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Wouxun KG-1000G - Receiver Sensitivity


mbrun
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I recently purchased one of these radios for use in my home. It is hooked up to an excellent external antenna at good elevation and with excellent feed-line. With my current system I have verified I can can get into 6 higher-profile repeaters within 50 miles of my home at or near full quieting.

 

From my earliest use of the radio I started to notice something unexpected. I fairly regularly have multiple radios on when I in the mode of ‘just playing radio’. What I observed was that my HTs regularly showed greater S-meter readings than the 1000G when lower level signals were encountered. This was not remotely what I was expecting given one radio is using an external high-gain antenna while the others are indoors using low-gain antennas. Nonetheless I mostly discounted this, at least initially.

 

While I do use repeaters, I like to focus more on what I can do simplex. Recently I set out get a feel for what I could achieve simplex between my new base radio and the HT in the mobile using my external mobile antenna. For this test, both my neighbor and my wife were on our respective base stations. Again, to my surprise, my neighbor was able to hear me at a range about 50-75% further than my wife could on the 1000G. Again, I discounted this difference, chalking it up to his extra 10’ of antenna height.

 

At the opening of my post I reported that I could get into 6 higher-profile repeaters in my area. True, but at first I did not realize that. One night I was confirming my repeater access on each repeater in the city. I would announce my callsign, sometimes indicate where I was at, and that I was just testing. I took note of which repeaters I received a squelch tail back from, noted the S-meter reading, hailed again to confirm, and sometimes asked for a radio check. If I heard no squelch tail from the repeater after multiple attempts I moved on.

 

Later that night, while in a conversation with another GMRSr on a repeater I can work well, I had some folks jump in to say they heard me on two different repeaters quite well earlier (ones that I had not previously gotten a squelch tail back from). Each one told me that they had tried to reach out to me but received not response back from me. I was shocked. Learning this talked and then switched over to those repeaters to try again as a group. Yep, they could hear me great, yet I could not hear them back. I checked my radio settings, all was good. It was late but we decided to try one more thing before we called it a night. I hooked up my KG-805G in place of the 1000G (exact feed-line and antenna). Low and behold the KG-805G got into the repeater fine at just 5 watts (although a bit noisy), but the KG-805G was able to hear the other parties. OK, now I know something is going on.

 

Yesterday I enlisted the help of a seasoned local GMRSr and amateur radio operator so I could perform some receive comparisons between three different radio models I have. For a period of time I had them transmit and talk while I hooked each model of radio to the exact same antenna and feed-line one after another. I took note of whether the squelch opened up, what the S-meter reading was, and what the audio quality was. In the end, the 1000G was the clear looser by a unexpected margin, while the 805G was the hands-down winner. Many times the squelch on the 1000G would not open up at all, and when it did, the S-meter was low and the audio very noisy. Conversely the HT radios always opened up, always produced usable audio and exhibited S-meter readings consistently 2-5 bars higher than the 1000G under the test scenario.

 

These results are not at all expected in light of the fact the radios have published sensitivity ratings that differ by only 2dB.

 

I have started a dialog with BTWR about this issue in hopes their customer service comes through. I would like to think that I received a dud and the issue can be resolved by swapping out the radio. Time will tell.

 

I writing this for the benefit of all of you that have already purchased this radio, or that are considering it. Your signal might very well be reaching a lot farther than you know, merely because your receive is not on par with your transmit. Not usually a good combination.

 

I will report back how custom service handles this situation, if and how the receive issue gets resolved.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Wow that is strange compared to my experience. I am getting great results on both receive and transmit, simplex and repeater use. On my base setup I am hearing HT  talk  from a rest home that the staff uses to stay in touch. My two Kenwood's and my HT GMRS V1 do not pick up those transmissions. On the last simplex test I was able to transmit 0ver six miles through trees and buildings with clear audible on the receive end but his HT could not reach any of my units. Sounds like your transceiver is having issues. Good luck!

