When it comes to keeping track of Baofeng / Pofung flaws, the Miklor page is way ahead of me. I only run into newer models by accident, but don’t order them anymore. It’s just too expensive.
The latest UV-5R bug pointed out by John K3NXU involves muted RX audio when the keyboard beep is switched off. Personally I find keyboard beeps very annoying, and always switch it off. No new model for me, that’s for sure…
It’s a bit of a silly bug, created by a sloppy programmer, and never caught by other Baofeng employees responsible for intercepting these things – if such employees actually exist. Let’s face it: the UV-5R is a dirt cheap product, having competent QA personnel on the payroll might not be feasible.
Not the first time
Since its inception the UV-5R had its fair share of bugs, from being off-frequency on receive to muffled TX audio to meaningless squelch levels. Under ideal circumstances bugs wouldn’t be a problem: just update the firmware and you’re fine. Unfortunately this can’t be done: UV-5R firmware can’t be updated afterwards.
If you can’t live with the bug, the only thing you can do is send it back or wait for a new version to come to market. If you bought directly from China, sending back the radio is often more expensive than buying a new one. Basically you’re screwed. Food for thought if you love conspiracy theories: Baofeng does it on purpose!
Preppers, snipers, spotters, Baofeng UV-5R: The Movie.
P.S. Mr. prepper: you don’t have access to the complete UV-5R frequency range with a ham license… but during Armageddon nobody will probably care.
There are now so many radios build around Baofeng UV-5R circuitry and software that potential buyers don’t know which one to pick. Most questions I get by e-mail are about choosing one of these three Baofeng radios: UV-5R (whatever variety), UV-82 and the new GT-3.
My personal opinion is: get the Baofeng UV-82.
- Big, professional looking radio, dual PTT key is located where it should be,
- Better overall performance thanks to more efficient stock antenna
- One Watt of extra power output on both bands (5 Watts VHF, 4 Watts UHF),
- Display located where it should be, doesn’t go dark after long transmissions,
- Better designed keyboard with the 0 (zero) in the right place,
- Better RX audio thanks to the bigger enclosure (improved acoustics),
- No issues with muffled or low TX audio,
- Battery life as good as the other two contenders.
- Poorly designed charger. If you buy a UV-82, be prepared to fix it from the moment you pull it out of the box. It’s an easy job, click here to find out why and how.
- Front-end just as poor as the other two, which means that the receiver overloads quickly. If you need a better receiver, buy a Baofeng UV-B5/B6.
- New and/or after-market batteries are often labeled and advertised incorrectly. Whatever the label says or whatever the seller says, the battery is 1800mAh, not 2800mAh.
The Baofeng UV-5R is starring in “The Tomorrow People“, Season 1, Episode 10, around the 30 min. mark. Blue display, and still equipped with the not-so-great stock antenna.
Relying on sources here and elsewhere, I had a hunch that the base charger could be powered from a 9v battery. I have a 9v attached to a type M barrel connector for an Arduino (another neat bit of kit), so I plugged it into the base unit. The LED went red, as if it had been plugged in to the wallwart. I dropped the UV-5R into the base, and the LED went out, as if under load.
- A 9-volt battery isn’t much of a power house, huh? -
(Seen on the UV-5R group)