Showing posts sorted by relevance for query vx-3r. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query vx-3r. Sort by date Show all posts

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Yaesu VX-3R Knock-off: The Baofeng UV-3R

The Chinese are at it again. This time we have a knock-off of the Yaesu VX-3R. The VX-3R is a tiny, but full featured 2M/440 HT. At $175, it isn't super expensive, but not exactly cheap either.

Enter the Baofeng UV-3R... it looks a lot like my VX-3R, but you can get three of the UV-3R for the price of the Yaesu.

G4ILO is on top of things again with a great review of this new rig. Some of his key points follow:
"The UV-3R makes [another Chinese radio] look a quality product. This is the first new electronic product I've had that didn't come with a peel-off protective film over the display. The plastic casing is extremely thin and the plastic belt clip that can optionally be attached looks as if it would easily break. To be fair, the flimsiness of the Baofeng may not be due to cheapness but to save weight."
"Confusingly, the rotary switch on top of the radio must be pulled up before it can be rotated."
Note: the VX-3R works this way as well.
"I also checked the strong signal handling performance of the receiver the same way I did recently with my other hand-held transceivers. It was on a par with the VX-8GR and the JMT-227, at the poor end of the spectrum."
Here you can see the UV-3R in all its glory.

For $55 I am willing to roll the dice. When the storms hit last week, my wife was looking for my VX-3R. Unfortunately, I keep that one in my laptop bag. I was contemplating another radio already, so finding this one has tipped the scales. I'm off to eBay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R: Guest Post/Review at

Matt, over at, asked me to do a guest post at his site. The following UV-3R review first appeared there on September 2, 2011. has been a great resource for me - leading me to the likes of Julian and others - check it out.

Baofeng UV-3R Review

Following the success of the Wouxun radios, we have a new Chinese handheld transceiver that has many hams excited – the Baofeng UV-3R. The UV-3R is a dual band (UHF/VHF) 2W “micro” transceiver manufactured by Vero Global Telecom and sold by Baofeng. While the Baofeng brand is the most popular, the radio is also sold as the Comtex UV-3R, the Magiksu UV-3R, and the Zastone ZT-UV3R. (Baofeng also sells the UV-100 and UV-200 models that share common internals with the UV-3R, but have some cosmetic differences. Also, on you can find speaker mics for these models that are unavailable for the UV-3R.) One reason the UV-3R is so popular is its relatively low price – less than $50 via ebay and slightly more from the US suppliers. At this price and small form factor, it makes a great back-up radio to keep in a truck glove box or a laptop bag.

Cosmetically, the UV-3R is very similar to the Yaesu VX-3R.   
The dimensions are the same, but the UV-3R is missing a few buttons on the front panel and the functions of the duplicate buttons are not the same as the VX-3R.  The UV-3R, in the fine tradition of Chinese radios, adds an LED flashlight. The radio also is available in red, yellow, blue, and camouflage in addition to the standard black. When holding both the Yaesu and Baofeng in my hand, it is easy to see and feel the superior quality of the Japanese radio.
A quick review of the technical specifications reveals that this radio is dramatically different from the VX-3R. The UV-3R is a 2M/440 MHz transceiver and FM broadcast receiver. An abbreviated list of its features/functions/specs is below. (A full list can be found here.) The radio is built by levering the power of the RDA1846 by RDA Microelectronics. This single transceiver chip provides most of the radio functionality - essentially making it a SDR.

Functions and Features
- 50 CTCSS, 104 CDCSS
- Time-out Timer (Off/30/60/90/120/150/180 secs)
- Shift Frequency
- VOX (Off/1-9 Levels)
- Call Tone (1750 KHz)
- Squelch Set (1-9 Levels)
- Electronic Volume Adjusting (8 Levels)
- Keypad Lock - Backlight (On/Off/Key)
- Tail Tone Elimination
- Battery Save
- Restore to Factory Default
- PC Programming
- FM Radio Channel Storage

Technical Specification - General
Frequency Range | 136-174/400-470 MHz
Channel Capacity | 99
Channel Spacing | 5/6.25/12.5/25 KHz
Operated Voltage | 3.8V
Standard Battery | 1500 mAh
Battery Life | 10 hours
Dimensions | 1.9" x 3.2" X .9" (Approximate)
Weight | 140g

Technical Specification - Transmitter
RF Power Output | 2W

Early adopters were “treated” to a version that appeared to be rushed to market – the units only had twelve menu options, the s-meter was worthless, and it came in a rather plain box. The subsequent version added six more menu options, improved the signal meter, and now comes in a more polished box.

