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Author Topic: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios  (Read 4906 times)

Offline Mister Skin

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Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« on: May 25, 2012, 11:49:16 AM »
Good Afternoon,

I was listening to one of the PLA Radio episodes and there was a fellow who called in to leave a voicemail on how to duplicate what had been done at the drive-thrus. RBCP mentioned to an earlier caller that they had used a Yaesu VX-5 and a Yaesu VX-7 but the guy said that those were too expensive.

Enter the Wouxun!

In the last few years, China has entered the Amateur Radio market, usually with clones of radios made by Yaesu. One of these radios, the Baofeng UV-3R, is a 2 watt copy of the Yaesu VX-3R at around 1/4 the price. And the good thing is, it has extended transmit and receive :)

Wouxun is the main competitor, and their KG-UVD1P is very well priced at around 100$. The radio is dual-banded, meaning you can transmit and receive in 2 different frequency ranges: 2 meter amateur and 70 cm amateur. Most dual band HTs by Yaesu are at lest 250$, so these are selling very well.

I bought a KG-UVD1P and ended up widebanding it so I could transmit out of band. You do it all through free software available on the web easily instead of opening the thing up and removing a diode or jumper. This is much safer too and you don't have to worry about destroying the radio.

What this means:

Open transmit and receive on retail stores, drive thrus, and just about any user of portable radio.

Remember: Do this at your own risk, and stay off Police and Fire frequencies. You think you can't get caught, but signal triangulation is an easy thing.

I had some ideas I wanted to throw around just for the lulz, but I want to see if anyone is into radios/scanners here first.

Thanks!

Mister Skin
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Offline Legion303

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 04:08:28 PM »
That is bad ass. I have the old KG-689 in UHF and VHF models (two single-band HTs), and they have never let me down. I'll have to check out some of the newer models. It's worth noting that these ran me around $80 each shipped, so it sounds like the dual-band model is a steal.

EDIT: bought one.
« Last Edit: June 04, 2012, 04:41:18 PM by Legion303 »

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 07:37:44 PM »
The KG-689 are still popular at hamfests- I see them go for around 50$ used and they sell.

The KG-UVD1P, when opened, will do open xmit/receive on 137-174, and I think 400-470. This means all of GMRS, FRS, MURS, retail store radio services and whatever else you can find is at your mercy! Just remember: Some of the retail stores are PL protected, so you will usually have to decode their PLs. RadioReference.com and carmachicago.com were good resources for me that had some of these frequencies and their PLs.

I have noticed that some of the mall stores near me tend to use the range of 467.700 on up- do a 12.5k step search and if you are near stores like Target, OfficeMax, etc, you will hear associates talking. Best Buy also uses these in my area as well.

So you bought one of these? Sweet! I think you can get the whole package with the programming cable for cheap now....
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Offline Legion303

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 05:49:29 AM »
Yeah, I got the radio + 1700 battery and 12V battery eliminator for $110 shipped from a US warehouse, then I won an auction for the USB programming cable for $1 shipped, same seller. Radioreference is nice, but I've found the FCC's own listings to be great for finding things.

If the 689s are going for $50/each, I may try selling both of mine at the next swap and finance the new one.

The only downside about the UVD1P that I can see so far is the 128 memory slots. I have that many for each of the VHF and UHF radios...going to get a bit crowded on the new radio.

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 08:21:30 AM »
Thats a decent score for 110$, considering that they charge 20-30$ alone for the programming cable if it's not bundled in some kind of deal, often with other accessories or a different configuration you don't want...

I noticed that the radio has excellent battery life and can really hold its own when its fully charged. The only thing I didn't care for was trying to program this radio manually without the software- it is possible, but very difficult. It's as if the Chinese wanted you to do it by buying the software/PC Link that they made it as hard as possible to program.

