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Chinese handhelds

by M0TTB - Andy on 03/15/12

I've never been a fan of handheld transcievers... weakly signals that are more trouble than they're worth ;-) and I never really had a need to own one, especailly when they used to cost £250+. I'm not sure if I really need one now, but with the silly prices being asked for the Chinese ones, and thinking it could while away a few spare hours on a rainy day whilst on one of my frequent holidays around the U.K, I decided to throw caution to the wind and buy one.

Anyway, I now have 2 handhelds.. Initially going for a £30 (including p&p) Boafeng UV-3R+. It seemed to offer quite a few advantages over the previous offerings from this outfit, notably the drop-in desk charger and a more rugged appearance. However, whilst awaiting delivery, Boafeng released another new model for very little extra ££...and this immediately struck me as being a far better choice, notably the 4-5w output and more capable 8v Li-ion battery! So naturally I ordered one.

So along with the UV-R3+, I also have a UV-5R! I was quite pleased with the little 3R+, I programmed a few local repeaters and it seems to do all that it is supposed to do...I didn't get on with the volume control, which is has several steps, starting at unpleasantly loud and going up from that, and it's rather convuluted by having to press a button first to access volume, then rotating the stepped multi-purpose knob on top of the radio.

But then the UV-5R arrived, an this felt like a proper radio in the hand... not only that but it has a proper rotary volume control with a conventional on/off switch built in to it. Volume starts at audible, but quietly audible!
Visually it looks good, even more rugged than the 3R+, an odd illuminated display that is your choice of purple, blue or orange depending on what the radio is doing at the time ( the blue is very attractive).

Sadly the UV-5R isn't as much fun when it comes to manual programming of it's memories, totally different to the little 3R+... in fact up until today, most assumed it simply couldn't be programmed with repeater shift/offsets unless it was done via computer connection, and even then it seems a bit hit or miss.

However, salvation came on the UV-5R Yahoo group, and someone uploaded a pdf this morning explaining the manual keypad programming sequence and it works!

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