So you want a waterproof Baofeng?

Chances are that there isn’t one. The word ‘waterproof’ itself doesn’t mean anything. It could mean that it will survive a few drops of rain up to being hit with a high pressure water jet. Fortunately there are standards, found under International Protection Marking, a.k.a. IEC standard 60529. We know it better as IPX codes.

IP Code Meaning & Test Standard
IPX0 No special protection.
IPX1 Protected against falling water. Equivalent to 3-5mm rainfall per minute for a duration of 10 minutes. Unit is placed in its normal operating position.
IPX2 Protected against falling water when tilted up to 15 degrees – Same as IPX1 but unit is tested in 4 fixed positions – tilted 15 degrees in each direction from normal operating position.
IPX3 Protected against spraying water – Water spraying up to 60 degrees from vertical at 10 liters/min at a pressure of 80–100 kN/m2 for 5 min.
IPX4 Protected against splashing water – Same as IPX3 but water is sprayed at all angles.
IPX5 Protected against water jets – Water projected at all angles through a 6.3 mm nozzle at a flow rate of 12.5 liters/min at a pressure of 30 kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters.
IPX6 Protected against heavy seas – Water projected at all angles through a 12.5 mm nozzle at a flow rate of 100 liters/min at a pressure of 100 kN/m2 for 3 minutes from a distance of 3 meters.
IPX7 Protected against water immersion – Immersion for 30 minutes at a depth of 1 meter.
IPX8 Protected against water submersion – The equipment is suitable for continual submersion in water under conditions which are identified by the manufacturer.

So where does a radio like the Baofeng UV-5X fit in? Nobody knows. Baofeng didn’t specify to what extent a UV-5X can survive moisture. If they want to convince us, they should give the radio one of the IPX codes mentioned above. Bottom line: if you buy one, do not expect more than IPX1, or IPX2 if you’re really lucky.

BTW, my Yaesu VX-170 and VX-177 are protected against water ingress to IPX7 specifications (immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes). An unfortunate accident years ago (radio dropped into a canal) proved that Yaesu didn’t lie to me. You get what you pay for.

7 comments on “So you want a waterproof Baofeng?

  1. Hi Hans,
    I just get first shipment with Baofeng A58. This radio is IP67.
    This is body of UV-5R in IP67 box, but instead of Kenwood accessory plug it has a Motorola connector.
    After weekend I put it into my web shop and send you a few photo (if you want).

  2. i dont personally expect a submarine for £30, i just want something that’s safe to use in the rain.

    i thought about the A58, but nobody seemed to have any programming / audio cables for that side-connector.

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