Best Baofeng Radio in 2020 & Buying Guide

Which is the best Baofeng handheld ham radio?

The answer to this question is not easy. If you are a Baoefeng Hamradio enthusiast, you already know how difficult it can be to choose from an assortment of Ham radios available.

If you are tired of going around in circles and you don’t know where to start, this detailed Baofeng radio review and buying guide will help you. So, gear up!

In case, you are in a hurry and need a quick summary here are the best Baofeng ham Radios picked by our experts.

  1. #1. Baofeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio – Our favorite and experts Pick
  2. #2. BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Two-Way Radio
  3. #3. Baofeng UV-5RE+ 8Watt Ham Radio with Gamtaai NA-771 Telescopic Antenna
  4. #4. Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio with TIDRADIO 771 Antenna
  5. #5. Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Dual-Band Two-Way Radio
  6. #6. Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio
  7. #7. Baofeng UV-5RA Ham Two Way Radio Dual-Band Transceiver
  8. #8. Baofeng BF-888S Two Way Radio
Best Baofeng Radio
Best Baofeng Radio in 2020

Before I start with the list of the top 8 Baofeng ham radios to choose from, let me first answer a few questions that I think you must learn if you are still a rookie in the world of Ham experience.

Sounds good? Let’s begin.

#1. Baofeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Baofeng BF-F8HP ham radio
Baofeng BF-F8HP

The BF-F8HP is a third-generation ham radio with a cranked-up power output of up to 8 watts. Besides, it has a better high gain V-85 antenna. It is a 7” dual-band antenna. The antenna size is where I loathe it because, though the measurement is what the recommended antenna size is for UHF 70 centimeters.

Baofeng BF-F8HP Technical Specifications

Radio NameBaofeng BF-F8HP
BrandBaofeng
No.of Channels128 Channels
Tuner TechUHF & VHF
Frequency Range136 – 174 MHz, 400 – 520 MHz & 65 – 108 MHz
Output8 Watt

Baofeng BF-F8HP is our favorite and we highly recommend to it anyone without a doubt.

If you have some previous experience with Baofeng ham radios, the BF-F8HP might be a good upgrade. Baofeng says that BF-F8HP is an upgrade from the earlier UV-5R model.

Keeping aside my reservations, the Baofeng BF-F8HP is indeed the most potent ham radio the company has to offer.

Though this model has a maximum output of 8 watts, there are two more power settings. They are Low and Medium with 1 watt and 4 watts outputs, respectively. Depending on your output choice, the transmission power will change.

The frequency range that you can get with this model is 136 to 174 MHz for VHF and 400 to 520 MHz for UHF.

If you remember from the writeup earlier, for the UHF 70 centimeters band, the allowed frequency range is 430-440 MHz. The model offers 400 to 520 MHz for the UHF band. So, you need to program it before using it. You should not use a frequency above the allowed range. You can land yourself in trouble.

The transmission mode that Baofeng BF-F8HP uses is the semi-duplex mode (or simple). It means that you can transmit and receive, but not simultaneously.

The 2000mAh battery lasts for 24 hours if you continuously use it at medium power (5 watts). It will last for 20 hours tops if you use it at max power of 8 watts.

Pros
  • The high-power output and the 7” high gain V-85 antenna increase the coverage range.
  • It has a very long battery life, making it a perfect companion during emergencies or outdoor activities like hiking.
  • It provides a third frequency range of 65 to 108 MHz. It means that you can get a commercial FM radio reception.
  • The Baofeng BF-F8HP has a customizable tri-color display.
  • It has three different power levels to choose from, which I believe will be an excellent option for you when you engage in outdoor activities like hiking.
Cons
  • The BF-F8HP doesn’t come with a programming cable. You need to buy it separately. The cable you will need is the FTDI programming cable.
  • With a 700mW sound output, the radio falls behind in the speaker segment, making it pretty unsuitable for loud zones.
  • Baofeng could have included a larger antenna.

If you are wondering about the things you will get in the new Baofeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio package, here is the list:

  • The device (BF-F8HP radio unit).
  • V-85 high gain antenna.
  • Power adapter.
  • 2000 mAh battery.
  • Belt clip.
  • Earpiece.
  • Battery charger.
  • Hand strap.
  • User manual.

#2. BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Baofeng UV-82HP ham radio

The BF-F8HP wasn’t the only one from Baofeng with high power output. The UV-82HP is yet another one in the 8-Watt power output segment. Some of you may recall that Baofeng targeted the UV-82 series towards both the commercial and amateur radio users.

