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

 
KT8900 / JT6188
 
FAQs Page
 
             
 
1.
   
Newest Radio and Firmware
1.1   The Newest radio
  1.2   Can the firmware be updated?
 
2.
   
Transmitter and Receiver
  2.1   Radio Shuts OFF on PTT
  2.2   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
  2.3   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
  2.4   Aircraft frequencies
  2.5   Weather frequencies - NOAA / NWS
  2.6   Receive Audio Pulses when mobile
 
3.
   
Programming and General Use
  3.1   Software Compatibility
  3.2   No Audio when returning to an Active Channel
  3.3   Loud Tone when Scan finds active channel  (workaround)
  3.4   Entering Offsets when Programming Manually
  3.5   Scrambler Function
  3.6   External Speaker / Data Jack
  3.7   Manual shows 245-246 / 220-260 MHz
  3.8   Storing different frequencies in A and B
  3.9   PowerOn / Display Message
  3.10   The purpose of 2 displays
3.11 Synchronizing display A and B
  3.12   Disabling the transmitter for receive only frequencies (NOAA)
  3.13   Storing FM radio 70.0 -108.9 MHz channels in memory
  3.14   Factory Reset
  3.15   Saving the Factory File image (.dat)
 
4.
   
Scanning
  4.1   Scanning  (channel mode)
  4.2   Scanning  (frequency mode)
 
5.
   
Tone Access  (CTCSS, DCS)
  5.1   CTCSS / DCS tones - What are they
  5.2   Can't hear local repeater, fire dept, etc
  5.3   How do I send a 1750 Hz tone
 
6.
   
Accessories
  6.1   Current Accessories
 
7.
   
Software, Cables & Drivers
  7.1   Software selection
  7.2   Error Messages
  7.3   Programming Cable & Drivers
  7.4   Building Your Own Programming Cable
 
8.
   
Microphone and Audio issues
  8.1   Low Transmit Audio
  8.2   Microphone Compatibility - Caution
 
9.
   
Display Questions
  9.1   LCD turns dark
  9.2   Display Disappears
       
       
       
       
Newest Radio and Firmware 
 
  1.1   The Newest Version of my radio?
This KT8900 was released May of 2015.
 
 
  1.2   Can the firmware be updated?
No. The firmware in these radios cannot be updated. The microcontroller is an OTP type. (One Time Programmable) Once 'flash' programmed at the factory, it cannot be changed.
 
       
Transmitter and Receiver
 
  2.1   Radio Shuts OFF on PTT
This is caused by a high SWR. An internal protection circuit will shut the radio OFF to prevent damage.
-  An OFF/ON power cycle will reset the radio.
-  I’ve had this happen to both my KT8900 and KT-UV980 (50W).
 
 
  2.2   I can't hear my local repeater (CTCSS)
Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS of DCS tone for access but DO NOT transmit one back. If your display indicates there is an incoming signal but you hear no audio, you may have an incorrect or unnecessary RX tone set.  When in doubt, leave the CTCSS or DCS tones set to OFF.
 
 
  2.3   I can't hear my signal, but I hear the repeater squelch tail
The key here is that you can hear the repeater squelch tail.
You are too close to your receiver and over powering (de-sensing) it.
When this happens, you are blocking everything from your monitor.

1) Listen to your signal on simplex to verify you have audio.
2) Call someone on the repeater to verify your signal quality. If they can hear you, then all is fine.
3) For testing using repeater frequencies, always set your monitor receiver to your transmitter's frequency, not the repeater's output signal.
 
 
  2.4   Can I receive Aircraft frequencies
No. They are out of the radio's frequency range.
Also, the Aircraft Band is AM while these radios are FM only
 
 
  2.5   Can I receive Weather channels - NOAA / NWS
Yes. Radios with VHF capability can receive the NOAA / NWS channels. However, they cannot be put in a standby mode and triggered by the 1050Hz alert tone.
 
 
  2.6   Receive Audio Pulses when mobile
-  This does not occur on all radios.
-  The resolution and workaround can be found HERE
 
 
       
Programming and General Use
 
  3.1   Software Compatibility
The factory software is compatible with all 32 and 64 bit Windows operation systems.

Note 1: It has been said that some systems require the procedure found at this link. MSCOMCTL.OCX. This is listed as a reference only, and not a recommendation.
 
Note 2: Backdated Drivers may be required when using generic programming cables.  The recommended cable is a  PC04  FTDI.
 
 
  3.2   No Audio when returning to an Active Channel
When changing or returning to an Active Channel, no audio is present.
You must press [EXIT] to open the squelch.
 
- This occurs if you tune to a channel that is active.
- If the channel is inactive when you select it, a new incoming signal is fine.

Note: Some say that turning TDR ON will resolve the problem.
It does not.
 
 
  3.3   Loud Tone when Scan finds active channel (workaround)
To eliminate the loud tone, Set Menu 9 (Beep Tone) to OFF.
Now when a station is detected, the receiver will stop and receive normally.
 
Yes, this radio has the "Beep Bug"
 
 
  3.4   Entering Offsets when Programming Manually
This requires entering the RX and TX frequencies separately.
This procedure can be found   HERE.
This is not in the Manual.
 
 
  3.5   Scrambler Function [Menu 4]
The scrambler Function is not available in the original KT8900.
 
 
  3.6   External Speaker / Data Jack
The manual that comes with some radios is actually for the KT-UV980. The KT8900 does not have a External Speaker/Data Jack on the front as shown in the picture.
The rear jack is for programming cable only.
 
