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Budget and Entry Level Transceivers - For discussion of budget or entry level radios such as Baofeng, Wouxun, Puxing and other radio communications designated as commercial but not targeted for Amateur or GMRS. Also included are MURS and ISM 900MHz designed radios.

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-15-2017, 8:10 PM
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FM radios are usually immune to pulse type ignition noise from spark plugs, etc due to some very high gain limiter amplifiers that run into saturation and do not respond to amplitude modulated signals like spark plugs. A good FM transceiver will be into hard limiting within 10 or 15dB of its rated sensitivity, or with anything more than a moderately weak signal.

With that said, the Baofengs, Wouxons and other inexpensive radios are "entry level" and don't have very good limiting action or adjacent channel rejection and they don't do well in high RF environments. You can't expect a single chip $25 radio to perform like a $1,000 and up Motorola. The cheap Chinese radios are a great bargain and well worth their retail price but they have limits which the OP has found.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2017, 1:48 PM
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Originally Posted by DrLoomis1978 View Post
BTW I recently bought a WLN KD-C1 just to use as a simple scanner for the car because my nephew said it didn't have this same problem. Well, it does, but for the price I'm keeping it just to use as a spare that fits in your pocket.
How odd. I own four of the WLN KD-C1 radios and none of them exhibit this problem...
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2017, 2:45 PM
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This problem appears to be location dependent. It isn't caused by electrical arc or pulse type noise. See post #4 above.

I would be interested if people receiving this noise on other radios besides UV-5R/UV-82 types would open one up and see if they use the AT1846S or RDA1846S transceiver chip.
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Old 04-16-2017, 5:20 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
This problem appears to be location dependent. It isn't caused by electrical arc or pulse type noise. See post #4 above.
I can confirm that it is not location dependent on the UV-82 series. I have dealt with multiple units and they all experience the same symptom. Waving the radio around will start to display the symptoms of riding in a vehicle or having the radio in motion.
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Old 04-16-2017, 5:42 PM
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It sounds like the software discriminator can't deal with phase and/or amplitude distortion caused by picket fencing (multipath?).
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Old 04-16-2017, 5:46 PM
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What do you expect for a $30 radio. They have such wide open receivers that they will pick up almost anything. Set your squelch high and see if the problem is fixed.
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Old 04-16-2017, 5:52 PM
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Originally Posted by 12dbsinad View Post
I can confirm that it is not location dependent on the UV-82 series. I have dealt with multiple units and they all experience the same symptom.
I should clarify when I say location dependent I mean different cities or area. Some people in some Locations don't have the problem. Does your problem happen with the same radios in different areas?
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Old 04-16-2017, 5:57 PM
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Originally Posted by beeperboy View Post
It sounds like the software discriminator can't deal with phase and/or amplitude distortion caused by picket fencing (multipath?).
It might be that or something like the transceiver chip, or the firmware that runs it, can't deal with phase changes in strong in-band or out of band signals that transmit continuously like UHF TV or 700/800/900 MHz trunked control channels.
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Old 04-16-2017, 6:02 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
Does your problem happen with the same radios in different areas?
Yes it does. Location does not seem to make a difference. I've been in high density areas as well as in the willy wags, same result.
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by N4GIX View Post
How odd. I own four of the WLN KD-C1 radios and none of them exhibit this problem...
I believe you. My nephew had one, that he sold, and he told me his was quiet. I guess I just can't seem to get lucky
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Old 04-16-2017, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by nd5y View Post
I should clarify when I say location dependent I mean different cities or area. Some people in some Locations don't have the problem. Does your problem happen with the same radios in different areas?
I live in Staten Island, NY and so far I get the crackling in Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan. As soon as I get the chance to go to Pennsylvania, I can answer this question. Unfortunately, even if it's silent in PA, I need it for the city, so I'm still screwed LOL.
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 04-16-2017, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by drayd48 View Post
What do you expect for a $30 radio. They have such wide open receivers that they will pick up almost anything. Set your squelch high and see if the problem is fixed.
Very true, you can't expect much for the price. I did try the squelch trick and it doesn't help. I even tried the Miklor.com squelch adjustments, raising the squelch limits, and that also failed. So now I'm done with these cheap imitations and I'll try to find a UHF Motorola XTS 5000 III that works well but won't break the bank too much. You just can't beat professional public safety radios.
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Old 04-16-2017, 11:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prcguy View Post
FM radios are usually immune to pulse type ignition noise from spark plugs, etc due to some very high gain limiter amplifiers that run into saturation and do not respond to amplitude modulated signals like spark plugs. A good FM transceiver will be into hard limiting within 10 or 15dB of its rated sensitivity, or with anything more than a moderately weak signal.

