Little confusing - at one point it says 4w of power,then near the end of the description, it says 5w max. Which is it? Thanks.
Thinking of these for our ERT (neighborhood emergency response team) in San Francisco so want to know exactly how powerful they are, thanks.
As long as they are operating under FCC license, such as Amateur or Commercial, (Type acceptance is another thing) they are not permitted for license free. NOT for MURS/GMRS.
Just because they can be programmed doesn’t mean that they are legal without a license.
Unless everyone in the ERT wants to get Ham licenses and spend hours thumbing through Engrish instruction manuals and YouTube videos, I’d recommend some GMRS walkie-talkies instead. The range will be pretty comparable to the BaoFengs with the stock rubber ducky antennas anyway, and they are significantly easier to use. Just programming these Baofengs to listen to local repeaters was a multi-hour chore, and it can be un-done with a few stray button presses, and thus it is not at all conducive to a chaotic emergency situation where radios would be needed. Everyone using them would need to familiarize themselves with the fundamentals of Ham radio, and then they would need to retain the knowledge on both radio knowledge and the BaoFeng’s clunky, complex UI. A few months after spending multiple days learning and programming mine, I completely forgot how to use it and had to learn all over again before using it to listen to repeaters at a rally race. At the race, even with a beefier rubber ducky antenna and listening to high-powered repeaters, I found the range lackluster because the digital squelch on these radios is very, very sensitive. Even with the squelch ‘off’ or at the minimum setting, crystal-clear transmissions were cut off or silenced altogether, and I could only listen to radio chatter by constantly holding down the ‘Mon’ button and enduring the inconvenience and static.
If you have any interest in getting an amateur license, though, these little BaoFengs are an ideal starting place. I just can’t think of many situations where 5 would be practical, and I am genuinely racking my brain because I was considering purchasing it, too, which is why I dug into the comments on this listing in the first place…
I’ve taken CERT classes, too, and I’d personally rather have a durable, water-resistant set of GMRS radios for SHTF/emergency situations. GMRS also requires a “license,” but unlike Ham radio licenses, there is no test, so you only have to fill out some paperwork and send it in.
And 75 dollars for the GMRS application don’t forget