Quick Review – Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band HT

Wouxun KG-UV8EBought the Wouxun KG-UV8E based on the good experience I had with the KG-UVD1P.

The Color display is very good and rather large for an HT.

The 2600 mAh battery life is exceptionally good and does not drain when powered off as the KG-UVD1P does.

A group of us locals have access to a 1.25 meter repeater and performance on the band is very good even on low power.

The channel / VFO Knob gets tight in spots and the screw holding rubber side cover was so loose it was ready to fall out.

Very loud reception causes the speaker to be distorted.

After purchasing the radio, I found out that there is and E and T version. The difference is that a factory reset of the E version causes the firmware to reboot to Chinese while the T version reboots to English. Of course flipping through the Ching-lish manual will save your day with the E version.

Since I only had an old (pain in the ass) Prolific chipped programming cable I also purchased the Red programming cable. The Red cable was hassle free with Windows 10. No monkeying around with the old drivers from the stone age as is the case with the old Prolific chip. Unlike the expensive RT Systems cables, the red cable was around $15. By the way, the Red cable also works for Baofeng and I’d imagine some Kenwood HT’s as well.

Again no radio is perfect but for the price it was a decent buy for the additional 1.25 meter band. If you are looking for specs or videos, Google it. There is no point in regurgitating the same information that’s already available on countless other Web sites.

Quick Review – New 2016 Baofeng UV-3R

Recently I picked up a new car and decided that I am done with installing mobile radios, cables and antennas as I had over the past 30 years. I don’t commute any longer and just don’t spend that much time in the car so my thoughts turned to the idea of grabbing a cheap HT to throw in the glove box.

 

2016 UV-3R

After owning the original UV-3R, I was skeptical about grabbing the new Dual Display UV-3R 2016 version. Remembering back to my original UV-3R, it’s problem was rejection of unwanted signals.

The area around my QTH is densely packed with radio signals. However, the advantage of signal density  is that there are plenty of 2/70 cm analog repeaters to choose from. As a result the 2 watt limitation of the new UV-3R presents no problem for me.

 

Specs:

Go here if you want detailed Tech Specs. Basically, for around $30, it’s a 99 channel dual band, dual display 2/70cm HT in a small ‘credit card sized’ form factor with a 3.7 volt 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery.

Operating:

The Dual Band Screen of the new UV-3R is an asset. Manually programming the radio is pretty easy but if you are going to add tons of repeaters or fire/ems frequencies, grab a programming cable and use the free CHIRP software.

Navigation:

The radio has a couple of basic issues. There is no keypad so it takes extra effort to program the radio and to navigate around to change simple settings like the squelch level. The FM Radio has poor reception. But who buys an HT to listen to FM Radio anyway.

Audio:

The on-board speaker is loud with no distortion. If you plan to use earbuds you will notice that the audio is muffled and the gain is somewhat reduced .

Antenna:

In general, any rubber duck is nothing more than a Dummy Load but at my QTH hitting the local repeaters presents no problem with the stock antenna.

Just a word on HT antennas, there are tons of knock off rubber duck antennas on the market. Buyer beware when looking for a replacement because you may end up with an antenna that performs worse than the original!

Scanning:

The UV-3R scans EMS and Fire frequencies fairly well. Using CHIRP, you can easily select which frequencies to scan.

Battery: 

No complaints. With normal use the HT ran for a full day.

Manual:

Go here to grab your copy.

Summary:

IMHO, for around $30, how can you go wrong? This little GEM is a great little grab-n-go HT.

Revolutionary 2 Way Radio For SmartPhones

For us radio enthusiasts, it looks like our Smartphones may just get a bit smarter. I have seen write ups on this tecno-marriage before. In the past it seemed that the marriage was more of a dream than a reality.

A startup company called Fantom Dynamics has reintroduced their vision of the radio / smartphone combo.

Perhaps this time the dream will become reality…

Old Dog – New Tricks? Digital Mobile Radio

DMR Old Dog - New TricksThere are times when I feel that no more info can be squeezed into this old brain. Dragging an old CW operator kicking and screaming into the 21st century is no easy task.

Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) is not a new technology but it sure is for me. A local group has been using DMR technology for around a year now.

The DMR-MARC Networked Repeater Map shows there is only one networked DMR repeater system in my area. Luckily (so I thought) the system is within range of the home QTH.

Connect Systems sells high quality DMR (Digital Mobile Radio) HT’s for a very reasonable price. I recently received my Connect Systems CS750 HT. Connect Systems radios are basically Motorola-like quality with a very solid desk charger and 1700 mAH LIon battery. The CS750 model is both DMR and Analog for the 70 CM band.

