BaoFeng UV-3R 136-174/400-470 MHz Dual-Band Ham Radio (Black)
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- LCD Menu Operations , Dual Frequency Display, only use 1 x antenna
- Wide/Narrow Bandwidth & FM Radio Built-in (87.0MHz-108.0MHz)
- Emergency Alarm, Low Battery Alert & PC Programming
- VOX (Off/1-9 Level) & 99 Channels (1 Emergency Channel)
- FM Radio Channel Storage & High illumination Flashlight
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Product Packaging: Standard Packaging The BaoFeng UV-3R dual band radio with FM transceiver, Mini size. Latest version with 18 menu items, S-meter and dual display and dual band antenna. It is a micro miniature multiband FM transceiver with extensive receive frequency coverage, providing local-area 2-way amateur communications along with unmatched monitoring capability. Functions and Features: LCD Menu Operations, Dual Band/Dual Display, Wide/Narrow Bandwidth, FM Radio Built-in (87.0MHz-108.0MHz), Emergency Alarm, Low Battery Alert, PC Programming, VOX (Off/1-9 Level), 99 Channels (1 Emergency Channel), CTCSS/CDCSS, Battery Saver, Power Capacity Display (ON), Backlight ON/OFF/Key, FM Radio Channel Storage, High illumination Flashlight.
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The radio is smaller than I expected, it is about the size of a pack of Cammels, and construction is solid. The only thing I do not like about this radio is the lack of a squelch knob (squelch must be programmed), but those seem to becoming rare on a lot of radios these days. This radio is not yet Part 97 Certified, so hams must use their own judgment as to whether and how to use the radio. The manufacture has applied for 97 approval and is waiting to hear from the FCC. This radio will operate on business and public service bands, so I can see that it could be quite useful as an on scene tactical radio for budget conscious volunteer fire departments and search and rescue units still operating on analog channels.
It does not perform like and have all the bells and whistles of an Icom or a Kenwood, but for $50 you can not expect that from it. If you need a great radio buy one of those, if you can get by with a good radio this is worth the money.
Speaking of the mic, I found that I was getting very low audio reports and I opened the case and found the mic had no hole at all, so I fixed that in a few seconds with a drill and reassembled. I plan on doing a volume-lowering modification on it at some point anyway, so opening it was a non-issue. I have the Plus model of this radio as well, and while it's functionally the same radio, the Mark II model is even smaller.
The low volume modification must be made unless it will always be used in a 'loud' environment, (meaning you have to disassemble the radio).
There is only one programming cable available and it requires a 'special' set of device drivers to work, (which may be a show-stopper for anyone using other Prolific USB devices). Programming without the interface cable is an all-day event that's not for those prone to fits of anger.
Beyond that, it functions as advertized but it's not a Yaesu by any stretch.
Given the number of extreme and vicious attacks on this review from people with limited English skills, it's apparent that I have struck a nerve with someone at BaoFeng. People should keep such things in mind when deciding which companies to support and which should not be.