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Kenwood TK3180 portable


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For handhelds consider the Kenwood TK3180s for their ease of programming, durability that run on 5 watts with option to switch to  lower power mode. The units themselves are not compact but with the KNB33L lithium batteries, you’ll shed a lot of weight and bulkiness compared to the heavy KNB32 NiMh cells. For programming you will need KPG89D software and a programming cable found on ebay. 

Some TK3180s run on SJ180 software (Like mine did) and won’t work with KPG89D  but people recommend you stick to KPG89D. To enable KPG89D on these units, you need to get the SJ180 software and TK-x180 E&K firmware. (can be found online). 

1st step is to open the radio with SJ180 and enable “Firmware Programing” found in optional features tab. After firmware programming is enabled,make sure COM Port is selected, then you write it to the radio through programing tab in SJ180. 
2nd step is to install the firmware. Close the SJ180 software/program. Open the TKx 180 firmware FPRO file. A grey window will pop-up where you’ll click on folder icon. There you will search for file name ending in HEX something like “TK2180K_ REL22_1 HEX.” Hold down the S Key on the radio and power it on while holding the S key, this will enable programing mode on the radio.Then click on COM Port 3 in the FPRO file and Write the selected HEX file to the radio. 
3rd step is to open KPG89D and program your radio.   (I forgot the step of holding the S Key on radio and powering the radio to enable programing mode.) 

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