One of the most important aspects of survival is communication. When it comes to leaving everything behind, an essential for your bug out kit is a two-way radio system. Such a ham radio can be particularly useful when normal modes of communication aren’t available.
A two-way radio transceiver completes a survival kit and the Baofeng GT3 is an excellent option. Baofeng is a popular name among ham operators because the brand offers affordable, entry-level radios starting for just a few bucks.
As they feature small size and pack a lot of power in their battery, Baofeng radios are ideal for emergency situations and travel. They can keep you connected for weeks. In this post, we take a closer look at Baofeng GT3 transceiver and learn more about its features, battery and manual to help readers who are considering the product.
Baofeng GT3 Review – UPDATED 2020
A powerful and compact two-way radio that comes loaded with some advanced features from the brand, Baofeng GT3 uses the latest integrated circuit to deliver a real-world performance that users expect. It excels at what it does with its improved anti-interference functions. It also comes with new noise-reduction capabilities to block out noises during receipt and transmission between 50Hz and 55Hz.
Look and Feel
The Baofeng GT3 has an impressive build quality and looks very much like any other Baofeng variety. Orange accents add a modern touch to the appearance of the radio. The accessories it includes are worth the price. It comes with a belt clip, antenna, charging stand, car charger, wrist strap and mic/earpiece.
The Baofeng GT3 comes with a SainSonic antenna which is drastically improved over the standard antenna. This improved antenna enhances the radio’s ability to receive and transmit signals and allows a better range on the handheld radio. Moreover, when used under such a high-power operation of the radio, the antenna does not get so hot as other radio models.
While a flashlight does not affect the performance of the radio, it is a desirable feature. The inclusion of an LED light at the top saves you when you don’t have another flashlight in your survival kit. This can also save you space when travelling and it serves its purpose. It is bright enough to help you navigate the way in darkness.
Baofeng GT3 battery life is great. It has a 7.4V 1800mAh lithium-ion battery which is built to last for few weeks to keep the radio working. This means your radio can serve you even when the emergency lasts through weeks. The powerful battery makes the radio more reliable.
The radio uses a different display where the background is dark and the text is white. Though it looks cool and different from regular LCD displays, it can be disappointing to some as it is difficult to see when the backlight is off. The backlight goes dark when the radio is idle and seeing the info becomes hard. It is desirable to have the backlit display constantly on.
The keypad of this transceiver has a better feel than previous models. Moreover, it illuminates the background to make it easier to identify keys at night.
The radio has a number of exterior sockets and plugs that you can use to enhance usability. It has a Call button that turns the device on and helps send out an alarm in case of emergency.
Then there is a MONI button that turns the flashlight on. Pressing and holding this button releases the squelch on the frequency you are monitoring.
Push to Talk button located towards the left can be used to transmit.
Towards the right side of the radio, there are ports for microphone and speaker. You can plug in standard earphones or the included mic/earphone headset into this port.
There is a protective case that keeps the radio from getting lost. There is also a belt clip that allows clipping the device to your belt when you are on the move.
The Baofeng GT3 radio includes a car charger that saves you from the worry of battery life. Whether you are hiking, camping or travelling by car, you can always keep your device powered. This charger works with other models of dual-band radio as well.
Another improvement in this radio model is the speaker which delivers louder and clearer sound. It performs better than the previous models and enhances the experience with this radio.
Those who are not familiar with programming frequencies into a handheld radio can find it difficult at first. While the user manual describes the programming procedure, it can be tedious to follow the steps. However, it becomes easy once learnt. You can use the programming cable and software from Baofeng to make the task easier. YouTube videos can help a lot. Once you program a few radios, it would become simple.
Best Antenna For Baofeng GT3
The Baofeng GT3 transceiver provides an excellent transmission and receipt range. However, you may sometimes want to extend the range of your radio. The antenna that comes with your device is short to maintain portability. You might realize at times that you should upgrade your radio antenna to use the device to its full potential. An upgrade will give the radio a better signal over extended distances, allowing you to deliver uninterrupted communication without any issue. Here are some of the best antennas for Baofeng GT3.
Walkie Talkie 15.6 inch Dual Band Antenna
About 16 inches in length, this antenna is ideal for outdoor use and is quite flexible and durable, making it easy to carry around. It can give a frequency range of 144-430MHz. It works with Baofeng radios and features a rubber spacer and cover to protect the base from any damage.
Nagoya VHF/UHF Antenna SMA-Female
Compatible with Baofeng models, the Nagoya antenna is 16 inches long and a great way to improve radio signal when using it outdoors. This antenna is durable and withstands rough use. Its frequency range is 144-430MHz. It also includes an extended cover and rubber spacer.
Retevis 2 Way Radio Antenna Extension
Designed to suit Baofeng 2way walkie talkies, this antenna is made out of durable material and is foldable and flexible. You can carry it easily by tucking inside the backpack. It is 15.5 inches long and gives a power gain of 2.15dB to your radio thereby boosting its performance at receiving and transmitting signals.
Baofeng GT3 Battery Life & Backup
The Baofeng GT3 transceiver uses a high capacity lithium ion battery. It is a 7.4 volt battery with 1800mAh capacity. The radio boosts an excellent battery life to provide amazing performance during travel and emergencies. The battery of this transceiver is built to last for weeks together without having to recharge. Charging time for this battery is about 5 hours. You can use the device for days together to receive and transmit due to the outstanding battery life it provides.
The radio ships with a new battery that you should charge for a minimum of 5 hours before the first use. After three full charge/discharge cycles, you can experience the optimum battery capacity and performance. A battery backup is necessary in certain situations. Battery performance can decrease at a lower temperature and a spare battery may be needed. The regular battery can operate at room temperature and can be saved for later use.
Baofeng GT3 Manual – Getting Started
Getting started with Baofeng GT3 is extremely simple. It comes with a user manual that contains detailed instructions on setting the device up, programming and troubleshooting.
Here are some safety instructions listed in the manual.
- The device should not be modified manually
- Only Baofeng approved batteries and chargers should be used
- Do not use any damaged antenna
- Turn the radio off before entering a blasting area
- Avoid exposing the radio to direct sunlight for a long time
- When transmitting, keep the microphone 3-4 cms away from lips and the antenna at least 2.5cm away from the body
- Turn the radio off before boarding an airplane
- Turn it off before entering an area with explosive material
The user manual also lists all the functions and specifications of the radio. It describes the installation procedure for antenna, battery, micro headset and other components in detail. You can also find the battery charging instructions in the manual. The manual also shows all the ports, controls and keys with position and function. You can find a number of shortcut operations to control the radio.
The Baofeng GT3 handheld ham comes at an affordable price and packs a lot of features into a compact device, making it a great bargain. The radio offers exciting features and improvements over the previous models from the brand. Those who want to get a backup communication device without having to spend a fortune would definitely find this radio a worthy purchase.