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Articles

  • What to do if the programming cable does not work

    If you program your two way radio from a computer, the programming cable is critical. It is the one and only data link between those two devices, and it needs to be reliable, stable and easy to install. It needs to connect and work every time. If you have an XLT Painless Programming Cable, it's usually not an issue.

    The programming cable for your two way radio is supposed to simply install, connect and work, but what if it doesn't? What if it doesn't seem to work at all?

    There is more to a programming cable for a typical two way radio than just the cable itself, and there are several factors that determine its connectivity, functionality and performance, most of which involve your computer. If your radio programming cable isn't working, consider them all before you tie yourself and your cable into knots of frustration.

    Follow the steps below in order to properly install and resolve issues with two way radio programming cables and drivers.

    Step 1. Verify the correct driver is available for the cable.

    • If the correct driver or driver CD is available, proceed to Step 2.
    • If the correct driver is not available, locate it on the CD/DVD provided with the cable or download the driver from the manufacturer's web site.

    Step 2. Before installing, be sure the radio is off, the computer is on and the cable is not plugged into either device.
    The purpose of this step is to ensure a clean install according to the instructions of the manufacturer.

    • If this is the first attempt to install the cable, skip to Step 3.
    • If a previous attempt was made to install the cable and/or the cable driver, completely and thoroughly uninstall the cable and all elements of the driver according to the manufacturer's instructions, then disconnect the programming cable from all devices and reboot the computer.

    Step 3. Follow the manufacturer's step-by-step procedure for proper installation of the USB programming cable and driver.

    • If installation was successful, skip to Step 6.
    • If installation was not successful or the cable is not recognized, go to Step 4.

    Step 4. Try other USB ports

    • If the cable successfully installs when plugged into another USB port, skip to Step 6.
    • If installation failed on all USB ports, go to Step 5.

    Step 5. install the cable on another computer.

    • If another computer is available, proceed with installation.
    • If installation is successful, Go to Step 6. Note: If the installation is successful on another computer, the issue may be with the first computer. You may need to contact a computer repair technician.
    • If installation is not successful on another computer or another computer is not available, contact the cable manufacturer. If the programming cable was purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, contact us.

    Step 6. Verify successful installation in the system and note the COM port number.
    You may need this information to configure the programming software.

    Step 7. Install and run the programming software for the radio.

    It is important to note that our scope of support is limited to the two way radios, programming cables and programming software we sell at Buy Two Way Radios. We do not service, support or troubleshoot computers or computer operating systems.

  • What to do if the radio programming software does not detect the cable or COM port

    You've just received your two way radio, taken it out of the package, and now you want to get it operational. You plugged in the programming cable, downloaded the driver, set up the software, and connected the cable the radio to program it.

    There is just one small glitch. When you run the program, the software can't seem to find the radio. It can't connect to the cable. It can't even find the COM port. What gives?

    First, don't panic or blow a fuse. There are several devices in the mix and multiple connections here, plus an entire computer system. It could be anything. Before you pack up all the new stuff and send it back to the dealer, find out what the real problem is. It may not be as bad as you think. It may even be quick and easy to resolve.

    Here are the steps to troubleshoot if the programming software for your two way radio does not recognize the COM Port or the programming cable purchased from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Step 1. Verify the programming cable is installed correctly.

    • If using our programming cable and it is installed correctly, proceed to Step 2.
    • If programming cable is not installed correctly, re-install the cable driver.

    Step 2. Verify the COM Port number assigned to your programming cable.

    • If you are running Microsoft Windows, go the the Device Manager and click on Ports (COM & LPT).
    • Note the number of the COM port assigned to your cable.

    Step 3. Verify the correct COM Port is recognized and listed as active in the programming software.

    • If the COM port assigned to the programming cable is listed as active and available, choose it and skip to Step 5.
    • If the COM port assigned to the programming cable is NOT listed as available, go to Step 4.

    Step 4. Assign another COM Port to the USB programming cable.

