Top critical review
34 people found this helpful
Radio's good; Cable? Works fine with XP
on May 3, 2012
I lost my Icom T2H somewhere between the grill & the garage during last summer's storm & wind season. Looked all over and then looked at replacing it. Very expensive loss. Not wanting to spend >$130 on a radio I might lose again, I wandered the web until I found the Baofeng UV-5R. Read a bunch of the snarky reviews, looked at the price and dove. Ordered it on Amazon through Sain. No problem. Less than a week later the radio was in my paws.
The Baofeng UV-5R is a great radio. Weather channels, police channels, 2m & 70m FM & a FM broadcast receiver. At something like $70 it was a good deal. (The manual, for want of a better term, is way below minimal. I had to cruise the Web for that info too.) So, price &c considered, I'm happy with the radio. It'll cover my storm fretting needs & maybe even survive Hamvention.
The software & cable, on the other hand, are a bit of a stretch. First off, according to one source (on the Wouxun.us [importer] website), the cable uses a Chinese fake of a Prolific chip. If you let Windows7 find the driver, it will discover the fake chip & disable the port it's hosed up to.
The CD that came with it appears to have data on it but my computer says it's blank or needs formatted. Nope. That ain't gonna work. (Tried it in another W7 machine & no go. Might work in a XP but mine has no CD hole.) Downloading the software from Wouxun is fine. Got the version for my machine & installed it. But then there's that W7 fake chip checker.
All that being said, and after taking a week off for Dayton Hamvention, I have revised this review as follows:
The cable will work with an XP machine. The software will install on either W7 or XP but the cable, for reasons listed above, will not work on an W7 computer.
The software is a bit clunky. The screen prompts are like the ESL voice prompts on the radio. English? Yes, but you know it ain't like Ma & Pa talk. You have to enter each frequency one at a time. No block copy & paste. There are start up defaults that you can mess with in the Option Features drop-down under the Edit menu. Took me over an hour & some of fiddlin' to get it set up & enter all 98 channels that I am set to use now (which is just about everything from 145.110 to 147.570 MHz). So yeah, it works. I can program the radio. (Be sure to use the radio's RESET ALL before you try to load from your computer.) And I can add PL & CTCSS data to the software's table & all that.
So the radio's still great. I like it plenty. And once I got it goin', the cable/software were good too. I'm happy now. We're cool. But it still bothers me that the cable won't work with W7 (without messin' with the drivers).
Thus the upgrade to three stars. (I'd go for 3.5 'cept there's no half a star increment)