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Kenwood Handhelds TK3180 advice


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#1 nyc787

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 05:29 PM

Looking to acquire handhelds and would like to stick to one brand. Since I have Kenwoods already
I’m interested in TK3180 for its compact size and 5watt output. Does this model pick up repeater channels and as flexible to program as the TK880?
I thought about Btech 8watt model but bit hesitant about ease of programming and negative reviews about it not doing clean transmits and I feel like a 5watt vs 8watt output would be negligible difference in performance?

#2 Elkhunter521

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 07:08 PM

I have a Btech uv82hp. Its rated at 7 watts UHF but it only puts out 5.9 watts at GMRS frequencies. This is not enough over 5 watts to make any difference. It is small in size, on the same frame as Btech Gmrs-v1.

Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!


#3 Jones

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Posted 30 August 2019 - 11:56 PM

You are correct in that the difference between 5 Watts and 8 Watts is nil. Those BTechs can't really do the full 8 Watts anyway. The Kenwoods are much higher quality, and yes, they can be programmed for repeater splits, and all CTCSS and DTS tones that you might ever need.



#4 axorlov

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Posted 31 August 2019 - 01:02 PM

I have TK-3170, three of them. Repeater splits, tones, groups, scan, flexible assignment of all buttons. Just as flexible as TK-880 or maybe even more. For models without the 0-9 keypad DTMF tones may me programmed as selectable from menu assigned to one of the 6 available buttons. If it is important to you, 3170 is Part 95A radio, do not know about 3180. 3170 is significantly bigger and heavier than Baofengs, looks like 3180 is even taller.


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#5 nyc787

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Posted 02 September 2019 - 01:59 PM

I went ahead and bought several used 3180s. I’ll update if I like them once I get a chance to use them.
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#6 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 27 January 2020 - 08:12 PM

I went ahead and bought several used 3180s. I’ll update if I like them once I get a chance to use them.

 

Ready... GO!


Gary

WRAF233

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#7 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:30 AM

I have TK-3170.. For models without the 0-9 keypad DTMF tones may me programmed as selectable from menu assigned to one of the 6 available buttons. 

 

 

To clarify for me please.. on the 3170 can a button be programmed to enable PL/CTCSS tones to be selected and assigned from the buttons.

OST (Operator Selectable Tone) is in the 3170 manual and the description sounds like a description of PL.  "call with different tone will not open squelch".

 

Just ordered a 3170 and having it programmed.  Called them quick to change up a key assignment to include OST.  So thanks for the info here, even if I'm late finding it.


Gary

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NE NV


#8 gman1971

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:17 PM

Good choice, the Kenwood will be leaps and bounds better than the BTech



#9 axorlov

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 01:47 PM

To clarify for me please.. on the 3170 can a button be programmed to enable PL/CTCSS tones to be selected and assigned from the buttons.

OST (Operator Selectable Tone) is in the 3170 manual and the description sounds like a description of PL.  "call with different tone will not open squelch".

 

Just ordered a 3170 and having it programmed.  Called them quick to change up a key assignment to include OST.  So thanks for the info here, even if I'm late finding it.

I was talking about DTMF tones, not PL/CTCSS. I'm not sure about PL, maybe you can configure the radio for assigning PL using OST feature. I do not do it, and cannot confirm it, but I remember people discussing the possibility on this board. The 99.99% of my usage is simplex, so I just never researched this option.


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#10 Elkhunter521

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 07:07 PM

What happens to brain cells when a 10watt hh radio is used, held up to the ear..?

Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!


#11 Elkhunter521

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 07:08 PM

Maybe this would explain my social problems.....?

Be vewy vewy quiet.
I'm listening to my wadio!


#12 RCM

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Posted 29 January 2020 - 11:40 PM

I was talking about DTMF tones, not PL/CTCSS. I'm not sure about PL, maybe you can configure the radio for assigning PL using OST feature. I do not do it, and cannot confirm it, but I remember people discussing the possibility on this board. The 99.99% of my usage is simplex, so I just never researched this option.

