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June 2016 Archives

June 29, 2016

What to do when the battery pack does not charge

You put your two way radio or its battery pack in the charger at the end of the day, expecting it to be fully charged and ready to use again the next morning. But when you take it out of the charger and turn the radio on, either it doesn't power up at all or the battery dies out as soon as you press the PTT button to transmit. What do you do?

First, don't panic. There are a number of possible reasons why the battery isn't charged, and believe it or not, a few of them are quite common causes that are surprisingly simple to resolve. The other possibilities, well, they may require a different resolution. Either way, before you start bashing batteries, cursing chargers or talking to tech support, try these simple troubleshooting steps to find out what is really going on. It may save you a lot of time, expense and frustration.

Step 1. Check the connections.
It may seem improbable, but the stability of any power connection is limited by its weakest link. Check the contacts and terminals for dirt, oils, corrosion, excessive wear or anything that can hamper a good, stable connection. This includes the battery contacts on the radio, in the charger, and on the battery itself.

Step 2. Reseat the battery in the radio.
It seems unlikely, but it happens. Some radios require a tight fit with the battery and may seem attached when they are not fully locked in place. Make sure the battery is seated properly and the battery pack locks firmly in place when attaching it to the radio.

Step 3. Verify you are using the correct battery charger.
Yes, this happens too, particularly when using a mix of different radios from the same manufacturer, and it happens a lot more often than you might think. Using the wrong charger can not only prevent your radio and/or battery from charging properly, it could damage your equipment. It can also be potentially dangerous.

  • If the charger you are using does not match your specific model radio and battery, find the charger that does and skip to Step 8.
  • If you are using the correct charger, proceed to Step 4.

Step 4. Check to be sure the charger is plugged in and turned on.
Sound silly, doesn't it? Well, it isn't really, because it does happen. It's one of the easiest mistakes to make when charging a fleet of batteries and one of the simplest to resolve.

  • If the charger is connected to an approved, working power source, proceed to Step 5.
  • If the charger is plugged in and turned on, but there is no power, try it in another verified, working power source or outlet in another location and on a different circuit.
  • If the charger still doesn't power on when connected to the other source, skip to Step 6.

Step 5. Reseat the radio or battery in the charger.
Sometimes a radio or battery seems like it's connected to the charger when it's not making contact at all. If it is a drop-in or desktop charger with a pocket or tray, the radio and/or battery may be able to sit in the tray without actually touching the contacts. If it is a plug-in type of charger, the plug may not be fully inserted. Be sure the radio/battery is properly seated or fully connected and the charging indicator light is on.

  • If the radio/battery is in full contact with the charger and seems to be charging, skip to Step 8.
  • if the radio/battery is in full contact with the charger and is not charging, go to Step 6.

Step 6. Charge another radio/battery of the same make and model in the charger.
Determine if the issue is really with the radio or battery pack.

  • If another battery of the same type and model charges, the charger is working. Skip to Step 8.
  • If another battery of the same type and model does not charge, go to Step 7.

Step 7. Swap out the charger.
Sometimes a dead battery is the result of a dead charger.

  • Plug another charger into the same power source. If another charger powers on when connected to the power source, the charger you are troubleshooting may need to be replaced.
  • If you don't have another charger, it will most likely need to be replaced. If it is still under warranty, contact the manufacturer. If not, contact us to find the correct replacement charger for your two way radio.

Step 8.Charge the radio/battery again.
Just to be sure, give it another chance.

  • If the battery charges, the issue is resolved.
  • If the battery charges, but charge is weak or the battery does not hold the charge, the battery has likely reached its EOL, or End of Life.
  • If the battery does not charge, battery may be defective or has reached its End of Life.

Every battery has a limited life span determined by a number of different factors, including but not limited to how and where it is used, how much it is used and under what conditions. There is no set time table before a battery "kicks the bucket". As a general rule, the average lifespan can range from one to three years or more. If your battery has reached its End of Life, it's time to purchase a new one.

Better yet, to avoid the sudden surprise or next day discovery that your two way radio battery has reached the end of the road, and at the moment you need it the most, have a couple of spare battery packs charged and at the ready for a quick and easy swap. A spare charger may also be good to have on hand, just in case.

June 27, 2016

Wouxun KG-UV950P programming and menu options

KG-UV950P-2.jpgThe Wouxun KG-UV950P quad band mobile two way radio has all the great features of the popular KG-UV920P-A dual band mobile radio, and more, two bands more, to be precise. It transmits and receives on the 2 meter (144-148 MHz), 70cm (420-450 MHz), 6 meter (50.1-54 MHz) and 10 meter (28.3-29.7 MHz) amateur radio bands. This is a great transceiver for hams who want access to multiple bands without paying through the nose to get on the air.

