5 Stars By Dean K. on 2016-11-28
I have been a ham for 45 years and this by far is the best hand held dual band I ever owned. I have always bought the big name brands, but this little unit has more than I could ever use.
The manual is very straight forward, explained every feature. Some reviews say it's hard to program without a computer but I find it's easy when yoy understand it. Saving to memory is a two step process, this should be one but once I thought about it, it keeps you from transmitting accidentally out of band.
The size is small but packed with features. I travel and I use it in different terrains and I can hit repeaters usually out 20-25 miles, even on 450. The stock antenna works good, I upgraded to a diamond RH 77CA. This antenna with the 8 watt output is awesome. Battery life is very good, I charged once in a 3 weeks, and have used it several times a week on high power.
Just to test it, I turned the power to low and hit a repeater about 12 miles away on the other side of a big Texas hill.
I don't know how they can market it so inexpensive but I would definitely buy again.
5 Stars By Kobra_Klutch on 2016-09-18
So far so good, my advice to buyers spend the $20 on ...
So far so good, my advice to buyers spend the $20 on the correct programming cable. Utilize the CHIRP software and you'll be able to easily program your radio automatically as opposed to manually; it's a HUGE time saver. I'm studying for my Technician's license now so I can get the chance to transmit and make contacts but for now I'm just listening to taffic in my area. Invest in a better handheld antenna(dual-band) and one for your vehicle and you'll have more flexibility and fun with this radio; I purchased the Nagoya NA-771 and a Tram BR-180 respectively.
For the new HAM the CHIRP software has access to repeater resources such as "RadioReference.com and RepeaterBook.net". Repeaterbook.net has the most current public accessible repeaters listed in the US. While in CHIRP select the "Radio" tab, then "Import from data source", then select "RepeaterBook". Then a pop up window will appear and you can then select from the state, county, and frequency band. Each repeater out there is setup differently and this is where the programming cable becomes very useful. Once you've selected your inputs you can then select the repeaters you want access to.
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: If you decide to import repeaters from, let's say 2 meters and the 70 cm bands, each time you access these bands for an area they will be listed 1 through however many that's. listed. Once you've imported the repeaters for 2 meters the 70 cm band will list 1 through how many that are listed. There will be a conflict with your memory channels if you utilize the same channel numbers for the 2 bands. So whichever band you decide to program first start with 1 and then annotate the last channel used in that band. Once you start to download the next band begin that sequence with the number after the last one you just programmed(If you stopped at channel 10 on 2 meters start with 11 on 70cm). You do this from the list of available repeaters from the "Import from file" pop up. You will see the following tabs at the top of the page: Inport, To, From, Name, Frequency, and Comment. Start by unchecking all the boxes from the "Import" tab then find the repeater(s) you want and and then double click in the number field of the "To" tab and change the number in sequence starting from the number after the last number saved in your previous frequency band i.e. 10 for 2 meters, so this set for 70 cm will begin with 11 and so on. Once you have changed the numbers to the repeaters you want saved then select the corresponding repeater by selecting it from the "Import" tab(recheck the box). Once you have all the repeaters you want then click "OK" at the bottom of the page. This will then load the repeaters sequentially back to the main page. From here you will then need to secure the programming to your radio and then click on the "Radio" tab at the top of the page then select "Upload To Radio", the software will then prompt you to do a few things with your radio, it basically comes down to you powering on your radio, ensuring your radio is not tuned to an active frequency, and then it asks you to remove the antenna. Once you've completed these tasks click OK or upload. You will see a blue or green light appear on your radio which indicates the information is being uploaded. Once everything has finished loading disconnect the radio cable from the radio ONLY. Reconnect your antenna and select your memory channels by pressing the VFO/MR button on your radio to verify the channels have been saved and then scan or scroll through them to see if you can hear any traffic in your area. Don't be discourage if you don't hear anything right away because ther may not be anyone chatting at that time. But if you have time just hold your scan button until it's start scanning in your memory settings and sit back and wait, you'll hear something soon.
Just a few more steps, Go back to CHIRP and save your imported data by selecting "File" at the top left corner of the page and click "Save" if you want to keep the file named as is or click "Save as" and name the file yourself. You are now finished with programming your radio. This may sound like a lot to do but you would have to multiply this process by each repeater you would want to load manually.