You can do that on most of the Kenwoods. Here it is, in the TK-3180 manual: https://www.manualsl...?page=86#manual

 

 

"This function allows you to change the Decode/Encode
combination of the QT/DQT Signaling without changing
the transmit/receive frequencies.
This is used when there are several Talk Groups using
QT/DQT codes on the same frequency.
You can configure a maximum of 40 pairs of OST QT/
DQT Decode and QT/DQT Encode to the OST table. The
QT/DQT Encode/Decode pair and the OST table are
switched when the PF OST key is pressed."

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#13 Lscott

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 12:47 AM

You can down load the Kenwood programming software for your radio from the location below:

 

http://www.radioscan...nwood/file8416/

 

The download link is near the top of the page. The file you want is "kpg101d.zip"

 

The zip file should also have the license key you need to enable the software install. I have it running on Win 10 Home. I used this software to load a test code plug in to a used TK-2170 I picked up.

 

The radio uses the Baofeng type programming cables. If you buy one make sure it doesn't have a fake "Prolific" serial to USB chip in it. This site has the info about the cables:

 

http://www.miklor.co...tingStarted.php

 

Sooner or later you are going to want to make changes or load the code plug up into another TK-3170. No point in paying somebody when you can do it yourself.

 

Just ordered a 3170 and having it programmed.


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#14 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 01:00 AM

Similar description of OST in the 3170 manual that I read before posting above.  I guess my question is: will OST allow me to modify PL tones? 

Not real clear for this layman.

 

Actually it's moot now, since I had the dealer program a button for OST (free programming with purchase) along with the PL tones for repeaters in 3 states that I expect to at least try (8 total, a few 'redundant', and a few with unique PL/CTTSS, as in not 141.3).  I have a handy spreadsheet for reference if necessary.  A few repeaters in the wide area are identical but hundreds of miles apart so all I need to do is pull up the myGMRS App on my phone to confirm them and fire away. I've already obtained permission for them, regardless of whether that was required - all have been very accommodating and a few very encouraging.

  

Whether OST does what I hope with PL tones is not a big deal but would be nice.  Thanks for the software/cable links.  I've had zero luck with programming another radio so suspect it's the operator.. that's a topic for another thread.

 

Thanks to all.

 

Kenwood TK-3170

 

OPERATOR SELECTABLE TONE

You can change the preset encode and decode tones for the

selected channel. Your dealer can program up to 40 tones on

your transceiver.

To turn OST ON or OFF, press the key programmed as OST.

The OST indicator (

this function is activated.

To change the preset encode/decode tones:

1 Press and hold the key programmed as OST for

approximately 1 second.

The OST name appears on the display this function

2 Press the <B and C> keys, rotate the selector, or enter an

appropriate number using the DTMF keypad to select your

desired encode/decode pair.

3 Press the Side 1, S, or

and return to normal operation.

 


Gary

WRAF233

NE NV


#15 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 01:23 AM

 

The radio uses the Baofeng type programming cables. If you buy one make sure it doesn't have a fake "Prolific" serial to USB chip in it. This site has the info about the cables:

 

 

Are you saying the "Prolific" serial to USP chips are fake?  Or that there are "fake Prolific" cables labeled as Prolific but not genuine?

I have one (ebay) for the Wouxun 805G (serial - USB is where my laptop put it).  It's from the recommended ebay cable seller.  His reply to my question on why it wouldn't work for me was, "I cannot find any software for that radio.". 

 

I also have the Wouxun cable and CD from the dealer but the software won't work with either the Wouxun cable or the ebay cable.  It tries to read from the radio then gives the dreaded "Connection Fail".  Thankfully, I got the 805'G' so it's programmable with the keys, the 805 is not.

