kenwood v. baofeng

The brand of the radios in question is not actually important. My question is this.

I can spend well over $200 on a Kenwood (or similar radio). For that I only get UHF or VHF and 16 channels.

Or I can spend about $60 on something like a baofeng. For that $60 I get UHF & VHF and 128 channels.

Why is that?

If you mean the Baofeng UV-5R amateur radio, it all comes down to durability. Kenwood and other brand name business radios are designed specifically for long-term, heavy use in a business environment. That is, they are considered more durable and rugged than a radio such as the UV-5R.

While the Baofeng may be more versatile, it is not designed to withstand the constant 8-14 hours a day wear and tear a typical business radio endures in an industrial, retail, warehouse, hospitality, construction, hospitality or other commercial environment that Kenwood, Motorola, Icom or other business radios are specifically intended to take.

The Baofeng is not built to IP or Mil-STD specifications. Kenwood and many other business radios are. Even the TK-3230 is somewhat water resistant. The Baofeng is not. While dropping a ProTalk radio on a concrete floor a few times may not seriously damage it, the Baofeng probably wouldn’t fare as well. Those are important things to consider when choosing a two way radio for commercial use.

I think that you are missing the point.

When your motivation is driven by price and not by QUALITY - then you will always be attracted towards what ever is cheaper.

The Baofeng is not a service / duty rated radio.

Radios used in the LMRS tends to be of a design that is designed to perform under adverse conditions. Be it water - dropped in a puddle or a pond or used in the pouring down rain or a snow storm.

Be it cold temperatures - most are probably good to ZERO degrees…

The battery service life of the Kenwood is probably 4 - 7 years…

The battery service life of the Baofeng is about 1 year…

The useage at high power ( 90 / 10 ) of the Kenwood is probably as much as 24 hours between charges, where the Baofeng is probably 4 hours.

The transmit time of the Kenwood is probably 50 / 50 - with no damage to the radio, the transmit time with the Baofeng is probably 90 / 10 - use it too much and it will probably quit working in about a year and then all you will have is a expensive paper weight.

The Baofeng does different bands and frequency ranges because it is not built to any one standard - hence it is probably illegal to use in most radio services.

And the Baofeng does not include the identifier tones which are manditory with the new buisness radios for some radio services…

I think that there is some type of misconception that as long as someone sells it - it must be legal.
Without going through each part type acceptance - I cannot comment on it’s use.

Lets use the fire department, ambulance / Public service as a example.
Why would you need more then 16 channels?

Lets use GMRS as a example - why would you need more then 16 channels ?
There is only 8 simplex frequencies and 8 repeater inputs.

Buisness radio - you would only need the frequencies alloted to you.

If a couple of frequencies can do everything that you need, why would you need more?

Its not amateur radio where you need access to all of the frequencies…

Thank you for the info.

I don’t have spec sheets on those radios, but I can just about guarantee you that there is a major difference in the receiver sensitivity, adjacent channel rejection, spurious noise, etc. You can’t build a $60 radio out of quality parts. People look at the transmit power too much. I look at the receiver. If it has a poor receiver it doesn’t matter how many watts that other radio has it won’t hear it. Does that make sense? The Baofeng would probably make a good scanner, but not a good daily radio.

Hello there, i have a baofeng uv5-r from amazon and i would like to use it with my co workers and they have motorola gp340, i already got the rx frequency but i cannot reply to them i could not find the right tx frequency, can anybody knows how this thing works. i use the 457.525, for ch 3, 457.550, i can hear ch 1&5, 457.575 for ch 4. thank you!

Price is very often set based on a perceived value. This is often linked to brand and facilities. In virtually every product group you will may more for a well known brand. Sometimes these well known brands are actually made in the cheaper countries anyway, indeed one expensive brand I deal with suddenly appeared re-branded from one of my Chinese suppliers. A bit of investigation showed these were B stock rejected for small marks in the finish - the factory simply sold them out as a weird brand name. The big brands also have a service system to match the high price tag. If you buy premium brands, then workshop manuals exist, spare parts are orderable and they can be fixed. The cheap brands are disposable. If a dealer makes only a few dollars on a product (like Baofeng, for example) then postage becomes a considerable part of the deal. Half an hour dismantling one costs more than the retail value. This doesn’t mean they are poor quality, just uneconomic to repair, so no need to set up a service network.

I opened up a case of old radios today as things were slack. Motorola, Icom and Kensung radios in it - all junked at some point and stuck on a shelf in the workshop. Three out of six Motorolas work fine, once the batteries were charged while the other three have stopped faults. Two have dodgy batteries, new ones on order now. The other had no transmit audio. This turned out to be mud in the mic/speaker grill just muffling the audio. So once the batteries turn up - 6 up and running. The kensungs are a different matter - two of the three have cracks in the case where the battery packs were slid on wrongly. Fixing this with glue and charging reveals two of them are not taking a charge, and being 4 years old now finding the exact match is difficult as the model numbers have worn off! I don’t need them anyway, so spending even a few dollars/pounds on packs that might fit is pointless. One works fine, but ironically this one has a seized up volume control - it’s rusty inside!

When I source new stock, I always order two of a chinese unknown radio. If they are sturdy and solid, I’ll order more, but if they are flimsy and plastic, then it’s onto ebay to recover as much as I can, then I move on.