Affordable HT and Howdy

Hello fellow hams.  Yes it’s been awhile since anything spewed from my blog site.  I’ve just not had time in recent months to do much of anything related to the hobby of amateur radio.  But once again I am easing back in as I hear it calling my name (or my callsign)…..

Like most hams, I have more radios that I truly know what to do with.  This is especially true in the hand-held or HT department.  I own a few Yaesu HT’s and one ICOM D-STAR HT.  As I only have two hands…..anyway

Yea, PARP is also going to return from the ashes and in looking at some of the topics I want to cover in the next several months I decided to journey to a place I’ve never been.  Yep…that is the world of the Chinese inexpensive hand-held radio. 

As PARP is 100% commercial free and fully self-funded by the bank of KDØBIK (and Mrs. KDØBIK) I have always done my best to only make purchases for things that I believe I’ll actually use when it comes to podcast topics. 

If you look through my ham shack you’ll find lots of ham radio goodies.  I would estimate a solid 95% of all my gear has been purchased in person at my local HRO (Ham Radio Outlet).  For us hams in the greater Denver area, we are very fortunate to have a candy store here.  I’ve always realized the importance of “buying local” whenever possible.  But as I say again, PARP has no sponsors and I really didn’t think I needed yet another HT.  So I began comparing prices.

This price comparison exercise eventually led me to Amazon and eventually led me to an older Baofeng UV5RA 2m/70cm dual-band HT which comes complete with charging stand and hands-free kit for a whopping $26.06.  With free two-day shipping via my Amazon Prime membership and an almost $3.00 credit I had floating around, the total purchase price was just too low to pass up.

So if you are in the market for another HT, on a limited budget and/or don’t mind the fact this is an older model…then check out this Amazon link

As I write this early on Friday morning, my new Baofeng UV5RA will arrive sometime on Saturday.  I’ll spend some time with it and as I said will most likely discuss this and other inexpensive Chinese HT’s on a future episode of PARP. 

Bottom line, this new HT won’t replace any of my other models.  My Yaesu VX8x is my main “go to” HT.  But I’ll most likely program a few local repeaters along with the NOAA weather frequency and just leave this Baofeng at my office.  This way as I watch those summer afternoon storms build, I can also monitor the weather info and perhaps some of our fellow storm chasers.

I’ll report back my findings and experiences at a later time…

Until next time…

73 de KDØBIK

Jerry Taylor, KD0BIK, is a regular contributor to and writes from Colorado, USA. He is the host of the Practical Amateur Radio Podcast. Contact him at [email protected].

6 Responses to “Affordable HT and Howdy”

  • Mike AB7RU:

    Thank you KDØBIK for this article, that is incredible an HT at that price. Have to hand it to the Chinese! I would like to get one and try it out too. Looking forward to your reports on its performance.
    73s mike ab7ru

  • Jerry KD0BIK:

    Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the comment. Yes, it sure is. Even for an older model. Give me a few days and I’ll return with my feedback on the little Baofeng.

    Have a great weekend!

    Jerry KD0BIK

  • bob K4RCM:

    I guess us Fl hams lost a candy store A E S I heard closed wed . I rember Clearwater store closing when I lived there , So I would go to hamfest or Orlando store , from a fellow worker told me HRO bought the aes stock . Well so we did not have a good discount , like store closing sales , bye AES I guess I will be on the internet , or mikes in Miami , or HRO in Ga to buy my equipment now

  • Boots VK3DZ:

    hhmmm … I’d be worried abouttthe longevity of the inexpensive Chinese HTs. I hate the consume & throw-away society we seem to need, I like my gear to be reliable & long-lived.

    My Icom 2GAT was bought for a small (relative) fortune c.1988 & it accompanies me every weekend for a 10-30 km walk over the local hills. Now on its 4th or 5th battery pack (using NiMH now, with the original plug-pack charger). It does what I want it to do when I want. Bit like a Ruger No 3: simple, well designed, well made.

  • Matt W1MST:

    Of all the cheap Chinese HTs, my favorite one for the price (<$30) is the Baofeng UV-82:

  • Jerry KD0BIK:

    Hi Matt,

    Interestingly enough, the item Amazon shipped to me was actually the UV-82. Even though the Amazon page shows the UV-5RA, I received the UV-82.

    Writing a blog piece on my initial observations to be published later this week.


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