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Ham Radios

  • TYT TH-UV88 Firmware Update

    A few weeks ago we were excited about the release of the TYT TH-UV88 radio. This "Baofeng killer" has taken the ham radio community by storm. With new radios, bugs are ALWAYS expected and the TH-UV88 is no different.

    A few days ago a customer pointed out that they were having trouble with scan not receiving. We tested this with several radios and were able to confirm that there was indeed a problem. We made TYT aware of this and they immediately jumped in to action and had a solution within 24 hours!

    The turnaround time was impressive, but maybe even more impressive is that a radio in this price range has upgradeable firmware!  

    A programming cable and a PC running Windows is needed for installation. The only change in this update is the scan fix, so if scan is not something you need or use, you do not need to install the update.

    Installing the Firmware

    TYT Firmware Update Tool

    1. Download the firmware update and extract the contents of the .zip file into a folder.
    2. Connect the radio to your PC using the programming cable.
    3. With the radio OFF, hold down the PTT button AND the top programmable side key (P1) while turning on the radio. Depending on your radio version the indicator light will be steady green or red to indicate the firmware is ready to update.
    4. Double-click the file named UV88_98_UpData.exe to launch the TYT firmware update tool.
    5. In the update tool, choose UV88 for the Model and 57600 for the Baud Rate. Also select the Port that corresponds to your programming cable.
    6. Click Open and select the file UV88_Eng_BQ1_25_20200430.hex, which was included in the .zip file.
    7. Be sure that you have plenty of battery life before starting the update, and do not power off the radio during the update!
    8. Click the Updata button to perform the firmware update. 
    9. If an error occurs during the update, do not turn off the radio. Instead, close and restart the software, then click the Reset! button in the software. After the reset, try the update again.

  • Linear vs Switching Power Supplies

    Linear vs Switching Power SuppliesYou want your mobile two way radio on your desktop, or you want to convert it into a base station for your shack. You've picked out radio, the antenna, and location for your rig. All you need is the power supply. There's just one minor detail. You know exactly how much power you need, but what type of power supply should you choose?

    There are several types of power supplies. These include those that are unregulated, ripple regulated, regulated linear and switching. In this article we are going to focus on comparing the two types we carry at Buy Two Way Radios for use with our mobile and base station two way radios. These two types of power supplies are Linear (regulated) and Switching.

    Linear Power Supplies
    Linear power supplies have been around for a long time. At one point it was the only choice for power supplies. They produce clean, quiet DC voltage with little to no electromagnetic noise. This makes the linear power supply a great choice for use in radio communications. A linear power supply takes the AC line voltage and puts it through a transformer to lower the voltage, then a through a rectifier and filters to convert it to DC output voltage.

    Linear power supplies are well suited for use with radios, but they do have a few drawbacks. The large transformers and filter circuits generate a lot more heat, which in turn requires large heat sinks to compensate. Due to all these components, they are also quite heavy. The more power they provide, the heavier and larger they become. In addition, their energy efficiency is fairly low compared to a switching power supply.

    Switching Power Supplies
    Switched Mode or Switching power supplies are smaller, lighter and more advanced. They also operate at considerably higher efficiency than a linear model. Switch power supplies also generate less heat, which can be an important advantage when operating in a small ham shack or in an area with limited air circulation.

    The drawback to switching power supplies is that they can introduce RFI noise. This can be a problem with inexpensive, lower quality models and small, "brick" style power supplies intended for general consumer electronics, but is not generally an issue with power supplies intended for radios and built by high quality, name brand manufacturers. Even so, the noise can be sometimes be alleviated by using EMI chokes or ferrite cores on external wiring to the radio.

    Before you shop around for power supplies, it is important to know that they are not all the same. It can make all the difference between choosing the right power supply for your radio, and not having all the power you really need.

  • How to unlock and activate VFO mode on the TYT TH-UV88

    TYT has updated the TH-UV88 radios being shipped to the United States and VFO mode is now disabled out of the box. Normally, pressing the # key on the keypad switches between channel and VFO mode. On the new radios, this doesn't happen. Most likely this is TYTs way to ensure that radios being shipped into the country aren't able to be programmed to transmit outside of the amateur bands, the only frequencies for which they are authorized.

    It is understandable that TYT would want to restrict the radios to amateur frequencies, however it's not clear why they chose to accomplish this by disabling VFO mode. Fortunately there is an easy way to unlock the radios and re-enable VFO mode.

