[aprssig] Baofeng radio for igate use

David Andrzejewski david at davidandrzejewski.com
Tue May 9 07:51:25 CDT 2017

I have tested baofeng receivers for selectivity. They are some of the worst I have ever seen in that regard. 

Because of that and because of the problems with their transmitters and spurious emissions, I no longer recommend baofengs for anything. 

Most of the people on the internet who say "well I have one and it works fine for me" have never actually tested their radios on real test equipment. 

They're just plain bad radios. 

If you want a good cheap receiver for an urban environment, try to find an old Motorola Maxar and crystal it up for 144.39. They made some models with 100db of selectivity(!). They're a rat's nest of wires inside, but excellent receivers. 


David Andrzejewski
E-mail/iMessage/Jabber: david at davidandrzejewski.com
PGP Key ID: 5EBA8A72

> On May 4, 2017, at 02:18, Jess Haas <km6gvw at jesshaas.com> wrote:
>         I had this idea that a cheap Baofeng UV-5R would make a good igate radio and allow me to use my other radios for other things. Well it turns out that these radios have a serious lack of filtering that raises the noise floor significantly when used in an urban environment. With the Baofeng I can clearly hear the two digipeaters that are within a couple of miles of me and with the squelch open I hear no other stations and just the usual FM static noise. Using either the Yaesu VX-1R or ICOM T-81a(both HTs) that I have I hear an almost constant flood of packets. Many are weak but there are some stations that come in very clearly on my other radios but I don't get anything from with the Baofeng. After researching the issue a bit it seems that in a lab the UV-5R actually has a rather sensitive receiver but it is so wide open that unless you are in the middle of nowhere far from any RF sources the radio is deaf to all but the strongest signals. I just wanted to share this as these radios are dirt cheap and seem to be everywhere so I am sure other people are using them so I wanted to make sure people have realistic expectations. I use mine with the local repeaters and it works fine but since I have switched radios on my igate I have heard 35 stations directly where as before I was really only hearing two.
> I also wanted to share that I have found it rather amazing what the direwolf soundcard modem can pull out of the noise. When listening on my Kenwood D710 I have gotten used to only strong clear packets being decoded but with direwolf everything that I hear gets decoded. It regularly decodes packets from a digipeater 79miles away that I can barely hear. Right now there seems to be a bit of a band opening as I am also decoding packets from stations down in mexico including a digipeater that is 185 miles away! They don't sound great but it decodes them anyway.
> 73,
>   Jess
>   KM6GVW
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