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Programming a Kenwood TK-880: Getting started



Well, I haven't gotten far.  :blink:


TK-880 is tied into DC power and, when turned on, shows a very quick version # then UNPROGRAM.  From the internet, I tried to change it to PROG mode by turning on with SCN button depressed; no change.


My KPG-49D (v 4.21) is fired up.  When connected to TK-880, I clicked "Read Data from Radio" and a red light blinks on the radio (but nothing was pulled up to the software--I'm assuming these radios are stripped of programmed frequencies when they're refurb'd).  Below is the screen I see.  I haven't been able to find anything online which would describes what each of the columns means and what (and how) entries should be made.  If I could figure that out, I could try writing to the radio.


Any tips to at least get me moving would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks.



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For testing, and to learn, type the following in to row 1:

under RX Frequency, type in 462.62500.

under TX Frequency, type the same thing: 462.62500

QT/DQT is Kenwood's trade-name for CTCSS or DCS a.k.a "Tone Squelch" - Decode and Encode - just leave those both blank for now.

under Channel Name, type "Channel 18"

under W/N, select Wide instead of Narrow, unless you are talking to Midland MicroMobiles or other FRS radios, then select Narrow.

Under TX Power, select Low for the time being. You will change this later, remember, this is just for testing and practice programming.

Scan Add - Yes (or no, doesn't matter yet)

Optional Signal - leave it blank or select None.

Then drop down the program menu from the top bar, and select "Upload data to Radio" and go from there.

Your radio should re-boot after a minute or less with FRS/GMRS "Channel 18" showing in the display, and you should be able to talk to another radio on 18 with no private code set. (Private code is Midland's name for CTCSS or Tone)


If it works, go back and program in channels 1-7 on Low power, and 15-22 on High power. You can add repeater channels later as needed.

To find the frequencies to use, just do a google search for "FRS GMRS Frequency Chart" and you'll find it. Also note that is is illegal to use FRS channels 8-14 on a base or mobile radio, so just leave them out.  Those are for half-watt handhelds only.

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Jones, thanks.  Like I used to tell my kids, "Just start someplace."  I don't know why I thought I was going to break it.  I typed in 462.5625 (for Channel 1) and it magically populated all other fields other than Tx frequency.  I'm working on 15-22 right now and toggling to High power, but everything else in Low.


Yes, I need to figure out where to specify where volume goes, etc.


Thanks for the hand; updates forthcoming.


Any idea what this message means?  I click OK and it writes normally to the radio.



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I don't want to seem (too) sarcastic... but, the message means exactly what it says. The software thinks your radio is not running V2 firmware (because your radio is running V1 firmware).  But, one or more of the options you have selected are only supported by V2 firmware.  It is most likely a radio-wide option rather than a channel specific option, that is causing the issue. However, your radio will work just fine.  If you don't like seeing the warning message, you will need to figure out which option)s) you need to deselect. I am not specifically knowledgable on Kenwood equipment. However, there are several threads on the forum discussing the differences between V1 and V2 software.  IIRC the conclusion was that the V2 features were not particularly for most GMRS uses.


One tip: I have generally had better luck using google to search the forums than in using the forum's search feature. Try a google search entry something like:

site:mygmrs.com kenwood tk-880 v1 v2 difference

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Another tip I use: Program channels 1-7 as Narrow bandwidth, since most of the time on those lower channels you will be communicating with FRS handhelds.  Leave the upper channels wideband.


Repeaters for the most part will be wideband.  When programming repeater channels, the TX frequency will be 5 MHz higher than the RX, thus you would type in 462.625 for the RX and 467.625 for the TX frequency. You will also need to add the tones required, which will be those QT boxes. QT Enc is the tone you are sending to the repeater, and QT Dec is the tone you will use to hear the repeater, or you can always leave the Dec column blank to hear all traffic on that frequency.

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