    1. Turn the TH-UV88 radio OFF.
    2. Hold down both the 1 and 7 keys.
    3. While holding down those keys, power the radio ON.
    4. After you hear the voice prompt "seven", release both keys.
    5. VFO mode is now enabled.

    This procedure does not directly switch the radio into VFO mode. It unlocks and restores the ability to switch between channel and VFO modes by pressing the # key.

    TYT TH-UV88 Unlock Sequence
  • President CB and 10 Meter radios are here!

    President Electronics USA LogoWe've long been recognized as an authorized dealer of quality, name brand CB radios. Our product line includes models from such established and respected manufacturers such as Cobra, Galaxy, Midland, and Uniden. Now there's one more. We are excited to announce that we're now a President dealer!

    President offers a very popular line of CB and 10 meter ham radios, and now all of them are available from Buy Two Way Radios. From the low priced President ANDY through the full featured President LINCOLN II Plus, you can find them all right here.

    President CB Radios

    President ANDY USA CB RadioANDY USA
    The ANDY is the entry level model in the President CB line. It's also the lowest priced of the series. But don't let this budget friendly bargain fool you. This CB radio has the full capability to deliver maximum power and high performance using 21st century technology. It operates on all 40 CB channels, receives NOAA weather channels, weather alerts, and has a large LCD display that can be customized to illuminate with one of 7 colors. It features a public address system, noise blanker, built-in Automatic Noise Limiter filter, talkback, a function key, and digital S-meter. The package includes a 4 pin electret handheld speaker microphone with a coil cord and a mounting kit. Price- $74.95.

    President BILL FCC CB RadioBILL FCC
    The President BILL is the next model up the line, and is very different in the look and feel. This is an ultra compact mobile, very similar in design to the Midland MXT115 GMRS Micromobile two way radio, but at a much lower price. Like the ANDY, the BILL supports all 40 CB channels at 4 watts, the maximum allowed for CB in the US. It also has 7 NOAA weather channels, weather alerts, public address capability, and a 7 color LCD display. Many of the other features of the base model are included as well, but the BILL has a few more. In addition to the noise blanker and ANL (Automatic Noise Limiter) filter, the Bill also adds a HI-CUT filter. It can also display the actual frequency of an active channel and has a USB charging port on the front of the radio. If you're short on space in your vehicle or want a CB with lots of features but a very small footprint, this is the radio for you. Price- $89.00.

    The JOHNNY III is similar in design to the ANDY, and with most of the same basic features, but with more buttons. This means more features and functionality over all. In addition to the 7 NOAA weather channels, weather alert, PA support, and noise filters, this radio has built-in hands-free VOX capability. This can be a useful feature while on the road. Now, the display is scaled back somewhat, with only 3 colors instead of the 7 color choices offered in the previous models. But it has 6 buttons on the front panel instead of 2, including one for emergency channel 9/19, Memory Channel Store/Recall and an F Function key. There is also one important difference with the mics. The Andy uses a 4-pin hand microphone, the Johnny III uses a 6 pin connector. It's no biggie, just something to be aware of when choosing between these models. Price- $109.00.

    The President TAYLOR is a mid-range model, and switches to a more retro design. This looks and feels like a "traditional" CB radio, with the chrome plated front panel, toggle switches and analog style meter reminiscent of a classic CB. Yet, the addition of a 7 color LCD display also gives in a contemporary feel. Like the other models, the TAYLOR has the NOAA weather channels, weather alerts, PA capability, and the noise filters. Like the JOHNNY III, it also has VOX. It adds the S/RF VU-Meter, Up/Down Channel Selector and USB charging port. If you like the look of a retro CB radio but want the functionality of a 21st century model, This is a CB to consider. Price- $119.00.

    The JOHNSON II is the same basic design and functionality as the ANDY and JOHNNY III, but adds something new, a built-in front speaker! Okay, it also has one more button than the JOHNNY III, but includes most of the standard functions and the 3 color LCD display of its counterpart. It also features 3 memories, channel and memories scan, and Dual Watch. It also has a local DX key. What's not to like about that? Like the JOHNNY III, the JOHNSON II uses a 6 pin connector. Good to know when shopping around. Price- $129.00.

