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Walkie-Talkies


Walkie-Talkies?

Those radios are quite handy. Yard work, clearing snow on driveway, mowing lawn, so you don't have to scream at your partner on incoming telephone call or to tell favourite TV show is on. Use at shopping mall, on picnic, hiking and slope then you don't get lost... hopefully. On the Cruise ship at open water, your cell phone won't work, walkie talkie will. Just use as a wireless intercom not like an emergency radio to get rescued in remote mountain.

Did you know Walkie-Talkie was invented by Canadian ?


FRS? GMRS?
FRS - Family Radio Service, FRS radios require no license. 14 channels 0.5watts of radio power.
GMRS - General Mobile Radio Service require a FCC license in U.S.. FRS/GMRS combo radios sold at store limit radio power to 0.5watts on 8~14ch automatically. On 1~7 shared channels you have to lower radio power manually (on radio more than capable of 0.5watts) in order to operate without license. 15~22ch are permitted for GMRS only.
Any two or more radios that broadcast on the same frequency (FRS or GMRS) and support the same channels will work together.

GMRS in Canada?
In Canada, hand-held GMRS radios up to 2 watts have been approved for use since September 2004. A license is not required in Canada for operation at 2 watts on the GMRS channels.

Which Radio?
Buy durable one, those radios are on action, tossed around. Tap case around before you buy, you could tell thickness of plastic. Motorola and Midland are pretty good in my opinion.
Don't get fooled by "UP TO xx Miles!!" on the package. Range is all depending on conditions. The number on package is based on The Best Condition.

Typical Range
 
Terrain/Range
(miles, F=floors)
0.5 W
FRS
1 W
GMRS
2 W
GMRS
2 W
MURS*
Outside Clear Flat Field 1½~2 2~3 3~4 3~5
Suburban Neighborhoods 1~1½ 1~2 1½~2 1½~3
Urban Areas ½~1 ½~1½ 1~1½ 1~1½
Inside Buildings/Malls ½
5 F
½~¾
15 F
1
20 F
½
10 F
Between Buildings/Houses ⅛~½ ½~1 ½~2 1~3
Woodlands (Moderate) 1~1½ 1~2 1½~2 2~3
Woodlands (Thick) ½~1 ½~1½ 1~1½ 1½~2
*Multi-Use Radio Service (VHF) in U.S.Only


Rechargeable Battery Pack?
Unless you use radio everyday, those battery pack and drop-in charger aren't needed.
Most of radio takes custom pack or standard AAA or AA. Instead of getting radio specific battery pack, consider AA or AAA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and 1~2hrs quick charger. This way you could get more use of batteries. Take batteries out and charge on quick charger after use.
Majority of drop-in charger came with radios are not "smart", it will keep charging even full. Also it may shorten battery life if charged more than 48 hours. If you drain battery pack, charge takes 8~10hrs on drop-in charger, so keep standard batteries handy. Or just get 2 sets of Ni-MH AA, AAA rechargeables.
Ni-MH Rechargeable Batteries on eBay.ca

Radio Output Power?
Is higher radio power better? Yes and No.
Yes, if you're going to use at wide area, hunting, skiing but 5W radio will not increase the range 10 times more than 0.5W model. Yet 5W radio needs 10+ times power from battery to transmit. This will shorten the operational time on battery. Keep in low power, when it became difficult to reach, switch to high.
No, if you're going to use around house, event field or paintball game. You don't have to talk loud when others are close by.

Channel Scan?
This feature checks all channels (some model has programming capability on channels to be scanned) if in use or not. You may not need this feature if you're using as a pair of walkie talkies. Just check the channel before using radios. If someone is using the channel, simply change to other channel.

What is CTCSS?
CTCSS stands for Continuous Tone Coded Squelch System.
Interference-Elimination Codes, sometimes refer to Tone Squelch, TalkGroup or Privacy Code.
It works like Key and Lock on Door. Walkie Talkie transmits sub-audible tone (Key) and opens the door (Lock) on Receiver. For example: Group A on Ch1 no CTCSS, Group B on Ch1 Code1, Group C on Ch1 Code38. Group B won't be bothered by Group A (no Keys) C (wrong Key). Group A can hear all groups because no Lock (incoming door is open).

Keep in mind that this feature doesn't actually protect your privacy. As you see Group A who turned off CTCSS can hear all in the same channel. In addition, anyone who has chosen the same channel and code as you can still transmit to your radio.

What is VOX?
Most of walkie-talkies, you have to press a button (PTT button; Press-To-Talk) in order to talk. Models with a voice-activated (or "VOX") feature begin broadcasting automatically when you speak in to microphone. Some radios require special headset or microphone to use this hands-free function.


FRS/GMRS Channel-Frequency Table

 
FRS
14ch
F+GMRS
22ch
GMRS
15ch
Simplex
MHz
Rptr. in
MHz
1 1 1 462.5625  
2 2 2 462.5875  
3 3 3 462.6125  
4 4 4 462.6375  
5 5 5 462.6625  
6 6 6 462.6875  
7 7 7 462.7125  
8 8   467.5625  
9 9   467.5875  
10 10   467.6125  
11 11   467.6375  
12 12   467.6625  
13 13   467.6875  
14 14   467.7125  
  15 11 462.5500 467.5500
  16 8 462.5750 467.5750
  17 12 462.6000 467.6000
  18 9 462.6250 467.6250
  19 13 462.6500 467.6500
* 20 10 462.6750 467.6750
  21 14 462.7000 467.7000
  22 15 462.7250 467.7250
* Nationwide emergency and road information calling. Nationally recognized coded squelch for 675 emergency repeater operation is 141.3 Hz.