One more quick note if you want to make any changes afterwards reconnect your radio to the programming cable and your PC, select the "Radio" tab and then select Download from radio and go from there. I hope this helps someone. If you get the programming cable and download the CHIRP software and follow these instructions you will be good to go to in getting started with access to repeaters and listening to traffic. REMEMBER, YOU CANNOT TRANSMIT UNTIL YOU'VE EARN YOUR TEXHNICIAN'S LICENSE. Good luck, I hope this was a help to many.
5 Stars By BTA-MALL Customer on 2016-06-21
This is a pretty good radio- Actually an excellent radio for the money
This is a pretty good radio, and my second purchase of the same model number . It seems to work just under a mile at MURS and over a mile at GMRS in a city environment. This is where a "40 mile FRS" radio actually gets a half mile. This is far better than the 6 or so high end FRS/GMRS radio I have tried, and at 2 meters it is powerful enough to hit a local repeater. The only reason for 4 stars instead of 5 is that the radio came missing the belt clip screws. Something went wrong at quality control there.
I am upgrading my review form 4 stars to 5 stars for two reasons:
1. The screws for the clip are on the radio. I'm an idiot, I'm sorry.
2. I purchased two of these and sent one in for warrantee repair as the receiver section was having problems. I had the radio back repaired in 10 days. Very good service! They both work great now.
-- 4 month update: I have two of these, and a couple of yaesu mobile radios. I find that I am using these a lot more than I thought I ever would. They fit in my pocket, if you upgrade the rubber duck antenna they receive almost as good as my FT-2900, I will say that they are not the best and most powerful radio I have, but they are certainly the best radio for the money. I plan to get two for every car with AA battery packs. I really like these radios.
I was NOT given a discount or free products for this review, I paid full price, this is an honest review. I really like these radios.
4 Stars By Glenn Castor on 2014-08-28
The first Baofeng BF-F8HP I recieved had a problem with the sound on it. I could only hear if I had the microphone plugged in. I returned it and ordered another one. The replacement is very nice. I have 4 other Baofengs to compare this one too. The uv5r plus has the best sound with the least amount of back ground hiss when listening to people talk. The BF-F8HP has the best signal going out of the radio. I live out in the desert and its realitvley flat out here. We took all of our radios out and I drove down this long straight road. All the radios with the stock antennas became scratchy at about two miles but could still undertand what was being said. At 3 miles I could hear only one UV5R plus and the BF-F8HP. We switched antennas to aftermarket antennas and at 4 miles I could only recieve and transmit on the BF-F8HP to another UV5r Plus. At 5 miles I could not hear them but they could hear me on the BF-F8HP but I was scratchy and not every word was readable. At this point we pulled out our roll up slim jim jpoles and connected them to a tree about 6 feet up and we were both recieving strong signals. I drove up the road and stopoed at 8 miles and we could still hear each other. The could hear me better than I could hear them. Drove up another mile and same thing. Drove up the road till I hit 10 miles and we bith could still hear each other. They could hear me better than I could hear them. Drove to the 12 mile mark and tried again. We could both still hear each other but they were very hard to understand but I came across mostly clear with a little hiss. So the extra watts on this radio does help getting your signal out. My buddies were impressed with the BF-F8HP. We were in simplex mode. Haven't used it on a repeater yet but the extra watts couldn't hurt having.
5 Stars By BTA-MALL Customer on 2016-11-29
New Ham, Great Radio!
I'm a new amateur radio technician and picked this up as my very first VHF/UHF radio. I was pleasantly surprised by how much there was inside this little thing - and it is tiny! Much smaller than I expected, fits nicely in the palm. Many menu options, tons of configurability, and it's all easy to access to control through shortcuts. All in all it feels like and so far is a well-bought radio that works great, has excellent battery life and is easy to learn and use. Also feels like quality materials and design - the plastic feels heavier and/or thicker and has a nice texture to it.
I also bought the Nagoya NA-771 antenna and that is a great buy too. I can highly recommend this product to anyone, you won't be disappointed.
4 Stars By Jeff Burns on 2017-01-26
Beo-Bang for the Buck!
How could you not be happy with this little radio? Yes, it isnt the Kenwood killer and it isnt going to win any Ham technical contests with Yeasu, but for $60 bucks.. C'mon. It performs as expected, better than expected for a frugal hand held radio. The improved rubber duck antenna and the little bit of extra power make it a respectable performer against hand helds double or triple the price. It has all the bells and whistles of the big boys and it hits repeaters like a champ. Minus one star for the lack of display sync which would allow it to display the alpha field synced to the frequency display so you could see the repeater ID as well as the frequency when scanning through the channels. Beofeng includes this feature on the other hand helds but skipped it in this one for some reason. Otherwise, this thing rates 5 stars for value (price vs performance/features). This radio is one you can carry around and not feel suicidal if you loose it, it gets dropped or it just quits. Id buy a while box of these for the cost of one or two Kenwoods.
