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Monthly Archives: March 2014

  • TWRS-72 - Introducing the Wouxun KG-UV8D

    We talk about the new Wouxun KG-UV8D dual band two way radio and take a close look at its features. We also review the Wouxun SPS30 III 30A Switching Power Supply.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:22

    Discussion Topic 1:41
    We tell you about the new Wouxun KG-UV8D Two Way Radio that's generating some excitement within the amateur radio community. We'll talk about some of the features and specifications that make it different from other Wouxun portable handheld transceivers and give you the inside scoop on when this new radio will be available.

    Commercial Break 15:02
    buytwowayradios.com 1:00

    Product Review 15:58
    Today we review the Wouxun SPS30 III 30A Switching Power Supply.

    Questions and Answers 25:46
    Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 30:40
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2014 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • Updated Design for the Nagoya NA-701 and NA-771 Antennas

    Nagoya NA-701 Old/New ComparisonJust a quick post to let everyone know that the design for a few popular Nagoya antennas has been changed slightly. On the popular NA-701 and NA-771 antennas, the base is now cone shaped, transitioning more smoothly from large to small. The lettering is also different: it is now silver instead of blue with larger print, and the specific frequency range has been replaced with "VHF/UHF".

    Normally we probably wouldn't point out such slight cosmetic changes, but we hear frequent reports of "fake" or "knock-off" Nagoya antennas. We just want our customers to be aware that they may be getting something a little different than before, and not to worry. When buying Nagoya antennas, always be sure you're purchasing from an authorized Nagoya dealer (like us!)

    Bonus Feature!
    A common annoyance with the Nagoya NA701 and NA771 antennas was a "gap" between the radio and the antenna on certain radio models - in particular the mega-popular Baofeng UV-5R. While this didn't hurt performance, it wasn't very pretty and led to many ham radio operators to fill the gap with a rubber washer or two. Well the new design has more of a "lip" at the base, eliminating much of this gap!

    New Nagoya NA-701 - Smaller Gap!

  • Types of Two Way Radios

    There are many different makes and models of two way radios on the market. The choices can be daunting for experienced operators, but for those who are new to the world of radio communications, the options can be overwhelming. Fortunately, Buy Two Way Radios is here to help you wind your way through this maze of technology so you can find the right radios that fit your needs.

    Which radio is the best for you? To find the answer, we first need to know the different types of two way radios available and how they are designed to be used.

    Radio Services
    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is the agency charged with the regulation of all the radio airwaves in the US. The FCC determines who, what, where, when and how the entire US radio spectrum is used. The FCC has allotted certain radio bands or portions of them for commercial, private and public sector use by assigning them to specific radio services. These services are governed by FCC rules and regulations found under Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). The radio services most relevant to our search are:

    Amateur Radio Service (Ham Radio) - Amateur or ham radio is intended for hobby and personal use. Amateur radio operates on UHF, VHF and some HF frequencies using using International Morse Code, voice communication, data, pictures and even video. Ham radios are available as handheld transcievers (walkie talkies), mobile rigs for use in vehicles, and base stations. A license is required to operate an amateur radio and there are three levels of licensing that determine which bands and frequencies an amateur operator is allowed to access. There is no minimum age requirement to become an amateur or ham radio operator. Amateur radio falls under Part 97 of the FCC rules.

    Aviation Service (Air Band) - Air Band radios are used in aircraft for navigation and two way communication. VHF airband radios work best when used outdoors at high altitudes. Handheld airband radios are typically 5 watts. Panel NAV/COM radios are typically around 8 watts. Because transmissions primarily occur in the air or air to ground, range will generally be much greater than land-based radios. Aviation radios used domestically within US airspace are generally licensed by rule, which means that you do not need to purchase a license from the FCC to operate one unless you operate it internationally or outside the US. Airband radios fall under Part 87 of the FCC rules.

    Citizen's Band Radio Service (CB) - CB offers Two-way radio communications for personal or business use. CB service operates on 40 shared channels in an AM mode or Single SideBand (SSB) mode. No individual license is required and there is no minimum age requirement to operate a CB radio. While not quite as popular as they were during the CB craze in the 1970's, CB radios are still commonly used today, particularly on the road. Citizen's Band falls under Part 95 of the FCC rules.