CTCSS 38ch Standard Frequency Table
 
CTCSS
ch
Hz CTCSS
ch
Hz
1 67.0 20 131.8
2 71.9 21 136.5
3 74.4 22 141.3
4 77.0 23 146.2
5 79.7 24 151.4
6 82.5 25 156.7
7 85.4 26 162.2
8 88.5 27 167.9
9 91.5 28 173.8
10 94.8 29 179.9
11 97.4 30 186.2
12 100.0 31 192.8
13 103.5 32 203.5
14 107.2 33 210.7
15 110.9 34 218.1
16 114.8 35 225.7
17 118.8 36 233.6
18 123.0 37 241.8
19 127.3 38 250.3

GMRS Channel Assignment Deference on F+GMRS 22ch model
 
BellSouth 2262
F+GMRS 22ch
Standard
F+GMRS 22ch
Standard
GMRS 15ch
15 16 8
16 18 9
17 20 10
18 15 11
19 17 12
20 19 13
21 21 14
22 22 15
looks like BellSouth used GMRS channel order for 15~22ch numbering.
FEB 10 2006:rev.1 JUN 04 2006

 

ì License Free Radios


Family Radio Service - FRS
U.S. license free radio service. FRS Specification has been adapted by Canada, Mexico, Brazil. Radio equipment used on this service must be certified by local authority, FRS radio purchased in Canada may not be used on FRS in Mexico. in 2004 Canada approved use of General Mobile Radio Service with limitation of 2 watts radio output as a license free service.

Multi-Use Radio Service - MURS
VHF Citizen Band in U.S., Narrow FM, 5 channels, Maximum 2 watts radio output. External antenna can be used with limitation of the height.

Personal Mobile Radio - PMR446
European Standard license free radio service. Similar to FRS except number of channels and frequency range. Maximum radio output of 500mW. Many PMR446 radios are equipped with CTCSS to utilize channels.

409MHz Public Channels - 409
License free radio service in China. 20 channels in upper 409MHz. Maximum radio output 500mW.

Australian UHF CB - UHF
UHF Citizen Band is unique to Australia. 40 channels in 467~477MHz range, 25KHz step, maximum radio output 5W. Unlike other license free radio service, use of repeater stations extends communication range. Distance of 50~100 km are commonly achieved via repeaters.
 

FRS
CH Freq. (MHz)
1 462.5625
2 462.5875
3 462.6125
4 462.6375
5 462.6625
6 462.6875
7 462.7125
8 467.5625
9 467.5875
10 467.6125
11 467.6375
12 467.6625
13 467.6875
14 467.7125
15 462.5500
16 462.5750
17 462.6000
18 462.6250
19 462.6500
20 462.6750
21 462.7000
22 462.7250
15~22 are license free in Canada Only.
MURS
CH Freq. (MHz)
1 151.8200
2 151.8800
3 151.9400
4 154.5700
5 154.6000

 

PMR446
CH Freq. (MHz)
1 446.00625
2 446.01875
3 446.03125
4 446.04375
5 446.05625
6 446.06875
7 446.08125
8 446.09375

 

409
CH Freq. (MHz)
1 409.7500
2 409.7625
3 409.7750
4 409.7875
5 409.8000
6 409.8125
7 409.8250
8 409.8375
9 409.8500
10 409.8625
11 409.8750
12 409.8875
13 409.9000
14 409.9125
15 409.9250
16 409.9375
17 409.9500
18 409.9625
19 409.9750
20 409.9875

 

Australian UHF CB
CH Freq. (MHz) CH Freq. (MHz)
1 476.4250 21 476.9250
2 476.4500 22 476.9500
3 476.4750 23 476.9750
4 476.5000 24 477.0000
5 476.5250 25 477.0250
6 476.5500 26 477.0500
7 476.5750 27 477.0750
8 476.6000 28 477.1000
9 476.6250 29 477.1250
10 476.6500 30 477.1500
11 476.6750 31 477.1750
12 476.7000 32 477.2000
13 476.7250 33 477.2250
14 476.7500 34 477.2500
15 476.7750 35 477.2750
16 476.8000 36 477.3000
17 476.8250 37 477.3250
18 476.8500 38 477.3500
19 476.8750 39 477.3750
20 476.9000 40 477.4000
05/35 Emergency Channel
11 Call Channel
40 Road Channel (unofficial)
22,23 Data only
1-8,31-38 Repeater channels
9,10,12-21,24-30,39 Simplex use

WIP - Feb 20 2006

 

i Motorola Talkabout™ Series FRS/GMRS Radios


Motorola Taklabout™ T-series model number is quite confusing... Higher is NOT always better.

For example T5725 has less features than T5720, T5710 has more than T5720. T5620 is 1 Watt 22ch FRS/GMRS combo radio, T5625 is 14ch FRS, even doesn't have 38 talk group codes. T5000 has more features than any T51xx~T54xx models.


Some of last digit indicates region, Txxx5 can be found in Canada and Brazil, Txxx2 is UK model for PMR446 Personal Mobile Radio 8 channels on 446MHz, Txxx8 is Chinese model 20 channels on 409MHz. T5725 looks alike T5720 and sounds like "T5720 Canadian version" but functions are identical to T5420.
First 2 digits appears to be identification of case design... NOT! T56xx has 3 different housings.


