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Ham Radio - Camera - Computer - F8HP - UV5R - Baofeng - Pofung
 
 
Product Review
 
Baofeng   GT-3WP
 
aka  UV82 (T-56) & BF-A58
 
VHF / UHF Handheld
IP-67  Water Resistant

by: John  'Miklor'
March 2016

 

 
 
 
Here's a different take on old favorite.  The Baofeng GT-3WP is a first cousin to the UV82.  The difference is in the case design.  Rated a IP-67 water resistant, it puts a different spin on the durability factor.             
 
 
In the Box

Included with the radio are:
-  Battery
-  29 page User Guide – English  (Download)
-  Charger base & AC adapter 
-  Hand strap
-  Belt clip
-  PTT Earpiece / Microphone
-  Antenna – 15cm VHF/UHF antenna     
      Longer than original UV5R antenna, shorter than A-V85
 
 
General Information
-  The GT-3WP has a single bank of 128 channels.
-  Freq Range = VHF 130-176 / UHF 400-520 MHz
-  65MHz-108MHz (Receive only) commercial FM radio
-  Single PTT function
-  Supports 2.5kHz frequency steps
-  Rated IP67 water resistance
 

Enclosure
My first observation was the feel, weight, and durability of the case.  It gives the impression that if the radio is dropped, the concrete would crack, and the radio would be unaffected. The profile is slightly thicker than the average Baofeng and weight (compared to a UV82) is about 2 oz heavier.

 
click to enlarge


Added protection shield was added to the area around the volume control knob. This will help prevent damage to the knob if the radio is dropped. The knob is physically about 1/8 inch shorter and the shield requires getting used to when adjusting the volume.
Battery
The 7.4V 1800mAh battery has a different feel when placing to the radio. It presses very firmly into place and clicks when secured. This firm fit attributes to its water resistance.

Note: The GT-3WP battery may not be interchangeable with similar looking models, such as BF-A58 and UV82(T56). There have been reports of incompatibility.

 
Keypad
The numeric keypad is the traditional style, with the zero properly placed at the bottom. The EXIT key is also used for switching between the upper and lower display, however it is not labeled. That gives it a clean look, but you need to remember the key's double function.
Transmitter
Although the GT-3WP is a tri-power radio, the specifications rate the radio at 1/3/5W. Measuring the radio's power using my Bird Wattmeter, it comes very close to its advertised rating.  The OTA audio reports are clear and clean with mellow audio.
  
GT-3WP 146
MHz
446
MHz
High 4.3 4.5
Med 2.8 3.8
Low 1.3 2.0
Receiver
The receiver sensitivity is excellent, and audio quality is extremely clear, loud, and undistorted. A large speaker and powerful audio amp in the receiver makes this possible. 
 
 
Antenna
The 5.5" (15cm) dual band antenna seems to be well matched to the radio. 


Display
The radio has a tri-color display, allowing the color options of the blue, orange and purple.  The LCD can be formatted in either of three formats. Choices are Frequency, Channel number, or up to 6 Alpha Characters,.  The signal indicator does not show strength, but rather ON or OFF.
 

Water Resistant  (Not WP) - IP67

By
definition, an IP-67 is the radio is protected from dust ingress, and will withstand being submerged in water up to 3' (1m) in depth.  (IP Rating Chart)

I don't make a habit of doing this to my radios, but for the sake of the review, I submerged the radio into only one foot of clear water for approximately 3 minutes.

-  After towel drying, I removed the battery and found no moisture.
-  After air drying for about 2 minutes, the radio powered up, however, when I turned the radio to the local NOAA channel, I found the receive audio was essentially gone. (not what I was hoping for).
-  After air drying for an additional 10 minutes, the audio started to return to a usable level.
-  The next day, when thoroughly dry, all functions returned to normal.
-  Transmit power was unaffected, and OTA signal reports were fine.

My Conclusion - Although the radio is definitely Water Resistant, it was apparent that water did enter the radio and negatively affected its operation, possibly through  the keypad. It may survive a quick dip in the water or rain, but not submerging. Fortunately the test wasn't in saltwater.
 
 
Programming
Manual programming requires the radio be set to the VFO mode. This is accomplished by powering on the radio while pressing the menu key, much like the UV82.
 
Manual programming is pretty straight forward once you enter a few channels. A programming guide can be found at Manual Programming with a Menu Definition summary available at Menu Definitions.
 
 
Software     (Download)
The software is very much like the standard Baofeng factory software. One small item I found was when programming was when changing a CTCSS code, the software puts random digits in the SigCode field. I just reset the field back to its default, which is 1.

Update: Radio is now supported by CHIRP software.
 
  
Programming Cable
The programming cable requires is not the traditional two pin Baofeng / Kenwood style. It appears to be a Motorola style connector, but looks are deceiving. Although the connector is similar in appearance, the internal wiring is not. The Motorola cable has a 2 wire connection, while the Baofeng requires 3. The required cable Must be the one marketed for the GT-3WP, UV82WP, BF-A58, BF-9700, etc. or it will not work. (Thank you John Reinhart for testing)

The cable is secured to the side of the radio using a flat connector and thumb screw. Although it requires a bit of extra effort to connect, it does enhance the waterproof capability.  It does not require being removed to make a 'radio check' as the speaker is not disconnected with the cable attached.

click to enlarge
Belt Clip
Another difference is the design of the belt clip. A button on the back of the radio allows the radio to slide out of the clip which stays attached to your belt.
 
 
Accessories
The advantage of the Motorola style jack on the side is that it assists with the water resistance of the case.  Keep in mind that accessories from many other Baofeng radios, such as are Spkr/Micr and programming cables are not compatible with this model.
 
click to enlarge
Conclusion
The GT-3WP has all the features of the UV82 with the added durability of the improved enclosure. It should be able to handle extreme abuse easily. Performance wise, it will keep up with the best of the Baofengs. Unfortunately, mine didn't do so well under water. It is much more water resistant than most, but I would still be cautious around extreme water conditions.
 
 
Available from:
  
Amazon and Radioddity
 
 
 

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