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Befenton TM-8118

I had the opportunity to review this unit on Amazon. The following is my personal review that was posted on Amazon:

                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

I have been a long time CB radio user for many years and I have had several of different radios. Since CB radio isn’t the same as it was back in the day, I have put all of my equipment away with the exception of one CB radio I still have in my car. I have even sold a few. I have never ever thought of GMRS, or HAM before until I came across this radio. I was a little skeptical at first due to it’s size, but decided to go for it.

Once received, I noticed that everything was very well pack. I was extremely surprised at the size of this radio. This literally fits on the palm of my hand with no overhang. The build quality of this radio despite the very small size, is very well built. Feels very rugged and feels as if it will withstand the toughest environment. The microphone feels very lightweight and cheap, but don’t let that fool you because it most definitely works. Includes a user manual that is easy to read and all the necessary hardware to mount the radio. The mic is lightweight and easy to hold, and the screen is very well lit and easy to read day and night. The user manual doesn’t really explain how to use the radio, it just basically covers what the buttons do.

There is another Amazon customer who also reviewed this radio by the name of “The Toolman” who excellently explained how to program this radio without the software. I will quote what he said.

Quote “To program a memory:

Go to VFO mode using the V/M key and enter frequency, offset, PL, etc.
- Then go to back to Memory Mode.
- Press FUN then 0 on the Mic, select the memory # you want to save and then press FUN again to save it.
- Then to enter the memory name, select the memory channel you want, press FUN, scroll to SET, press FUN.
- Turn channel knob to the left until you get to NAME EDIT, press FUN.
- Use the # key to move the cursor all the way to the left, set the first letter of the name using the VFO knob.
- Press * to move Cursor to the right and do the same for each letter. When done, you can clear any left over asterisks by using the channel know. Blank is right after z.
- Press FUN then EXIT and you have programmed the name. Again, it's tedious but doable. Using the software is MUCH easier.”

End Quote.

I realized that I couldn’t properly review this radio without the proper antenna required (CB antenna will NOT work for this radio), and of course, without a GMRS, or HAM license if I wanted to talk on those specific bands. You can, however, talk on the regular pre-programmed channels 1 to 22 license free. However, I wanted to really test this thing out, so I decided to purchase a really good antenna for the car and obtain an GMRS license from the FCC. No test required for GMRS. A test is required for HAM though.

Once the antenna arrived, I went ahead and started to hook everything all up. Installation was extremely easy because this radio is so small, you can install this almost anywhere. I drive a 2001 Volvo S40 and I installed this in the center console, right below the touch screen head unit that I also installed. I have decided to hard wire the radio without the use of the 12 volt cigarette lighter plug. I simply clipped off the 12 volt cigarette lighter plug and added additional wires to extend the length and added an eyelet connector to the ground wire and used a self tapping screw to ground and used a quick connect splice connector for the positive wire to a constant 12 volt circuit that also powers my touch screen head unit. If you go this route, make sure you keep the in-line fuse intact to protect the radio from any shorts.

Once everything was all setup and installed correctly, I powered it on and was amazed of all the features and functions this has. With limited pre-programmed channels, I really couldn’t get anyone on the air to talk to and get a radio check. This radio does NOT include a programming cable. I did, however, obtained a high quality USB C cable. I contacted the seller to request the necessary programing software. The seller sent me a personal Google Doc link to download the software. Of course I was skeptical at this approach so I scanned the software with my subscription of Norton 360 which turned out ok to use.

I have never programmed a radio before and no instructions were given. So I had to resort to the internet for info on this. After I figured how to properly program this, the process was quit simple. I gathered all the frequencies I wanted from the net to program onto this radio. Quick tip though, before you go ahead and start to program this, make sure you backup the current configuration of the radio in case you need to restore to factory. Restoring to factory without a backup will put this radio in Chinese mode and you will loose everything that was on the radio to begin with. Trust me, I learned the hard way.

For GMRS, there is a website that lists all the GMRS repeaters in your area. I would not mention that site since I may not be allowed to do that here. You may need to request access for some of them but a majority of them are open to use freely.

With all the new frequencies programmed, I immediately started to talk on the air. I have to say that everyone I have spoken with have informed me that I sound really great and clear. Incoming signals were coming in really well. The internal speaker on this radio sounds a little weak so I added an external powered speaker using the external speaker connector on the back of the radio which helps tremendously.

I was so amazed at the quality of the radio’s performance and the technology of repeaters and repeater linking. I am still learning how all the repeater linking technology works but I was so hyped that I ended up purchasing another one of these radios to use at the house. A 12 volt power supply is needed to power this radio up at home which I already had for my other CB radios. I also purchased a dual band base antenna and purchased two dual band walkie talkies. I also went ahead and purchased coax cable to hook everything all up at the house.

