Radios: Yeasu and Upgrades to Baofeng's - June 25th 2019 Group Chat Record

6/24/19, 1:33 PM - Kris Holub: Any radio pros familiar with the differences between the various Yaesu radios (or alternatives)? Specifically the ft60 vs ft25, other than the 25 being half the price

6/24/19, 4:39 PM - Adam Lendi: the ft60 is a dual-band and the ft25 is a single 2m band. The ft25 will do everything you need it to do for our sport. I found the Mars/cap modification for it and it covers the ushpa frequencies.

6/24/19, 4:40 PM - John Jay: ft 60 is dual band 2M & 440mhz. also an older model. FT25 uses a newer chip set, same as the new Baofeng/BTech. good reviews on radios w the new chip set. if you dont need 440mhz band save the money and use it to buy a better antenna. jj

6/24/19, 4:49 PM - John Jay: and if you Do need dual band, the FT 65R is $85.

6/24/19, 6:49 PM - Ian - One tiny thing I’ll chime in: as an avid amateur radio enthusiast and radio nerd, I just bring a baofeng for pg. Radios get lost and damaged often in PG, especially if you do any water siv stuff or long hiking where they can get dropped and forgotten.

Save the nice radios for less brutal environments and use a cheapo for pg, so you don’t cry when something happens to it. The difference in performance is so negligible as to not be worth it for our uses in this sport. Of course none of this is relevant if money is no object but…

Just my opinion, and worth about what you paid for it.

6/24/19, 6:58 PM - Dan Whitney: This message was deleted

6/24/19, 6:59 PM - Dan Whitney: What would u suggest for a radio that may receive airport ground communications? How many bands and what should I look for?

6/24/19, 7:00 PM - Dan Whitney: This message was deleted

6/24/19, 7:00 PM - Dan Whitney: I’ve had a new baofeng pass a radio check on launch, but failed in transmissions more than a few dozen feet. It seems to me the potential difference in performance is 1 or 0 in those circumstances, hence leading me to buy a more robust radio- one which will work when it’s needed most. I went through 3 baofengs before I bought a yaesu FT270, which has now lasted several yrs.

However, I would not recommend the ft270 now as its super heavy and bulky, albeit water resistance & dust proof (a must for SIV).

6/24/19, 7:04 PM - Ian: Interesting experience you had with the baofeng. I’ve never had that. Or even heard of it… I would be highly suspect of the particular unit rather than the model, and I would also be suspect of the antenna. Though a slight transmission quality difference can be expected, complete failure or significant difference in range is not at all common. Weird.

Also one of my “waterproof” yaesus died in an siv water landing. What luck.

As for radio for RX avband, most will. But avband is am, so very very few will transmit. Which is fine because even if they could it wouldn’t be legal

6/24/19, 7:12 PM - John Jay: i have not had issues with baofengs other tjan the horrible excuse for an antenna that some came with. rrplace them with a decent antenna and problem solved. the new Btechs use the same chipset as the yaesu ft25. both have had good reviews. the yaesu is not too much more price wise anf yaesu has a good reputation. but the cost differential can buy you a good antenna.

6/24/19, 7:15 PM - Ian: This has been my experience and the experience of most of those I’ve flown with.

The only thing is that although USHPA uses VHF you might find some places using UHF so it can be handy to have…

6/24/19, 7:15 PM - John Jay: i have yaesu ft60 270s etc. they are rock solid and weigh a little more than a big rock too. great base radios. i prefer to fly w a baofeng, due to weight, and battery life. the new ft25 would also do well.

6/24/19, 7:17 PM - John Jay: i do use uhf at times. K3GGG

6/24/19, 7:20 PM - Ian: Also if you’re clipping your radio to your gear and not hand holding it, a counterpoise can make a HUGE difference. If you have good luck with hand holding but then have bad luck when using a shoulder mic with your radio clipped somewhere that is a great hint that you need a better ground plane.

6/24/19, 9:18 PM - +1 (240) 672-2488: I try to avoid multi band radios. I made the mistake of doing more and more bands with fancy expensive yaesus about 15 years ago and the interference in the air was infuriating.

6/24/19, 9:21 PM - Justin Hoggatt: I just bought the FT70dr from who will also do the MOD as well for a few so you do t have to worry about it or stress about it. I used it last week at Woodrat and it was invaluable. I’ve previously used Bfangs and had issues and shitty reception even with different radios and antenna. I can’t believe I waited so long but I experienced so much better reception and seemed to work great! Obviously something much more valuable when you rely on reliable communications during a comp. I’d certainly buy again.

6/24/19, 10:19 PM - Shad Preston: Anyone out there also play golf and want to play 9 holes of a morning this week?

6/24/19, 11:16 PM - Travis: Do you get fancy with your counterpoise, or do you just use a simple single wire?

6/24/19, 11:18 PM - Ian: Just a wire is plenty

6/24/19, 11:20 PM - Travis: And that’s sufficient for a ground plane if it’s riding around in your harness? Cool. Thanks!

6/24/19, 11:21 PM - Ian: Yep. Well nothing is sufficient. Even the actual earth isn’t as good of a ground plane as us RF engineers would hope, but just a wire counterpoise is infinitely better than nothing!!!

