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Author Topic: What does one give up when going with a Chinese HT instead of a big brand?  (Read 45898 times)
K1CJS
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« Reply #45 on: August 15, 2013, 06:59:43 AM »

With the amount of use and both intentional and unintentional abuse that that Icom has seen, I bet that a over a half dozen of those Chinese units would have been bought, been broken or worn out, and trashed by now--if that was what I had originally purchased, or I would have spent far more in repair charges in getting them fixed--if I could. 

There is simply no objective data to support that conclusion because we'd need repair and other records that simply don't exist, aren't kept, or aren't released.

What conclusion?  That is simply my belief, which is only supported by the many various things that I have bought that are made in China--and that don't last long at all.  Or didn't you see the beginning of the statement--"I bet..."
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N5INP
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« Reply #46 on: August 15, 2013, 07:20:31 AM »

What conclusion?  That is simply my belief, which is only supported by the many various things that I have bought that are made in China--and that don't last long at all.  ..

If you believe it then you have reached a conclusion in your mind. You are comparing apples and oranges. This isn't about "many various things" made in China, it's about (at least what I'm talking about) the Baofeng UV-5R HT.  Smiley

Someone asked me a while back if I could program repeaters into the memory of the UV-5R, and I said no I used the Chirp program to do it. But actually I can now do it by hand. Once you play with it for a while it really isn't that hard.

set VFO to repeater output freq.
set offset direction
set offset freq.
set ctcss
set xmit pwr (if desired)
use menu 27 to program an empty channel (has to be empty)
then (and here is the weird part) set the repeater input freq. and program the memory channel again.

That's it, it isn't hard.

I was watching a YT video on this the other day, and at the end he said these radios were so inexpensive they were almost throw-away, yet the quality was on par with the Japanese radios. He said the Chinese had already crushed most of our electronics manufacturing, and this radio isn't about that. This radio (and others like it) are about crushing the Japanese electronics industry.
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K1CJS
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« Reply #47 on: August 15, 2013, 12:02:09 PM »

OK.  Semantics again--so, granted.  You call it what you want. I still refer to it as my belief, not a conclusion reached by objective data, since there was no such data used in reaching it.
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K2OWK
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« Reply #48 on: August 15, 2013, 04:18:00 PM »

Just for some information. I have a Wouxun that I program using KG-UV commander. It is very easy. I also know how to program it from the keyboard. The problem with programing it from the keyboard is the very short time allowed before the unit jumps back to operate. I am older and it takes me a few seconds to push the correct program button, by the time I get to it the unit is back to operate mode.

If someone knows how to extended the time, to give me a little longer to get to the program button, Please let me know? This is the Wouxun  KG-UV20. I have had this HT since it first came out, and have never had a problem with it.

Thanks,

K2OWK
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GILGSN
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« Reply #49 on: September 14, 2013, 08:49:58 PM »

Hello,

I got a UV-5R+ last week. The internal microphone does not work. Probably a problem with the mic jack. Since I ordered a second one immediately, so I wouldn't be without one while shipping back the first one, the importer had one sent to me directly from China, and no need to send the forst one back! So, I'll end-up with three for $100. I ordered a replacement jack for a few dollars. In the mean time I use it with the included earpiece/mic, which has a very good sound.

Besides that issue, I really like the radio. Programming was very easy using Chirp, which I installed both on Windows 7 and Linux Mint. I also own a Yaesu FT-270R, so here are my impressions:

First of course, I can buy three UV-5Rs for the price of the Yaesu. The programming cable and software for the Yaesu was around $40. The cable was included in my $50 Baofeng package. Accessories and spare batteries are cheap as well. So, what's better, one Yaesu, or three UV-5R+? I am tempted to suggest the later.

The Yaesu has, no doubt, better quality parts. It can also be submerged! So, for any operating near water or in the rain, I take the Yaesu. It will probably last much longer than the Baofeng. That said, the little (it is quite smaller) Chinese HT looks pretty well built. It fits in a pocket easily where the Yaesu does not. The plastic used for the case looks like quality, not like some cheap FRS radio case. It does feel quite solid. The microphone jack issue is well known... Just make sure your importer has a good return policy. If the one you get works fine, most likely the case, you're home free for a while. I got really good reports on local repeaters. The UV-5R also has a very good FM receiver, with priority to any incoming VHF/UHF signals. the radio just returns to your FM station when signals stop. The LED flashlight, who cares? Until you need it that is.. The siren, now, if anyone has ever needed it, I'd like to hear that story  Roll Eyes Scanning by the way is slow as molasses compared to the Yaesu. Maybe that's why they only give you 128 memories! All in all, I am glad I got them, just a little annoyed at the mic problem.

