Sunday, July 5, 2020

Wouxun KG-UVD1P, KG-UV2D and KG-UV3D Tips And Hints For Eyes-Free Operation

This is a combination of source material from Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV, and others (http://www.bytebrothers.net/Wouxun_KV-UV6D.htm).

73
Chris
KA0ZRW

Wouxun KG-UVD1P Tips And Hints For Eyes-Free Operation

The Wouxun KG-UVD1P, KG-UV2D, and KG-UV3D are inexpensive dual-band handheld radios, operating on either 2M and 70CM, or on 2M and 1.25M (222 MHz), depending on which version you purchase. These radios may be of interest to blind hams, since (unlike more expensive radios from the big three manufacturers) Wouxun has managed to implement limited speech feedback for some functions. While we would wish for more, such as voice confirmation of frequency, CTCSS/DCS settings, and so on, this radio provides a very usable alternative to other, more expensive handhelds from the traditional manufacturers.

Note: differences between the KG-UVD1P, KG-U2D, and KG-UV3D, are very minor and do not generally affect overall operation. The instructions in this document are good for all three models.

Please feel free to distribute this document. please send additions, corrections, or modifications to me via Email to buddy@brannan.name

Thanks.

Buddy Brannan, KB5ELV, buddy@brannan.name
Last Updated: 9 March 2011

Acknowledgements


Thanks to the following fine folks for assistance, additions, corrections, suggestions, and enhancements:
  • Christian, SM0UWV, for some initial hints and documentation on this radio, as well as for bringing it initially to our attention on the blind-hams Email reflector, and for some corrections to this document. Thanks to Christian and to John Fritz for providing a MS Word copy of the manual. (The PDF has no text in it, so thanks also to his OCR software.)
  • Ed Griffin, W4KMA, at www.wouxun.us, for his support, excellent service, and another quick start documentation.
  • Mike Duke, K5XU, for the CTCSS listing.
  • Dan-O for the DCS listing.
  • Michel, VE2MMK, for French translation.
  • Joe and Cheryl Lenartiene, KD4BTD and N9SRO, for providing detailed menu listings and instructions for menu options.
  • Rob Terzi, for edits and suggestions for improvement.

Inserting the Battery

Actually a KG-UV6D, but identical to a KG-UV3D.
The battery attaches to the back of the radio, much like many modern handhelds.

With the radio face down, line the battery up so that the battery latches are at the top of the radio. 

When the bottom of the battery is securely fit into the bottom of the radio, push down toward the top of the radio until the latches snap into place. There are two latches, one on each side, that hold the battery in place. You may need to exert a little bit of extra pressure on one side of the radio and battery to get one latch to fully engage.

Orientation

Stand the radio up with the keypad facing you. Naturally, the keypad will be the front of the radio, and we will discuss the radio in this orientation.

On the top, from left to right, you will find the antenna jack, the channel selector knob, and the on/off/volume knob. There are also three LED indicators.

The left side, from top to bottom, has the PTT switch, the programmable function button, which also sends a 1750 Hz tone if held together with the PTT switch, and the lamp/monitor button. The lamp/monitor button turns the light on and off if pressed briefly, or, if held down for a second, will open the squelch until released. Behind the PTT switch, you will find the left battery release latch.

The right side of the radio has the speaker/mic jacks, which is also where you connect the computer programming cable. These jacks are under a cover. To open the cover, pull the top of the cover up with your thumbnail and rotate it away from the jacks 180 degrees. To the rear of this cover, you will find the right-hand battery release latch.


Of course, the front of the radio is where most of our attention will be focused. At the top of the front panel is a fairly large speaker grille. The speaker grille also includes the microphone, a tiny hole above the left of the two rectangular buttons. These two buttons are separated, one on the left and one on the right of the front panel. The left button is the A/B button, used to switch between active bands. 

The right button is labeled TDR. Pressing this toggles the "dual receive" function on and off. 

When transmitting, this button also switches power levels.

Below these two buttons is the LCD display, and below that is what looks like a traditional DTMF keypad, having four rows of four buttons each.

This keypad, however, isn't exactly traditional in its layout. The top four buttons are the menu button (used to open the settings menu), the up and down buttons, and the cancel button. In transmit, these buttons send A, B, C, and D DTMF tones. Below these, you will find (left to right, top to bottom): 1, 2, 3, and scan/reverse (which is also the star key); 4, 5, 6, 0; 7, 8, 9 lock (which sends pound).