6/24/19, 11:22 PM - Ian: This is part of why many people talk about baofengs having worse receive

6/24/19, 11:22 PM - Travis: :+1::grin:

6/24/19, 11:23 PM - Ian: Being plastic they don’t have much of a ground plane, whereas the metal body of bigger radios can pretend to be a bit of a ground plane.

Baofeng REALLY relies on using the capacitive coupling to the human. When you’re not holding it, it’s quite crappy

6/24/19, 11:26 PM - Ian: This message was deleted

6/24/19, 11:29 PM - Dan Whitney: Could u explain this more?

I have a yaesu with PtT mic… what is this counterpoise gizmo for ground plane?

6/24/19, 11:30 PM - Ian: As for little single wire job, 19.5" is a reasonable starting point for an okayish dual band or VHF. 6.5" should do for UHF, or roughly 11.5" for 220.

If you have a friend with fun electrical test gear you can tune it more accurately

6/24/19, 11:30 PM - Travis: Right on. Being a far cry from an expert, I was just going to ballpark it at the antenna length

:thinking:…which, now that I think about it, is only a couple inches shy of 19”. I wonder how big a diff that woulda made. Thanks for the tip!

6/24/19, 11:34 PM - Ian: It’s just a little wire that creates the other half of what should ideally be a dipole antenna. So a real dipole antenna should actually have two balanced sides. In the case of our handhelds, the antenna is one half of that system and then the operator actually serves as the other half. This only works under ideal conditions, and it’s still not great.

So a counterpoise (sometimes called a tiger tail) is just the other half of the antenna.

Usually made from a simple wire that’s the correct length, and then a little ring terminal or simply loop the wire and twist it off. This is installed under the antenna at it’s base before the antenna is screwed on. It is electrically connected to the ‘ground’ side of the SMA connector.

This little simple piece of wire serves as the other half of the antenna when the human isn’t good enough.

I could do a little video showing it if anyone is more interested. Or I’m sure dozens of other people already have

6/24/19, 11:36 PM - Ian: Also while I’m nerding about radios, I’ll make a shameless plug for my videos about the Oudie, in case anyone flies with one and happens to be annoyed by the radio interference. That’s fixable too :wink:

6/24/19, 11:43 PM - Travis: How does one look up your vid?

Regarding your offer, it seems to me that a quick how to video for counterpoise construction might be handy for a lot of people. Personally I’d be more interested the translation of broader theoretical to practical, but that’s more of a book subject than a video thing.

6/24/19, 11:45 PM - Ian:

6/24/19, 11:45 PM - Ian:

6/24/19, 11:46 PM - Dan Whitney: You da man. That interference drives me nuts

6/24/19, 11:47 PM - Ian: First video shows me diagnosing the problem. Second video is a pretty thorough video on applying the actual fix. I’m hoping that if enough people nag Naviter they will eventually use a proper shielded ribbon cable like they should have from the beginning and the problem will vanish. Thus far they still refuse to admit there’s a problem. 💁

6/24/19, 11:48 PM - Ian: I know of 7 oudies that have been fixed this way, some by me and some by people following my instructions. All have been completely radio silent ever since…

It will void Naviter warranty though. Since the problem doesn’t exist according to them.

6/24/19, 11:49 PM - Ian: I’ll do another video on counterpoise construction, and try to give a little background without getting to professorial and boring.

6/24/19, 11:56 PM - Travis: Nice!

Yeah, I think that’s a good idea. Some simple general guidelines might be pretty handy (e.g. lengths, wire materials), but I dunno. You’d have a better grasp on whether that’s really useful for a vid.

Thanks for the tips!

Slapping together a quick counterpoise now. :sweat_smile:

6/24/19, 11:59 PM - Ian: Cool, I’ll definitely put something together. you may have to be patient for a bit though. Just moved here from Missouri, so it’ll be a few more days before I have the lab set back up properly. (by the way, hello all. I’m Ian. Guess I’m bad at introductions…:flushed:)

6/25/19, 6:25 AM - Benzie: Chrigel is minutes away from winning his 6th X-alps.

6/25/19, 6:25 AM - Benzie:

6/25/19, 6:33 AM - Benzie: it’s fun to watch facebook live with the live tracking

6/25/19, 6:38 AM - Benzie: ok live tracking is way off from FB Live Chrigel just arrived at TP13 (final) and signed the board

6/25/19, 6:39 AM - Joe Cary: I should have bet

6/25/19, 6:40 AM - Benzie: Next time they should have Red Bull X-alps Hang Glider addition. (3 turn points total) :wink:

6/25/19, 6:48 AM - Benzie: Chrigel will fly down to the beach at 7pm (local time - Monaco) that’s 11am (MST). FB live will be there with super choppy service and probably will cut out right at the time he launches.

6/25/19, 6:51 AM - Benzie:

6/25/19, 6:54 AM - Benzie: He commented about how hot it is (upper 90’s) and how he feels for the other pilots in the back, he said it looks flyable but it’s not, there’s just no lift, it’s too stable. Very difficult flying conditions. Europe is facing a huge heat wave this week so it’s not going to get any easier for the racers in the back of the pack.

6/25/19, 7:23 AM - Nalu: Pinot is having a great flight though. 70kms out and at 2000m

6/25/19, 7:26 AM - Larry Tudor:

Didier Favre conceptualized sky camping and sky camped the length of the Alps

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