Motorola T Series Feature List
 
Model Ch CTCSS Call Tones Transmit Power Channel Scan VOX*1 Noise Filter VibraCall Alert Weather & Alert Other Features
T4300 14 0 1 500mW No No No No No No Backlit, Headset Jack
T4500 22 0 1 500mW Yes No No No No No Backlit, Headset Jack
T4502 8 0 1 500mW Yes No No No No T4500-PMR446
T4525 14 0 1 500mW Yes No No No No T4500-14ch
T4508 20 0 1 500mW Yes No No No No T4500-409MHz
T4800 22 38 5 500mW No No No No No  
T4900 22 38 5 500mW Yes No No No No  
T4905 22 38 5 500mW Yes No No No No  
T5000 22 38 5 1 W Yes VOX QuietTalk™ No No  
T5100 14 0 1 500mW No No No No No  
T5200 14 38 5 500mW No No No No No  
T5300 14 0 1 500mW No No No No No  
T5320 14 0 5 500mW No No No No No  
T5400 14 38 5 500mW No No No No No  
T5410 14 38 5 500mW Yes No No No No  
T5420 14 38 5 500mW No VOX No No No  
T5422 8 38 5 500mW No VOX No No No PMR446
T5428 20 38 5 500mW No VOX No No No 409MHz
T5432 8 38 5 500mW Yes VOX No No No PMR446
T5500 22 38 10 1 W Yes VOX QuietTalk™ No No  
T5522 8 38 10 500mW Yes VOX No No No PMR446
T5532 8 38 10 500mW Yes VOX No Yes No PMR446
T5600 22 38 5 1 W No No No No No  
T5620 22 38 5 1 W Yes No No No No  
T5622 8 38 10 500mW Yes No No Yes No PMR446
T5625 14 0 5 500mW No No No No No  
T5628 20 38 5 500mW No No No No No 409MHz
T5700 22 38 5 1 W Yes No QuietTalk™ No No  
T5710 22 38 10 1 W Yes VOX QuietTalk™ No No  
T5720 22 38 10 1 W No VOX QuietTalk™ No No  
T5725 14 38 5 500mW No VOX No No No  
T5800 22 38 5 500mW No VOX No No No  
T5820 22 38 10 500mW Yes VOX No Yes No  
T5920 22 99 10 1 W Yes iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes No  
T5950 22 99 10 1 W Yes iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes 8ch  
T6200 14 38 5 500mW Yes*2 VOX QuieT6000™ No No Auto Power Off
T6210 14 38 5 500mW Yes*2 VOX QuieT6000™ Yes No Auto Power Off / Eavesdrop Reducer
T6220 14 38 10 500mW Yes*2 VOX QuieT6000™ Yes 8ch Auto Power Off / Eavesdrop Reducer
T6222 8 38 10 500mW Yes*2 VOX QuieT6000™ Yes No T6210-PMR446
T6250 22 38 10 1 W Prog.List iVOX™ QuieT6000™ Yes 7ch Auto Power Off / Eavesdrop Reducer
T6300 14 38 5 500mW Prog.List iVOX™ QuieT6000™ Yes 6ch Auto Power Off / Clock / Stopwatch / Alarm / Eavesdrop Reducer
T6310 14 38 5 500mW Prog.List iVOX™ QuieT6000™ Yes 6ch T6300 with FM Stereo
T6320 14 38 5 500mW Prog.List iVOX™ QuieT6000™ Yes 6ch T6300 with Compass / Temp / Bar / Altimeter
T6400 22 38 5 1 W Prog.List iVOX™ QuieT6000™ Yes No Auto Power Off / Clock / Stopwatch / Alarm / Eavesdrop Reducer
T6500 22 38+61*4 10 1 W Enhanced*3 iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes 8ch Digital Audio Processing
T6530 22 38+61*4 10 1 W Enhanced*3 iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes 8ch Digital Audio Processing
T6550 22 38+61*4 10 1 W Enhanced*3 iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes 8ch Digital Audio Processing
T7100 22 38 10 2 W Yes VOX No No No  
T7200 22+8*5 38 10 2 W Prog.list iVOX™ No No 8ch Adjustable Mic. Gain / Eavesdrop Reducer / Digital Audio Processing
T7400 22 38+61*4 10 2 W Enhanced*3 iVOX™ QuietTalk™ Yes 8ch Digital Audio Processing
*1. VOX Voice Activated Transmission requires Headset, iVOX™ can be used without Headset.
*2. No Manual Advance, Nuisance Delete
*3. Scans All possible combination, channel x code
*4. 38 CTCSS & 61 Digital Codes
*5. 8 GMRS Repeater channels

**Please send me a message if you can't find your model or found errors on the list.
 
Feb 14 2006:rev.1 May 30 2006

 

i JingTong JT-308 UHF Radio


JingTong JT-308 Programmable UHF Transceiver

Kenwood TH-22AT housing design clone JingTong JT-308 is a UHF Two-Way Radio made in China.
It covers 400MHz~470MHz with 38 CTCSS codes, able to store TX/RX independent frequencies, repeater shift, CTCSS code in 30 channel memory; manual states 15 memory in error. Decent build quality, you don't feel like holding thin plastic box. Nice blue backlit on LCD display. It is very simple to operate, press "SET" and number key to access functions. Great things about this radio is price, probably less than high end FRS/GMRS walkie-talkies.


Programming is very easy. Basically set all parameters (ex; frequency, repeater shift & offset, TX tone, RX tone squelch, ect.) in Direct Input mode and try if it works. Then just transfer to one of memory channels by <[B] select channel [C]> Think as copying settings to memory. Some other radio has specific memory setting mode, concept of copying current setting won't work. I like JT-308 type channel programming.

It has a very annoying and very loud power up ascending tune. I don't know if this is a Chinese Regulation to tell people around "Everyone! I'm Turning On my Transceiver!" like Japanese cell phone with camera, can't turn off the shutter sound when taking pictures. Keypad beep is loud too, it beeps loud even volume turned down! No control on these loud noise...

Transmitted voice is somewhat muffled, I guess because they forgot to open small microphone hole... Standard 2.5mm single pin PTT Mic/Speaker will improve the sound quality. Audio output is loud enough in noisy environment.

Remote Speaker/Microphone

The Sticker on rechargeable battery pack states "NiCd 7.2V 600mAh" but 6 Ni-MH*AAA cells are inside.
Removal of Power pack is not written on the manual. Push lock on bottom of power pack, Lift power pack up.

Volume control on my JT-308 was very stiff, finger was slipping on small knob, it won't move. I discovered volume knob was pushed down too far and touching base, pulling the knob fixed the problem.

I must say this is a very high cost performance radio. Just don't expect something you get from Kenwood, Icom, Yaesu hand held radios.