Turning the Radio On


To turn the radio on, turn the power/volume knob to the right until it clicks on. You will hear four beeps, followed by an announcement of the radio's mode. You will hear "Frequency" for VFO mode or "Channel" followed by the current channel number for memory mode. The first time you turn the radio on, it will be in "Frequency" mode with "dual" receive mode enabled. 

Previous versions of the radio always power up with the A band as active and the "dual" receive option turned on. More recent runs remember the radio's last power on state, but the first time any of these radios is powered on out of the box, the A band is active. This means that newer models remember whether "dual" receive is on, and which band (A or B) was last active. This makes getting to a known state a bit more challenging, so if you program in a repeater that doesn't seem to work, you may not be on the band you thought you were.

In order to make using this radio a little easier, I recommend pressing the TDR button the first time you power on the radio to turn the "Dual" function off. The volume level for both channels is the same, and I at least find that it is less confusing to have the dual watch turned off. If you have a newer generation of the radio, manufactured from somewhere around December of 2010 or later, the "dual" receive will now remain off until you press the TDR button again to turn it on. If your radio is an older version, you will need to turn the "dual" receive off every time.

You can easily check whether your radio will remember the "dual" setting by setting one of the bands to your local NOAA weather channel, then switching the "dual" mode off. Then, turn the radio off, then on again. Switch between the A and B bands, and if you still hear the weather channel, you probably have a version without the new feature.

I have been putting the "dual" in quotes, because it isn't really dual receive. It's more like dual watch, because audio from only one channel or the other is heard at any given time.

On newer versions of these radios, it is possible to forget which band is active, as there are no audible indications of which band is currently selected. This makes one thing to keep track of while in frequency mode. I would be interested in collecting some workaround strategies that people find to overcome this design change.

A Note About the Menu Key

When the Menu key is pressed, the radio will say "Function select", not "Menu". However, the key is labeled "Menu". This key also functions as "Enter". Thus, after modifying a menu option, press the Menu key again to accept the change.

Changing Channels Or Frequency

You can set the frequency by turning the selector knob, by using the up/down buttons, or by entering the frequency or channel number directly. Note that the numbers speak when pressed. Enter all digits for frequency, i.e. 146520 or 444100, and three digits for the channel number, i.e. 001, 024, or 114.

Further, at least in the U.S., channel spacing is usually 15 or 20 KHz. Because the radio will round to the nearest frequency for the frequency step spacing it is set up with, it is probably a good idea to be sure you have both bands set to the 5 KHz spacing (it may be set to 12.5 KHz spacing out of the box). Press Menu, 1, Menu, 0, Menu to accomplish this. Be sure to do this on both bands by pressing the A/B button and repeating the above steps. See the menu section below for a more complete discussion.

Programming Memories

You can program memories either with a standard split or with odd splits. Remember that once a memory is programmed, it cannot be changed, short of deleting it and starting over, or by using dealer mode.

For making programming and navigation a little easier, I recommend programming standard offset values into each of the two bands while in "Frequency" mode. Since most people will probably use 2M repeaters more often, put the 2M offset in band An and the 440 offset in band B.

Note: While using the menu options, you only have a couple seconds to make selections. If, in the middle of an operation, you hear three short beeps, the radio has exited the menus and returned to normal operation, and you will need to start over.
  1. Turn the radio on. Ensure that the radio is set to "Frequency" mode. If it isn't, press Menu, then TDR to put it in frequency mode.
  2. Press Menu, 2, 3, Menu. You will hear "Function select" when you press Menu the first time; then the numbers will beep, and finally the radio will say "Frequency select".
  3. press 0, 0, 6, 0, 0. Then press Menu. The radio will say "Enter".
  4. Press cancel to exit the menu. You will hear three short beeps to indicate that you have exited the menu.
  5. Press the A/B button. This will make the B band active.
  6. Repeat steps 2-4, this time typing in 0, 5, 0, 0, 0 after the radio says "frequency select".

Now, you can easily program in repeater channels. Simply program 2 meter frequencies using band A, and program in UHF frequencies by using band B.

Channel Parameters can't be changed or overridden

You cannot change or even temporarily override a channel's parameters such as transmit frequency shift or CTCSS tone. In the radio's standard operating mode, a channel is unchanging and unchangeable, without deleting and re-creating it. Attempts to change the stored value will appear to work until you hit the final Menu key press to save the change. 

