BF-F8HP and Counterfeits: Their differences and how to spot a counterfeit BF-F8HP
The BaoFeng BF-F8HP has been an extremely popular entry-level amateur radio ever since its debut. Unfortunately, due to their popularity; there has been a huge influx of counterfeits and knock-off BF-F8HPs. It is important to make an issue of these counterfeits as: they are not assembled by BaoFeng, they are not FCC certified, they are inferior in build and performance, and they carry no distributor warranty.
How do you identify a counterfeit BF-F8HP?
First and foremost, when purchasing a BF-F8HP – verify the source. This is important and although we will document some differences between different types of counterfeits and a genuine BF-F8HP — counterfeiters will:
- Adapt and change their listings
- OR simply mis-represent their product (by using stock photos, or content that does not represent what they will actually ship you).
The BF-F8HP is only sold by BaoFeng Tech and through our authorized distributors.
Some counterfeits are completely cosmetically different, and the reseller will try to hide it. Their listings maybe a mixture of genuine BF-F8HP photos along with the fake BF-F8HP that they will send. Some counterfeits have support bars along their speaker grill. The BF-F8HP does not have support bars on the speaker grill. Some counterfeiters will simply send a basic UV-5R with a BF-F8HP label applied to the radio.
Some counterfeiters will source generic batteries, user manuals, and boxes. A genuine BF-F8HP will be clearly advertised on the packaging. A genuine BF-F8HP user manual will actually refer to the radio as a “BF-F8HP” and will not be generic.
The BF-F8HP uses its own unique firmware – and there are few ways to check it. First power on the BF-F8HP while holding down the “3” key. A new BF-F8HP will display ‘Ver F8HP-1’ – but this could be replicated by a counterfeit and should not be solely relied on. A harder item for counterfeiters to replicate is the actual N5R340B firmware that a BF-F8HP uses. You can check your firmware by using CHIRP. The firmware is found in CHIRP as shown in the image below.
Most counterfeits use a hacked firmware, that may not have a third power level (L/M/H) or if they do, they will output the same power on both Medium and High settings.
HOW TO DEAL WITH A COUNTERFEIT:
We have personally dealt with hundreds of counterfeit listings and have had them removed from marketplaces. Unfortunately, most sites will not prohibit the counterfeiter from creating another listing. The most effective means to stopping counterfeits is to buy direct from a BTECH authorized distributor. What happens if you have purchased a counterfeit? You will stop counterfeiters by requesting a chargeback from your payment processor and then reporting that illegitimate seller to the marketplace.