With that said, the Baofengs, Wouxons and other inexpensive radios are "entry level" and don't have very good limiting action or adjacent channel rejection and they don't do well in high RF environments. You can't expect a single chip $25 radio to perform like a $1,000 and up Motorola. The cheap Chinese radios are a great bargain and well worth their retail price but they have limits which the OP has found.
prcguy
I didn't quite understand everything you said in the first paragraph because my technical knowledge of two way radios is pretty limited, but you sound like you know what you're talking about LOL. However, I do agree with you that a $25 radio and a $1000 radio can't possibly work the same, otherwise police and fire would sure save a bundle on their equipment budget. Buying these Baofengs was just a way of trying to get a scanner and two way in one package. But now I've learned and will be on the lookout for a Motorola XTS 5000 III, which I'm almost positive I have the software for.
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Old 04-17-2017, 9:48 AM
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Originally Posted by DrLoomis1978 View Post
...But now I've learned and will be on the lookout for a Motorola XTS 5000 III, which I'm almost positive I have the software for.
Without opening a can of worms on Motorola software, know that the programming isn't backwards compatible. If the radio is programmed with a newer CPS, it won't program with an older CPS version. Check what version you have, then verify any radio you purchase has been programmed with that CPS version, or older.
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Old 04-17-2017, 2:46 PM
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Without opening a can of worms on Motorola software, know that the programming isn't backwards compatible. If the radio is programmed with a newer CPS, it won't program with an older CPS version. Check what version you have, then verify any radio you purchase has been programmed with that CPS version, or older.
Yikes, I did not know that. What I do know is that the professional Motorola's are very involved between the software, cables, and the radios themselves. There is a guy on ebay who not only sells them, but also programs them, rehouses them, and basically knows everything about them. So, if I buy one I'll more than likely buy it from him and will certainly ask about the CPS, thanks to your information. I could just let him program it for me, but I constantly add and delete frequencies almost every day and would need the software to do it myself. Hopefully he has one with my version. I want to thank you for that bit of info, you just might have saved me from making a big mistake.
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  #36 (permalink)  
Old 04-17-2017, 3:21 PM
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Originally Posted by N4GIX View Post
How odd. I own four of the WLN KD-C1 radios and none of them exhibit this problem...
I was wondering which software you use to program your WLN's, the KD-C1 software or CHIRP? Reason being, I use the KD-C1 software and it works beautifully, but, I decided to try CHIRP (latest daily build) and I thought everything went fine until I tried to transmit. Any channel that uses DCS codes, TX inverted and RX normal, or TX normal and RX inverted, always resets to normal/normal. So the DTCS Pol column automatically resets to NN after saving or refreshing. It just won't stay set to either NR or RN. When I write to radio, of course it doesn't transmit those channels. I'd like to use CHIRP due to its ease of moving a channel or a group of channels up or down without having to manually re-program each channel. Any ideas?
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Old 05-08-2017, 7:58 PM
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I have two uv82hp's and both of them make that Geiger counter noise when on the move. I slapped a Ut-72 Nagoya mag mount antenna on the roof of the car, dead center, and it certainly reduces the noise quite a bit, but it's also definitely still there, just not as loud as with the stock rubber antenna.