Baofeng BF-F8HP Technical Specifications

Radio NameBaofeng UV-82HP
BrandBaofeng
No.of Channels128 Channels
Tuner TechUHF & VHF
Frequency136 – 174 MHz, 400 – 520 MHz
Output7 Watt

However, the UV-82HP is a spin-off of the same UV-82 series but only for amateur ham enthusiasts.

What sets it apart is its 7/8-Watt power output that allows excellent range. Guess what? It also includes the V-85 high gain antenna! You get it, right? High power output plus a great dual-band antenna – that’s a recipe for long-range transmissions!

There are three different power settings available on this radio. They are – 1 Watt, 4 Watts, and 7/8 Watts.

In case you want to use the VHF range, the power output you will need is 8 Watts. For the UHF range, you need 7 Watts.

There are a total of 3 different frequency ranges available – UHF (400-520 MHz), VHF (136-174 MHz), and Commercial FM radio reception range of 65-108 MHz.

In case you wish to use the UHF range, make sure that you program your handheld radio to stay within the range 430-440 MHz. You can program the radio using its keypad or using a computer or a laptop.

If you are using a desktop or a laptop, you will need a programming cable along with programming software.

The most exciting feature, in my opinion, is that it has a dual PTT button, which allows using two different frequencies by merely flipping the switch up or down. Pushing up will allow you to transmit to Frequency A while pushing down will allow you to transmit to Frequency B.

You can even reconfigure the dual PPT switch to work as a single PPT button.

Also, the UV-82HP has the ability to send DTMF tones, which means that you can send caller ID or ANI to remote commands that usually required DTMF.

It is needless to say that, like any other amateur ham radio, it uses the semi-duplex transmission mode. You can transmit and receive, but you cannot do that simultaneously.

Here is the list of things you will get in the BaoFeng UV-82HP High Power Dual Band Two-Way Radio new package.

  • The UV-82HP radio.
  • A power adapter.
  • A battery charger.
  • One earpiece.
  • A hand strap.
  • A belt clip.
  • One user manual.

Pros of the UV-82HP Dual Band Radio

  • The high-power output combined with the high gain V-85 antenna increases the range.
  • It comes with 128 programmable memory channels.
  • It has three different power settings. Depending on the power output, you can increase the battery life.
  • It has a dual PTT button allowing you to transmit to two different frequencies.
  • It has a speaker output of 1 Watt, which is excellent!

Cons of the UV-82HP Dual Band Radio

  • This radio comes with a single 1800 mAh battery, and the package does not contain any spare battery.
  • It doesn’t come with a programming cable, and unfortunately, the keypad feels a bit overstuffed.

#3. Baofeng UV-5RE+ 8Watt Ham Radio with Gamtaai NA-771 Telescopic Antenna

Baofeng UV-5RE+ ham radio

In case you like the 8-Watt power output instead of the standard 5 Watts, the Baofeng UV-5RE+ may be a good option. This particular radio is one of the many variants you can find in the UV-5R series.

The UV-5RE+ comes with some interesting upgrades, which include a Gamtaai NA-771 high gain retractable antenna and a cranked-up power output of 8 Watts. Together, they can increase the coverage range if that is what you are looking for.

Though it has an 8-Watt power output, you can use 5-Watt or 1-Watt power output as well.

In addition, the ham offers an acoustic tube earpiece to improve the sound output. Well, the earpiece does help, but the absence of a voice companding feature will surely make a dent in the overall sound quality.

It comes with a 2800 mAh battery, hands-free operating with VOX function, LED light, low battery and emergency alert, 128 channels, 104 DCS, and 50 CTCSS codes for security, keypad lock, etc.

The frequency ranges that you get with the UV-5RE+ are 65-108 MHz (FM radio reception), 136-174 MHz (VHF), and 400-520 MHz (UHF). It works in a semi-duplex or simple transmission mode.

It is better that you program the ham before using it. You will not get a programming cable with the radio. You need to buy it separately. You may also save money by ditching the cable altogether. You can use the keypad for programming the gadget.

Things you will find in the new Baofeng UV-5RE+ 8Watt Ham Radio package.

  • One the Baofeng UV-5RE+ Radio (or walkie talkie).
  • One GAMTAAI NA-771R Antenna.
  • One acoustic tube earpiece from GAMTAAI.
  • One standard antenna.
  • One 2800 mAh battery.
  • One belt clip and one hand strap.
  • One adapter and one desktop charger.
  • One user manual in the English language.