    • Open the Device Manager, go to Ports (COM & LPT) and right click on the listing for the USB programming cable.
    • Click PROPERTIES in the pop-up menu.
    • Click on the PORT SETTINGS tab.
    • Click the ADVANCE button.
    • Click the drop down list next to COM Port Number: and choose a COM Port below the number 10 that is not in use.
    • Click OK to save the setting, then click OK again to exit the Communications Port (COMX) properties window.
    • Note the new COM Port number assigned to the USB Programming Cable and go back to Step 3.
    • If a new COM Port number was assigned to the cable and it is still not recognized by your programming software, skip to Step 6.

    Step 5. Run or close and restart the programming software.

    Step 6. If the program does not recognize the programming cable or the COM Port assigned to it, refer to the manufacturer of the programming software.

    If you are using CHIRP programming software, go to the CHIRP web site at http://chirp.danplanet.com/projects/chirp/wiki/Home and download the latest daily build of CHIRP or report the issue to CHIRP.

    If these instructions are followed correctly, the programming software for your radio should be able to recognize the correct COM port and access your programming cable.

  • What to do if your computer does not read or detect the Buy Two Way Radios CD

    You may encounter a situation in which the CD or DVD drive in your computer may not detect or read the software CD provided by Buy Two Way Radios. Although troubleshooting your computer is outside our scope of support, we do need to determine if the issue is caused by a defective CD/DVD disc drive or a defective disc.

    Follow these steps to troubleshoot and possibly resolve the issue if your CD or DVD drive does not read or detect a Buy Two Way Radios branded CD.

    Step 1. Verify you have a genuine Buy Two Way Radios CD.
    The CD should have the official Buy Two Way Radios blue handheld radio graphic on the left side and the text www.buytwowayradios.com printed at the bottom.

    • If using our CD, proceed to step 2.
    • If a CD was included with a primary product purchased from us but it is not our supplied CD or is a copy created by a third party, contact us to request a genuine copy our CD. (The CD may have an additional fee when purchased separately). Important note: this applies to Buy Two Way Radios branded CDs only. We do not copy and sell duplicates of CDs or DVDs created and branded by the manufacturer or third parties.

    Step 2. Insert another commercial data or audio CD into the CD/DVD drive.
    The term commercial refers to a professionally or commercially mass produced Compact Disc or Digital Versatile Disc containing audio or data, such as a computer program, music or video CD/DVD.

    • If the CD/DVD Drive successfully reads the other commercial CD, proceed to step 3.
    • If the CD/DVD Drive does not detect or successfully read the other commercial CD, try a third commercial CD.
    • If it reads the third commercial CD, go to step 3.
    • If it does not read the third commercial CD, The CD/DVD drive may be defective. You may need to contact a computer repair technician.

    Step 3. If your CD/DVD drive can read other commercial CDs but cannot read our CD, contact us at Buy Two Way Radios.

    Please note: we do not service or support computers.

  • What to do if CHIRP does not list your radio

    CHIRP is a free, open source application created by a team of volunteer amateur radio operators. The software is used to program a wide variety of different makes and models of two way radios with a computer.

    When programming certain models of two way radios purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, some of our customers, particularly those who are ham radio operators, prefer CHIRP in lieu of the programming software provided by the radio manufacturer. This preference for CHIRP is largely due to a couple of reasons. CHIRP is often easier to understand and use than the original programming software from the manufacturers of certain radios, particularly those in China. The use of CHIRP also often minimizes or even eliminates the need to install and use a different programming application for each individual product when using a mix of of different radios.

    CHIRP supports an impressively wide selection of radios, but not all of them. The list is expanding over time. When a new product is introduced to the market, depending on its popularity and relevance, The CHIRP project team may add support for the new model in a future version or build of the software.

    We often receive calls from customers who request tutorials, tech support or other instruction for CHIRP. Although we do include CHIRP as a free add-on with a few select programming cables, we do not support it ourselves, as it isn't ours. It was created by a community of ham radio operators, and relies on the community to support it. We merely provide the application as a courtesy to our customers who may need or want it.

    As of June 2016, CHIRP supports the following radios we currently sell or previously carried:

    If your radio is currently listed in CHIRP, you should be good to go. If your radio is not listed, download the latest daily build of CHIRP.

