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Author Topic: What does one give up when going with a Chinese HT instead of a big brand?  (Read 47460 times)
KF6VCI
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Posts: 79




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« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2013, 05:44:49 PM »

Well, I had a few QSOs with the Baofeng UV-5R. At the same time, I also had an Alinco DJ-175
The Alinco kept the repeater offset of -600 khz for Germany. That was so neat. One could use
the H-T without a manual.

Just programming a few channels was decidedly unpleasant with the Baofeng UV-5R
But its battery lasted much longer and it was working and charging just fine. (There used to be many complaints about shoddy QC and hams had to solder to make the chargers work).

Simplicity and ease of use is really important to me. Years ago, I was unable to switch to a simplex frequency on a fancy Kenwood H-T. with its many sub menus. Very disappointing! The thinnest H-T. I ever saw weighted less than 3 ounces. Alinco - forgot its name. 300 mW with ear phones. Used to put it in my shirt pocket, then ride my motorcycle up some mountain.

My next H.T. will be a Japanese model.

73, Chris KF6VCI
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KG6BRG
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Posts: 119




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« Reply #31 on: August 06, 2013, 05:38:56 AM »

I just ordered a Boafeng uv-3r+ from Amazon.  It's $31.00 delivered.  It's a dual band mini HT.  I sold a Yaesu VX-1r a few years back and missed having a mini HT.  Comes with a bigger capacity li-on battery, 2 watts output, a drop in charger, a headset mic of some sort, all for $29.23 plus tax.  I couldn't get a used vx-1r for that, and this Boafeng has a 12 month warranty and north American support.  Not bad, if it's as reliable as my Wouxun's have been it will be a great deal.  Reviews are positive, especially with this latest version.  cheers.
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K9ZF
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« Reply #32 on: August 07, 2013, 09:03:16 AM »

I have seen mention of a Baofeng model that runs 2m & 220Mhz.  What is the model number for this one?

Not interested in the mods, looking for one designed for 222.

Thanks & 73,
Dan

--
K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
former K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!
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K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
 ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Maili
N5INP
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Posts: 1324




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« Reply #33 on: August 07, 2013, 09:17:22 AM »

I have seen mention of a Baofeng model that runs 2m & 220Mhz.  What is the model number for this one?

Not interested in the mods, looking for one designed for 222.



UV-5RAX -

http://www.radio-mart.net/Baofeng-UV-5RAX-144-220-Transceiver.html
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K9ZF
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« Reply #34 on: August 07, 2013, 10:25:22 AM »

Thanks!

Thanks & 73,
Dan

--
K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
former K9ZF /R no budget Rover ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Mailing list!
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--
K9ZF
Amateur Radio Emergency Service, Clark County Indiana. EM78el
The once and future K9ZF /R no budget Rover
 ***QRP-l #1269
Check out the Rover Resource Page at:
<http://www.qsl.net/n9rla>
List Administrator for: InHam+grid-loc+ham-books
Ask me how to join the Indiana Ham Maili
APW19562
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Posts: 46




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« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2013, 08:43:26 AM »

I finally grabbed a UV-5RA last week.

Programming it was a huge pain in the !@#$%.

The instruction manual doesn't even cover programming the radio.  Roll Eyes

It took me nearly 4 hours to finally get it programmed. The Baofeng programming software is completely useless... and there is nothing intuitive about the manual way of programing.

It took a bunch of online searching to finally get it working. I used the Chirp software.

Another gripe I have is the super lazy scanning. I could cycle thru the channels faster if I did it manually.

If I hadn't already been spoiled by my Kenwood radios, I probably wouldn't know any better.

I guess for $35 I shouldn't complain.  Cheesy
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2013, 11:30:38 AM »

It's what I've said right along.  You get what you pay for.  You don't pay much, you don't get much--or you get too much--as in too many programming headaches, failures, lower power, (some of those are only 2 watt output) unavailability of parts or problems getting repairs, etc.

I got an Icom T7H with a high capacity rechargeable battery pack, wall wart charger and car power cord a few years ago for about $125, taxes and shipping included.  Some of the uses that radio had had it getting so hot that it was almost too hot to handle.  