Connect Systems offers an optional 2000 mAH battery and hand mic. The unit is shipped via 2 day priority USPS mail and is nicely packaged in a quality Connect Systems box. The box includes the CS700 user manual (yes CS700), radio, 1700 mAH battery, rubber duck, desk charger, wall wart, quality belt clip and hand strap.

The CS750 is so new that there is no specific HT user manual just yet. However, there is enough similarity between the CS700 and CS750 keypad, knobs and switches to make the CS700 user manual useful. The user manual only covers the HT itself, not the software or programming.

BE SURE TO ORDER the optional programming cable. IMHO you won’t get very far without it. The CS750 programming software and PDF CS700 user manual can be downloaded free from the Connect Systems Web site.

Most of the local Hams I know who have decided to learn/experiment/use DMR have purchased the Connect Systems CS700. One reason most locals decided to purchase the CS700 was that they shared a common codeplug for uploading into the HT.Connect Systems CS700

Once you file for your unique DMR ID, (scroll to the bottom of the page and select user registration) it’s easy to make a few quick changes to the CS700 configuration and have the HT up and running. Later on, making a backup copy of the codeplug and then customizing channels, zones, scan lists, contacts, etc is very simple.

Since the CS750 is a new radio with updated firwmware, I decided to order the CS750 rather than the CS700. Be aware that Connect Systems is working on a translation program so that a CS700 codeplug can be used within the CS750 software program. However, there is no ETA at this time. The translation program would have saved me hours.

Should you find yourself in my exact situation: REMEMBER TO DOWNLOAD FROM RADIO ONE TIME BEFORE MANUALLY ENTERING ANY DATA!

Why? Because if you don’t you will find out that the CS750 software is preset to the profile of a CS650 HT. Are you saying; So what? Well, don’t do what I did.

I entered all the data manually and then as the last step began entering the ZONE information. When I attempted to enter the 3rd Zone I was SOL! Why? Because the CS650 firmware/profile has a 2 Zone limit.

At that point I was furious! I called Connect Systems (who by the way have OUTSTANDING CUSTOMER SERVICE) and told them about my dilemma! Of course I knew what the answer was going to be. There is no way to “TRICK” the software into making it look like a CS750. SO BE SURE TO DOWNLOAD FROM RADIO once before manually entering your data! There is NO WORKAROUND!

Here’s my WORKAROUND! I temporarily set up a second monitor in the shack and loaded the CS700 software/codeplug on one monitor and the empty (downloaded from radio) CS750 software on the other. This gave me a reasonable way to view and manually enter the channels, contact list, scan list, zones and special configuration values into the CS750 software line by line.

By the way Connect Systems does offer a translation program to transfer ONLY the contact list between the CS700/CS750 software. Contact Connect Systems if you are in this exact situation and have a large number of entries on your contact list.

After about 4 hours of hand programming the CS750 was up and running, sort of… After uploading the newly cobbled codeplug, the screen on the HT said un-programmed and gave off a loud beeeeeeeeeeeeep! Perplexing. The software and radio both said that the upload was successful.

Here’s what happened. This is not unique to the CS750 by the way. Others have had the same experience. Stick with me here! Lets say you have a Zone, Zone 1 with 10 channels assigned to it. After uploading, the un-programmed / loud beep happens because the radio is sitting on an empty channel, in our example say it’s Zone 1/channel 11. Just turn the channel knob to a programmed channel and you are in business. Of course you can then use the keypad to go on your merry way. This situation is unlike any other HT I’ve owned over the past 30 years and it sure caught me off guard.

After all was said and done I was very unhappy with the performance of the CS750. Local Hams around my area who own the CS700 were able to open the DMR repeaters and unfortunately I did not have the same level of success. So, I contacted Connect Systems and they were apologetic about my CS750 experiences and had no problem processing a refund. So, after all of that, the HT is on its way back to Agoura Hills.

Again, Connect Systems is an outstanding company who stands behind their product. Customer service and support is EXCELLENT! In this day and age, any company who has a human answer the phone DIRECTLY is a HUGE PLUS in my book! I do expect to have a CS700 hanging around the shack in the near future. Stay Tuned!

Rochester Hamfest – June 6th

Come one, come ALL!

When: Saturday June 6, 2015

Where: MAP-> 360 Maiden Ln. Rochester, NY 14616

Gates open 7 AM – Rain or Shine

Website: www.RochesterHamfest.com

It’s “Back to Basics” with everyone’s annual favorite: The Rochester Hamfest.

