Is the Wouxun KG-UV8 worthy of Sat Comms?

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by N4MU, Dec 12, 2019.

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  1. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Just breaking into the sat comm thing. Looks interesting. I happen to have owned the referenced HT for years and upon clearing the dust off have found that supposedly it does cross band repeat, etc.!
    Does anyone out there use one for portable sat work? I'd be REALLY happy to find someone who does and pick his/her brain. Thanks for any assistance...DE N4MU EL88tj
  2. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    I used a KG-UV8D a few years ago, including after the launch of AO-85. I found that the HT is capable of working full-duplex with satellites having a 70cm uplink (AO-85, AO-91, AO-92), but not those with a 2m uplink (SO-50). I found that the KG-UV8D's receiver left a little to be desired, and Wouxun's KG-UV9D improved on the KG-UV8D. I have not used a KG-UV8D since 2016 after seeing how the KG-UV9D was a better radio, and there were other radios that would also allow full-duplex operating with SO-50.

    I wrote about the KG-UV8D in this forum in 2014, after the radio came on the market. I wrote again about it in late 2015, after AO-85's launch. I posted on the AMSAT-BB mailing list in late 2015 a recap with links to messages I posted, discussing different Chinese-made HTs I tried with AO-85 - including the KG-UV8D. And I put these posts and comments into an article that was published in the AMSAT Journal in 2016.

    Good luck, and 73!
    KS1G, K3RRR and K3RLD like this.
  3. K3RLD

    K3RLD Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Wow. Good timing for this post! I just received a new to me (purchased in 2014, but still-in-the-box with plastic on the screen) KG-UV8D at a christmas ham club meeting the other night. (A friend won it in the drawing, but has like 7-8 HTs and re-gifted it to me.) :) I came here this morning to look for info only to find this fresh thread. Thanks!!!

    That said, I have my trusty IC-W32A for sat work and may use this Wouxun primarily for chatting with locals on the repeater, etc. What I am curious about is, is the mic wiring similar to Icom or Kenwood (Icom, I am thinking) and what programming cable should I get to program it with CHIRP. Plus. any good source for batteries as the one in the box is the original dated 2014 and I have yet to charge it up and see how it holds.

    Will read through the articles as time permits, thanks for posting them!!! Hope the OP gets a lot out of them as well!

    73, Kevin N4UFO
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi Kevin!

    The KG-UV8D, like the KG-UV9D I mentioned above, use Kenwood's speaker/mic configuration (i.e., speaker audio on the smaller 2.5mm socket on the side of the radio). Recent CHIRP releases support the KG-UV8D, KG-UV8D Plus, and KG-UV8E. I didn't see the tri-band (144/220/430 MHz) KG-UV8T listed.

    Looks like Powerwerx has replacement packs for the KG-UV8D.

  6. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    EWK: Thanks for info. You don't happen to have your set up menu selections do you? I cannot read Chinesenglish very well. I got the HT into full duplex cross band repeat fine. Just playing around using another dual band xcvr and a scanner to listen. I don't actually need repeat though do I...when actually communicating with a satellite I mean. Just duplex, right?
    Biggest question at this time is if I am in duplex mode how can I change freqs for doppler? When unit is in duplex R/T mode nothing can be changed. I have to be missing something. And just so you know, no, I have not been on any sats yet...(HA!) just starting and the radio manual isn't helping.
    BTW to others: Yes, this might be an interesting thread.
  7. N4MU

    N4MU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oops...forgot: RLD: Thanks for the links. I have the 2.5 steps. Sounds like I've just jumped in deep water. Guess I'll have to wait for more tricks to be published to help me out. I would hate to have to do the two radio thing. I really want to be super portable if and when I get menu items sorted out. Thanks all.
  8. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    You should turn off the cross-band repeat function when working satellites. When working with signals stronger than satellite downlinks, the stronger signals can overcome the desense you would hear when working SO-50 with a 2m uplink and a 70cm downlink.

    I posted some of the menu settings I used on my KG-UV8D in an old AMSAT-BB post:

    Since that post, I found that I could use 5 kHz steps on the transmit VFO for AO-85/AO-91/AO-92, but it was helpful to tune in 2.5 kHz steps on the receive VFO. The receivers in the Wouxun HTs tend to have a slightly smaller bandwidth in "wide" FM than a HT from the traditional ham manufacturers (Icom, Kenwood, Yaesu). YMMV, of course.

    I use both VFOs when working satellites with the Wouxun KG-UV8D HTs. Most - if not all - adjustments will be made in the transmit VFO. You would just tune up in 5 kHz steps to compensate for Doppler on AO-85, AO-91, and AO-92. You might need to adjust the receive frequency, which you would do by switching to that VFO, make the adjustment, and then switch back to the transmit VFO. If you use two VFOs to work SO-50, all adjustments will be made in the receive VFO, so you would switch to that every time you need to make an adjustment. Then switch back to the transmit VFO before you try to transmit through the satellite.

    To avoid audio feedback when transmitting, make sure to use a headset, or at least earbuds or an earpiece to hear the downlink. You will probably need to get an adapter to use most earbuds or earpieces with this radio - most earbuds/earpieces have a 3.5mm plug, but the speaker audio on the KG-UV8D is a 2.5mm socket.

    WE4B likes this.
  9. N4UFO

    N4UFO Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hey Patrick! Hope things are going well for you... lots here; have only got out my radio gear once since the move to work 6Y on sats for a new one. :)

    UGH! Everything I have for headsets, etc. is Icom wiring. Quite possibly this may just become my 'use around the house/town' HT given I mostly use my FT-817s when roving/operating and have a complete IC-W32A HT for backup on FM anyway. Good to know it WILL do full duplex on the AO birds though.

    Good deal on the replacement packs, thanks for that. Appears to be the battery pack I have and it does have a desk charger in the box. As for programming, I suppose I will have to scour Amazon for a programming cable to use with Chirp. I am told the radio is not easy to program from the keyboard and there are a number of repeaters in the area that I might want to put into it. Plus a few sat frequencies of very loud birds, just in case. ;)

    N4MU, good luck with figuring the manual out! There is not one in the box, so I will have to find a link to one somewhere in the referenced material. But keep after it as satellites is a very enjoyable and ADDICTING part of the ham radio hobby... if you don't believe me, just look up my extra webpage N4UFO/P and see. Most enjoyable trip of my life (so far)... was like going on a DXpedition without needing a passport. :D

    Take care all... hope to see you on the birds again, soon! 73, Kevin N4UFO

    P.S. Hi Roy! Didn't mean to leave you out... :p
    K3RLD, WD9EWK and WE4B like this.
  10. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    IIRC cables used to program Baofeng radios work with the Wouxun HTs. I use this cable with CHIRP and most of my HTs:

    Except for the Kenwood HTs with USB interfaces, this kit works with my other radios and CHIRP - an IC-W32A, a VX-3R, the Wouxun HTs (KG-UV8D & KG-UV9D), and even an FT-4XR. Works great in Linux, as the cable is picked up automagically. For Windows, the cable driver in the free programming software for Yaesu's FT-4XR works with this cable.


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