I don't know if it's Mil-spec, but it's pretty damn close- I've dropped this radio off my bike onto the pavement and nothing happened each time. I am not going to test it for water resistance, though. :)

Having  one of these radios (modified preferably) and a handheld cheap frequency counter can really open a can of mischief
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:21:06 AM by Mister Skin »
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Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2012, 04:10:09 AM »
Did the radio arrive yet? I remember you said you had won the cable on auction and got the radio/battery/eliminator for 110$...That will come in VERY handy for Defcon!

I also recommend one of those cheap Chinese freq counters when you can't find the freq your looking for in your file....
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Offline Legion303

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #6 on: June 17, 2012, 05:15:51 AM »
Yep, got it last week and the stubby antenna soon after. I'm happy with the firmware usability tweaks--the 689 will kick you out of the menu when the current freq gets any spurious activity, which got really annoying when trying to find the right PL, while the UVD doesn't do that. The tone scan is also pretty handy, but it would be even better to have something like Uniden's Close Call. Overall I'm happy with the radio so far. Haven't hit the 128 storage limit yet.

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2012, 10:27:17 AM »
I think I have maybe 30 memories used- I just manually punch the freq in when needed, of course I ended up also manually programming mine, which was a pain in the ass...

Did you d/l one of the handwritten free programming software packages out there? That's how you wideband the radio.

I also widebanded my Kenwood TH-F6A, which has a much wider frequency base. That required a diode/jumper removal, but was quite easy nonetheless. Both are good for anything you might need it for, except 900 mHz related ops...

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Offline Legion303

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2012, 05:49:36 PM »
Mine was already wideband. Even though I got it from a US distributor it says "International version" on the back and has no FCC ID, which is weird because AFAIK it was Part 90 certified before it hit the market...

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2012, 05:07:29 PM »
Baofengs and Quangshengs aren't certified, at least they werent 6 months ago. You could key up anywhere as long as you knew their PL tone. The Baofeng UV-3R is a nice rig for 40 bucks, 50 shipped. Its a stone ripoff of the VX3R Yaesu and does it all and more...

Where did you get yours? I got mine over a year ago and I had to do the software mod :(
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Offline Legion303

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2012, 07:02:32 PM »
Got it on ebay, with a serial of L0 something, which I believe means it was manufactured in 2012.

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2012, 10:31:32 AM »
Just checked and mine is a K series S/N. Some eBay sellers must already wb these radios depending on where they are being sold to. Most stuff out of Hong Kong is wide open though. I was told the radio I had came from either NC or SC, so it probably is FCC compliant- at least originally....
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Offline hamburger

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #12 on: July 19, 2012, 11:31:37 AM »
I found the unlocker program and was able to get my uv3d to rx/tx on anything I tell it to...  Pretty nuts it's this easy to mod.  I imagine the radio is not techinically able to tx on anything far outside of the frequency it was built for, does anyone know what a 2m/70cm radio could actually transmit on?

Offline Mister Skin

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2012, 06:15:31 AM »
Hey Hamburger,

The Wouxun HT in any of its many configurations could and should be able to transmit within the confines of the VHF and UHF segments. It's dual band antenna is tuned for both optimum operations on 2 meters and 440 mhz, give or take. It won't work on anything higher or lower due to the fact the SWRs would be dangerously high, even for an HT, and if you wanted to use this in the microwave band and made it work, 5 watts is potentially dangerous to your health at those frequencies. I have seen Microwave Feed Horns with the "do not look at directly while transmitting" for the risk of forming cataracts, and this is at 10 watts!

If you tried using it below 30 mhz, you wouldnt get anywhere and the SWRs could possibly shitcan your HT. Possibly.

So basically, 130-180, 400-500 is all I can say as far as what you'd be able to safely transmit on. And forget the air bands on 118 to 136, those are on AM  :(

I hope this answered your question

Best regards,

MS

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Offline hamburger

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Re: Fun with Wouxun Ham Radios
« Reply #14 on: July 20, 2012, 06:42:29 AM »
Thanks for the informative reply, pretty much what I figured.  Of course, transmitting on any frequency I'm not licensed to is illegal so it was more of a theoretical question.  What do you think about rx on frequencies outside of 2m/70cm, could the radios physically do it?

 

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