So which radio is right for you…or which radio should you buy?
Well, first thing to do is make sure you have read my reviews on each of the following radios…
- Baofeng UV-5RA
- Baofeng UV-5RMHP
- Baofeng BF-F8HP
- Baofeng/BTECH UV-5X3
I will go through this as if I were doing it for the first time…for myself. You see, we are all different, we all have different situations, needs, issues, missions, restrictions, etc. I can only speak for myself. But, I think going through it will help you, guide you, through the process of figuring it out for yourself.
Baofeng radios are really the only cost effective and reliable radios that are available. Yup, my opinion. True, Yaesu radios are wonderful! And if you can afford a cache of them and their accessories…great! I can’t. So Yaesu radios are out of the question. Baofeng radios are cost effective, reliable, plenty of accessories, easy to program with software, and flat out…they get the job done.
First thing I would do is figure out exactly what I want to use them for…their mission. For me I want to use them for daily tasks, emergencies, disasters, any security/protection work in my future, and especially for grid-down.
So the radio must be very flexible in its frequency range and ease of use. It also has to be compatible with most public emergency services entities. I run my own repeater so I don’t have a need for a long-range handheld. I have plenty of batteries and recharging capabilities on hand so I am not worried about power consumption.
They need to be tough enough but not military grade. I also need enough of them for let’s say 4 – 8 people to have one. I don’t use, nor intend to use, the 1.25m band. It is a relatively obscure band and not one in general use.
Choices and Why’s –
So here we go…
- If I had a limited budget for radios and accessories
- If I needed a large number of radios (4 or more)
- Out of the running since they are not available retail.
- Only if I had a very specific identifiable need for more power for transmission and no worries about ComSec.
- Only if I had a very specific need for using the 1.25m band.
- Yaesu FT-60R
- No budget limitations of any kind.
- No need for GMRS, FRS, or MURS frequencies.
Sorry, I imagine this was a very anti-climatic article for most of you. But, it turned out that it was easy for me to figure out which radio is best for me. The Boafeng UV-5RA is it…hands down. One possible exception. If I had all the hand held radios I needed (UV-5RA), all the accessories that I needed for all of those radios, and I had no mobile radio…I might buy the BF-F8HP just to have the extra wattage available. But, it would not be a field-going radio…it would stay in the ComShack.
If I was starting out from scratch, had no existing radios, I would look that the BF-F8HP as the standard…but only if I was 95% sure that there would be no ComSec issues…and I could buy enough radios, primary and back-ups, PLUS all of the right accessories to cover my needs within my budget.
Anything else…you better post a reply and ask a question…or use the contact form.
And I bet…this could open up a discussion similar to AR vs AK or Sig vs Glock. But hey…bring it on 😉
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