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Programming a Used UHF Radio for GMRS


enidpd804
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I've dipped my toe in the GMRS waters with Midland and Wouxan.  I'd like to buy a used Kenwood and try my hand at programming.  I'm looking at an 8180 for a base unit at the house.  What do I need to know about programming?  I've got the whole family using channel 16 with CTCSS 2.  Is this something a newbie can do with relative ease?

 

I really appreciate all of the advice I've gotten here so far.  Thanks in advance.  

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For the TK-8180 I think you need to download and install the programming software for the radio. It should be the KPG-89D located here. There are other locations to find the software. The latest version is V1.61 I believe. Older ones will likely work too. Just make sure you have the serial install key. Normally most of the packages include one in a text file.

 

http://rsws.zapto.org/RadioSoftware/Kenwood/

 

You will also need a programming cable for it too.

 

Commercial radios are great to use on GMRS but are impossible to setup, or nearly so, without the programming software.

 

Any used commercial radio you are thinking about buying make sure you can get the correct programming software and cable for it FIRST. If you can't the radio will end up being an expensive paper weight.

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I wanted share my experience as I am new to GMRS and recently setup a TK-8180 in my truck. Not only was this was my first mobile setup, but also my first time programming. To be honest I was concerned that I was getting in over my head. I purchased the software and programming cable and couldn't get my computer to read the radio. After doing a little investigation I realized that the programming cable I bought was junk. I replaced it with a quality cable and everything worked like a charm. The KPG-89D software is pretty simple to use. After playing around with it for about 15 minutes I started programming the radio. 20 minutes after I started programming I had all of my repeaters loaded in zone 1 and all of the simplex channels loaded in zone 2. It really couldn't have been easier. I recommend buying your cable on Ebay from bluemax49ers. You'll pay a little more for his stuff, but it works great! If you follow this youtube link and jump to the 1 min mark you can see just how easy this software is to use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-S_DHkcg6o

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I recommend buying your cable on Ebay from bluemax49ers. You'll pay a little more for his stuff, but it works great! If you follow this youtube link and jump to the 1 min mark you can see just how easy this software is to use. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c-S_DHkcg6o

 

bluemax49ers only sells genuine FTDI chipped cables. The cheaper knock-offs are using pirated Prolific chips that rarely work.

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bluemax49ers only sells genuine FTDI chipped cables. The cheaper knock-offs are using pirated Prolific chips that rarely work.

He also sells Prolific-based cables, somewhat cheaper than FTDI. I have one CAT interface from him with Prolific. But his Prolific chips are genuine and do work in Windows without problems.

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