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June 21, 2017

The TYT MD-2017 is here!

MD-2017-2.jpgThe rollout of the first dual band DMR handheld radio from TYT is without a doubt one of the most exciting and highly anticipated events of 2017 in the world of digital two way radios. We receive numerous e-mails, messages, phone calls and comments on our blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel from DMR radio enthusiasts everywhere every day, and all of them asking that same burning question: when will the MD-2017 arrive?

Well, the wait is officially over. The TYT MD-2017 is here!

We received part of our shipment yesterday June 20 and some our initial pre-orders were fulfilled at that time. The rest of them arrived today June 21, and all pre-orders are leaving our warehouse today. If you pre-ordered an MD-2017, your radio is now on its way. If you haven't pre-ordered, we are pleased to announce the TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio is now available for purchase for immediate shipment while our supplies last.

In addition, we now have the winner in our Two Way Radio Show TYT MD-2017 Guess the Date contest! This contest, first announced in episode #111 of the The Two Way Radio Show Podcast, asked contestants to guess when the MD-2017 would arrive at our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios. The prize was a FREE MD-2017 radio! The runner up will receive a swag bag and a Two Way Radio Show T-Shirt.

We received a very large number of entries, making this the biggest contest in the six year history of our podcast. The winners are being notified and will be announced in episode #114 of the Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

If you haven't yet heard about the new MD-2017, you can get a first look at it up close in our extremely popular TYT MD-2017 unboxing video. You can hear a discussion about this brand new first-of-a-kind dual bander in episode #111 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

Of course, if you have any other questions about the new TYT MD-2017, available accessories or any of our other products at Buy Two Way Radios, feel free to contact us.

June 7, 2017

New software converts MD-380 codeplug for TYT MD-2017

MD-2017 software-88.jpgThe TYT MD-2017 is one of the most eagerly awaited new radios of the year in the DMR community, and with good reason. It isn't just another digital radio. It's a dual band portable handheld DMR transceiver, the first of its kind.

Many hams using DMR who are fans of the popular single band TYT MD-380 are already planning to upgrade to the new dual band model. TYT manufactures both radios, so it's only natural to wonder if a code plug for the MD-380 will also work in the MD-2017, and if not, if there is a way to convert an existing MD-380 codeplug into one the MD-2017 can use.

We wondered about this as well. Sales Manager Anthony Roque from Buy Two Way Radios and the Two Way Radio Show Podcast, a ham who is active on DMR, has been working very hard with TYT for a long time now to design the MD-2017 programming software with the ability to allow our customers to take their codeplug from their MD-380 and use it in the MD-2017.

FINALLY, it is done. We just received the software this morning and Anthony is currently testing it with his radios. His initial assessment? According to Anthony, "So far so good ...as of right now it can be done." Of course, he will continue testing it throughout the day for bugs, but so far, it seems to be working. If all goes well, we plan to release it this afternoon at Buy Two Way Radios and update this article with a link to the download.

Update: The TYT MD-2017 software is now available!

There is one caveat. The software allows the MD-380 codeplug to work in the MD-2017. However, once the codeplug is uploaded to the MD-2017, it cannot be exported from the 2017 and loaded back into the MD-380.

TYT also released a new firmware update for the MD-2017 to accommodate the code plug conversion and fix a few bugs. The new firmware resolves the following:
  • Resolved an audio issue in repeater mode, when the same frequency is on both A and B sides and one is on time slot 1 and the other is on time slot 2
  • Under the Zone setting, the same channel can now be assigned for both A and B sides
  • The MD-2017 can open and use the data from the MD-380
  • In Digital Mode, the Monitor function can monitor the conversations in different group and single calls
TYT assured us the new firmware would be included with the radio when it arrives. We expect to receive the MD-2017 in our warehouse within the next two weeks.

Buy Two Way Radios is an authorized dealer for TYT in the USA.

