Baofeng reprogramming?

Discussion in 'Communications' started by NCLivingBrit, Aug 5, 2018.

  1. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    So like an idjit I bought a pair of the cheap Baofeng BF88S radios for general walkie use BEFORE realizing how many fines they would Garner on the factory set channels.

    Is it possible to program these to frequencies that won't get me fined and if so does anyone have the cable and expertise to hook a fella up?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  2. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    Look for CHIRP software, no cost, you'll need the cable on Amazon or make up your own.
    Easy to do, look at a few youtube videos. You can program only the frequencies you use.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  3. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    I found the cable for $5 on eBay and ordered it, hopefully it's as easy as you say lol

    I guess I should figure out what freqs the radios support I can use legally too.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  4. htperry

    htperry © 1957-20xx

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    Baofeng radios will operate on ham bands, MURS, GMRS, FRS and others, but are only legal for Part 97 Amateur Radio use and some Baofeng are Part 90 certified. Boafeng radios are illegal on all unlicensed bands. That said - many use them how they damn well please and don't care about the law.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  5. IMBOBK

    IMBOBK New Member

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    Those are great radios for the money. I can email you a good BF888s codeplug from my radios. It has mostly the unlicensed UHF dot frequencies and some FRS in it. The GMRS people get upset if you use those frequencies without a callsign. For not much money you can get a GMRS callsign. I have donated a bunch of those radios to my kids schools. I am in Davie County. If you want me to program them, I can do it for you. It takes no time at all.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
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  6. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I was going to down load and check out Chirp but apparently the temporary internet cable they dropped by the road after a tree fell on the other one is out too, so phone internet only. I assume a codeplug is preprogrammed frequencies I can upload more easily than doing it myself?
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2018
  7. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Charter Member Supporting Member

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    That all depends on the build number and build version. I have 2 I bought together and can't use one to program the other.
     
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  8. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    Clone feature works sometimes, you may have to export
    the configuration then import it to the other radio.
     
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  9. IMBOBK

    IMBOBK New Member

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    It is a list of frequencies and tones that you can use without issues. If you have the cable and Chirp software, you can load it and write it to the radio. These Chinese radios sometimes do have programming issues. If that is the case. Read the radio, enter these frequencies and write it to the radio. It is only 16 channels of info. Did you get the black version or the black and silver version? The black and silver version has a built in FM radio.
    Let me know if you need help programming them.
     
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  10. htperry

    htperry © 1957-20xx

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    Authorized/licensed users are funny that way.
     
  11. IMBOBK

    IMBOBK New Member

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    Fair is fair, they went through the effort to legally use the frequencies. I can see the licensing for GMRS getting dropped due to the proliferation of the FRS/GMRS combo radios.
     
  12. htperry

    htperry © 1957-20xx

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    FRS and GMRS have existed for many (many) years. FRS is Family Radio Service, unlicensed. GMRS, General Mobile Radio Service, is a low cost licensed business band. The frequencies of both bands have some overlap, but possession of a radio of a given capability isn't a license to transmit. Most radio frequencies can be monitored freely - transmission is the reason for a license and need to properly operate. Unlicensed operators interfere with the intended service. GMRS is a small business band, not recreational. It's not going anywhere. GMRS exists because ham radio of similar frequencies and capability is prohibited from being used commercially.

    I hear unlicensed operators on amateur radio frequencies and try to ignore it. I will operate on my licensed frequencies without regard for interfering with illegal operators, like Mexican roofers. It is however hypocritical of those that hold themselves up as such strong "law-n-order" types to ignore the laws they find inconvenient.

    Build that wall - the FCC has no right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  13. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    I'm just going to program these with FRS freqs and call it a day. Between the often aggressive/hostile answers and reactions I've gotten asking radio questions previously and the amount of government BS I'll stick with easy mode.

    At one time I was pretty into the idea of HAM radio, but a thread on Canadian Shooter Club and being foolish enough to ask a question on a radio forum cured me of that pretty quick.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  14. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Thanks mate
     
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  15. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    That's too bad. In terms of bang for the buck, you can't beat the cost or performance of ham radio. The test(s) are easy and the licensing process is designed to educate because of the ability, even unintentionally, to interfere with others as well as understanding YOUR rights if someone or something is interfering.
     
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  16. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    And I understand all that, but there seems to be a segment of the HAM community that seem to think they own the airwaves and anyone who hasn't been doing this since the 1950s is some sort of nuisance that it's their job to correct.

    The last thing I need is another activity where I've got to wade through waist deep asshats to get to the fun part. It's just not worth the bother. Especially when the point is to talk to these people.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
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  17. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    There are some old timers that are crotchety. Ignore them. It has been my experience, overall, that it is a hobby welcoming of newcomers.

