Review Puxing PX-888K

For a lot of reasons I wasn’t able to finish up this Puxing PX-888K review in a timely manner. When Brick kindly reminded me some time ago of my failure to deliver, I postponed all other projects this week and picked up on this article again.

The PX-888 series exist for a long time already, but all versions lacking the ‘K’ in the model number were mono-band radios. This one is dual-band, and this model offers a number of features not often seen elsewhere.

In the box

– the radio itself
– one 1200mAh Li-Ion battery (1600mAh versions available as an option)
– belt clip
– drop-in charger
– dual-band antenna
– manual
– headset


From left to right: Icom IC-T3H, Puxing PX-888K, Baofeng UV-5R.


The of plastic at the bottom looks like it could crack easily. Handle with care.

Look & Feel

There are two colors available: black and green. Mine came in green, and it is a famous shade of green. Remember the IC-2E, and a few other models from Icom? Yep, that type of green. Not 100% identical, but very close. If someone would have put the Icom brand name on it, it could have fooled me. I must admit that like this color, it doesn’t make the radio look cheap.

While those ancient Icoms were built like a tank, this radio should be handled with a bit more care. Build quality is not bad at all, far from it, but I doubt it would survive the same amount of abuse my old IC-2E could handle.

While holding a Baofeng UV-5R might feel a bit uncomfortable at times due its rectangular shape and surfaces, the Puxing PX-888K fits like a glove. It’s a small radio, just marginally taller than a Baofeng UV-5R.

The background color of the LCD can be switched from amber (default) to blue or purple. Only amber and purple are usable, the blue color is way too dark. Together with the natural lack of contrast between black and blue, the information in the display becomes almost impossible to read.



Puxing PX-888K + battery Pack

Programming the PX-888K is easy and straightforward. Alphanumeric descriptions can be added without software, and the descriptions can be up to seven characters long. Most other radios only accept six characters, although some can be hacked. By repeatedly pressing the ESC/M key, the display shows either Channel Name + RX Frequency, Channel name + Channel number, or the TX + RX frequencies. One more press switches back to VFO mode. Simple, easy and effective.

There is software available too, of course, which you need when you want to play with ANI codes or remote stun/kill/revive options. The cable needed is Kenwood compatible, the same standard used for program Wouxun or Baofeng radios.


The quality of the receiver was a surprise. Not only could the PX-888K handle strong out-of-band signals reasonably well, the RX audio is wonderful. I found it hard to describe the quality at first, but the word pleasant would fit the bill well. There’s something HiFi-ish about the sound, absolutely marvelous. Cranking up the volume doesn’t result in any significant distortion.

The TX/RX bandwidth can be switched from wide (25KHz) to narrow (12.5KHz). Contrary to some other radios I own, this really works. Activity on adjacent channels is blocked to the point of perfection, but there’s a catch. The standard FM deviation used by ham radio equipment is generally rather wide by default. When the PX-888K is set to ‘Narrow’, some signals might get choked somewhere in the filter train. This has about the same effect as a way-to-high squelch level, which in turn causes parts of a transmission to be lost. So, ‘Wide’ it is, at least for ham radio use.


Scanning is, as usual with Chinese radios, slow. I’ve seen worse (FDC 268 series, Waccom WUV-6R), but once you know what some Yaesu radios can do you’ll never get used to it. I tried to time the scanning speed, and this resulted in something close to 3 channels per second. This is rather useless in VFO mode, but can come in handy when in channel mode – as long as you don’t fill up all the 128 memory positions.


I never had a Puxing myself before, but I remembered the distinct TX audio sound of earlier models: too much bass, and almost completely deprived of highs. I sort of hoped (and expected) that Puxing would have fixed this by now, but no joy. TX audio is still muffled, and the lack of highs makes your transmission hard to listen to. Without telling anyone which HT I was using, complaints rolled in like a storm.

Some mods for earlier models involve drilling out the pinhole in the front, plus adjusting the FM deviation. This won’t address the core of the problem, but it seems to help. Personally I’m no fan of cranking up FM deviation, as such adjustments can introduce other problems like bleed-overs into adjacent channels. Early Wouxuns had the same problem, and removing a small capacitor was all it took to fix it. I didn’t look at the PX-888K’s circuit board, so I don’t know if that would work for this Puxing as well.

If you connect an external speaker/microphone, TX audio is as good as it gets, and that’s exactly what I did while using the PX-888K in the field. The use of an external speaker/microphone also revealed that the quality of the 2.5mm and 3.5mm jacks leaves something to be desired. When I finally removed the external speaker/microphone, the internal microphone didn’t work anymore. This is a problem caused by poor choice of materials, and rather typical for cheap Chinese HTs. The contacts inside the jacks don’t revert to their original position anymore.

Extra functionality

There’s of course, CTCSS and DCS. There’s DTMF. Even the 1750Hz burst tone is there, although you have to program the side key by computer in order to get it to work. There’s ANI (MSK at default). There’s a scrambler implemented, which proved to work very well. A total of eight ‘Voice Inversion’ levels are at your disposal. When set to Scrambler level 4 (which, for some reason, seemed to be the hardest one to decode without having another Puxing), other stations could not recognize their own call sign, not even when spoken slowly and clearly. Interesting. Then there is the remote stun/kill/revive option, which uses DTMF tones to remotely render a specific radio useless. I haven’t been able to test this, as it involves diving into the Puxing software, plus the fact that it takes two to tango.

