Thursday, April 21, 2016

No Baofeng Policy

N4NJJ - No Baofeng Policy:
"In order to provide the best experience for all operators, our repeater system has a zero tolerance for Baofeng, Wouxon, Retevis, etc. radios. These portables do not have the ability to perform pre-emphasis/de-emphasis, which results in below acceptable audio levels. Users to the system are encouraged to operate a commercial and/or public safety grade portable or mobile. Users are also encouraged to use amateur grade gear."
And N4NJJ's open letter about the policy.

Via Chinese Ham Radio Google+


  1. There are some valid points here about Baofengs being suboptimal. As a Baofeng owner, I don't entirely disagree.

    With that said though, how on earth is he going to ban Baofengs? Unless he is running a closed repeated and not giving out things like PL tones, I'm not entirely sure he can control this. To the best of my knowledge, there's nothing per se in the FCC rules preventing someone from using an open repeater system, so long as they are not causing harmful interference... even if that person is considered annoying by the control operator.

    Of course the old "Baofengs aren't even legal because of harmonics" chestnut has to come out. Assuming, for the sake of argument, that your HT has illegal harmonics, you can easily fix this by adding a low-pass filter between the transceiver and the antenna. I own several SMA coaxial-connector 8w low pass filters from that I use on my HTs as a precaution... to be sure though this can effectively turn your dual-band radio into a single-band radio.

    Anyway, while I can understand the frustration many hams feel with Baofengs and Baofeng users, this unenforceable "no Baofengs" policy strikes me as elitism at best and trolling at worst.

  2. Ahh, I see he plans on using MDC.

    There's a fix for that, of course...!home/mainPage

    Anyway, obviously, if you don't like N4NJJ's policy, stay off his repeaters. But seriously, this just seems likely to incite people.

  3. This is what I was talking about when I asked if the UV-2501+220 had the same low mic gain problem as the UV-5R, and you said you weren't aware of that problem.

    I hadn't realized it might be due to a lack of emphasis. I'm not sure how that's quantified.

    For what it's worth, aside from this very serious problem, I like my Baofeng a lot more than my ICOM HT, because the ICOM is less flexible. For example it cannot do a 2.5kHz step size, only multiples of 5kHz. The Chinese radios will do just about whatever I tell them to.

    1. I did a little research to try to answer this question (not an expert, admittedly):

      1. Emphasis is basically a function of high-pass filtering of the audio input. From this point of view anyway, your signal isn't necessarily louder, but it should be easier to hear (better signal-to-noise ratio). I would assume you would quantify it the same way you quantify SNR.

      2. A first-order AF high-pass filter should be easy to implement with a few resistors and a capacitor.

      3. The Baofeng UV2501+220 has a speech compander function that should achieve basically the same objective, which is making speech easier to understand. But I haven't tested it yet to demonstrate its functionality.

      4. There are also other things that can affect the "loudness" of a signal, like mic gain and deviation. A lot of older radios (like the Radio Shack HTX-202) actually had pots where you could customize deviation and gain. Not sure you can do that on the Baofengs.

      5. One known problem with Baofengs is that the microphone hole on the case is actually too small. In short, the low audio may be the result of a mechanical/form defect rather than an electronics defect. Drilling that hole out with a small bit (or a screw) might help. I have done that myself on my Baofeng speaker-mic, but not on the radio itself.

    2. I may be wrong about the compander in the UV2501+220

    3. I have 2 Baofengs and one ICOM. I prefer the ICOM even though the tuning steps aren't that small. If you have the Baofeng UV-3R you can take the cheap plastic piece over the mic under the front cover off. This will make audio more readable. Not sure about the audio qualify beyond that.

  4. I think he has turned off comments to his post, because I've tried a few times to log in with my WordPress account, and it won't let me.

    Oh well, I was going to post an open letter INVITING ALL users to my repeater...

    OH WAIT... I already do that. I don't care what radio you us, as long as you're using it properly.

    1. The reason why I made the (admittedly incendiary) statement above that he is either being an elitist, or trolling, is that he's complaining about pre-emphasis in his open letter, but on the main page, says that he is implementing MDC and an unpublished PL tone on the North Las Vegas repeater because of "illicit operation by certain users."

      It's not clear to me what his real motivation here is. There's nothing illegal about having a "bad" sounding signal. If he is trying to prevent unlicensed users from using his repeater (particularly if they are doing so in support of an illegal activity) then yes, I think it's entirely reasonable to change your PL tone and implement new security measures like MDC1200.

      But if you'e going to do that, why publish a broadside against Baofeng radio users?

      If you want people to respect what you're doing, then keep your story straight and simple.