I needed something to communicate with my wife at home while I’m out driving around to and from work that does not rely on cell technology. We were once in a situation where all cell phone towers were down and we couldn’t communicate with each other for over 8 hours. That is a whole other story but we didn’t want to fall in to that same situation again and CB radio is somewhat reliable but there are CB antenna restrictions where we live. CB antennas are fairly much bigger than dual band antennas.

Because I was given the opportunity to review this radio, I was able to get into a world of GMRS communications and with repeater linking technology, this is a no brainer. Communications between my wife and myself and along with others on the repeater network, everyone sounds so clear and I highly, highly recommend you get yourself one of these radios! The price is unbeatable compared to other similar radios. Don’t forget, do your research and get a GMRS license to start off! Those are good for 10 years and covers everyone in your immediate family!

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WRFD401 Ray and WRKZ303 have reacted to this post.
WRFD401 RayWRKZ303

Thanks for the review. It sounds like a real winner. You say it is dual band. Does it cover the HAM 2 meters and 440 or is it strictly GMRS and MURS?

WRPB633 and WRVD487 have reacted to this post.
WRPB633WRVD487

My apologies for leaving that information out. Yes, it does cover those frequencies. It covers VHF: 136~174MHz and UHF: 400~470MHz; Output Power: VHF 25Watt UHF 20Watt.

It also features dual channel monitoring. So for in the car, I have it primarily set for the North Providence repeater on one channel and the North Attleboro repeater on the second channel. That way while driving to and from work, I still have a connection without touching the radio.

I keep my Baofeng HT on my tool bench at work and although a bit staticky, I can still monitor and talk on  the network repeaters. My wife keeps the other Baofeng HT on her person so she can also monitor and talk on the network when she's not in the home office where the other Befenton is located.

I've seen an adapter for the Anytone radios that allows a regular CB microphone to be used by connecting the mic to the adapter and the adapter to the RJ45 port on the radio. I'm trying to figure out a way to use my Astatic Echomax 2000 with this radio at home. Not for the echo but for the quality of audio the mic produces. I do know that with FM, any loud power mics can distort audio, but I can always adjust the gain on the mic to a comfortable listening level, unless you think this may not be a good idea and I'm just better off using the original mic?

WRPB633 has reacted to this post.
WRPB633

I have an adapter for my Delta M2 Mic and I use it on my Yaesu 991A. I just keep the mic gain down low and I never had a complaint. If you have the pin-out of the radio I'm sure you can buy a couple connecters and make a short cable to do the job.

>My apologies for leaving that information out. Yes, it does cover those frequencies. It covers VHF: 136~174MHz and >UHF: 400~470MHz; Output Power: VHF 25Watt UHF 20Watt.

That's pretty good, it has become difficult to get a radio that is not a commercial radio to fully cover the bands.

WRVD487 has reacted to this post.
WRVD487

That Delta mic is awesome! Glad you found a way to use it on your Yaesu. I will try to find the schematics to mine so that I can use the Astatic mic. Anything is possible and I know there is a way.

Quote from WRFD401 Ray on November 25, 2022, 3:54 pm

>That's pretty good, it has become difficult to get a radio that is not a commercial radio to fully cover the bands.

The Befenton radios and my Baofeng HT's has a huge amount of frequency coverage. I have some channels programmed in for my job, which uses business type Motorola two-ways and I have some others programmed in for local Ham, Fire, etc...that I just monitor from time to time. I still have plenty of channels available to program in. I'll probably program some New York repeaters in those so I can talk to the locals out there while visiting and use the DVswitch on the phone to stay in contact out here.

 

WRFD401 Ray has reacted to this post.
WRFD401 Ray

I had a little trouble finding the baby on Amazon, but for those who are interested, here is the link.

Befenton TM-8118

Thank WRVD487 for the review.

By the way if you do a google search, your review is number one.

WRVD487 has reacted to this post.
WRVD487

 

Quote from WRFD401 Ray on November 27, 2022, 3:02 pm

I had a little trouble finding the baby on Amazon, but for those who are interested, here is the link.

Befenton TM-8118

Thank WRVD487 for the review.

By the way if you do a google search, your review is number one.

I actually didn't realize that. Wow. That's very interesting.

It was brought to my attention that some of the guys on the network are very interested in this little radio. Do I sound that good? It's actually because of the features this little guy has for the price I assume because this has a lot of frequency coverage, dual channel monitor and it is a dual band transceiver to name a few.

The actual link I used to purchase the radio is below. The one you posted seems to be another add from the same seller but for some reason, there is a shipping charge and would take nearly a month to arrive. The link below takes you to the add with free shipping and quick delivery for Amazon Prime members.

Here's the link with free shipping and fast delivery: Befenton TM-8118 (Free Shipping & Fast Delivery)

Looks like there are only 6 units available left at the time of this posting. That add also has videos on this unit.

For those who are interested in this radio, the Chirp Software is not compatible with this unit. There is a program for it though and I had to ask the seller for it and that took a while. I have the installer file for Windows and I'll be more than happy to share it with you. I can file transfer it to you via Teamviewer or Dropbox.

 

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