Like the the KG-UV920P-A, the KG-UV950P has cross band repeat capability for even greater functionality. It also makes a nice base station radio when connected to the Wouxun SPS31WIN or similar power supply as shown in the Wouxun KG-UV950P Quad Band Amateur Radio Unboxing video.

KG-UV950P Key Features
  • Quad Band 2m/6m/10m/70cm transmit and receive
  • Eight band receive only
  • 87.5-108MHz FM Radio (Receive Only)
  • 50W/20W/10W/5W (VHF) Transmit Power
  • 40W/20W/10W/5W (UHF) Transmit Power
  • 999 Memory Channels
  • Dual Display
  • Remote Head Mounting Capability
  • Full Duplex Cross Band
  • CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode
  • Dual Speakers
  • Backlit DTMF Speaker Microphone
  • Incoming Caller ID Display
  • DTMF Encoding and Decoding
  • Group Calls, All Calls and Selective Calls
  • Optional 8 Group Scramble
  • Priority Channel Scanning
  • APO Power Management
  • English Voice Prompts
  • Minimum Operating Voltage Alarm
  • Stun/Kill Function
  • Single Tone Pulse Frequency
  • Remote Control Settings
  • Frequency/Channel Scanning with CTCSS/DCS Detection
  • Cooling Fan
  • Companding
  • Selectable 3 Color Backlit LCD Display
  • Timeout Timer
  • Simultaneous scanning on AB areas
  • AIre band function
  • AM Mode receive capability
  • PC Programmable
  • Supports 2.5k Step
  • Reset
  • Roger Beep Enable/Disable
  • Wideband/Narrowband operation

Programming the KG-UV950P
Programming The Wouxun KG-UV950P is the same as programming the KG-UV920P-A. You can do it direct from the console on the front panel of the radio, from the DTMF keypad on the speaker microphone, or through a PC using the Wouxun KG-UV950P programming software.

Direct from the radio
If you know how to program frequencies into the KG-UV920P-A, the UV950P will be old hat. If you haven't programmed a UV920P-A, or you are new to programming a two way radio, you will need to read the manual carefully and keep it with you for reference until you get the hang of it. The manual is not very intuitive, especially when explaining some advanced features, but it sure beats reading the original manufacturer's user guide for the Baofeng UV-5R, which is widely regarded in the ham radio community as one of the worst operating manuals ever written for an amateur radio of this century. While this latter point is not particularly inspiring, it may be of some consolation if you have trouble getting through the Wouxun manual. Compared to Baofeng, the Wouxun owner's manual is a literary masterpiece.

The KG-UV950P menu consists of 50 items compared to the menu options of the KG-UV920P-A, which has 45 menu options. Default settings are bold.

Menu # Menu Item Description Option
01 STEP Step frequency settings 2.5k to 100.0k|5k
02 WN Wide/Narrow bandwidth settings NARR (12.5k)|WIDE (25k)
03 MPOWSET Medium level power settings MPOW1 (20W)|MPOW2 (10W)
04 OFF-SET Offset frequency settings 0-599.995|0
05 ROGER Transmission prompt settings BOT|EOT|BOTH|OFF
06 BEEP beep prompt settings ON|OFF
07 VOICE voice prompt settings CHINESE|ENGLISH|OFF
08 BCL Busy Channel Lockout ON|OFF
09 SP-MUTE Mute Settings QT|QT*DTMF|QT+DTMF
10 SC-REV Scan Mode SE|TO|CO
11 TOT Timeout Timer 1-60 minutes|2MIN
12 TOA Transmission overtime alarm 1-10 seconds|OFF|5
13 ANI-SW Caller ID TX Settings ON|OFF
14 RING Ring time 1-10 seconds|OFF|3
15 ANI-EDIT Editing caller ID 100-999999
16 DTMFST DTMF sidetone settings DT-ST|ANI-ST|DT-ANI|OFF
17 PTT-ID Caller ID TX mode BOT|EOT|BOTH
18 TX-LED TX backlight color WHITE|BLUE|GREEN|OFF
19 WT-LED Standby backlight color BLUE|GREEN|OFF|WHITE
20 RX-LED RX backlight color GREEN|OFF|WHITE|BLUE
21 DEL-CH Deleting a channel 999 channels
(CH1 and CH2 not deletable)
22 CH-NAME Editing a channel name Name***
23 PRICH-SW Priority channel switch ON|OFF
24 SPK-CONT Speaker settings SPK1|SPK2|SPK1+2
25 AUTOLOCK Keypad auto lock ON|OFF
26 RX-CTC Receiving CTCSS 1-50|OFF
27 RX-DCS Receiving DCS 1-105|OFF
28 TX-CTC Transmitting CTCSS 1-50|OFF
29 TX-DCS Transmitting DCS 1-105|OFF
30 RPT-SPK Repeater speaker switch ON|OFF
31 RPT-PTT repeater PTT switch ON|OFF
32 RPT-SET Repeater settings X-DIRPT|X-TWRPT|RPT-RX|T-W RPT|RADIO
33 SCAN-ADD Scan add ON|OFF
34 APO-TIME Automatic power off Levels 1-5 (30 Min increments)|OFF
35 ALERT Single-tone pulse frequency 1750Hz|2100Hz|1000Hz|1450Hz
36 COMPAND Compand ON|OFF
37 FAN-SET Overheating detection TX|HI-TE/TX|ALWAYS
38 LOW-V Voltage testing ON|OFF
39 SCRAM Voice scrambler 1-8|OFF
40 SC-QT CTCSS/DCS scanner DECODER|ENCODER|ALL
41 SC-CTC Activate CTCSS scanner DECODER|ENCODER|ALL
42 SC-DCS Activate DCS scanner DECODER|ENCODER|ALL
43 SC-GROUP Scan group settings ALL|GROUP (1-10)
44 RC-SW Remote control ON|OFF
45 PF1-SET Side key setting OFF|Stun/Kill/MONI/Inspec
46 RPT Tone Repeater tone ON|OFF
47 RESET Reset VFO|ALL
48 FM-RADIO FM radio function ON|OFF
49 AUT.AM Air band auto recognize ON|OFF
50 AM-SW AM setting ON|OFF

