My PRO-433

Review – Wouxun KG-UV3D

P1020215.JPG This is a review of the newest radio in my collection, the Wouxun KG-UV3D. This radio is sold exclusively by Powerwerx in the US. I purchased this radio as both an Amateur HT and for business use.

Overall: At first glance, this handheld looks like any other dual-bander amateur HT. It has a two-line display for showing frequencies in the A and B banks. It has backlit keys, and a red “MENU” button in contrast to the black keypad. The top has two knobs, one as a rotary encoder dial for selection and one for volume/power. Pretty standard when compared to my Yaesu FT-60R.

Audio: Initial reports have been of good audio quality. The speaker is exceptionally loud. Not a bad thing for a handheld. I can have the volume near halfway and that is plenty loud for indoor use. I will be testing it with a clip mic and be using it in a loud environment later on.

Battery Life: Not sure yet. It is powered by a 1700 mAh Li-Ion battery. I don’t know if this is a good thing or not. I’m used to the NiMH and NiCd batteries found on my FT-60R and business-class Kenwood. The initial charge on the battery allowed for a cumulative 45 seconds on high power, which was nice. The rapid charger apparently filled the battery intelligently, as after 10 minutes in the charger it reports full. We’ll see how full “full” really is.

Programming: Just get the programming cable! The software is free from Wouxun/Powerwerx site. I tried doing some minor changes on the menu system, and it clearly was overly complicated. Everything I’ve read online said to just bite the bullet and get the cable and software. I’m glad I did! I was able to get the radio out, plug the cable in, and after some “unlocking” (which I’ll talk about below) it took the programming just fine. The software is a bit clunky, but it does work.

Band Coverage: This guy is best for transmitting, not necessarily for scanning. The scanner is slow, and the band coverage is really just VHF/UHF. There’s no 800 MHz listening, or in-between bands like with the FT-60R. As far as TX, you can obtain software to legally open this guy up to other bands, obviously if you are licensed to transmit in those bands/frequencies. I am covered under a license for a business band UHF frequency, and unlocked my radio to transmit on this frequency. So far it has had good signal and audio reports.

Now, the cons:

  • 128 Channels – kind of small compared to other HTs with 500 or 1000
  • Programming software, as I said, is clunky. Very clunky.
  • Don’t yet know how smart the charger is. Seems to check the battery level before charging.
  • No external DC jack – charger only

I will be adding on to this review as I own the radio. This is just a nice starting point.

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13 thoughts on “Review – Wouxun KG-UV3D”

  1. Any issues with the case not fitting with the external battery pack, microphone connector, or USB connector?

    How about the TX reports and ears? How well is it working for rag-chewing? :-)

  2. I didn’t get the case, so I can’t speak to that. The only looseness I’ve seen is the battery pack feels like it has some spring to it. I haven’t had a problem with losing power, but that’s a point of cheapness.

    TX reports have all been splendid. I use it for disaster work, so I’m usually yelling/speaking loudly and it comes across just fine. I know two other people that use these for Commercial frequencies and they work just great.

    If you’re deciding on whether to purchase one, I’d suggest these considerations:

    * It is a pain in the behind to program manually. You’ll need the USB cable to be efficient.
    * With it being so hard to field program, it is probably best to program more than you’ll ever need. It’s great for me that has 5 repeaters in the area and I primarily talk on one or two, but if you travel a lot, you’ll find that it’ll be easier to program beforehand than trying to do it on the fly.
    * It uses all the Kenwood accessories (same pinout). I’ve used a Kenwood branded clip mic with it no problem.
    * No external power connector: battery only. You can get a battery eliminator from Powerwerx.
    * Antenna connector is reversed-gender SMA (just like Kenwood). You can get adapters to go from the odd SMA to BNC or SO-239.

  3. Andrew,
    Just purchased one an I am pleased with the quality.Could you post a clear picture of  the software with
     a few freq; set up so i can use it as a model to follow

    Thanks,

    Bob

  4. I would like to program the UV3D for a commercial freq in the 461 rage, I understand I can unlock the unit with software, any idea where I can download?

  5. I purchased this primarly for commercial use. And I have to say at first glance, it is great. Not sure what the fuss is about the battery. Mine fits snug and has no movement. I purchased it from HRO with the USB cable and a clip on mic for around $150 shipped. I am very pleased with my order thus far. Only had it for a day so far. I didn’t even bother with the software from Powerwrex. I used the commander software and it was so easy on my Win 7 machine. I have programmed about a third of the memory already with local freq and haven’t ran into a problem. Mine is the version 2 which I was told is the newest US model.

  6. I don’t have understand if you have used a nicd pack from other radio instead original battery pack li ion.
    I’ve used for my wouxun the empty pack for alkaline filled with ni hd , but , cause different voltage , radio shuth down before end of charge of cells.
    If you know a NICD battery pack usable instead original  please inform me .

    Many thanks

    Roberto iw2evk

    Milan

  7. I just got this radio and had a challenge manually programing it. I’m a new ham and the manual was not very helpful, the programing cable is essential as I was able to program it with different frequencies and enjoy listening and talking to different hams around California. I would like to request that you talk ones again about “unlocking” for those of us that miss it

    “73′s”

  8. I’ve had the KG-UV3D for a week. I followed advice online and got the USB cable and downloaded the third-party Commander software for programming it. Between that and MS Excel (and a series of csv (comma delimited format) files I’ve created from repeater lists and other sources), I’ve listened to a bunch of the local repeaters with consistently good results. Just got very positive reports from a net on strength and sound quality from my end, too. I did get the optional higher gain rubber duck antenna, as my main goal is to be functional in emergency situations.

    Out the door around $200 direct from Powerwerx, including car/battery eliminator, USB cable, AA battery pack, antenna upgrade, and shipping, so no buyer’s remorse here.

  9. I just got mine and figured out how to manually program it (I didn’t get the programming cable). The only thing I can’t figure out is that it only seems to scan two channels. Do I need to program this with the computer to open it to more channels for scanning?

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