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Michael aka "mbrun", I know you have heard me say this before.... put the KG-1000 back to factory settings and then make changes again, not by importing config file.  You see that what happen to me... I got a RMA number to send my KG-805G back and then my second 805G came in and I copied the new untouched factory config file and sent to my bad radio and it fixed it.  A second thing I learned from MozartMan that we deleted a channel spot that said error, which was our down fall.  

 

Give it a try and let me know.

Jack

 

EDIT:  I should say check your PL code on R-tx or or do not put a PL code on you R-tx side.

I recently purchased one of these radios for use in my home. It is hooked up to an excellent external antenna at good elevation and with excellent feed-line. With my current system I have verified I can can get into 6 higher-profile repeaters within 50 miles of my home at or near full quieting.

From my earliest use of the radio I started to notice something unexpected. I fairly regularly have multiple radios on when I in the mode of ‘just playing radio’. What I observed was that my HTs regularly showed greater S-meter readings than the 1000G when lower level signals were encountered. This was not remotely what I was expecting given one radio is using an external high-gain antenna while the others are indoors using low-gain antennas. Nonetheless I mostly discounted this, at least initially.

While I do use repeaters, I like to focus more on what I can do simplex. Recently I set out get a feel for what I could achieve simplex between my new base radio and the HT in the mobile using my external mobile antenna. For this test, both my neighbor and my wife were on our respective base stations. Again, to my surprise, my neighbor was able to hear me at a range about 50-75% further than my wife could on the 1000G. Again, I discounted this difference, chalking it up to his extra 10’ of antenna height.

At the opening of my post I reported that I could get into 6 higher-profile repeaters in my area. True, but at first I did not realize that. One night I was confirming my repeater access on each repeater in the city. I would announce my callsign, sometimes indicate where I was at, and that I was just testing. I took note of which repeaters I received a squelch tail back from, noted the S-meter reading, hailed again to confirm, and sometimes asked for a radio check. If I heard no squelch tail from the repeater after multiple attempts I moved on.

Later that night, while in a conversation with another GMRSr on a repeater I can work well, I had some folks jump in to say they heard me on two different repeaters quite well earlier (ones that I had not previously gotten a squelch tail back from). Each one told me that they had tried to reach out to me but received not response back from me. I was shocked. Learning this talked and then switched over to those repeaters to try again as a group. Yep, they could hear me great, yet I could not hear them back. I checked my radio settings, all was good. It was late but we decided to try one more thing before we called it a night. I hooked up my KG-805G in place of the 1000G (exact feed-line and antenna). Low and behold the KG-805G got into the repeater fine at just 5 watts (although a bit noisy), but the KG-805G was able to hear the other parties. OK, now I know something is going on.

Yesterday I enlisted the help of a seasoned local GMRSr and amateur radio operator so I could perform some receive comparisons between three different radio models I have. For a period of time I had them transmit and talk while I hooked each model of radio to the exact same antenna and feed-line one after another. I took note of whether the squelch opened up, what the S-meter reading was, and what the audio quality was. In the end, the 1000G was the clear looser by a unexpected margin, while the 805G was the hands-down winner. Many times the squelch on the 1000G would not open up at all, and when it did, the S-meter was low and the audio very noisy. Conversely the HT radios always opened up, always produced usable audio and exhibited S-meter readings consistently 2-5 bars higher than the 1000G under the test scenario.

These results are not at all expected in light of the fact the radios have published sensitivity ratings that differ by only 2dB.

I have started a dialog with BTWR about this issue in hopes their customer service comes through. I would like to think that I received a dud and the issue can be resolved by swapping out the radio. Time will tell.

I writing this for the benefit of all of you that have already purchased this radio, or that are considering it. Your signal might very well be reaching a lot farther than you know, merely because your receive is not on par with your transmit. Not usually a good combination.

I will report back how custom service handles this situation, if and how the receive issue gets resolved.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

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Wow that is strange compared to my experience. I am getting great results on both receive and transmit, simplex and repeater use. On my base setup I am hearing HT talk from a rest home that the staff uses to stay in touch. My two Kenwood's and my HT GMRS V1 do not pick up those transmissions. On the last simplex test I was able to transmit 0ver six miles through trees and buildings with clear audible on the receive end but his HT could not reach any of my units. Sounds like your transceiver is having issues. Good luck!