The menu options are:

Menu #
Name Description Options
1 RXCODE Receive Tone Off, CTCSS, DCS
2 TXCODE Transmit Tone Off, CTCSS, DCS
3 SQL Squelch 0-9
4 LIGHT LCD Illumination Off, On, Key
5 K TONE Keypad Beep Off, On
6 VOX VOX/Handsfree Off, 1-9
7 POWER RF Output Power High, Low
8 DW Dual Watch/UHF & VHF Off, On
9 STEP Freq Size Step 12.5/25KHz
10 OFFSET Repeater Offset 0-37.995, 0-69.995M
11 SHIFT Repeater Shift 0,+,-
12 STE Squelch Tone Elimination Off, On
13 W/N Wide/Narrow Receive Wide/Narrow
14 SAVE Battery Save Off, On
15 TOT Timeout Timer Off, 30, 60, etc.
16 SCANM Scan Memory TO Time based – time out/ CO Carrier (present) based – carrier out
17 RELAYM Relay Message
18 BCLO Busy Channel Lock Off/On (No Tx when receiving)

In addition to the cost and size, hams give the UV-3R favorable reports for both transmitted and received audio. On July 20, 2011, the UV-3R became Type 90 accepted by the FCC. The FCC documents can be found here.

The UV-3R is easy to use in spite of a somewhat confusing manual. ZL2GVA mitigated that short-coming by releasing an easy to use cheat-sheet.  While most folks find it easy to program the memories from the radio itself, the UV-3R can be programmed from a computer using a USB cable and software from Baofeng. In addition to the factory software, the UV-3R is also supported by the CHIRP cross radio programming application. (CHRIP may not program all features for all radios; it is intended to allow hams to transfer memories from one device to another with little effort.)

In addition to the USB programming cable, the radio has several accessories. It comes with the manual, charger, a charger adaptor (if needed), a charging stand, wrist strap, an UHF antenna, a VHF antenna, an ear bud/mic combo, and a belt clip. The shorter antenna (with a red ring) is for UHF. The longer antenna is for VHF. The UV-3R requires an antenna with a SMA-M connector. The antennas perform well, but many folks have wished for a dual band antenna. The Nagoya NA-701 and Nagoya NA-666 both seem to be popular choices. The antenna connector is fairly close to the LED, so some trimming may have to be done to get a good fit.

Car chargers, cases, and the USB programming cable are available as options or sometimes included as a bundle with the radio. The battery is a common NP-60 (FUJI compatible), so picking up an extra one is easy to do. Also, with a slight modification to account for the belt clip mount, the AA battery pack (FBA-37) for the Yaesu VX-3R can be used to run the UV-3R. For me, the car charger and the AA battery pack are the must have accessories for the UV-3R in its role as a backup radio.

The radio is not without some minor problems and quirks. For example, one oddity is that it uses the less common negative tip for the power plug. As for the problems, hams have reported issues with fit and finish – specifically plugs/sockets that result in loose connections. If pushing the plug with all your might doesn’t work, then try backing it out a little. Also, hams have found spurious emissions on harmonic frequencies.  There was a lot of debate about the severity of this issue on the UV-3R Yahoo group – bench vs. real world, letter vs. spirit of the FCC regulations, Type 90 Acceptance impact, etc. Whatever the severity of the emissions, it did not prevent the UV-3R from meeting the requirements of the FCC. Another common complaint was with the loud receive volume. Even at the lowest setting, the radio is quite loud. For that reason, I don’t like using it where it will bother others.

One of the advantages of an inexpensive radio is that you don’t risk much when trying to modify it. Disassembly mostly involves removing screws, but you will have to unsolder the antenna connector. Two mods seem to be the most common as they address some of the issues mentioned above. The first adds a capacitor to reduce spurious emissions on the harmonics.  The second also involves adding a resistor to reduce the loud receive volume issue.  More frivolous mods include turning the LCD blue – but then you can have a blue radio with a blue screen.

