I had the opportunity this afternoon to be one of the very first people to go hands-on with the new dual-band Wouxun KG-UV8D HT courtesy of Danny at BuyTwoWayRadios.com. What’s the verdict? I’m impressed!
VHF/VHF dual receive — for the win! This is a great feature and, at least for me, one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to this radio. It mixes the audio from the two frequencies so you won’t miss anything. Great feature for EmComm, especially. I personally don’t have a great need for cross-band repeat, but that’s just icing on the cake.
The text on the color screen is so much easier to read than on previous Wouxuns. There’s about twice the screen real estate and it makes the radio much more usable. Although I didn’t get a chance to play with every feature of the KG-UV8D, I can honestly say that this radio seems to be much easier to program from the keypad. I think that larger screen helps a lot. For the first time, I feel that I could field program one of these without the manual. Trust me, that’s saying something!
The radio seems slightly narrower and thinner than previous versions. This is a definite step up and it improves the ergonomics of the radio. The PTT button is large and segmented in a way that makes it hard to mistake it for a function button as with the KG-UV3D. The programmable buttons under the PTT are also cool. You can program it to activate the FM radio or to start scanning, for example. Very easy to customize.
The battery is different which is a little disappointing for those of us who have a collection of older Wouxun batteries, but I like the changes they’ve made to the way it slides on and off the chassis.
The rubber ducky antenna they include is OK, but for me a Smiley 270A would replace it in short order. And speaking of antennas, why can’t Wouxun figure out if they want to use SMA-male or SMA-female on these radios? I think we can all agree that they should just standardize on one or the other. This radio has a SMA-female connector while my KG-UV3D is SMA-male.
I’ve fallen in love with this little radio and I’ve only had it a few hours. When they begin shipping in a couple weeks, I will definitely be ordering one. While there aren’t really any must-have new features (except dual-receive), the radio just feels much more refined than other radios I’ve used that are anywhere near this price point.
Whether you’re a brand new ham looking for your first rig or you’ve been at this game for decades, you can’t go wrong with this $139 radio.
If you click through to BuyTwoWayRadios.com, you will notice that the final price of this radio is now $159. If you order this radio, don’t forget to use the coupon code 139UV8D to get the original $139 price! Not sure how long this coupon code will remain active. Your mileage may vary.