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  #1  
Old 12-18-2013, 9:06 PM
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Default Just got a ham radio!

And now I need to get a license I'm super stoked.

So, these last few weeks I've been reaaaally interested in ham radios, and I purchased a Baofeng UV-5R (if you're wanting an inexpensive, durable truck/car HT consider these, they're only $29 right now) and all the trimmings to go with it (less than a Benjamin for basically everything a budding ham should need, I'm quite happy).

I'm now looking to get my Technicians and General license in one shot, and while I have questions about the license I have other questions, specifically about WHAT THE HECK IS WITH THE ACRONYMS.

I understand that they all have a meaning, but.... GEEEEZ! There's so MANY!
Is there a guide online for that? A list of them?

Basically, what I need now is just proper nomenclature for radios and a how-to-speak-ham guide.
Any and all help is appreciated, and I soon hope to join the ham ranks
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  #2  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:08 PM
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I got my technicians license a few weeks ago. Got the radio shortly after. And.....I have yet to use it for anything other than a scanner.
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  #3  
Old 12-18-2013, 10:19 PM
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I got my technicians license a few weeks ago. Got the radio shortly after. And.....I have yet to use it for anything other than a scanner.
Well get on and talk for Pete's sake!
Find a repeater with some rag chew going on and give it a whirl!
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  #4  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:01 AM
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I actually renewed my license a couple of years ago, off the top of my head they're good for 10 years at a time? Haven't used my HT in over a decade.

Yes there are repeaters, yes I know how to use the thing, I just can't ever get interested in "nerding it up" on a ham radio. Hardly anyone uses the things and as I recall back when I did use it for a bit, the bulk of the conversation on the repeaters was about what radio gear you have.

Nice to have in an emergency sure, but unless you want to start fiddling with custom antennas, seeing how far you can send and receive CW, etc. you're probably going to get very bored with it, very fast.
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  #5  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:21 AM
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Outstanding
great addition to SHTF gear
N
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  #6  
Old 12-19-2013, 4:33 AM
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If you have facebook, check out "the B.A.R.N." (Baofeng Amateur Radio Network) lots of info for the UV5R
https://www.facebook.com/groups/100428610134991/
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  #7  
Old 12-19-2013, 5:10 AM
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Is it delicious?
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  #8  
Old 12-19-2013, 5:22 AM
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Nice !!!
I hade 1 from 93-03
Talked to lots of people

Loved it
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  #9  
Old 12-19-2013, 5:49 AM
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73's OM,

http://ac6v.com/73.htm
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  #10  
Old 12-19-2013, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Merc1138 View Post
I actually renewed my license a couple of years ago, off the top of my head they're good for 10 years at a time? Haven't used my HT in over a decade.

Yes there are repeaters, yes I know how to use the thing, I just can't ever get interested in "nerding it up" on a ham radio. Hardly anyone uses the things and as I recall back when I did use it for a bit, the bulk of the conversation on the repeaters was about what radio gear you have.

Nice to have in an emergency sure, but unless you want to start fiddling with custom antennas, seeing how far you can send and receive CW, etc. you're probably going to get very bored with it, very fast.
I intend to become one of those geeks, so I should be good heck, the guys I was listening to last night were talking it up about guns and just random chit chat: this may be fun!
Yeah, the licenses last 10 years, with free renewal.
You'd be surprised how any people use these things now, I counted 60 individual people on my local repeaters last night. Lots of fun lively talk, I wish I could have joined.

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Originally Posted by speeedracerr View Post
If you have facebook, check out B.A.R.N. ( Baofeng Amateur Radio Network) lots of info for the UV5R
Thanks! I'll check it out!
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Is it delicious?
Absolutely. While I know some people prefer turkey radio, I like my ham.
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Nice !!!
I hade 1 from 93-03
Talked to lots of people