    If the latest build of CHIRP does not list your radio, CHIRP does not currently support it. The CHIRP programming team does accept requests for support of new radios. You can submit a request to the CHIRP project and ask them to add the radio to a future version or build of CHIRP.

  • What to do if the radio does not power on

    You stored your walkie talkies away for awhile and now you're planning that big weekend hiking or camping trip with your family or friends across the great outdoors. Naturally, you need them again, so you take them out, dust them off, turn them on and -

    Uh oh. Nothing happens. They won't go on.

    You have your company fleet of two way radios packed and ready to take to the next job. When you arrive onsite, you take them out of their case, pass them out to your workers, instruct everyone to stay on Channel 1, and -

    No, wait. They don't turn on.

    Yeah, it happens. Sometimes a radio may not power on. Of course, if it happens, it is a big deal, because the two way radio as we know it is considered one of the most stable and reliable modes of communication available to the modern world, especially during an emergency. As stable and reliable as two way radios are, it still happens. So if or when it does happen, what do you do?

    Follow these steps to troubleshoot, identify and hopefully resolve the issue when your radio does not power on.

    Step 1. Verify the batteries or battery pack is/are installed correctly.

    • Verify the battery pack is seated or batteries are installed correctly or with the correct polarity. If correct, proceed to Step 3.
    • If not installed correctly, reseat the battery pack or batteries.

    Step 2. Check to be sure the radio is really on.

    Some consumer FRS/GMRS radios turn on by pressing a power button or holding it down for one to two seconds. Sometimes there is a delay or there is poor contact internally and it needs to be held down a little longer. Other models, such as business, air band, amateur, CB and marine portable handheld radios have a power knob on top of the unit that must be turned to power them on. If the knob is loose, you might think it turned the shaft of the switch when it didn't. The on/off switch could also be defective.

    • If the radio is turned on and there is power, proceed to Step 5.
    • If radio switch is on but there is no power, check to be sure the battery or batteries is/are fully charged.

    Step 3. Check to be sure the battery is charged.

    • Swap out the battery pack or batteries with another or fresh one(s). If no spare batteries are available, put the battery(ies) in another known working radio to test.
    • If no other battery(ies) or radio is available, go to Step 4.
    • If swapping the battery(ies) or radio was successful and the radio has power, skip to Step 5.
    • If there is still no power, proceed according to battery type.

    Step 4. Troubleshoot according to battery type.

    • If the battery is rechargeable, recharge it according to the manufacturer instructions. If the battery charges, go to Step 5.
    • If the rechargeable battery pack does not charge, troubleshoot the battery pack and charger.
    • If the battery is non-rechargeable and replacement batteries do not power on the radio, check the radio for damage.

    Step 5. Turn the radio on.

    • If the radio turns on, the issue is resolved.
    • If the radio does not turn on, check the radio for damage and refer to the manufacturer for warranty support.

    If these instructions are followed correctly, you should be able to quickly determine the cause of the issue and possibly resolve it. If these troubleshooting steps did not resolve your issue and your radio is out of warranty, contact us at Buy Two Way Radios.

  • How to reset a Baofeng UV-5R two way radio

    Baofeng-UV-5R-Reset.jpgCertain circumstances may require you to perform a reset on your Baofeng. Performing a reset is extremely easy, however if you speak only English and the voice prompts are in Chinese, performing a simple reset or recovering from one may require a little more attention.

    Follow the steps below to reset a Baofeng UV-5R, BF-F9, BF-F8+, UV-B6 or UV-82 two way radio from Buy Two Way Radios.

    To perform a VFO Reset
    1.Turn on the radio and press the MENU button.
    2.Press the UP and DOWN arrow key to select RESET (Menu Item 40).
    3.Press MENU to choose RESET.
    4.Press the DOWN arrow key to choose VFO.
    5.Press MENU. The radio will display SOURCE?
    6.Press MENU to confirm. The radio will display WAIT... for a few seconds, then beep twice to confirm reset is complete. The radio will revert to Chinese language mode. Reset is complete.