    The WALKER II is a premium model. It combines the retro look of the President TAYLOR with a modern flair for a rather distinctive front panel that really stands out. It has the chrome plated front, 7 color LCD display, dials, switches, analog multi-function meter and USB charging port and adds several lighted buttons to the mix. The WALKER also has most all the features of its mid-range cousin and throws in a frequency display and an AM / WX mode switch for good measure. It's a classic President CB at a great value. Price- $139.00.

    The MC KINLEY is the top of the line in the President CB radio series. Like the JOHNSON II, it has an internal speaker built right in, but has a larger 3 color LCD display. It has the primary features and functions of its lower tier look-alike, including 3 memories, channel and memories scan, Dual Watch and local DX key. Then it adds a clarifier and dimmer. The icing on the cake? Single Sideband! Yes, the MC KINLEY operates on AM and SSB, giving you greater access to the local CB airwaves. The MC KINLEY uses a 6 pin connector and has rear jacks for an external speaker, PA speaker, and optional VOX microphone. It's the ultimate President CB radio at reasonable cost. Price- $179.00.

    President Ham Radios

    President RONALD Ham RadioRONALD
    The RONALD is the base model in the President Ham Radio line. It looks nearly identical to the ANDY USA CB radio, except it operates on the 10 meter and 12 meter amateur radio bands. It may be low end, but it's certainly not low power. This compact dual band mobile radio can transmit at up to 35 watts of power and is capable of operating in both AM and FM modes. It has the same large 7 color LCD display as the ANDY, same front panel layout. It also has a noise blanker, built-in Automatic Noise Limiter filter, talkback, a function key, digital S-meter, and that's about where the similarities end. The RONALD adds an AM/FM mode switch, Dual Watch, span and adjustable time out timer. This package includes a 6 pin speaker microphone with a coil cord and a mounting kit. Price- $129.00.

    President RICHARD Ham RadioRICHARD
    The RICHARD is a dedicated 10 meter ham radio and the mid-range model. It operates at up to 13 watts AM and up to 40 watts FM. It has a 7 color LCD display that is smaller than the RONALD to make room for the analog bargraph meter and all the added controls on the front panel. The meter indicates reception and emitted power levels. It has ANL, NB and HI-CUT filters. It has an AM/FM mode switch, rotary channel selector switch, F function key, MENU function key, Dual Watch, Echo, VFO Mode, and a front panel USB charging port. And a lot of other stuff. The RONALD has big features at low cost. Price- $169.00.

    President LINCOLN II Plus Ham RadioLINCOLN II+
    The LINCOLN II+ is the top tier President Ham Radio. It's similar to the RICHARD in form and function, only it has even more power, more modes and more stuff. it operates on both the 10 meter and 12 meter amateur radio bands and supports AM, FM, LSB, USB and CW modes at up to 35 watts on FM and a whopping 50 watts on AM. In addition to most of the standard features of the RONALD, it has 6 Memories, 38 CTCSS tones, 104 DCS codes, clarifier, and AM/FM/LSB/USB/CW Mode Switch. The LCD display only has 3 colors, but the other features more than make up for it. Plus, it's software programmable! Price- $249.00.

    All of these President radios come with a two year manufacturer warranty!

  • Great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R

    Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way RadioThere's no denying it. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular and prolific handheld two way radios in the world. It's no wonder, really. It's extremely compact, feature packed, and extremely affordable, or, to put it bluntly, it's really, really cheap. A power packed dual bander at a powerfully low price, the UV-5R is without a doubt the preferred choice of many radio operators across the globe.

    Of course, with high popularity comes high demand. With such demand comes the challenge of keeping the UV-5R in stock and available to ship same day to our customers. Usually this is not a problem, but the current worldwide pandemic has created an unusual situation for retailers in general, and it affects our warehouse operations as well.

    Due to the sudden interest in personal preparedness during the coronavirus emergency, we've experienced an uptick in demand for certain makes and models of two way radios by the general public. As such, some of our most popular radios may be in short supply or temporarily out of stock. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of those affected models.

    But there's absolutely no reason to panic, or panic buy. On the contrary, we have plenty of other radios in stock and available that fit the bill. While some may not be at the same price point as the UV-5R, they are certainly capable of powerful, reliable operation on the same bands and frequencies as the Baofeng. Not only that, these models are of equal or higher build specifications for greater ruggedness and better durability, adding greater value for the price!

