Normally, I hate spam, and when I find it in my inbox, I mark it as such, and attempt to unsubscribe, if there’s a link to do so. Even so, sometimes, when the spam is amateur radio related, I’ll take a peek. So, even though I hate to admit it, I did succumb to some spam last week.
The spam was an e-mail from Amateur Radio Supplies offering me 7.3% off my next purchase. I had never heard of Amateur Radio Supplies before, so I decided to click over to their website and see what they had for sale.
Most of the stuff they sell is pretty unremarkable. There’s a lot of MFJ stuff and some Alinco radios. What caught my eye, though, is that they were selling the Wouxoun KG-UVD1P HT for $100. With the 7.3% discount, that price would be $92.70. I Googled around a bit, and the lowest price that I could find elsewhere was $112, so I decided to buy one for myself and play around with it for a bit.
The radio arrived within a week, and I eagerly unpacked the radio. I hadn’t bought a new, in-the-box radio in years. It was all very nicely packaged, and came with a wrist strap, desk charger, and rubber ducky antenna.
I clipped the battery pack onto the radio and turned it on right away, even though the battery really needed charging. The first thing I noticed was how bright and easy-to-read the display was. I also got a chuckle from the voice that came out of the radio announcing that it was in frequency mode. The voice is female, and while the announcement was in English, it had a very distinctive Chinese accent.
At that point, I turned off the radio and set up the charger. I came back that evening, to find the battery fully charged. I’m not sure how long it took, but it definitely charges pretty quickly.
The next step was to set up some frequencies. I had heard this was very difficult to do, but I didn’t find it to be so tough, especially once you get the hang of how to work the menus. Without too much futzing, I was able to program the two repeaters that I use most. I was aided in this by the relatively decent user manual and the quick reference card. The second time I picked up the radio, I was able to figure out how to delete the two pre-programmed channels and how to get it to scan the programmed memories.
In addition to ordering the radio, I also purchased the programming cable, but it’s on back order. After programming several of the local repeaters into the HT, and seeing how easy it is to do, I’m considering canceling that order. I’m not a big VHF/UHF user, and I don’t continually update the programming of my radios, so I’m not really sure that I need that programming cable.
So, how does it work? Well, to be honest, I’ve only been able to make one contact with it so far, and that was a really short one because the other guy was driving away from the repeater and quickly was out of range. I don’t fault the radio for this, though. Like many places, the repeaters are around here are dead. I had the radio turned on all day Wednesday and only heard a couple of “kerchunks.” I don’t recall hearing an entire conversation.
I don’t really have the equipment to properly test the performance of the radio, but I will say that the receiver doesn’t seem to be as sensitive as the other HTs that I own. That’s not a big problem, though, as they’re still solid copy.
All things considered, it seems to be a decent purchase. It would be nice if there were more people to talk to, though.