Want to know more about the new TYT MD-2017? Check out our other resources!
TYT MD-2017 unboxing video
Two Way Radio Show Podcast #111 - The New TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Radio
New dual band DMR digital radio coming from TYT


June 2, 2017

TWRS-113 - The FCC Approves Part 95 Reform

Two Way Radio Show
We review the recent approval by the FCC to adopt the proposed reform of the Part 95 rules. We also review the Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS Two Way Radio and give you the latest update on the status of the TYT MD-2017 and MD-9600 DMR digital radios.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:22

Discussion Topic 1:40
We discuss the recent approval by the Federal Communications Commission to adopt the proposed reform of the Part 95 rules for the FRS, GMRS, CB and other personal radio services. We review some important changes to the rules, speculate on when they may take effect, and talk about the future of consumer two way radios.

Commercial Break 16:07
buytwowayradios.com 1:00

Product Review 17:03
We review the new Uniden GMR5095-2CKHS Two Way Radios with Headsets and Charger.

Questions and Answers 32:39
Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

TYT MD-2017 and MD-9600 Update 41:30
We give you the latest update on the status of the new TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio plus an update on the TYT MD-9600 DMR Digital Mobile Radio. Watch our new TYT MD-2017 unboxing video!

Wrap up and Close 45:28
Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

© 2017 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


[ Download MP3 ]

May 31, 2017

TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Radio unboxing video


TYT shook up the digital two way radio marketplace when it first introduced the full featured and low priced TYT MD-380. Two years later, they created the MD-390, a GPS enabled model that was waterproof and submersible. Now TYT has done it again, with the TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio!

What's it like? Find out in this unboxing video, as Rick Savoia from Buy Two Way Radios opens it up, turns it on and gives you a first look at this dual band digital portable handheld now available for pre-order.

Want more videos? Browse our video blog and subscribe to our YouTube channel!

May 18, 2017

FCC ruling on Part 95 reform


In 2010, the FCC proposed changing Part 95 rules on Personal Radio Services, including the FRS, GMRS and CB. The commission introduced WT Docket No. 10-119 and solicited comments from the public. The commission issued a proposed Report and Order April 27, 2017 to reform Part 95. After nearly seven years, the FCC brought the proposal up for consideration and a possible ruling at their monthly Open Commission Meeting on the morning of May 18, 2017.

Consideration of the Report and Order for Part 95 reform was the third item on the meeting agenda. Nese Guendelsberger, Acting Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, introduced the proposed report and order to the commission.

FCC Mobility Division Deputy Chief Tom Derenge presented the proposal. "We did a thorough review of all Part 95 rules because many are decades old and contained outdated requirements and are inconsistent with current uses of the services", Derenge stated.

Commissioner Michael O'Rielly attempted to answer the long standing question as to why it took so long to rule on the proposal. "Seven years later and no one has a great reason for the delay", O'Rielly said, and then added "though it's clearly not the fault of the staff."

After a very short consideration, the Part 95 Reform Report and Order was unanimously approved by the commissioners. For details, read the official FCC press release.

According to the FCC, rules usually become effective 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

For a review of key changes to the new Part 95 rules, read FCC considers reform of Part 95 rules for personal radio services. We discuss the proposal in depth in Episode 112 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

May 17, 2017

Motorola extends the warranty on business two way radios

Motorola-CLS1410.jpgMotorola announced an extension of their warranty on all Motorola business two way radios. All business radio series previously covered for one year will now be covered for by a two year replacement warranty. According to the company, the new warranty also applies to all models already sold and currently in use.

Radios affected by the new two year warranty include all CLS, CLP, DLR, DTR, RDX (also known as RD), and RM series. All manufacturer branded Motorola business two way radio accessories are still covered by the standard one year replacement warranty.

The new two year warranty is now in effect.

Questions? contact us at 1-800-584-1445 from 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays, send us an e-mail or enter our live chat at www.buytwowyradios.com.

May 12, 2017

Motorola Talkabout Radio Replacement Guide

Motorola Talkabout Radio Replacement.jpgMotorola has long been a giant in the world of FRS/GMRS two way radios. The company's Talkabout line is well known among consumers and the iconic peanut shape previously incorporated into many of these models is widely recognized as an established image of the Motorola brand. However, in the last year or so, Motorola introduced an entirely new line of TalkAbout radios to replace them, with new features, new options and a whole new look.

