Feb 20, 2015

Amateur Radio / HAM Shopping scene in HongKong : A first hand experience!!!!

I recently visited Hongkong on an official trip so tried to take some time out to check for some HAM stuff and look at what items you get and any price benefit . Contrary to what people say that that are plenty of shops , technically there is only one street in Hongkong where you get some decent amateur radio stuff and that too hardly 4 to 5 shops which have the true amateur range . Offcourse for someone from India where I don't think you even have even one decent dedicated Amateur radio shop , its still felt like paradise with such wide range and display . Offcourse the overall market had items which felt like a gizmo world all together from some science fiction movie . Apliu Street runs parallel to Cheung Sha Wan Road between Yen Chow Street and Nam Cheong Street. An easy way to reach it is to get off at the MTR Sham Shui Po Station. Use the A2 or C2 exit and you will be ascending directly into Apliu Street. You can easily take a taxi and show the driver the location on map or phone. 
Apliu Street has a huge flea market containing electronicselectrical components, and related items. A shopper can find both new and used merchandise in the area. Apliu Street is well known for geek shopping, and at one time it had an unsavory reputation as a "thieves' market".
Firstly the available few shops mostly stock only some cheap Chinese brand like BAOFENG , TYT etc . Wouxun I guess is considered a high end chinese brand known for quality and hence only available if you specifically ask for and not readily displayed or stocked . A typical display in the showcase is as below with models starting from 150 HKD upwards and defenitely cheaper than you get in India , you can bargain to some extent. 
While Apliu Street is famous for electronic parts, the Golden Shopping Arcade found on the other side of Cheung Sha Wan Road is famous for computer hardware and related items.

Two shops I visited are below , first one owned by Mr.Alan and other is this lovely lady called Ms.Yu . I was looking for specific models and both were courteous and kind enough to help me with arranging those models. Spoke to both for quite some time and Ms.Yu was very pleasing in explaining various products, clarifying doubts and offcourse giving some decent discounts also. Picked up the new Wouxun KGUV8D handy plus some accessories at HKD 900.

One another shop which sells on Japanese or US make and offcourse expensive but quality stuff is CQ Shop Hongkong and has very good display and the Manager Mr.Hung is a very professional and knowledgeable person. The shop pics as below.  

CQ Shop
Mr Simon, H.K. Hung, Manager
252 Apliu St, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon, Hong Kong / HOURS: 11AM-7:30PM Mon-Sat/ CLOSED SUNDAY
(852) 2708-7161 or 2728 1180 Fax 2708-7164
E-mail: Info@CQShopHK.com

Anybody visiting Hongkong and wanting to check out some HAM stuff can directly go to Apliu Street and visit these shops which are only true shops selling Amateur stuff in Hongkong. 

G.Vipin Shankar
ChennaiHamsBlogspot Team

Feb 14, 2015

Maham meet 2015 starts off!!!!

The annual casual eyeball get together for Amateur Radio operators/HAM's in Chennai got to a wonderful start this morning with good participation from Chennai HAM's as well as few who came from outstation. A quick photo profile for info , almost 120 HAM's along with XYL's , Harmonics & SWL's as well participated in this wonderful event. 

Maha Meet is convened every year on 2nd Saturday of February with the great support of all Ham and SWL friends.  Motto : Eye ball @ low expense
VENUE: HOTEL MAHABSOPP.MAHABALIPURAM MAIN BUS STAND(TERMINUS)BEHIND- STATE BANK OF INDIA (ATM)MAHABALIPURAM. NEAR CHENNAI. TAMIL NADUMahabalipuram Ham Eye Ball Maha Meet was started by OM Vittal, VU2 VIT in 2003 in a small scale with the support of INAR/VU2INA, APPAN/ VU3MPK and ANNA VU2KBX in order to encourage Hams who cannot afford economically and school students to meet other Hams of our motherland without spending much money.

Feb 7, 2015

Wouxun KG-UV8D : Hands-on review

I had the opportunity to go hands-on with the new dual-band Wouxun KG-UV8D HT courtesy my recent overseas visit and I’m impressed!

VHF/VHF dual receive — for the win! This is a great feature and, at least for me, one of the most compelling reasons to upgrade to this radio. It mixes the audio from the two frequencies so you won’t miss anything. 

The text on the color screen is so much easier to read than on previous Wouxuns. There’s about twice the screen real estate and it makes the radio much more usable. Although I didn’t get a chance to play with every feature of the KG-UV8D so far , I can honestly say that this radio seems to be much easier to program from the keypad. I think that larger screen helps a lot. For the first time, I feel that I could field program one of these without the manual. Trust me, that’s saying something!
The radio seems slightly narrower and thinner than previous versions. This is a definite step up and it improves the ergonomics of the radio. The PTT button is large and segmented in a way that makes it hard to mistake it for a function button as with the KG-UV3D. The programmable buttons under the PTT are also cool. You can program it to activate the FM radio or to start scanning, for example. Very easy to customize.

The battery is different which is a little disappointing for those of us who have a collection of older Wouxun batteries, but I like the changes they’ve made to the way it slides on and off the chassis.

The rubber ducky antenna they include is OK, but for me a Smiley 270A would replace it in short order. And speaking of antennas, why can’t Wouxun figure out if they want to use SMA-male or SMA-female on these radios? I think we can all agree that they should just standardize on one or the other. This radio has a SMA-female connector while my KG-UV3D is SMA-male.

I’ve fallen in love with this little radio and I’ve only have it for few hours. Whether you’re a brand new ham looking for your first rig or you’ve been at this game for decades, you can’t go wrong with this HKD 900 / approx INR 8000 radio.