Wouxun KG-UV8D for SO-50? Sure, but not full-duplex by itself...

Discussion in 'Satellite and Space Communications' started by WD9EWK, May 27, 2014.

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  1. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    So you are refusing to call Powerwerx and see if they have any intelligent comments/replies for you? Man, you could be THE authoritative
    source - getting first-hand information and citations and immediately reporting back right here ... But you won't. You'd rather bash others
    who have learned by either experience and/or research.

    And so this thread grows ...
     
  2. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, Clint, keep adding to it.

    I do not have the need to call Powerwerx. I have offered thoughts on how their KG-UV8Ds will be marketed. As not to make assumptions, I have said that I am curious to see the radios in person in a store. I'm not looking to be the authoritative source, although I think you might want to look in the mirror for who you think wants that title. You have tried unsuccessfully to make me out to be much more than what I really am, all in the sad effort to make yourself appear to be "THE authoritative source" of information about this radio. Remember that you were the one that had to post early in this thread on 27 May:

    Why post in that way, if you didn't want to be in that position?

    I've offered my review and observations on the radios I have, provided information with verifiable references, and offered thoughts on how a radio that matches up with your assurances on how Powerwerx will market their version of the KG-UV8D. I have posted on the more popular of the two UV8D-related Yahoo! groups from time to time. I don't need to wallpaper the Internet with my thoughts about this radio. I've used this thread for my comments about this radio.

    If the Powerwerx web site is accurate on when they will have these radios in stock, these radios should be showing up in their dealers' stores in late July, or maybe sometime in August to give them time to get the radios from China and then sent around the US. That would be in the next, say, 2 to 4 weeks. I don't need to take my time, or the time of anyone over at Powerwerx, to ask about the version of the KG-UV8D they plan on selling. I have mine already. When they finally show up at HRO here in Phoenix, I will take a look at them and post comments about what I see in the store. If possible, I will add photos to what I see in the store, as I have done with the radios I have. That will also answer my questions/comments about how Powerwerx's marketing of this radio matches up with the relevant FCC certification, and your comments about this radio being marketed as a "Part 97 radio".
     
  3. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    >> ... Yes, Clint, keep adding to it.

    The Powerwerx model received its FCC ID today - Wvtwouxun10. It is a Part 15 radio.

    HRO is taking orders right now at the ARRL extravaganza, where it is on display.

    Among the issues Powerwerx is responsible for fixing is when some models are reset,
    they come up with Chinese writing on the display. Powerwerx' model does not.

    These will ship next week ...
     
  4. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, I posted that earlier in this thread. The Part 15 certification covers only the two ham bands, 144-148 and 420-450 MHz, and I'll expand on that point in a moment.

    I first stopped at the HRO booth. They said they had at least 250 KG-UV8Ds backordered, and I could place an order at the convention if I wanted to receive one. I could order it there, and even pick it up at the Phoenix HRO store.

    Powerwerx is across the aisle from the HRO booth. I saw the KG-UV8D display models at the Powerwerx booth here in Hartford. They have 3 of them on display. None of them have any FCC ID labels on them, as Powerwerx is waiting to receive them before shipping radios to the dealers. Normally, these labels are supposed to be applied by the manufacturer before they are imported into the US, but that's a minor issue compared to the certification vs. actual coverage of the radio.

    Yesterday, you said:

    Calling the customer service number today would have been useless. Ken Mirabella KM6YH and Kevin Karamanos WD6DIH with Powerwerx are here in Hartford. I first spoke with Ken, as Kevin was away from the Powerwerx booth initially. It was a rather testy conversation at first, but he was polite and we discussed the new FCC ID number. He insisted that the radio was certified under Part 15 for its receive range, and I showed him the FCC certification grant from the Equipment Authorization Database on my mobile phone's browser. Ken said that the certification grant as is would be sufficient to satisfy the FCC, as the radio would not be certified for commercial use. I pointed out that the amateur VHF/UHF transceivers sold by other ham manufacturers obtain FCC Part 15 certification for the entire receive range, or maybe just the ranges outside the amateur bands (Part 15 certification is not required within the amateur bands). At this point, Kevin comes up to me, and the conversation continued with Kevin.

    Kevin formerly worked with Yaesu. You (Clint) probably knew that already, but others may not have known that. I explained what I saw in the FCC database for the new FCC ID number for the KG-UV8D, and mentioned that the radios sold by his former employer and the other ham manufacturers get FCC Part 15 certification for their transceivers covering VHF/UHF spectrum. The Part 15 certification grants obtained by the other ham manufacturers covers everywhere the radios are capable of receiving (at least between 30 and 960 MHz excluding cell phone bands, although the ham manufacturers typically get their Part 15 certification covering into the HF bands in their HF/6m or HF/VHF/UHF transceivers). I also mentioned that the Powerwerx web site shows extended (non-ham) receive coverage, in excess of the FCC certification grant. He agreed with me and what I was saying about the Part 15 certification that is typically done by the other manufacturers, and said he would check on the UV8D's certification grant compared to how Powerwerx is currently marketing the radio on its web site.

