Baofeng BF-A5

It appears that the Baofeng BF-666S / 777S / 888S series got a successor: the BF-A5. I spotted the radio earlier, but didn’t care because I assumed that it was the same radio with different looks. That might not be the case.

Baofeng BF-A5Apart from the cosmetic changes this radio appears to have an upgraded chipset. Quote from AliExpress sellers:

Chipset more advanced than radio transmitter Baofeng bf-888s.

BF-A5-BackWhat improvements (if any) we can expect is unclear, but I noticed something interesting when reading the label on the back of the new radio. On the old model the label stated that the power output was less than 5 Watts, which meant that it could be anything between zero and five Watts. Tests showed that it was 2 Watts only.

On the new model the ‘less than’ sign disappeared. This could imply that the power output is now around 5 Watts instead of 2 Watts, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Other welcome improvements would be 1) Less phase noise (= less intermod) and smoother RX audio. We won’t know for sure until we can get our hands on one.

Prices on AliExpress vary between $20 and $30. Note: the cheapest sources are those without any customer feedback; please spend a few bucks more and get it from a reliable seller. 409shop.com lists the radio for $27.50, shipping included.

Pofung (Baofeng) hybrid: CT-3

Brick discovered yet another Pofung/Baofeng model: the CT-3. Most of the specifications are identical to whatever UV-5R variety you pick, but not all. It’s a bit of a hybrid.

Baofeng-CT-3

This version is equipped with dual-PTT, just like the UV-82. Possibly the power output is identical to the UV-82 too (1 Watt more on each band when compared to a UV-5R), but that’s far from certain.

Unfortunately the CT-3 does not use standard UV-5R batteries. This will prevent us from exchanging chargers, batteries and battery eliminators. Pity.

Muddying the waters: Pofung

Baofeng-Pofung

BF-9500Pofung? A new name, but don’t expect anything interesting to happen. From what I could find all Pofung radios are identical to the ones we already know. The name was spotted by Craig N7LB on the Baofeng website.

What Baofeng can do now – and already does – is re-branding products from other manufacturers. One of these products is a mono-band mobile transceiver we all know to be manufactured by Anytone, the AT-588.

In my opinion all of this is only muddying the waters even further, which is the last thing we want.