Loved it
I have a feeling I'm gonna like it a lot :E
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Thanks for the link!
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  #11  
Old 12-19-2013, 12:17 PM
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About 15 years ago I had a neighbor that was really into it. He invited me over, showed me all the radio gear, and when I asked what he used it for he said it was to "work" other operators, just to have made contact. Seems like a silly hobby to me, but I'm sure when the SHTF those guys will be useful. Still goofy, but useful.
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  #12  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:18 PM
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About 15 years ago I had a neighbor that was really into it. He invited me over, showed me all the radio gear, and when I asked what he used it for he said it was to "work" other operators, just to have made contact. Seems like a silly hobby to me, but I'm sure when the SHTF those guys will be useful. Still goofy, but useful.
Yeah, some guys have really, really big set ups and they really only use it to make global connections/convorsations, just to say that they've talked to someone.
And you're right: come the 'habbening', they will be very helpful. At the least I think everyone who buys ammo, food and water for possible emergencies should also buy a small handheld ham and get a license: you can be completely set up for only $50-$75. There's no reason NOT to.
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1. Getting BTFO by Kestryll with the hammer

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  #13  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:26 PM
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73s.

I've been a Ham for 25 years. I haven't been active for a decade at least, but I did pick up some of those Baofengs. They are hard to beat price wise and you can tune them to FRS and use them to talk to the neighbors in a natural disaster. Check out to see what nets run in your area and just check in with them. They will notice the new call and reach out to you.

If it is one thing I have found with Hams, they are overwhelmingly friendly and helpful.
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  #14  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:34 PM
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Originally Posted by surplus-addict View Post
Yeah, some guys have really, really big set ups and they really only use it to make global connections/convorsations, just to say that they've talked to someone.
And you're right: come the 'habbening', they will be very helpful. At the least I think everyone who buys ammo, food and water for possible emergencies should also buy a small handheld ham and get a license: you can be completely set up for only $50-$75. There's no reason NOT to.
Used to work field days in the 80s, that was before cellular and it was a lot of fun. Now, it is so commonplace to be able to reach anyone anywhere it isn't as fun for me.

I can't agree more that it's good to get a license and have some equipment. I used to be in RACES (Now I think it is CERT). I did volunteer work during the Northridge earthquake. Back then the different agencies couldn't talk to each other because they were on different systems. They were very appreciative with our ability to cross traffic and be liaisons for different municipalities. We helped coordinate with Emergency services for the Red Cross.

Mostly they have all the technology to do that themselves now (cell phones). However, if the cell networks go down... It's amazing how the VHF and UHF repeaters seem to always work in crisis.
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  #15  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:37 PM
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I've been considering HAM, especially if SHTF. My family has been talking about doing this so we can stay in contact in the event of an emergency that drops all cell communications like an earthquake or tornado.
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  #16  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Kodemonkey View Post
73s.

I've been a Ham for 25 years. I haven't been active for a decade at least, but I did pick up some of those Baofengs. They are hard to beat price wise and you can tune them to FRS and use them to talk to the neighbors in a natural disaster. Check out to see what nets run in your area and just check in with them. They will notice the new call and reach out to you.

If it is one thing I have found with Hams, they are overwhelmingly friendly and helpful.
I've been trying to figure out the FRS frequencies so I can at least test the transmits function of my radio (don't have my license yet) but can't figure it out. Is there something I'm missing, or am I just dumb?
Thanks *brohoof*

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Originally Posted by Kodemonkey View Post
Used to work field days in the 80s, that was before cellular and it was a lot of fun. Now, it is so commonplace to be able to reach anyone anywhere it isn't as fun for me.

I can't agree more that it's good to get a license and have some equipment. I used to be in RACES (Now I think it is CERT). I did volunteer work during the Northridge earthquake. Back then the different agencies couldn't talk to each other because they were on different systems. They were very appreciative with our ability to cross traffic and be liaisons for different municipalities. We helped coordinate with Emergency services for the Red Cross.

Mostly they have all the technology to do that themselves now (cell phones). However, if the cell networks go down... It's amazing how the VHF and UHF repeaters seem to always work in crisis.
I have to agree that with the advent of cellphones, people don't find the joy in communication.

But when SHTF or no cell reception... Hams really shine.

One of the major reasons I got my radio was because I wanted to get into volunteering, but first I have to get my license and figure out what the HECK I'm doing
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  #17  
Old 12-19-2013, 1:57 PM
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Very cool. This is going to be my new project to do this year.
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  #18  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:01 PM
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Quote:
I've been trying to figure out the FRS frequencies so I can at least test the transmits function of my radio (don't have my license yet) but can't figure it out. Is there something I'm missing, or am I just dumb?
Thanks *brohoof*

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service

Those are your frequencies.

