Late last year Wouxun announced plans to enter the digital radio market with a new portable handheld DMR radio. We obtained some early product specs and broke the news on Episode 99 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast. At the time Wouxun hinted at a launch date sometime in early 2016. Well, the wait is almost over. We are excited to announce that we just received our demo models of the new Wouxun KG-D901 DMR Digital Two Way Radio!
At first glance, The KG-D901 looks almost identical to the analog KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus multi-banders, with the large, color LCD display first introduced in popular KG-UV8D and now considered a standard fixture in the latest generation of Wouxun portable handheld transceivers. It has the same keypad layout found on both the 8D and 9D models and the same array of buttons on the side. It has the volume and channel knobs, TX/RX LEDs and flashlight typically found on the other Wouxun radios as well.
As soon as you turn it on, however, the similarities end. It may look and feel familiar on the outside, but this is not a typical analog Wouxun radio at all. It's digital. As a Wouxun product, the KG-D901 is something entirely new.
Unlike the 8D and 9D, the D901 is a single band transceiver, in your choice of either a UHF or VHF version. Most of the primary features are expected, and compared to other DMR digital radios, they may not seem particularly unique. However, there is one item on the list that may give the D901 a little extra. It is noted in bold.
- 400-470MHz UHF frequencies (UHF Model)
- 136-174MHz VHF frequencies (VHF Model)
- Analog and Digital Modes
- Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) digital technology
- Direct and Repeater Modes
- 16 memory channel and 2 Zones
- Built-in CTCSS/DCS signaling in analog mode
- Text Messaging (Digital Mode)
- All Calls, Group Calls, Select Calls (Digital Mode)
- Scrambler Function (Analog Mode)
- Digital Encryption
- Microphone Modulation Setting
- IP57 Water Resistant
Full specs are available from the Wouxun KG-D901 product sheet.
The KG-D901 has the same SMA Female antenna connector commonly used on other Wouxun handhelds, and there is a plethora of third party antennas available to choose from, so if you like to fine tune your antenna options, such customization is very easy. It also uses the Kenwood K1 audio connector that is so widely used on imported radios today, it is almost considered a standard. This opens up seemingly limitless options for audio accessories and add-ons.
More importantly, the KG-D901 uses the same battery pack as the KG-UV9D, which means other power accessories such as the desktop charger and battery eliminator are compatible as well. This cross-compatability adds greater functionality to both models and makes each a more practical compliment to the other when mixing and matching transceivers.
Here's more good news. Unlike some other digital radios, which may require a different programming cable than their analog counterparts, the KG-D901 is compatible with the existing Wouxun (or Baofeng) serial to USB cable equipped with the now standard Kenwood K1 connector. If you already have one of these cables for another Wouxun handheld, it should work with the KG-D901. If you have the XLT Painless Programming Cable, that's even better, because the KG-D901 has been tested to work with the it, as well (If you don't have the XLT Painless Programming Cable yet, you may want to consider one, especially if you just upgraded your computer to Windows 10).
Of course, the D901 requires its own programming software, and for obvious reasons. It's a different kind of radio, the first Wouxun DMR of its kind. The D901 is not currently compatible with CHIRP, so you will need the Wouxun software. It's a little more involved than most programming software for the analog models, and can be a challenge if you have never programmed a digital radio. It is tested to work in Windows 10 without using Compatibility Mode.
The KG-D901 package includes one KG-D901 single band UHF or VHF two way radio (depending on your version of choice), a 7.4v, 2000mAh battery pack, belt clip, antenna, desktop charger, AC power cord, and wrist strap. The demo models we received did not include a manual, but we expect one to be in the box when the final version of the radio ships from Wouxun.
Update: The Wouxun KG-D901 (UHF version) is FCC Part 90 type accepted for use on business frequencies, so companies and organizations can go digital with this radio as well!