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. 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 🙂 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!
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.
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. For 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 🙂