How Far Can a Baofeng Transmit?

With a full battery and in full power mode, it will give you a range of about 20 km depending on obstacles.

When buying a Baofeng or any ham radio, the range of the radio signal becomes a deciding factor. Manufacturers claim their radios get around 30 kilometers or more of the transmitting range. While it is not completely false, the range of transmission of ham radios varies depending on various factors in the real world.

With the Baofeng radios, you will get 8 – 15 kilometers of transmission range under normal circumstances. In Ideal condition, you will get more than 20 kilometers of transmission range with the Baofeng radios. The range may also reduce to 5 kilometers if the condition doesn’t favor the transmission. While the range may come down or go up depending on different factors, you can boost the transmission signal using various methods.

Let us see the factors affecting the transmission range of a ham radio and how to increase the transmission range in your Baofeng ham radio.

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Factors that affect the transmission range

1. Power setting

All radios come with different power setting options that you can adjust to get varying performance. If you set the power option to the lowest watt, then you will get a low transmission range. Similarly, you get the most transmission range out of your radio by setting it to the maximum power watt output.

Baofeng radios come with at least 5-watt of maximum output power and some have up to 8-watt of output power. So you will get a good transmission range with your Baofeng radios if you set it to the maximum output power level. Just make sure you have enough battery left in your radio before setting it to the maximum power output level.

2. Antenna Type

The transmission range also gets affected due to the type of antenna you have with your radio. The stock antenna that you get with your radio won’t give you the best signal transmission or reception. You will usually get about 15 kilometers of transmission range with the stock antenna using Baofeng radios.

You can actually increase the range by using good quality aftermarket antennas. The transmission range can be further increased by using a dual-band antenna and mounting it at a high point. If you use this technique, you can boost the transmission range up to 30 kilometers. Before purchasing an antenna, make sure that it supports connecting to the Baofeng radios.

3. Your Environment

The VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) signals from the ham radios travel in a straight line of sight. They do not bounce around along the ground, so any obstacles present in your environment may decrease the transmission range. If there are no obstacles like trees or buildings, then the transmission range will surely increase.

If you are in a tall building, then the transmission range will be increased. While it is impossible to remove all the obstacles, you can increase the transmission range by using it from a tall building.

4. Position of the repeater

If you are using a local repeater, then the transmission range will increase. The position of the repeater will also come into play in determining the transmission range. If the repeater is located at a high tower, the transmission range will get boosted as there are no obstacles present at a high altitude.

Similarly, if you use a small repeater inside a building or a garage, then the signals will bet obscured to reduce the transmission range. So to get the best possible transmission range, buy a local repeater and place it on a tall tower or a building.

Conclusion

You can get the most transmission range from your Boafeng radios if all the above-listed factors are in your favor. You will get up to 30 kilometers of transmission range under the best of conditions. Make sure that there are minimum obstacles and you set the maximum power output level with a local repeater to get the most out of your Baofeng radios.

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