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Reviews For: Drake UV-3

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Drake UV-3
Reviews: 5MSRP: 500
'70's vintage 2 meter, 220 and 440 FM transceiver
Product is not in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
WI8F Rating: 2012-07-13
wonderful simple rig Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I actually have 5 of these and used one with the remote head in the car for years ... three of mine are 3 band rigs and 2 are 2 meter only... they are so easy to use and very durable .... I love simplisity in radios and dislike menu driven radios that you need a manual to figure out how to change a frequency or band... I have one of those menu driven radios in my car now .. :( .... if you can find a UV-3 at a reasonable price, you will love it.... a great looking classic radio ...I have been using them since they first became available 30 some years ago...
W4OP Rating: 2010-10-23
Just a Great Rig Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
It has taken me years to acquire a UV-3 but absolutely love the rig. Simple to operate, pretty much bullet proof and has a fabulous appearance. I just use it for local simplex work- but it's on 24/7 and a joy to look at and use.

Dale W4OP
K4BWG Rating: 2010-08-02
Good RX sensitivity and fairly easy to work on Time Owned: more than 12 months.
A truly great VHF/UHF radio. Easy to operate even though it doesn't have all the goodies the new radios have. You can work on it and fix if it breaks. It is big- I am running one mobile in my 1981 Dodge pickup truck. Truly my favorite of all the solid state Drake VHF gear.
N1AL Rating: 2010-02-12
Solid radio Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Disclaimer: I am the designer of the 220 MHz band module, back when I worked at Drake in the 70's.

It's a typical solid over-engineered Drake design. Unlike modern rigs it is easy to work on - the boards unplug from a motherboard. The radio is huge by modern standards: The optional remote control head makes it more suitable for mobile use, although the 44-conductor cable that connects to the radio is quite bulky.

It does not come with a P/L encoder. I mounted one on the back of the front panel board and re-wired the Power switch to turn the encoder on/off. You have to remove the front panel to change the P/L frequency, but that's easy if you leave out the four mounting screws.
KA2AYR Rating: 2005-11-20
First taste of versatility Time Owned: more than 12 months.
Big and kinda clunky compared to today's radios, the Drake UV-3 was the first taste of multiband operation for many. Got mine in 1980 and, with an outboard CTCSS tone board, was able to use it on 2m, 220 and 440. Back in the day, it was installed in my car with a remote control head kit. I even had an MFJ converter to make it receive 154 - 157 MHz (they don't make that anymore). Today, it's still solid and takes a spot in the shack as my 'any FM frequency' radio.

Modular construction using boards and sockets. Has boards which can be diode matrix programmed for favorite channels without using the panel entry. Relatively medium to low power output compared to modern transceivers, but still a classic.