Pros of Baofeng UV-5RE+ Radio

  • You can increase its range using the GAMTAAI high gain antenna.
  • The battery has more beef, allowing longer operation hours.
  • The hands-free operation is a great addition.

Cons of Baofeng UV-5RE+ Radio

  • It does not have squelch technology for cleaning the wave frequencies.
  • It doesn’t come with a programming cable. You need to buy it separately.
  • Programming with the keypad is a little harder.

#4. Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio with TIDRADIO 771 Antenna

Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R amateur radio

You should not think of the Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio with TIDRADIO 771 Antenna as some cheap toy. It isn’t! It is a fully-functional two-way ham radio.

The radio offers both VHF and UHF with ranges 136-174 MHz and 400-520 MHz, respectively. The best part of the radio is the TIDRADIO 771 Antenna, which is a high gain. It means that you can talk with relative ease over long distances.

Yet another striking feature of the radio is its crystal clear voice output. The gadget achieves this with the help of the famous and reliable squelch technology known for effective voice companding.

The squelch technology cleanses the wave frequencies and provides a clear sound. This feature is especially helpful while using radio communications in areas with poor signals.

The Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R comes with a programming cable that will allow you to program your radio the way you want. However, to do so, you will need a software program on your computer. In case you don’t have a programming software on your computer, you can use the radio’s keypad to program it.

The ham radio has the ability to reject unnecessary calls; it comes with a spare battery, it has a power-saving mode, and the radio comes with 128 channels allowing you to save the most-used frequencies.

The Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio uses semi-duplex mode (or simple) for transmission.

If you are wondering about the things you will get in the package, here is the list:

  • The device (Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R Dual Band Two Way Radio).
  • One TIDRADIO 771 high gain antenna.
  • One radio mic.
  • Power adapter.
  • 2 x 1800 mAh rechargeable Li-ion batteries.
  • One Baofeng programming cable.
  • Earpiece.
  • Belt clip
  • Battery charger.
  • User manual.

Pros of Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R:

  • The high gain TIDRADIO 771 antenna increase the coverage range.
  • It has a very long battery standby life, and the extra battery makes it a perfect companion in emergencies or long hiking.
  • It comes with a controlled power consumption feature and squelch technology for voice companding.
  • The programming cable comes with the package, eliminating the need for additional purchases.
  • It also allows us to tune into FM radio frequency of 65 MHz to 108 MHz.

Cons of Baofeng Walkie Talkie UV-5R:

  • The low power output of 4 watts to 5 watts is a bit disappointing. Higher output would have increased its range significantly. However, to be honest, 4-5 watt is usually the standard output.
  • It is capable of scanning only three frequencies per second.

#5. Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Dual-Band Two-Way Radio

Baofeng Black UV-5R V2 amateur radio

This radio is one of the many iterations of the UV-5R model. Weirdly enough, the Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Plus (USA Warranty) Dual-Band Two-Way Radio is no different from the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio (Black) below (#5).

Albeit, there are a few upgrades that make it slightly better. It has the same set of features, which include FM transceiver (multiband with a frequency range of 65 MHz to 180 MHz), 104 DCS, and 50 CTCSS codes for maintaining the privacy of your communications, 128 channels, priority channel scanning, etc.

Yes, it has the same set of features! You will also get VHF and UHF ranges of 136 MHz to 174 MHz and 400 MHz to 520 MHz, respectively. You can enjoy hands-free operations with built-in VOX function.

Now the question is, what makes Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Plus (USA Warranty) different from the Baofeng UV-5R V Dual Band Two-Way Radio?

Only three things differ:

  • It comes with an upgraded LED screen that has two colors. The screen is brighter.
  • It has a metal casing, making the radio far sturdier.
  • It can accommodate UV-5R 3800mah and 3600mah extended batteries.

It is needless to say that the support for the extended batteries is a plus point, which makes it a better option compared to the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio (Black).

Metal casing and sturdy build might not be a big advantage. How you handle a radio makes a lot of difference, at least, that is what it is for me.

As before, it uses a semi-duplex or simple transmission mode where you can transmit and receive one at a time. Also, make sure that you program the radio before using it. You can use the keypad or a computer and a programming cable. However, if you are using a programming cable along with a cable, you will need programming software.

Here is the list of things you will get when you buy this radio.

