Monday, December 29, 2014

8 Watts is the new Black

In the fashion world, a trendy fabric, a stylish new cut, an innovative design becomes the next big trend... it becomes the "New Black".
With handheld Ham Radios, it appears 8 watts is currently the New Black, and from all indications, it's quickly establishing a benchmark in performance that defines "the next new thing."

Within recent months a series of handheld radios have entered the market with one defining difference, greater output transmit power. Normally, .5 watts, 1 watt, or 4 watts is the standard output depending on make & manufacturer, a range that pretty much has been a given standard industry wide.
But with Chinese Manufacturer Baofang/Pofung offering hand held radios with twice as much output power, that standard is now, "old fashioned."

Here's a short list of new "Blowtorch" handhelds available...

BaoFeng BF-F8HP

Seems strange. This radio has only been out for 3 months, and it's now the "Grand Old Man" of 8-watt handhelds. Baofeng's BF-F8HP debuted mid August 2014, to rave reviews &  tremendous demand. An upgrade of the UV-5R model, it rolled out new firmware, a new antenna & a great new user manual that actually makes sense. Just recently the BF-F8HP has been upgraded with a new stock heavy duty 2000 mAh Battery.

Baofeng PoFung GT-3TP Mark-III

The earlier GT-3 model's biggest difference from the UV-5R line was it's cosemeticly redesigned two-tone case. But just in time for Christmas it got a new name and 3 new power modes: 1,4 & 8 watts.
offered by "Baofeng Radio US", Houston TX based Foscam Digital Technologies LLC.
The BF-F9 V2+HP is a stock BF-F9 model, with the ti-power upgrade. That & along with more letters & numbers to it's name. Most notable unique selling point? Offering models in Black, Blue, Red, Yellow & Green Camouflage color cases.

Doubling output power to 8 watts essentially adds 2.5 dB. in transmitted signal strength. In practical terms, it makes for a louder signal, offering greater range.  The trade off is greater demand upon the radio's battery. Naturally, more output power means quicker battery drain, so it should be noted, only the BF-F8HP is currently offered with a larger capacity battery as stock. (In time, that too will change).

Maybe someday in style again...

Will 8 watts become the new "Standard" in Handheld Ham Radios? A closet full of Neru Jackets is betting on seeing more powerful handheld radios being offered by other manufacturers in time. 8 watts of output power is fashionable for the moment. As fashion statements go, it is indeed a powerful one.
  


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