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Baofeng New Baofeng HT Problem

WSBA407

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
3
I am mostly brand new to the world of GMRS and HAM radio, although it's always fascinated me.
I have the Baofeng HT and picked up a Nagoya UT-72 magnetic mount antenna to use here in my apartment since I'm handicapped and seldom get out. I thought that listening to Ham radio would be very interesting and even cheer me up.
My primary problem is that despite programming in the "Most popular" HAM frequencies - I have yet to hear a single voice transmission? Static, some "Odd" noises, but absolutely NO voices.
I thought listening to Ham radio would be very interesting, but I have grown very disappointed.
I have tried the metal cookie sheet method, still nothing, no traffic whatsoever.
I'm getting ready to send these radios and all the extras I got with them back unless I can learn what I might be doing wrong.
Any suggestions would really be appreciated.
Thanks, all...
 

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bobruzzo

W1AV
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
1,442
Location
Cranston, Rhode Island
Programming those radios from the keypad is horrendous......its much easier to use the program called "CHIRP". Its free and most Baofengs are supported. GMRS doesnt interest me but I am a HAM. Depending on your location you can go on the Repeaterbook.com website to look for ham radio repeaters in your area. There should be some vhf and hf ones. Your radio should have come with a data cable to hook to computers USB port. I am not sure where to find GMRS freqs/repeaters tho. But there are lots of things to listen to. I am a big fan of monitoring the commercial business freqs. Anyway make sure you have programmed that radio correctly first. U are better off using chirp and save yourself a lot of grief.
 

buddrousa

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 5, 2003
Messages
11,466
Location
Retired 40 Year Firefighter NW Tenn
Welcome to the Fourm.
1. Did you look up the 2 meter (144MHz) and 70 Cm (440MHZ) repeaters for the area you live in?
2. Depending on the area you live in the range can be from 15 to over 30 miles for the coverage area.
3. What area do you live in? Simple answer City and State.
 

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
11,358
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
Depending on where you are using a better aftermarket antenna can overload the receiver to where it won't pick up anything but very strong nearby stations.

Program the NOAA weather channels and see if you hear anything. Use the stock Baofeng antenna first and then see if the radio is deaf with the Nagoya.

Do you have another real radio or a scanner that you can listen to active frequencies on the Baofeng and the other radio at the same time?

The other possibility is the ham and GMRS repeaters in your area have no activity 90% of the time. That is if you programmed the correct ones.

Post the list of frequencies or link where you got the "Most Popular" frequencies. It could be totally useless BS from some YouTube influencer or prepper blog.
 
Last edited:

nd5y

Member
Joined
Dec 19, 2002
Messages
11,358
Location
Wichita Falls, TX
Programming those radios from the keypad is horrendous......its much easier to use the program called "CHIRP".
If you are a newbie with limited or zero radio knowledge then they are both horrendous if you don't know what you are doing. You need to know what all the radio settings and menus do and you need to know what all the fields in CHIRP do and what to put in them.

Baofengs are just as easy to program from the keypad as Alinco, Icom, Kenwood and Yaesu HTs.
 

KC1THE

Member
Joined
Dec 11, 2023
Messages
47
In anticipation of studying and acquiring a Tech license, I did the same thing you did. Bought a Baofeng UV-5R - to begin my education into Amateur Radio - bought the correct cable, and programmed the radio with Chirp for scanning: mostly Police, Fire, EMS, and a few other agencies, plus some local Ham.

I wasn’t getting much activity on the Ham repeaters but did get a lot for police, fire etc. Scanning speed is slow however.

In the meantime, I bought a Yaesu FT-60 and used it in a similar way but now mostly use it to communicate on 2m and 70cm.

I actually found active repeaters by scanning on a Uniden Bearcat 125AT and use that as a tool to discover active repeaters and program them in to my Baofeng and Yaesu.

I am fortunate that most agencies in my area are still analog.

As others have said, I would look up the frequencies and modes you are interested in for your area to get an idea what’s out there.

You might enjoy a dedicated scanner better - depending on your budget.
 
