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Survival and Preparations Long and short term survival and 'prepping'.

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  #1  
Old 01-05-2013, 1:02 PM
johnny1290 johnny1290 is offline
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Default Quick, newby comparison Yaesu FT-60 vs Baofeng UV5R

It's the money.

You can get a fully loaded UV5R(don't be fooled by "2013" versions, etc, they're cosmetic changes and *maybe* a later firmware. I bought the cheapest one for $40) with an antenna, extra batteries, car charger, AAA batt pack, handset, cable, etc etc etc and I don't know if you could break $100. Just buy it.

The FT60 is $145, and the extras are around $25 and up, compared to around $8 for the UV5R!

The thing is, the FT60 really is 4 times the radio. Durability, programming, *memory*, *scanning*, manual, ease of use, all are that much greater in the Yaesu.

Like everybody says, the FT60 is the real first radio to buy. You can certainly use a UV5R, and it works, but has limitations. If you're a new ham like me, I didn't realize how much better a radio could be without owning the FT60.

In reality, I think you need them both if Ham radio is a part of your survival plan(and it should be) IMHO.

The FT60 is what you *want* to have with you in any emergency. The UV5R is your *backup* that you keep in the trunk at all times with AAA batteries and car charger, etc, if that works for you. 2 is 1 and 1 is none and all that. The time I really need a radio my Yaesu will be left at home, or if I have it and my UV5R now I can hand that to someone I'm with and we have communications. It's just too cheap not to have.

Pros and Cons of UV5R-you've heard them before. It's tough to program without CHIRP( I don't bother manually programming, but that's what they tell me), it only has 128 memory locations, and it scans slowly. The scan is better than nothing, that's about the best you can say about it. The battery lasts forever, and did I mention it's cheap? It's lightweight, about the size of 2 packs of cigarettes stacked, battery lasts forever, tons of support via yahoo group etc and you can get a molle2 pocket that fits it perfectly. I wouldn't drop it but it's sturdy enough.

The FT60 does everything better. It's sturdy, easy to work with, easier to use, more intuitive, has *1000* memory locations and different banks, gets aircraft bands etc(AM that the UV5R doesn't get. Important? you decide), about the size of an old flip celll phone pre-digital, not water proof but definitely resistant, better quality accessories, and *scanning that works*.

I got it because I got a deal. I wanted a AA battery pack(this was before I found a AAA solution for the UV5R-which sucks) and more memory. 128 is just too easy to burn through, especially if you do any traveling or want to scan say sheriff freq. or have a bank with just emergency freq. or something. The AAA adaptor for the UV5R stinks. It was $8 and worth about $2. I'm glad to have it, it's better than nothing, but I wouldn't feel good about relying on it. The $26 one for the Yaesu seems much better made.

Also, the Yaesu scans like lightning! It zips through 100 channels in just a few seconds. The pokey UV5R takes forever. It works, but just barely.

Honestly I'm glad I have them both. I got the UV5R because it was cheap, and it got my foot in the door to Ham radio. I'm really glad I got the Yaesu, as it really opened up ham radio for me with its increased abilities.

The UV5R works great in a narrowly defined role. The FT60 works great in a much broader role, more flexible. I should buy a few more Baofengs just to give to folks that don't have one in an emergency. Even without a repeater they're good for a few miles at least, and with dual monitoring they can set it to monitor a repeater channel and a simplex channel. Hopefully one of the two will reach them!

Anyway, there's my 2 cents. I'm just a beginner but that's my opinion. I'm still formulating my commo plan, but just writing this up gave me some ideas. Hope it maybe helps someone.
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Old 01-05-2013, 1:17 PM
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jonnyt16 jonnyt16 is offline
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Thanks for the review! I am actually looking to buy my first radio here very soon. It will be used strictly for emergencies only and maybe to scan my local public service frequencies until I get my license. I've actually narrowed it down to the Yaesu FT-60 or the Wuxuon KG-UV3D. I know the Yaesu is better built, but does it have the ability to transmit outside of the HAM bands like the Wuxuon? I think during an emergency that would be a nice feature to have as you'd be able to communicate with others that only have FRS, GMRS, MURS, etc.
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Old 01-05-2013, 1:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyt16 View Post
I know the Yaesu is better built, but does it have the ability to transmit outside of the HAM bands like the Wuxuon? I think during an emergency that would be a nice feature to have as you'd be able to communicate with others that only have FRS, GMRS, MURS, etc.
No, but there is an internal mod you can find on the internet to open up some more frequences, FRS/GMRS being part of that expanded area.
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Old 01-05-2013, 1:39 PM
johnny1290 johnny1290 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonnyt16 View Post
Thanks for the review! I am actually looking to buy my first radio here very soon. It will be used strictly for emergencies only and maybe to scan my local public service frequencies until I get my license. I've actually narrowed it down to the Yaesu FT-60 or the Wuxuon KG-UV3D. I know the Yaesu is better built, but does it have the ability to transmit outside of the HAM bands like the Wuxuon? I think during an emergency that would be a nice feature to have as you'd be able to communicate with others that only have FRS, GMRS, MURS, etc.
Oh man, good question! The UV5R can, but the FT60 can't, *unless* you mod it.