Instead of saving your change the radio will beep three times. You can't even make temporary changes to the operating parameters for the current channel without saving them to the channel memory. There is a special mode, where a channel's data can be overwritten by putting the radio in "dealer" mode, discussed below.

Note that you can temporarily change the transmit power on a channel by pressing the TDR button while the PTT button is engaged. The new power level will remain active until you turn the radio off. When you turn the radio on again, the programmed power level will be in use again.

To program in a repeater channel (with standard offsets):
  1. Choose the band that has the repeater offset amount you need.
  2. If you are in channel mode, press function then TDR. Remember, channel mode will speak the channel number if you rotate the tuning knob.
  3. Enter the repeater frequency, such as 147060.
  4. Press Menu, 2, 4, Menu. The radio will say, "Frequency direction".
  5. Press 0 for simplex, 1 for a positive offset, and 2 for a negative offset. Then press Menu again. The radio will say "Enter".
  6. Set the CTCSS or DCS codes for transmit and receive, as appropriate. These are in menus 15 and 16 for CTCSS receive and transmit, 17 and 18 for DCS receive and transmit. See below for more details.
  7. If the menu has exited, indicated by three short beeps, press the Menu key to re-enter the menu. While in the menu, press 2, 7, Menu. The radio will say "Channel memory".
  8. Enter a channel number from 001 to 128. However, be sure not to use a channel number that has already been programmed since the radio will not let you overwrite a stored memory in it's regular operating mode.

Remember, during all steps, you only have a couple seconds to press these keys. If you hear three short beeps, the menu has exited, and you will need to start the current operation over.

Programming A Repeater With An Odd Split


Alternatively, you can specify your own transmit and receive frequencies. In brief, you would program in the receive frequency first, then program in the transmit frequency in the same way. This procedure may be easier, or more reliable, than using the standard programmed offsets, in case you forget which band is active. That way, you can have exact control over where you are transmitting.

To demonstrate, here is how you would program in the infamous 147.435 repeater in Los Angeles into memory 99. This repeater has an output frequency of 147.435 and an input frequency of 146.400, a decidedly very odd split. As there is no CTCSS tone, we won't worry with that in this example.
  1. If in channel mode, press Menu, then TDR, to switch to Frequency Mode.
  2. Press 1, 4, 7, 4, 3, 5.
  3. Press Menu, 2, 7, Menu. The radio will say "Channel Memory". Then, type 0, 9, 9, Menu. The radio will say "Receiver memory" (or something vaguely like that).
  4. Wait a second, or press cancel to exit the menu. If you hear three beeps, you're out of the menu and can continue.
  5. Press 1, 4, 6, 4, 0, 0.
  6. Press menu, 2, 7, menu. The radio will say "Channel memory". Press 0, 9, 9, Menu. The radio will say "Transmit memory". Wait a second and the radio will beep three short tones to indicate you are out of the menu. The odd split is now programmed.

Again, remember that you can use this same procedure to program standard offsets, too. As long as you know the repeater's input and output, you can program them separately if you wish, and not worry about the repeater offsets programmed in the A and B band VFO's.

Changing Between VFO And Memory Modes


You can switch easily between VFO ("Frequency") mode and memory ("Channel") mode by pressing the Menu key, followed by the TDR key (the right-hand key of the two topmost keys above the display). Note: the radio will not switch into channel mode until at least one memory has been programmed. (this may not be the case with recent revisions of the radio.)

In channel mode, rotating the selector knob or using the up/down arrow buttons will navigate through the programmed channels. A channel can be directly set by entering it's three digit number on the keypad, such as 005, 022, or 122 for channel 5, 22, or 122 respectively. The new channel number will be announced via a voice prompt.

Dealer Mode

If you need to modify a memory channel, you can do so by deleting the memory or by entering dealer mode. Dealer mode allows you to modify the contents of memory channels. Once active, dealer mode stays active until you power the radio off. The next time you turn the radio on, it will be in standard operating mode.
To enter dealer mode, hold down the number 8 while turning on the radio. After the radio beeps, let go of the 8, then type in 268160. You are now in dealer mode and can modify memory channels as needed.

Adjusting Menu Options

All menu options can be adjusted from the keypad. You can either scroll through the menu with the selector knob, with the up/down buttons, or by directly selecting the menu option you want by number. So that you can most easily keep track of where you are, I believe selecting options numerically is easiest, as there is, again, no audible indication of when the beginning or end of the menu is reached, and the menus wrap.

