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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | Baofeng UV3+ plus Help


Reviews Summary for Baofeng UV3+ plus
Baofeng UV3+ plus Reviews: 15 Average rating: 3.9/5 MSRP: $69.99
Description: Compact 2W UHF/VHF handheld
Product is in production.
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W2DI Rating: 2/5 Jun 9, 2014 14:13 Send this review to a friend
Inexpensive, BUT!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
2 is being generous.

This radio has a lot of potential. I got one on Amazon, with the drop in charger for $28.xx plus shipping. I also got the programming cable and a 7" dual band antenna for another $12 or so.

Out of the box, Pros:
- Very inexpensive
- Good clear and punchy transmit and receive audio.
- Good range to nearby repeaters.
- Good battery life.
- Not difficult to program, manually or with downloaded software

Cons:
- Much, much too loud receive on the very lowest volume setting. Why?
- Plugging in software cable, the radio acts strangely. Followed procedures to the letter.
- Have to press the PTT very hard to transmit. It seemed to get more difficult the more I pressed.
- No alphanumerics. Okay, not a big deal for the price.

So then I did the resistor mod. Worked great! The volume was normal. Low to high. But - the PTT issue got worse and the 'function' button wouldn't work.

I took the resistor out, put it back, adjusted the case and tightened the screws - you name it, I tried it. Every time I opened the case and took out the unit, then replaced it and had it all back together, the PTT and function would work for a half dozen presses or so, then needed harder pressing, then quit. I must have done this, and other things 20 or more times.

Even the lapel mic was erratic, hanging up after being pressed and released.

So I gave up.

If you want a really nice 'mini' HT, get the YAESU VX-3R. But you'll spend too much for it. I had one, wish I had kept it.

If you want a bargain but good performing HT that will be too loud to listen to and may have other issues, take a chance on this one.

I wanted to like this radio, but it drove me nuts.
 
KC2MJT Rating: 3/5 Apr 18, 2014 11:01 Send this review to a friend
Worth the price  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
It works. Relatively easy to program, even without the software. Antenna is marginal. The lowest volume is very loud, especially indoors. With all that said, it does xmt and rcv. I can hit the local repeaters with good reports. I can hit a repeater 40 miles away at what might be 2 watts at maximum output (the antenna at the repeater site is 5000' higher than my location)

For the price, it can't be beat. A radio you take with you when it's likely you'll either lose it or abuse it.
 
N5LXI Rating: 3/5 Dec 15, 2013 02:43 Send this review to a friend
Small HT is ok  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I guess I am collecting cheap made in China HT's. I also have a Baofeng UV-5RE+ and a TYT TH-UV3R (the models numbers are confusing). I like the latter two better.

The Baofeng UV3+ is small, as is the TYT. It has a large LCD display but does NOT display Alpha tags. It is not too bad to program, but the CHIRP software works really great and I was able to transfer data from another radio with it. It does not really have dual watch. It will scan between a VFO entry and a Memory, not two programmed memory channels (which sucks). The duckie is not very good. The FM radio does not seem to work, if that matters. Anyway, The larger Baofeng UV-5RE Plus is much nicer and worth a few dollars more. The TYT TH-UV3R is the same size, has Alpha tags, a keypad (no DTMF) and a better user interface. That would be my choice in a small HT, although it seems to cost more. joel / N5LXI in Dallas
 
WA1UFO Rating: 5/5 Dec 2, 2013 10:26 Send this review to a friend
Amazing!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I paid 29 dollars and change plus 6 dollars shipping and received mine last week. Programming it was a bear but after I learned the steps it is fast and simple. The transmit audio is every bit as good as my 200 dollar HT. The receive audio is excellent as well. I might have made the lowest setting more attenuated however. The antenna that comes with it is every bit as effective as the one on my 200 dollar HT. The construction quality seems very good. The case is plastic but very rugged. On a repeater which is about 40 air miles away, it hears better than my 200 dollar HT! Do not compare the UV3R Plus to the previous 2 versions because this little guy is decidedly better in every category. The little speaker mike seems to work very well. For 30 bux, if it lasts for 1 or two years, it won't owe me anything!
 
K7RFI Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2013 11:39 Send this review to a friend
Great radio!!  Time owned: more than 12 months
I really like the size of this radio works great good recieve and tx. I quit carring an ht because of weght i
carry this one everywhere.
 