My advise is, buy two! Get a programming cable. Keep one HT as a spare. I am not going to sell my FT-270R, because it's built like a tank, just for rainy days. I will however carry the UV-5R+ on a daily basis without too much worries. I think in this case you do get a bit more than what you pay for.

You can read about my experiences with the UV-5Rs here: http://radiopreppers.com/index.php/topic,573.0.html

Gil.
« Last Edit: September 14, 2013, 09:13:58 PM by GILGSN » Logged
N8AUC
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Posts: 79




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« Reply #50 on: September 16, 2013, 01:23:45 PM »

You're curious? So was I. I went to Dayton this year, intending to purchase a new HT. My original intent was to get a Yaesu FT-60R.
 
But a number of the guys in our area had recently purchased the Wouxun radios, because they were cheap, and if they were lost or damaged, the loss was much less. I decided to try a Wouxun.
Then I stumbled onto a booth selling Baofeng radios. It's called an F-11, but it's really a UV-5R with a special version number in the EPROM. They had a banner showing a "show special $46.73". With sales tax it was an even $50. Which is even cheaper than the Wouxun. I played with one for a few minutes, and when the guy told me I could bring it back tomorrow if I didn't like it, I bought one. Took it back to the hotel room and played with it. Tried to program the thing. It was easy with the software. And eventually I figured out how to do it by hand. Being in ARES, if I couldn't field program the unit, I didn't want it. In the end, I decided to keep it, and bought an extra battery pack for it the next day.

When I got home, my wife asked me what I bought. I told her, "a cheap chinese knock-off of a cheap chinese knock-off of a $250 Japanese HT". She laughed. Then I showed her the radio. Her initial reaction was, "Oh, that's really cute! I wouldn't mind having one of those." Yes, she's a ham too, although rather inactive.

Well, I've had this little radio for a few months now. I've used it at home, at public service events, and even an ARES event. The radio performs as well as my aging Icom. I can field program it (it's not that hard once you get the hang of it). The battery lasts a very long time. The included ear-bud speaker mike works well. It's small and light. I originally thought it was a joke, but the little flashlight in it is surprisingly useful. Transmit and receive audio are of good quality. Basically, the radio does exactly what it claims to do. And so far, I haven't had one bit of trouble with it.
 
Based on my experience so far, this is probably the best $50 I've ever spent on a radio. And as of right now, I'd buy another one in a heart beat.

What did I give up?
1) The ability to use multiple power sources. My old Icom would plug right in to a 12V supply and operate all day while charging the battery. This radio can't do that. You have to use the drop in charger.  Well, you can buy an add on gadget that acts as a battery eliminator. But that doesn't cost extra with my Icom.
2) Expensive batteries. The cost for the whole Baofeng setup (including an extra battery) was less than what a new battery would have cost for my old Icom. An extra battery for this Baofeng is only $22. The programming cable was another $10.

Ken-Yae-Com had better wake up. These Chinese radio makers are about to take their lunch money. What Japanese manufacturer includes a speaker mike?

73 de N8AUC,
Eric

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KK4LGR
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« Reply #51 on: October 02, 2013, 01:46:35 PM »

I own a Baofeng UV-5R and a Vertex Standard VXA-300*.  They don't compare directly because there aren't offsets or PL tones in aviation,  but as for build quality the Vertex is a little above the Baofeng.  The Vertex is water proof and it's not as jagged-for-the-sake-of-being-jagged.  The Baofeng is smaller and a bit lighter.

Now, the Vertex rig is an aviation transceiver, it's designed to carry safety-of-life traffic.  I have carried it aloft as my only radio more than once while flying things like antique J-3s with no electrical system.  I've also used it as a ground-to-air radio during supervised solos of students.  I wouldn't think of using a discount Chinese knockoff for that kind of communication.

For playing on the ham bands, on the other hand, the Baofeng is more than adequate.  It's price point makes it a perfect radio for the new ham who wants to get on the air and see if it's worth spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on.  I've learned a lot using my little UV-5R.

For ARES work, you're probably not going to get taken seriously if you turn up with nothing but a $30 handheld.  I think I would be more worried about the opinions of others than the performance or reliability of the rig.

I won't even try to call mayday on the ham bands regardless of who made the radio because of the people at the other end.  Will you get someone helpful?  Will you get an old geezer that hates emergency traffic in all it's forms?  Will you get anyone at all?  *Clint Eastwood impression* Do ya feel lucky, tech?

*an aviation band nav/com handheld, same chassis as the Yaesu FT-270R.