    For instance, the TYT TH-UV88 is a dual band analog radio that matches the UV-5R in almost every respect, even down to the built-in LED flashlight. Some even call it a potential UV-5R killer. Sure, it costs just a little more than the UV-5R, but it has something the UV-5R doesn't, a more rugged and durable housing. It also has a real one year manufacturer warranty from TYT, something that Baofeng claims to offer, but in most cases makes it all but impossible for the end user to actually redeem.

    Then there's a great selection from Wouxun. These are powerful dual band radios with exceptional features and capabilities, some of which are not available at all on the Baofeng UV-5R. Does the UV-5R have a full color LCD display? No? Well, it's a standard feature on many Wouxun models. Can the bands be freely set in the UV-5R for VHF TX and UHF RX or UHF TX and VHF RX on the same channel? Well, you can do it on the Wouxun KG-UV6D. Does the UV-5R have cross band repeat capability? The Wouxun KG-UV8D does, and so do several other Wouxun models, including the KG-UV8E, and it's a tri-bander!

    Yes, the Baofeng UV-5R is Part 90 type accepted for business use, and some of the other models mentioned are not. But some of them are. And if you need a radio specifically for business use, why settle for a cheap little transceiver when you can get much more durability, and in turn, greater ROI with more rugged Part 90 type accepted radios specifically designed for business use? Icom, Motorola and other manufacturers offer many models that fit the bill. And, if you really need to buy on price alone, Why not consider the Olympia P324? This is a great little radio for business applications. It's Part 90 type accepted, and it's an incredibly inexpensive buy. Note: at the time this article was written, it's also on sale!

    We could go on and on, but you get the point. Why be disappointed that the UV-5R is out of stock, when there are so many other great radios to choose from that are also a bargain, and are better radios, to boot?

    So the UV-5R is out of stock? No problem. Just upgrade. Considering all this, when you upgrade your purchase from a UV-5R to another model, you aren't settling for less, you're getting something more. It's a win-win for you. And that's a smarter buy.

    Here are some great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R:

    Manufacturer Model Type Acceptance Bands Service
    Baofeng UV-82 Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    Icom F4001
    Part 90 UHF
    Motorola VX-261 Part 90 UHF or VHF Business
    Olympia P324 Part 90 UHF Business
    TYT TH-UV88 Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    Wouxun KG-UV6D Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV6D PRO Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV7D Part 90* UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV899 Part 15 UHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Plus Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8E Part 15B Tri-Band Amateur
    KG-UV9D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9D PLUS LE Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9P Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur

    *The 2M/70cm version has been approved by the FCC. Type accepted for Part 90, FCC ID WVTWOUXUN07. The 2M/1.25M and 2M/6M versions are for amateur use only.

    Want to learn more about the TYT-TH-UV88? Listen to an in-depth discussion about this powerful and inexpensive alternative to the UV-5R in Episode 149 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast!

  • How to install and use the VGC VR-N7500 iOS app

    The VGC VR-N7500 is an innovative new mobile amateur two way radio with Bluetooth® connectivity. What makes it so exciting and unique? You can fully control, program and update it using its smartphone app, available for Android or iOS. the Android version of the app is full featured and easy to use, but what about the iOS version?

    In this video, Danny from Buy Two Way Radios shows you how to install the app on your iOS phone or tablet and use it to control and program your VGC VR-N7500 mobile amateur radio.

  • How to install and use the VGC VR-N7500 Android app

    The VGC VR-N7500 is an exciting new mobile amateur radio with Bluetooth® connectivity for full control through its smartphone app. However, the app is currently not listed in the Google Play app store, so the initial setup can seem a little confusing. So, how do you find, install and use the VGC VR-N7500 Android app with your radio?

    In this video, Danny from Buy Two Way Radios shows you how to install the app on your android smartphone and connect it to your VGC VR-N7500 mobile amateur radio.

  • The VGC VR-N7500 Mobile Amateur Radio video

    In this video, Danny from Buy Two Way Radios introduces the new smartphone controlled, Bluetooth® enabled VR-N7500 mobile amateur radio from VGC.

    Now, VGC is not a very well known brand in the US ham radio market, but they have been around internationally for a while. VGC is an acronym for Vero Global Communication, and you may also find them referred to as Vero Telecom Solutions. We've reviewed one of their products on our YouTube channel before, but until now we've never offered any of their products for sale on our web site at Buy Two Way Radios.

    So what caught our attention about the VR-N7500 that made us decide to partner with VGC? For starters, this radio is very unique and innovative.

