As I recently purchased a new PC I decided to program the TYT TH-UV3R using that – a departure from my Windows XP comfort zone as the new one is a Windows 8 machine. I had heard that the USB prolific serial drivers either didn’t work, wouldn’t work or required a load of hassle to get working so I was a bit perturbed. In the end it was all unfounded (for me anyway). I plugged in the USB prolific serial cable and waited. As Windows 8 didn’t install anything I checked device manager (under control panel) to see what was going on. Com 3 was showing up with an error so I downloaded the prolific serial drivers (Windows 7 as there are no dedicated Windows 8 drivers) and pointed the update driver command to the relevant file, whereupon installation took place. Within a few seconds the error had gone and communication had been established. Result!
The TYT TH-UV3R is a really compact 128 channel pocket sized radio. But don’t be fooled by its size this little radio packs a punch and is brimming with functionality.
By default the TH-UV3R is a dual band (136-174/400-470 MHz) radio, however by using the official TYT programming software full tri-band operation can be opened up (200-260 MHz) plus a decent extension to the UHF upper limit (470-520 MHz). The EU version doesn’t support 2.5kHz spacing, however the US version does. That said, its not always obvious what you’ll get so double check with the vendor prior to purchase to ensure you get what you need.
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.
So WouXun it was.