A Tale of Two Radios

KG-UV6D with antennas

KG-UV6D with antennas

I’ve recently bought a couple of Wouxun KG-UV6D handies. The first because it covers the UK 70MHz (4 metre) band, the second one because it was a bargain (£49) as I was so impressed with the first.

What did surprise me was the differences between the two models. I’ll put that down to “continuous improvement” by Wouxun. I’d already noted that the 4m version was different to the one reviewed in this article.

Clearly the 4m/2m version is the earlier of the two. This has a lower capacity battery and the SMA-J (male connector on the radio body.

4M - SMA male antenna connector.

4M – SMA male antenna connector.

4M - lower capacity 1300mAh battery

4M – lower capacity 1300mAh battery

The 2m/70cm version – probably the most common one out there – has the higher capacity battery and the SMA female connector on the radio body. This is the same connector as used on the later KG-UV8D and KG-UV9D radios and a lot of the Japanese Yaecomwood brands.

2m/70cm radio - SMA male antenna connector.

2m/70cm radio – SMA male antenna connector.

2m/70cm higher capacity 1700mAh battery.

2m/70cm higher capacity 1700mAh battery.

Both seem to perform extremely well on receive, they don’t seem to suffer the overload problems of the cheaper Baofeng sets. Looking at the schematics and service manuals posted elesewhere on-line I can see these sets use dual conversion receivers with proper filtering at the first and second IFs. They also have a built-in FM broadcast band tuner.

On transmit the 4m/2m radio was a little disappointing producing 4w on 4m and 5w on 2m. Realistically this wouldn’t be noticed unless the signal was marginal.

Programming can be done from the keyboard or with Wouxun’s own software. This software is a bit picky for me because (a) you need the specific version depending on what bands your radio has (b) It doesn’t run on Windows 8.1 so it needs to be installed on a W7 PC. Fortunately there are two alternatives;  KG-UV Commander – which again doesn’t work for me on W8.1, or the Chirp project which supports these radios and some. Chirp has versions for Linux and Mac OSX.

Power level, CTCSS and narrow/wide band can be programmed on a per-channel basis. This is excellent compared to my older Kenwood and Yaesu radios where the power and bandwidth is a global setting.

Speaker/Mic pinout is the standard Kenwood 2.5mm/3.5mm connector as used by Baoefeng and others. This also accommodates the programming cable.

Good value – definately. I’ll report any further oberservations after using them out and about.

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