Engrish User's Manual
Another problem is 16 page User's Manual, it's written in Engrish, takes the better part of a day to decode. To save your troubles, here's decoded version.

JT-308 Quick Guide
 
Direct Input Operation:
  • Press "SET" then "1"
  • Press "SET" then "4" to select frequency step,
    repeat "4" to change 5KHz, 10KHz, 12.5KHz, 25KHz. Press "EXIT".
    Note: decimal point floats on display, 5, 1
    0, 125, 25.
  • Input Frequency using Keypad.
    6 digits 000.000MHz, no decimal.
    By reaching last digit, the radio will round down the frequency based on step.
  • Use "Λ","V" keys to change frequency by step.
  • "+M" up 1MHz, "-M" down 1MHz.
Channel Mode Operation:
  • Press "SET" then "2" (displays channel# only)
    or "3" (frequency and channel#)
  • Use "Λ","V" keys to select channel.
Channel Programming:
  • Set Frequency. see Direct Input Operation.
  • Press "B" and select channel by "Λ","V" keys.
  • To Store, press "C" for RX, "D" for TX.
    RX freq. is used if no TX stored
    TX freq. by shift & offset is stored automatically.
CTCSS / TX Tone Setup:
  • Press "SET" then "8" to enable/disable CTCSS.
    ('CODE CT' on LCD)
  • Press "SET" then "0" to enable/disable TX Tone. ('CODE CT' and Bell icon on LCD)
  • Press "SET" then "9" to select CTCSS code, use "Λ","V" keys to change. Press "EXIT".
  • CTCSS setting is per channel.
Repeater Shift Setup:
  • Press "SET" then "6", repeat to change +, -, none.
  • Press "SET" then "7", enter offset in 5 digits 00.000MHz order, no decimal. 00.000~19.995MHz
Scan:
  • Press "A" to start/stop.
    Full band scan in Direct mode and scans programmed channels in Channel Mode.
Keypad Lock:
  • Press "SET" then "*" to lock/unlock

 
JT-308 Function List
 
Functions Keys
Lock/Unlock Keypad [SET][*]
Direct Input Mode [SET][1] (frequency display)
Channel Mode [SET][2] (channel number)
Channel Mode [SET][3] (freq. & channel number)
Frequency Step* [SET][4] repeat [4] 5, 10, 12.5, 25
Scan start/stop [SET][5] or just [A]
Repeater Shift* [SET][6] repeat +. -. none
Repeater Offset* [SET][7] enter 00.000~19.995MHz
CTCSS on/off [SET][8]
CTCSS code select [SET][9] select code Λ V [Exit]
TX Tone on/off [SET][0]
Reverse TX/RX freq.* [SET][#] R icon on display
Store Frequency* [B] select channel Λ V [C]
Store TX Frequency* [B] select channel Λ V [D]
Erase All Memory hold [SET] & power on
*in Direct Input Mode only
*
non-functional
 
*previously thought "Mckel hydrogen re-chargeable battery pack" on Manual was in error. (MAY 08 2006)

FEB 18 2006:rev.1 FEB 24 2006:rev.2 MAR 03 2006:rev.3 MAY 08 2006

 

i Wouxun KG-5118 UHF Radio


Wouxun KG-5118 Programmable UHF Transceiver

Kenwood TK-3118 housing design clone radio Wouxun KG-5118 covers 400MHz~470MHz. It has 100 memory channels that could store TX/RX frequencies independently. 2.5W Radio output. Normal operation is in Channel mode, very simple to use. Unlike its looks this radio seems to be designed for work radio, you can't see the frequency on normal operation which is probably the better option for a work/business radio.


Construction of housing is very good, back half is all aluminium, front half is ABS plastic, very solid feel to it. Battery pack slides in from bottom, you don't need to remove Belt Clip to pull out battery pack. LCD and Keypad have green backlit, easy to see at dark.

Sound quality is much better than JingTong JT308, and seems reception is a bit better. Worth mentioning, No Power Up Tune!

Frequency step is 25KHz. Some information on the net indicate 5/10/12.5/25KHz but I can't find any mentions on the manual. Though manual is written very basic, it might be omitted. If anyone knows function command, please let me know.


Things I don't like is that keypad is made of soft silicon rubber with shiny surface, Feels like sticking to finger tip. It won't slide if you put face down, may be that's the purpose of this keypad... non skid keypad.

Unlike JingTong's Fortune Cookie Manual, KG-5118 manual is understandable though missing some information. No need to say "to enter 450.175MHz, press "4" see fig1, press "5" see fig2, press "0" see fig3...."

Push "450175" then press PTT, done! too simple?

KG-5118 Quick Guide
Normal Mode: (channel mode)
  • Power On
  • Use "CH+","CH-" to select channel
Direct Input Mode: (service mode)
  • Press & Hold "SCAN" key and Power On
  • Enter frequency using keypad
    6 digits 000.000MHz order, no decimal
    Round down to 25KHz step automatically
Programming Mode:
  • Press & Hold "FUNC" key and Power On
     
  • Use "CH+","CH-" to select channel to be programmed
  • Enter frequency using keypad, press PTT to store (low tone beep for confirmation)
  • Enter second frequency for TX, press PTT to store
    If no TX freq. is entered, first will be used
  • Press "SCAN" to delete memory

    Change channel and repeat, Power down to complete.
Scan:
  • Press "SCAN" to ON/OFF
    Scans programmed channels only
  FEB 18 2006

 

i Kensung KG-6228 UHF Radio


Kensung KG-6228 Programmable UHF Transceiver

Kensung KG-6228 is a UHF Two-Way Radio made in China.
It covers 400MHz~470MHz with 38 CTCSS codes, able to store TX/RX independent frequencies, repeater shift, CTCSS code in 99* channel memory; manual states 15 memory in error. Green backlit on LCD display and Keypad. It is very simple to operate, press "SET" and number key to access functions.