Likewise, menu options can be adjusted numerically. However, unlike the main menu, menu option adjustments start at 0, not at 1. For instance, selecting menu 4 (to adjust the power level), you can then press 0 for low power or 1 for high power. For offset direction (menu 24), you can select 0 for no offset, 1 for a plus offset, or 2 for a minus offset. So, as menu options below are listed, the first option is always number 0, not number 1.

To adjust the menus, press the Menu key, which is the first key on the first row of the main keypad. You will hear "Function select", at which time you can then enter a menu number, turn the selector knob, or press the up/down buttons. Once you reach the menu you want, press the Menu key again. In most, though not all, cases,, you will hear voice confirmation of the name of the menu item you have selected. In the cases where you do not hear a voice confirmation, you will just hear a beep. Adjust the parameter by pressing numbers, up/down arrows, or rotating the selector knob, then press the Menu key again. As before, you will hear a vocal confirmation or a beep. You can then choose another menu item or press the cancel button to exit the menu. If you do nothing for a couple seconds, the menu will exit automatically. In either case, you will hear three short beeps to confirm you are no longer in the menu system. You will also hear these three beeps if you do something that doesn't work or if you have entered an empty memory channel.

Below is a listing of all menus and their corresponding options. Where warranted, clarification of that menu's use is also listed.