Last edited:

n0xvz

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jan 5, 2013
Messages
324
Location
San Angelo, TX

chief21

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,805
Location
Summer - Western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
My primary problem is that despite programming in the "Most popular" HAM frequencies - I have yet to hear a single voice transmission? Static, some "Odd" noises, but absolutely NO voices.
If you're trying to monitor non-repeater (simplex) frequencies, such as 146.520 or 446.000, your antenna might not be high enough to hear these "line-of-sight" signals. If you're trying to monitor local repeater frequencies, be aware that many ham repeaters might not have much activity... especially during working hours. There may be only one or two fairly active repeaters in your area. Other listed repeaters might not have such good coverage, might be out of service, or might not actually exist. Try listening during the late afternoon/early evening "drive times" for more activity.
Finally, see if you can hear a local NOAA/weather radio channel or other known-good channel... just to confirm that your receiver is working properly. Baofeng has a less-than-stellar reputation for quality control.
 

WSBA407

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
3
Programming those radios from the keypad is horrendous......its much easier to use the program called "CHIRP". Its free and most Baofengs are supported. GMRS doesnt interest me but I am a HAM. Depending on your location you can go on the Repeaterbook.com website to look for ham radio repeaters in your area. There should be some vhf and hf ones. Your radio should have come with a data cable to hook to computers USB port. I am not sure where to find GMRS freqs/repeaters tho. But there are lots of things to listen to. I am a big fan of monitoring the commercial business freqs. Anyway make sure you have programmed that radio correctly first. U are better off using chirp and save yourself a lot of grief.
Thank you for your response...yes, I also ordered the cable to connect to my laptop. Only issue here, I'm not that good with computers, etc. Do you think it is easy enough once I connect my radio to the computer on the "CHIRP" Web site, to just follow the directions like "Step By Step?"
Sure appreciate your response and help, thanks....

Thank you for your response...yes, I also ordered the cable to connect to my laptop. Only issue here, I'm not that good with computers, etc. Do you think it is easy enough once I connect my radio to the computer on the "CHIRP" Web site, to just follow the directions like "Step By Step?"
Sure appreciate your response and help, thanks....
Yes, me too - I'm interested in HAM, as I intend to study and eventually get the Technician Class license...thanks, again...

If you're trying to monitor non-repeater (simplex) frequencies, such as 146.520 or 446.000, your antenna might not be high enough to hear these "line-of-sight" signals. If you're trying to monitor local repeater frequencies, be aware that many ham repeaters might not have much activity... especially during working hours. There may be only one or two fairly active repeaters in your area. Other listed repeaters might not have such good coverage, might be out of service, or might not actually exist. Try listening during the late afternoon/early evening "drive times" for more activity.
Finally, see if you can hear a local NOAA/weather radio channel or other known-good channel... just to confirm that your receiver is working properly. Baofeng has a less-than-stellar reputation for quality control.
Yes, I was able to program in the NOAA weather,band yes, it's the ONLY voice I've heard on it, lol....I enjoy listening to it, too

Welcome to the Fourm.
1. Did you look up the 2 meter (144MHz) and 70 Cm (440MHZ) repeaters for the area you live in?
2. Depending on the area you live in the range can be from 15 to over 30 miles for the coverage area.
3. What area do you live in? Simple answer City and State.
I'm just north of Rochester, New York, pretty much on the shore of lake Ontario.
I will try these frequencies you mention. Appreciate your response, thanks...

I'm not sure what "most popular" ham frequencies, but you might want to take a look at this list:


Or, non-ham frequencies here:


I'll second trying NWS stations near you to make sure you're reciving at all.
Thank you for this, helpful....

