Baofeng BF-888s Review

Licence free two-way radio services that now includes both FM and digital channels. Discuss models, modifications and other similar worldwide standards such as FRS and GMRS.
Post Reply
davee
New User
New User
Posts: 3
Joined: 21 Jul 2014, 14:41

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by davee » 24 Jul 2014, 02:33

Mitch wrote:
davee wrote: I too have a set of Cobra Microtalk PMR446 and I have set up my BF-888s the same as you. Channels 1-8 communicate fine with the Cobras but channels 11-16 seem to cause interference on channels 1-8 on the Cobras. In very close proximity it's like my Baofeng is constantly transmitting even if the PTT is not pressed. To clarify, channel 11 interferes with channel 1, channel 12 with channel 2 and so on. Have you experienced this?
That's because only channels 1-8 are on PMR446, channels 9-16 are above the normal PMR in the DPMR (digital) part of the band (look at the frequencies, they have a '1' in place of the '0'), they are allocated for PMR and are supposed to be for digital comms only, but no-one uses them (at least not round here) so give a few clear channels in an otherwise crowded band. You will get interference because they're only a few khz away, like you would from any two different channels. They are ideal for using the scrambler on too.

The 'extra' DPMR channels are only going to work between two radios programmed for such, like high band channels are to a 40 channel CB radio. People use those extra channels at their own risk of course, they're not supposed to be for analogue voice, and getting caught is always a slight possibility, though unlikely. This is why some people say there are 16 'UHF CB' channels, there aren't really but DPMR is so little used so it's a shame to waste them :D
Just to be clear. The interference occurs when neither radio should be transmitting. The PTT is not pressed on either the Cobra Microtalk MT200 nor the Baofeng BF-888s.

jimster99
Regular
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Feb 2014, 18:32

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by jimster99 » 30 Jul 2014, 18:02

Hi. I recently bought some BF888 radios and they have the blue k sticker rather than the green update sticker, which to my understanding means they have no voice scramble function.

The seller swears there is now no difference and that all BF888s radios have the scramble function whatever colour the sticker is. He says Baofeng themselves will confirm this soon on their website. I can't test the radios for myself for a week, so does anyone have any idea if this sounds correct? Or is the seller trying to fob me off?

User avatar
Mitch
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 364
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 21:26
Location: Leicestershire UK

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Mitch » 30 Jul 2014, 18:28

jimster99 wrote:Hi. I recently bought some BF888 radios and they have the blue k sticker rather than the green update sticker, which to my understanding means they have no voice scramble function.

The seller swears there is now no difference and that all BF888s radios have the scramble function whatever colour the sticker is. He says Baofeng themselves will confirm this soon on their website. I can't test the radios for myself for a week, so does anyone have any idea if this sounds correct? Or is the seller trying to fob me off?
He's telling porkies I'm afraid. I have 3 BF-888S's with 'update' stickers and 1 with a 'K' sticker, only the update ones have the scrambler fitted. The K one can be set in the software (beat shift) but there is no scrambled voice output or receive so that part of the circuit is not installed in the K versions. If I set all my channels the same on 4 radios then only the K version receives garbled audio on a scrambled channel, and can't be understood on other radios using the scrambler. I can definitely confirm this from personal experience, been there done that, got the tee shirt.

If it's from eBay then open a dispute for item not as described and ask for a refund, eBay will usually side with the buyer especially if the seller has misled you, and there's a good chance you won't have to send the radios back as our post office won't allow Li-Ion batts to be sent through international post. They are good little radios though so can still be fun to use, but if not as advertised then consumer law and eBay rules are on your side
The perfect face for radio.

User avatar
Mitch
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 364
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 21:26
Location: Leicestershire UK

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Mitch » 30 Jul 2014, 19:30

davee wrote:...

Just to be clear. The interference occurs when neither radio should be transmitting. The PTT is not pressed on either the Cobra Microtalk MT200 nor the Baofeng BF-888s.
Oops, sorry, I misunderstood the question :oops: bit of a blond moment there (had a busy few days last week).