    The combination of a remote display through a smartphone and wireless Bluetooth integration make this a solid choice for anyone looking for a clean, out of site vehicle install. Combine that with a value price. This radio is not perfect, but it's got a lot going for it.

    The first thing most people are going to notice about the VR-N7500 is that it's missing a typical display. That's because VGC moved all of the functions that you would normally perform through the radio's display into its smartphone apps, which are available for Android and iOS.

    You'll use the app to change channels or add new ones. You can adjust all of the radio settings. There's a FM radio and some type of Morse Code decoder. The main screen of the app is a map that shows your location, and there may be a way to show the location of those you are communicating with. The app even has support for APRS and network channels that take advantage of your smartphone's network connection for Communication.

    The app is absolutely core to this radio and is even the way that firmware updates are delivered. Look for more videos from us in the near future going more in depth with these apps.

    The Bluetooth® accessory support and integration options are almost as core to this radio as the smartphone app. You don't technically need to use Bluetooth audio with the radio, but eliminating wires makes it a more enjoyable experience.

    There are two ways to use Bluetooth audio with the VR-N7500. First is with the optional Bluetooth hand mic. This mic works the same way as the included wired mic, but without the wire. Second, if your car has Bluetooth support built-in, you can have the radio integrate with your vehicle speakers and microphone the way a phone call would. You just need the optional Bluetooth push to talk button accessory so that you have a way to indicate when to transmit. The Bluetooth PTT is battery powered and includes a strap for attaching it to a steering wheel or shifter knob.

    The best way to experience this radio is with your smartphone on and accessible, using the Bluetooth hand mic or the car audio with the Bluetooth PTT. This allows you to have the radio connected but stowed out of the way, such as under a seat or even in your trunk.

    For core radio features, the VR-N7500 has everything that you'd expect. It's an analog dual band radio supporting the 2 meter and 70 centimeter ham frequency ranges. It offers 50 watts of power on 2 meter and 40 watts on 70 centimeter. It supports a large and undefined number of 16 channel zones.

    It is a very solid radio with a fairly thick metal frame. There's no internal speaker - all sound is output through your choice of the included hand mic, your connected smartphone or tablet, or a connected Bluetooth® accessory. The included wired hand mic has a loud speaker and buttons for adjusting the channel or volume. The mic is missing the standard clip attachment that you might be used to, but it's replaced with a strong magnet. That makes it much easier at attach or detach, particularly while driving.

    The VGC VR-N7500 includes a mounting bracket, mounting hardware and a power cable. Optional Bluetooth Hand Microphone and Bluetooth Ring Push-to-Talk Button are available separately.

    There's a lot to like about this radio, but there are a few things that need to be improved.

    ​First, there isn't a manual. The app has a non-working link to a manual, so it is expected they plan to have one at some point.

    This radio has some really advanced functionality, like location tracking, APRS, network channels, cross band repeat from network to analog. It would be nice if some of these things were documented. Also, the Android app is great - it's clear that's the one they've chosen to develop first because it works great and has tons of features. But unfortunately it isn't available in the Google Play app store, so you have to download and install the app manually. That isn't hard, but the app store would be preferred.

    The iOS app is available through the app store, but it is more limited and at the moment is missing some of the advanced functions. This is a new product and the hardware seems well done and complete, but features are still being added to the apps and the firmware.

    That said, we are impressed with the VR-N7500 and we think that a lot of hams will love it.

    The radio is currently available to ship today. Order it through our web site at Buy Two Way Radios.

  • Oktoberhamfest deals on amateur radios!

    Oktoberhamfest DealsIt's October, and you know what that means. Autumn leaves, fall weather, and - Oktoberfest! This year, the Fall season also brings falling prices, so we're celebrating with our first annual OktoberHamFest! Celebrate with us at Buy Two Way Radios with these OktoberHamFest deals on amateur two way radios!

    Buy a Wouxun KG-UVN1 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio during our OctoberHamFest Sale and get 10% off plus FREE Shipping!

    The Wouxun KG-UVN1 is a 2 meter/70cm DMR digital amateur radio with 3072 channels, 160,000 contacts (yes, that's one hundred sixty thousand) and Wouxun's full color LCD display. It is capable of operation in analog or digital modes, with a 2600mAh battery pack for extended uptime and the rugged durability of a business radio. Read the product page for a full list of features.

