Baofeng - UV-5R +

Just bought one of these with 8 Watt erp so that I can get on air after taking and Passing Foundation exam in UK. However scanning function on both 70 and 2 mt bands gets me lots of clicks and other weird noises on channels across the whole spectrum scanned, no speech heard. Slow in scanning as it is not a true scanner but useful. Because I live in open country in the Scottish Borders there seems to no activity up here other than click etc. Local scanner some 12 miles away seems not active with only the odd click heard. Using a tactical antenna high up outside makes no difference. Squelch set to 1. No making a 1/4 wave ground based antenna but waiting for aluminium rods so that I can complete project. Not holding my breath and wondering if I am doing anything wrong with settings etc. Is it worth continuing with studies? Any help on this would be greatly appreciated .
Thanks and 73’s

Those radios have good sensitivity but very poor selectivity. There are a lot of internally generated signals (birdies) that it could be stopping on. Also, RF generated in the home could cause it to stop scanning periodically. They are very poor scanners.

Thanks for the advice. Using in the field however some 1/2 mile from any houses with no overhead/ underground cables. Tuning on repeater tx frequency getts crackles etc. May have something to do with antennas as the one suppled with the set gives a SWR of 5 on vhf and 1.5 on uhf whereas the tactical one folded and unfolded give swr of 5+ on both bands. Must try it again when I get my 1/4 wave ground antenna up and running so will report back when this is done. As you can gather I am a new boy at this but learning fast. Thanks for the advice.

Just finished a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna for the 2 mtr band and fixed to mast at back of house some 8mts high. Getting reception of local ham net through repeaters so well pleased. Ran an swr check and found it to read about 1,3 to 1.4 on both 2mt and 70cm bands. no balun used as it seems these ground plane antennas are balanced with coax feed/. Don’t know why but now very usable whereas before I made this I could not receive or hear and transmissions. Got the bit between my teeth now to do more.

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rewired coax connector plugs and swr now 1.1 on both 2m and 70cm bands. Now able to connect to 2 repeaters and read other hams.

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Ground planes are unbalanced, and will connect happily to the unbalanced connections on two-way radios. The VSWR says all is great. Forget baluns. They convert balanced antennas like half-wave dipoles to unbalanced for the radios.

Thanks for that. Now it makes sense. Been asking for advice on other forums about the need for a balun on my home brew ground wave antenna and have been getting tons of tech advice relating to dipoles ( and not specifically 1/4 wave ground antenna which if I understand you correctly is simply a dipole converted to an unbalanced antenna by virtue of the radial elements and so removing the need for a balun). Enough mumbo jumbo for me to take in. Happy with your response .

I’ve actually noticed over the years people get very confused about dipoles - the clue is the ‘di’, as in two, so why they never became bipoles, I never understood. How Greek and Latin origins got all blurred I have no idea. We really should just say dipole=balanced and ¼, ¾ and 5/8th ground planes = unbalanced and everyone would get it. VHF and above, unless you make your own stuff, everything will be unbalanced. P

" Is it worth continuing with studies?"… very simply, yes!