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MD-UV380

  • 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!

  • How to unlock TYT DMR radios

    Locked TYT MD-2017With the recent uncertainty surrounding the FCC and import radios, TYT has made a decision to ship all of their radios locked down to the 150-160 MHz VHF and 450-460 MHz UHF ranges.

    They actually made these changes a few months ago, and at first "unlocking" the radios to allow use outside of these limited ranges required special unlock software. With the most recent firmware release, however, TYT has made the unlock process much more simple. All of their models can now be unlocked by holding down a key combination while powering on the radios. In this article, we'll show how to unlock the TYT MD-9600 mobile radio, and the MD-380, MD-390, MD-UV380 and MD-2017 handheld radios.

    Is your radio locked?

    Radios that are locked will display frequencies outside of the 150-160 MHz and 450-460 MHz range as 150.000 or 450.000 when the radio is in frequency mode. For example, if the channel on a locked radio is programmed for 147.300, the display will show 150.000. Once unlocked, the radio will show the correct frequency. A locked radio that has been programmed to frequencies outside of the locked range does not need to be reprogrammed. After being unlocked, the radio will work properly.

    A radio will always remember that it has been unlocked, even if the battery or power supply is removed.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-9600

    The TYT MD-9600 must be running firmware version 6.09 or higher to unlock using these steps. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Power the radio on.
    • Remove all power to the radio. Note, you must remove vehicle or power supply power - you can't just turn off the radio with the power button.
    • Hold down the P1 and P2 buttons on the front of the radio.
    • Power up the radio while holding these buttons until the power on tone sounds.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    The TYT MD-2017 must be running firmware version 4.06 or higher to unlock using these steps. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Turn the radio OFF.
    • On the side of the radio, hold down the top (blue) button and the UP arrow key.
    • Turn the radio ON while holding down these buttons.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Unlocking the TYT MD-380, MD-390, and MD-UV380

    The TYT MD-380 or MD-390 must be running firmware version 14.07 or higher to unlock using these steps. The MD-UV380 requires version 18.03 or higher. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Turn the radio OFF.
    • Hold down side buttons 1 and 2.
    • Turn the radio ON while holding down these buttons.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Why did TYT do this?

    Great question, and one that we can't get a clear answer to. Based on our understanding of the FCC rules, TYT should be able to ship the radios as long as their supported range is within what is allowed on the grant from the FCC. For the MD-2017, for example, the grant shows 136-174 MHz and 406.1-480 MHz. I can only assume that this has been done out of an overabundance of caution. It would be understandable if they were unsure about how the FCC will be enforcing the rules, and don't want to take any risks at all. In the meantime, unfortunately, customers are confused and left with products that look to be defective, although they are actually operating as designed.

  • TWRS-123 - TYT MD-UV380 DMR Radio Smackdown

    Two Way Radio Show
    We put the new TYT MD-UV380 in a three way match up against the popular TYT MD-380 and the MD-2017. We'll also tell you about updates to the Wouxun KG-D901 DMR radio and give you an update on the status of the proposed tariffs on Chinese transceivers.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:38

    Discussion Topic 1:56
    We talk about the new TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR digital two way radio and put it in a three way match up against the popular TYT MD-380 and what is widely considered the first dual band DMR handheld on the market, the MD-2017. We'll compare the features of these three radios, respond to some of your comments and questions about the UV380 and tell you which model we think offers the best value for the price.

    Wouxun KG-D901 Update 17:58
    Response to a question about updates to the Wouxun KG-D901 DMR radio

    Status of Chinese tariffs on Transceivers 21:13
    We give you an update on the status of the proposed tariffs on Chinese transceivers

    Linking GMRS Repeaters 23:36
    We talk about an article in National Communications Magazine about connecting GMRS repeaters across the Internet. Could this be the next big thing for GMRS?

    Questions and Answers 30:53
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 38:52
    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!

    © 2018 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • TWRS-122 - New Two Way Radios For 2018

    Two Way Radio Show
    We tell you about some new two way radios for 2018. We also review the Motorola SL-300 Portable Two Way Radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:18

    Discussion Topic 1:35
    We discuss some of the latest in the world of Two Way Radios for 2018. We'll tell you about a new model in the Kenwood business radio line, some surprising news and a great deal from Midland, a new Limited Edition radio kit from Wouxun and a new DMR radio from TYT.

    Product Review 28:19
    We review the Motorola SL300 Portable Two Way Radio.

    Questions and Answers 35:46
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 39:10
    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!

    © 2018 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • TWRS-121 - Tariffs on Chinese Two Way Radios?

    Two Way Radio Show
    We discuss the proposed tariffs on Chinese two way radios. We also review the new TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band Digital DMR Two Way Radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:16

    Discussion Topic 1:35
    We discuss proposed tariffs on Chinese two way radios. We'll tell you what they are, why they were proposed and speculate on the possible effects of the tariffs on the US market and your wallet, if these tariffs go into effect. You can read the entire notice in the Federal Register.

    Product Review 31:56
    We review the new TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band Digital DMR Two Way Radio coming soon.

    Questions and Answers 41:18
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 44:23
    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!

    © 2018 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • Announcing the TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR Radio

    TYT MD-UV380
    We received an announcement from TYT last night that a new DMR radio will be coming soon. We haven't received a lot of details, but it looks to be a refreshed MD-380 that is dual band (UHF/VHF). Click here to view a brochure with specifications.

    Nothing is set in stone at this time, but TYT is targeting April, 2018 to begin production with a retail price of around $149.

    We were told that a sample would be shipped to us next week, so stay tuned for updates and more details! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below! We'll pass your questions along to TYT and answer them in our next update.

    Update May 17, 2018 - List price is $129 for the non-GPS model. A GPS model will be released later for $139.

    Update May 29, 2018 - The TYT MD-UV380 is here! It's now in stock and available in limited quantity from Buy Two Way Radios.

    Related Resources
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-123 - TYT MD-UV380 DMR Radio Smackdown
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-122 - New Two Way Radios For 2018
    The Two Way Radio Show TWRS-114 - Dual Band Handheld Two Way Radios
    Tytera MD-380 Digital Radio Unboxing video

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