Friday, July 15, 2011

A little portable

The weather here ever since I was diagnosed with a brain tumour has been glorious. One of the bitterest frustrations for me has been being housebound, able to do little more than walk slowly to the shops and back instead of going for walks in the hills and activating Wainwright summits as I had planned to do. On Thursday Olga and I caught a bus into Keswick for a day out. I took along the little Baofeng UV-3R handheld in the hope of catching some SOTA or WOTA activators from the surrounding fells whilst I was there. I was pleased to make contacts with Mark MM1MPB/P and Terry G0VWP/P during the day.


I love this little UV-3R radio. It's so small and light you can take it anywhere and the range of its 2 - 3W on the slim Nagoya NA-666 antenna I have put on it is amazing. It can receive broadcast radio so I can listen to Classic FM or BBC Radio 3 and if someone puts out a call on the 2m FM calling channel the music is interrupted and I can reply to them. The Baofeng is not ham band restricted so I have also programmed in the 8 license-free PMR446 channels and can use it to talk to Olga who has a little Goodmans set that I bought for a tenner on eBay. I can even dual watch between Olga's channel and 2m channel S20 so I don't miss anything.

My only niggling annoyance with the Baofeng is the audio volume level, the lowest setting of which is too high so that any station using wide FM deviation - which most folk round here do - is audible to anyone within a 50m radius. There is a mod for this, which involves putting a resistor in series with the speaker, but having tried a small soldering task a few days ago and succeeded only with a lot of difficulty I think that performing the mod would be beyond me.

I know from the Yahoo group that there is not much quality control on these Baofengs and one or two people have had the misfortune to receive radios that don't work correctly. But for me this has been the best thirty quid I ever spent on a bit of radio gear.

9 comments:

Richard G3CWI said...

Julian

good to see you out and about again. As a result of your comments on the UV-3R I have sent for one. It should prove a useful ultralight SOTA solution.

73

Richard
G3CWI

Jspiker said...

Nice to see you out and about again. Great radio with the wide band reception. 72's

Tim said...

Like the other guys said, great to hear that you're out and about. Have heard similar good things about the UV-3R.

Hoping to get a look at one of the new Wouxun 70/144MHz dualband HTs next week.

Take care,

Tim G4VXE

GW0KIG said...

Hi Julian

Great to see you've been out and about. Like you I am impressed with the Baofeng but the volume level is annoying.

73 Kevin

Bert, PA1B said...

Hello julian, Great to see your text again in your G4ILO Blog. Olga is great. And she is also vey considerate with the hobby.
Maybe you can think of someone around, you who can do the modification for you. Helping others and being helped, can not do witout each other.
Good luck to you both, 73 Bert

joe said...

Julian
Great to see you out and about an ispiration for indeed Joe MI0GTM

joe said...

Let me correct that an inspiration for all phew hope I got away with that Hi Joe

VE3WDM said...

Looks like a very nice place in the picture. It's great the weather has been very good. When you get out into the fresh air (with the radio as well) it gives you the mental break that we all need. As already has been said....great to see you!!

VE3WDM said...

Looks like a very nice place in the picture. It's great the weather has been very good. When you get out into the fresh air (with the radio as well) it gives you the mental break that we all need. As already has been said....great to see you!!