Baofeng Antenna Repairs
I got me a Boafeng UV5RAX+ and I have been satisfied with it pretty much. It does the 2 meter and the 70 cm band full including commercial both RX and TX. To program it with the cable I got I used CHIRP which works a treat for all the rigs I have here, hats of the the CHIRP team! I had to go to the Baofeng website to download the correct version, the one that came with the cable did not communicate with the handy. But still I much prefer the CHIRP for programming.
Have been using this handy for about two months and it performs quite well, I have worked the Martinique repeaters from my QTH and even from the beach, the local repeater I can work no problem with it.
On Friday past I tried keying the repeater with it whilst in Rodney Bay, and got no return. I thought maybe the repeater was off until I used the mobile and the repeater was fine. So when I got home I started checking the radio, I could not even trigger the repeater from my QTH which is a five minute walk from the repeater! But by lightly bending the rubber ducky I would get a response on the repeater which indicated the antenna was at fault. So I proceeded to attempt to dismantle the little rubber ducky. This is where you are happy with a lesser quality: I managed to pry the antenna and fitting out of the rubber coating relatively easy! Upon inspection I found that the wire with a capacitor from the centre connection to the actual antenna wire was loose. So I removed the antenna, which is a length of wire coiled to fit in the short rubber casing. This wire is screwed on to the sma-m fitting. I then replaced the short wire and put back the cap onto the sma-m fitting. Then screwed back the antenna onto the fitting an then soldered the other end of the cap back onto the antenna. then fitted the rubber casing back and voila the handy is in business again!
So overall the VA5RAX+ is a great little radio, the accessories I would say are good to have are the external speakermic, and a spare antenna, the longer one if you want to have better range, and maybe a spare battery