I plan to do so, with a nail clipper. You gotta disable a resistor, and looks fairly painless.

You have to register to get info.

FWIW I've heard good things about the Wuxuon. It looked nice at the store, anyway. How expensive are the accessories? How is the repair policy?

Yaesu charges like $35 to look at it then applies that to the bill. If it's a 10 cent resistor, then you only pay the $35 plus shipping to get it back to you. Maybe its worth it, maybe its not, but at least its something.
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Old 01-05-2013, 3:32 PM
Californio Californio is offline
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Remember the antenna is tuned for the Ham Bands of your radio, you want to transmit outside the Ham bands then you better have other antennas. A coat hanger antenna will receive anything but to transmit well it needs to be matched to the band or you will not get much.

HF rigs that transmit over many bands have "automatic antenna turners" to do the job. Marine SSB has one antenna but a AAT to match automatically the band selected to transmit on.

So a FT60R has a antenna that is maximum efficient in the middle of the 2M Ham band and 70cm Ham band. If you want to talk outside that space the further you get from the middle, the poorer the quality you will experience without using another antenna.

I think I said that correctly.




Quote:
Originally Posted by johnny1290 View Post
Oh man, good question! The UV5R can, but the FT60 can't, *unless* you mod it.

I plan to do so, with a nail clipper. You gotta disable a resistor, and looks fairly painless.

You have to register to get info.

FWIW I've heard good things about the Wuxuon. It looked nice at the store, anyway. How expensive are the accessories? How is the repair policy?

Yaesu charges like $35 to look at it then applies that to the bill. If it's a 10 cent resistor, then you only pay the $35 plus shipping to get it back to you. Maybe its worth it, maybe its not, but at least its something.
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Old 01-05-2013, 3:49 PM
johnny1290 johnny1290 is offline
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Thanks Californio!

You bring up a good point. I use a j-pole at home for the moment. Can you get a ducky for GMRS/FRS bands? I can't legally broadcast on those anyway since the lowest I can get is to 1 watt, but in an emergecny situation of course I could.

I think it's good to have options. Realistically without a repeater, a ham radio is a really good walkie talkie. If I'm in a situation where I just need to reach *anybody*, I sure want to have the bubble pack radio frequencies available. There's just so many of them its more likely I'll find someone.

I plan on keeping a telescoping antenna in my GHB or a jpole. I just got this cool little $12 breakaway adaptor for the FT60 that's for BNC. If you over stress it like with a giant telescoping antenna or it falls over or something it'll break before the connector on the radio will.

I don't want to be the guy with a broken radio, in the forrest, and a broken leg too!
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Old 01-05-2013, 7:55 PM
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I own both and I use both. The UV-5R is a great little radio when you're stomping around somewhere and don't want to worry about it getting broken (brand new they're about $40) or for leaving in your car/truck or BOB. That being said, the FT-60R is a far better raido all around. It's easier to program, has more memories, scans faster and is well built. The accessories are a bit more expensive, but like my father always told me, you get what you pay for... Oh, and if you use a lot of of the memory channels, you can seperate them in to different banks for easier navigation. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 01-07-2013, 8:58 AM
Californio Californio is offline
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My FT60R is not modded but I do have these banks setup for listening.

Yaesu FT_60R Memory Bank Headers KEY

1. Ham and Public Safety Repeaters
2. Public Safety Repeaters
3. MURS Channels
4. VHF Marine Channels
5. FRS/GMRS Channels
6. National Forest & Wildland Channels
7. Blank
8. Blank
9. Simplex Calling
10. All Memory Banks


144-148Mhz 2M Ham Band
151-155Mhz MURS Band
156-162Mhz Marine VHF Band
163-174Mhz Government Band
222-225Mhz 1.25M Ham Band
420-450Mhz 70cm Ham Band
464-467Mhz Dot Channels


Name Key:

Actual Call Sign
(SMPX) Simplex Channels
(MURS) Multi-Use Radio Service
(SEA) Marine VHF Channels
(FRS) Family Radio Service Channels
(GMRS) General Mobile Radio Service Channels
(GOV) Unknown Call Sign for Government Channels
(WRA) Wildlands Residents Association
(NFS) National Forest Service

Here are my reasons. 99.9% of the time Repeaters are the best way to go. They are located on mountain tops, have more power and the locals listen to them. I believe in the NET concept so if I were to hear something outside the HAM bands, the best is to relay using the repeater and let the ELMERS blast in with a directional and more power if needed, they also have better landline access and connections to Public Safety.

