Chinese Walkie Talkies
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).
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
I have a Wouxon dual band. I like it. I've had no issues with it.
Montrose Colorado ARC Sunday night nets 0100z 147.195 and 0130z 3.992.5
"So long, and thanks for all the fish"
I bought the Baofeng UV-3R Mark II also and love it. For the price you cant go wrong.
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.
73, Jay KC2TCM
Certified C= Geek
Very good review, I saved it.
TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
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.
"Though I fly through the Valley of Death... I shall fear no evil. For I am at 80,000 feet and climbing."
- At the entrance to the old SR-71 operating base Kadena, Okinawa
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....
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 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...ls_o01_s00_i00
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.
EchoLink, IRLP, Allstar and DSTAR linking - adding interest to repeaters worldwide 24X7