KG6BRG Rating: 5/5 Aug 10, 2013 07:44 Send this review to a friend
what a deal!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This is more of an initial impression, as I have not had it long enough to have a solid opinion yet.
The manual IMO is adequate, if you take the time to read it. The information is all there and the Yahoo user group helps clarify things if needed. Programming is straight forward from the radio itself and with the software it's a breeze. I paid $31.00 shipped, from Amazon.
Pros:
1-long battery life.
2-inexspensive accessories.
3-very good TX/RX audio.
4-robust belt clip, metal attaching clip, that screws into the aluminum chassis and a steel spring.
5-build quality very good, as good as my Yaesu vx-150 and a bit better than my vx-1r in some respects.
6-shares accessories with Kenwood, spk mic works on the uv3r+ as does the programming cable.
7-lots of support via Yahoo user group.
8-drop in charger and li-on battery.
9-by virtue of the continuing updates of this current model, it appears that the builder is seriously trying to make a good product. I have no issues as reported with earlier versions.
10-Did I mention the price?
Cons:
1-I don't care for the mechanical lock on the multi purpose dial. It's a little clunky to use, I would much prefer a way of assigning a function as needed, such as volume or frequency and do away with the locking mechanism. I like to adjust the volume down quickly while the HT is on my belt. Hard to do with this HT.

Time will tell I suppose, but I think China on the whole, have realized as far as ham radios are concerned, American hams won't except mediocrity just for a cheap price and they are stepping up with some good products. I'm pretty sure the big three sub out some of their HT's, mics and transceivers to China to build for them now. It wasn't that long ago that "made in Japan" had a negative connotation and folks used to avoid products coming from there. Now they are regarded as some of the best quality products. Cheers.
 
OE3SGU Rating: 5/5 Jul 20, 2013 12:37 Send this review to a friend
as cheap as ham radio can be  Time owned: 6 to 12 months
I could not resist and ordered one of these on ebay, for less than 30,-- including shipping. I did not really expect too much and was surprised. You have to get used to the menu system and the manual is quite useless, but there is enough information on the net already. The main drawback for me is the volume setting, which is still way too loud on the lowest level. Mine is mainly used for monitoring repeater traffic in the living room and/or kitschen and I often bring it along when riding the bike or when I go for a walk. As a previous reviewer said, programming the radio using the cable is very simple and effective. When comparing this kind of radio with e.g. a VX-3 etc. you should never forget the difference in price.
 
KD8BWG Rating: 5/5 Jun 27, 2013 11:01 Send this review to a friend
for the cost, you can't go wrong  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this radio off Amazon. Radio, spare battery,earpiece mike, and speaker mike, $50.90 with shipping. Chose the uv-3r+ beacause I already own a Quansheng tg-uv2 and mikes and antennas are interchangeable. Yeah the manual is good comedy, but it gets you started. If you can figure out a vx-7r, this should be easy. Already owning the quansheng gave me a primer in how chinese radios worked. Manually programmed over 40 repeaters and 15 fm broadcast stations in about an hour. Love that the flashlight can be used with radio turned off. I get good reception/ transmit with stock antenna, ok with 2 inch stub, and outstanding with the bigger antenna off the quansheng. Here's some tricks I've learned: to scan, press F key and Menu key, to stop scanning, press Menu again. I have found scan mode TO on the menu setting works best for me. Wish you could lock out memory channels while scanning? Me too. Best way I found to do this is as follows: the menu settings allow you to change parameters for memory channels at any time. If you have channels you don't want to hear sometimes (like NWS frequencies) just tune to that channel, go to the menu under rx code and set it to any rx code, scan still stops briefly but no audio is heard. If you want to listen to the channel again, go back to the menu and turn the rx code off. With a little experimenting and intuition it is easy to get great performance in this rugged inexpensive radio.
 
W6WAT Rating: 5/5 Jun 9, 2013 15:18 Send this review to a friend
Great Little Radio!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
After reading the previous reviews....which I often take with a grain of salt....I can only say those with a completely negative conclusion haven't been able to operate the radio to its full potential.

I have an original Yaesu VX-1R, which this little Baofeng seems to have been inspired by, and I love the Yaesu. However, as others mentioned, the Baofeng doesn't receive AM. Oh well, big deal. I bought this as a Ham transceiver first and foremost, with wide band receive and other features for CONVENIENCE. Its task first and foremost is a transceiver. All the other features are bonuses! As a tiny transceiver, it works great! I'm able to use low power almost exclusively and successfully capture about 90% of the repeaters within 25 miles or so. The fidelity from the speaker is the best I've ever heard from any HT of any size. The transmitted audio is also quite good. And by the way, Hi Power is rated at 2w UHF. Others have measured 3w on VHF.

