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Ham Radio - Camera - Computer - F8HP - UV5R - Baofeng - Pofung
 
Product Review
 
BTech  UV2501 & UV5001
 
Generation 3 - May 2016
 
by: John  'Miklor'

 

  
Compact 25W                     Full Size 50W
VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
 
136-174MHz / 400-520MHz
FM Broadcast  87.5-108MHz

 
Compare UV2501 to KT8900

 
 
Miklor

First off, I am not a dealer, manufacturer or distributor, so I have nothing to gain by inflating or deflating the performance of a radio. I don't do "unboxing" videos on YouTube as I feel you know how to open a box the same as I do.  You open the box, look inside, and say "Wow", everything looks like it's here. So, let's get started...

As shown below, the Gen 3 is the next evolution of the 2501 / 5001 series.  Although the case design is similar to other models you may recognize, (KT8900, KT UV980, JT6188, and several others), the UV2501 / UV5001 Gen 3 series are far from the same radio.
 
 
In the Box
 
Included with the radio are:
-  Microphone with a 16 button keypad and programming buttons
-  Chrome metal microphone hanger
-  Metal mounting bracket with screws
-  DC power cable with connector
-  Full 30 page English User Manual (not a pamphlet)
 
UV2501 - Weight:  408 g (14.4 oz)
Size:  98(W) x 35 (H) x 118 (D) mm  (3.8 x 1.4 x 4.6") 

UV5001 - Weight:  986g (32.8 oz)
Size:  140(W) x 40(H) x 180(D) mm   (5.5 x 1.6 x 7.1")
 
 
Enclosure
 

The frame is rugged, with a solid cover and a hefty aluminum heat sink, and now both models include a cooling fan.  I would still be cautious mounting the radio in an tight location where ventilation is limited.  Even with cooling fans, as with any radio, it will need room to breath.   
 
The radios are terminated with a standard SO-239 connector.
 
 
Transmitter
 

- Power - The UV2501 is rated at 20-25W and holds pretty true to those estimates.
The UV5001 exceeded is power expectation by actually maxing out at 55W.
 
A 13.6VDC power supply used emulate a standard auto battery with the engine running.  One of the concerns with some prior models was lack of a true low power position.  The test radios I have show a definite difference between High and Low.
 
Both radios have enough power to get you into about any repeater you hear.  The OTA audio reports were excellent.
 
Running the radio at high power into a Bird Wattmeter for 5 minutes showed no decrease in power. The heat sink was warm to the touch, but definitely not hot.
 

 


-  Frequency Steps - The frequency steps now range from 2.5 to 25 kHz. 
 
-  Audio Scrambler
The Audio Scrambler utilizes the voice inversion process. This feature must be activated on both radios (Tx and Rx) to be effective. Although the function works properly, check with your countries regulations regarding its use.
 
 
Receiver
 

These radios have 200 channel capability with a top end range to 520MHz.  The receiver sensitivity is on par with any mobile I’ve used in the past and there's plenty of smooth, clear and loud audio. The Gen3 radios have added additional receive filtering to improve the selectivity of the receivers.
 
Some earlier versions (Gen1) experienced a pulsing when mobile if a receive channel had CTCSS set. These radios were branded QYT and Juentai. This has since been resolved.
 
 
New Features Added
 
Gen3 - Adjustable Microphone Gain - You can now vary the microphone sensitivity. For heavy background noise, audio the gain back. For a quiet environment, set the gain higher.
 
Gen3 - Adjustable DTMF Tone Level Gain - The tone level can now adjusted either manually or through the software.
 
Gen3 - Selectable Power Level - Hi/Lo power can now be changed with a quick press of the '#' key on the microphone keypad.

Gen3 - Selectable VFO/Memory Mode - Mode can be changed with a long press of the 'Menu' key on the microphone keypad.

Gen3 - Cooling Fans - Included with both models.
 
Gen3 - Additional Receive Filtering - Added for improved selectivity.
 
 
-  Gen2 - Display SYNC - An option has been added to allow the Upper and Lower displays be synced, allowing the upper display to show channel Name while the lower displays the Frequency.  Dual channel display (TDR) is still there, but sometimes you just want to display the channel you're using. Now you have a choice.
 
-  Gen2 - Memory Mode Lock - The radio can be Locked into the channel mode (MR).
 
-  Gen2 - Menu Lock - While in the channel mode, the Menu option can be locked out to prevent accidental field programming.
 