You need to get a USB cable for that baofeng or you will end up driving yourself crazy trying to program it. You can do it by hand, and there are youtube videos, but it's insanity...

Download "chirp" for free to program it

http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

USB programming cable can be found here

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...fe%2Caps%2C225


ETA: It is not legal to use a ham radio on FRS frequencies as pointed out by Puckinhead later in this thread. I would never knowingly advise someone to be a bad ham.

Last edited by Kodemonkey; 12-20-2013 at 3:22 PM..
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  #19  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:08 PM
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Originally Posted by surplus-addict View Post

One of the major reasons I got my radio was because I wanted to get into volunteering, but first I have to get my license and figure out what the HECK I'm doing
Where are you located? Maybe someone can chime in a good local radio club. You'll find old timers everywhere that can help. Amateur radio is a dying art and they welcome newbies.

I'm so removed from it anymore that I just got what I needed with the Baofengs, played with them for a month to make sure I could work them from different areas and on different repeaters and keep the rigs handy. I keep one in a bug out bag in the car with a car charger and spare battery.

The battery life on those things are unbelievably good. 24 hour receive times aren't uncommon - even with a little TX in there.

About volunteering. Look into CERT. I know most agencies have a partnership with the local PD or Sherrif. The hams will help with parades and marathons and such.
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  #20  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodemonkey View Post
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_Radio_Service

Those are your frequencies.

You need to get a USB cable for that baofeng or you will end up driving yourself crazy trying to program it. You can do it by hand, and there are youtube videos, but it's insanity...

Download "chirp" for free to program it

http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

USB programming cable can be found here

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_no...fe%2Caps%2C225
Already got chirp on my computer, and the programming cable is in the mail
Today I actually got some more stuff for the radio: a car power adapter (replaces the battery), an emergency battery adapter (AAA batteries), and a separate speaker/mic combo.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kodemonkey View Post
Where are you located? Maybe someone can chime in a good local radio club. You'll find old timers everywhere that can help. Amateur radio is a dying art and they welcome newbies.

I'm so removed from it anymore that I just got what I needed with the Baofengs, played with them for a month to make sure I could work them from different areas and on different repeaters and keep the rigs handy. I keep one in a bug out bag in the car with a car charger and spare battery.

The battery life on those things are unbelievably good. 24 hour receive times aren't uncommon - even with a little TX in there.

About volunteering. Look into CERT. I know most agencies have a partnership with the local PD or Sherrif. The hams will help with parades and marathons and such.
I'm in Sacramento.
I've been listening for quite awhile, and the battery is lasting forever: I love it
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1. Getting BTFO by Kestryll with the hammer

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  #21  
Old 12-19-2013, 2:33 PM
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My mom regularly hosts her local ham operators club. Most of them guys are really old - I think the youngest is 65. They are part of the sheriff volunteer group and the rest of them are part of the animal rescue mission (I forget the 'official' title). They get together regularly to practice and coordinate and plan for emergency services.

I don't remember exactly when by the last real emergency they were the only ones with a reliable communication network and the sheriff was really helpless without them.
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Old 12-19-2013, 2:58 PM
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For studying you can't beat hamtestonline. They drill you with the actual test questions. In 20 hours of studying I passed the tech and gnrl in one setting. I'm studying for extra now. I need to get a radio once my license appears in the db.
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  #23  
Old 12-19-2013, 3:08 PM
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This thread reminded me that I need to renew my license. Haven't touched my HT in a couple of years, since I quit doing motorcycle patrols at charity events.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:20 PM
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Check out this thread as well, there are a couple good videos posted.

