Tagged: handheld

WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3 66-88/136-174 MHz Part 2

Size comparison with a BaoFeng UV-5R (right)
Size comparison with a BaoFeng UV-5R (right)

The WouXun KG-UV6D fits nicely in the hand though it is a bit bigger than say a BaoFeng UV-5R – not in height – more in girth. Its quite a chunky device weighing in at 253g and measuring up at 65x119x 39.5mm. It feels solid and well built – just like a commercial radio should.

Similarly sized the WouXun wins in the girth department!
Similarly sized the WouXun wins in the girth department!

Unlike a lot of Chinese handheld transceivers, virtually all operations can be entered/adjusted via the inbuilt menu system including naming channels which is useful in the field. Sidekey ANI functions have to be accomplished via a PC as do personal welcome messages (which include a battery voltage option or 6 character message), add to scan and priority channel monitoring. The user manual clearly states which functionality requires PC or menu entry which is useful.

When it comes to software there are quite a few options. WouXun’s official programming software, CHIRP and KGUV6 Commander written by radio amateur Jim Mitchell, KC8UNJ.

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WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3 66-88/136-174 MHz Review Part 1

WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3
WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3

Right now the Chinese are pumping out two-way radios like never before. And as regular readers will know I picked up two BaoFeng UV-5R’s recently. So impressed by these little handies it wasn’t long before I started short listing my next bit of kit. There is a bewildering choice and manufacturers seem to magically appear on a daily basis! Unfamiliar and exotic sounding names such as Huitong, Puxing, Quansheng, TYT, and Waccom (to name just a few) have all joined the battle for Western cash.

Many are simply rebadged models utilising the same internals and software, but a few really stand out from the crowd. One such example is WouXun (pronounced Wo-Shone as far as I can tell). Reputation is everything and I think its safe to say WouXun is widely accepted as the name to look for when purchasing a Chinese built transceiver.

I don’t just write reviews – I also read them. So I checked out the internet for some background information. It didn’t take long to see that the radio amateur community held WouXun in high regard. Sure there is always a bit of negative press about some aspect, but overall its was positive.

So WouXun it was.

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WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3 Preview

WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3
WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3

As a little taster of what’s to come… here is a first look at the WouXun KG-UV6D!

I have only just purchased this unit off ebay so I’m currently giving it a thorough testing, including programming it with two different software programs (CHIRP and KG-UV6 Commander – links at bottom) prior to writing the review proper.

There are numerous versions of the UV6D and this is the VHF only 66-88/136-174 MHz “International Version” (WouXun KG-UV6D-E-V3 to be precise, designed for the EU market), making it 4M (70MHz) and 2M (145MHz) friendly. It has 2.5kHz step sizes needed for US 2013 FCC narrow channel spacing compliance, but only through software programming not menu operation. 2.5kHz spacing is not necessary in Europe, but of interest to our US readers/users (more on that in the write-up).

As mentioned this transceiver is suitable for 4M/2M radio amateur bands, but I have purchased it primarily for licenced business use in the Low VHF and Mid/High VHF PMR bands.

If you have a question about this radio and its functionality please feel free to ask in the comments section and I’ll try to answer it in the upcoming review… Part 1 here.

Useful links

BaoFeng UV-5R/UV-5R+ Plus FM Transceiver Review Part 2

Buy a Baofeng UV-5R from Sain Store on Amazon.com

BaoFeng UV-5R (left) and UV-5R+ Plus (right)
BaoFeng UV-5R (left) and UV-5R+ Plus (right)

The BaoFeng UV-5 is a neatly engineered little radio. And it is little: 55mm (wide) x 150mm (L) x 27mm (D) approx (measured at widest/longest parts and with no antenna). The plastic moulding is good and belies the price tag.

Before we proceed to operating/programming, a quick tour of the unit is in order.

The tri-colour LED backlit dual frequency display sits above a small speaker that provides good clean audio. The mic aperture is positioned to the left of the speaker (viewed from the front) and just below the RX/TX LED and orange VFO/MR button. Same side and from the top is the Call button, PTT (Push To Talk) and MONI (monitor) button. On the right side is the combined SP (speaker) MIC (microphone) socket – accessed via an attached flexible plastic cover.

