BaoFeng UV-5R Two-Way Radio - 5 Pack

BaoFeng UV-5R Two-Way Radio - 5 Pack

What is the approximate range for these? I want something that I can communicate around Miami after a hurricane, if cell towers are down, will this work within a 5 mile city radius?

Since I’m sure the question will come up… Re. UV-5R:

In the United States, for the most part, all radio transmissions fall into one of three categories:

** The operator is allowed to transmit on that frequency (amateur, “business band”, aviation, military, etc.)*
** The radio is allowed to transmit on that frequency (CB, FRS, MURS).*
** The transmissions are very low-power (“Part 15”: WiFi, Bluetooth, lots of other things).*

Your radio is not very low-power. Your radio does not meet the requirements of CB or similar services, most significantly that it not be able to transmit other than on the relevant frequency bands. Therefore, you may not currently use it except to receive.

The simplest way to be able to use it legally — or in general, to use radio transmitters for personal communication purposes (that aren’t cell phones or such) — is for you and your family members to get amateur radio licenses (and obey the relevant rules).


In short, you’re not going to be able to talk 5 miles unless you use a repeater. Cities are full of electrical noise and about 1/2 mile is likely to be the very maximum range you’ll get in town and probably less than that.

We use UV5R’s to talk “radio to radio” a little over a mile at our hunting club on MURS, but that’s away from the city. Having said that, I needed to be able to “talk farther”, so I got my Ham license and I utilize several local repeaters and routinely use this exact radio to talk to friends who are just up the street to as far as 50 miles away. (your results may vary) These are great little radios and are capable of “talking” on non-licenced frequencies like FRS, GMRS and MURS, but don’t meet FCC type certification for that use. You won’t go to jail for using them on FRS, GMRS or MURS, and nobody is going to complain about it, but you’re technically not supposed to do so. If you’re wanting reliable communication over longer distances, it’s best that you (and whomever you’ll be talking to) get your Ham licence through a local Amateur Radio club and use their repeater. As a great bonus, you’ll be able to use other repeaters in your area and pretty much anywhere you go. It’s not difficult to get a Technician license and it’s cheap. (Fee for the test is only $14-15, the licence is good for 10 years and it’s free to renew.)

Regarding on which frequencies and by whom these radios can be used (if at all), please read this: Not legal in the US anymore, even with an amateur license.

Amateur Radio Exception. There is one exception to this certification requirement: if a device is capable of operatingonly on frequencies that the FCC has allocated for use by Amateur Radio Service licensees, it does not require FCC equipment authorization,8 and an amateur licensee may use his or her license to operate such radios. However, many two-way radios that purport to operate on amateur frequencies also operate on frequencies that extend beyond the designated amateur frequency bands.9 If a two-way radio is capable of operating outside of the amateur frequency bands, it cannot be imported, advertised, sold, or operated within the United States without an FCC equipment certification.

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So would that mean Woot is in violation of the law just for selling these to US residents? Which we know is happening thanks to Woot’s Sales By State graphic.


The FCC has just come down hard on these specific radios and the legal fact is they are not allowed to be transmitted on by anyone, (even Ham Radio operators) as they can transmit outside of the Ham radio bands. In fact they can transmit across many other protected bands as well.

Now, on a practical matter, if you are transmitting only on the licensed frequencies and within the permitted wattage, I’m not sure how they could tell that you are using this radio, but based on the last FCC bulletin, (Read above on the other poster’s attachment) if they do find out, you could be fined for using them.

It seems to me that there may be more coming up regarding this new FCC bulletin as many Hams are not happy with the language the FCC put in it and many Hams already own this radio. But for now they are illegal to be sold in the USA.

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And yes, based on the FCC bulletin listed above, Woot is in legal violation of the FCC rules now by selling these radios.

Woot - you may want to read the FCC bulletin.

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Curiosity sent me to the FCC site. UV-5R does indeed have an authorization under FCC rules part 15 but it did not mention FCC part 97 (Amateur radio applications. it does not mention a transmit power in the authorization. Essentially it is authorized to be a Scanner (listen only) in the referenced authorization. GMRS, FRS and MURS are covered under FCC part 95 and the referenced FCC authorization doesn’t cover that.
Wish WOOT had shown a picture of the back of the radio where the attached certification is located. Ham radio operators have historically modified commercial radio equipment for amateur use and it is still legal to do so IMO. I’m guessing that Amazon could make a legal argument that these could be used on Amateur frequencies by a licensed operator. Not sure about FRS or MURS though. JMO

Lots of other video analysis:

This one cost more (still is insanely cheap for what it does).
It is 8 watts instead of 5 watts. That won’t make a huge difference but for radio to radio use after a disaster every little bit helps. If a hurricane hits there is a good chance the repeaters will be down too. Whatever Baofeng radio you get, look in to an aftermarket antenna. I have an eBay Nagoya NA-771 on my UV-82. It was a buck or 2 shipped from China so it might not be the genuine article. It works better than the stock antenna.

If you get one (or more) of these please go ahead and get your licence. It is much easier than it used to be. You don’t have to know Morse Code anymore. It is a multiple choice test. I found the correct answers online and studied those. There are 3 different classes of licence. It is the same price if you take 1,2 or all 3 of the test the same day. I studied for the first 2 test and took them both the same day.

This radio is Part 97 certified, just so we’re on the same page.

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Yes, it is Part 97 Certified, but because it can transmit on frequencies outside of the Part 97 frequency range, it is now illegal to sell in the USA.

Read the FCC bulletin that is attached to one of the posts.

I don’t like it any more than anyone else, but the fact is these radios cannot be legally sold anymore in the USA. This is not my opinion, it is clearly stated in the latest FCC bulletin that was released a few weeks back.

I think a poster may be mixing guidance. The recent enforcement advisory was about part 90 radios that people were using under part 97. If it is part 97 type accepted then there shouldn’t be any issue with part 97 use. The same is not necessarily true for part 90 radios. The ARRL is apparently spending time with the WTB folks about this issue after that EA came out.

Hmm… every time these are sold here the faux-FCC-Police come chanting about them being illegal to sell.

And warn how easy it is to get caught by the FCC broadcasting on a licensed frequency when you do not have a license.

So you’d have us believe the FCC has amazing micro-enforcement coverage all over the US…

But somehow is unable to maco-shut down very public sales and distribution of these “illegal” radios on Woot, Amazon, and a multitude of other very public sources… even over a decade of them doing so?

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