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Well I can put it off no longer....I need to get some better com's , been kidding myself that a pair of 20+ year old Motorola walkie talkies will get me by for long enough...I realise I need to go down the baofeng route but am put off by the supposed complexity of the uv5r+ so what I want to know is would I be better off with the latest uv3r+ for simplicity or is it just as flummoxing as its bigger brother....what do you guy's think?....I can get a pair of 3's for £40 or a pair of 5's for £49.....I'm thinking maybe start with 3's then buy a pair of 5's later......what are the positives and negatives with these transceivers.
The 5's are complex, and not very intuitive. On the other hand, you can program your own channels to simplify things. They are very versatile, for example I wanted to use mine for short range comms around the farm without intruding into Ham frequencies, but with some privacy. So I turned the transmit power down, set them to narrow band, and set up my own TX and RX channels in different places between the standardized PMR446 licence free channels. This is not strictly legal, but it means that other PMR446 users are unlikely to hear my transmissions and I am still within a public "space" so unlikely to attract attention.
Sorry can't help, but will be interested to see what others have to say on this......
Midnite: I have both 3rs and 5rs. UV3rs are even less easy to set up than the 5rs as they have fewer buttons.

As Steve said, the 5rs are not very intuitive to program but they do the job if you stick at it. The 5rs also have much greater standby time than the 3rs

If you like the smaller form size of the 3r, have a look at the TYT U3r these are very well thought our little radios, on a par with the big brand ham rigs in terms of user interface. They also charge directly from any mini USB charger.
That's really strange I looked at them and immediately thought less buttons equals simpler to operateBlush......ease of operation is my biggest requirement.
(11 June 2014, 21:54)Midnitemo Wrote: [ -> ]That's really strange I looked at them and immediately thought less buttons equals simpler to operateBlush......ease of operation is my biggest requirement.

As LS says, 5's are much easier than the 3's because of the buttons.

Imagine having to scroll your clicky twisty thing next to the ariel, in jumps of 25mhz, then clicking the normal buttons to get incremental changes of only 5mhz, then you have to click back into the initial basic buttons to the back system to reduce it again to the 1mhz change for the twisty knob, then going back to the programming bit to fine tune it to the right frequency, then having to scroll back through the back system to get to the save option.

Once 3's are programmed, they are much smaller and lighter, so are my current preference. But the ones I have do lack the ability to scan through the airwaves to pick up channels.

If I was just starting again, I'd go for a 5 to start with, then once competent with that, I'd change it up for a 3 for ease of carry.
More buttons = more specific controls. You can type in frequencies for example rather than having to scroll through a long sequence.

Less buttons means more multi-function combinations of key combinations and more complex scrolling memories.

What do you want to do with these radios? what are your requirements? This may affect what will best suit.
I agree, 5R is easier than the 3R. The 'Chinglish Destructions' that come with them are completely unintelligible but there are very good instructions all over the place online and I think LS posted some too. Lots of people have jumped on the 'omg they're so complicated to program' bandwagon but in my experience these are people that forked out for Yaesu HTs that do less and cost a huge amount more or people that are too nervous to give it a go. I think that if you can follow GOOD instructions they're quite straight forward to program manually without bothering with the data cable. I do mine manually however the data cable gives you the added benefit of an alpha numeric display which is really quite useful.

Don't believe the hype! Smile
My need is probably 80% walkie talkie type useage just keeping in touch with people out on tasks , my group may be split between two locations depending on the final numbers and I don't want any friendly fire issues on approach of our bug in's/ bug outs but I would like the ability to make contact with other user's in my vicinity, I have a member of this site less than 4 miles away.
For close in work and range up to 4 miles, go with the 5r. Its a little more powerful than the 3r, so will give you slightly better range.

For more reliable coms with the guys 4 miles away, you may need to fit an external antenna.

As BoB says, don't be scared of by all the hype. Once you've worked out the programming logic they are fairly easy to work with.