I've just tried this with mine, had to reprogram for 446, but it does indeed do the interference you described. Baofeng Ch 11 interferes with Cobra Ch1 etc. A bit of further testing showed it also interfered with other radios set to 446 Ch1, so not just on the Cobra PMR's. It was the same for all 888S's too. I noticed that they outputted a carrier for only a few seconds then went 'off-on-off-on-off-on-off....' with the output until a button was pressed or channel was changed. I can only assume that was the 'batt save' coming on and going off, but they do cause interference to other radios on 446 for a range of about 6ft (2m) or so. I didn't try any other frequencies, will do that another day perhaps.
I'll take a guess that it's the processor or internal frequency generator control circuits causing it, but it's only apparent when the radios are very close, so not an issue I would worry about tbh.
The perfect face for radio.

jimster99
Regular
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Feb 2014, 18:32

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by jimster99 » 31 Jul 2014, 16:49

Mitch wrote:
jimster99 wrote:Hi. I recently bought some BF888 radios and they have the blue k sticker rather than the green update sticker, which to my understanding means they have no voice scramble function.

The seller swears there is now no difference and that all BF888s radios have the scramble function whatever colour the sticker is. He says Baofeng themselves will confirm this soon on their website. I can't test the radios for myself for a week, so does anyone have any idea if this sounds correct? Or is the seller trying to fob me off?
He's telling porkies I'm afraid. I have 3 BF-888S's with 'update' stickers and 1 with a 'K' sticker, only the update ones have the scrambler fitted. The K one can be set in the software (beat shift) but there is no scrambled voice output or receive so that part of the circuit is not installed in the K versions. If I set all my channels the same on 4 radios then only the K version receives garbled audio on a scrambled channel, and can't be understood on other radios using the scrambler. I can definitely confirm this from personal experience, been there done that, got the tee shirt.

If it's from eBay then open a dispute for item not as described and ask for a refund, eBay will usually side with the buyer especially if the seller has misled you, and there's a good chance you won't have to send the radios back as our post office won't allow Li-Ion batts to be sent through international post. They are good little radios though so can still be fun to use, but if not as advertised then consumer law and eBay rules are on your side
Thanks. I don't think there will any problems getting the money back if necessary. Interestimgly the seller has challenged me to test the radios to verify that the scrambler works. Seems a silly thing to do if they don't!

jimster99
Regular
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Feb 2014, 18:32

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by jimster99 » 01 Aug 2014, 07:44

Well, even stranger, the seller has now pointed me to this webpage: http://www.baofengradio.com/en/shownews.asp?id=31

BUT I tested the radios and the scrambler does not in fact seem to work (on the blue stickered radios).

Curiouser and curiouser!

User avatar
Mitch
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 364
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 21:26
Location: Leicestershire UK

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Mitch » 01 Aug 2014, 08:21

The info on their website is clearly untrue, as we both know from experience. Plus the spelling is wrong too so I think we can take the info with a pinch of salt. I can only guess they have a whole load left over they can't sell, 'cuz everyone wants the scrambler version and they all know the difference, lol. Shame really, they're a nice radio imho.

What they fail to mention is the other branded models though, it's not just Baofeng that supply these, I have a Retevis H-777 which is identical and has the green 'update' sticker with scrambler (talks to Baofeng w/scrambler) and I know of others with H-777 and blue 'K' stickers with no scrambler. There are other makes as well, so it might not even be Baofeng that manufacture them, they could just be badged up from the real manufacturer (like the BF UV-3R is made by Vero, supplied and badged to your own label for 1000 units min order)

There's also a Yahoo! group with more info here: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/BF-888S/info you have to join to see it but could be worth a look.
The perfect face for radio.

jimster99
Regular
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Feb 2014, 18:32

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by jimster99 » 01 Aug 2014, 20:21

Ho ho...you're right that the only explanation is that they have too much unsold stock! {bnghd} Annoying though!!