I own or have owned top of the line HTs from Icom, Yaesu, ADI, Radio Shack, Standard, and Alinco, and this little radio compares favorably to all of them. My favorite HT of all time is my Yaesu FT-530, but understanding all of its features and programming is a nightmare.

I get about 24 hours of mixed operating time per charge with the tiny transceiver, and extra batteries are cheap. I bought about a dozen of them for less than $5 each online. I also purchased some replacement antennas- dual band and flexible that have improved both TX and RX from the same vendor for less than $3 each. I might add that these antennas have no issues with mating to the transceiver body. They fit perfectly with no gaps, no washers necessary.

Programming is very easy once you know the steps. I was able to program 67 memory locations with repeater frequencies and PL tones in about 20 minutes. Then I uploaded it to the software (UV-X4), and programmed another UV-3R plus in less than a minute.

The dual watch works great. The priority watch works great. And, combined you can watch 3 frequencies simultaneously (well nearly simutaneously). Scanning is a just a tad slower than some other radios, but it's not really a scanner. That's just a bonus feature.

It uses a Kenwood style programming cable that also works with its brother, the UV-5 series. Kenwood style speaker/mics also fit. The LED flashlight may seem gimmicky, but it's actually quite handy, as is the FM broadcast receive. It has 15 dedicated memory locations for FM broadcast in addition to the 99+1 standard memories. It also has an interesting scan feature for FM broadcast. It will scan into memory, the first 15 channels it finds. The next time you scan, it will replace them. Or, you can just store your favorites.

The belt clip is strong and functional, the battery pack is similar to the UV-5 series in that it is a self contained unit that slides on and locks. It doesn't use camera batteries as the previous versions did. The supplied drop-in charger will charge the battery alone, or radio and battery assembled. It uses a USB cable and USB wall wart. I've not attempted to charge it from a computer USB port yet. It even comes with a decent earpiece/mic that has generated favorable comments on transmit audio.

VOX on its brother UV-5 series doesn't work well, but this one does! It works quite well using the radio alone or with the earpiece/mic. It has 0-9 settings.

The little radio has survived practical testing, such as drop testing, and even been run over by a car. I doubt my Japanese radios would survive that. Those who make comments like "this is a toy" have been disproven.

If there is a particular feature you simply adore and must have that is missing from this radio, why do you assume the radio is junk? It's not junk! I prefer it to all my others for a number of reasons, but predominantly because: it's tiny and powerful enough for most Ham needs, it's far less expensive than other brands with similar features, it has great battery life, and extra batteries cost about the same as a four pack of Alkaline AAs. YMMV depending on who you source.

All in all, this tiny radio comes in a nice package, and is a great performer. If it dies in a year or two, I'll be sad, and then buy another. Oh, and if you buy one of these or its sibling, buy the Hershey's kiss mag mount with an SMA connector for the car. It'll just add to the versatility.
 
KG4ZUD Rating: 5/5 Apr 29, 2013 14:03 Send this review to a friend
Great value for the money  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I got this thing mostly to monitor the local repeaters. It works great given the price and the size. It seems well-built, and the "plus" version can share programming cables and speaker/mics with Kenwood (swap accessories with my TH-F6a).

This is direct competition to the Yaesu VX-3R. It is a little larger, but has an extra 1/2 watt on TX. It receives quite nicely, and has a good sound quality. The FM reception using the included duck is quite respectable and should grab all local stations. I have found the following problems:

1) No memory names. The display is frequency only. The memory number is very small.
2) Scan mode will scan ALL programmed memories. No way to skip memories, so putting in the NOAA frequencies may cause you problems.
3) Scan speed is rather pokey (around two per seecond)
4) Antenna jack is SMA-Male, so you cannot exchange antennas with your other HTs. However, new antennas are quite cheap on eBay.
5) No way to copy memory to VFO, and no way to delete memories without programming cable and software.
6) Does not offer AM or SW reception like the VX-3R. Still, an acceptable trade-off at a quarter the price of the Yaesu.

All in all, this is certainly not the perfect radio, but it does quite well given the price. If you can afford a "big three" HT then go for it. If not, you can still have quite a lot of fun with this little thing.
 
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