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Author Topic: My "Smurf" Ham Radio  (Read 2759 times)

Posts: 50


« on: August 11, 2011, 06:08:08 AM »

I just wrote the review below about a Baofeng UV-3R.  I thought it might get a smile or chuckle if you read my first sentence.  Here's a link to a picture of the radio:

"I got a UV-3R in the newly availalbe blue color.  It arrived at about the same time the new "Smurfs" movie came out.  So at the next ham meeting I was showing everyone my new "Smurf Ham radio".  I can echo most of the comments in the reviews below. 

The lowest you can turn the volume down is still too loud.  I like to monitor the local repeater on a low volume, but this radio won't go low enough.  There are mods on the Web to fix this.  I found a ham who has a UV-3R and had put together a great resource of links for mods.  His site is

The radio comes with two antennas, one for V and one for U.  I sprung an extra $10 and bought a 7" dual band antenna from when I bought the radio.

I didn't buy the programming cable/software and didn't find it too hard to manually program it.  Have gotten good reports on audio and have no problem getting into the local repeaters.  After playing around with it for a couple of weeks I now have it in the glove compartment of my wife's car.  That way I have a good standby radio if we are out and about and I didn't bring my Yaesu VX-7R with me.  I'm in Indiana and you never know when severe weather might pop up.

I will take exception with one comment in a review.  Another reviewer said that this radio would be a good starter radio for a new ham.  I disagree.  Yes, it is inexpensive....but who knows how reliable it is?  I would reccomend a bottom of the line single band Yaseu FT-270 for around $130 for a new ham.  The Yaseu (plus Kenwood and Icom) have the correct repeater offset hard programmed.  The UV-3R doesn't.  New ham might make a mistake and put the wrong offset in.  Plus the UV-3R might break down.  Stick with the major brand for your main HT, get the UV-3R for back up."


Posts: 422


« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 06:44:17 AM »

Thanks for the information and link.  I have one of these HTs coming as well.  Right now its on the slow boat from China Grin

My plans are much like yours, I purchased it as a backup radio.  I work in a high rise office building near Washington D.C., and I wanted something I could keep secured in my office "Just In Case," but would not feel too bad if someone managed to walk away with it.

I remember 9/11 quite vividly. All commercial communication systems in the D.C. area were strained to maximum capacity, and cell phones were nearly useless, but the ham repeater systems worked well.

From what I've read, I don't believe the UV-3R could really sustain the stress of everyday use, so I will continue to use my Yaesu VX-150 or FT-530 as my main portables.  However, I believe the UV-3R is a great back up rig to leave in the office, glove box, etc.

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