Programming with software
The KG-UV950P uses the same USB programming cable as the KG-UV920P-A, so if you already have one, you are halfway there. If you don't, you will need the PCO-003, which includes the Wouxun cable driver and programming software CD when purchased from Buy Two Way Radios. Simply follow the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A cable driver installation instructions and the programming cable should be set to go.

Unlike the programming cable, the Wouxun KG-UV950P programming software is specific to the radio and is currently available for Windows PCs only. If you have the programming software for the KG-UV920P-A, it will not work with the KG-UV950P. If you purchased the programming cable from Buy Two Way Radios, the KG-UV950P software will be included on the cable driver and programming software CD. It is also available as a free download.

KG-UV950P Operation
Working the KG-UV950P is almost exactly same as operating KG-UV920P-A. The only real difference is the layout of the console and redesign of the speaker microphone. While the key layout is the same on the consoles for both models, the location of the speaker mic jack is not. The speaker microphone plugs into the front of the KG-UV920P-A; on the KG-UV950P, the jack is located on the side of the front panel. The location of everything else on the front panel is the same. The LCD display with a selectable three color backlight, channel knobs, volume knob and DTMF keys, they are all there.

As for the DTMF speaker mic, it is a noticeable redesign of the speaker mic for the KG-UV920P-A. The speaker microphone is shaped differently and a multi-function squelch open/remote control button is added below the PTT button on the left side. All the DTMF keys are there, and a MAIN key is added to change the master channel/frequency on the display. The keypad lock/unlock switch is resized and moved towards the top right of the keypad, and a second switch is added to turn the keypad backlight on and off. The 3 key assigned for CTCSS/DCS setup and scanning on the 920P-A is now assigned for band switching on the 950P. All other key assignments and operations are the same. The keys and their primary functions are listed in the chart below:

Button Operation
UP ARROW Select previous channel|Select menu option
DOWN ARROW Select next channel|Select menu option
MAIN Change master channel/frequency
1-BAND Change master channel/frequency
2-MHz Frequency/channel selection
3-B/SW Band switching
4-MEMCH Save channel
5-H/L Set Power output (H-M-L)
6-VFO/MR Frequency mode/Channel mode switch
7-SET-D Frequency shift direction
8-TDR Single/dual display switch
9-SQL Set Squelch level
0-SCRAM Set voice scrambler
*-SCAN Scanning
#-LOCK Keyboard lock
MENU Enter program menu|choose/set menu option
EXIT Exit program menu/cancel

As a quad band radio alone, the Wouxun KG-UV950P is a great value. As a mobile/base station radio or cross-band repeater, it can add affordable versatility to any ham shack.

June 24, 2016

Wouxun KG-UV8D Plus Dual Band Radio unboxing video


First there was the Wouxun KG-UV8D. Now, there is the KG-UV8D Plus! It looks and feels like the original 8D. What gives it a Plus?

In this video, Rick Savoia from Buy Two Way Radios opens the box, shows you what's inside, and tells you what the Plus is all about. For a full feature comparison, read Wouxun KG-UV8D and KG-UV8D Plus menu options and hear our review in Episode 101 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

June 20, 2016

Midland FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio Battery Compatibility Chart

A key consideration in the purchase of any FRS/GMRS two way radio are available options for power. When choosing your radio, consider the types, sizes and quantities of batteries needed to operate your walkie talkies. Are they swappable with other models in the series? can you use both battery packs and alkalines in an emergency or a pinch? These are all important factors to consider.

