SLATER’S GONNA SLATE
This wonderful chart just showed up from the November issue of QST, confirming in a good size statistical sampling what I’ve suspected for quite some time:
Baofengs are rubbish.
This is kinda nothing new. On the first model they sent over here, the UV-3R, rumors surfaced early on that the antenna was critical. The antenna’s bandwidth limitations were being used as a harmonic/spurious emission filter. If you used a third party antenna, especially one that’s very broadband like a discone, it’d spew. The UV-5R’s are everywhere now and well, aside from you having about a 70% chance the radio works at all, there’s about a 50% chance it has spurious emissions exceeding FCC standards.
You will notice if you look at the chart above that a small sampling (as in, ONE unit each) of Kenwood and Yaesu radios also failed to pass, but I get the feeling those were radios that had soaked up a bit too much puddle water in their years. We hams tend to keep our rigs till they turn to once expensive dust….. then claim they’re STILL wurf way the hell too much.
I think I may still have one UV-5R kicking around somewhere. I haven’t used it in nigh forever, because the last time I did, the receiver started going deaf and shutting down with a crackling sound whenever you moved the radio. It wasn’t a cracked solder joint at the antenna connector (a VERY common problem, historically, on almost all brands of handheld radios). The board was just plain goin’. Either way, after reading this, I’m declaring it to be a [lackluster] receiver only.
At work there’s an ever shrinking bundle of Baofeng/Pofung 888 single band radios that were obtained out of desperation as the old Motorola CP200’s and newer CP185’s all gradually started to fail. They just plain don’t work right. They drift in frequency in mid transmission, emit strange noises, go weak on transmit, or fail to receive. On a side note – funny how the CP200’s lasted over a decade and the CP185’s, now made in China, barely make it beyond three years’ service. I wonder who “Motorola” actually buys them from? Bueller? Bueller? *squelch*
Apparently in the 2012 tests, some TYT radios showed up with half of the small sample being bad – interesting to note that they’ve never reappeared. The TYT [Tytera] MD-380 analog/DMR radio is starting to gain a lot of use lately, hopefully they’ve cleaned up their act!
On a side note, boy, Tytera sure never seemed to use their full name OR the same exact font that Hytera uses for their logo until Hytera started really kicking butt with their DMR line. Gee I wonder why they just happened to jump to similar trade dress. 😉
(Comparing the looks of the MD380 to the looks of a Hytera radio, however, is like comparing the looks of a Samsung Galaxy S6 with one of those toy plastic cellphones that’s full of candy.)