One month with the UV-82HP

25 July 2015

For the past month, I have had the joy of using the latest model to the BaofengTech line of radios, the UV-82HP, or sometimes shortened to just 82HP in order to separate it from the 82, 82C, 82X and other models. For the better part of the last 9 months, I have had other Baofeng radios as well as a few other manufacturers, including an AnytoneTech OBLTR-8R, so the layout of this radio was already familiar to me.

I will not go over the details or specs as they had been covered already in my previous blog entries, Day 1 with the UV-82HP, and BaofengTech announces the UV-82HP. There are 2 things that took a little for me to get used to, first being the number button layout. Since my primary HT is the BF-F8HP, and the F8/5R based radios have the * 0 and # keys along the right side instead of the bottom, it takes a little adjustment for me to get used to the number pad. Luckily in my case it wasn't that big of an issue since the OBLTR-8R has a similar button layout to the 82 series radios with the * 0 and # along the bottom. After using it for the past month it does seem to make more sense, as it is easier to associate it with a telephone or cell phone number pad. So if you're part of the younger generation looking for a radio to get into amateur radio, the 82 series radios would be my suggestion to you. The second item that took a little getting used to is the dual PTT buttons on the side. So far all the other HTs I had used prior had been single PTT buttons. There were a few times I had pressed the wrong button wondering why there was no response, then I realized why. Another thing worth remembering is if you get an external mic, the single PTT button mics will only use a single channel, it will not use the active channel by using the AB button, versus on other 5R/F8 models, it transmits on the active channel, that can be switched using the A/B button on the radio. There are dual PTT button mics available for the 82 series radios on Amazon and other retailers.

Overall this is a very sturdy and stable radio. I did not run into any problems or bugs sometimes associated with new models, although this is not really new, just an update brought over from existing stable models. They borrow the same 8W transmission circuitry from the BF-F8HP, and add it to the UV-82 series radio line, bringing the best of both worlds together. With the layout and availability of the UV-82 line, there is a certain subset of people that prefer the UV-82 line over other higher dollar models because of the keypad layout and dual PTT, plus the option of an emergency personnel Part 90 available model, the UV-82C (not available as an 8W HP).

The antenna test I put together a few weeks ago showed that the power output is stable and on par with the existing F8HP model. It also showed that aftermarket antennas (that I currently have access to as of writing this) do not really benefit this model much, since the 82 series radios already come with the better V85 antenna (when compared to the UV-5R models and their relatively poor stock "rubber ducky"). The audio quality and transmit sound quality is the same or slightly better than other normal Baofeng radios, plus the speaker output definitely has more power than the other Baofeng radios thanks to the 1W output speaker, compared to the 700mW (0.7W) of the other Baofeng lines.

I had the opportunity to visit the Milton, Florida hamfest (outside of Pensacola) in early July and carried the 82HP with me inside and out of the facility. I did get a few comments from others saying they have and/or like the 82 series radios, but as soon as I mentioned this is the 8 Watt version, it definitely piqued their interest, and I went over the info I knew about it. I am pretty sure I helped sell at least 4 or 5 of them directly, plus if they have good experiences they will likely refer others. There was also a national ham radio retailer out of Atlanta that I had the chance to chat with as well. We had a chance to talk a few minutes and he definitely said he had some interest in the 8W models, but the company is wanting to sell more of their existing Baofeng stock before jumping into the 8W models, but because Amazon seems to have the majority of sales for Baofeng radios, and their buyers tend to be older hams stuck in their ways, Baofeng sales tend to be pretty low through them. He said in the past year, they've sold more $1500 Yaesu FT-991 radios than they have Baofengs. He even said directly "this is not an issue of quality", it is the buyers that use their website and company. Where the older generation hams tend to stick with well known companies like HRO (Ham Radio Outlet), Gigaparts and a few others, the younger more tech savvy hams tend to use other resources for purchasing like Amazon.

In the end, it is on the same level as the commercial level UV-82 and 82C radios which are great radios in their own respect, with a little extra output power. Build quality is a step above the 5R series radios which gives it a more solid feel in your hands and likely able to survive a little more abuse. Sound in and out is a step above the 5R series radios, and the 8W output is on par with the F8HP, it is a touch worse with 3dBi lower in VHF, and equal in UHF with a negligible 1-2dBi higher (referring again to my antenna test ). No it does not have cross band repeat, no it does not have dual receivers for full duplex, but those are options that tend to only be available in radios like the $130 AnytoneTech TERMN-8R, and $200+ mobile radios.

If you're looking for a cheaper Baofeng radio, I would definitely recommend one of these 2 legitimate 8W models, the BF-F8HP or the UV-82HP (these are the only 2 legal legitimate 8 Watt Baofeng made radios, the other "TP" and "F9" radios are not legitimate Baofengs so I will not have anything to do with them). Both sell for the same price point so the next step is the other extras that you may want or need. If you need an extended battery like the 3800mAh battery, BaofengTech worked with another company to get an extended battery made and sold for the 82 series radios. Previously those were only available for the 5R/F8 lines, but the 5R/F8 version will work with the F8HP (I have one on mine). There are some listed on Amazon and ebay as 2500, 2800, 3000, 3800mAh (the stock even claims it is 2800mAh, but it has been tested closer to 1500-1800mAh), but those are nothing more than mis-labeled batteries that are the same as stock default battery that comes with the 82 series radios.

Hopefully this helps and feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments.

73 de K4ISR