Hello Mikeam.

 

Don’t get me wrong, the radio does receive, just no where near as well as its little siblings costing 1/4 and 1/2 as much respectfully. If I did not have these alternate products from same manufacturer with equivalent receive specs at my finger tips to compare against I might be none the wiser. For now I am being optimistic in hopes that a replacement prevails that proves to work on par with or better than the HTs.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Michael aka "mbrun", I know you have heard me say this before.... put the KG-1000 back to factory settings and then make changes again, not by importing config file. You see that what happen to me... I got a RMA number to send my KG-805G back and then my second 805G came in and I copied the new untouched factory config file and sent to my bad radio and it fixed it. A second thing I learned from MozartMan that we deleted a channel spot that said error, which was our down fall.

 

Give it a try and let me know.

Jack

 

EDIT: I should say check your PL code on R-tx or or do not put a PL code on you R-tx side.

Good even Jack. Thanks for the suggestions. I do believe the radio is configured just fine. Also, for clarity, the only software that has been used with this radio is the factory software. No third party software is involved. Chirp will not be used with such an expensive radio until there is official support for it.

 

Thanks again,

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Good answer Michael, I had to ask... BUT did you restore back to factory settings then change your PL codes on the radio only.  That my point which I may not been that clear in my post...  

Good even Jack. Thanks for the suggestions. I do believe the radio is configured just fine. Also, for clarity, the only software that has been used with this radio is the factory software. No third party software is involved. Chirp will not be used with such an expensive radio until there is official support for it.

Thanks again,


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks for this detailed post.  I will be following to see how this turns out, too.  I truly appreciate the manner in which you tested this.  I've been doing some limited testing from the mobile setup, but nothing near as elaborate as yours.  I will be moving my 1000G to indoor bench DC shortly so I can play a bit more.  I'm anxious to see if you get different results with the new unit, or if anyone posts guidance on setup/config.  Thanks!

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If it can't hear that good with a high gain antenna, it would seem like the 1000G lacks filtering and uses a direct conversion receiver, and its desensing.

 

Just perform an ISO-tee on the radio.

This is a good point. A lot of these cheap radios lack proper bandpass filtering for the receiver and when connected to a decent antenna all manner of out of band signals from broadcasters to NOAA ( notoriously excessive power transmitters) will sap the gain of the receiver RF gain stages and block the receiver from picking up weaker desired signals.

 

The ISO-tee is a method of injecting a desired signal into the receiver from an RF signal generator and comparing its reception when the ISO-tee is terminated with an antenna versus a 50 ohm resistor load.

 

Ideally there should be little change. If there is, you have interference due to either on channel noise or out of band signals getting past the receivers filtering, if any.

 

Unfortunately much of the cheap radio equipment leave out the proper filtering relying on the user either having an inferior antenna, ignorance of the problem, or both.

 

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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ive had mine for a few days and with mine vs the ht on the same antenna i def hear more with the 1000g, antenna was a homebrew jpole. just put up a dpdproductions GMRS outdoor base antenna and the receive is even better on kg. picking up repeaters that i didnt get previously with the same radio and my jpole..dont judge me for using a jpole im a poor jeep owner and i built it for 10 bucks...

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ive had mine for a few days and with mine vs the ht on the same antenna i def hear more with the 1000g, antenna was a homebrew jpole. just put up a dpdproductions GMRS outdoor base antenna and the receive is even better on kg. picking up repeaters that i didnt get previously with the same radio and my jpole..dont judge me for using a jpole im a poor jeep owner and i built it for 10 bucks...

Nothing wrong with a J-Pole if it connects you to whom you want to communicate with. I have two of them that I use indoors regularly with my HTs. The higher placed outdoor antenna definitely does better though.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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Good Day All,

 

I wanted to do a follow-up and close the loop on this thread.