It's very similar to JingTong JT-308, probably just different firmware on same circuit. Housing size is 3~4mm taller than JT-308. Battery pack slides down, no need to remove belt clip for exchange. Operation is identical except some keys and slight deference on features. On Channel mode, LCD display shows CTCSS code number. Channel is accessible by entering 2 digits channel number from keypad. [SET][3] is to see frequency of the current channel for 10 seconds then automatically back to channel display.

It has a loud 2 seconds power up beep. Keypad beeps loud even volume is fully turned down. No control on these loud noise... but not bad as JingTong.
Large two keys below LCD screen are "SET" & "EXIT" why not "UP" & "DOWN"? Up & Down keys are located at upper right of small 4x4 keypad, not easy to use.

I bought this as a Wouxun KG-6228, item received was Kensung KG-6228. Kensung=Kenwood+Samsung?? Is this the case of "Item not as Described"?
Keypad of my KG-6228 is a bit chatty, sometimes one press produces a few. There was burr on battery pack plastic case, no problems I sanded them off nicely. It's a same manual as JT-308 with a few editing, written in Engrish.

Removal of Power pack is not written on the manual. Slide lock at bottom of unit towards front, Slide power pack down.

well... what's this "R" on LCD?? [SET][#] won't work...

Remote Speaker/Microphone

Another Engrish User's Manual
The User's Manual is written in Engrish, takes the better part of a day to decode. To save your troubles, here's decoded version.

KG-6228 Quick Guide
 
Direct Input Operation:
  • Press "SET" then "1"
  • Press "SET" then "4" to select frequency step,
    repeat "4" to change 5KHz, 10KHz, 12.5KHz, 25KHz. Press "EXIT".
    Note: decimal point floats on display, 5, 1
    0, 125, 25.
  • Input Frequency using Keypad.
    6 digits 000.000MHz, no decimal.
    By reaching last digit, the radio will round down the frequency based on step.
  • Use "Λ","V" keys to change frequency by step.
Channel Mode Operation:
  • Press "SET" then "2" (displays channel# & CTCSS#)
  • Use "Λ","V" keys to select channel.
  • Enter 2 digit channel number using keypad.
  • Press "SET' then "3" shows channel frequency in use.
Channel Programming:
  • Set Frequency. see Direct Input Operation.
  • Press "A", select channel by "Λ","V" keys and
    press "A" to store TX=RX frequency.
  • Press "B", select channel by "Λ","V" keys and
    press "B" to store TX frequency.

    Calculated TX freq. by offset is stored automatically.
CTCSS Setup:
  • Press "SET" then "8" to enable/disable.
    'CODE CT' on LCD
  • Press "SET" then "9" to select CTCSS code, use "Λ","V" keys to change. Press "EXIT".
  • CTCSS setting is per channel.
Repeater Shift Offset Setup:
  • Press "SET" then "6", repeat to change +, -, none.
  • Press "SET" then "7", enter offset in 5 digits 00.000MHz order, no decimal. 00.000~19.995MHz
Scan:
  • Press "SET" then "5" to start/stop.
    Full 400~470MHz scan in Direct mode and scans programmed channels in Channel Mode.
Keypad Lock:
  • Press "SET" then "*" to lock/unlock

 

KG-6228 Function List
 
Functions Keys
Lock/Unlock Keypad [SET][*]
Direct Mode [SET][1] (frequency display)
Channel Mode [SET][2] (channel# & CTCSS#)
Channel Freq. View [SET][3] (view current ch. freq.)
Frequency Step* [SET][4] repeat [4] 5, 10, 12.5, 25
Scan start/stop [SET][5]
Repeater Shift* [SET][6] repeat +. -. none
Repeater Offset* [SET][7] enter 00.000~19.995MHz
CTCSS on/off [SET][8]
CTCSS code select [SET][9] select code Λ V [EXIT]
Store Frequency* [A] select channel Λ V [A]
Store TX Frequency* [B] select channel Λ V [B]
Erase All Memory hold [SET] & power on
*in Direct Input Mode only
Update:
*99 Channel memory capacity not 30. (MAR 05 2006)

MAR 03 2006:rev.1 MAR 05 2006

 

i Quansheng TG-K4AT UHF Radio


Quansheng TG-K4AT Programmable UHF Transceiver

Kenwood TH-K2AT housing design clone Quansheng TG-K4AT is a UHF Two-Way Radio from in China.
It covers 400MHz~470MHz with 39 CTCSS codes, able to store TX/RX independent frequencies, repeater shift, CTCSS code in 99 channel memory. Output 4W/1W with 7.2V Ni-NH battery pack. Bright green backlit on LCD display. It has a voice reminder instead of keypad beep. Very good physical construction quality.


Physical built quality is good, so some cons on this radio stick out more.

One major flaw on this radio is no squelch control. There is a Monitor button to open squelch like FRS radios.
Reception is good, you may not need to adjust squelch but not having control is a bit strange.

Unique feature on this radio is "Voice Reminder", instead of keypad beep it speaks key being pressed. Sounds great? no, it's too loud and no control on sound level other than turning it off. Sound is injected to audio circuit after volume control, turning volume down has no effects. Quansheng's specification says language available in English / Chinese (Mandarin) / Thai, but it's not user selectable. Though it really doesn't matter because the first thing you do is turning "Voice Reminder" OFF by [F][5].

This may be a Pros or Cons depending on how you're going to use this radio. No changes can be made to memory settings in Channel mode. CTCSS on/off and its frequency is locked with TX/RX frequencies. You can see current CTCSS frequency by [F][8] or [F][9]. Power output Hi/Low can be changed in Channel mode.

LCD backlit is bright (maybe too bright), 0.5KHz shows on display but design of display itself could be better. Battery indicator / Signal level meter (looks just works as on/off) is using "»" character in dotted line, it's not legible especially with perforated background pattern. Simple block pattern could be used for this indicator. Also it's minor, typeface of letters on LCD is not consistent, as if someone modified LCD display artwork using a typewriter.

