I have one of the Baofeng UV-5R radios. My amateur radio club gave them away to new members as a welcome gift. I hate to say it, but my personal experience with the Baofeng was dismal. I consider it a totally useless radio. Sorry. Don't mean to knock something that you have, but they're just not very good radios. You can improve them by installed a better antenna though. Unfortunately, the improvement only upgrades them from "is this thing a joke?" to "throw it in the trash".

I did a mini comparison of the Baofeng to a well known Yaesu radio on a different forum (link below). The Baofeng was totally outclassed. This comparison was not about features, it was only about performance.

On that other forum, I also did a post about an antenna stand I made for a J-Pole antenna. J-Poles perform well. You can mount one on your house or take it portable (mine is a two piece takedown model). You can't mount a J-Pole on your car however.

Link to my Baofeng vs. Yaesu comparison:


Link to my antenna stand for the J-Pole:


Where I got my test antennas from:



(Note that the Baofeng required an SMA-F antenna whereas the Yaesu requires an SMA-M, besure and get the correct connector type, or buy an adapter.)