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Baofeng receiving problems while driving

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DrLoomis1978

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Hello, I've been going absolutely crazy trying to figure out why my Baofeng UV-5R and UV-82HP pick up electrical/spark plug/ignition noise while in a moving car (any vehicle) while receiving a transmission, on both UHF and VHF. If you are stopped at a red light, no crackling noise. As soon as you get going again so does the crackling noise, completely disrupting the voice. Baofeng Tech is absolutely useless. All they do is copy/paste info from Miklor.com like I don't know that's what they're doing. Not to mention none of the advice even comes close to what I asked them. I found a section here at Radio Reference that mentions this problem but offers no solution. Here is the link Baofeng UV-5R - The RadioReference Wiki. If you look at the section under RECEIVER, you'll read about and see a link to youtube which demonstrates the problem. If anyone has a solution please let me know because I've searched the internet to no avail and it's getting extremely frustrating. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
 

Sconnick

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I'm not sure how to fix that problem, but as someone who has programmed and used a fair number of Baofeng radios, they're not the cleanest in the world. And there is certainly some inconsistency in QC coming off the line. I've had great ones that you just can't kill, and I've seen some that - right out of the box - don't work as well. It's like the luck of the draw.

I don't crap on the CCRs because I think they do have a place - throw-away, back-up type radios - but you might want to return it for another and see what you get.
 

jonwienke

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I've not had that issue with any Baofeng I've run in a vehicle, using the stock antenna, or a vehicle mounted external antenna. If you're using a duck/whip antenna inside the vehicle, understand performance is going to suck, and you'll get full dosage of any RFI being generated by the vehicle--it's the RF equivalent of someone farting in an elevator next to you.

The first thing to try is an antenna outside the vehicle, even if it's just a cheap mag mount. That will get your antenna exposed to a LOT more signal, and the vehicle body will help block RFI generated by the vehicle.
 

nd5y

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If you are stopped and the noise stops then it isn't ignition noise.
Do you have any other type of radios that make the same noise in the same location?
Do the baofeng radios make the noise outdoors away from vehicles or buildings when you move the radio around quickly?
Do you have experience using other VHF/UHF radios and can you tell the difference between this noise and normal mobile flutter/picket fencing?

If you are receiving the crackling or popping noise that sounds like a geiger gounter then there is no solution. I have the same problem and it doesn't occur on any other radios. Other people have reported it too. It seems to be location dependent. My theory on this noise is that it may be caused by strong local UHF TV or FM broadcast stations. It's due to baofeng's piss poor design. There is a reason they are cheap.
 

DrLoomis1978

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I want to thank you guys for the fast responses

I appreciate how quick you guys responded to my question. Here's what I've found: As far as whether or not the radio makes this crackling sound if I'm away from the car and move it around quickly is questionable because once in a while I will hear some slight static but nothing bad, so I can't give you a definite answer. The antenna I'm using is the rubber duck, and on the UV-5R I even tried using the high gain antenna and it doesn't help. Using a magnet mount is not an option because it's a portable radio and I desperately want to keep it that way and not keep changing antennas every time I get in or out. I have used other portable radios inside a moving vehicle and they work flawlessly. The best example of this would be my Midland LXT435's. I've used them car to car and they are crystal clear. Using the Baofeng radios on the same frequencies... horrible. I recently bought a second UV-82HP and it does the same thing my original did one year earlier. I also bought a WLN KD-C1 just for the car hoping it would be different, it wasn't. So to sum it all up I think nd5y said it best, "Baofeng's piss poor design. There is a reason they are cheap." I have to agree with him. I've used portable Radio Shack scanners in the car and they work just fine too. The problem is, you try to save the huge expense of buying a used Motorola public safety radio, plus the programming cable, RIB box, and then if your lucky, you might find the correct software. But, you get what you pay for. Anyway, thank you all for your help in trying to figure this out, I really do appreciate it.
 

mmckenna

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If you're using a duck/whip antenna inside the vehicle, understand performance is going to suck, and you'll get full dosage of any RFI being generated by the vehicle--it's the RF equivalent of someone farting in an elevator next to you.
Thanks Jon,
I'm going to add that to my list of simplified explanations I give to customers when they complain about radios not working.
 