    Kevin continued to talk about the new UV8D version that Powerwerx will sell... it will have new V1.04 firmware, and there has been a slight redesign inside the radio. Kevin didn't go into detail on what was redesigned, other than saying that Wouxun is no longer making the boards found in KG-UV8Ds already made. It will be interesting to see if it does anything to this radio's performance working SO-50 full-duplex. Kevin also mentioned that Powerwerx will sell another dual-band HT from another Chinese manufacturer in the near future, with two sets of knobs similar to what older HTs like the IC-W32A had, and have cross-band and full-duplex capabilites - features that hams would like to see in HTs, in many cases some features that used to be more common in dual-band HTs.

    I have no issue with Powerwerx. They have become a good supplier for the ham equipment and accessories market. I hope they are able to reconcile the FCC certification grant compared to their advertising and the frequency range that the KG-UV8D is capable of receiving. At the end of the conversation, I thanked Ken and Kevin for their time (I spent 20 to 30 minutes talking with them early this afternoon, and trying out one of their KG-UV8Ds alongside my KG-UV8D), before going to the AMSAT forum where I was one of the presenters this afternoon.

    73!
     
  5. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi again!

    Early in this thread, Clint made a statement regarding the KG-UV8D's capability of working satellites full-duplex:

    He also followed that up with another post, this time making a reference to something I never said in this thread:

    I have never come out and said that this radio is incapable of working U/V satellites (transmitting on 70cm while receiving on 2m) full-duplex. If anything, I was hedging my bets, thinking that the harmonic issues when working V/U satellites (transmitting on 2m while receiving on 70cm) full-duplex was the primary cause of the problems with this radio working SO-50 (a V/U satellite) full-duplex. Mainly, the 70cm downlink frequency being on or near the 3rd harmonic of the 2m uplink frequency.

    We may not have a U/V FM satellite currently in orbit, but here in Hartford we have a prototype of the Fox-1 satellite that has been operating at AMSAT's booth in the exhibit hall. The prototype uses the same frequency pair that Fox-1 will use (uplink on 435.180 MHz with 67.0 Hz PL, downlink on 145.980 MHz). Instead of the whips that will extend from two sides of the satellite when in orbit, the Fox-1 prototype is using a dummy load as its antenna. Its signals are weak, but cover most of the convention's exhibit hall.

    I walked around the exhibit hall with my KG-UV8D this afternoon. I opened the squelch all the way on the VFO with the 145.980 MHz frequency, and transmitted at low power into a Larsen dual-band duckie (about 8 inches/20cm in length) on the BNC-SMA adapter I put on the radio. Anywhere I could hear the satellite, I was able to talk through the satellite full-duplex, hearing the downlink and my voice as I transmitted. There was no desense I could hear, while I was transmitting. The signals disappeared outside the exhibit hall. I received reception reports from Burns Fisher W2BFJ, a member of AMSAT's engineering team, who was at the AMSAT booth listening to the satellite as I was doing my tests. I had an earpiece plugged into the HT, to avoid causing feedback as I transmitted.

    Before Clint jumps in to claim that this is not a valid test...

    I understand that it would be difficult, if not impossible, to make a perfect simulation of working a satellite in this environment. Using a dummy load on the satellite instead of its 2m and 70cm whips, and my transmitting at low power (1W) while walking around the exhibit hall instead of using high power (4W with a UV8D on 70cm) and a directional antenna, gets closer to being like working a U/V satellite than I had been capable of doing back home. Not hearing anything that would sound like receive desense gives me hope that UV8Ds would be capable of working Fox-1 U/V FM satellites full-duplex.

    I plan on repeating this test tomorrow, this time with a recorder and the earpiece connected to the radio's speaker jack. I will record the radio's audio, to have a record of how Fox-1 sounds when using a KG-UV8D. I may make it into a YouTube video.

    73!
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  6. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Glad to see that you actually talked to the best source available! Powerwerx has the "clout" with Wouxun to make things happen ... from minor cosmetic
    changes to firmware changes that benefit their target markets and produce superior products.

    NOW you know why there is a "new" '8D YahooGroup ... The Powerwerx unit is a superior unit - firmware and other features - from anything anyone
    else has offered so far. Powerwerx clients don't need to hash through the problems for rigs that were acquired from dealers who do not care as much about their clients.

    >> ... Before Clint jumps in to claim that this is not a valid test ...

    Gawd, the "Clint fixation" continues (grin). I would LOVE this to be a great rig for U/V and V/U birds. I'll have another one next week - let's see how they perform. The Puxing UV973 did not perform well on V/U nor U/V sat ops ... but did fairly well for more "traditional" crossband repeater use. Let's see if Powerwerx had Wouxun perform some "work"
    on this new version that is now being offered.

