• To anyone looking to acquire commercial radio programming software:

    Please do not make requests for copies of radio programming software which is sold (or was sold) by the manufacturer for any monetary value. All requests will be deleted and a forum infraction issued. Making a request such as this is attempting to engage in software piracy and this forum cannot be involved or associated with this activity. The same goes for any private transaction via Private Message. Even if you attempt to engage in this activity in PM's we will still enforce the forum rules. Your PM's are not private and the administration has the right to read them if there's a hint to criminal activity.

    If you are having trouble legally obtaining software please state so. We do not want any hurt feelings when your vague post is mistaken for a free request. It is YOUR responsibility to properly word your request.

    To obtain Motorola software see the Sticky in the Motorola forum.

    The various other vendors often permit their dealers to sell the software online (i.e., Kenwood). Please use Google or some other search engine to find a dealer that sells the software. Typically each series or individual radio requires its own software package. Often the Kenwood software is less than $100 so don't be a cheapskate; just purchase it.

    For M/A Com/Harris/GE, etc: there are two software packages that program all current and past radios. One package is for conventional programming and the other for trunked programming. The trunked package is in upwards of $2,500. The conventional package is more reasonable though is still several hundred dollars. The benefit is you do not need multiple versions for each radio (unlike Motorola).

    This is a large and very visible forum. We cannot jeopardize the ability to provide the RadioReference services by allowing this activity to occur. Please respect this.

Kenwood TK-380 Programming help, and questions.

Status
Not open for further replies.

RubberBanned

Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2014
Messages
5
Hello, I recently acquired three Kenwood TK-380 handsets from a friend of mine, and have a question about them. actually a few.

1.) How do I program them? I am looking to make one of them into a police scanner, of sorts, if this is possible. (As noted in the rules here, I am NOT looking for free software, or anything of that nature, I just don't know where to start.)

2.) Are these still a viable handset? What can I use them for?

3.) Can these be HAM style radios? (I am not certified as of yet, but I intend to begin taking classes from the Portland, Oregon club in the upcoming weeks.)

4.) Do I need anything special to get these handsets talking to one another, or another radio?

I am gathering information right now, as Google frequently landed me here. If I am breaking any rules I am not aware of, please let me know. I am very new to this field and need all sorts of help.

Thanks in advance!

-RB
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
118
Hey and welcome to the forum.

First you will need a copy of KPG-49D which you may can find if you google hard enough.

Second you will need a programming cable. Either flavor of usb or serial.

kpg-36 | eBay

You can pick whatever you like.

They most certainly are a wonderful and very durable radio. I have a couple of the TK-280 still working. I also use them for HAM use.

You can get started after you get the software and cable pretty easily just by entering some frequencies and programming it into the radio. You can do a talk around channel and can go miles with those.

You should use frequencies like:

151.625 Red Dot
154.570 Blue Dot
154.600 Green Dot
151.955 Purple Dot

Those are some business type talkaround frequencies anyone can use with 5 watt or less. You can also search MURS frequencies to find others you can use. But stick with those for now until you get more experienced.

Just put the frequency in the TX and RX and program and you would be good to go for a simple test if nothing else.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,321
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
You should use frequencies like:

151.625 Red Dot
154.570 Blue Dot
154.600 Green Dot
151.955 Purple Dot

Those are some business type talkaround frequencies anyone can use with 5 watt or less. You can also search MURS frequencies to find others you can use. But stick with those for now until you get more experienced.
Good idea, but the TK-380 is a UHF radio. Issue with that is that there are 3 different band splits in the UHF models:
Type 1: 450MHz - 490MHz (FCC ID: ALH24623110)
Type 2: 470MHz - 512-MHz (FCC ID: ALH24623120)
Type 3: 400MHz - 430MHz (FCC ID: ALH24623130)

Which version you have will dictate where they can be used. The type 1 model will work in the GMRS range, which can be useful, but keep in mind that to be perfectly legal, you will need to get an FCC issued GMRS license. They even have FCC Part 95 compliance that makes them 100% legal (without question) on the GMRS band, if you get a license.
Type 2 is a "T" band model, and won't be much good. Not sure if these can be taken out of band far enough to get them on GMRS. There are not any "no license" places in that band where you could legally use these.
The Type 3 is going to be more problematic. 400 - 430 is mostly federal government users, with (I think) a few pockets of commercial users in metropolitan areas. Again, if these can be taken out of band much, you -might- be able to get them into the 70cm amateur band.

Since the 70CM amateur band runs from 430MHz to 450MHz, none of these will work natively in the amateur band.

