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Baofeng UV-17R


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I have the UV-17R Pro GPS, which I think is an upgraded version of this one?  It's just okay, I would recommend it for listening mostly.  I ordered it for the airband and GPS features, which work fairly well.  However, I found that if you want to listen to two channels at the same time, then the scan banks for each need to be the same.  For example, I cannot listen to airband on A and GMRS on B.  But I can do two different GMRS on A and B.  The display is nice, unless you take it outside during the day, then it becomes difficult to read (like most radios). Also, the programming software is not very good, and not CHIRP compatible (yet).  The good part was that after I got this, I ordered a Wouxun KG-UV-9D Mate a couple weeks later.  Now THAT is a radio, and recommended if you plan on doing any communicating.  Too bad it costs 5-6 times as much.

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54 minutes ago, WRXB215 said:

[...] I'm on a very tight budget. Would you say that the UV-17R transmits and receives as well as the UV5R?

I do not have a direct comparison!

The old saying "you get what you pay for" still holds true.

HOWEVER: Those reasonably priced radios will do the job and get you started!

Soon you will find out that other factors are more influential than the slight performance differences. 

If you look at a top ten list of entry level radios, you will find that the "worst" might get a boost to a top spot just by some good operating practices:

  • If budget allows: Better antenna.
  • Clear voice - speak clearly and loudly (happens to the best that either yell or whisper at the radio)
  • If you are transmitting from your back-yard, move around and find the sweet-spot.
  • Pick the radio you like - if the color makes you smile or the design looks cool or the size fits, you will use the radio and have fun!
  • But above all: Do it - get on the air! -- There is only so much theory in GMRS land - the best learning and fun takes place on frequency.

Those are my 5 fortune cookies for the day 😎

Have a Great Day !!!

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2 hours ago, WRXB215 said:

@back4more70 thanks for the input. I'm on a very tight budget. Would you say that the UV-17R transmits and receives as well as the UV5R?


I have a UV-5R and about 20 of us here in the Phoenix area passed around a UV-17R orange pumpkin to test out and put through the ringer.  Everyone came to the same assessment.  The UV-17R can be a decent listener and a UV-5R will eat it's lunch in the transmit dept.


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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
1 hour ago, WRKZ803 said:

The UV-17R is a budget HAM radio.  It will recieve in the GMRS band but will not transmit on GMRS frequencies.   

Indeed it is a budget radio, but perhaps my UV-17R Pro is a different model, as it will certainly transmit on GMRS.


Edit: I can't remember if I used the UV-5R unlock trick on it or not.  Perhaps I did.

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I was going to get a couple of these UV-17Rs for glovebox radios. I liked the flashlight on the bottom and some reviews said the receiver was very good. I bought the UV-21R instead because of USB-C charging and it came with two antennas. I couldn’t wait to get it on the bench and test the receiver sensitivity.
Well, it came in and had a bad display so I got returned. I bought the two pack and those both worked. A buddy bought two also and wanted me to program them so I had four units to test.

Let’s just say I had to retest all of my HT’s because the receiver was extremely sensitive.
The only other HT that beat it is my Yaesu FT-70 and just barely. -127 vs -128 dBm.
Now another buddy bought one and says his will TX on 222 MHz, mine will not. 136-174 + 400-520.

Very impressive for a Baofeng/Abbree.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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[mention=13532]WRYU400[/mention] I had written off the UV-17R because I heard that the display is hard to read in direct sunlight but now you've got me thinking about it again. 

I cannot speak on the 17s display. The 21Rs display is difficult to see in direct sunlight when the backlight is on. When the backlight turns off (not scanning) it’s pretty easy to see.
Some of the stock photos are misleading because it will show a white text on black background but in actuality it’s a black text on white background. I hope this helps.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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3 hours ago, WREI462 said:

Not to highjack the topic but "the programming software is not very good, and not CHIRP compatible (yet)" does anyone know when CHIRP will be available?  I have two 17 Pro GPS's in the box and they will stay there because my poor arthritic thumbs need a keyboard.

1 hour ago, back4more70 said:

Unfortunately, this cannot be answered until it is actually available.


It's a work in progress. Follow the "issue" request for this radio and you'll get all of the details. Last comments were about a week ago




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