outdoors hunting camping SHTF GMRS radio communications antenna battery electronics scanners digital computer software hardware laptop iPad iPhone eBay music radio
.

 

 
Product Review
 
Wouxun KG-UV8D
VHF/UHF Handheld
April 24th, 2014

   
Advertised
Image
Some radios are delivered with:
Black Buttons & Light Blue LCD
 
 
 
What's in the BOX
Inside the package was a nicely written, 60 page English manual, with lots of graphics, diagrams and illustrations. This was accompanied by sturdy belt clip, and 8 inch (21cm) flexible antenna, 7.4V 1700mAh battery and charger. 

The antenna is terminated with an SMA Male connector. As with many dual band antennas is marked 136-174 / 400-480MHz, but on the air tests show its use on the hams bands is quite respectable.

The Li-Ion battery charger appears to be solidly built with an AC power connector on the back (no Wall-Wart necessary). It also sports a 12VDC input jack for mobile use. This charger is unique to the UV8D and not compatible with other Wouxun chargers.

A Good Feel
The radio has a comfortable feel and fits my large hand very comfortably. Nicely contoured and easy to hold with some nice weight behind it.

The top of the radio has the traditional Volume/PowerOn switch and Channel Selector. The left side of the radio has the PTT switch and well as two function keys each with programmable functions, including Scan, Lamp, SOS, TeleAlarm, FM Radio and Disable. The right side has the 2 pin Kenwood, Wouxun, Baofeng programming cable/speaker-micr connector.

The Large Display
I have learned in the past that when it comes to handhelds, you can never tell a book by it's front panel. Although I must admit, the initial appearance is impressive.  The large multi-color screen has a sharp and easy to read display. Powder Blue background, Black (freq),  Blue (RX), Red (TX), and Green/Red (battery). One added display feature is the ability to view the FM Radio frequency and the two TX/RX channels at the same time. Nice touch.
 
  
 
 
Display Name via the Keypad
Those familiar with the Wouxun are no stranger to the ability to enter a channel's Display Name via the keypad. The UV8D also allows up to 8 characters, which includes  A-Z,  a-z,  0-9, and 25 special characters, such as  [ ] { } @ # & % $ etc.
 

I like the ability to switch the display type while in the Channel Mode. A simple push of the VFO/MR key changes the display to either Frequency, Name, or Channel Number.
  
   
 
 
The Backlight Timer is adjustable from 1>20 seconds, or can be set to Always On. I've been keeping the display ON full time for the past 2 days and the battery life doesn't seem to be impacted. With battery save ON, the  7.4V  1700mAh Li-Ion battery still has plenty of life left.
The Backlight can also be controlled by a Side Key button if so desired.

The Signal Meter graduated in 12 steps based on the level of noise. A signal with noise will vary the reading, but once quieting, the indicator shows full scale. Somewhat better than what I refer to as the Karate Kid S-Meter (signal ON, signal OFF). Although still not a traditional S-Meter, it clearly shows which display has the active signal.

Another useful function is the ability to revert to a Single Display mode. This automatically overrides the Dual Receive capability. You can still change from upper to lower display, but only one channel is displayed at a time.
 
 
Other Functions / Observations
Two of the side function keys are programmable via the keypad menu. Some of the selectable options include Scan, Lamp, Alarm, SOS, FM Radio, Disable.  The FM Broadcast function is activated by the lower function key. As with many handhelds, the frequency is changed by pressing the *SCAN key.

Unlike its predecessor, The UV8D now supports 999 channels in 10 separate banks of 100 (bank 1 has 99). The upper and lower display can be assigned a separate single bank or All. The scanning rate is approx 8 channels per second. I personally have a hard time thinking of 999 channels I need to have stored, but the 10 channel banks is a useful feature.

The front end selectivity is excellent. Although I am not in a high intermod area, I do live 800' from the local repeater VHF and UHF repeater. 15kHz up or down frequency and the bleed over is gone. You will appreciate this if you are in an urban or metro area.
 
The receive audio quality is good with plenty of volume. Not quite as mellow as some, but not at all objectionable.

Transmit power readings taken with a Telewave 44A show a solid 5.0W on VHF transmit with 4.1W on UHF. Not too shabby.

Frequency
Although the frequency range on the inside label read:
144.000 - 147.995   420.000 - 449-995 MHz
It opened up nicely with software to:
134.000 - 174.995   400.000 - 519.995 MHz
 
Dual Receiving
The capability to receive two frequencies simultaneously works extremely well. If both channels become active at the same time, you can quickly select the single frequency mode, then the Upper or Lower display.

Duplex Cross-Band Repeating
This allows rebroadcasting a VHF signal to UHF  (or UHF to VHF) with two selectable options.
Directional repeat which allows either VHF to UHF or UHF to VHF repeat.
Two Way repeat allows both options, but not simultaneously. The first active receive signal takes repeat priority. When that signal drops, both receivers return to active standby.
 
To prevent receiver overload, the UV8D will not allow same band VHF/VHF or UHF/UHF repeating. As one would expect, the isolation to allow this just isn't there. If you are planning to run the transmitter on a continuous duty basis, you want to run in the low power position. The internal heat sink can only do so much heat distribution.

Software
The OEM software is easy to follow, but CHIRP developers are aware of this new addition to the Wouxun line, so CHIRP should be right around the corner.

As always, it is recommended to get a quality programming cable so you spend more time talking on the radio and less time loading special drivers to your PC.

Firmware
My original UV8D (V1.01) firmware only allows for a minimum frequency step of 5kHz. Radios manufactured after 5-15-2014 (V1.02, V1.03, etc.)  include the 2.5kHz step. 
The way to tell what version you have is to Press and Hold the 3 KEY while doing a PowerON.  The LCD will show the firmware release (UV8DV1.xx)  The same Software is used for all versions and the firmware is not upgradable, so it is what it is.  For me, that's not a deal breaker, but nice to have.

IMHO
I think Wouxun has a winner with the new UV8D. The large multi-color display and cross-band repeat options are nice additions, and the 2.5kHz step rounds out the package.

For more detailed information: Visit  Miklor UV8D
 



TOP of PAGE
 
Miklor Home
 


   


 
US Sales and
Warranty Support


 

Wouxun
KG-UV8D
 
KG-UV9D

 

Blackbird
J-Pole

 
 UV-82
Leixen N8
 

Handheld
Radios
 

Programming Cables

 

POUCHES
 
  
Please
Support
Miklor

 





 
US Sales and
Warranty Support


 

Wouxun
KG-UV8D
 
KG-UV9D

 

Blackbird
J-Pole

 
 UV-82
Leixen N8
 

Handheld
Radios
 

Programming Cables

 

POUCHES
 
  
Please
Support
Miklor