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TTI TSC-3000R Review

Buy a TTI TSC-3000R form Capital Stores on ebay.co.uk

TTI TSC-3000R
TTI TSC-3000R

Last updated 05 October 2013

Before I start this review I will give you a little background into the purchase.

I have been a keen airband listener for nigh on thirty years, having started off on basic analogue rotary tuning radios.

During the mid eighties, companies such as Signal and AOR started to introduce broader coverage receivers and while not perfect by today’s standards, some models incorporated the illusive military airband (225-400 MHz) not found on many units at the time. That was something I was after.

Unfortunately, prices were high and I never invested in a decent scanner until much later on – mores the pity. I ended up buying a brick like Realistic (Radio Shack) Pro-43 during the mid-nineties for about £150.

The Pro-43 wasn’t wideband by any stretch of the imagination, nevertheless it had 200 memories, was a proven performer and had full civil/military airband coverage – that clinched the deal.

As time went by I added a Realistic Pro-2042 base scanner and a Yupiteru MVT-7100 to my modest collection. In addition I had a foray into the world of HF monitoring when I picked up a discounted Radio Shack DX-394 from the now defunct Tandy retail chain.

As the nineties ended, and with military aviation assets dwindling, my interest in airband monitoring also faded somewhat and I all but dropped out of the hobby. A couple of years past and with my scanners in the attic gathering dust, I found myself online looking at the latest state of the art scanners (don‘t ask me why). That’s when I came across the all singing, all dancing Icom IC-R20. Next thing I know, I’m trading in everything and in receipt of one of the finest handheld radios ever made. My love affair with scanning had been rekindled and it wasn’t long before I added a Uniden UBC-3500XLT to my much reduced shack.

A good two years passed. The scanners were in fulltime operation – and not just airband – all sorts of stuff including local PMR, Ham, CB, Trains, Marine, HMP and even hearing aids! But with the dreaded digital age and the more “interesting” segments of the radio spectrum now silent my kit was only being used at the odd airshow. Coincidently, I needed some hard cash for another purchase so unceremoniously sold them – which finally brings me onto the TTI TSC-3000R!

I hadn’t planned on buying another scanner so soon. But I felt naked without one. So I started searching online for something basic, no frills, but with full wideband coverage (150kHz-1309MHz or so). It needed to be small, with good battery life, be 8.33kHz capable and not overly complex to use in the field. There is nothing worse than forgetting how to do something when the manual is at home and you’re not!

I set the budget – a maximum of £120 – and started looking around. To cut a long story short, there aren’t a lot of brand new wideband receivers in that price bracket, in fact just two, namely the Alinco  DJ-X3 and the TTI TSC-3000R.

The Alinco model lacks a numeric keypad and the silver paint job looked to me like it would rub off fairly readily, but uses standard batteries (3x AA) which I prefer (usually) and can be programmed by computer, albeit via an outdated serial connector (not too fussed about that aspect either). Online reviews were mixed, so I took a closer look at the Korean designed TSC-3000R.

I’d never heard of the TTI brand and couldn’t really find any useful info, other than the manufacturers website http://www.ttiuk.net/index.php and some online sellers. On the face of it, it looked quite good, had the coverage I was after, and well, for a sub £120 radio, was worth the gamble in my opinion.

I purchased this scanner new from Capital Stores on ebay.co.uk

Prior to its arrival I had mentally lowered my expectations, as having had that lovely Icom whose build quality was exceptional, there was no way the TTI would live up to that. Funnily enough, when the 3000R arrived, I was actually surprised how tidy it looked. Sure the plastic is that hard (albeit durable) shiny black stuff typically used on cheaper consumables, but that said, I was never overly impressed with the much pricier Uniden UBC-3500XLT’s plastic casing, despite it being superb in the memory and alpha numeric department.

TTI use minimalist packaging with no glossy photo style boxes – just a simple brown cardboard affair with outline graphics. Inside everything was laid out logically and safely – boxes within a box approach.

TTI TSC-3000R unboxed
TTI TSC-3000R unboxed

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