For me, this little radio has provided a great learning experience as well as a good value for my money. It may not be the best radio ever, but the price, size, and overall good performance make it a good choice for backup radio or even one for a new ham to get on the air. It also has been interesting to see:
  • the debates that sprung up around the severity of the spurious emissions,
  • the wisdom (or not) of using a dual band antenna,
  • the variety of applications from simple transceiver to APRS and tracking satellites
Credit goes to a lot of the guys on the UV-3R Yahoo group  – I don’t have the knowledge, tools, or time to do a lot of the research/testing/playing that they have done. I highly recommend the Yahoo group – although it has now reached a point where a lot of the same questions are being asked.

Editor's note: I personally follow Brick's blog and find it very worthwhile. While not all content is Amateur Radio related, I encourage you to check it out. -Matt W1MST Brick O'Lore wrote this guest post and blogs regularly about a variety of topics at Contact him at

Monday, June 20, 2011


Kenivore found "another UV-3R clone with more button[s]". At first glance, they look more like the Yaesu VX-3R than the Baofeng UV-3R, because of the extra buttons. The specs for the NC-5H and UV-5H are identical and very similar to the UV-3R. I did a quick search on eBay and could not find any for sale. A search on Alibaba has them for sale for $60 from New Century Communication and Electronics Co., Ltd. The company website is here.

In fact, the physical layout of the buttons on the KYD models is identical to the Yaesu VX-3R. For example, the power button is on the side like the VX-3R, but different from the UV-3R. Most reviewers are pleased with simplicity of the UV-3R menus using the limited buttons and knob to do the programming. Looking at the picture, it appears some of the menu items have gotten a dedicated menu in this radio. For example, STEP (MENU 9 on the UV-3R) has its own button. It does not appear to have a flashlight, but does have an inner and outer knob. Also, the web pages say they will support the channel naming via a programmable alpha-numeric display. The NC-5H does not explicitly say that it is a dual band, but the specs have both 2M and 440 listed.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R: A French Perspective

I took several years of French in high school and college, so I will take a shot at translating F5IYJ's quick review.
"BAOFENG UV-3R: a Y***u VX-3R for 38 of those European Dollars?

I found a small VHF/UHF transceiver (1.85" x 3.19" x 91" - the same measurements as the VX-3R), that delivers 2W, comes with VHF and UHF antennas (SMA adapter), a charger (French adapter) and base, belt clip, and strap [BRICK - process of elimination to get strap, since I know what is in the box] - see pictures.

For the price equal to a certain national brand will sell you a house [BRICK - that can't be right], I now have made several contacts on the local repeaters [BRICK - some guessing here].

It has 1750Hz and CDTSS/DCS which is indispensable for me because I am often in the US.

Briefly, for 38 Euros, a no brainer [BRICK - my wife said it was litteraly "no idea"]. The same Yaesu brand costs 200 Euroes with accessories here."

I checked my work on Google Translate. Yeah, "housse" is a bag. That was fun.

Monday, November 14, 2011

One Year of Brick O'Lore

One year ago today I started this blog with a post about Financial Commitment Sunday at my church. At the same time I was contemplating a purchase of some radios and guns. Well, I got some radios (IC-7000 and UV-3R), but I never did get the AR or the Glock. And now I've been leaning towards the M&P9.

When I was writing that entry, I was thinking that I would blog for a year and then see if I wanted to keep doing it. I plan on continuing the blog, but I feel less pressure now. I've had various undocumented goals - three posts a day, so many a week, etc. None of which I've consistently met. I blog when I feel like it - which is fairly frequently. I had envisioned longer, more thoughtful posts (like Linoge and others), but it turns out that I'm closer to being a linker. As far as the personality of my blog, it was going to be some guns, ham radio, technical, commentary on society, etc. It turns out I was going to post quite a bit about a little radio and the page views would go up dramatically.

As you will see in the stats below, some how this became a Baofeng UV-3R blog. It all started with a simple post about a Yaesu VX-3R knock-off.

As of late yesterday, the blog had 112,231 page views for its first year. I've made 856 posts in that time.

