My review of the Baofeng UV-82 seems ages ago. At first I thought that the erratic / defective chargers were just bad luck, but six months later complaints are still rolling in. The fix (link) was easy — no technical knowledge required.
John Reinhart made a video of the process and posted it on Facebook, which I %$@&#* couldn’t watch without having an account. John immediately sent me the original, which I then posted on Youtube. Have fun.
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)
The battery didn’t charge. Even after being in the charger all night the LED still glowed red. Yesterday I already noticed that the behavior of the LED seemed erratic. Sometimes it glowed red, sometimes orange, sometimes it flashed. Something was clearly wrong.
From the moment I unpacked the UV-82 the flimsy construction of the drop-in charger stood out. It’s thin, small, light and looks as if it could topple over any second. That first impression proved to be not far from the truth.
I opened up the charger to see if I could spot a problem. I couldn’t test the chip, but something caught my eye: there’s no hard wired connection between the contacts and the PCB. Instead this Baofeng charger relies on two large copper surfaces and contacts pressing down on them. If for some reason the connection between the two fails, the battery won’t charge properly – or not at all. Just a bit of remaining lacquer, not uncommon on a PCB, would spell trouble.
The charging contacts act like springs and the screws holding top and bottom together are horribly weak, so open up the charger while slightly squeezing top and bottom. You can let go after you removed all 4 screws.
Take a bit of abrasive material (or a sharp screwdriver) and make slight scratches in the copper material. Do the same with the top of the three contacts. Re-assemble the charger when done. Be gentle on the screws, don’t tighten them too much. The construction is such that you probably can do this only once. If re-assembly fails you’ll have to replace all 4 screws with new ones with a slightly larger diameter.
The erratic behavior didn’t resurface so far, and the battery appears to charge normally.