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Baofeng UV-B5 (x2)


Stored next to the beamer, in the office upstairs. They're in a blue 'Leiden University' messenger bag.

These dual band vhf/uhf handhelds are capable of transmitting and receiving on 2m and 70cm bands (for those of us with ham radio licenses), as well the 70cm pmr frequencies made available to the rest of us. In the interest of preventing a visit from the Agentschap Telecom I've programmed both units with the eight public use PMR channels, as well as a ninth 'channel' (appropriately named 'SPACE') which is just channel 8 with a selective squelch code enabled to filter out other communication. I programmed them to transmit on low power, in order to comply as closely as possible with regulations regarding pmr channel use. Depending on conditions, the range is quite substantial.

It is perfectly possible to tune these units to frequencies (either by programming with pc or through menu settings) that are absolutely not allowed for public communications; transmission outside designated bands can cause serious interference, and the resulting fines levied on anyone who chooses to do so are very very steep. Dutch telecom authorities have become freakishly efficient at detecting and triangulating illegal transmissions, so please be very mindful of this. If you stick to the programmed PMR channels, you shouldn't have any issues. The usual adage applies, just don't be an asshole. Regardless, proper use is strictly your own responsibility, and the risk is yours as well.

There are charging cradles for both units. They charge quickly (in the order of a few hours from flat to full), and once the light on the base turns green I ask you remove the units, as the charging circuit isn't exactly the most sophisticated of designs. The plug packs are also of questionable quality, so please don't leave them plugged in overnight. You can set the units to receive while charging, but the reception is greatly reduced, almost to the point of being useless.

If you do have a HAM license, feel free to reprogram the radio as you see fit, and do whatever you want with them. You can use CHIRP to program the radio with a pc, but please make a backup of the current channel setup and restore it when you're done. There is a programming cable in the bag (it uses a prolific pl2303 uart chip).

The official included manuals are practically useless, so for basic operation I refer you to this website, it has an excellent overview of all features and menu structure, which is hilariously convoluted. http://www.miklor.com/UVB5/

Please note there is a small red button on the top of the handhelds, which is supposed to be some kind of emergency alarm signal, but in practice it's just very annoying. I've already desoldered the switch from one of the units, but haven't gotten around to the second one yet.

If you want to borrow them for use outside revspace, that's fine, but check with me first. I don't use them very often, but it does happen from time to time. Just give me a shout, i'm 'thomastheo' on IRC.

Oh, and they have an fm commercial radio function, but honestly, who the hell cares :)