Retailing consumer FRS and GMRS radios is how we got our start in this business. Over the years, we've heard more than our share of gripes from customers who are looking for something better than the typical "bubble pack" FRS/GMRS radios. Those radios get the job done for most people, but they often don't cut it for advanced users. Anyone that uses a GMRS radio frequently, or needs advanced features (like repeater support) is left frustrated: none of the major manufacturers offer a product that meets their needs, and the few import radios that have been modded for GMRS have considerable drawbacks. Well, after years of asking the major manufacturers to address this need, we've decided to take matters into our own hands.
We've been working directly with Wouxun to design a radio that considers all of the needs of advanced users. It's been a long process, but we're really proud of the result. We hope you like it.
Introducing the Wouxun KG-805G
Today, we're introducing the Wouxun KG-805G Professional GMRS Radio. The following is a list of goals that we had for our GMRS radio when we started this process, and thanks to Wouxun we were able to achieve all of this with the KG-805G.
- Legal for GMRS. GMRS users looking for the best often resort to buying a business radio and reprogramming it for GMRS. This is pretty common, but it isn't legal. We needed a radio that was approved for GMRS use by the FCC (Part 95 type accepted).
- Business Quality. The radio had to have a high level of durability and "feel" like a professional radio.
- Repeater support. The GMRS allows for repeaters. If you're buying a professional GMRS radio, you should be able to use them. You should also be able to configure the radio to use a repeater without connecting it to a computer.
- Ability to change common functions from the keypad. In particular, CTCSS/DCS codes should be adjustable via the menu.
- High power. Almost all radios using FRS/GMRS frequencies are well under 2 watts. We wanted at least 4.
- Single Band. There are a couple of dual band import radios that have been retrofitted for GMRS, and we felt like this was a compromise we didn't want to make. GMRS frequencies are all between 462 and 468 MHz. We felt like quality would be better if the radio and antenna were built specifically for this frequency range.
- "Classic" Radio Circuitry. One of the big reasons that there are so many low priced radios available is that there single microchips available that control almost all radio features. This is great if you're looking to keep costs down, but there's a reason that popular business radio brands don't use them: they compromise quality for price. If we were going to call our radio "Business Quality" it needed to be built like a business radio - inside and out.
- Good Accessory Selection. We didn't want anything proprietary or unusual when it came to accessories.
- Optional PC Programming. PC programming should be available for advanced users, but absolutely not be a requirement to use the radio.
- Priced below $100. We felt like the product needed to retail for less than $100, and we beat it by $10. Regular price for the KG-805 will be $89.99.
The KG-805G has 30 channels: 22 standard simplex channels and 8 repeater channels. It is compatible with any other 22 channel FRS or GMRS radio right out of the box. If you need to add a PL tone, you can do it directly from the keypad using the menu.
The KG-805G is built using the same "chassis" as the popular KG-UVD1P and KG-UV6D, which have been around for a long time. Replacement batteries for those models work with the KG-805G. The radio uses a standard "K1" style audio accessory connector, so two-pin audio accessories that work with a Kenwood, Wouxun, or Baofeng radio will work with this one.
The display supports three colors, and you can choose a different color for transmit, receive and standby. Channel scan is available by holding the A/B button for 2 seconds. An FM radio is built-in.
Optional programming software is available as a free download. The software allows you to add or remove channels and configure channel settings in an easier way than using the menu. You also have more options than the menu provides, as you can configure options like channel power and bandwidth. You can also add receive-only channels for frequencies outside of the GMRS band. Using the software requires a programming cable.
Why not build a MURS radio too?
While our focus was primarily on the GMRS product, we knew that there were customers also looking for a similar radio that operated on MURS. The Multi-Use Radio Service is a license-free service that allows for operation on 5 VHF frequencies at up to 2 watts of power. MURS is great for consumers that often use radios outdoors and don't want to get a license. It is also popular with businesses (even Walmart uses MURS frequencies).
MURS has a similar situation to GMRS, but with an even more limited selection of available products: current radios are either great quality and quite expensive, or they're cheap retrofitted Baofengs. We thought a high quality but reasonably priced radio was needed, so we helped design the Wouxun KG-805M Professional MURS Radio.
The KG-805M is essentially the same radio as the KG-805G, except it is designed to operate on VHF frequencies and we have customized the programming to the MURS service. The KG-805M also retails for $89.99.
Only need the basics?
Because things can't ever be simple, we also have a version of each radio with a simpler feature set for a few bucks less.
The Wouxun KG-805G Basic and Wouxun KG-805M Basic are available at a retail price of $69.99. The difference? These models don't support adjusting CTCSS/DCS codes via the keypad, so they're more appropriate for use in non-congested areas or when you're commonly using radios with the same group of people.
The CTCSS/DCS tones can be adjusted in the optional programming software, so if you're OK with using a PC for programming these Basic versions are a good way to save money!
Your feedback is important!
This is the most involved we've ever been in bringing a product to market and we definitely want this to be a success. We are very interested in hearing your thoughts on what we got right, or what we got wrong with the KG-805 series. Comment below, or send us a message!