  1. Step; Frequency Step (0: 5 KHz; 1: 6.25 KHz; 2: 10 KHz; 3: 12.5 KHz; 4: 25 KHz; 5: 50 KHz; 6: 100 KHz)
  2. SQL/Le; Squelch Level (0: Open to 9: Closed)
  3. Save; Battery Save during receive (0: Off; 1: On)
  4. TXP; Transmit Power Level (0: Low; 1: High)
  5. Roger; "Roger Beep", sends a tone at the beginning and/or end of transmission (0: Off; 1: End of transmission; 2: Beginning of transmission; 3: Both Beginning and end of transmission)
  6. TOT; Transmit Timeout, maximum transmission time, adjustable in 15 second intervals (0: 15; 01: 30; 02: 45; 03: 60; 04: 75; 05: 90; 06: 105; 07: 120; 08: 135; 09: 150; 10: 165; 11: 180; 12: 195; 13: 210; 14: 225; 15: 240; 16: 255; 17: 270; 18: 285; 19: 300; 20: 315; 21: 330; 22: 345; 23: 360; 24: 375; 25: 390; 26: 405; 27: 420; 28: 435; 29: 450; 30: 465; 31: 480; 32: 495; 33: 510; 34: 525; 35: 540; 36: 555; 37: 570; 38: 585; 39: 600) Note: Default value is 300.
  7. VOX; Voice-Operated Transmit (0: off; Levels 1-10) 
    • Note: the higher the level, the more volume required to trigger the transmission. Setting 1 is most sensitive; setting 10 is least sensitive.
  8. W/N; Wide/narrow FM Bandwidth/Deviation (0: Narrow 12.5 khz; 1: Wide 25 khz)
  9. Voice; Voice Output (0: Off; 1: Chinese; 2: English)
  10. TOA; Transmit Overtime Alarm, 10 levels (0: Off; Levels 1-10) 
    • Note: This setting allows you to specify a 1-10 second warning before the radio times out transmission according to the TOT (maximum transmission time) setting you specified in menu 6.
  11. Beep; Keypad Beep (0: Off 1: On)
  12. POnMSG; Power-On Message (0: Off; 1: WELCOME; 2: Battery Voltage) 
    • Note: Selecting option 1 shows WELCOME by default. If you personalize your power-on message (KG-UVD3), selecting option 1 will display your personalized message.
  13. BCL; Busy Channel Lockout (0: Off; 1: On)
  14. Autolok, autolocks the keypad after 15 seconds (0: Off; 1: On)
  15. R/CTC; CTCSS Decode, Use CTCSS tone to open squelch during receive. (0: Off; see list of CTCSS codes for additional options)
  16. T/CTC; CTCSS Encode, Send CTCSS tones during transmission (0: Off; see list of CTCSS codes for additional options)
  17. R/DCS; DCS Decode, Use DCS to open squelch during receive (0: Off; see list of DCS codes for additional options)
  18. T/DCS: DCS Encode, Send (0: Off; see list of DCS codes for additional options)
  19. SC/REV; Scan Resume Mode (0: TO; 1: CO; 2: SE) 
    • Note: If you select "TO", scanning will pause for five seconds on a busy channel, then continue. If you select "CO", scanning will stop when receiving signals until the radio hears 3 seconds of silence; then, the scan will resume automatically. If you select "SE", The radio will stop scanning upon receiving a signal; you must resume the scan manually if you want to continue scanning.
  20. PF1 Radio; Programmable Function Key (0: Off; 1: Scan; 2: Lamp: 3: SOS (Call Channel); 4: Radio (FM broadcast))
  21. Ch/MDF/Freq; Channel Name, Number, or Frequency Display (0: Channel Number Only; 1: Channel Number and Frequency; 2: Channel Name and Number; 3: Channel Frequency Only)
  22. ABR; Auto Backlight; (0: Off; 1: On) 
    1. If set to On, disables the back lighting for the display
  23. Offset; Transmit/Receive Frequency Split (Enter five digits for the offset amount, i.e. 00600 for 600 KHz or 05000 for 5 MHz.)
  24. SFTD: Frequency Shift/Offset Direction (0: Off (Simplex); 1: Plus; 2: Minus)
  25. Second; Stopwatch (0: Off; 1: On)
  26. CHNAME: Channel Name (This is done using the Up Arrow to select a character and the Down Arrow to accept your selection. Press Menu when you have finished programming the channel name to accept it.)
    • Note: Channel names can be up to 6 characters in length. Available characters are A-Z, question mark, plus, minus, and 0-9, in that order. 
    • When you begin to program a channel, your cursor will be in the first space. Pressing Up Arrow for the first time selects the letter A. Continue to press Up Arrow to select the character you want, then press Down Arrow to accept the selected character and move to the next space. When you press Up Arrow again, the selection will continue from where you left off. For example, if you last selected and accepted an E, pressing Up Arrow once will move you to the letter F, even though you may be on a blank space. Also, it is not possible to go backwards. For example, if you select and accept a B for your first character and then want to select an A for the next character, you must continue pressing Up Arrow until you come to A again. If you make a mistake and the wrong character is selected when you press Down Arrow, you must press the Down Arrow repeatedly to rotate through the spaces until you come to the space you want to correct. Then, use Up Arrow to select the desired character. Remember, Up Arrow will cycle characters from where you left off, so you must remember which character you selected last. If you get lost, exit and start again. You will be in the first space, and pressing Up Arrow will select the letter A. See manual for additional information.
  27. Mem/Ch; Memory Channel Program (Enter three digits for the channel number, such as 001, 057, 128)
  28. Del/Ch: Delete/Erase a Channel (Enter three digits for the channel number, such as 001, 057, 128)
  29. Reset VFO; Reset Radio Parameters (0: Reset VFO; 1: Reset All Messages) 
    • 0: Reset VFO: Restores all menu settings and VFO frequencies to factory defaults. 
    • 1: Reset All Messages: Resets the radio to factory defaults, including erasing all memory channels you have programmed. After you select your reset mode, the display prompts, "Sure?" Press Enter to confirm or Exit to cancel. Also, it is possible to set a password for the Reset All Messages prompt in the PC-based programming software. If a password has been programmed, you must enter this password before you can reset the radio.
  30. 30: SCNCD: CTCSS/DCS Scan (0: CTCSS; 1: DCS)
    • Note: Once you select your scan mode and press Enter, the radio will begin scanning for the selected tone. It must hear audio in order to scan. Once the tone has been found, you will be able to transmit using the selected tone. Unfortunately, the tone is lost if you program the frequency into memory; you must program the tone manually as you're programming the memory channel.


PROGRAMMING & SAVING THE FM RADIO (BROADCAST) CHANNELS:

The Wouxun manual totally fails in explaining how to save FM radio stations into memory. 

First off there are 2 banks to save FM radio stations in. Wouxun calls them "Team 1" and "Team 2" (dont ask me why). Each bank or "team" can save 9 stations. You can access the "teams" by pressing the "#" key when in FM listening mode. Also, you CANNOT use the programming software to save FM stations.

