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UV-3R chinese radios - excellent


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Baofeng UV-3R Mark II and UV-3R+ comparison.

What a cracking compact radio. It covers 2m and PMR with more than adequate output power.

There are lots of memories if you want to store channels, plus Dual Watch. This allows listening to two different frequencies, can be 2m and a PMR channel or 2 frequencies on 2m.

As far as I can tell the UV-3R Mark II is the same as the Vero UV-X4.

The UV-3R+ is slightly more rugged and has a battery that forms part of the rear case.

The operation of both radios is exactly the same. The pushbuttons are slightly bigger on the 3R+, here is a side by side comparison:


The side pushbuttons are a little more ergonomic on the 3R+ and the belt clip is a lot stronger and spring loaded on the 3R+, much better in the flying environment I think:


Surprisingly the antennas are a different gender, male on the 3R MkII and female on the 3R+:


The construction of the case and battery is different; the 3R MkII uses a phone type battery with a clip on cover whilst the 3R+ case rear is the battery, with external charge contacts and a stronger retention clip:


The external connections differ; the 3R MkII has a charger socket and single pin headset socket, the 3R+ has a two pin headset connection:



The 3R+ has to be placed into a charger base whereas the charger lead plugs directly into the 3R MkII. Although the 3R MkII is supplied with a charger base that the battery can be fitted into THIS MUST NOT BE USED. There is no control of the state of charge in this base and its use could be hazardous to the battery.

The 3R+ charger base has proper charge control included:


Now to headset compatibility. The 3R MkII connections are the same as the UV-X4 and a suitable adapter circuit to Icom/Yaesu compatible headsets is :


This has the drawback of overriding the battery save function when plugged in.

The 3R+ connections are Kenwood compatible, 12mm between jack plugs. You can either buy a Kenwood compatible headset, make your own, or use this adapter circuit for an Icom/Yaesu compatible headset. This circuit allows the battery save function to operate:


The transistors used are any general purpose pnp and npn transistors.

For smallest size go with the UV-3R MkII, although my example did exhibit a known fault with some examples, of continuous transmission with earpiece use.

For PPG use I highly recommend the UV-3R+ as best, no problems encountered.

Cheers, Alan

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Hi Alan.

Thanks for the excellent review.

I have bought the UV-5R which has the same Kenwood compatible headset connector as the UV-3R+.

All the Kenwood compatible headsets I have seen seem to have a mono 2.5mm plug and a stereo 3.5mm plug, unlike the one in your picture (both stereo).

Can you confirm the mono/stereo plug will work? looking at your adapter circuit diagram it appears the extra connection does nothing anyway(?)

Many thanks.


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Hi Stuart,

You are correct with the 2.5mm plug, the second contact on the stereo plug is redundant.

So a mono plug for the speaker connection is all you need.

Where I am a bit hazy is the true compatibility with older Kenwood headset or speaker/mics.

I have seen a picture of a mono 3.5mm plug for the mic connection. This would indicate the 'mic circuit made' function to key the transmit.

The connections to all these new radios has the mic connected directly to the ring(2nd) contact of the plug, whilst the PTT switch is connected to the sleeve(3rd) contact. The tip of the plug is unconnected.

The reason for this is that the Vox function needs the microphone connected all the time, so the mic and PTT connections are separate.



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Sorry Stuart I didn't express myself as clearly as needed.

When I said 'older Kenwood headsets' I wasn't inferring that any newer ones have changed the connections.

As I haven't got a Kenwood compatible headset this is a bit of guesswork:

Where the radio manufacturers say 'Kenwood plug type' for the mic/earpiece I think all they are saying is that the 2.5 and 3.5mm plugs match the 2.5=speaker and 3.5=microphone, plus the plug separation is 12mm.

Even if a new 'Kenwood compatible' headset came with a stereo 3.5mm plug I doubt that the connections have changed from mic/PTT on tip and ground on sleeve.

If the sleeve connections of both plugs are commoned together as a ground connection then the radio will go into continuous transmit when plugged in.

Hope I haven't confused you into thinking everything is compatible,

Cheers, Alan

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Thanks for the clarification Alan. It looks like I will have to go back to butchering the phone style earpiece that came with the radio (add 2 speakers/earphones and move the PTT button away from the mike).

I got your PM too thanks, sorry i didn't respond earlier but I've been away from the pc all day.

Cheers again.


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