    I see you're located in KVille. If you decide to give it a try, go to w4vec.org, click on the yellow details button and scroll down to NC. There is a session every two weeks, alternating High Point and Greensboro. I think you will find the VE team to be very unlike those ass hats and some of us talk almost every work day a long with some other friendly folks eith topics ranging from cartoons to current events, if you catch my meaning. You would be welcome to join us.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2018
  18. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    That's purely a testing event right?

    I may study for the test just to get the licence, would come in handy. I'd be stuck with a tin can and a string right now, the Gubment took all my money for INS permission slips.
     
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  19. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Well-Known Member Benefactor

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    Don't let that discourage you, check out www.eham.net the ham radio site, good people there, just like CFF.
    You can take online tests no cost to you as many as you like, unlimited.
     
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  20. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Yes, the list is the test sessions. The cost is $12 and you can take all of the tests until you fail or pass the extra class (last test). You can prepare for the test for free. Hamstudy.org and hamexam.com or sometime similar. Study the flash cards. You can get radios that are inexpensive and get in the air.
     
  21. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman You can reach 113, but you can never leave! Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    I think the topic of ham radio is much like that of immigration . Hams really really appreciate lawful immigration but don't appreciate illegal immigration if you allow me to stretch the analogy.

    I have helped and encouraged more than a few people to become hams. Really there is no comparable service when you look at the combination of learning and spectrum availability .
    I'm glad you decided to study for the test. It's not that hard and there's a lot of fun to be had in addition to the practical capability one gains.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  22. backwoodsshooter

    backwoodsshooter Wut do FC???! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I have a few choice words for those types and one of the reason I never really talked on HF. Most folks on 2m/70cm are nice folks and so are the repeated owners.

    Since your in Kernersville, the folks that talk on the sauratown mountain repeater are really nice folks. Like straight up help you with anything.

    They have a net every afternoon called the Vagabond Ragchew net cool little net. Runs for a couple hours in the afternoons

    So I wanna throw my vote togo ahead and get your ham license. Loads of fun especially when you start DIYing
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
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  23. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Well I'm definitely going to convert my Commie Squawk Boxes to FRS for now, cable is on the way and assistance has been secured should I manage to bollocks it up.

    I'll check out the ham testing more, see if I can't run the website version until I'm good to pass and get the ticket just to have it. While some members of the ham community are why I've eschewed the whole idea, I can't discount my almost total lack of anything like serious funds. There's a reason my gun cabinet is more or less empty these days.....
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  24. backwoodsshooter

    backwoodsshooter Wut do FC???! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I actually studied for my Tech, and just took pratice test for my general. I probably wont ever go get my extra unless I really want a shorter call sign because to me it is not worth the extra bands that you get with extra lol.

    But don't feel bad, I no longer have a HF rig. I am running a 2m kenwood rig that was given to me because they weren't going to use it ever again, and an antenna that has seen better days lol. But most importantly is my UV-B6 radio. Paid 25$ for it 4-5 years ago and loved the thing. It is my go to take with me outdoor radio.
     
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  25. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    And that was always my main interest in ham radio. I prefer to be in lonely places alone, but I've got the ankles of an octogenarian and clumsy feet, so the potential for being stuck somewhere with a foot on sideways is a thing.

    Baofeng don't make the cleanest radios from what I've read, but it really is hard to best their prices.
     
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  26. backwoodsshooter

    backwoodsshooter Wut do FC???! Charter Member Supporting Member

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    I might catch some slack for this but oh well.

    At only max of 5 watts which really is like 3 1/2-4 watts, no one on a ham band is gonna be throwing a bitch fit about “bleed over”. All radios have it in some way shape or form. On 2m/70cm 98% of operators will just kick up the power a bit of need be as non qrp rigs, have a base minimum wattage of 5-10 anyways. Out of all the nets and ray chewing I have down with my Beofeng I have never had anyone say anything negative about me using it. Got many compliments as they were surprised how good it sounded lol

    Since 90% of 2m/70cm is done on repeaters anyways You shouldn’t have any issues with what you are wanting to do. Only a select few repeater owners are douchebags and only a small percentage of ham operators are die hard (insert a big name brand here like Kenwood, ICOM, etc) folks will bitch about what radio you are using. The rest won’t really care what you are keying up with as long as your legal and not an ass.


    Since a lot of my outdoor activities is mainly hunting in the West, and in places that cell phone service is laughably non existent, the Asheville, Jefferson (West Jefferson maybe), Sparta, Wilkes, Maravion Falls, Lenior, Morgantan, and a couple in VA, and TN repeaters are all programmed and for the most part have had no issue hitting any of them with my B6. Someone is always on a repeater. Actually NC have one of the most active repeater areas in the US.