 

I received an RMA to send the original radio back. I had the radio all packaged up ready return when I was contacted by BTWR who asked if I would considering comparing it against a replacement radio first. I was happy to oblige as that was my original hope anyway.

 

Once in hand I tried to reproduce the conditions that lead to this post in the first place. Sadly, in many attempts, the over-the-air propagation was never consistent enough for me to rely on it like I could the day I performed my original comparisons.

 

In the end, I purchased an RF signal generator and wide assortment of RF pads to have in my radio tool box so that my comparisons would be objective and not skewed by variable environmental conditions.

 

Since I do not have a SINAD meter, the best I could hope for was comparing the radios and how effective they are at opening squelch at their lowest squelch. And since my original point of reference was the existing HT radios, I measured my existing HTs, the original and the replacement 1000G.

 

So what did I find?

 

I found the original 1000G slightly less sensitive than my 805G by an amount of 2dB, consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications.

I found the new 1000G nearly the same as the original, to slightly better.

I found my KG-UV9P to be 3dB more sensitive than my 805G.

I found the meters on all the radios to have different swings, proving that the meters on the radios cannot be relied upon for any meaningful comparisons between models.

 

I kept both 1000Gs in my shack for a while and have switched back and force between them on many occasions when I experienced weak and variable signals. Through lots of patience and switching I did discover that part of the problem I was experiencing with the original 1000G was that it seems to have a harder time decoding PL tones at the lower end of its receive range (when its meter appears with 5 or less bars). I found that when I switched to carrier squelch on these signals that squelch remained open more consistently down down to nearly 1 bar. I also found that the replacement 1000G did a better job of decoding PL down to a lower level.

 

So, in conclusion, based on comparisons against same brand models, the difference in sensitivity between my original 1000G and my 805G appears to be consistent with the manufacturer’s specifications.

 

And by the way, I have been in contact with Gman to discuss the practice of doing environmental effective sensitivity measurements using the ISO-Tee. There will likely be posts on this subject at some future date. Thanks G.

 

 

Michael

WRHS965

KE8PLM

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The difference in PL sensitivity is interesting. It suggests the SINAD sensitivity of the original radio is a bit poor. Typically a PL decoder will open at 6 dB SINAD or weaker. The receiver probably lacks gain in the RF or AF circuitry. It could be a firmware difference as well.

 

Sent from my SM-T350 using Tapatalk

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  • 2 months later...

Seems like I am not the only one having problems with this radio. I dont understand why they didn’t at least offer a monitor option. I have a separate problem with power. It will not produce more than 25 watts and that is in High mode. And something else I dont understand is why my swr is better in repeater mode than in non-repeater mode??  I may also have a dud. Lets hope a swap will fix it. Good luck! 

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Seems like I am not the only one having problems with this radio. I dont understand why they didn’t at least offer a monitor option. I have a separate problem with power. It will not produce more than 25 watts and that is in High mode. And something else I dont understand is why my swr is better in repeater mode than in non-repeater mode??  I may also have a dud. Lets hope a swap will fix it. Good luck! 

By ‘monitor option’ are you referring to the ability to manually open squelch and monitor the frequency regardless of tone settings? If so, the radio does have that. The small button on the mic, located below the PTT button, does just that.

Regarding SWR, SWR values change based on the frequency used for the test. Based on the tuning of the specific antenna, the best SWR reading may be obtained higher or lower in its operational range. A key point however is that SWR has zero to do with the radio being used and everything to do with the antenna system (coax/feed-line and antenna). So if you are using an inline SWR meter (the typical type) between radio and your antenna system, the SWR should not change whether you are using a $50 radio or $1000 radio so long as both of them are outputing the same frequency for the test.

In repeater mode your radio is transmitting on 467.xxxx frequencies. In simplex mode your radio is transmitting on 462.xxxx frequencies. If you have better SWR on the simplex channels then your antenna is better tuned to those frequencies.


Michael
WRHS965
KE8PLM
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  • 2 weeks later...

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