There’s always a cheaper radio

Note the ‘Scrambler’ feature printed on the box, which isn’t mentioned anywhere else.

Are you a miser? Talking through your nose to spare your teeth? Good news: there’s always a cheaper radio. A whole lot cheaper.

I already knew of the existence of these radios, but saying that I was interested…. not really. No LCD, no VFO, just 16 channels, typical for radios intended for professional use. Programming is only possible by software. As usual, these radios come from China and pop up under various names. The most well-known variety is Baofeng BF-888S, the other one is KOQI. A few customer reviews exist, mainly on, and these look favorable.

Prices vary from $54.55 for 2 pieces on eBay to $216.50 for 10 pieces on That’s only $21.65 / piece! If I wouldn’t be drowning in hand-helds already…

There should be VHF versions available too, but I wasn’t able to find them, at least not on eBay.

General specifications:
Voice Prompt
PC Programmable
Emergency Alarm
Intelligent Charging
Battery Save
Low Voltage Alert
Time-out Timer
LED flashlight

Please note that this is a ‘Frofessional Transceiver’.

Frequency Range: 400-470MHz
Channel Capacity: 16
Channel Spacing: 25KHz
Operated Voltage: 3.7 V
Battery  Li-ion   (1500mAh)
Battery Life (5-5-90 duty cycle):   About 8 hours
Frequency Stability: ±2.5ppm
Operating Temperature: -30°c-+60°c
Dimensions (L×W×H) (with battery,without antenna): 110×50×32 mm
Weight (with battery + antenna):  198g

RF Power Output: 3W
Modulation: F3E
Spurious Emission: ≤65dB
Audio Distortion: ≤5%
Transmitting Current: ≤1.3A

Sensitivity (12dB SINAD): ≤0.20 uV
Selectivity: 55dB/50dB
Inter-modulation: ≥65dB
Adjacent Channel Selectivity: ≥60dB
Spurious Response: ≥60dB
Audio Power Output: 1000mW
Audio Distortion: ≤5%
Standby Current: ≈15mA (with battery save on)


6 comments on “There’s always a cheaper radio

  1. Hallo Hans, ja voor de echte radioamateur is het niks. Maar zo een setje oor op vakantie. Ja, het is illigaal….maar werkt veel beter als een 27MC bakkie denk ik.
    73, Bas

  2. Shame, what I miss all the time, is, on these cheaper models, is scanning a portion of a freqencie range, or just a range/selection of programmed channels, because of that, I’m now planning to buy a “A” class type of dual-band tranceiver, The cheap models leave you still a bit handicapped….

  3. Pingback: There’s always a cheaper radio | Banbury Amateur Radio Society

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