BCA vs Baofeng bf-888s

JTRacer113

Member
Lifetime Membership
Aug 4, 2009
79
8
8
Minnesot
Comparing Radios
BCA vs Baofeng bf-888s

I will continue testing all winter to see side by side results.
I have been using my BCA for 3 years, also a Garmin.

I just now cloned the Baofeng to have the same first 16 channels as a BCA.

Baofeng are only about $25 ea equipped with a remote speaker

BCA Link is about $130

First impression out of the box with the Baofeng is that it is cheap Chinese equipment. It weighs less than half of the BCA. Time will tell if it will hold up to abuse.

Also another major disappointment is they are advertised as 5 watts, they are marked "less than 5 watts".

Let me know if there are some other models of Baofeng's to try out.

If someone wants help programing these to BCA I will help.
Programming software is free on the web, Less than $10 for a cable, and takes less than a minute to program.
 
Apr 23, 2018
18
10
3
Nova Scotia
I'm going to try my baofeng UV 5r's this winter to see how they do. Just ordered a couple stubby antennas and some throat mics. For the price of it all it's worth a go.

I have 2 - 5 watt models and 2 - 8 watt models but they are visibly identical. Battery life in summer and fall is stellar but winter is winter. Will keep them inside a jacket. Not sure about the push to talk finger button most throat mics have, will have to see if that works for me or is a PITA.
 

Timbre

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 1, 2008
1,999
1,040
113
Southwestern Idaho
I have UV5R radios too with longer antennas. I put the radio in the backpack with shoulder mic attached to the strap of the backpack. Works VERY well! Far exceeds the range of the BCA radios.
 

trenchking

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Nov 28, 2007
361
196
43
62
Got the uv-82hp started program it,can hear my Garmin on it fine, but can't hear it on the Garmin
Not sure what to CK next, don't have any of the other radios close! Suggestions please?
 

Jeva

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 26, 2007
177
75
28
44
Got the uv-82hp started program it,can hear my Garmin on it fine, but can't hear it on the Garmin
Not sure what to CK next, don't have any of the other radios close! Suggestions please?
What channel are you trying? Try some different channels. It sounds like you have the channel set up with a CTCSS code or a DCS code. Do you have a manual?
 
I have been using the baofengs for the last 3 yrs. Buddies have BCA, Rinos and a few other brands. The Baofeng is great. I put in backpack and use shoulder mic. Have longer antenna as well. Battery lasts forever, usually charge it once a month. I think it's a much safer radio since it can save your arse. Mine is programmed with FRS, GMRS, VHF as well as local fire, PD and SAR. Sure its illegal to USE the later but if it's a life and death situation at least I have the option. BCA radio doesn't give you that.

As for not hearing on other radio, you need it check privacy codes. That will be an issue if your not set to same.
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
Got the uv-82hp started program it,can hear my Garmin on it fine, but can't hear it on the Garmin
Not sure what to CK next, don't have any of the other radios close! Suggestions please?
Go read the wiki article titled "ctcss".

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
I'm going to try my baofeng UV 5r's this winter to see how they do. Just ordered a couple stubby antennas and some throat mics. For the price of it all it's worth a go.

I have 2 - 5 watt models and 2 - 8 watt models but they are visibly identical. Battery life in summer and fall is stellar but winter is winter. Will keep them inside a jacket. Not sure about the push to talk finger button most throat mics have, will have to see if that works for me or is a PITA.
You're gone'a hate the throat mics...
Stick with the 7" antenna. It works much better. As a matter of fact the 7" stock antenna is about as good of an antenna as you will find.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
The 3x8 is a 2 watt radio.
There is a uv-6 which is a dual band 128 channel 5/4 watt radio. This is the radio that I have been using for the last 3 years.
IMO, the bca is an over priced toy.... I like most all of bca's stuff but, the link is junk. However it is fcc type accepted.
Comparing Radios
BCA vs Baofeng bf-888s

I will continue testing all winter to see side by side results.
I have been using my BCA for 3 years, also a Garmin.

I just now cloned the Baofeng to have the same first 16 channels as a BCA.

Baofeng are only about $25 ea equipped with a remote speaker

BCA Link is about $130

First impression out of the box with the Baofeng is that it is cheap Chinese equipment. It weighs less than half of the BCA. Time will tell if it will hold up to abuse.

Also another major disappointment is they are advertised as 5 watts, they are marked "less than 5 watts".

Let me know if there are some other models of Baofeng's to try out.

