radios

donbrown

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I looked at the BCA 2.0 radio for $185.
Was wondering who went for a Baofeng radio setup? For $40 Baofeng UV-9R Plus . Maybe a long 42.5" SMA-Female Tactical Antenna and throat mic setup

Im sure this has already been discussed many times over ... links would be appreciated.
 

wwracer

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I like the BCA's because it works, and it's overwhelmingly the choice of most mtn. riders. I ride a lot with strangers drifting into town to ride, with my BCA I can quickly change to their channel, and be on our way. May be sometghing better out there, but I always subsribe to the KISS theory
 

donbrown

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At $185 each for a BCA radio they must be pretty good quality .
Ive been thinking cheap ... Baofeng
Baofeng under $40 each
researched this last night
8W BF-F8HP newer model UV-5R 8w model lighter better range better battery
Baofeng UV-5R 8w old model most popular
UV-9R "waterproof"
UV-9R Plus "waterproof" 8watt model
BF-F8HP and UV-5R accessories compatible
UV-9R plus ins not compatible with UV-5R because "waterproof" connections
 

Teth-Air

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I have been doing a lot of work in this area and have learned much.
Many Baofeng radios are only 5 watt even if advertised at higher. To be sure of the spec go to the Baofeng website https://www.baofengradio.com/ and see which models they promote, only those can you be sure about. Other models may be solid but sold by a third party and may not be approved in your country. I have one such radio and it is good only it is 5 watts and was sold as 8 watts. Here is an example of another similar radio but likely only 5Watts. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/1005001510193338.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.7aef4c4dH6KiXI

They all seem to program with Chirp software but as a UV-5R model.

Next is antennas. There are lots of knock of antennas too and they load up the radio and the power just does not get out. The Nagoya Original NA-771 have tested out good for me. https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32817805833.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.7aef4c4dH6KiXI

I tried the knock off NA-771 and they were usable but worse SWR when tested on my meter.

Definitely these longer antennas do make reception better, more so than looking for more power.

Hope that helps.
 

tuneman

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I believe I have 7 of the Retevis H777 radios with handheld mic. They were maybe $30 a piece back then. Been passing them out to my riding group going on 5 or 6 years. Not waterproof, but I don't care at $30 each. Haven't had a failure yet. They're good for about a mile in the hilly backcountry. At least a couple of miles on the trail. We use them a lot.
 

nregistered

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I use both BCA and Baofeng regularly. BCA is more user friendly in that all FRS/GMRS frequencies are pre-programmed, and there's little/no doubt about them being FCC compliant. But the speaker-mic connection is prone to failure, and there are some other quirks. Baofeng is probably a "better" radio but has a learning curve, and is easy to unintentionally violate FCC regulations with. I don't bother with CHIRP, instead I just use the "frequency mode" and keep a list of FRS/GMRS frequencies and privacy tones in my phone - that way it's easy to also program someone else's radio for the day, right at the trailhead. With confusing distribution in the US (at lest 2 competing importers), it's hard to know what's real and what's a knock-off, though considering their origin, they're basically all knock-offs.

I'll hand either radio to a riding partner with reasonable confidence it will work for the day. The one thing I don't like is in-helmet voice activated systems - they never seem to work as advertised, so we all end up listening to that guy huff and puff all day but then it doesn't work when he wants it to.
 

donbrown

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I bought UV-9R for $50 shipped for 2. Wonder if should have bought UV-5R then go with crazy long 42.5" SMA-Female Tactical Antenna For Baofeng UV-5R $15 . My buddies want several and now debating which radio cause UV-9R are complicated The reviews on BF-F8HP say easy and improved but $35 each
 

donbrown

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Here is why I went with the UV-9R. I am no expert and follow the lead of those writing the reviews.



The Baofeng UV-9S is a hard sell for me. The transmit audio quality is nice, and the frequency accuracy is above average but the cheap feel, clunky addition of a third band, and horrible feel in my hand makes it a radio that never leaves its box. I just don’t want to carry it. I feel like it was a rushed makeover of their excellent UV-9R.

Overall I will just have to recommend people pass on the Baofeng UV-9S unless you just have to have a red radio that works on 1.25m. There are better radios for the same or less money like the UV-9R which is about the best Baofeng radio for the money out there.
 

Teth-Air

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I bought UV-9R for $50 shipped for 2. Wonder if should have bought UV-5R then go with crazy long 42.5" SMA-Female Tactical Antenna For Baofeng UV-5R $15 . My buddies want several and now debating which radio cause UV-9R are complicated The reviews on BF-F8HP say easy and improved but $35 each

The tactical antennas that I have do work well but they are cumbersome and are hard the radio antenna connector. I don't think they would last long in a sledding environment. Your UV-9R's will be fine, just get the Nagoya 771 antennas but watch the youtube videos that help you pick out the fakes first. If it is $3 it will be fake. Likely $15.
 

94fordguy

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I picked up one of the BCA 1.0 radios when they came out about 4 years ago or something like that and was very happy with it. Only complaint I had was when snow would pack the mic my group couldn't hear me until I cleared it. Planning to give the BCA
2.0 a try this year as I heard they addressed that problem and I haven't really heard any negatives. Simple to program and easy to use, seems like a good setup to me.
 

RanOutofTalent

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The BCAs are next to worthless. I have used them for years and when it comes down to needing to communicate they might work and usually don’t. I can often hear my buddies sled but he is one ridge over and we can’t talk.

Now after testing the ride 208s this season I can say they are so much better it’s ridiculous.

Never again will I use the BCAs


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RanOutofTalent

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Ride 208's look like a rebranded Baofeng:


They are nearly identical. Where as ride 208s are 10 watt. I have been testing them all summer in the mountains and man they are the best setup.

Even on high they last a solid 12 hours.
Where on medium you get 2 or more days of use and when up to a mile apart in rough terrain they were loud and clear.


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donbrown

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They are nearly identical. Where as ride 208s are 10 watt. I have been testing them all summer in the mountains and man they are the best setup.

Even on high they last a solid 12 hours.
Where on medium you get 2 or more days of use and when up to a mile apart in rough terrain they were loud and clear.


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Has there been a review with a measurement to show they pump out 10watts? How much are the ride 208s ?
 

RanOutofTalent

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Has there been a review with a measurement to show they pump out 10watts? How much are the ride 208s ?

They are $160 with a frogskin and a soft case. Charger included.

The best info on them i got while listening to the Sled Addicts podcast where the owner of ride 208 was questioned about them and explains why they are so much better.
I will admit I was skeptical but after testing them myself I have asked all my riding buddies to get rid of the trash BCAs.
I believe so strongly about this because being in good constant communication with everyone in the group, as we all know, is a pivotal part of a safe day on the mountain.


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joshkoltes

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I've had bca twice and didn't work and have a Motorola that also didn't work. Seems like any time you want to talk on one your buddy is riding and can't hear the call.
My buddy has been talking my ear off about these beofongs for a few months and he's setting me up with an extended range antenna and he has a kit he found that mounts directly in his helmet. He's planning on setting up repeaters and sounds like we will be able to talk all over the mountain.
He left his wife with one and drove out of town over five miles before it broke up without a repeater.

I'm not sure I want to talk to him that bad.
 
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