All Hail the Bowelfunk

HeartlandPrairie1139notusingconstructionbarHATERS GONNA HATE


I always wished I could hang out at The Max after school, but I never would be able to trust myself not to walk into those railings you see on the left. Dear Eris that looks painful. #fnord
I always wished I could hang out at The Max after school, but I never would be able to trust myself not to walk into those railings you see on the left. Dear Eris that looks painful. #fnord


This wonderful chart just showed up from the November issue of QST, confirming in a good size statistical sampling what I’ve suspected for quite some time:

Baofengs are rubbish.

Click to view full size.
Image from the QST article. Apologies to the ARRL for reposting part of their article without permission… but at this point, we just need to stop buying Baofengs and this illustrates the fact well.







This is kinda nothing new. On the first model they sent over here, the UV-3R, rumors surfaced early on that the antenna was critical. The antenna’s bandwidth limitations were being used as a harmonic/spurious emission filter. If you used a third party antenna, especially one that’s very broadband like a discone, it’d spew. The UV-5R’s are everywhere now and well, aside from you having about a 70% chance the radio works at all, there’s about a 50% chance it has spurious emissions exceeding FCC standards.




You will notice if you look at the chart above that a small sampling (as in, ONE unit each) of Kenwood and Yaesu radios also failed to pass, but I get the feeling those were radios that had soaked up a bit too much puddle water in their years. We hams tend to keep our rigs till they turn to once expensive dust….. then claim they’re STILL wurf way the hell too much.

I think I may still have one UV-5R kicking around somewhere. I haven’t used it in nigh forever, because the last time I did, the receiver started going deaf and shutting down with a crackling sound whenever you moved the radio. It wasn’t a cracked solder joint at the antenna connector (a VERY common problem, historically, on almost all brands of handheld radios). The board was just plain goin’. Either way, after reading this, I’m declaring it to be a [lackluster] receiver only.

At work there’s an ever shrinking bundle of Baofeng/Pofung 888 single band radios that were obtained out of desperation as the old Motorola CP200’s and newer CP185’s all gradually started to fail. They just plain don’t work right. They drift in frequency in mid transmission, emit strange noises, go weak on transmit, or fail to receive. On a side note – funny how the CP200’s lasted over a decade and the CP185’s, now made in China, barely make it beyond three years’ service. I wonder who “Motorola” actually buys them from? Bueller? Bueller? *squelch*


Apparently in the 2012 tests, some TYT radios showed up with half of the small sample being bad – interesting to note that they’ve never reappeared. The TYT [Tytera] MD-380 analog/DMR radio is starting to gain a lot of use lately, hopefully they’ve cleaned up their act!

On a side note, boy, Tytera sure never seemed to use their full name OR the same exact font that Hytera uses for their logo until Hytera started really kicking butt with their DMR line. Gee I wonder why they just happened to jump to similar trade dress. 😉

(Comparing the looks of the MD380 to the looks of a Hytera radio, however, is like comparing the looks of a Samsung Galaxy S6 with one of those toy plastic cellphones that’s full of candy.)

Publix: Where shopping is occasionally perplexing

I’d wanted to put in that edited strip here with “No Meat Touching” and Heathcliff wearing the Kafkaesque hat but couldn’t find it… anyone have that saved somewhere?

So I was at a Publix somewhere out in suburbia and confusing things happened. There was what appeared to maybe be a high school football or basketball team shopping there, like 20 kids, and they were very much defying conventional logic on how anyone is supposed to shop for groceries… or… well, anything.

When I arrived at the store, there was one older lady sitting at the front who had a Kenwood commercial type handheld radio and was talking to the people from the team(?). Okay then…

I go into the store and start looking for stuff and her kids are just shopping in the most baffling manner. It seemed like each of them had a list that was a printout of an Excel spreadsheet, each line was numbered and they were calling out numbers to each other as they got the items on the list…

The odd thing was, though, they were broken up into four(?) groups who would just descend on a section in a Blitzkreig-esque manner, shove other shoppers and their carts out of the way, unload a whole section into an empty cart, then run to one of the main aisles where they’d pick over that cart then return it and its contents to shelves…. in near totally random order.

Probably half the store’s staff was cleaning up after them including the manager.

On a whim I decided to look for their choice of frequency and found it – GMRS, 462.600 mhz, no PL tone. I waited for a lull in their traffic and hopped on, well, to be a jerk.

“This is WQRZ855*, do you guys have a license to use this frequency?”

There’s this wonderful sound as about five people key up on top of each other like “what?”.

“This is an FCC authorized station, WQRZ855, is your group licensed to use this service?”

The radio goes silent and the group starts kinda yelling at each other then rushes to go check out as if they’ve just been caught doing something far worse than making a mess of a Publix…

They pretty much aborted their shopping at this point and all rushed to the front to go check out… consuming all eight of the open checkout lines, and leaving merchandise scattered everywhere.

The manager, meanwhile, was right next to me when I had this exchange with them over the radio and she just about doubled over laughing while telling me that this group shows up every week and makes a colossal mess of her store and this is the first time they actually listened to anyone.

Why hasn’t she used her managerial banhammer yet?

* Seriously, I’m like one of three people I know of actually having a GMRS license. Why do I have one? Because I’m a nerd, that’s why. Apparently it comes in handy to yell at people.
It’s not hard to get, basically all you have to do is sign up for ULS then log in and buy it. Or… just wait a couple of years, the licensing requirement will probably be dropped because nobody bothers to get licenses. However, you might not want to do that, as there’s a good chance the service will get nerfed and repeaters will be disallowed when that happens, unless you’re a grandfathered in licensed user… who the heck knows.