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Baofeng UV-3R MKII Review - 2m/440Mhz Mini HT

Mudfoot

Elmer
Jun 17, 2009
10,893
6,205
698
61
Southeast Ohio
Yep, one of the things that they did right on this radio was to use a regular SMA antenna connection that is found on most other radios on the market. One catch, though: The LED flashlight on the radio is a little close to the antenna, which means you have to be careful which antennas you choose. I put a Comet SMA503 on my UV-3R to test, which worked well.

1+ proper SMA

I had to file flat, the beveled flange surrounding the LED on mine. I had a bunch of HT antennas I was swapping around. That darned bevel makes some antennas bind and tilt.

Small negligible inconvenience.
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,052
1,368
283
Vero UV-X4

Just a quick note about some details of the particular radio that I'm reviewing. The version I bought is marketed as the Baofeng UV-3R MKII. This is the newer version that has dual frequency watch/displays, bug fixes, etc. It is also marketed under another brand & model called Vero UV-X4. The information that I have is that the Vero UV-X4 and Baofeng UV-3R MKII are identical. If I get some new information that proves otherwise, I'll make sure and let everyone know.
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,052
1,368
283
The User Manual

When doing a review of a new piece of equipment, I always comment on the quality of the user manual. It should be of no surprise that this radio has a manual that was obviously written by someone who speaks English as a second language. While it is MUCH better than the early Wouxun radios, there are just some passages in it that don't seem to make much sense. All things considered, the Baofeng's manual is an improvement over the Wouxun manual, but there is still plenty of room for improvement with this radio.

Fortunately, the majority of radio functions are pretty easy to figure out, although there are definitely things that you need to reference in the manual. For a quick pocket reference guide that covers pretty much everything you need to know, check out the thread I started where a pocket reference guide has been posted:

http://www.worldwidedx.com/handitalkies/129408-baofeng-uv-3r-quick-pocket-reference-guide.html
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,052
1,368
283
The Included Speaker/Mic Headset

Last night I gave the included speaker/mic headset a try. I hate to say it, but the one I got was garbage. The other station said the audio quality was muffled and sounded like I was talking in a tube. I tried moving the mic location around a bit, which didn't really help.

I also tried using the VOX with this speaker/mic which was an even bigger disappointment. To even get the radio to transmit with VOX enabled, I had to set the VOX sensitivity to it's highest setting at 9. Even then, it wouldn't keep the TX activated for a full sentence because it still wasn't sensitive enough. The only way I could make it work was to hold the mic on the wire right next to my mouth, which defeats the purpose.

The VOX worked fine using just the radio, but with this headset/mic it's a disaster. I might try purchasing some other cheap headset/mics to try out. After annoying the other station for a while trying this one out, I took it off and won't use it anymore.
 

FatHam

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Apr 15, 2011
631
175
73
61
So Cal
The Included Speaker/Mic Headset
I also tried using the VOX with this speaker/mic which was an even bigger disappointment.

Being the above mentioned "other station", I have to say that I was probably more disappointed with the VOX feature than you were. I had to listen to you dropping out ("what the heck's wrong with this th.................................") for 20 minutes while you piddled with it. Seems like you at least got it working when cranked all the way up, but the audio was still nasty through that head set.

Other than that, I talk to McMole almost daily on 2M simplex and honestly can't tell whether he's on his Kenwood, Yaesu, or this $50 mini. Take the bunk headset out of the equation, and this thing sounds great. I really can't tell by listening to it that it's not a $400 HT.
 
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KC2ZPK

W9WDX Amateur Radio Club Member
Dec 15, 2010
64
1
18
With the price of these little HTs dropping like flies, almost makes me wonder if more people will get their tech license and use these instead of GMRS for personal comms.

Also at $50, it makes it a crime not to work the fm birds full duplex. :)
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,052
1,368
283
A Quirk

I've found a quirk with this little radio that is worth reporting. There is a one piece rubber button cover over all three of the buttons on the left side, as shown in this pic:
http://www.worldwidedx.com/members/...r-picture2886-baofeng-uv-3r-sideways-hand.jpg

Sometimes when I key the PTT for a long winded TX, the rubber cover also puts enough pressure on the other buttons that it activates it upon release of the PTT. The most commonly occurring example is the FM broadcast radio turning on when I release the PTT key. It only happens occasionally, but it's a little annoying. I'm going to open up the case to see if the rubber cover is just out of position a bit and report back.
 

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    Of course the 1st day it is nice outside and I go plop the true Rod Of God for 20m on the mobile, All I hear is a couple of yokels talking about bowel movements. What's the 6m calling freq? 50.125?
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