The single largest referring URL was Say Uncle - primarily for the Ninjas in my House post with 1,850 views.

However, the single most visited post is the Baofeng UV-3R software instructions at about 7,000 views.

The single most visited page is the Baofeng UV-3R summary at almost 11,500 view for the year is the largest referring site at about 12,500 pointers to the blog. If I add in the referrals from Google in Germany (2,500), the UK (2,200), Italy (2,100), Netherlands (1,200), Spain (600), and Canada (400), then Google is responsible for 21,500 views. Most of the hits from Google are from searches for the UV-3R.

Feedburner tells me I have a few RSS subscribers. Google Analytics tell me that I have lots of people who get here by way of the Baofeng searches and they click through to another post between (roughly) 30% to 60% of the time depending on the particular starting page. People average 2.93 pages and 3.15 minutes per visit.

So, where do I go from here?

More of the same I suspect. The UV-3R has been a great learning experience for me - both as a ham radio and as a blogger. I've got too many interests and not enough time. I think you've see that here... radios, running, tablets, guns, prepping, computers, reading, etc. Toss in a wife and an almost three year old - time is my limiting factor for sure. The Radio Amateurs Code reminds hams that playing with the radio is a hobby and that the ham should be balanced - never letting it interfere with "duties owed family, job, school or community." I might add church to that, but it still sums up where I am.

Let's see what the next 365 days bring. Some goals... pass the Extra Class exam, keep running - maybe a marathon, earn a WAS award, pay off my student loan, finally pick up that plastic pistol, and blog a little.

Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R: Battery & AA Battery Case 2

Today, I got the AA battery case that is based on the Yaesu FBA-37 and should fit the Baofeng UV-3R. I already had a Yaesu case, so I am comparing it to the cheap eBay version. I hate to give away the surprise, but you get what you pay for... The $21 FBA-37 is clearly better made than the $10 eBay version.

The eBay case (right) had a film all over it. It wiped off easily, but it looked like it came from a dirty plant.

The Yaesu (left) is much better engineered. On the eBay case (right), the metal strips that run between the contacts are just roughly covered with some plastic tape.

Here is the eBay case on my VX-3R. It is hard to tell in the photo, but there is a gap along the side where it does not fit well. I think the batteries do not sit flush against the base of the case and this keeps it from close snugly.

As usual, once I get the actual Baofeng UV-3R, I will update when I try this case on it.

Previously Baofeng UV-3R: Battery & AA Battery Case

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Baofeng UV-3R: Battery & AA Battery Case

Alternate Batteries
The UV-3R comes standard with a 1500 mAh battery with a stated run time of 10 hours. There are reports that this a common camera battery and you can use the NP60 and SLB1037 as a replacement. I will verify once I can lay my hands on the parts.

AA Battery Case
Some people have had good luck using an AA battery case for the Yaesu VX-3R, part #FBA-37, with their UV-3R. I've got the Yaesu part and have ordered another knock-off one from eBay. RPComms43 posted pictures indicating that a small modification had to be made to the plastic case before it would fit. Again, once I have the parts in place I will update and show how it worked for me.

I will once more suggest joining the UV-3R Yahoo Group. These guys are smarter than me and have been really great at getting answers to those that ask.

Thursday, May 29, 2014


From Nate:

"I was wondering when they'll imitate the body design of the Yaesu/Standard/Horizon VX-7R/HX470/VXA-710."

Which reminds of where this all started for me - the Baofeng UV-3R copying the Yaesu VX-3R. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

The TYT-TH-UV818...

Horizon HX470 (silver and black)
Yaesu/Vertex VX-7R (silver and black)
Yaesu/Vertex VXA-710
Yaesu FTA-720

Monday, November 18, 2013

Zastone ZT-2R

[Edit: Looks like you can get it on Amazon now, too.]

Hans posted about the ZT2R a while back and I'm interested in it since it actually has something different - wider receive abilities. I've said it before and I'll probably say it a bunch more - I like having options.

I first thought it was a clone of my Yaesu VX-3R, but someone pointed out in the comments that it is really the discontinued VX-2R. Because it looks to be a VX-2R clone or just a rebrand (including using the VX-2R manual - direct link to PDF), I wonder if the technology and even the manufacturing capability was sold to Zastone. My former company would sell its older manufacturing lines and technology to our China partner, so I'm sure it does happen. Here is the link to the product page on the Zastone site.

