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.
New ARRL Publications
Two new ARRL publications are now available. The 2016 93rd edition of the “ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications" includes new information on: Beacon transmitters for VHF/UHF, New RF connector identification chart, A CD-ROM article on lightwave transmitting and receiving, Fractional-n frequency synthesizers, A high-altitude APRS tracker and SDR Knob Box and ARRL Lab Test Procedures Manual. This edition is bundled with The ARRL Handbook CD (ver. 20.0)-- a complete and fully searchable book on CD-ROM, including all the text and illustrations, as well as PC board templates, additional software and other support files. Available in soft or hardcover.
The “ARRL Antenna Book” is the classic reference on antennas for ham radio operators and also includes a CD-ROM that adds software utilities. An astounding 992 pages. In soft or hard cover versions. [Oct 17]
AOR AR-Mini “B” Returns
Universal Radio is pleased to announce that AOR has made available again the AOR AR-Mini handheld wideband receiver. This radio puts nearly the entire radio spectrum into your pocket a very attractive price. Universal also has limited quantities of most accessories. [Sept 23]
New Yaesu FTDX-1200 and FTDX-3000 Waterfall Display
Yaesu has updated the firmware in the FTDX1200 and FTDX3000 HF transceivers to include a waterfall display. This added feature gives the user the ability to view all the spectrum information at a glance, providing the data needed to place the operator in the correct spot on the band. In the case of the FTDX3000, it’s simply downloading the instructions and update file from the Yaesu web site as it has a USB socket as stock. With the FTDX1200 the update process also requires the optional SCU-17 USB interface unit. Radios produced or upgraded as of 07/15/15 feature this impressive and powerful feature out of the box. [July 15]
New CR-1a GUI: Spectrum Viewer & 3D-Waterfall for Windows (7 and later)
The long awaited 1st version of the “Graphic User Interface” (GUI) for the CommRadio CR-1a receiver is now available. This allows for computer control, spectral display and 3-D waterfall . The CR-1a provides I-Q data over it’s USB port (The CR-1 does not provide the necessary IQ output and cannot be used with the GUI to display spectral data). The latest GUI version, firmware, firmware installation instructions, and user manual updates are located for download on Dropbox. All registered CR-1 and CR-1a owners are notified by email when updates and newsletters are posted (on Dropbox). [July 15]
New Yaesu FT-2DR Touch Screen Digital/FM HT
Universal has started shipping the new Yaesu FT-2DR 2 meter/440 MHz, FM/C4FM FDMA “digital mode” HT. The super cool 1.7-inch high resolution touch screen display provides an easy to navigate interface. Yaesu’s AMS (Automatic Mode Select) capability instantly recognizes either digital or FM analog communications. Snapshot Function (with optional MH-85A11U), Wideband Receive including HF, 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), GPS Logging/Recording capabilities, Water resistant (IPX5 Rating) and MicroSD Card Slot. Includes the SBR-14Li 2200 mAh high capacity Li-ion battery and SAD-14B wall AC charger. [June 19]
Whistler WS1095 Scanner Now Shipping
Universal is now shipping the long awaited Whistler WS1095 scanner. [June 19]
AOR AR-DV1 Firmware (System) Updates
AOR has released firmware updates for the exciting AR-DV1 “Digital Voice” wide band receiver. Not only have a number of bugs been fixed but additional features have been added as well. Additional improvements and features are on the “To Do List”. Please view the AOR wewbsite download page for more information and download file. Owners should completely understand the update instructions before doing any firmware updates. Failure to follow the instructions will result in serious damage to the AR-DV1 and may void the warranty. [June 19]
New Icom IC-7600 Ver. 2.00 Firmware
