Tagged: lcd

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 AQW-100-1AVEF Review

Buy Casio AQW-100-1AVEF from Amazon.co.uk

Buy Casio AQW-100-1AV from Amazon.com

Casio AQW-100-1AVEF
Casio AQW-100-1AVEF

You have to hand it to Casio, they make some fine watches. Not just expensive ones either. There are plenty of real bargains to be had that are easy on the wallet, but still packed with features. One such gem is the Casio AQW-100. This is a really interesting sports watch incorporating both digital and analogue timekeeping.

I was drawn to this watch because it has tide and moon data, not for any other reason (well, in all honesty the price played a part). I’d call this an impulse purchase in as much as I hadn’t really delved into the spec beforehand so there were some surprises in store once I opened the box!

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Apollo VV Battery Review

Apollo Variable Voltage (VV) Battery

Apollo Variable Voltage (VV) Battery
Apollo Variable Voltage (VV) Battery

The Apollo Variable Voltage (VV) eGo battery is the latest incarnation of the ever popular eGo electronic cigarette. At first glance, you maybe mistaken for thinking its just a pimped up eGo Twist, but I’m happy to say, you’d be wrong! Visually, yes, they have a lot in common, both are eGo’s after all, and both feature variable voltage, however when you delve deeper into the spec, the eGo VV is an entirely different beast. Its been refined, improved upon and honed to a level that is much more user friendly than the eGo Twist ever was.

The Apollo eGo VV simply caters to the needs of users in a way no other eGo has done previously. Its a revelation.

I’ve been using an Apollo Stainless Steel VV Vtube and Apollo eGo Superior kit for the past ten months and been more than happy with their performance, but as a gadget freak, I was intrigued by the eGo VV – its a best of both worlds device – variable voltage and eGo sleekness rolled into one. I had to get one!

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Casio AMW320R Review

Casio AMW320R (champagne dial)

Casio AMW320R on 22mm black & yellow NATO strap
Casio AMW320R on after market 22mm black & yellow NATO strap

As watch manufacturers go Casio is prolific. Their range encompasses all manner of styles, functions and price ranges from affordable to luxury. They are notably famous for their hardcore G-Shock series and more recently their comprehensive Pathfinder/Protek ABC (Altimeter, Barometer, Compass) watches.

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