Ok, now on to HOW to actually save the stations:
  1. Put the radio into FM listening mode by pressing the button below the PTT key.
  2. Use the channel select knob to tune to the station that you want, for example: 95.5
  3. Press the "#" key, the display will say "Team 1" or "Team 2", keep pressing the # key until the Team (memory bank) you want is shown on the display.
  4. Press the "menu" key, the display will say "SAVE?", now press the number key where you want to save this station (only buttons 1 thru 9, "0" wont work).
You are done... At this point you can change the channel with the select knob, and verify you have saved the station by pressing the key that you saved it to earlier, it should go back to that station.

A side note here: These Wouxun radios can do dual monitor, that is listen to 2 channels (VHF or UHF), HOWEVER it is not a true dual recieve. What this means is that if you are listening to 2 channels say, "home" on Band A and "work" on Band B, if "home" transmits, the radio will hear it and STOP listening to the other band until the traffic stops. The same applies the other way around. In other words, it doesnt multi-task, it concentrates on one conversation at a time...

When listening to FM Broadcast channels, the same thing applies. Just keep in mind that while listening to FM Broadcast, it takes the place of your 2nd Band. So, say you are listening to "work" on Band B as your selected band, when you press the FM button, it will listen to the FM Station INSTEAD of Band A. Its either/or, not both. 2-way radio traffic will override FM listening.

So, you can listen to:
  • "A" + "B"
  • UHF + UHF
  • VHF + UHF
  • UHF + VHF
  • VHF + VHF
  • UHF + FM
  • FM + UHF
  • VHF + FM
  • FM + VHF

CTCSS TONES

WITH ASSOCIATED KEYPAD NUMBERS



0: off
01: 67.0
02: 69.3
03: 71.9
04: 74.4
05: 77.0
06: 79.7
07: 82.5
08: 85.4
09: 88.5
10: 91.5
11: 94.8
12: 97.4
13: 100.0
14: 103.5
15: 107.2
16: 110.9
17: 114.8
18: 118.8
19: 123.0
20: 127.3
21: 131.8
22: 136.5
23: 141.3
24: 146.2
25: 151.4
26: 156.7
27: 159.8
28: 162.2
29: 165.5
30: 167.9
31: 171.3
32: 173.8
33: 177.3
34: 179.9
35: 183.5
36: 186.2
37: 189.9
38: 192.8
39: 196.6
40: 199.5
41: 203.5
42: 206.5
43: 210.7
44: 218.1
45: 225.7
46: 229.1
47: 233.6
48: 241.8
49: 250.3
50: 254.1



DCS

WITH ASSOCIATED KEYPAD NUMBERS


000: Off
001: D023N
002: D025N
003: D026N
004: D031N
005: D032N
006: D036N
007: D043N
008: D047N
009: D051N
010: D053N
011: D054N
012: D065N
013: D071N
014: D072N
015: D073N
016: D074N
017: D114N
018: D115N
019: D116N
020: D122N
021: D125N
022: D131N
023: D132N
024: D134N
025: D143N
026: D145N
027: D152N
028: D155N
029: D156N
030: D162N
031: D165N
032: D172N
033: D174N
034: D208N
035: D212N
036: D223N
037: D225N
038: D226N
039: D243N
040: D244N
041: D245N
042: D246N
043: D252N
044: D252N
045: D255N
046: D261N
047: D263N
048: D265N
049: D266N
050: D271N
051: D274N
052: D306N
053: D311N
054: D315N
055: D325N
056: D331N
057: D332N
058: D343N
059: D346N
060: D351N
061: D356N
062: D364N
063: D365N
064: D371N
065: D411N
066: D412N
067: D413N
068: D423N
069: D431N
070: D432N
071: D445N
072: D446N
073: D452N
074: D454N
075: D455N
076: D462N
077: D464N
078: D465N
079: D466N
080: D503N
081: D506N
082: D516N
083: D523N
084: D526N
085: D532N
086: D546N
087: D565N
088: D606N
089: D612N
090: D624N
091: D627N
092: D631N
093: D632N
094: D645N
095: D654N
096: D662N
097: D664N
098: D703B
099: D712N
100: D723N
101: D731N
102: D732N
103: D734N
104: D743N
105: D754N


Monday, March 19, 2018

The true inaugural post...

Licensed: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dianasch/16518872722
Good day Internet! This is the inaugural post of my amateur radio blog.

I'm a ham radio operator and have been since 1987, when I got my Novice ticket in rural South Dakota (SD) at 14 years old. It's been a fun hobby, even though I took a break from roughly 1993-2013.