Icom has announced new Ver. 2.00 firmware for the IC-7600 transceiver that adds exciting new features and improvements. Enhancements include: waterfall screen, mouse operation, and other new functions to the spectrum scope. A new APF AF Level setting, CI-V commands for antenna control and RIT/DELTA-TX, TX Delay (HF/50M) settings to adjust the TX delay time and more. Additional information including full installation instructions can be obtained on Icom's Firmware web site. The best news is this new firmware upgrade is available at no charge. [May 18]
Sangean ATS-405 Shortwave Portable
The just annouced Sangean ATS-405 AM/FM/SW compact portable receiver features 108 total memories, shortwave coverage from 2.3 to 26.1 MHz continuous, selectable bandwidth filtering, built-in charger for rechargeable AA Ni-mh batteries (not included) and even the AC adapter is included in the box (not an option). You can disable the soft mute and even adjust the AGC on the AM and SW bands. A fine tune button allows 1 kHz tuning steps on shortwave and a squelch adjustment is also included. A quality, featured packed Sangean portable at a great price. [May 12]
AOR AR-DV1 Wide Band Receiver FCC Cleared
The new AOR AR-DV1 “Digital Voice” wide band receiver was “officially” FCC cleared on May 8th. Impressive 100 kHz to 130 0MHz frequency coverage with multi-mode digital demodulation including: P25 phase 1, NXDN (note: 6.25 kHz only), DMR, dPMR, DStar and more. All mode analog reception (including AM Synchronous Detection). Memory scan of 2000 channels (50 channels in 40 banks), Noise Reduction, Notch, digi-data display. Front mounted micro-USB port for connection to computer. Front mounted SD/SDHC card slot (audio recording, timer recording, CSV memory data upload/download, firmware updates). [May 08]
Whistler WS1095 Mobile / Base Scanner FCC Cleared
The long awaited Whistler WS1095 was “officially” FCC cleared on April 9th. One extremely interesting feature of this mobile / base scanner radio is the remote head. And it magnetically fastens the the head bracket! This facilitates vehicle installation and use. It handles analog and APCO 25 Phase I and II digital modes. The radio includes a front loaded 2GB SD card preloaded with US and Canadian public service frequencies. You automatically program your scanner by merely entering your zip code or city. Updated availability and pricing to follow shortly. [Apr 09]
Uniden BCD325P2 Handheld Scanner
The Uniden BCD325P2 handheld Trunk Tracker V™ scanner receiver is a new compact model that features both APCO 25 Phase I and II digital capability. The frequency coverage includes: 25-512, 758-824, 849-869 and 894-960 MHz. Included items: Two Ni-MH AA batteries, BNC flexible antenna, USB cable, hand strap and printed Owner's Manual. Now shipping. [Apr 02]
Uniden BCD996P2 Desktop / Mobile Scanner
The Uniden Bearcat BCD996P2 Trunk Tracker V™ desktop/mobile scanner offers both APCO 25 Phase I and II digital capability. Also a “true” front panel USB port for firmware updates and programming has been added . This new model arrived mid March. [Feb 27]
CountyComm GP-5/SSB Compact Set with SSB
The CountyComm GP-5/SSB is an HF “full coverage” uniquely sized pocket receiver that includes selectable USB and LSB “Single Side Band” modes. Frequency coverage: Long Wave 150 to 520 kHz (only available when using the MW 9 kHz tuning step), Medium Wave 520 to 1710 kHz, Shortwave 1711 to 30000 kHz and the FM broadcast band. The use of DSP allows the SSB modes to use it’s own narrower bandwidth for excellent selectivity. Other features include: Easy Tuning Mode (ETM) that scans all frequencies and then stores active stations into a special memory bank (does not interfere the regular memories), 550 regular memories (100 AM, 100 FM, 250 shortwave and even 100 just for SSB), 10, 20 and 50 Hz SSB tuning steps, sleep timer. Includes external directional AM ferrite antenna (that enhances AM band reception), carry case, belt clip, earbuds and a “clip on” wire SW antenna. Now available. [Dec 27]
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 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.
The opinions expressed are those of the editor, and not necessarily those of Universal Radio Inc.