WLN KD-C1 UHF Handheld Transceiver Review

So, the Baofeng UV-5R5 that I bought a little less than a year ago has started to show some signs of wear. The antenna connection point has become loose,...

So, the Baofeng UV-5R5 that I bought a little less than a year ago has started to show some signs of wear. The antenna connection point has become loose, and the battery isn’t lasting very long anymore (has the original battery). These are problems that have always been inherent in the potatofengs, but alas, I’ve had no reports of bad audio, i’ve made many a contacts on them, and even though I consider them disposable, they hold up surprisingly well. ย So I kept it, and even bought the Baofeng’s ruggedized version, the GT3TP, which has an additional power setting of 8 watts (not that this matters much, some claim they’ve been able to hit repeaters they haven’t before or they can make farther simplex contacts). I think they’re neat little radios at an affordable price. Eventually when one gets the bug anyways, and most do, you’ll end up upgrading in the end ๐Ÿ™‚ Trust me…

I found out about a little radio being sold on Amazon for $13.99 as of this writing. Price is slowly creeping up though, I think the secret is no longer a secret! It’s a WLN KD-C1 handheld, which only does UHF, and has a fixed antenna. High power is 2 watts! This could be a great option for crossbanding which is always convenient when your trying to stay engaged around the house or property, but yet stay connected to your local repeater of choice, or even to monitor simplex during tropospheric ducting events!

wln2

I was interested in this particular radio, well due to the price of course, but also due to the fixed antenna. This would be a great option to just throw in your pocket without having to worry about a huge antenna jabbing me in the armpit. Also works great for riding on the motorcycle! Slips right into your pocket or clips to your belt. The charging cable is a USB to Micro USB cable, so it should charge on a USB port too. I had to download the software from the following website: KD-C1 Software (.rar file) which my antivirus identified as harmful, but was not. Once the software was up and running, I programmed 3 crossbanding channels into channels 1-3, 2 UHF repeaters on channels 4-5, & I programmed the UHF nat. simplex channel on the rest of the 11 channels (16 channels in total). If you leave an empty memory slot blank, you’ll get a loud audible alarm when you change to that channel, I wanted to avoid that.

It’s just a tad bigger in receiver size compared to the Baofeng, but still fits easily in the palm of your hand, and actually weighs much less than the Baofeng. It looks like there’s a drop in charger for this radio, but it just came with a little wall wart adapter. Audio is plenty loud on the little speaker, & it takes the same headsets & programming cable that the Baofeng uses.

wln1

Overall, I’ve been able to crossband to my house from about 2 miles away, even with the fixed antenna. I like the fact that there are no buttons or moving parts besides the selector knob. Forย the price, it was a no brainer, one can never have too many cheap electronics that accomplish the same job as the big boys!

I made a review video & a programming video, to help get anyone started:

So far my record for crossbanding on high power, has been about 3.5 miles away from my house, that’s with some moderate hills in between. I’ve since ordered another since the price was right ๐Ÿ™‚

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WLN KD-C1 UHF Transceiver
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  • Alex
    9 May 2017 at 6:14 AM

    Hi…
    Anyone have the procedure for programming of this two way radio? (KD-C1A)
    Thanks in advance…

  • aron
    12 April 2017 at 1:54 PM

    I tried to programm the KD-C1 to PMR446 frequencies, starting with 446,00625 Mhz, but i can only enter 446,00620 Mhz (SW does not accept that last digit as “5” but allways changes it to “0”).

    What do i do wrong?

    2nd question: is the KD-C1 a digital radio? (i spent hours on google but did not find an answer)

    THX a lot!

    BTW, this is a great little radio, battery lasts quite while, speaker is loud.

    • Alex
      9 May 2017 at 6:11 AM

      Hi Aron,

      Can I have the procedure for programming? What OS of PC and cable use?

      Thanks…

  • KD8DVR
    30 November 2016 at 8:46 PM

    Then how are you using the radio, unless you have a cable to program the radio to the frequencies you are licensed to use?

  • bang
    30 November 2016 at 4:24 PM

    Help ๐Ÿ™‚ !
    Does some one know how to turn vox function on / off on this unit?

    • Johnny
      30 November 2016 at 5:02 PM
      • bang
        30 November 2016 at 7:58 PM

        Found that too, but afraid it doesn’t work on my units :/
        Thanks anyway!

