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Baofeng GM15 Pro/ Raddioddity GM30 and why I love them despite annoyances


WRYC373

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The GM-15 Pro which is the same as the GM30 is an awesome cheap HT and here is why almost everyone in my GMRS group uses them.

 

1. Repeater Capable and programmable on the radio.

2. Easy to use and the Baofeng lady explains things in the menu so they make more sense.

3. Sounds good, the speaker is not the best speaker ive heard but its better than many of the other sub 30$ HTs.

4. Basic Power Meter on receive.  

5. Good range and the amazon pack includes a ABREE AR-771 type whip and again the pack is less than 30$. 

6. Can listen to FM Radio and 2M/70CM Ham band

7.  UV-5R programing cable works on it (again more below).  

8.  USB C Charging  and  good battery life

9.  Convenient Wrist Strap and okay belt clip.

10. Light up buttons (GM15 Pro only?)

11. Easy to remove antenna and good spacing to fit pretty much any aftermarket antenna or adapter.

12. Pretty good manual

13. Sync allowing you to see channel names and freq on the display at the same time

14. Dual monitor is available if you like that.

15. NOAA weather channel scanning automatically

 

Things I do not like

1. Biggest issue for me is that its not Dust/Water Resistant.

2. Saving per channel CTCSS/DCS sucks on the radio  (but not completely impossible with help of Baofeng lady's guidance)

3. Belt Clip is weak and attaches to battery.

4. Battery has 3 pin charging on the battery but no base charger included or sold (why? Yes it has USB C but base chargers are nice. Maybe another base fits but idk which one.)

5. Not CHIRP Compatible and seemingly no plans to be so from Chirp

6. GM-30 Program needed to program it as Baofeng never released their version of the programming software. (My Cable required me to find some drivers as well for it to work on windows 10 and 11 tried both and then settings in device manager needed to be changed to compatibility modes).

7. Its a typical SOC GMRS Radio (but who cares at less than 30$).

 

 

 

So for using it around town and at the farm it works well. It is is cheap and we have talked 30miles+ house to house on these with really good clarity.

 

If you want to mud wrestle with a radio this is not it. If you drop things in your toilet this is not for you. If you talk mostly simplex and like to carry your radio around and want something better than a midland bubble pack or a basic baofeng this is a good option with lots of options on the radio.

 

Overall Id give it a B+ for a GMRS Radio there are things I wish it had (at least a little dust resistance) but most of them have solutions.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 12/14/2023 at 3:02 AM, WRYC373 said:

I purchased the GM15 pro and it's okay.  I have been able to talk to a buddy at 4.3 miles in a semi urban area with trees and strip malls and he came in good and heard me good on his Tid radio although I don't know what model he had.  

I'm going to buy one of the wouxuns radios for their true 5 plus watts and then get a good antenna and an extra mobile antenna because I can't hit repeaters where I live. That said, the repeaters are like 35 miles away as the crow flies with many forests and buildings and small hills between me and the repeaters which are up high however.  I don't know that the wouxuns will hit them either, but they have a good reputation and super heterodyne receivers which makes them better to receive on I understand and the quality is better even though they are also Chinese like most 99 percent of the radios / HTs for sale ..

I wish I could find a US made GMRS radio, but that's about as easy as finding Jimi Hoffa or cost more than the national debt. 🤣

The GM15 is an excellent first time radio though.  I totally agree.  I've not tried the GM30 but I did use  the GM30 for programming the GM15 pro with chirp I believe it was. I have it on my laptop...

Happy bewyears all . 

Tim ( wrzf 693)

---------

 

The GM-15 Pro which is the same as the GM30 is an awesome cheap HT and here is why almost everyone in my GMRS group uses them.

 

1. Repeater Capable and programmable on the radio.

2. Easy to use and the Baofeng lady explains things in the menu so they make more sense.

3. Sounds good, the speaker is not the best speaker ive heard but its better than many of the other sub 30$ HTs.

4. Basic Power Meter on receive.  

5. Good range and the amazon pack includes a ABREE AR-771 type whip and again the pack is less than 30$. 

6. Can listen to FM Radio and 2M/70CM Ham band

7.  UV-5R programing cable works on it (again more below).  

8.  USB C Charging  and  good battery life

9.  Convenient Wrist Strap and okay belt clip.

10. Light up buttons (GM15 Pro only?)

11. Easy to remove antenna and good spacing to fit pretty much any aftermarket antenna or adapter.

12. Pretty good manual

13. Sync allowing you to see channel names and freq on the display at the same time

14. Dual monitor is available if you like that.

15. NOAA weather channel scanning automatically

 

Things I do not like

1. Biggest issue for me is that its not Dust/Water Resistant.

2. Saving per channel CTCSS/DCS sucks on the radio  (but not completely impossible with help of Baofeng lady's guidance)

3. Belt Clip is weak and attaches to battery.

4. Battery has 3 pin charging on the battery but no base charger included or sold (why? Yes it has USB C but base chargers are nice. Maybe another base fits but idk which one.)

5. Not CHIRP Compatible and seemingly no plans to be so from Chirp

6. GM-30 Program needed to program it as Baofeng never released their version of the programming software. (My Cable required me to find some drivers as well for it to work on windows 10 and 11 tried both and then settings in device manager needed to be changed to compatibility modes).

7. Its a typical SOC GMRS Radio (but who cares at less than 30$).

 

 

 

So for using it around town and at the farm it works well. It is is cheap and we have talked 30miles+ house to house on these with really good clarity.

 

If you want to mud wrestle with a radio this is not it. If you drop things in your toilet this is not for you. If you talk mostly simplex and like to carry your radio around and want something better than a midland bubble pack or a basic baofeng this is a good option with lots of options on the radio.

 

Overall Id give it a B+ for a GMRS Radio there are things I wish it had (at least a little dust resistance) but most of them have solutions.

 

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I've got a pair of them and they seem to handle fine. The repeater capability + programmable without a computer are the two biggest selling points. The USB-C is nice, the whip antenna being included is nice, but ultimately it's being able to set up stuff myself for repeaters and active local freqs that sold it for me.

I intend to get some better handhelds and a decent 50W mobile sometime this year, but I'm not sure what yet.

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Agree. I have the GM15 pro and have had really good luck with it.  I'm about to give it to my buddy after I receive and test my new Wouxun kg916 I just bought from Bettersaferadios.. Can't wait to see how it does.  The GM15 pro has been great. Simplex to my friends Tidradio we were able to talk no problem at all in a semi suburban small town here at 4.3 miles and it's kinda busy with strip malls and lots of trees, etc, but he was straight down the road.  We could hear each other like we were right next to each other with just a tad bit of static.  I also monitor the NOAA weather channel which I think comes from a town 30 miles away and it sounds great too.  

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We bought GM-30's in February last year.  Very happy with them.  I live about 20 miles south of the Indy 600 repeater and we can't hit it reliably with them....even with the better RD-232 antenna.  But that's OK, we're out on the edge of the repeater and lot of stuff between us and the repeater site.  I fish a lot in the summertime, at a pond that is about a mile from home.  I can talk with my wife and she can talk to me on the GM-30's with no problems.  When she takes her daily walk around the block, she is about 2.2 miles away and we can still converse with little difficulty.  These are the only GMRS radios we use currently.  I do have a TK-880 Kenwood that I hope to set up as a base radio and I hope to get an antenna up 20-30 feet....should have no probs hitting Indy 600 then.  67 days until Spring...  

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