Last week I’ve received the Baofeng UV-200, the Chinese handheld dual band transceiver under 50 USD.
I’ve ordered the radio at 409shop.hk web site, and have choosen the registered letter Hong KongÂ post method to save on DHL costs, that were more expensive that the radio itself.
Unfortunately the package has been intercepted ad italian customs (not all packages get controlled) and therefore I had top pay custom fee, and suffer of an additional 30 days delay on delivery.
Coming to the review, I ‘ve decided not to buy the more famous UV-3R because it was advertised that extenal microphone was not working with the UV-3R model, and therefore I adopted for the more recent UV-200 model, that is basically identical in funcionts, but has a slight different button shape as you can see from the picture.
Unfortunately the external mic that I’ve ordered once pressed keep the PTT hold and it does not release it. It’s not a mechanical problem, but rather a RFI problem, since I’ve noticed that touching the mic cable make the PTT to be released, and I’ve also tested that setting the Power to Low the problem is considerably reduced.
This happens to the enclosed heraphones, but making a small choke solve the problem.
Like all other models, it suffer of the High Speaker volume defect. I know there is a mod published, but since I use mainly while driving the scooter, it does not represent really a problem
Compared to the more robust Kenwood TH-F7E that I own, I can say the the difference is evident. Kenwood transceiver offer a wide variety of functions, like usage of names in memories, a wider spectrum, and excellent selectivity and sensivity and a power of 5 Watts. It’s really worth the money that cost.
From the other side the Baofeng product, has an excellent price to features ratio, since the cost is really ridicolous. One of the main reasons for which I’ve decided to buy one of this radio, is mainly because I use these radios daily and I hold them in the jacket, so having a so small transceiver is much more easy carry on and to put in the jacket.
I don’t know exactly if this model is the same (electronically) as the UV-3R, but they’re nice toys indeed. It might be interesting to check whether the UV-200 suffers from the same design flaws, such as the total lack of harmonic suppression on VHF.
I’m using mine on UHF only, so it doesn’t bother me much.
Don’t pull up too hard on the top knob. It’ll come off and the spring inside goes flying across the room.
Otherwise, good for the price and no great loss if it gets stolen, run over, etc.
There is simple way to make an external microphone to work with yout radio. Just look here =>
I personally will not buy any of the Chinese radios. y must be heavily subsidized by the Chinese government. The one tested by QST just barely met the FCC requirement for spectral purity. They have numerous problems as delineated in other articles and above. They are hard to program.
I recognize that most radios are now built overseas, but this is obviously junk built for the US market, and if enough people buy them it will impinge on the reputable builders of good equipment.
As the saying goes, “If you want oats that have already been through the horse, they come fairly cheaply. If you want nice fresh oats, that costs more.