Nice radios, they will do narrow band FM, so they are a viable radio for use on the commercial segments of the UHF band.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,321
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
If you are going to get your amateur license, you might be better off selling these 3 radios.
By the time you figure in the cost of the programming cable and the headaches associated with trying to get these onto the amateur bands, not to mention the headache of finding a DOS machine and programming a radio as a beginner, you would likely be better of purchasing one of the radios that are designed for the amateur bands. It'll be easier for you to learn and will give you more flexibility, not to mention it's much more likely that local amateurs will be able to help you out better if you have a radio that is designed for amateur use.

Nothing at all wrong with using these on the 70cm amateur band if you can get them there, just that it can raise the frustration level pretty high, and that won't be much fun. You won't get a lot of money for these on the used market, but you'll likely make enough to offset the cost of a new Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom 2 meter radio. Depending on where you are, the 2 meter VHF amateur band might have more people on it. Some locations the 70cm band can be pretty dead.

Good luck!
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
118
Thanks for that catch mmckenna, I was thinking about my vhf for some reason, haha.

Anyway, google FRS UHF frequencies and you should find some appropriate one you can try.
 

scannermanner1

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Mar 14, 2014
Messages
459
Location
In the Western US Mountains :)
I agree with the other guys 100 percent... it looks like they're going off EBAY for 50 bucks each , so if you sell all three of them for that price than get like 20 more bucks you could buy a YAESU FT60r which is a dual-band UHF 70cm and VHF 2m ham radio....... just a idea!
 

kayn1n32008

ÆS, I put that shøt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,828
Location
In the 'patch
The 450-490MHz version does the whole 440-450MHz ham band with out mod. The software will error that it is out of band, but will still allow the frequency to be programmed.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,044
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
If you are going to get your amateur license, you might be better off selling these 3 radios.
By the time you figure in the cost of the programming cable and the headaches associated with trying to get these onto the amateur bands, not to mention the headache of finding a DOS machine and programming a radio as a beginner, you would likely be better of purchasing one of the radios that are designed for the amateur bands. It'll be easier for you to learn and will give you more flexibility, not to mention it's much more likely that local amateurs will be able to help you out better if you have a radio that is designed for amateur use.

what headaches? The TK-280 and 380 (450-490) split, both V1 and V2 hardware versions) work just fine on the ham bands. No dickering, or retuning needed.

DOS machine? KPG-49D is the Windows based KPG for these radios and last release was in 2012, runs fine on XP/Win7 and even Win8.

Sure these are a generation or so back, but they are very capable radios, fully narrowband compliant (even the earlier V1 units) and they do LTR, fleetsync and 2-tone signaling.

a USB programming cable from Kawamall runs about $15. Software is available if you look for it.

These are better than any Chinese throw away radios anyday of the week.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,321
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Well, thanks for your input there MTS….

Since I have never personally taken an x80 radio out of band, I'm not going to tell someone else that it's easy. If you've done this, then great, carry on. Personally I'm not going to tell someone, especially a new amateur, that something is easy if I don't know that for myself. Erring on the side of caution. I am glad to see that others have been able to give him advice in taking these radios out of band.

As for the KPG-49D, that's great. Since I program radios as part of my job, I'm never going to recommend that someone use a bootleg copy of software. While we both know that Kenwood is pretty lax with their software, and most of it is out there on the web, I personally don't chose to work that way. I'm not going recommend someone else take that route, but neither will I scold them for doing it. My own personal principals and part of me keeping my job is not breaking copyright rules. I have a budget that covers things like purchasing programming software and cables, so I'm not going to take a shortcut and risk getting a bad piece of bootleg software or a crappy aftermarket cable and potentially brick a radio. Neither will I tell someone else to do that. If they chose to do that on their own, fine by me.

Never at any point did I suggest these were not capable radios, in fact if you read what I wrote I specifically said: "Nice radios, they will do narrow band FM, so they are a viable radio for use on the commercial segments of the UHF band."

I also would never, ever, suggest that someone purchase one of those Chinese radios. While I know people that have them and a few are mostly happy with them, I've never heard someone -not- complain about them in some way.

For less than $150 you can get a 2 meter Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom radio that won't require finding software or programming cables. It's already going to work in the proper segment of the band without any questions. The big benefit to a new amateur is that other hams will likely be able to help with programming and troubleshooting. I've helped out more than a few new amateurs, and nothing is more painful for them than not being able to figure out their new radio. Sometimes keeping your first step a small and easy one is a good way to get started. Jumping into the commercial radio field without any experience is no small step.
 

kayn1n32008

ÆS, I put that shøt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,828
Location
In the 'patch
Well, thanks for your input there MTS….