User avatar
StormShadow
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 1026
Joined: 07 Oct 2013, 11:38
Location: Recently moved to South Bucks

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by StormShadow » 05 Aug 2014, 23:10

We are talking about the Chinese here, of course there not going to be truthful... Shame really because they would go along way if they made something decent. The Baofeng BS-888 is okay for the price although its a very disposable radio just like the rest of there **** but not bad for the price. They don't put out 4 watts either they do around about 2 watts of power. You can program them out of band too.

jimster99
Regular
Regular
Posts: 26
Joined: 15 Feb 2014, 18:32

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by jimster99 » 13 Aug 2014, 16:19

I have decided to keep the BF888s radios even though they don't have the encryption feature. The seller offered me a discount so I ended up paying £8.50 per radio (for 4 radios), and it seemed like too much hassle to send them back. I now have 4 BF888s radios, 2 UVB6 radios, 1 UVB5 radio, 2 x Midland G7 radios, 2 x Motorola Talkabout radios (on the US FRS/GMRS frequencies) and a Uniden bearcat scanner all of which are sitting in a box not being used...

Ant1981
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 171
Joined: 04 Oct 2007, 18:38
Location: England

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Ant1981 » 20 Aug 2014, 12:10

Which Uniden scanner is that?
Ranger RCI2950DX
Uniden UBC3500XLT
Baofeng UV5RC
Baofeng 888s

MiXiN
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 136
Joined: 17 Dec 2012, 03:02

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by MiXiN » 25 Aug 2014, 00:54

I'm considering buying a couple of these..

From those who own a multitude of UHF HT's - what's the RX sensitivity like on the BF-888S as compared to other stuff? Are they deaf or do they appear to have similar ears?

Also, can anyone suggest an eBay seller who definitely offers the scrambled updated version?

User avatar
StormShadow
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 1026
Joined: 07 Oct 2013, 11:38
Location: Recently moved to South Bucks

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by StormShadow » 26 Aug 2014, 21:18

MiXiN wrote:I'm considering buying a couple of these..

From those who own a multitude of UHF HT's - what's the RX sensitivity like on the BF-888S as compared to other stuff? Are they deaf or do they appear to have similar ears?

Also, can anyone suggest an eBay seller who definitely offers the scrambled updated version?
The BF-888S are a bit deaf but there reasonable. Also you have to press the monitor button sometimes for more distant stations, there ok for PMR use and not bad little radios for the price.

User avatar
Bogget
Top Poster
Top Poster
Posts: 1156
Joined: 27 Jul 2011, 23:33
Location: North East lincolnshire

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Bogget » 23 Sep 2014, 21:41

Please do NOT use radios on the GMRS freq in the UK.

Bogget
Amateur does not have a CH its pronounced "am-a-tore" NOT am-a-chure !

User avatar
Mitch
Super Member
Super Member
Posts: 364
Joined: 02 Nov 2012, 21:26
Location: Leicestershire UK

Re: Baofeng BF-888s Review

Post by Mitch » 17 Oct 2014, 08:03

Here's an interesting update...
I bought another BF-888S (auction win, I can't help it, it was cheap) and was disappointed at first, it had a red 'K' sticker but when I uploaded my channels to it, low and behold the scrambler was working, nice surprise. So a RED 'K' sticker has a working scrambler (on my humble research budget of one). It was from a Chinese seller but sent from a local distributer and delivered by courier within a few days (even more of a bargain) for less than a tenner. I tried to look on the Baofeng website, stickers were mentioned, but the site's down atm.

[EDIT]: The site's back up now
Disclaimer: On the back of model BF888S aluminum case there is a “K” tag or an “UPDATE” tag. Those who think the green sticker tag means it is a scrambler version are acally incorrect. Any colored tags are just for the manufacrer’s internal use. They are only used as a distinguishing mark for different suppliers. There is no other practical significance and they are unrelated to the scrambler.
So it's not all lies then :clap: :o

Anyone else got others like this? Any more different coloured 'K' stickers about?

I know, pics or it didn't happen lol. :D Pics:

Image

Close up

Image
The perfect face for radio.

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests