New Products - Publications - Updates - Upgrades
Compiled by David Zantow N9EWO --
Editor "Passport to World Band Radio" 2000-2009
Items on this page may be duplicated if www.universal-radio.com is credited as the source.
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Updated Whistler WS1080 / PSR-800 Scanner Firmware
Whistler has released a CPU firmware update (version U2.5) for the WS1080 handheld scanner. Dated December 9, 2014, it covers two issues now repaired. Fixed EDACS patching bug and added delay in USB startup required by some USB host hardware. This update is also available to owners of the GRECOM PSR-800 model as well (version U1.9). Download and installation of this new CPU firmware is accomplished via the computer interface software. [Dec 14]
New Yaesu FT-2DR Touch Screen Digital/FM HT
Yaesu has announced the new exciting FT-2DR 2 meter/440 HT that supports traditional FM and C4FM FDMA digital modes. I sports a 1.7-inch high resolution touch screen. The AMS (Automatic Mode Select) capability instantly recognizes either digital or FM analog communications for co-existence between various modes. Standard System Fusion features include: Snapshot with image data transmitting (requires optional MH-85A11U), Smart Navigation, Digital Group Monitor (GM) featuring position data and ID data transmitting during transmissions and full support for the new WiRES-X System. Other enhancements include: complete shortwave coverage, 700 mW clear loud audio, built-in High Sensitivity 66 ch GPS with antenna, 1200 bps/9600 bps APRS® function, Dual watch (V/V, U/U/, V/U), Dual Monitor (C4FM Digital/C4FM Digital), HF receive coverage (AM Mode), GPS Logging/Recording capabilities, Water resistant (IPX5 Rating), and microSD Card Slot. This new model is expected in early 2015. [Dec 11]
New TS-590SG Kenwood
The new, enhanced TS-590SG HF transceiver has arrived and is available for shipping. [Nov 29]
New Uniden “Home Patrol-II” Scanner
The new Uniden Home Patrol-II scanner adds APCO Project 25 “Phase 2” reception. Additionally the charging and external power operation is now accomplished through USB, so the included (internal) 4 AA ni-mh batteries can be charged via a USB power source (such as a PC or optional USB power adapter). A charge LED has been added to the front panel. The “Extreme Edition” firmware upgrade for additional features is also still available for purchase direct from Uniden. [Nov 7]
New TS-590SG Kenwood to Replace Kenwood TS-590S
Kenwood has ceased production of its popular TS-590S HF Transceiver. The replacement model will be the TS-590SG. It is scheduled to be launched in late November 2014 and will include the following new features: 500 Hz/2.7 kHz Roofing Filter as standard, Advanced AGC control through digital signal processing from the IF stage onward, Morse code decoder and programmable functions (PF keys), new Split function enabling quick setting and more. Kenwood plans to offer “some” of the new TS-590SG’s functions to owners of the current TS-590S models via a free firmware download as "TS-590S Ver.2.0 update" in late January 2015. (for details see : http://www.kenwood.com/i/products/info/amateur/ts_590/ts590v2_e.html) [Oct 2]
Shortwave Receivers Past & Present
The new Universal Radio Research publication Shortwave Receivers Past & Present - Communications Receivers 1942-2013 4th Edition is now in stock. This long anticipated and greatly expanded 4th edition includes 360 manufactures, 1700 models and boast 800 pages. To make this a treasured and valued book for many years to come the new 4th edition is hard cover bound. Price is $49.95 (plus shipping). Worldwide shipping is available. [Sep 22]
Uniden Home Patrol-1 Extreme Upgrade “Lower Price”
The Uniden Home Patrol-1 scanner “Extreme Edition” firmware upgrade is now available direct from Uniden at a new lower price of $49.99. This upgrade adds many new features: Complete front panel programmability, Trunked System Analysis Tools, System Status Monitor, Current Activity Screen, Activity Log, LCN Activity Monitor, Talk Group Converter, EDACS/LTR LCN Finder, Band Scope, RF Power Plot, Trunking and Conventional Discovery Display, USB Audio and Data Output. Access the Uniden Hompatrol webpage for additional information, owners manual and download instructions. [Sep 19]
Icom ID-51A 50th “Anniversary Edition”
The Icom ID-51A 50th Anniversary Edition is a limited production 2M/70cm D-Star HT with all the regular ID-51A model features plus additional enhancements including a faster data transfer in DV mode and enhanced D-PRS functions. Offered in 5 cabinet colors (Blue, Green ,Gray, Red and Black) and will be available in late September. Universal is accepting orders now. Please note that the Icom $50 discount coupon is not available for these anniversary models, but the special HT Go-Bag offer is valid. [Aug 29]
Shortwave Receivers Past & Present
The new Universal Radio Research publication Shortwave Receivers Past & Present - Communications Receivers 1942-2013 4th Edition is scheduled to become available September 10th. The long anticipated and greatly expanded 4th edition will include 360 manufactures, 1700 models and boast 800 pages. To make this a treasured and valued book for many years to come the new 4th edition will be hard cover bound. Price will be $49.95 (plus shipping) and pre-orders are being accepted now. Worldwide shipping available. [Aug 16]
Alinco DR-638T Dual-Band Transceiver
The new Alinco DR-638T is a dual-band VHF/UHF “FCC Part 90” commercial transceiver offering full duplex, cross-band repeat and a remotely mountable control head (requires EDS-28 separation kit sold separately). Transmit coverage: 136-174 and 400-480 MHz. Receive ranges: 108-180 MHz (AM/FM modes), 220-260, 400-532 and 350-400 MHz FM mode. 6 character alphanumeric display features variable display colors for custom illumination with 32 brightness levels. Multiple power levels are: VHF 50, 25, 10, 5 watts and UHF 40, 25, 10, 5 watts. 758 channels, internal duplexer for single antenna operation, included illuminated DTMF EMS-77 hand microphone with direct frequency entry along with remote control, CTCSS, DCS, Tone-Burst Tones, 2-tone and 5-tone signaling and CTCSS Tone and DCS scan. [Aug 08]
ETOW HL1-FR HumanaLight Kit
Ears To Our World (ETOW) is a grass-roots, nonprofit organization that specializes in the distribution of self-powered world band radios and other appropriate technologies to schools and communities in our developing world. ETOW HL1-FR HumanaLight is an amazing light source kit. This simple LED light source device circuit dramatically extends the life of the single AA cell used for operation for up to 5 weeks! You can even insert a "dead" AA cell, and it will light for days. Makes for a great first soldering project and helps support the great humanitarian work that Ears To Our World is doing worldwide. This offer is made available only through Universal Radio. [May 24]
Alinco DM-330FXT Power Supply
The new Alinco DM-330FXT is a variable voltage, switching power supply that delivers 9 to 15 VDC at 25 amps continuous or 30 amps surge. It retains the DM-330MVT’s Noise-Offset circuit to eliminate the pulse-noise of the switching circuit, short circuit protection, a current-limiting system (over 30 amp) and extreme-temperature protection. The main additional feature are two USB “2 amp” ports on the front panel for powering those type devices (however they may not work for charging cell-phones/mobile phones due to special charging circuits of those devices). AC power input receptacle has been added to the rear panel (AC power cord is now detachable). [May 20]
Icom ID-5100A Shipping
Icom’s new ID-5100A D-Star 144/440 MHz mobile transceiver is now shipping. [May 14]
Icom IC-7700 Firmware Upgrade Ver. 2.00.
Icom has made a number of IC-7700 transceiver enhancements that are now available. Firmware Ver 2.00 update includes: Waterfall screens, mouse operation, audio scope and USB flash drives. Voice Recording function is now continuous (until the USB memory is full) and Transmit recording capability has been added. For the entire list of improvements and download instructions including updated manual pages, go to the Icom IC-7700 Firmware Ver 2.00 web page at:
There is no charge for this exciting firmware release.
Updated Uniden BCD536HP Now Shipping
Universal is now shipping the latest version of the BCD536HP scanner with the headphone jack “hiss” issue corrected.
Uniden BCD536HP Headphone “Hiss” Fix
Certain “early” samples of Uniden BCD536HP scanner have been reported to suffer from excessive hiss at the headphone jack (will not effect the speaker output). It has been determined to be a wrong component at the factory used in the headphone circuit. This only affects certain units with serial numbers under 38002600.
Click here for information on this free, limited time Uniden BCD536HP exchange program.
This issue does not effect the BCD436HP handheld version.
[Mar 4 & 29]
Updated Tecsun PL-880 Portable Now Shipping
The new Tecsun PL-880 LW/MW/FM/SW portable receiver is now in stock at Universal. Features 4 bandwidths on AM and 5 on SSB. Powered by a single common 18650 Li-ion rechargeable battery (included) with built-in charging. SSB reception features a 10 hz tuning step. The class AB type audio power amplifier & above average full range speaker produces excellent audio quality for a smaller size receiver. We are shipping units with firmware version 8820 or higher.
Uniden Bearcat BCD436HP and BCD536HP Scanners
The new Uniden BCD436HP handheld and BCD536HP mobile/desktop scanner receivers are creating a buzz. Both models feature a supplied 4 Gigabyte microSD card that hold the entire USA and Canada database of radio systems. Support for APCO Project 25 Phase I and Phase II, X2-TDMA, Motorola, EDACS, and LTR Trunked Radio Systems. Discovery Modes help you find new channels on trunked systems and frequency ranges. Analysis Modes include Band Scope, RF Power Plot, Trunked System Analysis, and EDACS/LTR LCN Finder. Built in digital “off air” recorder with date/time indication/stamping on display. USB PC Connectivity. The BCD536HP even features “Wi-Fi” operation. Printed manual is included.
AOR ARD300 Multi-Mode Decoder
AOR has released a "stand alone" Multi-Mode digital voice decoder / demodulator. The model ARD300 will decode dPMR, NXDN and popular amateur digital voice modes from Icom, Alinco and Yaesu. Non-trunked APCO P25 "Phase 1" voice signals can also be decoded. Compatible with AOR legacy receivers AR8600MK2, AR5000(A/+3), AR-ONE and newer AR2300, AR5001D, AR6000. Supports other receivers that have a 10.7MHz or 45.05MHz IF output. (Some may be incompatible and AOR support is limited to AOR receivers).
[Dec 22, 2013]
Bonito “Mini-Whip” Active Antenna Now Available at Universal.
Bonito has made Roelof Bakker’s extremely popular “Mini-Whip” more readily available. At only 4 inches long (10 cm) is one of the smallest active antenna’s on the planet which is excellent for portable operation, mobile and maritime installations as well for outdoor fixed use with restricted covenants. Impressive performance with full 10 kHz to 30 MHz coverage. Requires power of 12 to 15 VDC @ 65 ma (45 ma typical) and connecting cables (both supplied by user). Now in stock at Universal Radio.
[Oct 26, 2013]
Pixel RF PRO-1B Loop Now Available at Universal.
The Pixel Technologies RF PRO-1B magnetic receive loop antenna is now available at Universal Radio. It is only 38 inches in diameter and can be rotated with a user supplied low cost TV rotator. No tuning is required. Coverage is from 50 khz to 30 MHz. Uses F type antenna connections (connection cable is not included).
[Oct 19, 2013]
Alinco DX-SR9T HF Transceiver Now Available
The long awaited
Alinco DX-SR9T HF transceiver is now available (call to confirm availability). Similar specifications to the
Alinco DX-SR8T model with the major addition of SDR capability. With the very attractive price tag along with free SDR software makes for a fantastic value.
[Oct 18, 2013]
Yaesu DR-1 Digital C4FM / FM Dual Band Repeater
Yaesu has announced their highly anticipated DR-1 dual band repeater / base station. The DR-1 handles conventional FM and C4FM digital transmissions with up to 50 watts output. Automatic Mode Select function instantly recognizes whether the signal is C4FM digital or conventional FM and automatically switches to match the received mode. Compatible with the FT-1DR handheld, and FTM-400D mobile, these new transceivers provide digital communications with 12.5 kHz C4FM FDMA.
[Sep 24, 2013]
Whistler Group Acquires GRE America's Intellectual Property
The Whistler Group of Bentonville, Arkansas USA have purchased the intellectual property of GRE America, and have plans to market scanners under the "Whistler" brand. Look for the relabeled clones (with different model numbers) of P25 trunking models: PSR-500, PSR-600 and the PSR-800 as well as the analog trunking models PSR-310 and PSR-410. These are scheduled to appear on the retail market starting in the first quarter of 2014.
[Sep 24, 2013]
The opinions expressed are those of the editor, and not necessarily those of Universal Radio Inc.