Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by VK2MJM, Jan 12, 2015.
I have corrected My mistake.. thanks Lee VK2LEE
Lately, Ive not been in any mood to recommend any Chinese made radios, but I have to agree that the Baofeng UV-5R is quite a nice little unit, but it has good and bad...
Excellent battery life
Dual receive (**see below)
Cheap as dirt
Easy as pie to set up & use.
Lots of cheap accessories
Not so Good...
Has a rather plasticky look in its build - be careful as some of those plastic bits might break easily - battery clips etc.
The smaller antenna has a tendency to snap internally, needing re-soldering. There are several antennas in various models.
Dual receive. Well almost... The dual receive can be turned on or off via the menu, but it's a strange one. If you set to ON, it will pick up and lock on to the first incoming signal (Display A or B) while locking out the other. This can lead to some rather interesting listening when one display stops and it locks on to the other display if that beats the first to the draw on the next "grab". I've been busy and listening to mine only to wonder what the heck these guys are talking about as the conversation flips back and forth between the displays. What a strange set up. I turn mine OFF, to dual band single receive, for this reason.
LCD display could be a bit more enhanced. It's quite sparse and battery indicator is either full or dead in the blink of an eye.
Other than that, the UV-5R is quite a little wonder pocket rocket. Bang per buck ratio is exceedingly high on this one, on account of the very cheap price tag alone. As a serious radio there are far better to buy,, and I am soon going to get one of these "far better" models where the bang per buck ratio is a lot more evened out in favour of quality and reliability, but for a cheap little radio the UV-5R is worth every cent that you don't really have to pay to own...
Isn't the Yaesu VX-6R smaller than the Pofung UV-5R? And it does more.
The UV-3R is the small Pofung, and it's almost identical in looks to the Yaesu VX-3R.
I don't know if I've ever seen a VX-1 in person. But, I think the VX-1, VX-2, and VX-3 are all very similar in size.
I held one of those little Baefongs before. I think it was the UV-3R mentioned by N5SY . The body was about the size of a deck of cards.
The UV-3R is much smaller than that.
Ever since my Wouxun UV2D went *PLOOP* I've had the Baefongs on the short list.
Goodbye UV2D, all your accessories still miss you. lol
I had a VX-6R die young. Don't sweat the Pofungs.
Does it have to be a new radio. The Alinco DJ-C4 is about the size of 3 credit cards stacked on top of each other. I have several of the Alinco DJ-S41 HTs that I carry in my shirt pocket at work. The antenna folds down beside the body of the radio so it really doesn't protrude at all. I'm not sure how well they receive that way. I'm typically using them with a cross band repeater in my work truck no more than 100 yards away. They receive that great.
I'll throw my hat in the ring for the Chinese Baofeng UV-5R HT's. I have a pair of the "Tri-Power" versions of these called the UV-5RTP that I got off ebay from a US based seller for $98 delivered. I don't know if they are the smallest thing going, but they are quite tiny with the body measuring just 3 3/4" high by 2 1/4" wide by 1 1/4" deep. To be honest, for my purposes there is a limit to just how small an HT can be and still be practical to use, otherwise the buttons are just too darn small and packed too tightly together and the display starts to get difficult to read easily. The UV-5RTP has Low-Medium-High power settings that will deliver roughly 3, 5, and 7 watts output on 2 meters, and 2, 5, and 6 watts on 70 cm, and that gives you a lot of flexibility if you need a little extra range or want to conserve battery power. If you stick to operating only on 70 cm the available aftermarket antennas (the stock antenna royally sucks) can be quite small (about 4" or a bit less) and still be reasonably efficient for a rubber duck. Diamond and Nagoya both offer some excellent HT antennas that will fit the Baofeng's, and will perform far better than the stock antenna, which is only slightly more efficient than a dummy load IMHO. For ease of operation while skiing or snowmobiling etc. I would recommend the accessory speaker microphones that are available at places like ebay for under $10 ea. delivered, you simply clip the radio to your belt or other convenient location, and the speaker mike to your jacket collar or whatever, and off you go. For the money these are great little radios, PC programming is a breeze with the accessory USB programming cable and the latest Chirp daily build (the factory supplied Chinese software is useless) and even if you drop one in the lake or swimming pool, you're only out $50 for a replacement.
Try to find an old Alinco. They made a 2M and a 440 HT that were actually the size of a credit card, only just over 1/8" thick. Took coin cell batteries. When they appeared they got real popular real quick, then died, as everyone who wanted one got one, and then no one else wanted one.
They were only 300mw, and you had to run earbuds. From the mid-90's. Had a friend who bought two of them (one for his wife). They lived a couple miles and in visual rangeof their local club repeater, and they worked real well for him.