Since I have never personally taken an x80 radio out of band, I'm not going to tell someone else that it's easy. If you've done this, then great, carry on. Personally I'm not going to tell someone, especially a new amateur, that something is easy if I don't know that for myself. Erring on the side of caution. I am glad to see that others have been able to give him advice in taking these radios out of band.

As for the KPG-49D, that's great. Since I program radios as part of my job, I'm never going to recommend that someone use a bootleg copy of software. While we both know that Kenwood is pretty lax with their software, and most of it is out there on the web, I personally don't chose to work that way. I'm not going recommend someone else take that route, but neither will I scold them for doing it. My own personal principals and part of me keeping my job is not breaking copyright rules. I have a budget that covers things like purchasing programming software and cables, so I'm not going to take a shortcut and risk getting a bad piece of bootleg software or a crappy aftermarket cable and potentially brick a radio. Neither will I tell someone else to do that. If they chose to do that on their own, fine by me.

Never at any point did I suggest these were not capable radios, in fact if you read what I wrote I specifically said: "Nice radios, they will do narrow band FM, so they are a viable radio for use on the commercial segments of the UHF band."

I also would never, ever, suggest that someone purchase one of those Chinese radios. While I know people that have them and a few are mostly happy with them, I've never heard someone -not- complain about them in some way.

For less than $150 you can get a 2 meter Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom radio that won't require finding software or programming cables. It's already going to work in the proper segment of the band without any questions. The big benefit to a new amateur is that other hams will likely be able to help with programming and troubleshooting. I've helped out more than a few new amateurs, and nothing is more painful for them than not being able to figure out their new radio. Sometimes keeping your first step a small and easy one is a good way to get started. Jumping into the commercial radio field without any experience is no small step.

Those are all good points.

As far as LMR radios they really are good beginner radios. The software is pretty easy to maneuver. The help files are pretty decent as well and there are enough TK-x80 user here there is lots of knowledge to be shared. Software is easier to maneuver than both Motorola, and Icom, and about as difficult as new-ish(VX-231, VX-92x) vertex radios.

The other good thing is that chargers, batteries and audio accessories are cheap and plentiful.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Thayne

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
May 1, 2002
Messages
2,139
As an another comment on 280, 380, 480 series, they are really built like tanks; I have used 280's-380's on the ham bands without a problem, and I just heard last year that they finally obsoleted the 480---
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,044
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
Since I have never personally taken an x80 radio out of band, I'm not going to tell someone else that it's easy.
exactly, you haven't done it, so why comment on it to begin with? I have programmed many a x80 series (280 and 380) on both 2m (280) and 440 (380) and never had a problem. So I speak from first hand experience which I was just trying to share with the OP.

As for the KPG-49D, that's great. Since I program radios as part of my job, I'm never going to recommend that someone use a bootleg copy of software.
I program radios for my job too. None of this has anything to do with the OP, who desires to use these radios for AMATEUR radio use, I would certainly have taken a different stance if he were intending on using them for PROFESSIONAL applications, but that clearly was not his intent (at least so his post indicates)

I'm not going recommend someone else take that route, but neither will I scold them for doing it. My own personal principals and part of me keeping my job is not breaking copyright rules. I have a budget that covers things like purchasing programming software and cables, so I'm not going to take a shortcut and risk getting a bad piece of bootleg software or a crappy aftermarket cable and potentially brick a radio. Neither will I tell someone else to do that. If they chose to do that on their own, fine by me.
I always get a kick of out posts like this. I'll bet 99 percent of every "radio programmer" has unlicensed software as much as most people have bootleg MP3s on their PCs. Does it make it right? No. But the reality is the software IS out there. Does one get a warranty, technical support and manufacturer support if said software bricks a radio? Of course not. This is where they get the pleasure of laughing in your face and telling you "it's time and materials if you want your radio fixed. Next time buy software from us".

You get what you pay for. If you pay nothing for your software, you get exactly that: nothing if something goes wrong. Being that the OP stated he acquired these "from a friend" one can assume he/she has about that much invested in the radios to begin with.

In respect to the 80 series, these are pretty hard to brick unless you hose up a firmware refresh, which most users should not be doing anyway.

For less than $150 you can get a 2 meter Yaesu, Kenwood or Icom radio that won't require finding software or programming cables. It's already going to work in the proper segment of the band without any questions.
But the OP did not state he/she wanted to spend $150 for a new radio. They asked if the ones they have could be programmed into the ham bands, and the answer is YES.

The big benefit to a new amateur is that other hams will likely be able to help with programming and troubleshooting. I've helped out more than a few new amateurs, and nothing is more painful for them than not being able to figure out their new radio. Sometimes keeping your first step a small and easy one is a good way to get started. Jumping into the commercial radio field without any experience is no small step.
And another big benefit of using a recycled commercial radio, especially one that you have minimal investment in, is you get a MUCH SUPERIOR product versus some turdy ham radio that has a wide front end, squelch crashes on PLs, flimsy plastic housings, garbage audio and pricy accessories. You made it a point to bash Chinese radios, in all fairness, some of them are pretty good compared to the average "ham" radio. At least most of them do proper squelch tail elimination, don't have wide mouth CB radio TX audio, and most even do proper splinter channels. Sure they are cheap, but what does one expect for $40?

and your "experienced hams" such as you and I can Elmer the new blood into the realms of QUALITY radios and WHY these rigs are better, explaining HOW radios work, and allowing them to learn on quite frankly what is much better gear than just running out to HRO/AES and spending hundreds on some new toy radio. After all, most of the repeaters that your new ham will be talking through are LMR units, why not complete the circle?

Remember the days when getting an HT220 or Micor on frequency was a great way to get started on 2 meters? Do we always opt for the easy way out now? Jeez. Give the guy a break. He's got the radios, at least let's not get all high and mighty about software and stuff. These aren't XTS5000s or APXs, they are 10-12 year old Kenwoods that are pretty robust and will serve him/her well.
 

N4KVE

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2003
Messages
3,056
Location
PALM BEACH, FLORIDA
I agree with Erik here. Had the OP dropped a bundle on an APX, or XTS5000, yeah, get a factory cable, & buy the CPS from "M". But since the radio was free, get the Kenwood CPS on the internet, [they don't really care], & the cable from Kawamall. All my fiends who work at 2-way shops whether it be for the county, city, or utility, haven't paid a dime for their CPS. They grab a disc their employer paid for, & install it on their laptop. Is that really kosher? To the OP. Have fun. Those Kenwoods are great radios.
 

mmckenna

I ♥ Ø
Joined
Jul 27, 2005
Messages
11,321
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
Once again, I agree, great radios.

Lets see what the OP says about which model number he has before jumping to conclusions.
 

WA0CBW

Member
Joined
Dec 8, 2011
Messages
1,285
Location
Shawnee Kansas (Kansas City)
Just an FYI on the "color dot" frequencies listed above. They all require a license (no matter what the power level) with the exception of 154.57 blue dot which is one of the 5 MURS license free frequencies.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2013
Messages
118
Just an FYI on the "color dot" frequencies listed above. They all require a license (no matter what the power level) with the exception of 154.57 blue dot which is one of the 5 MURS license free frequencies.
Indeed, we determined I made a copy and paste booboo.

For reference here are the vhf ones you can use:

http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/MURS

Here is a reference for uhf frequencies you may use without a license:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/family-radio-service-frs

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2
 

kayn1n32008

ÆS, I put that shøt on everything.
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
5,828
Location
In the 'patch
Here is a reference for uhf frequencies you may use without a license:

http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/family-radio-service-frs

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I337 using Tapatalk 2

Actually, those frequencies can not technically be used with the TK-380 for a few reasons

1 The FRS service is limited to only 0.5w transmit power, the low power setting on the TK-380 is 1.0w.

2 FRS radios MUST have a fixed, non-removable antenna. The antenna on the TK-380 IS removable

3 The radio must be type approved for part 95 FRS use. The TK-380, as far as I know, is NOT approved for part 95 use on FRS frequencies.



Really, for the TK-380 is not the right radio to use for the frequencies you listed. Regardless of whether it is legal or not Please do not post bad info for a noob.



Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

MTS2000des

Member
Joined
Jul 12, 2008
Messages
3,044
Location
Cobb County, GA Stadium Crime Zone
3 The radio must be type approved for part 95 FRS use. The TK-380, as far as I know, is NOT approved for part 95 use on FRS frequencies.
But the 380 is indeed part 95 certified, maybe not for FRS specifically, but it sure is for GMRS so says the FCC.

http://www.lauttamus.com/_pdf/TwoWayRadio/Kenwood/TK-280_380.pdf

Technically, a GMRS license holder could use it on the first 7 FRS channels lawfully. The radio is part 95 certified (Type 1 version 450-490 split)
 

mikewazowski

Forums Manager/Global DB Admin
Staff member
Joined
Jun 26, 2001
Messages
11,181
Location
Central Ontario
Gentlemen, no more off topic comments. Enough is enough.

If you can give the OP a hand, keep posting. If you're just here to *****, whine and moan, go elsewhere.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top