    And you did something i did not try out yet: lower-than-full TX power on the uplink for testing. That is brilliant - and just might make a difference in V/U - U/V performance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2014
  7. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Personally, I'd rather see the new HT that Kevin talked about, that will be based on suggestions from hams and getting back to something like we saw in older HTs like the IC-W32A (older models) or FT-470/FT-530.

    As for the "Clint fixation", I'm just having to go to more extremes in an attempt to avoid some of your misstatements and works of fiction about me (i.e., I'm enforcing FCC rules, your incorrect statement early in this thread about my making comments about U/V full-duplex performance in the KG-UV8D). Just stick to the facts and what is actually said in my posts, and there would be fewer posts in this thread. We could even have a productive discussion.

    As N8HM asked previously, how did you test the Puxing HT for U/V performance? We don't have a U/V FM satellite at this time. This is why I objected to your comment that I had made any statement about the UV8D's U/V full-duplex performance, when it is clear in this thread that I had not. I mentioned that the HT would work OK even for V/U full-duplex with signals stronger than the SO-50 downlink. That's a nice thing to know, even though that's not helpful when dealing with SO-50 and its weaker signals.

    I tried the low-power setting during my previous SO-50 test, which did not improve the situation when transmitting on 2m. The 70cm receiver was still desensed, to the point of not being able to hear anything from the satellite until I stopped transmitting. For V/U full-duplex, I had no expectations that low power would make any improvement in receiver performance. This only confirmed my previous assessment of V/U full-duplex performance, although this radio works well as a receiver when transmitting with a different radio through a diplexer to my Elk log periodic.

    Using lower power today, along with using a duckie instead of the Elk log periodic on my KG-UV8D, and the Fox-1 prototype having a dummy load, all helped me gauge U/V full-duplex performance of this radio in something that would approach working an actual U/V satellite in orbit. Using either low (1W) or high (4W) power on the KG-UV8D had no noticeable change on the receiver's performance when transmitting to the Fox-1 prototype.

    If anyone hasn't figured it out by now, I would be happy to see more HTs that would be friendly to satellite operators looking for full-duplex operation using a single radio. With the Fox-1 series of satellites, many radios could be usable in this way that would not work with SO-50 or other V/U satellites we have had.

    73!
     
  8. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    >>... getting back to something like we saw in older HTs like the ... FT-530 ...

    I predict we'll see a new product announcement for one before the end of the year ...
     
  9. K6LCS

    K6LCS Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

  10. WD9EWK

    WD9EWK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hi!

    The Phoenix HRO store now has the Powerwerx-supplied KG-UV8Ds in stock. I took a look at one of them. First of all, it did not have the V1.04 firmware as I was told by Kevin from Powerwerx at the ARRL Centennial Convention a couple of weeks ago:

    HRO_UV8D_firmware-20140802.jpg

    It has the same V1.03 firmware that other dealers have been selling.

    On the underside of the radio, it has different labels than what I saw on mine:

    HRO_UV8D_labels-20140802.jpg
    The frequency range is pretty close to accurate. This radio only transmitted within the two ham bands. Its VHF side tuned down to 135 MHz, but the upper end of the VHF band and both ends of UHF receive coverage match the large label. The smaller label with FCC ID number and Part 15 warning appears to be the label I was told Powerwerx was waiting to receive, before releasing these radios to their dealers. If you look closely around the top edge of the FCC ID/warning label, you can see a bit of green - the label that was on the radio when it came from China. I saw that on the demo models Powerwerx had at the ARRL convention. And, as has been the case with other dealers/distributors, "POWERWERX" is engraved into the aluminum case.

    As for using this radio on MARS and CAP frequencies, even with the existence of the modification Clint just posted, I would not hold my breath. CAP has a web site that shows which radios have been reviewed and meet the requirements for use on CAP frequencies:

    https://comm.capnhq.gov/equipment/equipment.cfm

    Looking at the amateur and commercial VHF, narrowband-capable radios, links - no Wouxun radio shows as currently complying with CAP requirements. The KG-UV3X and KG-UV6X HTs, listed on the "Commercial VHF, Narrowband Capable" link from the page above, are OK if they were purchased before 18 March 2014. Until someone submits the specifications for the KG-UV8D for CAP review, it probably won't show up in their database. Since MARS doesn't provide this sort of public database for radios meeting its requirements, MARS members will need to contact the appropriate person or group in the MARS hierarchy to determine if this radio would meet MARS requirements. Unlike in the past, the general trend now is that amateur transceivers that cover VHF do not meet MARS or CAP compliance, even if they are modified to transmit on MARS/CAP frequencies.

    That's all for now... 73!
     
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