Tagged: duplex

BaoFeng UV-5R/UV-5R+ Plus FM Transceiver Review Part 1

Buy a Baofeng UV-5R from Sain Store on Amazon.com

BaoFeng UV-5R FM Transceiver. Using CHIRP software you can generate "interesting" messages!
BaoFeng UV-5R FM Transceiver. Using CHIRP software you can generate “interesting” messages!

The Chinese manufactured BaoFeng (pronounced BowFung) UV-5R series FM transceiver has become a bit of a sensation since it was first released back in 2012. Originally conceived as a run of the mill commercial two-way radio, resultant internet exposure has seen it become one of the most talked about radios, primarily due to its feature set and price point.

Looking through the specification of the latest firmware release BFB297, its no wonder why. Wide/Narrow FM, full transmit and receive functionality (semi-duplex, plus multiple CTCSS/DCS tone options including cross) across two bands 136-174.0000 (VHF) and 400-520.9975 (UHF) means its suitable for a wide range of applications including the ever popular 2m and 70cm radio amateur bands. There is even a broadcast WFM radio (65-108MHz) with station scan functionality (press SCAN while in WFM radio mode to jump instantly to local stations).

Incidentally, firmware Ver. BFB297 is a bit of a misnomer as while that is what is displayed on the unit when “3” is pressed and held during start-up, the actual firmware could be higher as BaoFeng seem to have stopped updating the firmware readout – both my models are actually BFB307 (this was gleaned thanks to the latest version of CHIRP, Other Settings menu option).

I suppose at this juncture I should pull out the review disclaimer! Of course, users are required to hold a valid licence to transmit on any, or all, of the above radio spectrum and checks should also be made to ascertain the certification of this model against usage on certain bands/frequencies even if a valid licence is held. Regulations vary from country to country so make sure you are operating legally!

That said, if you plan to use it for receive (RX) only, then no licence is required and it is 100% legal. Talking of which, transmit (TX) can be disabled on any or all memory channels using CHIRP software (more on that in Part 2). I highly recommend downloading CHIRP as it offers a lot more functionality than BaoFeng’s original VIP software does.

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Casio Protrek PRW-2500 Review

Buy Casio Protrek PRW-2500 – Amazon.co.uk

Buy Casio Protrek PRW-2500 – Amazon.com

Casio Protrek PRW-2500-1ER
Casio Protrek PRW-2500-1ER

The Casio Protrek PRW-2500 is one hundred percent function. It is definitely not a dress watch or simply for telling the time, no this is a rugged “man watch”, packed with features and tools – wholly designed for outdoor pursuits, such as hiking, climbing and kayaking.

The wife and I are keen hikers and its this pastime that got me browsing for ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) watches in the first place. I quietly whispered to myself… I don’t need one… I have managed perfectly well all these years without a fully fledged weather/navigational aid strapped to my wrist. Then I saw them. All neatly lined up flaunting their technological prowess. I’d stopped nibbling the bait. Now positively hooked and reeled in, I had to have one! Would you like a cup of tea dear?

Information gathering would be required. I take an analytical (some might say anal) approach to research, prioritising the “must have” features. Sometimes a compromise somewhere along the line has to be made – losing some functionality over a more worthy feature for example.

The leading ABC wristwatch manufacturers are Casio’s Protrek division, Japan and Suunto, Finland. Suunto is recognized as the go to tool for sensor accuracy whereas Casio Protrek for “G-Shock” like durability, atomic timekeeping, 200m water resistance and solar power. This is where the compromises start to creep in.

The battleground: Suunto Core vs. Casio Protrek PRW-2500.

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