China’s Best and Worst of 2013

One year ago I posted “China’s Best and Worst of 2012“. Anything changed? Yes, I added a few devices, added links, and changed text where needed.

This is list is put together purely on technical data gathered during lab- and real life tests. Price/performance is another thing. Even I kept some of the equipment I labeled ‘worst’ just because they’re fun; always make up your own mind. The Baofeng UV-3R is a good example.

Category Dual Band HTs

The best:

  1. Wouxun KG-UVD1P / KG-UVD6P (no flaws, but relatively expensive)
  2. Baofeng UV-B5 / UV-B6 (very close to perfect and dirt cheap)
  3. Quansheng TG-UV2 (great battery life, but lacks DTMF)
  4. iRadio UV-588 (simple but reliable companion)
  5. Baofeng UV-82 (bigger case, 1 Watt more output power than the UV-5R on both bands)
  6. Baofeng UV-5R (fair share of flaws, but good price/performance)

The worst:

  1. Waccom WUV-6R (expensive Wouxun look-a-like, too much phase noise, poor front end)
  2. Baofeng UV-3R (worst harmonic suppression ever, front end not much either, volume bug)

Category Dual Band / Quad band Mobiles

The best:

  1. Wouxun KG-UV920P (still a few loose ends, but getting there)
  2. Polmar DB-50 / Powerwerx DB-750X (would compete for first place is it wasn’t for the poor microphone)

The worst:

  1. The ‘old’ Anytone AT-588UV / AT-5888UV – so many flaws that you can’t sell it without being unscrupulous. Still sold here and there, which is why I still list it.
  2. the ‘old’ Wouxun KG-UV920R – false start due to unreliable rotary encoders and disappointing harmonic suppression. Still sold here and there, which is why I still list it.

Undecided:

I don’t know where to put the Wouxun KG-950P. The radio was too good to be listed under ‘The Worst’, but not good enough to be added under ‘The Best’.

Category Dual Band Antennas

The best:

  1. The Baofeng UV-B5 / UV-B6 stock antenna. Hard to beat.
  2. The famous $3.79 antenna (as good as any for a rock bottom price)
  3. Nagoya NA-701 (good performer, sturdy)
  4. Nagoya NA-666 (good performer but easily bent)

The worst:

  1. Nagoya NA-773 (this one will destroy your PA module for sure)
  2. All other extendable antennas.

Category Test / Repair Equipment

The best:

  1. Rigol DSA-815TG (finally an affordable spectrum analyzer, no real flaws)
  2. Atten ADS-1102CAL (Digital Storage Oscilloscope for unbelievable little money. Stock probes suck though.)
  3. The 5-in-1 multimeter from eBay. (‘Can Do It All’ for little money)
  4. MF-47D analog multimeter (retro, cheap, but accurate)

The worst:

  1. Victor VC2002 Function Generator (no DDS, limited range.)
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