A quick comparison of the Baofeng UV-5RA and Wouxun KG-UVD1P

About eight months ago, I purchased a Wouxun KG-UVD1P two-band HT. Overall, I’ve been very happy with it. Last week, I purchased a Baofeng UV-5RA. Apparently, Baofeng is coming out with a new model soon, and as a result, are trying to dump these units. I bought mine for $30 from some vendor selling through Amazon, although now it looks like the cheapest price is $33.55.

Wouxun KG-UVD1PBaofeng UV-5RA

It’s been interesting to compare the two units. This is by no means an exhaustive comparison, but just a few things that hit me from playing with the Baofeng for the last couple of days:

  • Programmability. As is commonly noted, the Wouxun is much more easily programmed than the Baofeng. It was relatively easy for me to figure out how to program the memory channels of the Wouxun. So much so that I decided not to purchase the programming cable.¬†I still have not been able to program the memory in the Baofeng. Unlike the Wouxun, you have to separately program the transmit frequency and the receive frequency. I still have not mastered this procedure.
  • User documentation. The user documentation for the Wouxun is much better than the documentation for the Baofeng. The Wouxun comes with both a user manual and a quick reference card. The Baofeng come with a very thin manual that doesn’t seem to include instructions on how to program repeater frequencies into the memory channels.
  • Voice. Both radios can be programmed to announce, in either English or Chinese, things like operating mode and memory channel. The Baofeng voice sounds much more like a computer generated voice. The Wouxun English voice has a notable Chinese accent.
  • Antenna. Since I purchased it, I’ve only been using the ¬†antenna that was supplied with the Wouxun. It seems to perform pretty well. I’m not so impressed with the Baofeng antenna. Not only does it not do a good a job as the Wouxun, it actually gets a little warm when I transmit on high power. I’m going to have to replace it.

All things considered, I’ve decided to do one of two things with the Baofeng. I’m either going to pass it on to one of my Tech class students or hack it like KK6BWA has done. I think that either would be a worthwhile thing.

Comments

  1. I purchased a Wouxon KG-UV6D v2 last summer and I have been very pleased with it, too. I purchased it when my Yaesu HT died. I wanted to see the quality of these “cheap” radios and I was not disappointed. Great to see your comparison and read about your experience.

    Now, how about a push-up pole/mast write up? On Saturday, I participated in “Jamboree on the Air” in a field where push-up masts were essential. I really like a fiberglass pole that had strong sections all the way to the top (i.e. top section was round tube, and not a wispy whip). I think he said it was used by power companies to remove fuses, maybe. (A.B. Chance was the manufacturer, I think. Something with Chance in the name). Any suggestions on solid masts would be appreciated.

    • Here’s an update on my Baofeng experience:

      1. I did manage to figure out how to program repeaters into memories. I now have the two that I most commonly use programmed into my radio.
      2. As I stared at the two radios yesterday evening, it occurred to me that the keys and the keypad of the Boafeng are a little bit smaller than on the Wouxun. It’s not a lot, but I think that the larger keyboard is another factor that makes the Wouxun easier to program and to use.

      I’ll think about writing something about push-up masts in another post.

  2. I have the Baofeng. Learning curve to program manually, but I eventually figured it out. I prefer to use the Baofeng software. The radio has its shortcomings, but still represents good value at about 1/3 the price of the Wouxon. BTW, I would never stick with the stock antenna for any HT. At the least, pick up a Nagoya 771 (cheap – $5 and seems to perform better than my similar Diamond) and add 19.5″ + 6.5″ (VHF, UHF) wire counterpoises. Big improvement in TX and RX.

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