    To perform a FULL Reset
    1.Turn on the radio and press the MENU button.
    2.Press the UP and DOWN arrow key to select RESET (Menu Item 40).
    3.Press MENU to choose RESET.
    4.Press the DOWN arrow key to choose ALL.
    5.Press MENU. The radio will display SOURCE?
    6.Press MENU to confirm. The radio will display WAIT... for a few seconds, then beep twice to confirm reset is complete.
    7.The radio will revert to Chinese language mode. Reset is complete.

    To set language from Chinese to English
    1.Press MENU.
    2.Press the UP and DOWN arrow key to select VOICE (Menu Item 14).
    3.Press MENU to choose VOICE.
    4.Press the DOWN arrow key to choose ENG.
    5.Press MENU to choose ENG.

    NOTE: a VFO RESET only resets the frequency values in VFO mode. To reset the radio back to factory defaults, choose RESET/ALL. A reset may resolve some issues, but will not resolve them all. Some scenarios, such as inoperability due to an incorrect or corrupt image file cannot be resolved with a reset and require another resolution. It is, however, usually a standard first step when troubleshooting the radio.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • Wouxun KG-UV920P-A programming and menu options

    KG-UV920P-A-2.pngThe Wouxun KG-UV920P-A dual band mobile two way radio is a popular choice for ham radio operators who want to go mobile on the 2 meter (144-148MHz) or 70cm (420-450MHz) amateur radio bands without burning all the cash needed to get around town. But there's a lot more to this mobile than just the transceiver. The KG-UV920P-A also has cross band repeat capability, which means you can have a mobile repeater in your vehicle on demand. It can even become a base station radio when connected to an AC power source and mounted to a wall or desk, as depicted in this unboxing video. The typical mobile radio can cost hundreds, without premium features. Investing in the KG-UV920P-A for a low cost, low power cross-band repeater can save a lot of money on two way communications.

    Key features

    • Dual Band UHF/VHF transmit and receive
    • 87.5-108MHz FM Radio (Receive Only)
    • 40W (UHF)/50W (VHF) 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 Message 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
    • PC Programmable
    • Supports 2.5k Step
    • Reset
    • Roger Beep Enable/Disable
    • Wideband/Narrowband operation

    Programming the KG-UV920P-A
    As with many mobile two way radios, the KG-UV920P-A can be programmed in one of two ways, either direct from the console on the front panel of the radio, or through a computer via programming software. Technically speaking, there is a third way. The radio can also be programmed directly from the DTMF keypad on the hand speaker mic.

    Direct from the radio
    While not impossible, programming direct from the radio can seem daunting, not so much because it is, but because of the sheer number of configuration options available. An evening with the owner's manual is helpful, but may not be particularly enlightening on the first read. However, it may be well worth the time and effort to learn, just in case you ever need to add a channel or two on the fly.

    The menu consists of 45 items. 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|XTWRPT|CRPT-RX|CRPT-TX|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 RPT-TONE Repeater tone ON|OFF
    42 SC-GROUP Scan group settings ALL|GROUP 1|GROUP 2|GROUP 3|GROUP 4
    43 FM-RADIO FM radio function ON|OFF
    44 RC-SW Remote control ON|OFF
    45 RESET Reset VFO|ALL

    Programming with software
    The Wouxun programming software isn't the greatest application, but it's really not too bad, considering the alternative, which is to program the radio directly from the keypad.

    The USB programming cable connector is somewhat specific for this mobile radio, so it isn't something you can freely swap out with other mobile transceivers. The Wouxun programming software is also specific to this model and is currently available for Windows PCs only, but it is available as a free download from Buy Two Way Radios. While not particularly intuitive, the software isn't that complicated, either. If you have programmed a two way radio before, it is somewhat self-explanatory. The USB cable driver needs to be installed first, which can become a challenge if the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A cable driver installation instructions are not properly followed, but once it is set up and the cable is working, it is ready when you need it.