Sure, you can get three of these Chinese units for that price, but mine has lasted me close to a dozen years with only the failure of the PTT button.  (A call to Icom and less than $10 got me the replacement PTT switch.)  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.  

Now tell me your belief of which of those radios is more economical.  You already know mine.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2013, 11:38:40 AM by K1CJS » Logged
N5INP
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Posts: 1324




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« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2013, 12:53:35 PM »

I finally grabbed a UV-5RA last week.

Programming it was a huge pain in the !@#$%.

The instruction manual doesn't even cover programming the radio.  Roll Eyes

It took me nearly 4 hours to finally get it programmed. The Baofeng programming software is completely useless... and there is nothing intuitive about the manual way of programing.

It took a bunch of online searching to finally get it working. I used the Chirp software.

I found it takes little online searching to find what you need. I had no trouble at all programming it. I already had the English manuals downloaded and the Chirp software ready to go before I even had it delivered. Took less than 5 minutes to install the driver and download the program to the radio. So don't anyone get scared off by that - it's super easy to program and to get the software. Here, in case anyone else wants to get one I'll help you -

Chirp software -

http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Baofeng but were afraid to ask webpage -

http://www.miklor.com/

There - problem solved.  Cheesy

Quote
Another gripe I have is the super lazy scanning. I could cycle thru the channels faster if I did it manually.

How fast does it need to scan? It's really a subjective opinion because there is no absolute scan speed requirement for operation on the ham bands.

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.
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KG6BRG
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Posts: 119




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« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2013, 02:26:26 PM »

I have to agree with N5INP.  I received my uv3-r+ Friday, and had the Baofeng software loaded and my programming data ready before the radio hit my doorstep.  Since I had a programming cable I use with my Wouxun's, I plugged in the Baofeng and it was  programmed in less than 1 minute.  I love this $30.00 uv-3r+.  Simple to program from the radio too, just takes longer than the computer.  I don't know why some have problems.  Cheers.
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K4AX
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Posts: 34




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« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2013, 06:52:06 PM »

Lots of radio drama in this thread.  I'm a self confessed HToholic, I have them from the big three, Motorola, Puxing, Baofeng, Wouxon, FDC, and Queshing (I think). 

I have Amazon Prime, I can order a Baofeng UV-3r UV-3r plus, or UV-5r for 29.99 delivered two day shipping. .  I have several programming cables, but if you need another, it's 8 bucks.

Manual?  Don't need it, download one of several of them online that have been written for hams by hams.  Why so many get their panties in a wad over this I don't know.  Who reads manuals away? We are MEN! (mostly)

Download chirp, plug the cable up, load the driver, find what com port it uses, start chirp, tell it what radio and comport, have chirp download repeaters for your area, select the ones you want, write them to the radio, plug in some simplex freqs for good measure.  You're looking at about 15 minutes of work. 

It's not a big deal to get these things going, they had some quirks when they first came out but one thing that Baofeng has been good about is fixing little issues and improving the firmware over time.  Great battery life, loud RX audio, good TX audio, they just flat work. 

The antenna thing isn't a big deal to me either.  The male SMA connector is a standard in the commercial coms world, why the big three went reverse with them is beyond me.  Regardless antennas are cheap, A Nagoya 666 or 771 can be had for less than 15 dollars.  Get one of the radios with a better antenna and you don't need to worry about a third party antenna.  The UV-5r plus type models come with a great antenna, so does the Baofeng UV-B5/6, as well as the Wouxuns. 

Are the quality of these rigs as good as Yaesu or Icom?  NO.  The oft mentioned FT 60 is 150, the Baofeng is 30.  The FT-60 is not five times better, not by a long shot.  So many people get hung up on brands, or some sort of ideal when it comes to material items.  That is all these things are, material items.  I have no emotional ties to them, I just view the cheap prices as way to order something up for the cost of a good dinner out, that will entertain me for a few days or weeks.  It gets me on the air with a new toy to play with and test.  The more toys to play with the better. 
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K1CJS
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Posts: 6061




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« Reply #40 on: August 12, 2013, 07:32:56 AM »

....Are the quality of these rigs as good as Yaesu or Icom?  NO.  The oft mentioned FT 60 is 150, the Baofeng is 30.  The FT-60 is not five times better, not by a long shot.  So many people get hung up on brands, or some sort of ideal when it comes to material items.  That is all these things are, material items.  I have no emotional ties to them, I just view the cheap prices as way to order something up for the cost of a good dinner out, that will entertain me for a few days or weeks.  It gets me on the air with a new toy to play with and test.  The more toys to play with the better. 