Other findings

The PX-888K suffers from the same flaw as the Baofeng UV-5R: typing in a frequency only works well when the channel spacing is set to integers, such as 5, 10 or 25 KHz. Frequencies commonly used in a 12.5KHz channel spacing will be rounded down. It’s just a matter of one extra click to the right with the rotary encoder, but it is and stays annoying.


Power Output
145 MHz: High 4.9 Watts, Low 0.7 Watts
435 MHz: High 3.3 Watts, Low 0.5 Watts

Output is reasonably stable on VHF across the range. On UHF output is the highest around 460MHz (4 Watts) and lowest at 400MHz (<3Watts).

VHF: -128dBm
UHF: -127dBm

Phase Noise


VHF phase noise is low, but there are some spurious emissions visible just above the carrier.


UHF phase noise is reasonably low, but there are some spurious emissions visible both below and above the carrier.

Harmonic Suppression


Harmonic suppression on VHF: 59 dBm down. Excellent.


Harmonic suppression on UHF: 53 dBm down. Good.


Frequency Range 136-174MHz & 400-480MHz
Operating Voltage -20~+50℃
Operate Mode Simplex or Semi-duplex
Dimension 100mm x 55mm x 32mm (without antenna)
Weight 220g(Including battery)
Antenna Impedance 50 Ω
Frequency Stability ±2.5PPM
Output Power VHF5W/UHF 4W
Max Frequency Deviation ≤5KHz/2.5KHz
Audio Distortion ≤5%
Modulation Character +3dB~-3dB
Adjacent Channel Power ≥70dB/60dB
Spurious Radiation ≤7.5uW
Occupied Bandwidth ≤16KHz
RF Sensitivity >0.2uV
Audio Distortion ≤5%
Audio Response +2dB~-10dB
Co-Channel Rejection ≥-8dB
Adjacent Channel Selectivity ≥60dB
Intermodulation Rejection ≥65dB
Spurious Response ≥70dB
Blocking ≥80dB

I like the Puxing PX-888K, but the radio is not without flaws. Phase noise is generally low, but the signal is not entirely clean. TX audio is muffled. The jacks for connecting programming cables and headsets can give you trouble later in time. Harmonic suppression is fine though, and the receiver is quite good. RX audio is brilliant – the most beautiful sounding audio to date.

In spite of the price I can still recommend this radio, but using a good speaker/microphone is recommended.

Price: $80 (409shop) in Black or Green.

19 comments on “Review Puxing PX-888K

  1. With programming software, you can enter the frequencies as required by narrow band regulations. While the step size is not able to be set to 2.5 khz spacing.. software programming WILL allow the appropriate frequencies. There are 2 versions of the software. It seems the newest version is best for the green model, whereas the older version fits the black model. It is believed there are firmware differences. The black model can be locked to manual mode; (no front panel programming) but the green cannot. The newest software omits this option.

    Also, according to the schematic, this radio is based on the same DSP chip that the UV5r and others are. This is a total redesign, differing from all other Puxing models. Is the Yahoo group for this radio.

  2. Pingback: Test du Puxing PX-888K | Actu-Radioamateur Test du Puxing PX-888K | Revue de presse de l'actualité radioamateur, et nouvelles technologies…

    • That’s a difficult one. Both have pros and cons. The Puxing shines in a variety of ways: good display, power output, RX audio quality and scramble options. The main gripe is the muffled, bassy TX audio, a typical Puxing problem.

      The UV-B5 is cheaper, has an excellent receiver, very good TX audio and a good receiver. The display isn’t one of its strengths, nor is the FM radio (if you care). For the price the radio is hard to beat.

  3. Dear sir.can u teach me how to setting tone and offset puxing px888k.i search already in menu but not found.


  4. Hi, Im new at this, so sorry I my question is too stupid. Can I program manually puxing px888k to VHF 161,475 Mhz. (for hunting). If so, is there some instructions or manual to program it. Thank you.

  5. Which radio do you prefer Puxing PX888K or Baofeng UV B5? I have few of B5’s and it is great low cost HT and Puxing have problems with low modulation and muffled TX-audio but great selective call features.

    Is PX888K scrambler compatible with BF888S scrambler?

  6. Hi Hans, my friends have the PX-888K radios (stock antenna) and I am purchasing the BF UV-5B now. Before I had a BF-888S and we had sometimes problems to communicate in forrest environments. I’ve read in your review that the UV-B5 stock antenna does a great job so there is no need to replace it. How is the PX-888K antenna? Does it make sense to replace it with one of the Nagoyas? Will there be any difference between the 701 (25cm) and 771 (40cm)? We usually carry our radios on our chests so the stock antenna does not stick out over our shoulder now. I was also considering to buy a longer antenna for the UV-5B so that it will stick over by shoulder, does this make any sense? Thanks for your reply.

    • I wonder if a longer or higher antenna would make any difference in a forest. Antenna height is important because the curvature of the earth eventually starts to play a role (you lose line of sight), but in your situation the sheer number of objects standing in your way is the main cause of limited range (absorption, deflection).

      Experimenting is always good; maybe an other antenna does make a difference. I wouldn’t hold my breath though. VHF tends to do a bit better than UHF.

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