Just came in yesterday! simultaneously the niftiest and most annoying radio I own, all at the same time.. the rubber duck antenna seems to work great, but the threads are opposite every other HT antenna I have. Which means I'd need to get a male to male coupler if I wanted to run a different one, and I can also screw two antennas together.
But the charging base is pretty trick- just drop it in and it charges- no more digging for the right AC adapter... that in itself makes this a cool radio.
it works great in simplex, I was able to type in 146.460 and talk to myself in the truck instantly, I only had to change the default frequency step from 25kHz to 2.5 kHz to dial it in. then I plugged in 462.6375 and was able to talk to Gavin on his wristwatch walkie talkie channel 4... cool, just what I was hoping. Kept it at 1 watt to keep the copters at bay...
I flipped it to dual mode (option 7) and the radio seemed to randomly select between A and B. that was a little annoying. Then I just programmed in 2 repeaters, took a while to figure out but the settings you need are options 25 and 26, same as I think 38-39 on the Yaesu.. but once saved, the settings changed for everything in the memory. Meaning I was now transmitting at a negative -offset on 146.460 simplex, because that's what I needed to hit the last repeater I programmed. And when I changed T-CTS option 13 from 123hz to 107.2hz to program the 145, well now that changed the 145.310 memory to 107.2 as well. you gotta be kidding me...
I was able to transmit onto the 145.310, the 145.145, and 146.460, but never when trying to save one or the other to memory, as it would alter the settings of the other two. After a brief search, it sounds like I need to get the optional computer cable to program in the repeaters, as it just doesn't work using the radio interface... a firmware glich they say.
Anyway, for $40 I'm still happy- I'll be able to monitor the kids a little easier while camping this summer and even yak back if I have to, plus I've got a cheap hand-held to toss in a non-Ham truck on a club run to let someone else monitor.. The LED flash light is kind of cool, and it'll play a little alarm if you want, beyond that I'd rather spend my time programming one of my Yaesu radios for repeaters. But heck for $40? still worth it.
edit: I got the Baofeng UV-5R from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/BaoFeng-UV-5R-...ywords=baofeng