Kenwood TK-981 Programming Instructions

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Programming the Kenwood TK 981 using Windows

To start with an unprogrammed radio, you will need the following:

  1. KPG-4 or KPG-46 programming cable (the KPG-4 will work with other Kenwood radios)
  2. KPG-49D v401 Icon-zip.png (3.45 MB) -- Programming software for Windows
  3. KW900EZP Icon-zip.png (46 KB) -- Converts KPG-49D data files (written by N2MCI)


I recommend you install the KW900EZP.exe in the same folder (DATA) as the .dat files will be saved in, within KPG-49D application.


  1. Open the KPG-49D program. From the file menu, choose ‘New’. You will see a system information window open with lines numbered from 1 to 32, all marked “not used” in the mode column. Highlight the ‘not used’ entry and choose ‘conventional’ from the drop-down menu. Enter a system name if you like. This can be a repeater location or operating frequency and can be edited later if need be.
  2. Next press the ‘system edit’ button and the system edit window will open. In the FCC Channel column, enter the two digit FCC number for the channel you want from the programming number sheet (at bottom). Leave the shift column blank. Data for all other columns can be entered now or edited later, as needed. Whatever is entered in the ‘Group Name’ column is what will be displayed on the radio for the frequency chosen. The maximum is 10 characters, including spaces.
  3. Close this window with ‘Close’ button to return to system information. Repeat step 1 with next system number and continue to add frequencies as desired. When finished, save the file by: File> Save as>, then choose Data File when asked what type of file to save. In ‘Save As’ box, give your file a name. It will be used in next step.
  4. Exit KPG-49D. Run KW900EZP.exe. Enter the full name of the file you saved in the previous step including the .dat file extension. At this point, do not select E (edit) but just press enter. If all was done correctly, the frequencies will be converted to 902-927 MHz. Exit KW900EZP.
  5. Run KPG-49D and open the file created in step 3 using the File menu at top of screen. If all went well, there will be a seven digit number where the two digit FCC number was for each system. Never try to edit this number, unless you want to delete the line. To delete, enter Delete with the cursor on FCC number. In the group edit window, the actual operating frequency will be shown in ‘frequency’ window at top.


If you have created or set up a bank of frequencies, you can now copy (Ctrl+C) and paste (Ctrl+V) any frequency to any system. Select the system you want to move to and press F2, then select conventional. Move back to the frequency you want to move. Place the cursor on the Group, then press Ctrl+C. Move to the place where you want the copied frequencies to be placed and press Ctrl+V. The copied frequency should appear. You can edit anything in the system line except the frequency. You can also edit optional features and button assignments without needing to run KW900EZP again.

If you created this program from a new start and would like Talk Around (simplex) on all frequencies and are somewhat familiar with hex editing, you may want to try this: When you have a complete program saved, load it into a hex editing program. At location 143 change what ever number is there to 52. Save and exit. In the KPG-49D program, under Edit menu, Key assignments, ‘B Switch’ will be blank. Leave it alone. Do not attempt to edit. The ‘B’ button on your radio will now provide talk around on all channels.

When you are finished creating your radio program, you are ready to write this information to the radio. Connect the programming cable to computer serial port and radio microphone connector. From the ‘Setup’ menu, choose ‘Communication Port’ and select COM 1, or to whatever the port number is that your programming cable is connected to.

From the ‘Program’ menu, choose ‘Write Data to Radio’. Click on ‘Write’ button in next window that appears. If all connections are good, you will see a progress bar as the programming data is written to your radio. This should take about 5-7 seconds. The radio display will show ‘PROGRAMMING’ until it is finished then it will beep once and normal display will return. Radio display should now show whatever you named the first system channel. Disconnect programming cable from radio.