I was under the impression the ebay cable was plug 'n play, no software required.  First off, the drivers didn't load automatically so had to go online for them.  .zip files, and that confuses me at the git-go but I did my best until successfully loaded drivers.  Same "Connection Failure".  Verified COM Port, etc.  But it is in there as serial - USB.

 

Again, I can take this up on another thread later on.  I did comment to my wife that folks tend to write instructions for people who 'know stuff'.. poor assumption in my case.. lol.    But for now all my radios should be programmed to my needs.  

 

Thanks again gang!


Gary

WRAF233

NE NV


#16 Lscott

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 08:46 AM

Many USB to serial cables use a chip manufactured by a company called "Prolific" inside. The chip is a popular one so it didn't take long for it to get cloned. The cloned chips were cheaper than the official one. To combat the spread of the cloned chips the company wrote code into their driver to detect the clones and refuse to work with them.

 

The fix to get cables using the cloned chips to work required finding an older version of the driver before the detection code was added. Your other choice is to get a cable using a real Prolific USB to serial chip or the other type using a FTDI type chip in it.

 

https://www.ftdichip.com/USB.html

 

Trying to use a cable with the cloned chip the driver appears to install OK but you get error messages when you use it with the newer drivers.

 

Note that some Chinese radios use the USB to Baofeng type plug, but it's a pass through cable only. The USB to serial chip is built into the radio. My D878UV is like this. Using the Baofeng type USB to serial cable results in connection fail and other error messages. I have to use the specific cable the radio shipped with so its packed away and labeled for use with that radio only.

 

You can buy the USB to serial cables online. The one I have was sold by R and L Electronics in Ohio. I've used it several times to test a code plug for for my TK-2170, the VHF version of your UHF TK-3170 radio. It works fine on that radio and some other ones I have. Used it on both Windows 7 and Windows 10. I didn't do anything special, just plugged it in and let Windows install the driver.

 

http://www.randl.com...nulahcnmjsa27i6

 

As long as its the same manufacture as the one I got, didn't switch suppliers, it should work. Mine has "Baofeng" on the fat end that plugs into the computer's USB port.

 

If you look around on the Internet you can find PDF copies of the radio user guide and service manuals. Useful to have.

 

Also if you get the FCC ID off the back of the radio you can search the FCC database where you will find the test reports and the FCC grant, Part 90, 95 etc. for example, the radio is certified.

 

https://fccid.io/


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#17 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 10:40 AM

If you look around on the Internet you can find PDF copies of the radio user guide and service manuals. Useful to have.

 

Have done this for all 3 radios.  And have actually read a lot

 

 

Also if you get the FCC ID off the back of the radio you can search the FCC database where you will find the test reports and the FCC grant, Part 90, 95 etc. for example, the radio is certified.

 

Did this as well, before ordering a used radio.

 

https://fccid.io/

 

Will be interesting to see on the cable and software.  Supposedly the ebay seller is the best (recommended here).  Will have to keep playing but it can get frustrating when things do go as advertised.

 

Thank you.


Gary

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NE NV


#18 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 10:50 AM

http://www.miklor.co...tingStarted.php

 

takes me nowhere.

 

So, elementary I'm sure..

 

When I get the cable, plug it in and Windows should load the drivers, correct?  

https://www.ebay.com...4MAAOSw9h9ZobLO

 

Downloaded the software 

Open zip.

There are 2 Setup Files inside:  1. Application and 2. Configuration settings. Do I just need to run both of those files and follow instructions? 

 

This is where I seem to lose it.  


Gary

WRAF233

NE NV


#19 berkinet

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 11:20 AM

Did you read the product description on Ebay?

Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

-- Marcus Aurelius


#20 Gary - WRAF233

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Posted 30 January 2020 - 12:18 PM

Did you read the product description on Ebay?

Not as closely as maybe I should.  Got the link from a fellow member who said it worked perfectly on his new 805G so went with that.  

 

https://www.ebay.com...pid=17034686501


Gary

WRAF233

NE NV





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