“Thanks for buying wouxun brand KG-669 series transceiver. This transceiver is novel in design, strong function, stable behavior and easily operate, we believe the quality and function of the product will make you satisfying”.
Whew! Those are the first two opening statements of the user manual. So, with that in mind, the stage is set for the body of the manual and the product itself. Before continuing, I want to be honest and say that a friend of mine actually purchased this HT. However, we spent quite a few hours together trying to translate the contents of the Wouxun manual to be made “satisfying” and apply it to the “strong function, stable behavior and easily operate” HT.
An exact excerpt from the Wouxun Web site: “Established in 2000, located in Quanzhou city Jiangnan high technology industry zoon. Quanzhou Wouxun Electronics Co. Ltd is the professional developer, manufacturer and marketer WOUXUN brand serial wireless interphone, intercom battery, battery charger etc, communication apparatus. Since establishing ,we have offered the countless new products of communication of high quality and at a reasonable price to the …”. I never knew that “professional companies” establish themselves in the “zoon”. So much for the “professional company’s ability” to afford English translated spell-check software.
When the box arrived, it was marked “TOY” on the outside. We both began to wonder if that is how shipment of these and similar radios are able to bypass FCC regulations and TYPE A acceptance. I feel that the radio should be treated as a toy and used only as a receiver. Personally, I would not want to jeopardize my FCC license by transmitting with one of these “toys”.
Now that the company background and my personal disclaimer is out of the way, I’d have to begin by saying the general feel of the radio is good, rather solid actually and far better than we anticipated. Delivery took about 10 days and the purchase included a desk charger, belt clip and hand strap.
The first feature (feature?) one might want to change is the rather annoying female voice mimicking your every move. Changing this “feature” from Jiangnan dialect to accented English makes it tolerable, at least to a point. In my opinion the translated voice sounds much like a 15 year old girl with an accent and fully clogged nasal passages. In reality, after the novelty wears off, I’d just disable it, even if that required heating up the soldering iron. Next I should mention that the advertising is deceiving and you may get the impression that these are “DUAL BAND” radios. Look over this “feature” list and note the “Output power” description:
DTMFencoding and DTMFdecoding
. Output power VHF 5W/UHF 4W
. VOX (Level adjustable)
. 105 groups D.C.S/50 groups CTCSS
. Allcall, groupcall and selectcall.
. ANI (Caller ID)
. Scrambler available(Optional accessory)
. 128 memory channels and 1 group emergency channel
. Voice guide (Chinese /English)
. Channel steps(5K/6.25K/10K/12.5K/25K)
. Wide/Narrow bandwidthselection (12.5KHz/25KHz)
. Three color back light can be selectable .
. 1200mAh Li-ion batterypack and intelligent charge
. Frequency/Channel/Frequency+Channel display mode
. Multi scan mode(TO/CO/SE)
. Calling ring and ring overtime auto answer
. Multi silent mode(QT/QTADT/QTXDT)
. Alarm/Emergency calling
. Keyboard lock(Auto/Manual)
. Talk around function
. Busy channel lockout
. Programmable by computer
. Menu/Channel reset
. FMradio function
. Car charger (Optional accessory)
One begins to notice things that seem rather odd. Scrambler mode (which requires an optional chip) and FM radio. The impression I get here is that these radios are most probably used on job sites for scrambled two way communication. I have visions of various “groups” here in the US and other locations around the world buying up bunches of these “toys” with the optional scrambler chip, then transmitting god knows what type of messages on the 2 meter band. I just hope it’s my own personal paranoia and that it never actually becomes reality.
Be careful if you do decide to key up transmitter. In our area some of the police frequencies are above the Amateur 2 Meter band allocation and the radio is fully capable of transmitting there as well. Programming the 669 was difficult. Together, I’d say we have a combined experience of 25 years buying and selling a very long list of equipment. But, this “toy” sadly beat us into submission. No matter how many times we went through the skimpy and horribly translated user manual, we were unable to get the memory channels properly loaded. As it turned out, programming the repeater output, input, CTCSS tone, repeater splits independently and then storing ALL the information into the selected memory channel is how to beat the memory storage problem! Oh yes, just one more thing as an example of “toy” status; Switching the radio between “frequency mode” (VFO) and “channel mode” (Memory) requires powering the radio off and then on with the menu button held down.
