I wish I could tell you that your BaoFeng radio can transmit up to 10 miles without blinking an eye, but many factors affect the accuracy of a BaoFeng radio propagation such that can cause the radio’s transmission range to fluctuate.
But if you want a slight idea of what to expect from your BaoFeng radio, you should consider:
- The radio power. Is your radio set on a maximum output unit or the minimum unit? Remember, a radio’s reception and transmission capacity are boosted by how much power it has. So your BaoFeng radio should boast of 5 watts at least.
- The radio antenna. Most factory packed antennas don’t offer the best signal reception/radiation, but you could get a quality antenna that offers efficient signal radiation unlike some that only absorbs the signal.
- Type and location of repeater. The sitting of your repeater determines how far your radio signals propagate. Are you located within tall buildings or around an open space? Your radio range is determined by how much transmission the repeater can get, but in an ideal scenario, the repeater offers an excellent communication range, though it can sometimes be restricted by surrounding buildings, distance or obstructive objects.
If your repeater is placed on a high location, then you should expect a perfect transmission distance.
But under ideal circumstances, because your BaoFeng radio has the dual function of receiving and transmitting (transceiver), you should be able to transmit as far as 10-20km (take note of the obstacles around) or more depending on transmission and if you live in a bustling city, maybe a lot less.
Using a local repeater has its advantage though as it can double the range of your standard radio transmission.
Regardless of the factors that come into play when using a radio, your transmission could go as far as 10 miles in normal conditions and under a deplorable condition, it should go 2 miles. But in the best of conditions, a BaoFeng radio can transmit up to 15 miles. This is what I call the pros and cons of radio — the days of pure uninterrupted communication, and other days of stressful and fluctuating transmission.
But you should ensure your radio power is up, the radio well charged and your location free from obstructions, with these factors considered, you should be able to have an idea of the average transmission range for your BaoFeng radio.