  • The Baofeng UV-5R V2+ radio.
  • One rechargeable 1800 mAh Li-ion battery.
  • One antenna.
  • One earphone mic/headset.
  • One adapter.
  • One desktop charger.
  • One hand strap and one belt clip.

Advantages of Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Plus (USA Warranty) Dual-Band Two-Way Radio

  • Support for extended batteries makes it a better choice.
  • Hands-free operation is great while driving.
  • The metal casing makes it sturdy.

Disadvantages of Baofeng Black UV-5R V2+ Plus (USA Warranty) Dual-Band Two-Way Radio

  • Poor antenna and low power output give it a very limited range.
  • At 700 mW, the speaker output is poor.
  • The included 1800 mAh battery can last up to 12 hours.
  • No extra battery included.

#6. Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio

Baofeng Black UV-5R V2 amateur ham

Economical, compact, high channel capacity, and easy programming, the Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio was once a popular choice for many amateur radio enthusiasts. Many people did upgrade to the 3rd generation Baofeng BF-F8HP model, but this second-generation Baofeng UV-5R model remains popular.

This radio comes with three different frequency ranges, which are:

  • For FM – 65 MHz to 180 MHz.
  • For VHF – 136 MHz to 174 MHz.
  • For UHF – 400 MHz to 520 MHz.

As before, you will have to program it to prevent any problems because the frequency range is higher than what a ham radio should have. Programming is quite easy. You can use either the radio’s keypad or you can opt for a computer or a laptop. In case you are going for a computer/laptop, you will need a programming cable and programming software.

What’s interesting about the Baofeng UV-5R model is its 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS coding. These are security codes that ensure that the communications are private.

The radio also offers the ability to scan priority channels and hands-free operation using voice-operated transmit.

This radio has a semi-duplex or simple transmission mode, which will allow you to both transmit and receive but one at a time. You cannot do both at once.

The items that you can find in the package are:

  • The Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio.
  • One 1800 mAh Li-ion battery.
  • One antenna.
  • One headset/earphone mic.
  • One adapter.
  • One desktop charger.
  • One belt clip and one hand strap.

You will also get an English manual with this radio.

Advantages of Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way  Radio

  • The radio comes with a built-in VOX function to allow hands-free operation. VOX stands for Voice Operated Exchange.
  • It has a built-in flashlight.
  • It is capable of giving emergency and low-battery alerts.
  • It has multiple power outputs. The maximum you can get is 5 Watts while the other two are 1 Watt and 4 Watts.
  • It is lightweight and easy to use.

Disadvantages of Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two-Way Radio

There are several things I did not like about this radio. Here is the complete list of things that could have been better:

  • At 700 mW, the speaker output is quite disappointing. It may cause problems in noisy areas.
  • At 12 hours of peak usage, the battery life is quite disappointing, especially when you are taking the radio on multi-day hiking/trekking. Even in SHTF situations, 12 hours of battery life is a bit disappointing. Worse, the package doesn’t contain a spare battery. You need to buy an extra battery separately.
  • The maximum power output is 5 watts, which is not great. It could have been a good option if the manufacturer included a separate high gain antenna. Unfortunately, even the antenna is not that great!

#7. Baofeng UV-5RA Ham Two Way Radio Dual-Band Transceiver

Baofeng UV-5RA Ham amateur radio

Compact handheld ham radio for rookies, the Baofeng UV-5RA Two Way Radio is great to get started with ham radio experience. If you are thinking of getting great coverage, amazing features, this is not the correct one.

Because it belongs to the same UV-5R series family, you will find similar features. For instance, you will get a frequency range of 136-174 MHz for VHF and 400-52 MHz for UHF.

It comes with 128 channels capacity and allows hands-free operation using the VOX function. It, too, comes with 50 CTCSS and 104 DCS codes to keep your communications safe.

You can use the radio to tune into commercial FM radio on the frequency range 65-108 MHz.

Interestingly, this ham comes with a dual PTT or push-to-talk button, which will allow you to transmit on two different bands.

The dual PTT button will also allow you to program the radio. I will, however, suggest that you do so using a computer and a programming cable. You will have to buy the cable separately.

The max power output is 4 Watts, but it can also operate at a lower output of 1 Watt. The included battery can give 9 to 12 hours of peak usage.

It operates in a semi-duplex or simple transmission mode where you can transmit and receive, but one at a time.

Things you will find in the package:

  • One Baofeng UV-5RA Two Way Radio.
  • One 1800 mAh battery.
  • One hand strap and one belt clip.
  • One adapter and one desktop charger.
  • One earphone.
  • One antenna.
  • One manual in the English language.