73
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"Well I'm sure glad we've got these ham radios to talk on."
--Unidentified station heard on 2 meters
KB2HSH
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« Reply #52 on: October 10, 2013, 05:25:05 PM »

Quote from:  link=topic=91120.msg704266#msg704266 date=1380746795
I own a Baofeng UV-5R and a Vertex Standard VXA-300*.  They don't compare directly because there aren't offsets or PL tones in aviation,  but as for build quality the Vertex is a little above the Baofeng.  The Vertex is water proof and it's not as jagged-for-the-sake-of-being-jagged.  The Baofeng is smaller and a bit lighter.

Now, the Vertex rig is an aviation transceiver, it's designed to carry safety-of-life traffic.  I have carried it aloft as my only radio more than once while flying things like antique J-3s with no electrical system.  I've also used it as a ground-to-air radio during supervised solos of students.  I wouldn't think of using a discount Chinese knockoff for that kind of communication.

For playing on the ham bands, on the other hand, the Baofeng is more than adequate.  It's price point makes it a perfect radio for the new ham who wants to get on the air and see if it's worth spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on.  I've learned a lot using my little UV-5R.

For ARES work, you're probably not going to get taken seriously if you turn up with nothing but a $30 handheld.  I think I would be more worried about the opinions of others than the performance or reliability of the rig.

I won't even try to call mayday on the ham bands regardless of who made the radio because of the people at the other end.  Will you get someone helpful?  Will you get an old geezer that hates emergency traffic in all it's forms?  Will you get anyone at all?  *Clint Eastwood impression* Do ya feel lucky, tech?

*an aviation band nav/com handheld, same chassis as the Yaesu FT-270R.

73

Why would you give TWO S**TS what someone's opinion is of you?  That's pretty childish, to say the least. 

When I was ACTIVE in Erie County ARES, I used to show up to events that used simplex with my Icom IC-2AT.

Feel much peer pressure lately?!
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W4KYR
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« Reply #53 on: October 23, 2013, 05:40:29 PM »

Guys, this has been an interesting and informative thread. Thanks for mentioning the Miklor site. Lot of good information there.

http://www.miklor.com/uv5r/#SiteSearch
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KE6ZYK
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« Reply #54 on: November 30, 2013, 09:44:18 PM »

Well, long story short, I run a project night for new hams at our Ham Club. People were buying the uv5r radios and I had no idea how to program them and the manual didn't help. So, I bought 2, just so I could help the new hams. I was expecting junk and I can say that not only me, but pretty much everyone who has bought one has been amazed at how well they work.

My suspicion is that they are very good radios. They likely are not that cheap and are being sold really cheap as loss leaders to make a name for themselves. I suspect we'll see the UV5R disappear before long to be replaced by more expensive versions.

At first I thought they were not able to be programmed manually. False, they are very easy, just very different than Yaesu. For that matter, I think all the brands program a little different.

Antenna-My first ht radios all had BNC antennas. Then came SMA and nothing fit. Now its the reverse SMA. Same story. Turns out there are adapters for everything and they work great. My ICOM, Yaesu and Baofeng can all use the same antenna.

They are cheaply made. Maybe but we dropped an FT60r and it broke the display screen. The quote to fix it was as much as a new radio. I was climbing a ladder to the roof with the Baofeng and dropped it. It did not break. Not scientific, but they do hold up.

I have some idea of what potential problems will show up one day. It's half the weight of an Ft60r and I suspect some of that is the heat sink is skimpy. It does get quite warm on transmit. Also the buttons don't look to be rubberized, so not much dust proofing. I suspect I'll  one day have problems with dirty contacts.

In the meantime. These radios have given me the opportunity to do something I always wanted to do but couldn't afford. I bought 4. One each for a go bag for my wife and I and one each for us to have a radio on our desks at work. In a million years I never would have bought all these extra HTs. We live on the Pacific Coast and are overdue for a Mag9 earthquake and Japan size tsunami. I like the idea of having radios stashed all over the place in case I can't get home or get to my car.

In the end, the proof is in the pudding. Almost nobody has an operational issue with these radios. Most owners love them. I think every ham should have a really good HT radio. If you can afford to buy 4 or 5 extra to stash around then fine, but if you can't, 4 of the UV5rs cost the same as one FT60r. Buy the antenna adapter and learn to program them. I think you will be as happy as everyone else and probably raving about them. My guess is you will not have any problems either.  Mike KE6ZYK
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KG4RUL
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« Reply #55 on: December 01, 2013, 06:46:15 AM »

................
The  MAJOR attraction for me is the price. If I lose it, isn't as big a hit as losing a $400 Kenwood 91AD...................


UH, isn't the 91AD an iCOM product?
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