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Monday 8 October 2018

The fatal flaw of cheap Chinese radios for 2m and 70cm

YouTuber 'Ringway Manchester', Lewis M3HHY, posted a video of himself and another amateur attempting to make contacts on 2-meters simplex from Blackpool Tower, something I myself wanted to do but decided against and, as Lewis revealed, I too would have failed as on the day I had only a Baofeng with me.

Radios made by Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu all have good front end filtering on them and a superheterodyne receiver, with a couple of the really cheap Yaesu radios being an exception on the latter, cheap Chinese radios tend to have a direct conversion receiver and poor filtering, as I demonstrated with my Leixen VV-898 this leads to interference from out of band signals.

Lewis had this problem from Blackpool Tower on a Baofeng UV-5R and another Baofeng which I believe was a UV-82, 10 stations came back to Lewis' calls but he was not able to hear them on either radio.

the other part of the problem is that there are antennas on Blackpool tower, to higher powered transmitters, though these are higher up than what the public are allowed and should have not caused a problem in theory, as I plan to get hold of a Yaesu HT (or an analogue Icom or Kenwood) hopefully before next year's Blackpool rally I hope to be able to give this a go myself and see if a Japanese made radio will be able to do what the Baofeng cannot do, work contacts from Blackpool Tower, also I really hope Lewis gives this another go with another radio, as that is a video I would very much enjoy seeing.

Chinese radios, you do get what you pay for, though don't get me wrong, I do advocate the Baofeng radios as they are very good starter radios for the newly licensed that cannot afford a radio by one of the big three.

Search YouTube for 'Ringway Manchester' for Lewis' video from Blackpool Tower and you'll see the difficulties he was having, after all the tower should make a very ideal place to get into the repeater on the Isle of Man, just Baofeng skimp on the filtering and use an SDR chip in the radios though all radios are prone to front end overload and desense from strong transmissions.

73 de 2E0EIJ

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