HAM HT Baofeng UV-3R

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Revision as of 10:47, 8 April 2013 by Haxwithaxe (talk | contribs) (Major updates)


The UV-3R family of radios are dirt cheap 2W handheld transceivers with reasonably good stock features especially given the price. They can be very easily modified to take advantage of the on board MCU and crappy programming of that MCU. The UV-3Rs are software controlled radios (not SDRs) the DSP isn't controllable beyond squelch thresholds (afaik) which means only when and where to transmit and receive not any changes to modulation or demodulation.


General Info




  • FOSS Firmware
    • pads can be fragile or lift off easily. User:haxwithaxe recommends using a nonsolder based means of connection.
    • code: on github
    • feature set beyond stock firmware as of 2013/04/08 noonish ripped from WISHLIST on github
      • Quick interface to program rx freq, tx freq, power and PL code very quickly for repeaters. No offset, you just start with the rx freq and shift it by whichever amount you want. This will allow allow you to turn off the tx, or operate satellites. At any point during this mode, you can hold the mem channel and it will ask you which number you want to save this to.
      • Memory mode will allow you to go through your saved memory. At any point you can press menu and change more details about the channel. The details will include power with granular level, DTMF TX/RX, and other functions TBD. This mode will show the channel name and the freq underneath it.
      • Satellite Mode: Auto tuning of the frequency with response to the Doppler shift.
      • (not yet) Digital mode. Hopefully I could add some text base digital data for rx and tx. You might need to tx the text using morse code since there is no alpha numeric keypad on the radio. The digital mode will also include a store and repeat message forwarding.
      • (mostly implemented) Computer mode: All the functions of the radio including the RDA1846 registers, TX, and RX will be controlled through the serial port on the radio.
      • Fox/Hunt mode. Can be used to transmit a signal intermittently (like call sign morse code). Or send the RSSI signal into the audio, and with a directional antenna you can go hunting.
      • (not yet) Advance mode: Any RDA 1846 register can be set manually and saved for during startup.
      • (not yet) If the digital mode works, then RF programming of the radio. This will allow anyone to send you repeater information from their memory locations. I will work by selecting a memory channel to rx, and pressing a button. Then on another radio you can send the programming info.
      • (not yet) APRS mode: Boots straight to 144.39 mhz (or whatever you set it to), doesn't accept inputs, stays on the set frequency.


Recommended Modifications

  • A wide based flush fit BNC (or similarly durable connector) adapter (sometimes called an antenna saver) given the short mating cycle "SMA connectors are rated for up to 500 mating cycles" citation via Wikipedia
  • fix harmonics (needs links)
  • fixes as needed: speaker volume, mic volume, super low low power (needs links)


  • DON'T BUY THE PROGRAMMING CABLE you can use a 3.5mm stereo plug and a usb to serial device. (pinouts available here)
  • If you buy one the only working setup for using the manufacturer's programming software found by User:haxwithaxe has been Windows7 with Vista drivers for the Prolific serial adapter.
    • others have had success with WINE and in XP but since many of the cables have counterfeit controllers they have varying levels of functionality with different drivers.
    • User:haxwithaxe used a VirtualBox VM with usb pass through.

Hardware Versions

There are a large number of internally identical radios with very nonstandardized names in the UV-3R and UV-5R family.

  • UV-3R is the first iteration of the UV-3R series it is it's own beast for the most part
    • Mostly-clones UV-100 and UV-200
  • UV-3R MKII is the next oldest and has several variants
    • UV-X4 - Just a rename for marketing?
    • UV-3R+ (aka UV-3R Plus or UV-3R + Plus)
      • different battery and charging method - has an actual charging cradle but battery type is not common
      • different audio jacks (separate speaker and mic/ptt)
      • female instead of male SMA (not RP-SMA)
  • UV-5R
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