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.
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.
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.
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.