    Family Radio Service (FRS) - FRS is available for personal or business use. Transmit power on an FRS channel is limited to a maximum of 1/2 (0.5) watt. Optimal range on an FRS channel is about 2 miles, however the typical range is about a quarter mile or less. There are 14 FRS channels available. Seven are dedicated FRS channels, seven are shared with GMRS. Anyone can use FRS. No license is required for FRS and there are no age restrictions to use it. Most FRS radios are typically available as handheld walkie talkies combined with the GMRS for sale as hybrid FRS/GMRS radios. FRS falls under Part 95 of the FCC rules.

    General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) - GMRS is available for personal or business use and is a popular choice among consumers for use in many operations and activities. Optimal range on a GMRS portable handheld radio is about 2 miles, however the typical range depends largely on location and terrain. There are 14 GMRS channels available. Eight are dedicated GMRS channels, seven are shared with FRS. A license is required for GMRS, however, one license covers the entire family with no age restrictions. Most GMRS radios are typically available as handheld walkie talkies combined with the FRS for sale as hybrid FRS/GMRS radios. Popular brands include Cobra, Garmin, Kenwood, Midland, Motorola and Uniden. GMRS falls under Part 95 of the FCC rules.

    Marine Radio Service (Marine Band) - Marine VHF radio is commonly used on seafaring vessels, both large and small to communicate ship-to-ship or ship-to-shore for everything from routine contact with ports and marinas to emergency distress calls. These radios operate using VHF frequencies from 156 to 174 MHz. They are allowed to operate between 1 and 25 watts. Because transmissions primarily occur over open water, range will generally be much greater than land-based radios.

    No license is required when operating marine radios on recreational vessels operating domestically which are not required by law to carry a radio or do not travel to foreign ports. However, If your vessel travels to ports in other countries, you will need to have a license.

    Marine radios typically have 88 channels, however not all of those channels are allowed to be used by everyone. Certain channels are reserved for specific types of communications or for specific groups, such as commercial ships and the Coast Guard. VHF Marine radios may be fixed mount or handheld. Marine radios fall under Part 80 of the FCC rules.

    Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) - Created in 2000, MURS is available for business or personal use. MURS is assigned 5 VHF frequencies (151.820, 151.880, 151.940, 154.570, 154.600) and power is limited to a maximum of 2 watts. No license is required and there is no age restriction for MURS. While not as popular as FRS or GMRS and there are fewer radios to choose from, MURS frequencies are not as crowded, which means MURS operaters may have a little more privacy. Also, many MURS radios, such as the Motorola RMM2050, are designed for business use and tend to be more rugged and durable than the typical consumer grade FRS or GMRS radio. MURS falls under Part 95 of the FCC rules.

    Private Land Mobile Radio Service (PLMRS) - Also referred to as the Business Radio Service, PLMRS is primarily used by businesses, both large and small. Business radios are generally manufactured with higher quality construction and components for maximum range, audio quality and durability. Business radios are available in analog or digital modes and some manufacturers even offer a mixed mode for compatibility with both. Business radios are available for UHF or VHF frequencies and the type will often depend on where and how the radios will be used. Handhelds are typically between 1 and 5 watts, while mobile units and base stations will offer much more power. Business radios are often repeater capable and many features are user programmable.

    Specific frequencies are assigned to the business and a license to use them is required. Although a licensed frequency can be pricey, it offers some exclusivity and greater privacy for local communications, which can be well worth the price for many companies, organizations and even individuals who may need it.

    There are many makes and models of business radios to choose from with a plethora of options and accessories available. Popular brands include BlackBox, Icom, Kenwood, Motorola, Olympia and Vertex Standard. PLMRS falls under Part 90 of the FCC rules.