Many Thanks to Pete, N2MCI for his contributions to promote 900Mhz and to Tom, K5TRA for putting me on to ‘Copy and Paste’. -- Gene, W7UVH

Freq. chart to be used with KW900EZP.exe


      --------------------------       ---------------------------
     |927|919|920|921|926| Freq. |    |927|919|920|921|926| Freq. |
     |902|907|908|909|903|  MHZ  |    |902|907|908|909|903|  MHZ  |
     |---|---|---|---|---|-------|    |---|---|---|---|---|-------|
     | --| 80|160|240|320| .0000 |    | 40|120|200|280|360| .5000 |
     | 01| 81|161|241|321| .0125 |    | 41|121|201|281|361| .5125 |
     | 02| 82|162|242|322| .0250 |    | 42|122|202|282|362| .5250 |
     | 03| 83|163|243|323| .0375 |    | 43|123|203|283|363| .5375 |
     | 04| 84|164|244|324| .0500 |    | 44|124|204|284|364| .5500 |
     | 05| 85|165|245|325| .0625 |    | 45|125|205|285|365| .5625 |
     | 06| 86|166|246|326| .0750 |    | 46|126|206|286|366| .5750 |
     | 07| 87|167|247|327| .0875 |    | 47|127|207|287|367| .5875 |
     |---|---|---|---|---|-------|    |---|---|---|---|---|-------|
     | 08| 88|168|248|328| .1000 |    | 48|128|208|288|368| .6000 |
     | 09| 89|169|249|329| .1125 |    | 49|129|209|289|369| .6125 |
     | 10| 90|170|250|330| .1250 |    | 50|130|210|290|370| .6250 |
     | 11| 91|171|251|331| .1375 |    | 51|131|211|291|371| .6375 |
     | 12| 92|172|252|332| .1500 |    | 52|132|212|292|372| .6500 |
     | 13| 93|173|253|333| .1625 |    | 53|133|213|293|373| .6625 |
     | 14| 94|174|254|334| .1750 |    | 54|134|214|294|374| .6750 |
     | 15| 95|175|255|335| .1875 |    | 55|135|215|295|375| .6875 |
     |---|---|---|---|---|-------|    |---|---|---|---|---|-------|
     | 16| 96|176|256|336| .2000 |    | 56|136|216|296|376| .7000 |
     | 17| 97|177|257|337| .2125 |    | 57|137|217|297|377| .7125 |
     | 18| 98|178|258|338| .2250 |    | 58|138|218|298|378| .7250 |
     | 19| 99|179|259|339| .2375 |    | 59|139|219|299|379| .7375 |
     | 20|100|180|260|340| .2500 |    | 60|140|220|300|380| .7500 |
     | 21|101|181|261|341| .2625 |    | 61|141|221|301|381| .7625 |
     | 22|102|182|262|342| .2750 |    | 62|142|222|302|382| .7750 |
     | 23|103|183|263|343| .2875 |    | 63|143|223|303|383| .7875 |
     |---|---|---|---|---|-------|    |---|---|---|---|---|-------|
     | 24|104|184|264|344| .3000 |    | 64|144|224|304|384| .8000 |
     | 25|105|185|265|345| .3125 |    | 65|145|225|305|385| .8125 |
     | 26|106|186|266|346| .3250 |    | 66|146|226|306|386| .8250 |
     | 27|107|187|267|347| .3375 |    | 67|147|227|307|387| .8375 |
     | 28|108|188|268|348| .3500 |    | 68|148|228|308|388| .8500 |
     | 29|109|189|269|349| .3625 |    | 69|149|229|309|389| .8625 |
     | 30|110|190|270|350| .3750 |    | 70|150|230|310|390| .8750 |
     | 31|111|191|271|351| .3875 |    | 71|151|231|311|391| .8875 |
     |---|---|---|---|---|-------|    |---|---|---|---|---|-------|
     | 32|112|192|272|352| .4000 |    | 72|152|232|312|392| .9000 |
     | 33|113|193|273|353| .4125 |    | 73|153|233|313|393| .9125 |
     | 34|114|194|274|354| .4250 |    | 74|154|234|314|394| .9250 |
     | 35|115|195|275|355| .4375 |    | 75|155|235|315|395| .9375 |
     | 36|116|196|276|356| .4500 |    | 76|156|236|316|396| .9500 |
     | 37|117|197|277|357| .4625 |    | 77|157|237|317|397| .9625 |
     | 38|118|198|278|358| .4750 |    | 78|158|238|318|398| .9750 |
     | 39|119|199|279|359| .4875 |    | 79|159|239|319|399| .9875 |
     -------- -------------------      ------- -------------------

     For radios that require a seperate Xmit & Rec. group (chan).
     Program in TX-inhibit for the rec. and nothing for the Xmit.
     After the KW900EZP runs the Rptr. Xmit will now be TA on the
     rptr. input freq.