It is available on AliExpress for around $82 (USD).

Wide Receiver Band List (RX List)
- BC Band 0.540-1.8 MHz
- SW Band 1.800-30MHz
- 50MHz Ham Band 30.000-79(59)MHz
- FM Band 76(59.000)MHz-108 MHz
- Air Band 108.000-137.000MHz
- 144MHz Ham Band 137.00-174.000MHz
- VHF-TV Band 174-222.000MHz
- Action Band 222-420.000MHz
- 430MHz Ham Band 420-470.000MHz
- UHF-TV Band 470-800(729).000MHz/(757-774MHz)
- Action Band2 800-999.000MHz(USA Cellular Block

TX Frequency List(TX List)
- 144-146(148)MHz
- 430-440(450)MHz

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 Brickolore Top 10 Links

Looking at my Google Analytics data, the top 10 visited links in 2015 were:

10. QYT KT8900: Software
Both this post and number four on the list suggest a real desire for a good quality, but inexpensive mobile. They made the list despite only getting posted in May of 2015.
9. Baofeng UV-5R: Schematics
The UV-5R remains popular and hams like to tinker/fix things.
8. Brick O'Lore: Ham Radio Page
I'm surprised that this got so many hits as I don't maintain it - looks like I should do some updates.
7. Baofeng UV-5R: Software v2
Again, software posts seem to be popular. And everyone that got a UV-5R wanted to check out the the new version of the software.
6. Brick O'Lore: The Radios Page
I'm glad this gets some hits as I try to keep it updated as a quick reference - I would like to expand it by keeping track of lowest prices and other miscellaneous data.
5. Baofeng UV-B5: Best Kept Secret
The UV-B5 still seems to be a sleeper.
4. QYT KT8900: Dual Band Mobile
I think the Baofeng Tech UV-5001 and Baofeng Tech UV-2501 mobile radios would have been more popular posts than the KT8900 - except they weren't released until November.
3. Brick O'Lore: Baofeng (UV-3R) Page
The little clone of the Yaesu VX-3R, the UV-3R, really got folks interested in the Chinese radios. I can't believe it still gets so many hits.
2. Baofeng UV-5R: Extreme Receive Modification
And hams would love to get something for nothing!
1. Brick O'Lore (main web page)
This tells me that lots of people visit my blog the old fashioned way - by going straight to the root domain.
Here's to an interesting 2016. May it be everyone's best year yet!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Shade Tree Mechanics

People have often bemoaned the loss of the "shade tree mechanic." Cars have gotten so complex that you cannot complete a repair without specialized diagnostic computers and an electrical engineering degree. Despite   similar challenges, hams are fighting the good fight when it comes to working on modern radios. I've mentioned various mods to the UV-3R, but Ethan, K8GU, has a great repair story about a VX-3R:

"After however many weeks it has been, a package from Yaesu showed up on my doorstep tonight. After repairing a damaged PCB trace (non trivial on something this small), I was able to replace it. The little black speck in the middle of this photograph is the removed component. For my non-US readers, the US 0.01 USD coin (“Penny”) is about 19 mm in diameter."

While the description is good, a picture (from his web site) is worth a thousand words. Boy howdy is that small!


Friday, July 8, 2011

NKT-R3: UHF Micro Handheld

These VX-3R clones must be growing on trees. The NKT-R3 is a UHF 70cm only rig, but shares the popular micro HT form factor. One interesting note, it looks like the charger is made up of the wall wart and a USB cable. I would assume you can charge this radio via USB. I need to track down the power specs and see if the DC power plug is the same as the UV-3R. Like most of the Chinese handheld transceivers, this one includes an LED flashlight function or as they call it "LED ICLUMINATION".

Hongnanke Product Information
409 Shop
eHam Reviews
ALE.CX Review - almost didn't link because of the horrible background, but the information is good.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

KG-UV Commander

Ed announced on the KG-UVD1 Yahoo group that Jim Mitchell, KC8UNJ, has released the KG-UV Commander software for programming the Wouxun handhelds.