    Two Way Radio Types
    Type Band Assigned
    Styles Max Power Range
    *No license is required when operating radios on recreational craft in US domestic waters.
    1Distance varies greatly based on terrain, obstacles and other conditions. For more information watch our video Radio 101 - The Truth about FRS/GMRS Radio Range.
    2Distance varies depending on terrain and antenna height.
    3Distance varies depending on altitude, atmospheric conditions, antenna.
    4Distance varies depending on antenna quality and height.
    5Distance varies depending on atmospheric conditions, antenna quality and height.
    Air Band VHF YES NO Handheld
    1-35 Miles4
    ~200 Miles4
    Amateur HF
    NO YES Handheld
    1500W PEP
    1-20 Miles4
    1-2 Miles
    Citizen's Band
    HF AM/SSB YES NO Handheld
    4W AM
    12W PEP SSB
    3-5 Miles
    7-10 Miles2
    10-50 Miles2
    Handheld 5W 1-2 Miles1
    Marine VHF YES NO* Handheld
    3-8 Miles
    10-25 Miles4
    MURS VHF YES NO Handheld 2W 2-3 Miles2
  • Vertex Standard radios changing to new UNI battery

    Vertex Standard announced an important change to its line of handheld portable business two way radios for greater compatibility with the introduction of UNI batteries and a universal UNI charger.

    Previously, each series of Vertex handheld portables required its own battery charger that was not compatible with another series of Vertex Standard radios. With the introduction of the UNI packages, one charger can be used across the entire line. Of course, a universal charger needs to be able to accommodate the different batteries used within each series. To accomplish this, Vertex Standard created an entire new line of batteries for each series, all re-designed to fit the new charger. These new batteries and charger will replace the batteries previously packaged with the radios, as the former will not be compatible with the new charger. Likewise, the new batteries will not be compatible with the charger previously included with the radios.

    The advantages of having one universally compatible charger for all Vertex Standard radios are obvious. A mixed fleet of VX-231 and VX-351 radios will not require different single unit chargers for each series and one universal multi-charger can charge radios from a mix of series at once.

    Model Battery Replaces Type
    VX-231 FNB-V131LI-UNI
    VX-261 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    - Li-Ion
    VX-351 FNB-V130LI-UNI FNB-V96LI Li-Ion
    VX-354 FNB-V130LI-UNI FNB-V96LI Li-Ion
    VX-451 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    VX-454 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    VX-459 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    EVX-261 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    - Li-Ion
    EVX-531 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    - Li-Ion
    EVX-534 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    - Li-Ion
    EVX-539 FNB-V133LI-UNI
    - Li-Ion

    All Vertex Standard portable radios will eventually be transitioned to the universal charger. The VX-231, 351, and 354 are the first to be transitioned to the UNI packages and are now in stock at Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Wouxun KG-UV8D Dual Band Radio Specifications

    UPDATE (3/11/2014): The Wouxun KG-UV8D is now available for pre-order.

    We've received quite a few questions since announcing the Wouxun KG-UV8D earlier this week. It seems that this upcoming radio is generating quite a buzz!

    A couple of more details came in earlier today and I thought I would share:

    • I can confirm that the KG-UV8D will sell for $139.99 at launch. We will begin accepting pre-orders sometime next week.
    • While a 220 MHz version of this radio will eventually be available, it will not be available at launch. The 2m/70cm version is the only one that will be available at launch.
    • We also have the following flyer and spec sheet to share (click the image for a larger version):
      KG-UV8D Flyer
      KG-UV8D Specifications

  • The new Wouxun KG-UV8D is coming soon!

    UV8D-OK (2).pngWouxun has announced the launch of a new dual band portable handheld radio with cross-band repeat capability, the KG-UV8D! Billed as an upgrade version of the popular KG-UV6D, the new KG-UV8D will have some significant feature additions and improvements.

    One of the most exciting new features of this transceiver is duplex cross-band repeat operation, a standard feature on Wouxon's popular base/mobile radios (the KG-UV920P-A and KG-UV950P), but is a first on their handheld models. According to Wouxon, the KG-UV8D will also work in duplex, providing the ability to transmit on one band and receive on another simultaneously.

    One feature that really stands out is the display. The KG-UV8D will sport a large, color LCD display that is more than double the size of its predecessor. The screen alone looks impressive, encompassing nearly half the front face of this handheld.