Rred

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Loomis-
A car is basically a Faraday cage, even for receiving. Using an h/t without some kind of external antenna (or standing up through the sun roof) you will be half deaf no matter what radio you use. Transmitting will be even worse. Yes, most folks would use a magnet or other external antenna and put a pigtail adapter on the radio. Use an SMA to BNC adapter if you don't like screwing in threads.

Here's a quick test for you. Get in the car and goose the throttle without putting the car in gear. If the radio doesn't get your "spark noise" the same way it gets noise in the road? It isn't spark or ignition noise at all.
Today's cars have all sorts of systems including "blind spot detection" "crash prevention" sophisticated cruise controls, all using active electronics that are broadcasting whenever the car is in motion. Any one of the systems in your car could be "stopped" when the car is not moving, but active at other times.
If you contact the dealer, and ask them how to escalate your enquiry to an engineering level, the odds are that someone at the car maker knows what systems are active and emitting RFI. If you can't get anywhere with that, you've got a long bit of sleuthing ahead of you.
 

KD8DVR

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Hello, I've been going absolutely crazy trying to figure out why my Baofeng UV-5R and UV-82HP pick up electrical/spark plug/ignition noise while in a moving car (any vehicle) while receiving a transmission, on both UHF and VHF. If you are stopped at a red light, no crackling noise. As soon as you get going again so does the crackling noise, completely disrupting the voice. Baofeng Tech is absolutely useless. All they do is copy/paste info from Miklor.com like I don't know that's what they're doing. Not to mention none of the advice even comes close to what I asked them. I found a section here at Radio Reference that mentions this problem but offers no solution. Here is the link Baofeng UV-5R - The RadioReference Wiki. If you look at the section under RECEIVER, you'll read about and see a link to youtube which demonstrates the problem. If anyone has a solution please let me know because I've searched the internet to no avail and it's getting extremely frustrating. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you in advance.
always... always... ALWAYS use an external antenna when using an HT in a vehicle. For one, your signal will actually get outside your vehicle... and 2, you will have the antenna farther away (and possibly shielded from) from the possible sources of your noise.
 

nd5y

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The OP's problem has nothing to do with being inside a vehicle or Faraday shielding. This is something that only happens on baofeng radios when they are in motion.
 

IAmSixNine

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Had a similar issue on one, i was able to reproduce the issue by simply holding radio in hand and rotating my wrist in a semi circular motion very rapidly.
I quickly got rid of it. It was worse on VHF but it was there on UHF as well. Driving sucked but its the radio its self.
 

jonwienke

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The OP's problem has nothing to do with being inside a vehicle or Faraday shielding. This is something that only happens on baofeng radios when they are in motion.
I've never experienced interference noise with the dozen-plus Baofengs I either own or have set up for others that is generated simply by waving them around.

But I have seen RFI on several brands of radio (including Yaesu) when the vehicle is generating RFI and the HT antenna is inside the vehicle with the noise source. In every case, connecting an antenna mounted outside the vehicle either greatly reduced or eliminated the noise.
 

jonwienke

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You're lucky then. The noise appears to only happen in some locations.
Which would kind of indicate that it is RFI, not the radio itself. Granted, the Baofeng receivers aren't that awesome.
 

12dbsinad

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Very common problem with these... crackle on RX. Usually when a strong signal is present it will be the worst, and gets better as the signal gets weaker. Taking the radio and waving it around in the air like a mad man will get you the crackle...

Hey, what do you expect for 30-50 bucks??
 

DrLoomis1978

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nd5y
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The OP's problem has nothing to do with being inside a vehicle or Faraday shielding. This is something that only happens on baofeng radios when they are in motion.
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Tom

Exactly Tom, I've used a few other types of portables and they work perfectly in moving vehicles. These Baofengs really suck while in motion. 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. But, I'm tired of these cheap substitutes, so I'm now in the market for a UHF Motorola XTS 5000 III. They're expensive and complicated but well worth it.
 
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