Advantages of Baofeng UV-5RA Two Way Radio

  • It is very simple to use with dual PTT keys.
  • It comes with a VOX function that allows hands-free operation.
  • It has a very low price.

Disadvantages of Baofeng UV-5RA Two Way Radio

  • The antenna is not great, and neither is the power output. These two things are important for better coverage.
  • The build quality is terrible, and one sharp fall can be disastrous.
  • The battery is disappointing too!

#8. Baofeng BF-888S Two Way Radio

Baofeng BF-888S two way ham radio

If simplicity and fun are all that you are looking for from your first experience with ham radio without worrying about features, the Baofeng BF-888S might be the right choice for you. It is so simple that even children can use it.

The Baofeng BF-888S works in the frequency range 400 to 470 MHz. That’s the frequency range for UHF. You will not get FM or VHF frequency range.

The radio has two big knobs on the top. One knob will allow you to change the channel. There are total 16 available channels. Using this device, you can talk to just about anyone who has this device and is on your channel.

The other knob will let you turn on the radio. Twist it, and when you hear a voice, you will know that the radio is on.

The radio comes with a flashlight, one 1500 mAh battery, an antenna, intelligent charging, and surprisingly enough, VOX function. The VOX function will allow you to use the radio in a hands-free mode.

The ham radio has a long-range, and you can talk up to a distance of 6 kilometers.

Things you will find in the package:

  • Baofeng BF-888S radio – 6 pieces!
  • 6 earpieces.
  • 6 desktop chargers.
  • 6 Li-ion 1500 mAh batteries.
  • 6 antennas.
  • 6 belt clips.

Advantages of Baofeng BF-888S Radio

  • It is very easy to use.
  • It has a long range.
  • It offers hands-free operation with VOX function.
  • It is a computer programmable with a separate programming cable.
  • It has a pretty clear sound.
  • You can replace the battery with a more powerful battery.

Disadvantages of Baofeng BF-888S Radio

  • The battery is quite a disappointment.
  • You need to buy the programming cable separately if you want to program it.
  • It allows only the UHF frequency range. It has no support for VHF and FM.

Important Things you should know before Buying a Baofeng Ham Radio

How to choose the best Baofeng ham radio?

There are many factors that you need to consider when it comes to buying the best ham radio. Those factors that you need to consider are:

  1. Where are you going to use ham radio?
  2. What is the average range of the ham radio you are eyeing?
  3. What bands does the ham radio in question, offer?
  4. What is the power wattage of the radio?
  5. What is the antenna size of the radio?

Your Purpose of Baofeng Ham Radio

You may want to use a ham radio during your hiking expeditions. You may want to use it for an SHTF situation when contacting the local emergency radio services like medical, police, fire, etc. becomes necessary. Will you use it is an urban setting with highrise buildings? Will you be using the radio in a rural setting or a place with minimal landscape features?

Frequency Range of the Baofeng Radio

Ham radio manufacturers will always tell you the maximum range. They will never tell you the average range of their radio. They will happily tell you that the maximum range is up to 50 kilometers.

What they fail to tell you is that range is under optimal conditions. Optimal conditions mean that the transmitter and the receiver and in a straight line of sight. There are no obstructions in between like high buildings, trees, landscapes, etc., and that they tested it in some deserted area.

In general, ham radio will have an average range of 2 miles in urban areas, 5 miles in suburban areas, up to 10 miles in rural areas, and above ten in optimal conditions. If you are using the radio on a hiking expedition, expect no more than 2 miles.

Bands of the Baofeng Radio

Handheld ham radios will usually come with the tag of dual-band. Those two bands are 2-meter (Very High Frequency or VHF) and 70-centimeter (Ultra High Frequency or UHF).

For the VHF band, the radio frequency (which is nothing other than the number of waves per second) ranges between 30 MHz and 300 MHz (MHz is MegaHertz). For the UHF band, the radio frequency ranges between 300 MHz and 3 GHz (GHz stands for GigaHertz).

One MegaHertz means 1,000,000 radio waves in a second. One GigaHertz means 1,000,000,000 radio waves in a second.

However, in the case of ham radios, the allowed radio frequency range for the VHF band is 144 to 148 MHz. For the UHF band, the allowed range is 430 to 440 MHz. If you are buying a dual-band amateur or ham radio, it should have at least these frequency ranges. Anything more is better!

