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BTech GMRS 50X1 - Not Quite There


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Let me start by saying that I am aware that BTech/Baofeng's intention is to be fully part 95 compliant.  Let me also say that I wished I had watched more reviews on this radio before buying. 

Yes, it's substantially cheaper than other 50W mobiles, and I can live without a removable control head and some of the other 'fluff' features (FM broadcast?).  However, where Baofeng really dropped the ball on this radio, was when they limited the transmit capable channels to just the preprogrammed memories.  Even if you program a legitimate  GMRS frequency/pair into one of the other available memories, the radio will not transmit, nor will it transmit in VFO mode, again, even if the transmit frequency is a legitimate GMRS frequency.

I suppose if you just want a base station radio and only use a few repeaters (on different frequencies) or simplex frequencies, the radio is pretty good.  Even then, however, if you live in an area and have access to multiple repeaters, or like many GMRS users I've listened to, you travel a lot and/or are into off road activities, you might find yourself having to change the CTCSS tones in the transmit capable memories frequently.  No, it isn't difficult to do that, but it is damn inconvenient.

So after doing a deep dive into the capabilities of this radio and, while also considering keeping the radio with hopes for the possibility of a firmware update to at least enable transmit on legitimate (User Entered) GMRS frequencies, I have opted instead on the side of caution and decided to pack it up and return it for a refund.  Yes, it was cheaper (and easier) to obtain than, for example, the Wouxun KG-1000G. In hindsight I think the extra bucks might have been the better choice.  I think I'm just going to hold off on a mobile for a while and see what the develops in the market.


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