Chinese Walkie Talkies

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by N1NQC, May 22, 2012.

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  1. N1NQC

    N1NQC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey All,

    In another thread we touched on Chinese ham walkie talkies. Although I am not in the market for one at this time, I was wondering what the experiences/reviews of others have been with these inexpensive rigs.

    The brand names I have come up with (so far) are : Baofeng, Fei Daxin, Jingtong , Linton, Puxing, Quansheng, TYT, Weierwel (and most famously) Wouxon.

    Anyone else know of any other brands ?

    My PARTICULAR interest is in VHF only, but we can discuss dual banders too.

    Price is an issue.Other than auction type prices, what is the LOWEST fixed market price ( inc shipping) rig you've see ( again especially for VHF only, but also for a dual bander).

  2. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bot my Baofeng UV-3R Mark II for $45 delivered, have not seen a lower new price. Works well, a bit difficult to program.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  3. AA0CW

    AA0CW Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a Wouxon dual band. I like it. I've had no issues with it.
  4. KB6QVI

    KB6QVI Ham Member QRZ Page

    I bought the Baofeng UV-3R Mark II also and love it. For the price you cant go wrong.
  5. KC2TCM

    KC2TCM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have actually had several of the various Chinese HT's...

    Wouxun KG-UV2D - Decent all around radio, very sensitive receive, I have two. One I have to keep the squelch at 7 or 8 to keep it quiet, the other can stay at 4 or 5. Can program from the keypad, though using KGUV Commander or Chirp is much better. Had to remove 3 caps inside of my first one to remove the low pass audio filtering to improve the audio. The audio on my 2nd one seems fine (bought about a year apart from each other).

    Baofeng UV-5R - I like this one as much as the Wouxun. You don't have to be transmitting to change the TX power on the fly, which is a plus. Doesn't have an encoder knob, but that's not a deal breaker. Smaller radio. Belt clip attaches to radio instead of batteries. Same number of memory channels, 128. Will have to test TX power, some have reported closer to 5W instead of 4W. TX audio on par with Wouxun.

    HYS TC-UV88 - Dual band, similar in specs to the Wouxn & Baofeng. Bought a couple to try them out. The TX audio isn't as good as the others. Has some firmware bugs (always reverts to memory 0 when powering it up, even though the memory channel freq is the last one you used). The build quality isn't as good, the speaker/mic jacks broke on one of them. Had some battery issues, too. They work, but for the price, I'd go with one of the other two. No flashlight, has FM radio. Can link the two VFO's together if you don't intend on doing dual RX, so you can have one set to the name, the other to the freq. That's the ONLY feature I like on this one. Can only get it from the manufacturer, not FCC approved, warranty is sketchy and shipping is stupidly expensive. I paid $170 for two of them, with two spare batteries, and shipping, etc. At the time not a bad price, but that was before the cheap Baofengs were out.

    Puxing PX777/Weierwei VEV3288 - Same radios. Single band. TX Audio not quite as good, but the newer ones may be better. Fairly solid, good battery life, not as feature filled as others. I got these before the dual band ones became popular, and for the $60-70 price, they were good. Typical annoying programming software from the manufacturer, but I think Chirp also works with them.

    Quansheng TG-K4AT - Tried to be a clone of a Kenwood HT, not even close. No PC programming, TX audio Ok, but not great. No Alpha tagging, 99 memory channels. NiMH and LIon batteries available. Uses Kenwood 2 pin mic. Avoid these, unless someone is giving it to you. Programming isn't too bad, once you get the rhythm going. Single band VHF. No squelch control anywhere, you get what you get. Solid feeling radio, though, RX audio is fantastic.

    Out of the latest crop of HT's, I'd probably go with the Baofeng and Wouxun radios first. Baofengs are about $25-80 cheaper than the Wouxun KG-UV2D, 3D, 6D, 6X, etc. They all use the standard Kenwood mics and programming cables (as long as you get one that's not software-brand specific). Features are similar, I'd go with Baofeng due to the price. Batteries are also 1800mAh, vs 1300 or 1700 for Wouxun. Baofeng was $65 at Dayton, worth it to me to pay a little more to get one from a good dealer (Import Communications) than having to wait for one from China. Can also get the Baofengs in Blue, Red, Camo, Yellow... I got my XYL one in blue.
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Very good review, I saved it.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  7. KJ6UPZ

    KJ6UPZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I chose the Wouxun KG-UVD1P, sure it is about $100 - $150, but, your little Baofeng radios have zero filtering at all thanks to the design of the low pass filter in them and that is why I spent the extra 100 dollars. The KG-UVD1P is a tough, durable radio, it fits nicely in the hand, and once you put a better antenna on it works flawlessly. Spend the extra fifteen dollars for the programming cable if you are going to constantly program in different repeaters. Frankly, I haven't used any of the other Chinese radios, just because my Wouxun works perfectly.
  8. KK4HGE

    KK4HGE Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have the TYT UVF1, is a dual bander, the radio work fine, I got the radio march 2012 and still work fine, I also have UHF (HARETO) 5wats, ans work real good, both radios came from amazon and they chinese. The TYT was $99.99 and the HARETO was $35.00 with free shipping this one came from china. Am very happy with both radio. no complains....
  9. KK4KCU