    @htperry is a really good gent. He is very passionate of ham radio stuff and does have legit concerns about interference. And not kissing ass or anything but he is very knowledgeable in the area as he has helped me when I first started out when others wouldn’t or couldn’t at the time

    FRS, GMRS or whatever is a different story as they are low power for the most part. I don’t use them, it has never appealed to me so I’m no help there. but since they are of lower power, interference is a big concern. Hence why just jump through the hoops once and get your ham licenses and just renew every 10 years lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  27. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Well tuning them to FRS and using them as short range talkies is a stopgap to keep me legal while I work on/decide if I want to get my ham ticket. But yeah, I'm sorely tempted to ticket up just to keep a decent range radio in the carvanthing. I keep finding myself out in the middle of nowhere with no cell signal and my usually piss-poor luck means eventually I'll need to ask someone to help me out.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  28. JimP42

    JimP42 Mostly harmless Benefactor Charter Life Member

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    Sort of legal. I don’t think the FCC approved those radios for FRS and wouldn’t if asked - too much power and detachable antennas both disqualify them. But as long as you use 1 watt, nobody will know, and probably not with 5.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
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  29. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Well apparently it's more like 2w than the 5 they promise, but I understand that's still iffy. Honestly they're rarely going to be used anyway. I just want to be able to keep folks in contact out in the boonies or at an event.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
  30. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    We had a ham discussion about this a few days ago.

    If you do this, don't speak of doing it and keep those radios in your possession.
     
  31. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Just out of curiousity, I took the Technician practice test online with absolutely zero prep other than general knowledge. If I'd gotten three more questions right I'd have passed! Apparently what I consider general knowledge isn't that general.
     
  32. noway2

    noway2 Senior Member Charter Life Member

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    Much of the tech is easy. As I said my "technical turnip" wife passed it with a 100%.

    If you can reliably get 85% or better you'd probably pass the real deal.

    The test draws from a question pool with different topics. Sometimes you get easier questions than others.
     
  33. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    I had a lot of technical stuff (a lot of which I got wrong) and "what does this acronym you've never bloody heard of mean?" ones, but a lot of those only had one answer that made any sense.
     
  34. JohnFreeman

    JohnFreeman You can reach 113, but you can never leave! Benefactor Charter Life Member Supporting Member

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    I had a lab partner in college who went solo snow camping every winter for a week. He got his tech license for the exact reason that you mention . If he were to jack up his leg on one of these boondoggles they wouldn't find him until June in northern New Mexico . There's really no cell service once off the main roads in the southwest so it's a valid concern as it is everywhere once one gers off the main roads.

    Shouldn't take you very long to pass the tech and you'll never have to do it again unless you want to upgrade . I have little interest in 2m stuff and appropriate almost 95% Morse on shortwave .

    Different strokes for different folks and it's all good
     
  35. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    The mobile stuff definitely appeals to me more than the big static setups I've seen. If I want to talk to folks all over the world, we have a pretty potent tool for that already. For me it's more of a backup to the usual methods of long distance communication.
     
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  36. IMBOBK

    IMBOBK New Member

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    Nice to meet you NCLivingBrit. You will be fluent in counting to ten in Chinese in no time since these new radios only speak Chinese. Glad we loaded up your radios with GMRS and ham repeaters. With that encryption on you will be able to talk for miles without anyone knowing. JK ,73
     
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  37. LeeMajors

    LeeMajors Bionic Man Charter Member Supporting Member

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    There is a setting to change to English.

    Iirc its menu #14
     
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  38. IMBOBK

    IMBOBK New Member

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    The current version of Chirp and the BF888 program could not change it on this latest revision of the BF888. He had to use a method of holding down certain keys and power up to get it to switch.
     
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  39. NCLivingBrit

    NCLivingBrit Clueless Protoplasm Supporting Member

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    Yep, turn it to channel 15, hold the PTT and the monitor button down and turn it on, goes right back to English.

    My radiofu is still weak, but my Googlefu is killer lol

    Thanks for the help mate!
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 8:46 AM
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  40. Ikarus1

    Ikarus1 Avtomat Krishna-kov

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    I am in the same situation @NCLivingBrit.

    I want backup comms, maybe I have a few FRS radios (from LIDL of all places), would like a weather source other than a phone app, like to use police and EMS scanner freqs....all for the tidy sum of $35 so I got a Baofeng from an authorized US warranty place. I also got a Nantoya NA771 whip antenna, the BT-Tech $20 cable so I can use CHIRP on a Mac.

    I watched a youtube video and within 5 minutes Had it up and running on the Marine bands, the local weather bands
    And monitoring FRS, GMRS, and others.

    Nice to know there's another newb on here.
     
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2018 at 10:05 AM

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