    It's regularly priced at $159.99. During our Oktoberhamfest, the Wouxun KG-UVN1 is on special for only $143.99! You also get FREE SHIPPING!! Plus, for a limited time, buy a KG-UVN1 and get the programming cable with software, FREE! You can buy your new Wouxun KG-UVN1 here. Offer valid until October 31, 2019 or while supplies last.

    Want a great quad band base/mobile ham radio at a great price? The Wouxun KG-UV980P Quad Band Base/Mobile Two Way Radio is it! Plus, get an extra 10% off during our OctoberHamFest Sale!

    The KG-UV980P is a 2 meter, 6 meter, 10 meter and 70cm mobile/base station radio with up to 50W on VHF and 40W on UHF. It regularly sells for $299, but during our Oktoberhamfest Sale, you can get it for only $269.99 plus FREE SHIPPING! This offer expires October 31, 2019, and is available only while supply lasts!

    Buy a Wouxun handheld radio, get a FREE Nagoya Antenna!The Nagoya NA-701 is a dual band 2m/70cm antenna for your Baofeng UV-5R or Wouxun HT two way radio. The NA-701 is a popular choice among ham radio operators for dual band amateur handheld two way radios. Get one FREE during our OctoberhamFest Sale when you buy a select Wouxun Portable Handheld Two Way Radio!

    Of course, there is no purchase limit. This offer expires October 31, 2019 or while supplies last. So why wait? Get yours now!

    The following models qualify for a FREE Nagoya antenna:

    Oktoberhamfest at Buy Two Way Radios runs through the month of October and ends October 31, 2019 or until we run out of these products. No rain checks. Questions? Comments? Leave them below.

  • The Wouxun KG-UVN1 is a DMR Dual Bander for the serious ham

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way RadioA few years ago, Wouxun entered the digital radio market with the KG-D901 DMR radio. Now the company is adding a new, improved DMR model to its product line. It's the Wouxun KG-UNV1, and it could just be the next disrupter in the DMR radio world.

    This isn't a dinky little digital transceiver on a chip. It's a real, professional grade radio designed for business use, with the power and features to match.

    At first glance, the KG-UVN1 looks like a cross between the KG-D901 and a KG-UV9D, with a little of the KG-UV899 keypad thrown in. On closer inspection, it's definitely different from all three. It lacks the bulging curvature of the D901, has a wider horizontal display than the 9D, and is considerably larger than the 899. That's not to say it isn't aesthetically pleasing. On the contrary, it is quite a handsome radio. It just has its own style, and considering its intended functionality, it fits in well.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 Left SideThe KG-UVN1 is a powerful dual band handheld, with a powerful set of features to match. What we have is a 4 watt UHF, 5 watt VHF radio capable of operating in both digital and analog modes. It supports 3,072 channels, 250 zones, 255 receive groups, and 1,024 contacts. it has a full DTMF keypad, programmable buttons, and Wouxun's signature full color LCD display. It features Private Call, Group Call and All Call, Direct Mode and Repeater Mode, Text Messaging in Digital Mode, an ARTS function, and digital voice encryption. It has CTCSS and DCS in analog mode, remote monitor, remote check and remote enable/disable functions.

    And, like many import radios, it also has a built-in FM radio and a flashlight. Apparently Wouxun considers these last two as standard features for a commercial grade business radio, because they make it a point to build them into many of their models.

    The biggest feature, however, is the number of contacts. It's a huge number. The TYT MD-2017, the TYT UV380, and Anytone AT-D878UV are popular dual band DMR digital radios, each capable of storing over 100,000 contacts. The KG-UVN1 supports one hundred and sixty thousand contacts. This is the most of any radio on the market to date, including the Anytone and TYT models. This is the single greatest advantage of the KG-UVN1 for hams and is why we think this radio could cause some disruption in the amateur arena.

    Now, Wouxun did not particularly build the KG-UVN1 for the amateur. This radio was intended for business users. It was designed as a commercial radio, and if you look at Wouxun's web site, you're going to find it advertised with 1,024 contacts and an eight hour recording function.

    But not our KG-UVN1. At our request, Wouxun modified the firmware to create an amateur version of this radio with 160,000 contacts, just for hams. To do so, they had to make some room in the radio by eliminating the recording feature. So you don't get the eight hour record time, but that space is dedicated now to contacts.

    Why is that important? If you're using the radio for amateur operation, you're going to want to load in all of the contacts for the area or region in which you are using the radios. If you're hitting a wide network of DMR repeaters, you will see the call sign of anyone who is transmitting, right on the radio. There is a global database of contacts online at radioid.net, there are over 130,000 contacts worldwide listed in their database. The kicker? You can load every contact from that database into the KG-UVN1.

