Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Baofeng UV-5R mishap

A few weeks ago, our cat Sandy knocked my Baofeng UV-5R off the bookcase where I had placed it. It wasn't all that far a drop - maybe 2 1/2 feet (close to a meter - just under) and I really didn't think twice about it. Fumblefingers me, had dropped it before with no ill effect. A few days later, as I was going to a radio club meeting, I happened to grab it, only to notice that it must have hit something on the way down and the LCD display had cracked.  Again, no big deal, I could have lived with that. Then I noticed the keyboard had also gotten damaged as I can't change the frequency now. Luckily it's set to the repeater that I support - but that's not good for CERT activities, because various repeaters and simplex frequencies are needed and used. When I get the time (????), I'll try prying the case apart myself to see if perhaps there's just a stuck key - but am not sure when that opportunity will occur.

If the same thing had happened to a Kenwood, Yaesu or Icom, I would have really been upset with the cat. She was lucky it was a Baofeng. However, in all honesty, a Kenwood or a Yaesu or an Icom might have withstood the accident. We'll never know, as I don't have one of those. 

If I didn't have a lot of CERT activities coming up in the next few weeks, I probably would have put off replacing it. But the next three weeks will be chock full of CERT communications as we have track meets, a 5K race, middle and high school graduations and a church sponsored carnival happening all within a short span of time. So I ordered another one from Amazon, parting with a bit of money that I hadn't planned on spending. And it arrived yesterday - delivered on Memorial Day. Wow - who would have thought that could happen?

When I got into this hobby some 38 years ago, I never thought that I'd see the day when a hand held would become, for all intent and purpose, a disposable item.  But that's where we've gotten to - and in reality, I think that's pretty much where we've gotten to with a lot of electronics. i.e cell phones, TVs, tablets, etc.  I'm not sure that there's anyone who really does cell phone or TV repairs these days. The corner "Fix-It" shop is a rare thing, and in many cases, a repair would be less economical than purchasing a new unit, anyway.

Society worries so much about being "green", but this age of disposables really goes against that when you think about it. Repairing a TV or a radio or what have you was the Older Generation's way of recycling. Instead, today we just "buy another", using up more resources and generating more garbage in the process. We really have "evolved" haven't we?

72 de Larry W2LJ
QRP - When you care to send the very least!

1 comment:

  1. Justin12:12 PM

    Hello, I enjoy the blog!. I think we perpetuate the cycle by the things we buy. I have an ICOM T90a that I have used for about 8 years now. It fell off a circuit breaker box and on the way down caught the bottom lip of the breaker box on one of the keys causing the key to get ripped off the keypad. I was able to order a new keypad for $15 and replace it easily enough. This is the only repair I've had to do in the 8 years of using this HT. If it had been a cheap chineese radio I don't think it would have been repairable, similar to your experience. Even though the name brand radios are more expensive up front, in my experience their lifetimes are many times the lifetime of one of the chineese radios. I've seen people spend more money and experience more frustration buying replacement chineese radios than they would have if they had just bought a name brand/high quality HT in the first place. We have the power in our pocketbooks to change the trend of disposable products, radios and otherwise, we just need to act.