    The new KG-UV8D is also FCC Part 90 approved and will be available in both 2 meter/406.1-512MHz and 2 meter/217-222MHz versions. The tentative launch date for the KG-UV8D is around mid-April 2014.

    We are very excited about this new radio and are eager to learn more about it. Two samples are on the way and as soon as they arrive, we'll unbox one on video and provide more details.

    Subscribe to our blog at Buy Two Way Radios for the latest on this exciting new radio coming very soon from Wouxun!

    UPDATE (3/11/2014): The Wouxun KG-UV8D is now available for pre-order.

  • Visit us at the 2014 Charlotte Hamfest!

    The 2014 Charlotte Hamfest is approaching and Buy Two Way Radios will be there!

    Hosted by The Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society (MARS), the Charlotte Hamfest will be held March 7 and 8, 2014 in Concord, North Carolina. This event will feature many activities, including hourly prizes, forums, a "build your own 2/440 dual band antenna workshop", a youth lounge, homebrew Go Box contest, VEC amateur radio license testing, Bingo with over five hundred dollars in prizes, and industry vendors, including Buy Two Way Radios!

    In addition, The hosts of The Two Way Radio Show will be there to give away T-shirts and conduct interviews for upcoming episodes of the podcast. If you would like to meet the show hosts and have an opportunity to be on The Two Way Radio Show, visit us at the 2014 Charlotte Hamfest!

    The 2014 Charlotte Hamfest will be held Friday, March 7, from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM ET and Saturday, March 8, from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM ET. The hamfest will be located at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4571 Hwy 49 North, Concord, North Carolina 28025. The arena is just minutes away from Interstate 85 and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Admission is only $7 per person in advance and $10 at the door. If you want to get your amateur radio license or upgrade your existing one, meet new hams or meet up with old ones, The Charlotte Hamfest is where you want to be!

    The 2014 Charlott Hamfest is an ARRL Sanctioned Hamfest Sponsored by the Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society. For more information, including a schedule of events, directions, and contacts, download the official flyer or visit www.charlottehamfest.org.

  • New Motorola Pick Your Rewards Promo!


    Note: This promotion expired June 30, 2014 and is no longer available.

    Motorola is offering an exciting and rather unique promotion for spring 2014! Purchase at least six Motorola CLP, CLS, DTR or RM Series business radios from Buy Two Way Radios and choose one of three rewards: a FREE radio, six FREE earpieces, or a FREE multi-charger! This is a little different from previous Motorola promotions in the sense that you have not one, not two, but three different reward options to choose from. This is an excellent deal from Motorola and is available for a limited time only!

    This offer is fulfilled by Motorola directly, so the free radio, earpieces or multi-unit charger will be mailed to you after Motorola receives your redemption form. Offer valid on up to 60 radios purchased through June 30, 2014. Limit of one free radio or six earpieces or multi-unit charger per six radios purchased. All six radios purchased must be within the same product series.Click here for full details. To redeem your free radio, earpieces or multi-unit charging tray, go to www.MyRadioReward.com and follow the instructions.

    The following radios qualify for the rebates (Rebate amounts are per every six radios purchased up to a maximum of 60 radios):

    Model Min Purchase Max Purchase Reward Options
    6 60 One free CLP radio or
    Six free HKLN4487 surveillance earpieces or
    One free HKPN4007 CLP Multi-Unit Charging Tray
    6 60 One free CLS radio or
    Six free RLN6423 swivel earpieces or
    One free 56531 CLS Multi-Unit Charging Tray
    6 60 One free DTR radio or
    Six free RLN6423 swivel earpieces or
    One free 53960 DTR Multi-Unit Charging Tray
    6 60 One free RM radio or
    Six free RLN6423 swivel earpieces or
    One free PMLN6384 RM Multi-Unit Charging Tray

    NOTE: Redemption requests must be postmarked on or before July 15, 2014 and received by July 31, 2014. Redemption submissions received after that date will NOT be eligible. Offer good only in the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico and is void where prohibited, taxed and restricted by law.

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