How To Unlock The Kenwood Handheld Radio

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this is an image of 6 walkie talkies laying down flat on a table

Unlocking this style of handset can prove challenging, a common query amongst new users is how to unlock the Kenwood handheld radio.

The question has sprung up as a result of some enhanced functionality on these walkies talkies. Kenwood radios have an integrated feature that allows the device to “super lock”

Kenwood radios have received relative popularity for their modest price point, which manages to still deliver a solid build and reasonable reliability. Their commonly used amongst professionals to coordinate communication in teams. 

Superlocking – What Is It?

Super locking your kenwood radio freezes all your settings and locks you in on a specific channel. It’s designed to stop you accidentally changing settings by bumping into your buttons/knobs etc. When the device is ‘super locked’ and you attempt to change the channels – the device simply emits a “beep”.

This is pretty handy to prevent you accidentally veering off channel – but it can present some issues. If your team decides on using another channel to avoid interference, for example. If this happens to you and you can’t unlock your device then you’re not going to be able to initiate any kind of contact with your team.

Accidentally changing channels can be a bit of a nuisance, wondering why no one’s speaking to you or encountering interference you weren’t previously encountering can impact your ability to be productive. 

Ironically, despite being integrated to prevent accidental settings changes – it’s possible to accidentally lock your device.  

If you’re currently encountering issues with the locking function on your kenwood radio, don’t worry, the solution is at hand.

If you also encounter an issue where your radio can’t exit scanning mode (with the scanning indicator blinking green constantly) the same strategy applies for fixing it.

But just before I dive in to how to fix this issue – it’s probably important that you know how the issue has happened in the first place so you can avoid it again in future.

How People Accidentally Activate Super Locking

An array of Kenwood models with similar functionality all have the three recognizable side panel buttons. The button at the top is simply a push-to-talk button, press it down and you can speak into the mic and transmit instantaneously. 

Below this button is two smaller buttons for navigating the radio menu. Holding down the first side button for a period of more than three seconds will activate the super lock. Obviously this only works when the radio is powered-on.

It’s pretty easy for this to occur in your pocket or if you simply hold the button down too long, unaware of this feature. It’s more common amongst people new to the device but this issue can creep up on you too. You can tell it’s locked straight away because you won’t be able to change the channel and it’ll just beep at you when you use the knobs.

 

How To Unlock Kenwood Handheld Radio

Luckily, it’s not too difficult to get yourself out of “locked” mode with your radio set. Switch your device off, then begin holding the SECOND side button down whilst powering ON the radio. The indicator light will begin to flash orange, this is when you release button two. Upon releasing button two you will hear two beeps to notify you that you’ve unlocked it. Turn the radio back off and reboot it normally and your radio can be unlocked from scan mode by simply pressing the first side button and promptly releasing it.

From here you should be able to switch channels or turn the knob without being beeped at.

Conclusion

This little feature is pretty handy for preventing you from accidentally changing channels. Sadly, because there’s no dedicated lock button and this lock can only be activated through holding a button down – it’s not well known. As a result one of the most common issues users of the kenwood radio set encounter is the superlock issue. Unlocking isn’t super intuitive either – you can’t just hold the same button down for 3 seconds. You need to go through a series of steps.

This could have been avoided with the inclusion of a dedicated superlock button instead of integrating the functionality into the other buttons. For its price point it is still a useful feature, but some time and energy definitely could have went in to making the feature a little bit more intuitive.

The benefit is that you don’t need to plug your radio into a computer and pre-program this functionality in to the device. It’s also worth appreciating that superlock isn’t some permanent feature and there is actually a way to get around the issue at home.

 

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