    But it gets even better. As a bonus, Wouxun has preloaded the radio with these contacts. Yep, that's right. The KG-UVN1 comes pre-loaded with every contact listed in the RadioID.net database. At last count, that was nearly 130,00 contacts, or 128,948 contacts, to be exact.

    So, right out of the box, if you buy the amateur edition of the Wouxun KG-UVN1 from Buy Two Way Radios, you're going to have all the contacts in the system, and quite possibly, all the contacts in the world preloaded into the radio, at the time the radio was loaded!

    Now, as mentioned, this is a dedicated amateur version of the KG-UVN1. At the time this article was written, this radio is not Part 90 type accepted or approved by the FCC for business use. So if you buy this radio now, what you're going to get is a radio that's locked to the amateur frequencies.

    The amateur version of the KG-UVN1 operates on 420 MHz to 450 MHZ UHF and 144 MHz to 148 MHz VHF. Once the radio receives its commercial approval and its FCC ID number, it can be updated for a wider frequency range within the approved specs. So, if you buy it now, you won't be getting a radio that's going to be obsolete in awhile, you're getting a radio that can be updated in the future to open it up to commercial frequencies. At the moment, it will work just fine on the amateur frequencies only.

    But then, if you're a licensed amateur radio operator, and you're buying this for amateur use, you really shouldn't need it to operate outside the ham bands anyway. Just sayin'.

    Some of the less prominent features are also somewhat interesting. These are all security related. Wouxun considers security and privacy important for business communications, so it added a few extra features to ensure the radio itself is secure for use in the field. These include the ability to set a security password for programming the radio and the ability to hide the menu or selected menu items from the end user. Wouxun also lists a feature called Menu Encryption, although at the time this article was written, it did not seem to actually exist in the list of menu options. It's no deal breaker, and probably not anything most hams would use anyway, but since Wouxun printed it in their manual and on the box, it's worth noting.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 with battery packThe Wouxun KG-UVN1 is powered by a high capacity 2600mAh (19.24Wh) Lithium-ion battery pack. It is similar to the optional high capacity battery pack available for the KG-UV8D, although taller and heavier in weight. It weighs in at 4.41 ounces, compared to the 4.23 ounce battery for the 8D. It does make the radio seem heftier, but it also provides the N1 with substantial uptime on a full charge.

    Although the batteries and chargers are different, the KG-UVN1 is still easy to accessorize. it uses an SMA Male antenna connector, so, there are a plethora of OEM and third party antennas available that will work for it. Unlike the MD-2017, which uses a multi-pin connector, The KG-UVN1 uses the Kenwood two pin (K1) style connector commonly found on most import handheld radios such as the Baofeng UV-5R, Wouxun KG-UV8D, and TYT-MD-380. If you already have audio accessories for one or more of these radios, chances are they have this connector and they'll work with this Wouxun. That's definitely a plus for the KG-UVN1.

    Durability has never been an issue with Wouxun. This manufacturer produces high quality, business grade radios, and the KG-UVN1 is no exception. This isn't your twenty dollar disposable dual bander. The UVN1 is a professional grade two way radio with the solid, stout look and feel expected of such a device.

    Wouxun KG-UVN1 in chargerWouxun does understate the weight of this radio. According to the specs in their manual, it's 300 grams, or 10.58 ounces. It's actually over 11 ounces, or 11.71 ounces, to be exact, and that's including the high capacity battery. It may be a stout dual band DMR radio, but it's certainly not a full pounder.

    Then there is the price, and that's the best part. For all that's packed into this radio, the Wouxun KG-UVN1 is priced at only $159.99. That's a heck of a deal. It's the same price point as the MD-2017, and significantly less than the Anytone AT-D878UV. All things considered, it's a great price for this radio.

    In fact, this radio matches up very well to the MD-2017, but the UVN1 has some advantages that put it on top of the TYT and all the other amateur DMR radios on currently the market. The number of contacts, solid construction, high capacity battery, powerful feature set, compatibility with existing audio accessories and budget friendly price all combine to make the Wouxun KG-UVN1 a DMR Dual Bander for the serious ham.

    Want to learn more about the Wouxun KG-UVN1? Listen to an in-depth discussion about this new dual band DMR radio in Episode 137 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast!

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