-  Gen2 - Reset Lockout - The Reset option can be locked out to prevent accidental reset. Another nice safety precaution.
 
-  Gen2 - Auto Power Off - This allows the radio to shut off if the receiver is inactive for a preset amount of time.
 
-  Gen2 - Dual Watch Delay - allows the receiver to stay on a channel for a preset amount of time before returning to the primary channel after the secondary channel is clear.  You can now select the delay time (up to 50 seconds) before the radio returns to the Dual Watch mode.
 
-  Gen2 - Squelch Tail Elimination - Eliminates the squelch tail if the station or repeater being received has the same function active.
 
 
Microphone
 
The radio comes with a full function keypad style microphone. Functions include: Menu, Up, Down, A/B, Exit, Reverse, Scan, Lock, and now Power Level.
 
There was originally an alternate smaller microphone initially proposed for these radios, however, their performance was erratic and the function buttons very close together. For that reason, the radio comes with the standard larger microphone which for me hasn't missed a beat.
 
The audio reports were excellent. There's plenty of audio, so there's no reason to shout.  There is now an audio level adjustment that allows you to select the amount of transmit audio gain.
 
The RJ-45 microphone jack has the same pin output as the Kenwood. 
Pin Diagram.
 
 
Cross Band Repeater
 
Two BTech mobiles can be used in a cross band repeater configuration using an interface cable. A full description of the procedure, wiring diagram, and control output can be found HERE.
When using as a cross band repeater, be sure to provide ample cooling fans.  
 
 
Display
 
The radio has a tri-color display, allowing color options of the familiar blue, orange and purple.  The LCD colors can be selected to suit your personal preference with a screen size of 1.4" (3.4mm) wide. The LCD can be formatted in three different formats: Alpha Characters, Frequency, or Channel number.
 
 
Programming
 

Manual programming is pretty straight forward once you enter a few channels. A Manual Programming guide can be found at Manual Programming with a Menu Definition summary available at Menu Definitions.
 
There is a single bank of 200 channels. You can set a channel to be removed from the scan list, but there are no separate Scan Groups with this radio.

Manual programming videos can be found HERE.
 
 
Software
 
Due the added features in the UV2501 / UV5001, prior software is Not compatible with this radio. It was written specifically for this model.  Loading this software to another radio will Not add new features and may cause unpredictable results. Only use the software that is designed specifically for your radio.
 
Both radios were developed at the same time with the same features. As a result, the same software is used for both models. This software can be downloaded from Miklor.com UV2501_5001_Software. 
  
 
Programming Cable
 

The programming cable is a 1m (39") USB to 3 pin 3.5mm.
Note: Many vendors are supplying cables that require a backdated Prolific driver. If this is the case, Prolific Driver 3.2.0.0 can be found at  Cable_Driver
 
My recommendation is an FTDI cable. It may cost a few dollars more, but totally trouble free.

 
Front Panel Operation
 

The buttons on the front panel may be a bit difficult to read in the dark.  There is enough light to show where the buttons are, but not to clearly read them. Fortunately, the microphone keypad is well lit, so programming can easily be done via the keypad.
The 4 upper buttons are Function, Call, Monitor, and Power, while the lower 3 are for VFO/MR, Exit A/B, and FM Radio.
   
Up to six Alpha Numeric characters (upper and lower case) can be displayed to identify each channel.
 
Scanning in the VFO mode allowed me to scan either the VHF or UHF band. In the Channel mode, the scan would select any channel in the list regardless of band.
 
 
Pros
 
Gen3 - Cooling Fans added on Both the 2501 and 5001
Gen3 - Adjustable Audio Gain Control
Gen3 - DTMF Gain Control
Gen3 - Additional Receive Filtering added
Gen3 - Power Levels adjusted via Keypad
Display Synching option
Plenty of power with clean audio
More than ample Heat sink handles the power with no issue.
Excellent sensitivity and receiver audio quality.
Small compact size (UV2501)
 
 
Cons
 
No external Speaker jack on the UV2501.
    (The port in rear is for the data cable only).
 
 
Conclusion
 

This pair of radios has a lot going for them.  It appears the manufacturer has listened and done their homework, while adding several nice extras. The heat concerns appear to be resolved with the addition of the fans, and the audio and power level adjustments are just plain convenient. 

A comparison between these radios and the older version 1 radios can be found HERE.
 
 
BTech    UV2501        UV5001

 
Available 2 day delivery with Amazon Prime.


 
 

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