This is a housing design clone of Kenwood TH-K2AT. Location of orange button is Power button on Kenwood TH-K4AT which makes sense. The orange button is "Function" key on Quansheng, this is awkward to setup several functions, it's too far from others.

A button marked as "LM" below "Monitor" button is a fake, no switch inside. This could be used as a backlit button. Leaving non functional element upon design changes (or provision for future functions) isn't good.

The radio should have Direct channel number input from keypad. Navigating 99 channels with up-[A] / down-[B] buttons is very difficult.

One last note, LED Indicator on desktop charger is not accurate. Simple circuitry in charger just detect voltage. You may want to leave the radio on green for awhile.

Body colour of radio is not black, dark grey with touch of blue.

Remote Speaker/Microphone

TG-K4AT Function List
Functions Keys
Up [A]
Down [B]
Mode Select [F][1] (freq/ch/freq+ch display)
CTCSS on/off* [F][2]
CTCSS Frequency* [F][3] <select freq. by A, B key>
Frequency Step* [F][4] repeat [4] 5, 10, 12.5, 25
Voice Reminder on/off [F][5]
Repeater shift mode* [F][6] repeat +. -. none
Repeater shift set* [F][7] enter 00.1~19.9MHz
View RX CTCSS* [F][8] (in channel mode only)
View TX CTCSS* [F][9] (in channel mode only)
Lock/Unlock Keypad [F][*]
Output Hi/Low [F][0]
Store RX Frequency* [F][#] <select channel> [C]
Store TX frequency* [F][#] <select channel> [D]
Scan ascending [F][C]
Scan descending [F][D]
Erase All Memory hold [EXIT] & power on
* in Direct Input Mode only
* in Channel Mode only

Quansheng 39ch CTCSS
Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz
1 67.0 9 88.5 17 114.8 25 151.4 33 203.5
2 69.3 10 91.5 18 118.8 26 156.7 34 210.7
3 71.9 11 94.8 19 123.0 27 162.2 35 218.1
4 74.4 12 97.4 20 127.3 28 167.9 36 225.7
5 77.0 13 100.0 21 131.8 29 173.8 37 233.6
6 79.7 14 103.5 22 136.5 30 179.9 38 241.8
7 82.5 15 107.2 23 141.3 31 186.2 39 250.3
8 85.4 16 110.9 24 146.2 32 192.8    

The radio has 39 CTCSS tone settings, 69.3Hz is inserted at Ch2. Shift one channel up if you need to communicate with Standard 38ch CTCSS radios.
ex: TG-K4AT CTCSS ch3 = Standard 38CTCSS ch2.
 

MAY 02 2006:rev.1 MAY 22 2006

 

i Linton LT-3288 UHF Radio


Linton LT-3288 Programmable UHF Transceiver

Motorola GP388 housing design clone Linton LT-3288 is a UHF (VHF LT-2288) Two-Way Radio from in China.
LT-3288 covers 400~470MHz including Amateur 70cm HAM/Business/FRS/GMRS/PMR446/CPC409 band. LT-2288 covers 136~174MHz including Amateur 2m HAM/Business/MURS band.
The Radio requires no computer/external device to program. 99 Channel Memory capacity with Alphanumeric channel naming capability, Repeater shift, CTCSS code per channel. Rotary Encoder makes easy to operate this radio.


LT-3288 /2288 is very well built around Aluminum Alloy chassis inside. Rotary Encoder is very handy especially having 99 channel memory. Unlike some other radios, you don't have to press UP/DOWN buttons repeatedly. Also the encoder works just like a tuning knob on Direct Frequency mode.

Channel Naming capability is one of unique features of this radio, think as 5 letters memo. Programmed channels become more useful.

Manual covers just basic operations and Menu Mode instruction is incorrect describing only 4 setups, actually 11 on the radio. 4 setups correspond to identical looking KYD TK-338, probably they didn't update manual upon upgrade on firmware or processor. Functions are correct on manual.

Computer Programming capability (unverified) is on spec. but no info on cable. Software is downloadable from manufacturers' web site.
 

 

LT-3288/2288 Function List
 
Functions Keys
Mode Select [VFO] (direct-input/channel)
Menu Mode [MENU]
1 MHz Up/Down* [MHz] <ENC +->
TX/RX Freq. Reverse [REV]
Channel Scan Lockout* [F][0] (* icon)
Squelch Level [F][1] <ENC 0-9>
RF Output Hi/Low [F][2]
Scan [F][3]
Channel Name Input* [F][4] <text>
Freq./Ch.Name Display* [F][5]
CTCSS on/off [F][6]
TX Tone on/off [F][7] (DT Icon)
Stop Watch [F][8] repeat [8] stop, start
CTCSS Frequency [F][9] <ENC 1-50>
Frequency Steps* [F][MHz] <ENC 5/6.25/12.5/25>
Repeater Shift* [F][REV] repeat +. -. none
Store Memory* [F] <ENC channel#> [VFO]
Backlit Control [F][LAMP] (On/10sec)
Ch.# Only Display Hold [MENU] & Power On
Clear All except Channel Settings Dircet mode & Power off, Hold [VFO] & Power On, Press [VFO]
Clear Single Channel memory Select Channel & Power off, Hold [VFO] & Power on, Press [VFO]
Clear All Hold [F] & Power on, Press [F]
text input keys
<ENC character>
[MHz] backspace / [REV] forward / [MENU] save
* in Direct Input Mode only
* in Channel Mode only
LT-3288/2288 Menu Mode
 
Menu# Display Descriptions
M1 SCAN.TO SCAN.CO Scan Resume Time/Carrier
M2 APO.OFF APO. ON Auto Power Off
M3 BP . ON BP . OFF Keypad Beep
M4 TXS.OFF TXS. ON TX Lockout
M5 SAV. ON SAV.OFF Power Saver
M6 ENC. OFF ENC.ON Encoder on Locked state
M7 RPT.ON RPT. OFF Repeater on/off*
M8 OM .DC OM .MSG Power-On Display DC.V/MSG
M9 MSG.SET <text> Power-On Message
M10 OFF.SET <xx.xxx> Repeater Offset (Direct mode)
M11 TOT. x TOT. 1~8 TX Time Out (min)
<ENC> [MENU]  
*Unverified

 
LT-3288/2288 Manufacturer Specifications

MAY 17 2006

 

i Feidaxin FD-450A UHF Radio


Feidaxin FD-450A Programmable UHF Transceiver

Feidaxin FD-450A is a UHF (VHF FD-150A) Two-Way Radio from in China.
FD-450A covers 400~470MHz, FD-150A covers 136~174MHz. The Radio requires no computer/external device to program. TX/RX independent 99 Channel Memory capacity with 50 CTCSS, 105 DCS. A very rugged build radio, professional use in mind.