Power wattage of the Baofeng radio

Generally, ham radios will have 5 to 8 watts of power output. There are less-powerful ones as well! Higher the wattage, the better it is – the transmission range increases. But remember, an increase in wattage alone will not do any good. You will also need a better and bigger antenna. So, if a ham radio manufacturer cranks up the wattage but fails to equip the radio with a better antenna, avoid it!

The antenna size of theBaofeng radio

The type and size of the antenna that you get for your handheld amateur radio are also going to play a vital role in the transmission quality. The general rule of thumb states that the size of the antenna should be 1/4th the size of the wavelength.

The higher the frequency (measured in kHz, MHz, GHz), the smaller is the wavelength. For VHF (frequency range of 30 MHz to 300 MHz), the wavelength is between 10 meters and 1 meter. For UHF (frequency range of 300 MHz to 3 GHz), the wavelength is between 1 meter and 10 centimeters.

So, if your ham radio has a frequency of UHF 70 centimeters, the length of the antenna should be at least 7 inches.

Okay, now that I have answered some basic questions that people usually ask, it is time to give you the list of top 8 Baofeng radios.

Conclusion of the Best Baofeng Radio

In case you have read the segment where I discussed how to select a ham radio, you will know that there are a few factors that play a vital role. What are they?

  • Frequency range.
  • Antenna.
  • Power output.
  • Battery.

Based on these parameters, the clear winner, in my opinion, is the Baofeng BF-F8HP Dual Band Two-Way Radio. It comes with a high gain antenna and up to 8 Watts of power output. It has a powerful 2000 mAh battery as well that can last up to 24 hours, depending on the frequency you are choosing.

That, however, doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t good. All the radios that I have listed here are great for amateur use. How efficiently you use it will depend on how much experience you have with ham radios.

If it is your first-time experience with ham radio, things can look a bit complicated, but as you keep exploring, you will get comfortable way sooner than you realize.

Are ham radios legal?

Yes, they are legal. That’s the reason why ham radios are available for purchase in the open market.

Do you need a permit to operate a ham radio?

You don’t need a license to buy a Ham Radio, and you don’t need a permit to monitor frequencies. However, if you want to transmit using a ham radio, you will need to get a license. You will need an FCC license (in the US) for sending out communications using a ham radio on amateur radio frequencies.
But you can communicate without a permit only in the case of a bona fide emergency. Eventually, no one cares in a ‘Shit Hit the Fan (SHTF)’ situation.
However, if someone catches you transmitting without a license outside an emergency, you will have to pay hefty fines.

What is the meaning of “amateur radio frequencies?”

The word “amateur” in the context of ham radios does not refer to rookies without any knowledge or with rudimentary knowledge. Amateur refers to “non-commercial” use.

What precautions should you take while operating ham radios?

There are several things you should keep in mind to stay out of trouble. What are those things? Read on!

  • You must have a license to transmit using amateur radios. The minimum you need is a ‘Technician’ license. You can use the radio to listen (not to send transmissions) if you don’t have a permit.
  • Some ham radios (even the handheld ones like Baofeng) are quite powerful, and they can get into frequency ranges reserved for military use. If that happens, you can be at odds with the military or the FCC. You don’t want to be on their crosshairs. It would help if you programmed your radio to specific amateur channels or emergency channels to avoid such issues.

What are the benefits of using Baofeng ham radio?

Using ham radio has many benefits. Some of them are:

  • They can become a lifesaver in emergencies like power grid failure, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, floods, hurricanes, etc. when the internet or the cellular network do not work. Not only can the radio operators get in touch with their loved ones quickly, but they can also help emergency response teams in rescue efforts.
  • Ham radios have long battery life, making room for long hours of communication during emergencies.
  • Ham operators can communicate with astronauts present in the space station.

How should you compare different ham radios?

There are many things that you should be comparing. However, the essential features that you should compare are:

  • What is the power output of the radios?
  • What is the operating frequency range of the radios?
  • What is the antenna size of the radios?
  • Are the radios single-band or dual-band?
  • What are the available transmission modes of the radios?
  • What is the battery capacity of the radios?
  • Are the radios user-friendly?
  • What is an Amplifier?

Do you know any other Best Baofeng ham radio? If yes, then do let us know about your

You can ask many questions, but the factors I mentioned above are the most important ones when it comes to comparing the handheld ham radios. It would help if you asked these questions even for Baofeng radios.

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