Episode 149: Baofeng RD-5R Dual Band DMR Review

Today we talk about the Baofeng RD-5R Dual Band DMR HT. I found it to be a decent radio, but lacking the features that we have seen in several other Dual Band DMR HTs.  The audio quality is good, and it is a true Tier 2 radio, but the contacts list and channel capacity are still lacking, like radios were when DMR first entered the Amateur Radio market.  For a dual band, I would expect to see more features, but you can’t argue with the performance of this model.

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5 Responses to “Episode 149: Baofeng RD-5R Dual Band DMR Review”

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  1. Ted, KB7YLU says:

    Re: Your comment on “Promiscuos Mode.”

    The Side Key buttons can be programmed, as we all know. One option is to set it to “Monitor.” When using my RD-5R on a Shark OpenSpot this allows me the option to monitor all traffic going through the OpenSpot. A friend (John, WD7F) and I were both using these radios and talking through his Shark OpenSpot. John gets all credit for noticing that he could “tailgate” in “Monitor Mode” and continue a QSO on the RD-5R without even having the talkgroup in his radio … because he was using “Monitor” mode and was on his OpenSpot at the same time.

    The trick is that you have to jump into the QSO, whille in monitor mode, within three (3) seconds of the carrier drop in order to continue in the QSO on the OpenSpot. Note: This is done without 1) being on the same talkgorup and 2) even without having that talkgroup in both radios.

    For example. I was on South Africa TG655 and John was on TAC 310 and he did not have TG655 in his code plug at all but we could talk back and forth.

    Learning more about the RD-5R every week. They are great little radios!

    ’73
    Ted, KB7YLU

  2. chris lee says:

    I did not think it is Tier 2 DMR ie cannot be used on Phoenix or Brandmeister ! If it cannot be used on these it is not Motorola approved use ! The claims by Baofeng are sorry to say rubbish

    • kc5hwb says:

      It is Tier 2, I prove that in the video. Watch the Netwatch screen when I key-up and you will see it only transmitting on 1 timeslot.

      I don’t know what Phoenix is, but Brandmeister is made up of more hotspots than repeaters, and those hotspots are mostly single timeslot, so even if this radio wasn’t Tier 2, it wouldn’t matter much over there.

      No, it is certainly not Motorola approved, but neither are the majority of devices on the networks today, especially Brandmeister, who allows experimental equipment. Nothing in this video has to do with Motorola, though.

  3. chris lee says:

    the radio is not Motorola approved for full Tier 2. yes can go to Hotspots but that’s all. it is not fit for purpose and the radio should be taken off the shelves asap. I gather the DMR-9R is ! personally I stay away from them and get a TYT MD380 once sorted out and working it is a great DMR probably the best on the market for Brandmeister and Phoenix. The last DMR from Baofeng was the same absolute rubbish yet there PMR for amateur is excellent

    • kc5hwb says:

      What is “Motorola approved”? That makes no sense. Motorola doesn’t own DMR or regulate DMR for Amateur Radio.

      The radio is true Tier-2 compliant because it transmits on 2 timeslots, one at a time. Again, I show proof of this in the video. You can see on the Netwatch where I transmit on a talkgroup, but it doesn’t come up as “unregistered” on the 2nd timeslot.

      You are talking about the DM-5R, which I do agree was no good. But they have made improvements to this model and subsequent models. Also, most of the equipment on Brandmeister wouldn’t be “Motorola approved” (if there was such a thing) since they allow experimental equipment on their network, and their network is made up more of hotspots than repeaters. On a single timeslot hotspot, a radio that isn’t true Tier-2, like the DM-5R, really doesn’t matter, since the hotspot doesn’t TX over TS1 and TS2 at the same time. These new full duplexing hotspots are another story, though.

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