This reference chart provides information on power options available for Midland FRS/GMRS two way radios. Buy Two Way Radios is an authorized Midland dealer.

Model Battery Type(s) Alkaline
(Quantity)
Rechargeable/
battery Pack
EX37VP Alkaline/Rechargeable AAA (3) AAA (3)
LXT118 Alkaline/Rechargeable AAA (3) AAA (3)
LXT118VP Alkaline/Rechargeable AAA (3) AAA (3)
LXT500VP3 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AAA (4) BATT6R
LXT535VP3 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AAA (4) BATT6R
LXT560VP3 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AAA (4) BATT6R
LXT600VP3 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AAA (3) BATT3R
GXT860VP4 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AA (4) BATT5R
GXT1000VP4 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AA (4) BATT5R
GXT1050VP4 Alkaline/NiMH Battery Pack AA (4) BATT5R
GXT2000VP4 Lithium Polymer BATT12LI
GXT2050VP4 Lithium Polymer BATT12LI
GXT5000 Lithium-Ion BATT5000

June 17, 2016

Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band Radio unboxing video


Fans of the 1.25 meter band rejoice! The Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band Radio is here! This variation of the KG-UV8D takes the advanced features of the KG-UV8D Plus and adds a third ham band for even greater versatility.

What's it all about? Watch as Rick Savoia from Buy Two Way Radios opens up the box and gives you an up close and personal look at this latest transceiver from Wouxun with the power and capabilties of 3X band excitement on RX and TX. For more on this tri-bander, read the our product announcement and hear our review in Episode 104 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

June 15, 2016

Rebates on Midland LXT535VP3 and WR120 end soon!

Note: This promotion expired June 18, 2016 and is no longer available.

Midland-Rebate-Q2-2016-5.pngThere are only a few days left to take advantage of special rebates on select Midland FRS/GMRS radios and Midland weather radios!

Buy a set of Midland LXT535VP3 Two Way Radios With Charger and get a $5 rebate! Purchase a Midland WR-120 Weather Radio and get a $5 rebate! This mail-in offer direct from Midland is available exclusively from Buy Two Way Radios for a limited time only.

This mail-in offer is fulfilled by the manufacturer and will be mailed to you after Midland receives your rebate redemption form. Offer valid on up to 2 sets of radios purchased through June 18, 2016. Limit of two rebate redemptions per household. Click here for the rebate form. Rebate must be mailed by July 18, 2016. To track your rebate, visit www.reward-central.com/Midland and follow the instructions on the site.

The following models qualify for this special rebate offer:

Model Max Purchase Option
Midland LXT535VP3 Two Way Radios With Charger Midland LXT535VP3 Two Way Radios With Charger 2 packs $5 Rebate per pack
Midland WR-120 Weather Radio Midland WR-120 Weather Radio 2 $5 rebate per radio


NOTE: Radios must be purchased between June 5, 2016 and June 18, 2016 to qualify. Offer valid for U.S. residents only. Rebate will be issued in U.S. funds.


June 13, 2016

Wouxun KG-D901 DMR Digital Two Way Radio Preview Video


Wouxun took the ham radio world by storm when it introduced the KG-UV8D. Since then, the company has gained a considerable foothold in the market with an entire line of handheld amateur radios based on variations of the 8D, such as the KG-UV8D Plus, KG-UV9D, KG-UV9D Plus, and more recently the KG-UV8E Tri Band Radio. Now they are about to enter all new territory with the introduction of their first digital radio, the KG-D901!

Watch as Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios opens up the box and gives you both a brief overview and a sneak peek at Wouxun's first DMR radio and what may become their next best seller! For more details on this digital handheld radio from Wouxun, read the specs and hear our discussion on The Two Way Radio Show Podcast episode TWRS-99 - The New Wouxun KG-D901 DMR Digital Radio.

June 1, 2016

TWRS-104 - How Much is Too Much Power For a Handheld Radio?

Two Way Radio Show
We tell you about a new 25 watt handheld two way radio and question the safety of holding so much RF power close to your head. We also review the new Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri-Band Two Way Radio.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:15

Discussion Topic 1:33
we talk about the new Leixen NOTE, a two way radio that may be the most powerful handheld on the market. We tell you what it is, how much power it has and debate whether or not it may be too powerful to safely hold in your hand.

Commercial Break 16:56
buytwowayradios.com 1:00

Product Review 17:52
We review the Wouxun KG-UV8E Tri Band Two Way Radio.

Questions and Answers 23:21
Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

Wrap up and Close 26:07
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!

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