 
  3.7   Manual shows 245-246 / 220-260 MHz
There is no 220 MHz ham band on these radios as shown in some manuals and brochures.
 
 
  3.8   Can I store different frequencies in A and B
No. There is only a single bank of 199 channels (1-199)
The same frequencies show in both displays A and B.
Each channel has option to display as either Frequency or Channel Name.
 
 
  3.9   PowerOn / Display Message
This message appears on the LCD during PowerOn. The type of message is selectable using software or Menu 32.
The actual message can be altered using software.
 
Options are:
-  FULL - displays the entire LCD image
-  BATT - displays the battery voltage
-  MSG  - displays the message of your choice.

MSG: Select the Option Tab. In the upper right corner is a box labeled PowerOn Messages. Enter any two 6 character display desired, such as KT8900 MOBILE or JT6188 and your callsign.
 
  
  3.10   The purpose of 2 displays   (A and B)
Dual Receive. You can set each to a different preprogrammed channel. With Dual Watch  (TDR Menu 0)  turned on, your radio will sample between the two frequencies and stop on whichever one has activity.
 
 
  3.11   Synchronizing display A and B
Display A and B operate independently. You cannot synchronize them to track together.
 
 
  3.12   Disabling the transmitter for receive only frequencies (NOAA)
This can be done using the transmit inhibit function of your software.
 
 
  3.13   Storing FM radio 76.0 - 108.9MHz channels in memory
Up to 16 channels can be saved using software.
 
 
  3.14   Factory Reset
- Press [M] 4 4 to select Factory Reset.
- Press [M] again and select either VFO or ALL  *
 
VFO resets all menu settings back to factory defaults
ALL  resets all menu settings AND channel data
 
*  If you have a change of heart, don't press any keys or buttons for 15 seconds. The radio will cancel this operation automatically.
Now take a deep breath...
 
 
  3.15   Saving the Factory File image (.dat)
When saving the factory file image, you must enter .dat at the end of the new filename or an error message will appear.
 

Click to enlarge

 
 
       
Scanning
 
  4.1   Scanning   (Channel Mode)
Channel Mode (MR) - Radio will scan all programmed channels
- Regardless of VHF or UHF
- That have Scan Add set to ON

 
  4.2   Scanning   (Frequency Mode)
Radio will only scan the band selected.  (VHF or UHF)
 
The amount of frequency step is determined by Menu 1
The scan rate of the radio is approximately 8 channels per second.
 
 
       
Tone Access (CTCSS, DCS)
 
  5.1   What are CTCSS (PL) tones
A CTCSS is an 'Tone' sent along with your voice when transmitting.
They are used to access a specific repeater and block interference.
Visit  CTCSS  for details.

 
  5.2   Can't hear local repeater, fire dept, etc
Some Repeaters and Services require a CTCSS tone for access, but do NOT transmit one back.
If your display indicates there is an incoming signal but you hear no audio, you may have an incorrect or unnecessary RX tone set.

It is recommended that a CTCSS or DCS tone for the receive channel is not entered unless necessary.
 
 
  5.3   How do I send a 1750 Hz tone
The radio has several options.  Menu 42 allows you to select 1000Hz, 1450Hz, 1750Hz, and 2100Hz.
To send the tone, press the CALL button.
 
 
       
Accessories
 
  6.1   Current available accessories include:
-  Programming Cables
-  Power Cords
 
 
       
Software, Cables & Drivers
 
  7.1   Software selection
There are several software options. 
- Factory Software - Can be found at   FactorySW
 
 
  7.2   Error Messages
There are several  common error messages that could appear
when programming via software.  A list of these error messages, their definition and recovery can be found at Error Messages.
 
 
  7.3   Programming Cable / Drivers
This is one of the major frustrations with generic, low cost programming cables. Many generic cables use Prolific chip clones/copies. When plugged into a USB slot, Windows will load the latest driver. These drivers have been updated to reject cables using cloned chips.
 
These cables will work fine, but only if the proper backdated driver is installed. This is covered in detail in the USB Cable Drivers page.
 
 
  7.4   Building Your Own Programming Cable
Another option is to build your own programming cable.
The Diagrams and Procedures can be found at:

USB to 2 Pin   -   Baofeng / Kenwood
USB to RJ-45   -   Leixen
RS232 to 2 Pin  -  Baofeng / Kenwood
General Technical Information
 
 
       
Microphone and Audio Issues
 
  8.1   Low Transmit Audio
Here are some suggestions:
1) Speak directly into the microphone.
2) US Ham Bands - Set to Wide Band.  (Menu 7 to Wide)
 
 
  8.2   Microphone Compatibility - Caution
All microphones are not created equal.
Although terminated with an RJ-45 connector, the 6 or 8 pins may not be connected the same way. Connecting an incompatible microphone may damage the microphone or possibly  the radio.
Always verify the compatibility first.
 
 
       
Display Questions
 
  9.1   LCD turns dark
The can occur if radio is left in the car on a hot day. Extreme heat in a small unvented area can cause the display to darken. Give it time to cool down and the LCD will return to normal.
  
 
  9.2   Display disappears
LCDs function by polarizing the liquid crystal elements in the display. Polarized sunglasses will react to the polarized lens. LCD Wiki
 
       
       

TOP of PAGE
 
Miklor Home
 
Miklor