I'm not sure what "most popular" ham frequencies, but you might want to take a look at this list:


Or, non-ham frequencies here:


I'll second trying NWS stations near you to make sure you're reciving at all.
Thanks, yes the NOAA works great and I like listening to it. Still pretty "Statically" but then again that just with the standard HT antenna, and indoors...
 

bobruzzo

W1AV
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
1,442
Location
Cranston, Rhode Island
Connect your cable to the radio (turned off) and then connect the other end of cable into a USB port on PC. With PC on, turn on the Baofeng. Your radio is a BF-F8HP and is supported by CHIRP. You should go online to Radio Reference and look for frequencies in your location, whether the freqs are for GMRS, HAM or Police/Fire/rescue etc.....Make a list of all the ones you want. Take note if the frequency uses a TONE, or TONE SQUELCH or DCS (digital tone). It will tell you in RR. With radio connected and PC on turn radio on. Click on the CHIRP icon to star the program. You will get a welcome screen. Go to TOP left of window and click on the RADIO tab. In the drop down menu pick "Download from Radio". Then another little box pops up where you first choose PORT.....there should be something in that field showing available port. select that then go to next field and click "Vendor" and look for the "Baofeng" choice and shoose that. Lastly go one more step below to find the MODEL...look for BF-F8HP. If your version of CHIRP is current you will find the model in the list. Then "OK" it and if all went well you should see progress bar in green downloading whatever is on radio to the program. Now get your list of freqs you want to program. Go to the top left and click on "File" then "new"....a new empty screen will appear. Start filling in from left to right starting with "Frequency".....you can skip "name" field for now.....click on the "tone mode" field to choose either "tone" if the freq has a single ctcss tone. If the freq has tone squelch, which is a tone on both TX and RX choose "TSQL" and you also set the actual TSQL number in the "Tone Squelch" field.....if there is no tone used just skip this field....and if there is a digital tone, "DTCS" then pick that and enter the actual DTCS code the feq uses in the "DTCS" field..... dont worry about the "RX DTSC" "DTCS Polarity" and "Cross mode" fields.....I am not sure what they do and I never use them. Since you will only be MONITORING you dont have to set anything else in row except maybe for "Mode".....so check if freq is either FM NFM ect in drop down list. In Radio Refeence they show the modulation type. I am not sure if there is a TX prohibit feature in radio cause you dont want to accidently transmit.
I know this might sound confusing but thats the simplest way I can think of on programming that radio with CHIRP. Become familiar with the pages on radio reference. It would be helpful to know where you are located to find the right section on RR to get this information.
 

