The Baofeng Mystery

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BF-F9 V2+ (left) and BF-F8HP (right)

Update: I have since taken the BF-F8 HP completely apart and the backing appears to be painted aluminum, not plastic, and have updated this article accordingly.

I’ve gotten into amateur radio recently and therefore have been looking into a lot of different handheld radios. Within the amateur radio market, Baofeng is generally the cheapest and is a good bang for the buck, however there’s a lot of question over what the “real” radios are as Baofeng is a Chinese manufacturer. Specifically, the two largest resellers of Baofeng radios are Baofeng Tech and Foscam (i.e., baofengradio.us). First, to settle the fact that they are both authorized resellers as Baofeng, in a recent press release explaining their renaming to Pofung, referred to both companies as “authorized distributors,” and therefore they both sell “official” Baofeng radios (Foscam as mentioned as “baofengradio.us”).

The two specific radios that seem to be the source of all this talk is Baofeng Tech’s BF-F8HP and Foscam’s BF-F9 V2+; they both use the same radio internally however they have different casings, of which Foscam’s is the same case as the UV-5R V2+. The BF-F8HP also comes with a higher capacity battery, a better antenna, and a better manual, however I’m more concerned with the actual quality of the radio.

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