Everything you want in a Hamfest is here: Good food, lots of fun, and a 16 acre flea market!

Only $8.00 per person admission and $10.00 per car to tailgate

  • Youths under 16 admitted free with a paying adult
  • Free VE Testing
  • Back at Barnard with over 16 acres of flea market space
  • Fantastic food
  • Hourly door prizes
  • 50/50 Raffle

County Comm GP-5/SSB Handheld HF Receiver Video Review

Video By W2AEW

Specs Are Found Here

 

From Bad Name Worse? Baofeng to ????

Baofeng Rebrands Itself To Avoid The Confusion 🙂

 

According to the Baofeng Website, the company has decided to re-brand its products for the international markets. Baofeng states the change is necessary due to the explosive growth on the international scene and the confusion with the pronunciation of the name Boafeng! In their infinite wisdom they plan to change the name to POFUNG!BAOFENG TO POFUNG

IMHO, whether it’s Szechuan or Cantonese, none of these names like PUXING, BAOFENG, WOUXUN or now POFUNG makes any difference. I guess renaming it to POFUNG is better than trying to place some derivative of an Chinglish name on it. Why not call the radio Moo Goo Gai Pan or Chow Mein, something we can all relate to?

In any event, the next time you visit one of those stores listed in the News at Baofeng article, be sure to take the BAO out of the FENG and add the PO into the DUNG… sorry I meant FUNG! Please remember not to flung your DUNG or FUNG in my direction!

 

Intek KT-980HP: The Power Baofeng

Power Baofeng? What’s is so magical about 8 watts? Has anyone heard of this radio? I have the Baofeng UV-82 which works extremely well for an HT in the $50 dollar range. When reading over the Intek site, it appears the HT only comes with a 220VAC desk charger.

Ham Radio Blog PD0AC

KT-980-1You could call it a Baofeng UV-5R with a punch: the Intek KT-980HP. Rated at 8 Watts output on VHF and 7 Watts on UHF this is arguably the most powerful dual-band HT on the market.

This new radio has been developed by and produced exclusively for Intek. The radio has a newly designed die-cast aluminum front panel, new transmitter circuit design using the powerful RQA0011DNS Silicon N-Channel RF power MOSFET semiconductor. Transmitter power is adjustable at three levels (high / mid / low).

Specifications :

Frequency range VHF: 144-146 MHz (136-174 MHz)
Frequency range UHF: 430-440 MHz (400-470 MHz)
TX power VHF: (8W High, 4W Mid, 1W Low)
TX power UHF: (7W High, 4W Mid, 1W Low) (*)
128 Memory channels
Back lighted LCD Display with selectable color
Dual Band, Dual Frequency, Dual Display
Digital Battery Meter / Digital S/RF Meter
CALL / TOT (Time-Out-Timer) / LOCK
Dial multi-function…

View original post 118 more words

Baofeng UV-82 Review

Just received my next Baofeng. This one is the Baofang UV-82. For the low low price of these radios, it’s fun to buy and sell them. After selling the UV-5R, I wanted to try another one of these knockoffs that i bought over at The eHamStore.

From what I have heard, these factories in China produce radios for the BIG THREE on the first and second shift and then make these knockoffs during the 3rd shift.  It would stand to reason since the Kenwood TH-F6A programming cable and speaker mic fit these Baofeng radios.

  • Positive Feedback:
    • – Audio reports have been very good
    • – Nasty inter-mod is virtually gone compared to the UV-3R/5R
    • – Receiver has excellent sensitivity when scanning fire frequencies. I have no PL or DCS tones enabled. As a result I am hearing fire chatter from as far away as Connecticut at times.
  • — Negative Feedback:
    • – I’ve read that the battery is mislabeled. It’s labeled as a 2800mAh but is actually an 1800mAh. Battery life has been very good.
    • – I don’t like belt clips. It’s included but makes holding the radio uncomfortable.
    • – Scanning stops when you transmit on the opposite band.

The radio is a very good buy for around $50. It comes with the usual array of Baofeng accessories. Pick one up for yourself. Come on it’s about as much as dinner for a family of 4 at Mikey Dees these days!

Oh yeah it’s also this week’s special at http://ehamstore.com/

Useful Information About HT Batteries – Part Two

Nickel cadmium cells were the most commonly used rechargeable batteries until recently. NiCads come in sizes like non-rechargeable cells and can directly replace non-rechargeables like alkalines. NiCads do have a lower voltage output 1.2 volts as opposed to non-rechargeable cells at 1.5 volts. That voltage drop will not make much of a difference under most application.

See The Full Article Here:  http://wp.me/p1rtTO-vs