FD-450A is very well built around Aluminum Alloy chassis inside. Case housing is thicker than most of other radios. The radio is a bit bigger and heavier than others due to large 6.0v 1200mAh Ni-MH battery pack; nearly 50% of volume.

Blue backlit large Alphanumeric LCD is easy to read and navigate settings. Viewing angle of LCD is set correctly so that LCD is legible when hold by hand. Keypad tone corresponds to volume level and can be turned off.

I could see this radio was designed for Business/Professional use. Auto Keypad Lock prevents accidental changes on settings, small but useful feature for Business/Professional use. The radio is equipped with not only CTCSS but DCS (normal/inverted), making application much wider. Screw hole below remote speaker/microphone jack is to attach connector securely, another small detail for Professional use.

Motorola type 8mm pin pitch remote speaker/microphone can be used. But exposed jack has very unprotected looking and both 2.5mm & 3.5mm jacks are not supported by housing; usually barrel of jack is inserted to the hole on housing to relief stress on jack. Stress from pull & twist of the connector goes to soldering points of jacks which is not really comforting. Probably speaker/microphone from Feidaxin is proprietary shape to fit and secured with screw, not giving any stress to jacks and covers opening fully. The radio comes with plastic cover to protect jack opening.


Remote Speaker/Microphone

Desktop battery charger base contains a LM317 voltage regulator. Charging process is much better than dumb charger but indicator is not accurate (could be just mine).
Updated: Battery charger is NOT dumb as stated before.

Newer FD-450A has functions written on keys, older (see picture) has just numbers.

FD-450A Function List
 
Functions Keys
Mode Select [VFO] (direct-input/channel)
TX/RX Freq. Reverse [REV] press & hold
Keypad Lock/Unlock [] press & hold
UP []
Down []
TX Tone* [F][0] <CTCSS> [F] <DCS> [VFO] <inv.DCS>
Squelch Level [F][1] <0-9>
RF Output Hi/Low [F][2] <hi/low>
Scan [F][3]
Backlit Control [F][4] <auto/on/off>
Keypad Beep [F][5] <on/off>
Auto Keypad Lock [F][6] <auto/manual>
TX Timeout [F][7] <off-90sec>
Repeater Offset** [F][8] 00.000MHz
RX Tone Squelch* [F][9] <CTCSS> [F] <DCS> [VFO] <inv.DCS>
Frequency Steps [F][] <5/10/6.25/12.5/25>
Repeater Shift** [F][REV] <+. -. same>
Store Memory* [F][VFO] <channel>
Ch.# Only Display Hold [F] & Power On
Clear Single Channel memory Select Channel & Power off, Hold [VFO] & Power on, Press [VFO]
press [PTT] to confirm changes on [F] settings
*Set in Direct Input Mode, View only in Channel Mode
*Result of offset & shift must be within operational range

CTCSS 50ch Frequency Table
Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz Ch Hz
1 67.0 11 94.8 21 131.8 31 171.3 41 203.5
2 69.3 12 97.4 22 136.5 32 173.8 42 206.5
3 71.9 13 100.0 23 141.3 33 177.3 43 210.7
4 74.4 14 103.5 24 146.2 34 179.9 44 218.1
5 77.0 15 107.2 25 151.4 35 183.5 45 225.7
6 79.7 16 110.9 26 156.7 36 186.2 46 229.1
7 82.5 17 114.8 27 159.8 37 189.9 47 233.6
8 85.4 18 118.8 28 162.2 38 192.8 48 241.8
9 88.5 19 123.0 29 165.5 39 196.6 49 250.3
10 91.5 20 127.3 30 167.9 40 199.5 50 254.1
LCD Display shows Tone frequency, no problems matching with standard 38ch CTCSS.
 

MAY 23 2006:rev.1 MAY 31 2006:rev.2 JUL 1 2006

 

i Kenwood FreeTalk™EX UBZ-AR14 FRS Radio


Kenwood FreeTalk™ UBZ-AR14 FRS Radios

The FreeTalk™EX UBZ-AR14 is an entry-level Kenwood FRS radio.
This is a quality built basic walkie talkie, good enough to carry name of radio equipment manufacturer Kenwood. Simple design, simple operation, very good for first time users. The radio has buttons designated to a single function, no function key, no menu system to navigate to get job done. Only the key shared is channel selector located on right side which become CTCSS code select key by pressing "Mode" key located just below the channel key.
Simple and rounded corner design makes easy to hold. All fittings of case are good, battery compartment lid fits perfectly without a play. Nothing to squeak and flex when holding. Antenna is flexible, you'll find yourself playing with.
Large LCD display is easy to read, no squinting eyes to find out meaning of blinking icon. Keypad beep is well controlled and designed, not ear piercing tone.

Although the radio doesn't have a scan function, probably not necessary when used as a pair of walkie talkies.


Features:
  • FRS 14 Channels with 38 CTCSS codes
  • 500mW Radio output
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Call function
  • Monitor function for weak signals
  • Low Battery Warning
  • Keypad Lock
  • Keypad Tone
  • All Electronic Control
  • Flexible Antenna
  • 2.5mm/3.5mm Accessory Jacks
  • 4 AAA batteries operation.

