Quick Review – New 2016 Baofeng UV-3R

Recently I picked up a new car and decided that I am done with installing mobile radios, cables and antennas as I had over the past 30 years. I don’t commute any longer and just don’t spend that much time in the car so my thoughts turned to the idea of grabbing a cheap HT to throw in the glove box.

 

2016 UV-3R

After owning the original UV-3R, I was skeptical about grabbing the new Dual Display UV-3R 2016 version. Remembering back to my original UV-3R, it’s problem was rejection of unwanted signals.

The area around my QTH is densely packed with radio signals. However, the advantage of signal density  is that there are plenty of 2/70 cm analog repeaters to choose from. As a result the 2 watt limitation of the new UV-3R presents no problem for me.

 

Specs:

Go here if you want detailed Tech Specs. Basically, for around $30, it’s a 99 channel dual band, dual display 2/70cm HT in a small ‘credit card sized’ form factor with a 3.7 volt 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Operating:

The Dual Band Screen of the new UV-3R is an asset. Manually programming the radio is pretty easy but if you are going to add tons of repeaters or fire/ems frequencies, grab a programming cable and use the free CHIRP software.

Navigation:

The radio has a couple of basic issues. There is no keypad so it takes extra effort to program the radio and to navigate around to change simple settings like the squelch level. The FM Radio has poor reception. But who buys an HT to listen to FM Radio anyway.

Audio:

The on-board speaker is loud with no distortion. If you plan to use earbuds you will notice that the audio is muffled and the gain is somewhat reduced .

Antenna:

In general, any rubber duck is nothing more than a Dummy Load but at my QTH hitting the local repeaters presents no problem with the stock antenna.

Just a word on HT antennas, there are tons of knock off rubber duck antennas on the market. Buyer beware when looking for a replacement because you may end up with an antenna that performs worse than the original!

Scanning:

The UV-3R scans EMS and Fire frequencies fairly well. Using CHIRP, you can easily select which frequencies to scan.

Battery: 

No complaints. With normal use the HT ran for a full day.

Manual:

Go here to grab your copy.

Summary:

IMHO, for around $30, how can you go wrong? This little GEM is a great little grab-n-go HT.

Revolutionary 2 Way Radio For SmartPhones

For us radio enthusiasts, it looks like our Smartphones may just get a bit smarter. I have seen write ups on this tecno-marriage before. In the past it seemed that the marriage was more of a dream than a reality.

A startup company called Fantom Dynamics has reintroduced their vision of the radio / smartphone combo.

Perhaps this time the dream will become reality…