The name of the site comes from being creative with mnemonics for my US-based amateur radio call sign: KA0ZRW. See, typically it would be "Kilo Alpha Zero Zulu Romeo Whiskey". Zulu Romeo Whiskey is useful when on the air, since it's easy to understand each word and they don't sound like any other mnemonics for other letters. When I got my license when I was 14, I was looking for a way for people to remember my call easily, and after running through a few options I came up with "Zebras Running Wild". I like it because it creates an image in your mind. Kind of like when I say "don't think of rabbits", you automatically think of rabbits. :-)

I'm going to post my adventures in ham radio on this blog. If it happens to cross over into computing, information security, or other areas, I may cross post to other blogs I have. I like to keep like content on like blogs, but I'm just one person, so the thoughts are all mine, and so are the blogs!

Feel free to reach out or comment. I'm considering doing some YouTube content too, but haven't made it there yet. Trying to teach myself video editing in iMovie. If I get competent, maybe I'll end up there too.

73
Chris
KA0ZRW, "Zebras Running Wild"


Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Kenwood TK-890 Amateur Radio Mod (repost)

(Originally posted to LabRat.com)

I went to the Mike and Key Ham Fest down in Puyallup, WA in the spring of 2015. Before I showed up there, I had been thinking about a GMRS license and radios for the family. I picked up a Kenwood TKR-820 repeater, already programmed to the GMRS repeater frequencies.

Kenwood TK-790/890 control head options, basic and advanced.
I also picked up 4 Kenwood TK-890 radios. I got a "good deal". They didn't come with microphones, but I didn't see that as a big deal...while I was at the ham fest. Once I got home, I found out differently. This particular breed of radio, as a result of the genius of Kenwood, doesn't have a standard microphone plug. As a result, microphones cost $65+ each. And the aftermarket doesn't make them. Stupid. I found a lot of 7 on eBay, for a reasonable price, so now I'm in action.

Anyway, this is a repost of an article I found on a blogspot post about how to tune the TK-890 to the high end of the 70cm ham bands. That article has since disappeared and the blogspot site is no longer in existence...so, I'm reposting the content here. (Thankfully, PDF'ed the article!)

Original article:
(from Wirelessness blog from W6DTW, originally at http://sparqi.blogspot.com/2013/05/tk-890-amateur-radio-mod.html)

Over the past weekend a friend of mine asked if I would help him convert his Kenwood TK-890 mobile to work on the ham bands. I wasn't sure how successful we'd be, since most every online search came up with at best little information or at worst flat out statement saying "Nope, can't be done." As it turns out, it can't be done. Kudos to Time K for his notes posted to Radio Reference [cg, I also placed the relevant content at the end] which gave enough hints to make this happen.

In general this is how it went. My friend wanted his radio to work on the Bay-Net repeater system, which operates 443.225 with a +5 MHz TX split. TX was fine, but RX was giving a steady "beep-beep-beep..." which indicates PLL unlock.

In the PLL section, under the copper foil, [cg, for the record, mine weren't) are three adjustment pots: A = TC302, B = TC303, and C = TC301. (Don't ask why they're out of order.) According to the Service Manual, Pot A sets the PLL for the low end of the receiver range, Pot B set the high end of the receiver range, and Pot C sets the TX PLL. The goal is to monitor testpoint CV with a voltmeter and adjust for minimum voltage during RX and TX. This requires reprogramming the radio's test frequencies to match the band of interest, so you'll need the [KPG-44] software and [KPG-4] cable.

Once we had the PLL voltages minimized for RX and TX, I found that the radio's TX frequency was way off, so a frequency alignment was needed. This again required the [KPG-44] software - for some reason we couldn't get the radio in to Panel Test/Tune via the control head. It was easy enough with the KPG, once we realized you need to press "Enter" to lock the modified value.

Other things like adjusting the BPF and checking deviations should be done. In the end, the conversation was very easy and the radio is working well on the UHF amateur band.

[cg Adding this here, to make it more complete, and have information all in one place.]
From Radio Reference:
From ramal121:
"The VCO can be adjusted fairly easy with a volt meter. You just program your highest and lowest frequencies, monitor the VCO steering line voltage, check high and low (both TX and RX) and see if the voltage stays within specs. There are tweekers for both TX and RX to achieve this. And yes, if you lower your VCO's range, you will lose the top freqs, the VCO can only swing so far."

From Tim K: