Tag: KST V6

A Review of the KST V6

So I’ve had the KST V6  for three days now and I find myself really liking it. I’ve been comparing it to my Yaesu VX-7r and I know it’s not a fair comparison of a quad band against the monoband V6.

Transmit works very well. I can hit repeaters on the order of roughly 20 miles away without issue. I can hit a repeater in Fall River, MA on 5W without any scratchiness in the signal.

The radio was a bit of a bear to configure but once I got the Chinese to English manual translated into standard U.S. English I had no problems. You can see if you follow the tags that I created a quick reference guide to programming.

Another thing I like about the radio is it’s size. It’s almost 150g lighter than the magnesium bodied Yaesu. But it is all plastic.

Another thing I wish it had is a keypad back light. I have to take mine apart and see if the keypad has any translucence. If it does I’ll mount some smd LED’s and tie them to the display LED’s. The reason I even noticed it is at night, I had the radio in the charging stand and the indicator LED was lit in red. That red casts across the keys and lights them nicely.

Another mod I might do is throw a cap across the speaker leads. Even when the volume is turned very low there’s an audible click when the audio comes on. Capacitors block DC and allow AC to pass. Audio is an AC signal.

BTW, the TYT-800 is the exact same radio. Had I known about TYT, KST, Baofeng and Wuoxon when I bought my Yaesu I probably would have gone with one of those. But I’m sort of glad I have the Yaesu. It’s completely indestructible.

In the end though, I’m amused that the Chinese are starting to eat the lunch of the Japanese manufacturers of radio gear. And I’m also interested that the barrier to entry to amateur radio has now been demolished when you can get a handheld for anywhere between $30 and $100 now. So I’d give the KST V6 a solid three out of five stars. A solid buy.

Programming the KST V6

It’s pretty simple once you get the hang. First of all you have to set the I/O to 1.6MHz for the 222MHz band. This is done by doing the following:

– Press the orange F key and then the 9 key to get into settings

– Scroll to option 4 with the up and down keys – until the frequency differential reads 01.60

– Press the F key to save it.

Now the repeater offsets will work. The radio has a split personality – it originally started out as a radio for 2m and 70cm so now that it’s on 1.25m it retains the 10MHz offset which doesn’t work so doing the above gets you set to go!

So now key in your frequency – for my example I just programmed in the 224.060 repeater with negative offset and CTCSS of 103.5.

1) Enter the frequency into the radio, in this case 224.060.

2) To set the offset hold down the orange F key and press 5 and it cycles between none, positive and negative offset. Another relic of 2m and 70cm here.

3) To set the CTCSS press the orange F key and then the 8 button. Then use the navigation buttons to scroll to item 14 which is the 103.5Hz CTCSS tone to access the repeater.

4) To save the repeater in memory press the orange F key and then the * key. Use the direction buttons to choose a memory slot to store the memory. The radio does not automatically go to next empty slot btw, so try to remember where you started.

5) Once you’ve programmed it in the radio will be in channel mode. To switch back to Frequency mode hit the # (VM) key. You can continue to add repeaters following the steps above.

** Special Note ***

To change the power level on a channel simply hit the orange F key and the # key. It toggles between lighting the little L indicators in the display and turning it off. When the indicator is off it’s in high power mode. Save the channel again (F+*).

I hope this helps folks out. It’s a whole lot more clear this way than in the Chinese to English manual.

Initial Thoughts on the KST V6

So it’s sort of a bear to program this radio. I might just pop for the programming cable. It’s cheaper than the one for my Yeasu.

I did manage to turn off the beeping on the radio. Every device I own that came with beeping buttons – I’ve turned it off. It’s annoying.

But I did manage to trip a 222MHz repeater with it. At 5W output it should trip it. I also like that it has a hard power switch. None of this soft switch crap. It’s a nice, lightweight radio only slightly smaller than my Yeasu.

The body on the radio is plastic, very much unlike my Yaesu VX-7r which is a made out of Magnesium. But it was a little over 110g while my Yaesu tips the scales at almost 300g.

Sorry for getting metric on you there. But amateur radio by it’s nature is metric. Look at how we refer to the bands – 2m, 1.25m, 70cm, 6m, 10m, 20m, 12m, 15m, 30m, etc. All in meters.

And I discovered something about how USPS works. It seems packages are handled almost completely separate from the regular mail stream. I realized this because we shipped a package to Keyron’s mom and it went right from my local post office to Springfield, MA and from there to Raleigh, NC and finally to Columbia, NC. For my radio it went from Susquehanna, PA to Lehigh Valley, PA and then to the main RI postal facility at 02904 and finally to my local post office. 

Now had I sent a letter to NC it would have gone 02909 to 02904 (The main) then to Raleigh, then Columbia. So it appears Springfield, MA is a package hub for USPS. Interesting.

 

So I’ll have my new 220MHz KST V6 tomorrow

Imagine that.

I checked USPS and saw this:

Image

Now the KST V6, I was looking at the pix and it seems small to me.
Image

But looking at the specs the KST V6 is 100x55X28 (mm) (HWD)which translates to 3.9″x2.1″x1.1″

My Yaesu VX-7r is 60x90x28 (mm) (HWD) so a little shorter, but a tad wider and same thickness.

So I’ll have the KST V6 in m hands tomorrow. Coolness!

Regarding the too many radios post

It’s started. My Yaseu only has 300mW of power output on 222MHz. I could software mod the radio but I hear the power amplifier in the radio doesn’t play nicely with higher power levels on 222MHz. Something to do with the spectral purity being a few db lower than the requirements. So I’ll not screw with it.

I found an inexpensive KST V6 that does a full 5W of power output on 220-225MHz. So I ordered one. So now it’s TWO radios.