David added some background about how it came to be:
"I was aware that Jim had developed programming software for certain Yaesu and Icom radios, so I contacted Jim last August, asking whether he would be possibly be interested in porting his software to the Wouxun radios. I told Jim that I had already prepared memory maps for the "tw" files and for the internal memory space of the radios (which I was making available to all who are interested). I was so pleased when Jim responded and said that he would be interested in porting his software.

I then discussed this project with Ed Griffin, proprietor of, and Ed very generously contributed radios for Jim to use in developing the software.

For the last eight months Jim has been working on this project, and a small group of beta testers have been playing with interim versions of the software and providing feedback to Jim. On April 30 Jim released a version which he is making available to the public.

The KG-UV Commander software is a very impressive package. I believe that it empowers the user to program literally every programmable feature of the Wouxun radios (including modifying band limits, which until now has required the separate unlock program). The Commander software reads and writes TW files, and also reads and writes CSV files (which are easy for Excel programmers and others to read and write for any future special programming applicatoins). And the program even reads ARRL TravelPlus frequency files! Furthermore, the program has a great user interface, and includes the normal spreadsheet editing features such as Add, Edit, Move, Cut, Copy, Paste, Delete, and Sort."
I must say the software is a huge leap forward. I needed to add some frequencies to mine, so this was the perfect opportunity to try it out. I had an Excel spreadsheet with some data I wanted to copy over. It wouldn't let me do multiple rows at once - in fact, it was like the app wasn't taking the latest information from the Windows clipboard. I ended up adding the entires manually, but with the auto-offset feature enabled, it just took a minute to do it.

The sort works great - you can sort all the entries or just select a few rows. I used that feature to keep my favorites at the top of the list and independent of all the others that I just wanted sorted by frequency.

There is also a function to search for duplicates. The search is really slick. You can tell it to ignore duplicate frequencies if one entry has a tone configured while the other does not.

The software really levels the playing field with the big boys. It reminds me of the software I have for my VX-3R.

Jim did a great job and this is just another example of how Ed continues to support the community and why he will get my business/endorsement.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Favorite HT?

Rob Law, MW0DNKIcom IC-E92D – Why This Is My ‘Staple’ Handheld

I really like my Yaesu VX-3R because of its size and ability to receive on so many frequencies.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Yaesu FT-818: More of the Same

Larry (W2LJ) offers some thoughts on the FT-818 and its incremental change from the FT-817.

My father-in-law loaned me his FT-817 when I first got started. I loved that it was a do anything radio. It's probably why I ended up a VX-3R and the IC-7000. I am a little surprised it was such a small set of changes.

Monday, September 22, 2014


The 409Shop is promoting the Yaesu VX-3R (which I like), but selling it for $229 USD. The first US site I check has it for $185. I don't usually look at the Japanese radios when looking at the Chinese sources, but this strikes me as odd. Are they always this much more expensive?

Friday, June 29, 2012


John asks which radio he should get. Hans replies:
"Best of the pack: Wouxun KGUVD1P. No real flaws to report. The KGUVD1P is verystrict when it comes to battery voltage though. It will switch off immediately,there's no escape. Switching to low power won't help. Buy a spare battery!
Runner up: Quansheng TG-UV2. Flaws: no DTMF. Not the prettiest design ever (a
matter of taste, of course). Strengths: capable of RX/TX on 350-390MHz. Batterylife is unbelievable.
The stock antennas of these two HT's are as good as they get, no need for areplacement.
The Baofeng UV-5R is interesting because of its price - you can buy two UV-5R'sfor the price of one Wouxun. If you can live with its quirks, you have a heck ofa deal."
Hans also replies on another thread:
"The cheap UV-3R can't be used here on 70cm. Total RX collapse. The UV-5R does alot better and is usable. The Quansheng TG-UV2 does even better, and the champion of Chinese HT's is the Wouxun KG-UVD1P. I hardly notice the influence of a 5+5+10 KiloWatt digital TV transmitter on that one, which is located only half a mile away from my QTH.
Even the best Chinese HT is no match for my Yaesu VX-177 mono band though. Thatone doesn't give a d*** about these signals. And it should, as I can buy fourUV-5R's for the price of one VX-177."
If you don't already follow Hans at his blog, I highly recommend it.