I recently purchased a Wouxun KG-UV9P handheld radio. I’d been looking for a new radio for a while to replace a series of dead Chinese radios and my Yaesu VX-3R. My non-negotiable, minimum criteria for the radio were as follows:
- Dual band 144/440 mhz bands
- At least 5 watts on 2 meters
- High quality build
- Capable of transmission on FRS/GMRS
- Reasonably priced – somewhere between the Baofeng and the Japanese Yaesu/Icom/Kenwood flagship HTs.
In fact I’d been keeping an eye on the latest Japanese radios. The HT I’ve owned that pleased me the most was a Yaesu VX-3R… while it lasted. I loved its shortwave and airband receive capabilities, its tiny profile, and FM radio. Then it started shorting on transmit, triggering the batteries’ internal protection circuit. The dismal response from Yaesu made me understand that they don’t stand by their products any more than the Chinese do… despite the roughly 10x price difference.
Also, I’d not been excited by the Japanese offerings. APRS is a great feature I’ve always wanted integrated into my HT. I’d waited for the FT-3 but reviews are not great. I love the TH-D74 but wouldn’t dare take such a delicate and expensive device around all day, it would last a week. I’ve thought about purchasing an FT-1D but based on my experience with Yaesu not being at all interested in servicing their old radios, that was out. The icom HTs haven’t seem to have changed in years. Also I have zero interest in talking into a hotspot across the room over the internet using System Fusion or D-Star. So I started looking elsewhere.
I spent some time watching the buzz around the Anytone D878UV DMR radio with GPS and APRS send. But I’m just not interested in DMR, and the lack of APRS receive was a problem for me. Also, people in the Facebook group seem to have quality problems with their radios. No thanks.
The Wouxun KG-UV9P
- 9 watts VHF / 7 watts UHF (this is the claim on BuyTwoWayRadios.com. The Wouxun site rates it lower: UHF , H:6W , M:4W , L:1W; VHF , H:7W , M:5W , L:1W) – See note below under Transmit Power
- “dual band reception” – you can receive and hear two signals simultaneously on the same or different bands.
- You can even transmit on one band while you listen on the other – this is important for satellite work. I am looking forward to trying this out.
- Cross-band repeater (I have not used this function)
- AM Airband receive (108-136MHz)
- TX on 144-148MHz VHF (FM TX), 420-450MHz UHF (FM TX)
- When unlocked, TX on -36-174MHz VHF (FM TX), 400-512MHz UHF (FM TX).
- RX on 76-108MHz (FM broadcast), 136-180MHz (FM RX), 230-250MHz (FM RX), 350-400MHz (FM RX), 400-512MHz (FM RX), 700-985MHz (FM RX)
I bought the KH-UV9P from Buy TwoWayRadios.com. It arrived quickly. The price was $139.99 and included a Nagoya NA-701 rubber whip antenna. Shipment was prompt and free – ordered on a Saturday, radio arrived Wednesday.
- Great build quality. Radio is heavy and substantial.
- Screen is large and bright, I can read without my reading glasses.
- Battery life on the 3200mAh lithium ion battery is excellent. I left radio on all night on 146.52 (with occasional receive) and was still going strong this morning.
- Radio has sensitive signal strength meter for both receivers.
Programming the Radio
I was quickly able to “unlock” the frequency range to allow tx on the FRS/GMRS frequencies using the Wouxun software available for Windows on this site.
I was able to confirm that Chirp is able to program the radio using the KG-UV9D Plus profile.
For both, I used a Baofeng USB serial cable with the Prolific driver that I had lying around to program my Baofeng UV-5Rs, the last of which finally died.
Mark Lindsey from BetterSafeRadio.com tested the power out on the KG-UV9P and had this to say:
Actually, I’m starting to test all of my radios because so many of the Chinese manufacturers inflate their numbers, especially their battery mAh numbers, but all the power. I believe my meter runs a little low (need to have it calibrated again), but here’s what I got on my first pass, into a 50W dummy load:
446MHz L 2.16 M 4.46 H 6.24
146MHz L 1.25 M 4.29 H 6.71
I was also surprised to see the 9W on the B2W site – thought maybe they had secured a different version, but I’m pretty tight with Wouxun, so I don’t think that radio exists. I know that many dealers will inflate their numbers also, just for more sales, and because most people don’t really test their gear. 🙁 I’ve seen this on many other radios also, unfortunately.
In any event, assuming my numbers are a worst case (or what the radio will be doing after the battery pack has run down a little), nearly 7W on VHF is pretty nice (don’t want much more than that next to your head anyway), and having a radio that does over 5W (over 6W actually) on UHF is great.
Using the Radio
I will post more after a few days of using this radio.
Cross-Band Repeater, Satellite and MURS Information
I can verify that the KG-UV9 does work as a cross-band repeater. It was flown on a high altitude balloon and got to about 20 miles high. At that altitude it had a 400 mile footprint. It was listening on VHF and sending on UHF at a half watt.
VHF out desenses the UHF input on full duplex and repeater. That means it’ll work U/v operation for AO-85, AO-91, AO-92, and Fox-1Cliff but not V/u satellites.
I addition to FRS/GMRS it can do MURS. I am the radio lead for my friendly local CERT. I have been recommending dual band radios so that we can use MURS in peace.
73 de W6MRR