    • KD8DVR
      30 November 2016 at 7:17 PM

      Chirp and the programming software has the ability to turn VOX on and off.

      • Johnny
        30 November 2016 at 7:36 PM

        Thanks for confirming! It’s been months since I opened up the software!

      • bang
        30 November 2016 at 8:01 PM

        But not possible any otherway?
        I don’t have the correct cable since it doesn’t work thru the micro USB, right?

  • Scott Johnston KD4EBL
    8 November 2016 at 4:13 PM

    Just got two of these radios, how do you know when the battery is fully charged? The light on the charger and the light on the radio base are both green as I started the radio. Was expecting another color. Will the charger stop charging when the battery is fully charged?

    • Johnny
      8 November 2016 at 5:10 PM

      Scott, mine were red during charging and then green upon fully charged. Maybe yours had a full charge?

    • KD8DVR
      9 November 2016 at 2:07 PM

      Yes, they are red when in need of a charge and green when done. I DID notice that the drop in charger was slow to determine a radio needed charged though

  • KD8DVR
    28 October 2016 at 4:10 AM

    You may be able to program the radio to a lot of different frequencies, but, I’ve found you cannot receive very well. You won’t make even hear a nearby repeater. Also, I suspect strong harmonics and spurs when transmitting outside if design limits. While the software is written for many ranges, this is likely for support of future hardware designs. This radio is still designed for UHF only.

    • Johnny
      28 October 2016 at 11:37 AM

      Agree, i’ve had some others in my local club reprogram it, they say its deaf on receive, barely gets out on vhf. Not worth it IMHO. Some say I shouldn’t even be using the WLN, that they’re just as bad as a Baofeng. I use it rarely, so its not a big issue.

      • KD8DVR
        28 October 2016 at 11:59 AM

        Well, they are nifty little radios. They likely aren’t any worse than a baofeng; although, most Baofengs don’t sound bad. These don’t either. They ought not be very dirty, since they are single band.

  • Eelco
    25 October 2016 at 8:58 PM

    Stupid thing is that I was not able to reproduce this ‘glitch’ which was suddenly there without *any* modifications. I assumed that anyone was able to do so which isn’t the case. But the solution is changing the CONFIG.INI in C:Program FilesKD-C1. Mine looks like this now:

    [comm]
    port=3
    [lan]
    type=2
    [fre]
    fl=B11934E4577223FC029E7D9B7ABDB3B8
    fh=EEDEF0B3FE5E8B86029E7D9B7ABDB3B8
    [File]
    F=1
    [jym]
    jm=4F74F427044212F5

    With this changed config file I am able to program any frequency from 136 to 520 MHz.

    • Johnny
      25 October 2016 at 9:06 PM

      Wow! Thanks for this useful info! My WLN post has received thousands of views, so i’m sure you just helped spread the word ๐Ÿ˜Ž. ๐Ÿ‘

    • KD8DVR
      9 November 2016 at 2:10 PM

      Bear in mind, the built in antenna is only designed for UHF. It isn’t tuned for VHF. You are in danger of frying the transmitter.

    • JWJW
      22 November 2016 at 9:45 AM

      The programming software allows the range of 400 ~ 520Mhz. Does it work on Citizen Band Radio (CB) / Personal Radio Service (PRS) 476Mhz for Australia/NZ?

      • Johnny
        23 November 2016 at 1:56 PM

        JW, I’m not familiar with the CB band there, but suppose its possible given that falls within the range of the transceiver, as long as there isn’t some kind of special modulation used for CB there!?

        • JWJW
          23 November 2016 at 9:24 PM

          The labels on both transceiver and box showing 400~470Mhz. The programming software allows 400~520Mhz.
          Some of you guys managed to program over 470Mhz? Are those frequencies usable or software bugs for future hardware expansion?

          • Johnny
            25 November 2016 at 2:00 PM

            I’ve never programmed anything over 450MHz.

  • Eelco Zwart
    14 October 2016 at 11:06 AM

    Although it is sold as an UHF transceiver, VHF is possible with this HT! Even mixed UHF/VHF programming is not a problem.

    • Johnny
      14 October 2016 at 12:17 PM

      Eelco, I had heard rumors about folks trying to modify stuff, but didn’t realize it was just an easy setting within the software? Very interesting! I’ll hook it back up to the computer tonight!

  • Eelco
    14 October 2016 at 11:03 AM

    It actually does VHF! Take a good look again at the programming software!

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