29 December 2013

New handheld ordered: Baofeng UV-82L

I couldn't resist and ordered a Baofeng UV-82L VHF/UHF handy. This time I bought within European Union, so the parcel will come without passing through Customs with their unknown processing time.

Right after paying for the new RTX I realised that it is missing something I consider important: a socket for DC input. It is either powered with its own battery or nothing.

This means that I will need a second battery for prolonged activity. It also means I will have to carry the charging base around.

I hope the transceiver performance makes me forget these design flaws (IMO).

06 December 2013

Does weight matter?

Having lost my one and only BNC-to-N adapter, I had to find a replacement. The third local shop I visited (still) had them. A bit pricey, but readily available.

I had not handled too much the previous adapter (BNC-Female to N-Male), but these feel lighter. So I weighted them at 22 grams each. I have no means to evaluate their quality.

If weight is a synonim of quality, how much do your BNC-F to N-M adapters weight?

Note. These will be used for my RTLSDR receiver and in case of emergency when a proper coax is not available. If I will ever own a device with an N output, I will build a properly N-terminated coaxial cable.

04 December 2013

On the market for a new handheld

Now that the UV-3R has become my single-channel car RTX, I am missing a VHF/UHF handheld for casual use. Of course the UV-3R can be dug out of the car, but it feels so comfortable in there. So I am on the market for another RTX under the 50€ price tag (70 USD).

UV-3R. While I love that little radio, even newer versions have not improved much. Cost has been stable around 30-35€ (Far East eBay price), while I was hoping/expecting a reduction.

UV-5R. This seems a decent and widespread upgrade for an UV-3R. It costs just 2-3€ more than a UV-3R, but I really don't like its look! Except that it comes in multiple colors (yellow being a field-day favorite).

UV-B5. UV-B6. These two look much nicer than an UV-5R but they have no CE/FCC certification (AFAIK), cost more and there seem to be little support.

UV-82. This is apparently a new model. Its price falls just within my 50€ limit and available feedback online has been positive. Like B5/B6 there are still few of these around, but it should be FCC approved

The drawback of these models is that their antenna connector and speaker/mic are different from the UV-3R I already own. This means I will need a different BNC-SMA adapter. Well, this seems to be a market standard for big brands, so I won't complain much for a gained interoperability with others' equipment.