    KK4KCU Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a BaoFeng UV-5R, Its over all a really good HT (for $62 that is).
    Not had any problems, apart from the fact I almost transmitted on a NOAA band(oops).
    I would suggest getting an external antenna (for the car or house or whatever), for which you need an adapter. (I mean rubber ducks have a negative gain anyway.)
    Just got this adapter
  10. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I'm happy with my Wouxuns, and for what I use an HT for, they are fine. I also have an ICOM DSTAR HT, and I prefer the audio from the Wouxuns when working analog repeaters. We gave away one of the Baofeng UV5R's as a door prize at Field Day, and it is a nice looking unit. I've had the UV1 and UV2 Wouxuns for over a year.
  11. KJ4VTH

    KJ4VTH Subscriber QRZ Page

    They're cheap. That's all I will say.
  12. KK4BBG

    KK4BBG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have a wouxun up 1p,
    a baofeng uv 3mark II,
    and now a baofeng uv5r.

    the wouxun was my first radio i bought as a new ham.
    the radio is good. ive had the antenna connector come loose 2 times (open the case retightne screws) in a lil over a year, already had to replace the 17oomah battery and an antenna, but for awhile this was the only radio i had and it gets used ALOT!!!

    ive bought a few mobiles and then got the uv3r. its ok for what it is.

    it seems to eat batteries as after about 3 - 4 hours the bateries die. but will receive for a few more hours afterwards.

    my 5r i havent done alot of transmitting on but the standby by time is quite impressive. the instructions say to completely drain the battery the first 3 times. i bought my radio a month ago and 2 days ago drained the battery for the 3rd time.

    signal reports on local repeater are good. i just need to get the software to upload the freqs from my wouxun to it. it has some unneeded menu options (some that are only good for baofeng to baofeng transmiisons [secret chineeses plot to take over the world])

    they're good for what they are but as a previous person said "they're chineese"
  13. W4ETT

    W4ETT Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have several of the Chinese radios, Bayofeng UV-3R+, the UV-3R+ Plus and the Puxing PX-777 Plus and a couple others. All are reliable units and cheap to purchase and get the job done. Spare parts are available for the 777 as well. I'm a Military member, and use the PX-777 for field deployments and find it to be very rugged and have never had any problems with it, and chose to use it because of the 5 watt power, keypad programming, analog volume pot and ruggedized construction and available accessories. I like the look of the UV-5R however, especially since the recent availability of the 3600 MaH batteries and am placing an order for one as soon as my retailer of choice (409Shop) gets them in stock.

    No, they are not equal in fit, finish and and ease of programming as an HT from one of the Big Guys, BUT, it will receive a signal and transmit when you depress the PTT---and, at a lot cheaper price.

    I hear the gripes about these radios, but the difference between the economic impact of $50 versus $300 on my checking account is not to be ignored.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2012
  14. N4FZ

    N4FZ XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    All I can say is, it's the best $50 2m/440 rig on the market right now, hands down! :cool: I've had mine 6 months now, no issues. I did buy the programming cable, so much easier to program it with.
  15. KG6BRG

    KG6BRG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've got a 2m/440 and a 2m/ 220 Wouxun transceiver(s). For around $100.00 shipped on average they are a great deal. Included a Li-on battery with a drop in charger and a programming cable with the software. Solid build quality with above average fit and finish. I've sold off all my other H-T's by Yaesu and Icom. Kenwood accessories work with the Wouxun's. All in all they are a great value and come with an 18 month warranty and north American support through many US dealers. That said, mine are 2 plus years old and have always worked 100%. I would recommend these H-T's.
  16. WA6MHZ

    WA6MHZ Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I recommend the Baofeng UV-5R. Easy to program by computer, pretty, has touch tones, real Volume control and on/off switch (unlike the UV-3R) and enough power to get out. A new battery is out for it that is 3600mAH. That should give INCREDIBLE battery life! Drop in charger, works great! I am tickled with mine. My UV-3R has display issues, but works otherwise. A little QRP.
  17. W8EDV

    W8EDV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I've been in ham radio since 1977 and have spent a bundle on the big 3 radios over the years. Having said that, I recently bought a Baofeng UV 5R, and a Wouxun KG-UV6X which is the commercial version, same as the KG UV6D with a few extras. The UV 5R was $54 shipped to my door , included drop in charger, and all the other basic goodies but they also added the programming cable so I couldn't resist. The Wouxun was $180 shipped to my door but in my opinion it's a whole lot better. Not that the Baofeng isn't good, it is, it works well but the Wouxun works better in my tests. Both have an aftermarket antenna to give them a little more punch. I was totally shocked one day when I read that you could buy a dual band HT will all these features for about $60, this is unheard of because for so many years if you wanted a good working dual band HT you had to spend $300 or more. These radios work, and they work well, they may not have bluetooth, and some of the other features of the big 4, but they suit my needs just fine.
  18. N2ADV

    N2ADV Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Here's the Baofeng UV-3R Mk II (2M/440) and the Wouxun KG-UV3D (2M/220) side-by-side. The Baofeng has gone everywhere with me (kayaking, snowmobiling, business travel, etc) and has been very solid. I just picked up the Wouxun and so far, I really like it.

  19. WA4OTD

    WA4OTD XML Subscriber QRZ Page

  20. KF5RHI

    KF5RHI Ham Member QRZ Page

    Add me to the Wouxon bandwagon. I love my KG-UVD1P HT. I agree on the need for a better antenna than the rubber ducky that came with it.

    I also have the Yeasu FT-8900R; but I'm working on making it backpack portable so I haven't played with it at all yet. I've heard really good things about it though.
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