate
properly on the itinerant frequencies and may be less than satisfactory for
'monitoring' the FRS radio service.

I do buy colored ones since it makes it easier to find in the dark (I wish
they had orange!) and sets them apart at least somewhat, from 1) my other
radios, and 2) other people's radios.

I'm sure I have more thoughts, but that's the most important of it there.

73,
Grant


On Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 11:55 AM, Bill Vodall <wa7nwp at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Mon, Apr 27, 2015 at 11:50 AM, Scott Currie <scott.d.currie at gmail.com>
> wrote:
>
> > One in each car, and the CERT go bag....
>
> That's the plan - essentially...
>
>
> > I prefer the UV-82, but you have to come up with $10 more.
>
> They are all "free..."
>
> What's the advantage of the 82?
>
> >
>
> Thanks,
>
> Bill
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