Intro: Baofeng FB-F9 V2+ Ham Radio Modification
This Instructable addresses the following:
1. My brief synopsis of the FB-F9 V2+ Baofeng H.T.
2. Overview of the microphone modification that I made.
3. Operation De-Glitz, (It was just a bit to shiny/blingy for my taste).
Step 1: A Brief Overview of the BF-F9 V2+
I recently purchased the radio on Ebay from an authorized dealer here in the U.S.
It arrived very nicely/neatly packed and in good condition.
There are several features that I really like about this radio.
1. With my aging eyes the display is not only large enough to see, but with three screen color options the readability is excellent. The choice of colors are blue, purple, or orange. They can be set to standby, receive, or transmit mode. Or you could use one color for all three as this radio lets you pick what you want.
2. The radio can be programmed by my laptop computer without a lot of radio button pushing. It can be programmed by the Baofeng software or with the open source "CHIRP" software usable in both Windows and Linux.
3. There is a built in FM radio that will play the station you select. When a signal is detected on VHF/UHF the audio will switch to the repeater or simplex traffic automatically and then back to the FM when it finishes. This can be a great feature when you are trying to keep track of breaking news, or weather provided you don't have a NOAA weather station close range.
4.The BF-F9 V2+ has a high quality speaker as I recall they used the same one Motorola uses. The frequency range on it even does well with music audio. Radio traffic is very copy-able on this rig.
5. Lastly is the price. The FB-F9 V2+ is feature rich it sure gives other radios a run for their money! I think I paid about $60.00 with free shipping and this including the radio, charger and charger base, antenna, belt clip, ear/mic piece and hand strap. ( I did buy a Nagoya NA-771 antenna, as the stock one is not as good as a nicer aftermarket one for better reception and transmit.)
Step 2: Grill Removal and Microphone Modification
There are 5 screws that hold the grill on over the speaker and button area.
The grill is a brushed aluminum with a black anodized finish on it. You will need a small TORX head screwdriver, or driver bit in order to remove the screws.
The grill should practically fall off after the screws are removed. DO NOT pry it off be gentle, there should be no need for force as its not needed and could warp the edge and create a surface to snag clothing, or even you!
The speaker screen is NOT glued down and will come off with slight convincing. A gentle easing with the sharp edge of a knife should do the trick if it doesn't fall off to begin with.
The picture of the grill laying flat shows one screw still coming through, this is to help you discern the microphone hole very close to it. You will notice I used a round diamond coated needle file to broach the mic hole out a bit. A small drill would work but BECAREFUL! the plate is thin and really doesn't need must alteration. I filed/broached the hole out about 30%. (On my first simplex contact I was told my audio was low.)
After reading on the internet I saw several other Ham Operators using this technique as well, so I decided to mention it here.
NOTE* 30% may not seem like a lot of expansion but it really almost doubles the surface area of the hole in general, thus making room for more voice audio to reach the microphone element !
This really is a simple modification but it also works, so give it a try and see what you think.
Step 3: De-Glitzing the BF-F9 V2+
I like this radio but it was a bit blingy for my taste so I decided tone it down a bit. I figured while I had the grill off I could use a black Sharpie marker and color in the shiny routed lines in the grill. I'm fairly sure they use a CNC router to cut the face plate/grill. The maker did tone it down a bit. I debated on coloring the screen as well then decided the contrast was okay.
One guy I was reading about had lightly sanded the grill and screen and shot it with a coat of spray paint of some sort. I wasn't sure I wanted to go that far, and also notice I didn't use the marker on the areas around the microphone hole or the A/B button or the VFO/MR button. I thought having those exposed with some definition in low light might be a good idea. If I went the spray paint route I would have to mask those off etc and that would be too much work.
You can see the final product in the picture. From some angles the grill still shines a bit but its not silver it's a black shine, and not nearly as noticeable.
Feel free to leave comments, ideas, or suggestions as well.
Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed this Instructable, 73 Bryan KC8HPS