19 August 2011

Bad luck with an UV-3R

I have read recently of HAM operators that got out of trouble during a mountain excursion because they had a VHF handy with them. My Standard C150's electrolytics gave up some 8 years ago so I have been without a lightweight "walkie talkie" for emergency communications since then. Incidentally the HAM market is being flooded by a Chinese-made dual bander for 35€ named UV-3R, so cheap that I couldn't resist.

Many people have written reviews about it; my contribution: it does what you pay for. The C150, designed 20 years before, was way beyond the UV-3R.

Anyway, I have had bad luck with my UV-3R which fails to receive on VHF. A schematic diagram is available online and I have tracked down where the problem probably is. It could be a cold solder joint, fairly easy to locate and fix, or a failing component.

Now the doubt: try to fix it and - in the worst case - keep a UHF-only handy or return it for a replacement/repair?