WSBA407

Newbie
Joined
Feb 27, 2024
Messages
3
Connect your cable to the radio (turned off) and then connect the other end of cable into a USB port on PC. With PC on, turn on the Baofeng. Your radio is a BF-F8HP and is supported by CHIRP. You should go online to Radio Reference and look for frequencies in your location, whether the freqs are for GMRS, HAM or Police/Fire/rescue etc.....Make a list of all the ones you want. Take note if the frequency uses a TONE, or TONE SQUELCH or DCS (digital tone). It will tell you in RR. With radio connected and PC on turn radio on. Click on the CHIRP icon to star the program. You will get a welcome screen. Go to TOP left of window and click on the RADIO tab. In the drop down menu pick "Download from Radio". Then another little box pops up where you first choose PORT.....there should be something in that field showing available port. select that then go to next field and click "Vendor" and look for the "Baofeng" choice and shoose that. Lastly go one more step below to find the MODEL...look for BF-F8HP. If your version of CHIRP is current you will find the model in the list. Then "OK" it and if all went well you should see progress bar in green downloading whatever is on radio to the program. Now get your list of freqs you want to program. Go to the top left and click on "File" then "new"....a new empty screen will appear. Start filling in from left to right starting with "Frequency".....you can skip "name" field for now.....click on the "tone mode" field to choose either "tone" if the freq has a single ctcss tone. If the freq has tone squelch, which is a tone on both TX and RX choose "TSQL" and you also set the actual TSQL number in the "Tone Squelch" field.....if there is no tone used just skip this field....and if there is a digital tone, "DTCS" then pick that and enter the actual DTCS code the feq uses in the "DTCS" field..... dont worry about the "RX DTSC" "DTCS Polarity" and "Cross mode" fields.....I am not sure what they do and I never use them. Since you will only be MONITORING you dont have to set anything else in row except maybe for "Mode".....so check if freq is either FM NFM ect in drop down list. In Radio Refeence they show the modulation type. I am not sure if there is a TX prohibit feature in radio cause you dont want to accidently transmit.
I know this might sound confusing but thats the simplest way I can think of on programming that radio with CHIRP. Become familiar with the pages on radio reference. It would be helpful to know where you are located to find the right section on RR to get this information.
Connect your cable to the radio (turned off) and then connect the other end of cable into a USB port on PC. With PC on, turn on the Baofeng. Your radio is a BF-F8HP and is supported by CHIRP. You should go online to Radio Reference and look for frequencies in your location, whether the freqs are for GMRS, HAM or Police/Fire/rescue etc.....Make a list of all the ones you want. Take note if the frequency uses a TONE, or TONE SQUELCH or DCS (digital tone). It will tell you in RR. With radio connected and PC on turn radio on. Click on the CHIRP icon to star the program. You will get a welcome screen. Go to TOP left of window and click on the RADIO tab. In the drop down menu pick "Download from Radio". Then another little box pops up where you first choose PORT.....there should be something in that field showing available port. select that then go to next field and click "Vendor" and look for the "Baofeng" choice and shoose that. Lastly go one more step below to find the MODEL...look for BF-F8HP. If your version of CHIRP is current you will find the model in the list. Then "OK" it and if all went well you should see progress bar in green downloading whatever is on radio to the program. Now get your list of freqs you want to program. Go to the top left and click on "File" then "new"....a new empty screen will appear. Start filling in from left to right starting with "Frequency".....you can skip "name" field for now.....click on the "tone mode" field to choose either "tone" if the freq has a single ctcss tone. If the freq has tone squelch, which is a tone on both TX and RX choose "TSQL" and you also set the actual TSQL number in the "Tone Squelch" field.....if there is no tone used just skip this field....and if there is a digital tone, "DTCS" then pick that and enter the actual DTCS code the feq uses in the "DTCS" field..... dont worry about the "RX DTSC" "DTCS Polarity" and "Cross mode" fields.....I am not sure what they do and I never use them. Since you will only be MONITORING you dont have to set anything else in row except maybe for "Mode".....so check if freq is either FM NFM ect in drop down list. In Radio Refeence they show the modulation type. I am not sure if there is a TX prohibit feature in radio cause you dont want to accidently transmit.
I know this might sound confusing but thats the simplest way I can think of on programming that radio with CHIRP. Become familiar with the pages on radio reference. It would be helpful to know where you are located to find the right section on RR to get this information.
Afternoon, Bob....Hey, I sure appreciate your taking the time to do this to help me. I'm very grateful, thank you. I will probably try this later today, or tomorrow and will report back, let you know how I did. I think I should be able to follow these directions...take care...
 

bobruzzo

W1AV
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Nov 4, 2019
Messages
1,442
Location
Cranston, Rhode Island
Afternoon, Bob....Hey, I sure appreciate your taking the time to do this to help me. I'm very grateful, thank you. I will probably try this later today, or tomorrow and will report back, let you know how I did. I think I should be able to follow these directions...take care...
It might be helpful too if you can find a local ham or club. Theres usually people that can help with this stuff at local radio clubs.
 

merlin

Active Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2003
Messages
2,711
Location
DN32su
Near the lakes, you might try programming in the VHF marine frequencies, or at least channels with activity.
Don't let the learning curve of programming your radio, or the new world of amateur, discourage you. It can take time and patience.
Deffinately, local ham clubs are a great place to start.
Welcome to the new world.
 

krokus

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 9, 2006
Messages
6,035
Location
Southeastern Michigan
Near the lakes, you might try programming in the VHF marine frequencies, or at least channels with activity.
Don't let the learning curve of programming your radio, or the new world of amateur, discourage you. It can take time and patience.
Deffinately, local ham clubs are a great place to start.
Welcome to the new world.
Channel 16 (156.8 MHz) & Channel 22A (157.1 MHz) are used by the USCG, daily. You should hear the daily informational broadcasts, at a minimum.
 
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