    Operation
    The detachable front panel of of the KG-UV920P-A can be mounted inside your vehicle almost anywhere you need it for instant access and ease of operation. The console on the front panel includes an LCD display with a selectable three color backlight, channel knobs, volume knob and the equivalent of a DTMF keypad spread out across the face of the console. In effect, every operation that can be performed from the keypad on the speaker mic can also be initiated from the front panel of the radio.

    Once the power button is pressed on the console, The KG-UV920P-A can be configured and controlled directly from the built-in DTMF keypad on the hand speaker mic. This is quite convenient, especially when the mic is in hand and the console is slightly out of reach. The speaker mic even has a volume wheel to adjust the output of the speaker on the mic. It also includes a keypad lock to prevent accidental key presses of the keys on the hand mic. The keypad consists of 16 keys. The keys and their primary functions are outlined in the chart below:

    Button Operation
    UP ARROW Select previous channel|Select menu option
    DOWN ARROW Select next channel|Select menu option
    1-BAND Change master channel/frequency
    2-MHz Frequency/channel selection
    3-QT/DT CTCSS/DCS setup|CTCSS/DCS scan
    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 Key lock
    MENU Enter program menu|choose/set menu option
    EXIT Exit program menu

    The Wouxun KG-UV920P-A is a feature rich mobile radio at a value price. When you add in the cross-band repeat functionality, it's really quite a bargain.

  • Icom F1000D and F2000D IDAS Digital Radios

    IC-F2000D.jpgDigital radios are becoming more commonplace in the business radio arena. There are several reasons for this, not the least of which is price. As these radios become more economical to purchase, the move to digital becomes more practical. To move things along, Icom recently released a digital version of its F1000/F2000 series. Called the F1000D/F2000D Series, they start well below the price point of the other digital radios in the company's product line.

    Icom touts their new F1000D/F2000D series as slim, compact and lightweight, and they are. Although slightly thicker and wider and, depending on the battery pack, about 20g heavier than the F1000/F2000, they still weigh in considerably lighter than many other radios.

    Like the analog models, the F1000D/F2000D has a large 36mm, 800mW speaker. It also has the built-in motion sensor with Man Down and Lone Worker emergency functions. The two series of radios also share other features, such as the channel announcement function and IP67 water and dust protection.

    The real difference between the F1000/F2000 and F1000D/F2000D is, of course, digital functionality. The "D" series supports IDAS™ digital conventional and Type-D single-site trunking. The digital and analog modes can be programmed per channel. According to Icom, IDAS™ mode utilizes 4-level FSK modulation and the NXDN™ common air interface for true 6.25kHz spectrum efficiency. Programmable IDAS features include:

    • PTT ID (TX)
    • Individual/group calls
    • Radio check (RX)
    • Stun/Kill/Revive (RX)
    • Remote monitor (RX)
    • Emergency (TX)
    • Call alert (RX)
    • Digital voice scrambler (15-bit)
    • Status Call (Power ON/OFF status and GPS request)
    • Voting scan for multi-site conventional operation

    At the time of this article only the base models are available. The F1000D is the 136-174MHz VHF version and the F2000D operates on 400-470MHz UHF.

    Accessories

    The F1000D/F2000D will accept almost all of the same accessories as the standard F1000/F2000 series radios, including earpieces, headsets, speaker microphones, antennas, the belt clip, power supply cable, multi-charger, and even the battery packs. The F1000D/F2000D will take the BP-278 and BP-279 as well as its own BP-280 battery pack.

    One of the advantages of digital radios over their analog counterparts is their considerably lower rate of power consumption, and the F1000D/F2000D is no exception. the chart below instantly puts it all into perspective. Note: Data is based on 5:5:90 operation (TX:RX:Standy) with the power save function on.

    Battery Pack F1000/F2000 Series F1000D/F2000D Series
    BP-278 10 hours 9 hours
    BP-279 14 hours 12 hours
    BP-280 -- 18 hours

    As for what comes in the package, the Icom IC-F1000D / IC-F2000D has the basic essentials, including a Li-ion battery pack, belt clip and a removable antenna. It also comes with a two year warranty from Icom. The F1000D/F2000D are available from Buy Two Way Radios.

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