Dimensions & Weight: (approx.)

  • 105mm x 60mm x 32mm
    4.13" x 2.36" x 1.25" (HxWxD excl. antenna)
  • 105g/3.7oz. (excl. batteries)

Colours: Black or Yellow

Pros:
  • Simple Design
    Design to fit comfortably and securely in a hand.
     
  • Simple Operation
    No function key, no menu to navigate. Great for casual users.
     
  • Quality Built
    Good enough to carry Kenwood name.
Cons:
  • Keypad tone cannot be turned off
     
  • No provision for rechargeable batteries
     
  • No Roger beep
     
  • Lowest setting on volume may still be loud
  MAR 05 2006

 

i Motorola T6200 series FRS Radios


Motorola T6200 series Walkie-Talkies

Smallest three AA battery walkie-talkies I've ever seen.
It isn't newest of Motorola Talkabout two-way radios, introduced in January 2001 at Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Price ranging from US$75.99 to $134.99 per radio at time of introduction. The Radio is well designed and well built.
 


Features:
  • FRS 14 Channels with 38 CTCSS codes
  • GMRS/FRS 22 Channels with 38 CTCSS codes
    (T6520 only)
  • 500mW Radio output (1Watt GMRS on T6250)
  • Weather Radio & Alert (T6220/8ch. T6250/7ch.)
  • VibraCall Alert (except T6200)
  • 5 Call tones (additional 5 on T6220 & T6250)
  • Channel Scan with CTCSS detection
  • VOX Hands Free operation with accessories
  • QuieT6000™ Interference Reducer
  • Roger beep & Keypad tone with on/off options
  • LED Operation Indicator
  • Auto Power Off (0~8Hrs)
  • Signal Level Meter (press & hold Monitor key)
  • Battery Level Indicator
  • Audible Low Battery Warning
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Keypad Lock
  • All Electronic Control
  • Weather Resistant Body
  • Flexible Antenna
  • 2.5mm Single pin Accessory Jack
  • Rechargeable Battery ready
  • 3 AA batteries or Ni-MH rechargeable battery pack operation.
Dimensions & Weight:
  • 98mm x 56mm x 33mm
    3.86" x 2.20" x 1.32" (HxWxD excl. antenna)
  • 85g/3oz. (excl. batteries)

Colours:
note: availability depending on models. Back half of the radio is black.

  • Wild Lime
  • SunStreak Yellow
  • Nordic Blue
  • Ever Green
  • Graphite Black
  • Advantage Timber® (Camouflage Pattern)
  • Dark Grey
Pros: Cons:
  • Compact Design
    Smallest three AA battery operated walkie talkies I've ever seen.
     
  • Rugged Design
    No thin plastic feel (see cons). Some comments on web indicate it well survived on drop to hard surface.
     
  • No sharp corners and protrusions
    Easy to carry, fits to pocket in and out.
     
  • Quality Built
    Open the battery compartment lid, You will see metal plated base for shielding. You won't see this type of treatment on other FRS radios.
     
  • Good Reception
     
  • Weather Radio & Alert (except T6200 & T6210)
    Reception of Weather radio is very good for its compact size.
     
  • Eavesdrop Reducer (except T6200)
    Not perfect voice scrambler but makes others difficult to listen to your conversations.
     
  • Channel Scan
    It scans channels and detect CTCSS code in use. More efficient than 14ch x 38codes style full scan.

 

  • Location of 'Press to Talk' button
    Side is preferred.
     
  • Battery Lid
    Read below...
     
  • Keypad
    -, Menu, + and PTT is too close, difficult to use -, + buttons which control volume level on normal operation.
     
  • Heavy pop noise on Headset use
    It's less noticeable while using speaker. Heavy pop noise produced by opening/closing of audio circuit become noticeable with headset, especially on beep tone. (turn off keypad confirmation beep by holding
    "-" key on power up)
     
  • Belt Clip
    Infamous Motorola "who designed this" FRS radio swivel belt clip. now you know why Motorola (or eBay sellers) is selling the clip itself.
     
  • No covers on Accessory Jack
    I'm not sure how they could call this Weather Resistant.

Optional Cons

  • Ni-MH Battery Pack
    3 AAA Ni-MH cells in size of 3AA Battery pack.
    3.6V 550mA/h isn't enough.
     
  • Battery Charger
    Clip/Unclip is cumbersome and relies on plastic clip flexibility. Also clip is attached to thin battery compartment lid which attached to body with a small latch at bottom.
     
  • Desktop Charging Base
    Radio needs to clip in, difficult to attach/detach.
    Drop-In style is preferred.

Battery Lid:
Bad design period. Even won't close properly.
The lid has 3 spring loaded contact points. When you use 3 AA batteries, middle contact point hits highest point of middle AA battery, pushing the lid outwards. Two others sit between the batteries. Since the only one in middle is touching the battery, the lid got slight seesaw action when closed.
When you use 3 AAA Ni-MH rechargeable battery pack (size of 3 AA), all 3 contacts hit battery pack, again pushing the lid outwards. You always see the gap between body and lid no matter what battery is in use.
Because of this, when you squeeze the radio a bit, the lid makes noise... and the lid is wrapped around 1/3 of sides, you feel edge of the lid. Latch is thin "V" shape, just be careful when you remove the lid.
This lid is really annoying especially everything else is good. I can't believe Motorola made a charger attach to this lid.

Advice on Rechargeable Battery Kit:

Original Ni-MH rechargeable battery kit is not the greatest. Find AA size Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and smart charger, sometimes called quick charger. Smart charger detects condition of battery and controls charging current, making charging process more efficient = quick. Capacity of current AA sized Ni-HM battery is 1800~2200mA/h up to 4 times more than original Ni-MH power pack. Also since AA is standard, the batteries can be utilized while not using on radios.

Remote Speaker/Microphone MAR 11 2006