If that's the way you look at it, all the more power to you.  I agree that some HTs are not 5x better--unless you're talking about a commercial HT made for use by public service entities.

However, it's well known that the big three have QC departments where they check the components to make sure they come up to their standards, and the rejects are shipped out to other companies at cut rate prices.  China is one of the biggest importer of those cut rate 'garbage' parts, and that's why their prices are so low.

If you want to have a throwaway HT that may last you a few weeks, go for it.  I rather have a rig that will last a while.  73.
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N5INP
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« Reply #41 on: August 12, 2013, 07:48:01 AM »

If you want to have a throwaway HT that may last you a few weeks, ...

Oh please.

I know you don't like them but they aren't going to fail in "a few weeks". I know this because I have had a UV-5R already for a month and it feels and acts like it's a very high quality build. I also bought another one recently, because I was so impressed by it. I haven't run into a single issue with the quality of them.

I almost thought I was going to have to eat my words last week. I got an SWR meter and hooked it up and tested it and all was fine. I then re-arranged the desktop equipment layout and when I transmitted again - no power out. No power on both VHF and UHF. I thought "Oh crap - those Chinese radio haters were right!".

But after checking things I discovered the pigtail cable I had got to connect the radio to the SWR meter had failed. The center conductor at the SO-239 end broke inside (I know this because I got a dremel tool and cut the connector open. So that means when I was testing it I transmitted several times with essentially no load or antenna.

Even so, it didn't harm the UV-5R at all.  Smiley

By the way, I met an elderly Ham at a small sidewalk sale couple of weeks ago - probably in his 70s. Guess what he had? A UV-5R on his belt, and another dangling from his driver's rear view mirror. Yea dangling by the antenna coax and power cord. He drives around like that and the radio hasn't failed. Yep he had two of 'em. Poor man should know better than to buy junk like that.  Wink
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KX8N
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Posts: 542




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« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2013, 09:59:03 PM »

I know you don't like them but they aren't going to fail in "a few weeks". I know this because I have had a UV-5R already for a month and it feels and acts like it's a very high quality build.

I've been using one for around 10 months almost daily and I love the thing. No problems whatsoever. I did buy the programming cable and I use the KG-UV Commander software to program it. Much better than trying to program several dozen frequencies manually. I'd buy another one in a heartbeat, I just don't NEED a second one.
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K4AX
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« Reply #43 on: August 14, 2013, 08:18:41 PM »

Like I mentioned in my post I have a slew of these things, I've yet to have one fail, and I've been buying them for years.  Oldest Chinese handheld is a PX-777 that I got in 2006, still works great. Another the next year, a Puxing 888 still working strong, followed by Wouxon after than and a slew of Baofengs that work great as well. No failures yet.

My Yaesu FT-7800r died on 2 meters the other day, I guess I should be wary of all Japanese rigs now.
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KF5IZN
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« Reply #44 on: August 15, 2013, 03:17:52 AM »

I have a Yaesu VX-2R and a cheap Chinese UV-E5 b(same thing as the UV-5R) .. I was never happy with the Yeasu.
My Baofeng is easier to program by hand because there is a keypad.  It has 5 watts of power and runs chirp  (the vx2 isn't supported). and the dual channel display of the Baofeng  and scan is outright superior. The Batterys will last a full 24 hours, wile the Yeasu migh last 8 to 10 hours on a charge.  The Baofeng is type 90 Cert., no mod required. So its possible to use it (with permision of course in a comercial or public service application It goes every where my FT-7900 doesn't , while my VX2 stays on the charger. My VX2 is capable of 1000 memory locations while my Baofeng has 128. ( I have less than 30 stored on these radios though

  I don't feel that my cheap Chinese radio is almost as as good as my expensive Yaesu VX-2 it is the better radio.  
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