Wednesday, March 14, 2012

New toys

There is nothing like some new toys to cheer you up when things get a bit boring! The G4ILO shack received two new arrivals this morning. Actually there was a third, non-radio addition that came yesterday as well, but that will have to wait for another posting.

The arrivals are two new handies - one a Baofeng UV-3R+ VHF/UHF dual band transceiver (note the plus,) the other a Wouxun KG699E low band VHF transceiver for 4 metres. My original UV-3R has found a new home, whilst the Taiwanese "professional" radio I got for 4 metres is just a rubbish radio.

I haven't had time to get to know the new radios. The Wouxun in particular is not intuitive and will require some intensive study of the manual. The Baofeng is functionally identical to the UV-3R Mark II but the build quality is much superior - on a par with the Wouxun and favourably comparable to the ham radio brands like Yaesu.

A major plus of the UV-3R+ is that you now get a professional grade drop-in charger. Besides a more rugged-feeling case it also has a metal belt clip - a big improvement over the flimsy plastic one that came with the earlier model. I believe that both radios use Kenwood specification accessories. This will be useful, if true, as I have two Kenwood radios as well. One of the first things I will have to do is find a wiring diagram for the programming cable because the one I made for the UV-3R Mk I has a 3.5mm 4-pole plug and is no longer useful.


Rupert Goodwins said...

Ah, a coincidence! I just bought a Baofeng-built UV-X4, which is much the same as yours, I think, only it's got a different brand (I can't read the logo!). Very impressed with the quality throughout - solid case, simple UI, and the audio and RF performance seem top-notch. Had my first QSO this evening, with M0XDY via GB3LW, and there's something quite pleasant about working 20km across London on such a little thing. It would be nice to have two independent receivers in there instead of one that tries hard, and the scanning/tuning across the bands is slow and clunky, but other than that you get a lot of radio for the dosh. And it charges from USB... (shame the connectors are all non-standard; the power connector even has +ve outer, which is a crime). I have read that the drop-in chargers on the Baofeng are a bit dodgy and bypass the regulator chip that otherwise keeps the Li cell honest, but don't have one and can't say more than that.

(The other new toy in the shack, which was a present 'cos I couldn't afford one myself, is a FlexRadio 1500. Sinfully fun, that one.)

Rupert, G6HVY

Rob said...

Hi Julian,

can you charge the radio from the socket on the side or do you have to use the dock?

Thanks, Rob 2E0ETN

Unknown said...

Hi Rob.

I've seen comments that you can buy a car charger that plugs in the side. I haven't seen any information as to how the charger would be wired, though. The rig has a Kenwood style 2-pin socket with 2.5mm and 3.5mm stereo jacks, used for accessory speaker/mics and for programming. There is no separate charging socket, only the contacts on the battery pack.