If someone wants help programing these to BCA I will help.
Programming software is free on the web, Less than $10 for a cable, and takes less than a minute to program.
Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 
Apr 23, 2018
18
10
3
Nova Scotia
You're gone'a hate the throat mics...
Stick with the 7" antenna. It works much better. As a matter of fact the 7" stock antenna is about as good of an antenna as you will find.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk

Damnit I already ordered them :face-icon-small-fro Well, they aren't too pricey, guess it's worth a try. Not too concerned with the stubby antenna, most times I only need a couple hundred feet range up to a km or so.

Sometimes we go cruising choppings looking for moose sign and it will sure be nice to let the other guy know where I got stuck, we have spent a fair bit of time backtracking and searching for wayward sledders in the past!


Are you guys generally using a shoulder mounted mic and some sort of external speaker?
 

dansvan

Active member
Premium Member
Apr 14, 2011
126
36
28
Love my Baofeng. Reaches out way farther than the bca. Nice to be able to program private channels for your group. Monitoring 2 channels is nice too. Zero complaints.
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
Damnit I already ordered them :face-icon-small-fro Well, they aren't too pricey, guess it's worth a try. Not too concerned with the stubby antenna, most times I only need a couple hundred feet range up to a km or so.

Sometimes we go cruising choppings looking for moose sign and it will sure be nice to let the other guy know where I got stuck, we have spent a fair bit of time backtracking and searching for wayward sledders in the past!


Are you guys generally using a shoulder mounted mic and some sort of external speaker?
Goto amazon and search btech platinum speaker mic. Good quality, rain proof,

Radio in your backpack, speaker mic on your shoulder strap.
Simple and effective.

If you can leave the antenna out of the pack, it will work some better and be a little higher.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

Dogmeat

Well-known member
Premium Member
Feb 1, 2006
5,211
1,334
113
Parker, CO
I've had a Baofeng UV-5R for about 6 years now. Yeah, its a cheap Chineese piece of junk, but once you get them programmed right they work just fine for a back country radio. The BCA radios are better quality and basically come pre-programmed so you don't have to dink with them, but for $35 or whatever its kinda hard to beat the price tag on the Baofengs,.

They are really finnicky to get programmed right though.
 

Goinboardin

Well-known member
Premium Member
Nov 15, 2009
1,345
781
113
Laramie, WY
After reading all these sorts of reviews last year I bought a Baofeng (BF6-HP or whatever) with a Btech mic. Mic sucks in my opinion. It plugs up if the snow is any good (deep) in about two turns. With one season under it's belt, it currently is a good speaker but no one can understand me. Then the radio itself flat died in June. It was replaced promptly under warranty, so hopefully this one stays together. I like the range/power & flexibility a lot. But contrasting that to 3+ years of pull & go reliability of three of my friends' BCA's, I'm a bit disappointed.
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
I've had a Baofeng UV-5R for about 6 years now. Yeah, its a cheap Chineese piece of junk, but once you get them programmed right they work just fine for a back country radio. The BCA radios are better quality and basically come pre-programmed so you don't have to dink with them, but for $35 or whatever its kinda hard to beat the price tag on the Baofengs,.

They are really finnicky to get programmed right though.
With a cable and chirp they are extremely easy to program.

If your mic plugs with snow, put your old lady's panty hose over it.....

All of the uv-5 variants are the same radio with a different case.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 
Apr 11, 2018
39
15
8
34
SE WI
I bought 3 of the 888's this summer. With boom mics it was under $50 for them all. Looking forward to trying them out this winter. I don't have anything to compare them to but I'll post what I think of them once I get some time on them.
 

blastco2

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Dec 27, 2012
283
83
28
se idaho
I bought 3 of the 888's this summer. With boom mics it was under $50 for them all. Looking forward to trying them out this winter. I don't have anything to compare them to but I'll post what I think of them once I get some time on them.
They work, most of the time. I quit using the 888 because of reliablility issues. Just to many things going wrong.
Out of 100 uv-6's, 2 failed to work correctly with a speaker mic, 2 failed to program. So far I have not had any failures in the field.... fingers crossed.

Sent from my SM-T700 using Tapatalk
 

gtwitch

Well-known member
Lifetime Membership
Jan 24, 2011
279
124
43
Laramie, Wyoming
I have the UV 5 R (3 of them) along with Midlands and they all work fine in the back country. I have the 7" antenna for the baofengs (the antenna that comes on the baofeng is not a great antenna) and they out perform the other radios that others in our group carry and when programmed properly all is transparent and we can all talk to each other in the back country.
gtwitch in wyoming
 
Premium Features