Spectral Purity testing of Baofeng UV5RA

I decided to look at my Baofeng UV5RA spectral purity.  These things have came up many times as being less than clean and failing to meet FCC emissions levels in a lot of examples tested.

I done a test measuring the harmonics of two UV5RA radios and a Yaesu FT817 for comparison.

The results show that the UV5RA radios which I measured do meet the FCC 43db levels, but not by much!  Both UV5RA radios had a very similar output so I’ve only included one set of screen prints from the spectrum analyzer.

UV5-RA at 1MHz with a center frequency of 146.520MHz.  This looks fine.


FT-817 at 1MHz with a center frequency of 146.520MHz, also looks fine.  There are some additional sidebands above and below the carrier but still low.  The UV5RA has the edge in this range, but its very slight and not really significant.



UV5RA at 500MHz span.

The first harmonic (largest spike) at close to 300 MHz is -45dBm compared to the 0dBm reference.  So just inside the permitted emissions level.  I’m fine with this with the short antenna using it as a hand held radio, but certainly wouldn’t want to use it with a home base antenna and a bit of gain!



FT-817 at 500MHz span.  You can see how much cleaner it is.  The same first spike is just noticeable above the noise floor at about -59dBm.


Conclusion.. they are not great!



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My Homepage


Thanks for looking me up and welcome to my Amateur Radio page.
I’m Cameron AF7DK and I also still hold my Scottish call GM7LQR.

I operate from Cannon Beach, Oregon at our beach house.
Cannon Beach is grid CN85AV

Cannon Beach, Oregon
See my qrz.com page for pictures of my little radio shack.


General Stuff:
I’m a Scottish expatriate now living in Oregon State. I’ve been living over here in the PNW since the end of 2006 and recently decided to get re-licensed.
My initial thoughts were to get the technician license so I could take a 2 meter hand held radio to the mountains just in case I needed to make an emergency call out.

Realizing I hadn’t forgotten everything ever after almost 20 years since I took my UK license test I found myself sitting in an ARRL exam session one Saturday morning taking all three tests and gained the extra class license and call sign I now hold. I’ve been licensed as AF7DK since the end of August 2013 only a month after deciding to get the license.

My Extra Class Certificate


It’s been really good to get back into the hobby, and I’m enjoying experimenting with antennas and building radio related items.

Back in Scotland I was licensed as GM7LQR which I gained in the late 1980’s.

I spent a lot of time and effort back then on the hobby and also for a while had a radio related career maintaining and installing some commercial VHF and UFH repeater sites. My main interest in the amateur bands at that time was in VHF operation mostly because I was able to easily operate from my work van when out and about, and I liked the challenge of SSB on 2 meters from home (thanks to my parents for letting me put up some really ugly homemade antennas)

I was a member of the Maxwelltown Amateur Radio Club in Dumfries during that time too and had a lot of fun helping out with special event and contest portable stations which the club operated from an Aviation Museum based in a World War II control tower, I also had an interest in this museum and was an active member there for a number of years. See the link below for the museum website. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures from back then of us operating there. (pre-digital camera era!)


I moved into a computer related job and drifted away from amateur radio at the same time and eventually moved to the US. I thought I had put it all behind me until the spark was re-ignited in July 2013 when I decided to get my license again.

My other other interests are Playing various type of Scottish bagpipes. I climb mountains and generally try to keep fit and healthy and spend as much time out doors as I can. I’ll add a couple of pages dedicated to these subjects in the future.

To pay for all these hobbies and interests I take care of the database infrastructure architecture for a large company. This is a challenging and interesting career where I design the highly available database infrastructure platforms and provide technical support to a team of DBA’s.

I get to architect solutions utilizing MS SQL Server, PostgreSQL, and MySQL and also designed the architecture of a NoSQL platform across multiple continents.

See my other pages on this site for some of my other experiments and adventures in Amateur Radio and Electronics.

thanks for reading, and hope to meet you on the air some time soon.

73, Cameron – AF7DK

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