.1% in a crisis, all repeaters restricted to RACES/ARES, I have convinced myself that Simplex with an HT just does not cut it and again an ELMER with a large antenna mast is best for NET Control and all the other HT's on different services could use the NET Control as a central clearing and NET Control could rebroadcast info as needed on all Services; example a large earthquake. Radio is half-duplex, we cannot have everyone talking at once, it requires NET coordination.

I do have common radios that use the same chargers, batteries and SMA connectors for KISS. My Marine HT uses common accessories as the FT60R and also MURS radios.

I have a 9" duck for the Marine HT simply because its better than the stock junk and if I abandon ship, I will be right on the water. My FT60R has this because I worry about the strength of the SMA connector.

http://www.smileyantenna.com/search?q=270A

Vertex Commercial ATV & W antennas have higher gain than stock, you need to look for the frequency match that best fits your need and the correct connector.

example:

http://www.psicompany.com/vertex-sta...v-10b-antenna/
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:30 AM
johnny1290 johnny1290 is offline
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That's a big help, California, thanks for posting that!

I'm setting up similar, just not as well organized.

You don't have a CHIRP file for your radio you could post, do you?

I added the marine bands last night, its just slow programming this stuff in and it looks like your freq are quite well thought out!

I thought I saw an ad for the wuxon just mentioned with only 128 channel memory.

That's hardly useless, but a bit light in case of emergency if you ask me. It'd be real easy to fill that up, and I want to monitor all the bubble pack freq since there are so many radios out there. can't hurt!
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:30 AM
johnny1290 johnny1290 is offline
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That's a big help, California, thanks for posting that!

I'm setting up similar, just not as well organized.

You don't have a CHIRP file for your radio you could post, do you?

I added the marine bands last night, its just slow programming this stuff in and it looks like your freq are quite well thought out!

I thought I saw an ad for the wuxon just mentioned with only 128 channel memory.

That's hardly useless, but a bit light in case of emergency if you ask me. It'd be real easy to fill that up, and I want to monitor all the bubble pack freq since there are so many radios out there. can't hurt!
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Old 01-07-2013, 2:15 PM
Californio Californio is offline
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I use this software,

http://www.g4hfq.co.uk

Frequencies sets are saved in .CVS blocks, MURS, FRS/GMRS etc. When I go to a new area I just merge the static blocks and add the blocks unique (repeaters) to the area and re-generate the Memory Banks off the laptop.

I not familiar with CHIRP.
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Last edited by Californio; 01-07-2013 at 2:17 PM..
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Old 01-07-2013, 5:21 PM
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Old 01-07-2013, 6:14 PM
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Greetings, just my two cents, can't say much about the FT-60, but I had the VX-5R and personally, I did not care for the menu architecture or keypad layout. As far as the Baofeng or Wouxon, from what I've heard on air, they're lousy. The price might be right, but when you need to convey emergency traffic; you need to make sure you get it across the first time with no repeats.

The HT that I used to take with me everywhere was the Kenwood TH-F6A. Hands down the best "Amateur" HT available. It's a few years old but it is a great little rig. No bells and whistles, Tri-band operation, and compact size. You can't go wrong. I say used to take it with me because I finally got my dream HT, a Motorola XTS5000. I use it mainly for Ham Radio, but also monitor Public Safety Agencies including those pesky departments that are switching to P25 Granted it's a single band radio, but that leads me to my next comment, repeaters.

Get involved with one of the many linked repeater systems throughout the state. You never know when disaster will strike and if you and your loved ones are licensed you may be able to communicate, but if your out of range of your "home" repeater; that is when being a member of a linked system comes in handy. Communicate with your loved ones at home while you are out in the desert or mountains.

Just my two cents.

73

Sent from my Galaxy Nexus using Tapatalk 2
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Old 01-10-2013, 8:42 PM
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I recently tested a Baofeng vs Wouxon over a ten mile simplex transmission. The Baofeng worked but with lots of background static, it needs a real antenna.

For the price point... they both are good. CHIRP is very helpful for both. Love to get an FT-60... or better.
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:53 PM
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The new baofengs speak american. The old ones have a Chinese accent.
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