Baofeng squelch: measurements

Erik PE1RQF offered to do measurements on his Baofeng BF-F9, before and after changing default squelch levels with Chirp. As expected after field tests, the differences are substantial. Here they are:

VHF (default settings, thresholds in dBm)

SQ Set BF-F9 setting Threshold
1 40 -124,6
2 41 -123,8
3 42 -122,2
4 43 -120,8
5 44 -120,6
6 45 -119,9
7 46 -119,4
8 47 -118,8
9 48 -118,4

VHF, Default thresholds

VHF (new settings, thresholds in dBm)

SQ Set BF-F9 setting Threshold
1 24 -130,4
2 29 -131,4
3 34 -130,9
4 39 -129,6
5 44 -125,5
6 49 -120,1
7 54 -115,3
8 59 -110,2
9 64 -105,1

VHF, new thresholds

UHF (default settings, thresholds in dBm)

SQ Set BF-F9 setting Threshold
1 29 -140,1
2 30 -130,9
3 31 -129,0
4 32 -127,4
5 33 -126,6
6 34 -125,4
7 35 -123,8
8 36 -123,0
9 37 -121,6

UHF, default thresholds

UHF (new settings, thresholds in dBm)

SQ Set BF-F9 setting Threshold
1 24 -133,1
2 29 -133,1
3 34 -125,6
4 39 -120,7
5 44 -114,1
6 49 -108,6
7 54 -103,6
8 59 -97,6
9 64 -93,7

UHF, new thresholds

Just canceled an order for a Samsung Smart TV

… after reading online reports regarding their Privacy Policy regarding the use of their Smart TV’s.

“Samsung may collect and your device may capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features. Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

I’ll buy a dumb TV. Much cheaper, and its lack of any intelligence will be more in line with the quality of the programs.

Speaking of which: I remember that I forgot to mail FOX. Around New Year they aired SHREK, and I thought that would be a nice program for my little granddaughter to watch while I did some shopping.

shrekBig mistake. After I returned she asked me questions about some ads about vaginal infections and Durex pleasure gel. FOX must be desperate for money, and determined to ruin a little girl’s innocence. Idiots.

Panda RF-41A00A HF Transceiver

Michele IZ8XOV spotted a Chinese HF transceiver which appears to be developed for military purposes, the Panda RF-41A00A.

Panda RF-41A00AFrom Panda’s website:
“RF-41A00A 125W HF ALE/FH transceiver is advanced communication equipment with solid-state power amplifier. ECCM technologies have been adopted in this radio. With the operating frequency ranging from 1.6-30MHz, it can perform various kinds of communications in the severe environmental conditions and operating modes such as plain, secure voice between short and medium ranges.

The transceiver makes features of easy operation, flexible parameter configuration, and handiness for transportation. ALE meets witch MIL-STD-188-141A and FED-STD-1045.It can be used as the fixed stations for both navy or land force communications and the communication in emergency. With the high-tech, the radio features excellent specifications, accessories are ready for the user’s selection.”

There are a few meanings possible, but I think this Wikipedia article might be relevant to this military radio.

Electronic counter-countermeasures (ECCM) is a part of electronic warfare which includes a variety of practices which attempt to reduce or eliminate the effect of electronic countermeasures (ECM) on electronic sensors aboard vehicles, ships and aircraft and weapons such as missiles. ECCM is also known as electronic protective measures (EPM), chiefly in Europe. In practice, EPM often means resistance to jamming.”

The best and worst of 2014

GT-3 Mark II Stock Photo

A little bit late, but better late than never!

The best Chinese hand held:

  • Baofeng GT-3 Mark II. Good, bright and loud TX audio, a good front-end and a good stock antenna tuned to ham radio bands.
  • The Baofeng UV-B5/B6. Has been around for some time, but still one of the best buys out there.
  • Most Wouxun dual band radios, and the (now ancient) Quansheng TG-UV2. These are more expensive, but worth it.
  • Zastone ZT-2R. Excellent miniature hand held, 100% identical to the Yaesu VX-2R. Receives from 500 KHz up 10 1000 MHz.
  • There are Anytone hand helds which might belong into this category, but these didn’t arrive in time to be incorporated here.

The worst Chinese hand held:

  • To be honest, there really isn’t one. Most just fall into the category “You get what you pay for”, even the $17 Baofeng BF-888S. Just don’t expect top quality. TX/RX audio and the ability to keep unwanted signals out will disappoint at times.

Most interesting hand held developments:

  • Wouxun KG-UV8D and Puxing PX-973. With two independent VFOs and cross-band repeater capability these radios offer more or less the same functionality as a mobile radio.
  • TYT DM-UVF10. This radio combines analog with digital (dPMR), and is dual-band instead of single band. While pricey and not yet 100% perfect, this radio is a shape of things to come.

Best mobile radios:

  • Alinco DR-138 (VHF), DR-438 (UHF) and DR-638 (VHF/UHF). While based on Anytone designs (AT-588 mono-band and AT-5888 dual-band), Alinco managed to shave off the last annoyances that were left.
  • The VERO VR-6600PRO might deserve a place here, but we can’t be sure until we got our hands on one. My review sample is in transit.

Alinco DR-638Worst mobile radios:

  • QYT KT-UV980. A total waste of money, unless the manufacturer sets things straight — FAST.
  • Leixen VV-898. It’s fun, but quality-wise underwhelming in almost every respect. Reports suggest that the failure rate is high.

Best technical ham radio blog:

Best ham related websites related to Chinese radios:

  • Chirp. More and more hams start to rely on Chirp more than on any other radio programming tool.
  • Miklor. If you have trouble figuring out your Baofeng radio, John’s website is the place to go.