I've tried different vehicles, and I can confirm that the noise persists in a 2015 Honda Odyssey, a 2016 Acura ILX, and a 2009 Tahoe. It happens in every car that I have access to. When the car comes to a stop at a red light, rx is clean and clear; totally noise free. Once I take the foot off the brake, the Geiger counter begins with a popping and crackling that gets worse as speed increases.

It sucks to see that the radio itself might be the issue, but it's also kind of a relief as I've been really bothered by it, thinking that it was ignition noise for quite some time now. I think the uv82hp is still an excellent radio for handheld use, particularly for hiking and camping with friends, but I think I'll have to start looking for a better mobile solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the uv-50x2? I know it's a baofeng, again, but if it's as good as a mobile radio, as the uv82 is good as an ht, I think I would be very happy with it, especially considering the price point.
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Old 05-09-2017, 11:50 PM
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I have two uv82hp's and both of them make that Geiger counter noise when on the move. I slapped a Ut-72 Nagoya mag mount antenna on the roof of the car, dead center, and it certainly reduces the noise quite a bit, but it's also definitely still there, just not as loud as with the stock rubber antenna.

I've tried different vehicles, and I can confirm that the noise persists in a 2015 Honda Odyssey, a 2016 Acura ILX, and a 2009 Tahoe. It happens in every car that I have access to. When the car comes to a stop at a red light, rx is clean and clear; totally noise free. Once I take the foot off the brake, the Geiger counter begins with a popping and crackling that gets worse as speed increases.

It sucks to see that the radio itself might be the issue, but it's also kind of a relief as I've been really bothered by it, thinking that it was ignition noise for quite some time now. I think the uv82hp is still an excellent radio for handheld use, particularly for hiking and camping with friends, but I think I'll have to start looking for a better mobile solution.

Does anyone have any thoughts on the uv-50x2? I know it's a baofeng, again, but if it's as good as a mobile radio, as the uv82 is good as an ht, I think I would be very happy with it, especially considering the price point.
I'm glad to see that someone other than me has experienced this problem in multiple vehicles and two identical radios. At least I don't feel like the oddball now. You're right that the UV-82HP is a great radio, as long as you're just using it on foot. I use mine for work, personal use, and even as a police/fire/ems scanner. Great versatility, especially having dual bands. I just want the manufacturer to listen to the consumers complaints and fix the problems. But since that probably won't happen I'm also looking into higher quality radios, preferably the Motorola XTS 5000 III 450Mhz - about 490Mhz. But there's a lot to know about them before buying one, otherwise you'll end up with a $500+ brick.
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Old 05-10-2017, 7:33 AM
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I'm still skeptical about this.

I have or have set up over a dozen Baofengs, and none of them have shown this problem while operated handheld or mobile in multiple vehicles in multiple locations. There's also the issue of the mechanism--how does radio movement cause "geiger counter" noise? If it's a weak connection in the radio somewhere, then G-forces from shaking the radio would cause the problem whether handheld or mobile. Running the radio in a vehicle at highway speed wouldn't cause it if you're at a steady speed--you aren't applying G-forces to the radio.

If the "geiger counter" noise intensity is directly proportional to vehicle speed, then it's not a radio problem, it's RFI from the vehicle. The only "fault" in the radio is failure to filter out the RFI. If switching to an external vehicle antenna reduces the noise, that proves the noise is coming from inside the vehicle and not the radio. If the radio was the problem, the noise would be the same regardless of the antenna used.

IMO your time would be more productively spent looking for the source of the RFI in your vehicle than attempting to persuade a Chinese company to make a $50 radio perform like a $500 radio. It may not even be the vehicle, but something like a cheap 12V-USB adapter (which would explain why the noise shows up in multiple vehicles, if you use the same adapter in whatever car you're driving).
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Old 05-10-2017, 7:50 AM
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I'm still skeptical about this.
Consider yourself lucky if you haven't experienced it.

It's not vehicle generated RFI. It happens even when the radio is thousands of feet from any vehicle, building or power line.

It's not a loose connection in the radio. You don't have to violently shake the radio. It happens while barely moving or holding the radio and walking. When the motion stops the noise stops.
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