In conclusion, for a few more dollars, go out and purchase a brand name mono-band radio which you know is FCC type accepted. Get yourself an easily understandable user manual and avoid being annoyed by the design flaws and silly features of a “toy”.
try the KG-689, it realy is a big improvement, the manual is still very badly translated but the radio is much better, it is still only a single band, but has dual VFO, as for voice promts and the fm radio function i find both useful when using the radio on my motorcycle. overall i think wouxun will go far, anything cheaper realy is just a toy, try a jingtong for a laugh, then use it as a door stop, or some other non radio purpose
Thanks for the comment Jake. I agree with your take on the knock offs!
I have 2 KG 689`s and have to say the above review is utter tosh.
Having used handies by the major manufacturers, the Wouxun is clearer , simple to use once you get the hang of it, and a high quality item for frankly very little money.
The reviewer displays snobbery when it comes to these cheap chinese radios….ahem…who do you think makes your top dollar equipment?
The ability to listen to two frequencies at once is a boon if you use these radios in connection with sporting events or other circumstances when you need to listen into more than one source.
Put your snobbery to one side.
BTW, they now have CE approved versions of their radios, so, expect big things in future.
Get one now while they are still available for buttons on ebay.
I would not refer to it s snobbery, rather constructive criticism or buyer beware! However, to add a bit more to your welcomed response, I did actually purchase a KG669. I did find that It outperformed other ‘brand name” HT’s under certain, every-day circumstances. Again, thank you for your post.
Fair comment ke2yk , but I think there is a more honest review here –
Whilst I accept and understand your concerns re illegal use of these radios, most purchasers are I suspect amateur radio enthusiasts, or business users .
Given that a I paid aprox 70 dollars delivered for a radio that outperforms 400 dollar equipment, I have to give an honest appraisal and say, it is worth a risk at the prices quoted.
I am aware that the quality of some of the chinese stuff is porr, but, this company seem to be at the top end of the market quality wise , evidenced by their designs on world sales by type approval.
I suspect as word gets out, prices will inevitably rise.
Felt compelled to add my 2 cents concerning the KG-689. I purchased 2 VHF and 2 UHF versions of this unit for use on 2m and 70cm (nice to have 420-430 access) plus MURS (CB for aviation HTs) and GMRS (licensed). Performance on both bands is quite good. Plus the quality of workmanship for the price is excellent. A cloning cable allows you to configure one unit then copy memory to another. And IMO the user’s guide for the 689 is perfectly understandable. BTW, at ebay this item is overpriced. I bought one unit from there (@ $95 total for UHF) then located a better source online at asiaradiosales dot com ($80 for UHF, $77 VHF, including shipping, via PayPal). And I must admit that the motivation for multiple purchases was the suspicion that the price of these things can go nowhere but up. Also saw at the Wouxun dot com site that they have a new (certified) 699E version of the same unit. Other than the inclusion of a 1750Hz tone if you need it, the specs seem similar enough.
Anyway, if used responsibly, I don’t see why these units would be suspect. After all, if you were to build from scratch an xcvr using schematics from an old ARRL Handbook which met current stability specs, would it be suspect to use it?
I also bought my rig at asiaradiosales dot com. I got my rig after 12 days which is not bad. I have seen that they have a new version of the KG689E with 1750Hz and 66-88mhz.
I got my wouxun 689E version and it is one of the best radios i have ever had. I got this radio from asiaradiosales dot com. Thanks for the speedy delivery great rig i would recommend for everyone
Preciso do manual do HT WOUXUN, UHF ou onde encontrar..
Thank You Tremendously, I have just returned to Radio after 12 years QRT. This article helped me no end as I was considering buying one, Thanks, again, Pete
Ola desculpe o incomodo, seria possivel me mandarem o manual do kg 669 5 w . s/n slreh03-5005
KG-699E. The mic gain and deviation are too low. Does anybody know if there is a hidden menu to correct this problem? Surprisingly Wouxun have been no help. Otherwise the radio is very good. Programming is much easier with the software provided although it only runs on XP, not Vista.
i have recently bought ‘KG-689 Dual Channel Standby 5W 10KM Walkie Talkie with ANI and VOX’ , in the manual it clearly says thats its for UHF/VHF , it describes both frequencies , but it only works for UHF , can you tell me how i can turn it to VHF ?
you need another antenna for VHF
You will have the UHF version… they are not dual band.
I looked at the manual for one of these and it makes reference to the FCC. Makes one wonder about the legality of importing these. Is there a possibility that these are business band radios in china and are allowed to be used in the US much like the Motorola Business equipment being repurposed for ham use?
i own a kg669. does anyone know how to get better audio on one of these radios as mine is very low.. can they be turned up by the menu?
What a terrible review. I suggest you pick up the Wouxun again and learn to use it properly, then re-write your review!
The Wouxon radios are very good all round and are beginning to give the likes of Icom and Kenwood and run for their money!