4 Stars By SailFree on 2017-08-01
Typical manual problems with Chinese electronics. Lost in translation!
1) They have finally gotten someone who is a native English speaker to write their instruction manual, but it needs more work. In particular, the steps needed to program it to work with a repeater are very confusing if trying to enter manually. 2) I planned to use CHIRP, but the USB data transfer cable I purchased did not work with the newest Mac OS, so I am unable to program through the computer as yet. I have ordered another cable and we will see how that goes. 3) Seems sturdier than I expected ted, smaller, very light weight, and I suspect it will do the job once I have the programming cable. 4) The manual states that to use for Ham radio, disable the DCS, CTCSS, etc., but if disabled, will not work with repeaters. 5) The keypad entries for entering the repeater offset and direction seem reversed in sequence in the instructions, but I do not think this makes any difference.
4 Stars By Sevana H. on 2016-07-31
Great Radio, Minor Upgrades Recommended.
With a few upgrades this can be a great radio. The first thing I upgraded was the antenna to a Nagoya whip and on 8 watts I'm very impressed with the range. I'm hitting plenty of repeaters but the only complaint has been that my audio is coming in low. It turns out that a lot of people complain about the same issue with these radios so I ordered an external mic (model QHM22) and the audio quality (both transmit and receive) is EXCELLENT now. Battery life is decent but upgrading to a 3800 MAH is so much better (not only with battery life but it makes the radio taller improving the grip). I also highly recommend buying a Roll-Up JPole antenna (for emergencies out in the field or if you are stationary and want good performance). I own the Dr. Fong Roll-Up DBJ-2 antenna and I can hit repeaters out to 30 miles (I live in an area with relatively high elevation compared to the rest of the county so that helps too). Programming using the CHIRP software and data cable is easy. Overall I like this radio a lot especially for the price but had to knock off a star for the low transmit volume (easily remedied by using an external Mic).
5 Stars By Joe Colagreco on 2017-06-06
Perfect size radio for the price...
Works as advertised and I'm very happy with this radio. No problems, use every day. I also have the UV-5R which I like as well but doesn't have the extras the BF-F8HP offers. Both radios works great. But I highly recommend BF-F8HP.
Like to give additional feed back since my order and previous review. I use everyday and purchase different antennas since I drive out of the area and the longer size antennas make a big difference. Everything has been workin fantastic and programming using CHRIP has become easy. The radio itself very well designe and that added features make it the much better. The bigger battery that came with it holds its charge longer compared to my other Baofeng UV-5R. I use both radios but the BF having 8 watts makes a big difference getting to those repeaters.
3 Stars By Philip Ramirez on 2017-06-04
The radio works fantastic, but the instructions aren't fully comprehensive
The radio works fantastic, but the instructions aren't fully comprehensive. If I didn't already know what I'm doing, this is not very easy to program for a first time user. I can't count how many questions I've had and how many I have programmed for others. My biggest complaint is the cheap paint on the buttons. After only 2 weekends of use, the bottom buttons are already all worn out from pulling the radio in and out of my radio pocket. I guess I expect too much out of this cheap radio. My other concern is that it is not water resistant. Coming from a Puxing and Kenwood, I'm spoiled with that. I still have the other two, but this one claims to have higher wattage and it definitely has more features. My favorite feature is the ability to monitor two channels at the same time without being in a scan mode. I use these for paintball scenario games and we'll see how durable they are. It has gotten paint all over it and I'm not sure how much water I can get on it while cleaning. Also, when using the mic you are exposing the side for dirt to enter. I'm worried about that. I'll say this, on a 75 acre heavily wooded field, it seemed to work good using an extended antenna. Others with the same radio, but shorter antenna were not able to answer all my transmissions. I never had that issue with my Puxing, so I question the validity of the claimed wattage output. I'm going to try and figure out how to verify that. I'm pretty convinced that you can buy the cheaper versions/non-us versions and you will be just as happy. I thought the higher price and US support were going to be something special. Only thing you really get is a bigger battery. Instructions still suck. My teammates with the cheaper ones went 26 hours continuous "on" without any problems.