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Kenwood 8180 receiver sensitivity concern


Mikeam
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So I have two Kenwood 8180 transceivers and I think there is an issue with them concerning reception while scanning or for that matter while on an active frequency, Example on the standard Repeater 18 frequency I hear nothing but on my hand held Btech GMRS I can clearly hear traffic. Now the antenna for the Kenwood is pre tuned and I have verified the SWR  to be within standards. So as a test I set up the antenna for the Kenwood on a tripod and turned the transceiver on I then held the Btech next to that antenna, the hand held received traffic but the Kenwood did not. I set the squelch all the way down to  open on the Kenwood and still no signal capture?? So is the Btech that sensitive or is the Kenwood that unsensitive??

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couple things to check. First check the coax, it is possible there is a small break in the core which would cause signal issues. If the coax seems to be ok, check the programming and ensure the proper frequency and tones are entered (This is a common mistake, guys swapping the 462/467 frequencies, or entering the wrong tones). Check that you have "wide band" selected as this could also cause signal issues. Last would be optional signaling, which I believe can be 2 tone, fleetsync, MDC, or none. Make sure to select "none" unless you know how to program any of those options.

If after all that you find you still have signal issues, move the radio inside (if installed on a vehicle) and begin further testing. Try different coax & antenna to see what you get. If after all of that you still find you have signal issues, I would recommend contacting a radio repair shop or a ham friend who has the tools and know how to adjust the receiver sensitivity. Trying to do this without the proper equipment or know how can deafen the radio, or cause it to never shut up.

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Thanks I have one in the home and one in the Jeep both seem to need a very strong signal to break squelch. The hand held receives great but lacks power for any distant repeaters. I may just change directions and get a new radio. I have been looking at the new Wouxun KG-1000G GMRS Base/Mobile Two Way Radio.

 

Not many around here with the correct equipment as you stated to look for. I used to have a friend in the business but he moved out of the area. I like the Kenwood radio and will continue to use it at home but I want something for the jeep and the above seems to be the first with all of the needed frequency slots for PL codes!

Hey it is only money, Mike

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Remember that the traffic doesn't have to be on the right frequency to be heard on these Baoturds. I can hear the same kids talking on their FRS bubblepacks nearby in 3 different channels on my Retevis ...  my XPR7550e can't pick the kids except on the actual channel they are using... 

 

My Retevis RT-52 could hear the NOAA 162.550 in MURS2 and MURS4... along with some other random junk... none of my Motorola radios can hear NOAA 162.550 anywhere, well, except when they are tuned to the right 162.550 MHz frequency, that is.

 

So, be aware that these radios are just that, garbage... and those garbage receivers are so wide open that can certainly pick your local FM music station if parked at the right frequency due to intermodulation IF frequencies... so... I trust the Kenwood is actually doing the right thing, and not picking the intermodulation... welcome to intermodulation on garbage radios!! Its more common than you think...

 

 

G.

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Could it be the squelch settings?  Some radios have fairly complex settings that can only be changed in software.

I have the software and have even done the squelch all the way to open. What I am listening to is a local repeater and a old age center for dementia patients so it is not just random traffic but known traffic. If we use the Kenwood base to the Kenwood mobile the frequency for channel 22 at 30 watts so far works (receive on both the Kenwood and the HT) for at least 6 miles but then the HT works farther then the Kenwood does. My curiosity is why the GMRS V1 receives far better then the Kenwood 8180 both local traffic and repeaters. Not that it is a deal breaker. Thanks for your input

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Are you having issues when scanning only? Or is it a problem parked on a channel as well?

 

The Kenwoods are superior radios, but are not designed for scanning at all. He's, it does have a scan feature, but it's is slow, and not the primary use of the radio. Remember, they are professional LMR radios, and as such, the average patrol officer or EMS driver would remain parked on dispatch frequency, and likely not even have access to the scan feature.

 

I bet the scan is just not fast enough to catch the little bit of traffic. I would still keep the Kenwood, it's a far superior radio with much better specs, including selectivity and sensitivity.

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Are you having issues when scanning only? Or is it a problem parked on a channel as well?

 

The Kenwoods are superior radios, but are not designed for scanning at all. He's, it does have a scan feature, but it's is slow, and not the primary use of the radio. Remember, they are professional LMR radios, and as such, the average patrol officer or EMS driver would remain parked on dispatch frequency, and likely not even have access to the scan feature.

 

I bet the scan is just not fast enough to catch the little bit of traffic. I would still keep the Kenwood, it's a far superior radio with much better specs, including selectivity and sensitivity.

It is parked or scan on the base unit I understand what your saying on a officer unit. Actually the scanning works good enough for my needs it is the difference in receiving a signal between the hand held GMRS V1 and the Kenwood radios on known frequencies like I stated above say the rest home and a known repeater will come in clearly on the HT but will not break squelch on the Kenwood's or even work with the squelch set to 0. Still working on it and will run a test this Monday on a short run up the sound where there are 3 repeaters that should work.  Thanks all for your ideas it gives me someplace to look and some testing I can do.

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