http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/s...6#post12591216

.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:33 PM
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Meanwhile, I am getting ready for my General+Amateur Extra exam on Saturday. https://hamstudy.org is really useful.
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  #26  
Old 12-19-2013, 3:43 PM
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Meanwhile, I am getting ready for my General+Amateur Extra exam on Saturday. https://hamstudy.org is really useful.
That the 7:00AM elk lodge test location in Carmichael? I was thinking of going to that, but the problem is we're so dang BUSY this Saturday.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:53 PM
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Check repeaterbook for the Sacramento region and check out some of the local repeaters. W6EK has a preparedness net every other Wednesday at 7:30. K6IS is a popular repeater in your area as well.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:54 PM
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$29?? Where did you pick that up at? Couldn't hurt to pick one up as a spare radio at that price.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:58 PM
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Originally Posted by njineermike View Post
I've been considering HAM, especially if SHTF. My family has been talking about doing this so we can stay in contact in the event of an emergency that drops all cell communications like an earthquake or tornado.
Emergency communications was my main motivating factor in acquiring my HAM license as well. My CERT instructor highly recommended getting my license. I've participated in one event where we provided coms for a benefit run that helped a local food bank. I will probably participate in other events, it helps with the protocol and keeps your skills active.
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Old 12-19-2013, 3:58 PM
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$29?? Where did you pick that up at? Couldn't hurt to pick one up as a spare radio at that price.
Right here: http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-.../dp/B007H4VT7A

Pick up two, worth every penny. I'm gonna pick up another one.
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You don't watch much porn, do you?
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Hammered:
1. Getting BTFO by Kestryll with the hammer

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  #31  
Old 12-19-2013, 4:05 PM
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Right here: http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-.../dp/B007H4VT7A

Pick up two, worth every penny. I'm gonna pick up another one.
What's the range on that thing?
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:06 PM
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Thanks, and congratulations!
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  #33  
Old 12-19-2013, 4:11 PM
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What's the range on that thing?
Well it all depends, obviously. If you're in a relatively flat area full of buildings, the range is gonna suck.
If you're in a slightly raised area and there aren't a ton of buildings with a nice antenna, then you can get 25-30 miles simplex (radio to radio)

Basically, with a good antenna (rounded it's $5.50 shipped and it's fantastic, you want to get this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NAGOYA-NA-77...item1c385533cd ) this thing can easily reach your local repeaters. You understand repeaters, right?
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Last edited by surplus-addict; 12-19-2013 at 4:16 PM..
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  #34  
Old 12-19-2013, 4:14 PM
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Here's some great videos on repeaters if you don't understand them or want to know more:



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Old 12-19-2013, 4:15 PM
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Well it all depends, obviously. If you're in a relatively flat are full of buildings, the range is gonna suck.
If you're in a slightly raised area and there aren't a ton of buildings, then you can get 25-30 miles.

Basically, with a good antenna ($5.59 and it's fantastic, you want this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/NAGOYA-NA-77...item1c385533cd ) this thing can easily reach most repeaters. You understand repeaters, right?
Conceptually, yes. What to do to connect and use one with a radio? Not the first clue. I know less than nothing about that.
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:17 PM
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somebody shoot me the shop2a link. I can't seem to find it right now.
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:21 PM
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somebody shoot me the shop2a link. I can't seem to find it right now.
www.shop42a.com
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:23 PM
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I had it as shop2a.com. No wonder it didn't work.
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:26 PM
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OK, looking at the Baofeng listings, there are a few models.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...%2Ck%3Abaofeng

Anybody have a rundown on the difference between these?
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Old 12-19-2013, 4:33 PM
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I had it as shop2a.com. No wonder it didn't work.
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OK, looking at the Baofeng listings, there are a few models.

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss...%2Ck%3Abaofeng

Anybody have a rundown on the difference between these?
Okay, this is how it works.

It's a series, and those are models.

Example: You have the Mustang.
In the Mustng lineup, you have the Mustang GT, the Mustang Boss 302 (well, did) the Mustang Super Snake, etc.
They are all still Mustangs, though.

Same thing with the UV-5R's.

You have the UV-5R.
And then you have the UV-5R+, the UV-5RE, the UV-5RA, etc.

Hardware wise, they're identical. But, some have different firmware, some have different cases, the placement of buttons. small stuff like that.

I just stuck with the plain Jain UV-5R because: 1, it's $29, 2, there is a TON of after market stuff for it, 3, there is a huge following for them so there are lots of mods and different software tweakseople have made, and 4, it has a nice black, matte finish on it, which really hands itself to a bug out bag/truck/car radio.

It just made the most sense to me.

Plus, it was only $29
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Hammered:
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