San Diego Miata Club

This page is a collection of accessories for the Boafeng FM handheld radio:

You do not need to buy any of these accessories. It is recommended that you start with the base radio, use it "AS IS" then check out some accessories other club members have purchased The Baofeng UV-82HP has an upgraded antenna THAT COMES WITH IT and works well "AS IS".


Everything that follows is optional:

  • BTECH QHM22 Platinum Series IP54 Rainproof Shoulder Speaker Mic for $23 on Amazon. Consider this if you don’t want to hold the radio or if you want better audio quality than the supplied ear piece. You can also easily pass the speaker/mike between the driver and passenger. Many speaker/mics are available, but BTECH tends to have better quality control than unknown brands. We have been getting bad reports on the performance of this micrphone - might want to hold off getting it. See below.
  • This audio cable can be used to connect your HAM radio audio output up to your car radio AUX input so you can listen thriugh the car speakers. J&D Gold-Plated 3.5mm Stereo Audio Aux Jack to Jack Cable 90 Degree Right Angle - 6 Feet.
  • If you want a bit more range, replace the stock (and short) antenna with the longer $18 Nagoya NA-24J 16.2-Inch Whip VHF/UHF (144/430Mhz) antenna. The Nagoya brand has decent quality control, and this model is an exact match to the Baofeng radio.

Comments from Mark Booth:

Yesterday [August 24, 2019] was my second experience using the new Baofeng UV-82HP on a SDMC run. The first time was Moon Over Miatas [August 17, 2019] and, for that one, the radio was just handheld with the short antenna that came with it. For yesterday's run [name and date] our UV-82HP was sporting a longer antenna (the Nagoya NA-771) and I added both the handheld mic extension and an audio cable from the 3.5mm jack on the mic all the way to the AUX input on our ND (to hear the radio chatter through our ND's stereo system).

The longer antenna, mic and audio cable made for a much nicer arrangement! I wrapped a small microfiber towel around the UV-82HP and then wedged the upright bundle into one of the ND's cupholders (between the seats). Thanks to the longer Nagoya NA-771, about 4-6 inches of the antenna rose above the level of the trunk lid of the ND. I'm confident that having a longer antenna helped with reception.

Another good solution (when using the stock antenna) is to clip the radio to the wind blocker between the seats (see Steve & Laurie's arrangement on the next run). However, I've replaced our ND's factory wind blocker with a acrylic model and using the radio's belt clip to attach would scratch/mar the acrylic wind blocker. Thus, a longer antenna is a better choice for us.

Using the handheld mic extension is less of a hassle than holding the entire radio up to your mouth. The audio cable to AUX made it super easy to understand everyone. The only negative is you can't listen to music at the same time. However, navigation voice instructions *do* come through the audio system when you have the radio set to AUX.

Yesterday's radio performance was so good, I think I'm at the point that I can go ahead and remove the CB that I installed in our ND 4 years ago. Or, maybe I should leave it in case we are on a run with another club that still uses CB?

Mark Booth


More comments from Mark Booth:

I purchased this slightly more expensive audio cable: https://amzn.to/2KWwU3q

I opted for that one because I wanted an audio cable with a braided cotton outer cover that might slide more freely through the coils of the microphone cable.

If you don’t plan to add an extension microphone (so you can leave the radio unit in a stationary spot) then the longer Nagoya antenna might prove a little unwieldy in the confines of the cockpit.

There are imitation NA-771 antennas on the market, even ones that counterfeit the Nagoya brand name. The one at the link above is the real deal. The counterfeits, though less expensive, have received lots of negative reviews. Buyer beware.
Mark Booth


A email from Alan Kagan about the UV-5R radio:

If anyone has been sitting on the sidelines in switching to our new radio communications system perhaps this will help you make the move:

Please note that the radio is only 4 watts (not 8 like the UV-82HP), the long antenna is a "copy", the mic does not include the 3.5mm aux input to couple to your factory radio

HOWEVER.........4 watts is definitely sufficient to stay in communication range, especially if you position yourself in the middle of the run. It DOES come with 2 batteries, AND a programming cable.

As a point of reference my Vertex radio cost $250, (bought many years ago) is only 4 watts and the Garons, Streeter, and several people have borrowed it for runs and all said it performed well.


Update on microphone listed above:

Over the course of our 4-day Grand Canyon trip, three members had issues with their BTech accessory microphones. Two members found they could receive but were not transmitting consistently. Unplugging the mic and using just the radio worked fine. The behavior of the mic was consistent with a failing/intermittent push-to-talk switch.

We were the third member to have an issue (on the last day). In our case, we lost audio through our ND's AUX input. Well, we didn't lose audio completely. If I cranked up the ND's volume I could faintly hear someone else transmitting. In our case, I believe that the failure point was the 3.5mm audio jack on the side of the microphone. The audio cable I was using had 90-degree connector at the mic. In the act of holding the mic to transmit, I believe that I must have put too much pressure outside the center of that connector and possibly broke a connection inside the mic. I tried wiggling the connection but it did not fix the problem. Removing the audio cable from the mic allowed the mic's internal speaker to function and that is how we finished the trip, just using the mic only with the radio (no AUX input to the ND audio system). I found the mic's speaker to be reasonably loud but not not as intelligible as going through AUX input.

One thing is for certain, these BTech accessory mics do not appear to be robust products. I think only one other member on the trip was using a BTech accessory mic. Failures on 3 out of 4 is a bad sign.

Mark Booth


Solution:

There is a reason Baofeng's are so inexpensive, and accessories like microphones may be made by any Chinese company and have even worse QC. But there is a fix for the microphone problem. Baofeng's use the same microphone style as the Kenwood (ham radio) handi-talkies. Go on-line or go to Ham Radio Outlet (HRO) on Clairemont Mesa Blvd and Hiway163 and buy a Kenwood microphone. More money, but high quality.

Here is a link to the Kenwood.

Steve Sampson

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