Why the makeover?
Simply put, the old or legacy Talkabouts, as Motorola now calls them, were not actually manufactured by the radio giant itself, but by another giant, namely a company known as Giant International. The Motorola name was licensed to Giant on a contractual basis, and Giant produced and distributed the familiar peanut style radios worldwide under the Motorola Talkabout® label as part of that agreement.

The contract was not renewed. Motorola took over the manufacturing of the Talkabout line and designed a new generation of radios around it. Known as the Motorola Talkabout T-Series, these new radios were sent to distribution by Motorola directly, in preparation for the eventual replacement of the legacy models once the Giant contract ended.

The contract with Giant ended in March 2017. From that point onward, manufacturing of the legacy models by Giant ceased and by April they could only sell to distributors and retailers what they had in stock.

What about compatibility?
With millions of legacy Talkabout radios already sold and still currently in use, the obvious question would be about compatibility with the new Motorola models. As far as the FRS and GMRS is concerned, no worries. Nearly all contemporary FRS/GMRS combination radios are compatible with one another, so it is not an issue at all.

However, when it comes to matching old and new Talkabout hardware, there are limitations. Users of the old Giant models will need to switch to the new Motorola models when they upgrade or add to an existing fleet of Talkabout radios. Some components such as chargers and belt clips will not be interchangeable. Some rechargeable battery packs may be interchangeable, but not all. However, models that can also use standard alkaline batteries may be cross compatible. As for audio accessories, Motorola kept their standard M6 connector used on the legacy models, so existing earpieces, headsets and speaker microphones designed for the old radios should be fully compatible with the new models.

Are the old Talkabout radios still available?
If component compatibility or exact model matching is a must, there are still a few legacy radios available to purchase, although in very limited quantity. Some models are already sold out and are no longer available. As for the models still in stock, get them while you can. At the current rate of depletion, we anticipate all series of legacy Talkabout radios will be sold by the end of May 2017. The entire line of current Motorola Talkabout® T-Series radios is now available from our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios.

To simplify the process, here's a handy dandy chart to help migrate from old to new models. The chart below compares the old legacy Talkabout models produced for Motorola by Giant International with their new equivalent replacements manufactured by Motorola. We also have a Two Way Radio Product Comparison tool so you can choose between any two specific models of these or any other two way radios on our site for a feature-for-feature comparison between them.

Motorola Talkabout® FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio Replacement Chart

Old Model Range* Compatible
Accessories
New Model Range*
MG160A Low AAA Batteries T100 Low
MG167A Low AAA Batteries T107 Low
MD200R Low AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T200 Low
MD200TPR Low AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T200TP Low
MD207R Low AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T200 Low
MH230R Mid Audio Accessories T260 Mid
MH230TPR Mid Audio Accessories T260TP Mid
MJ270R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T400 Mid
MR350R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T460 Mid
MR350TPR Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T460 Mid
MR355R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T465 Mid
MS350R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T600 Mid
MS355R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T605 Mid
MT350R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T460 Mid
MT352R Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T460 Mid
MT352TPR Mid AA Batteries
PMNN4477AR Battery
Audio Accessories
T460 Mid
MU350R Mid -- --N/A--
MU354R Mid -- --N/A--
*Motorola advertises FRS/GMRS radio range in miles, however your actual range may vary as it depends on a number of variables. In this chart, we to refer to range as Low, Mid or High. For a brief introduction on two way radio range, watch our short video Radio 101 - The Truth About FRS/GMRS Two Way Radio Range.
For a more accurate, real world estimation of actual range, refer to Rick's Simple GMRS Radio Range Chart.


May 10, 2017

TWRS-112 - The FCC Proposal To Reform Part 95 Rules in 2017

Two Way Radio Show
We discuss a proposal by the FCC to completely reform the Part 95 rules for the FRS, GMRS, CB, and other personal radio services. We also review the Midland MXT115 MicroMobile GMRS Two Way Radio and give you an inside update on the status of the new TYT MD2017 dual band DMR two way radio.

Intro :00
Billboard 1:21

Discussion Topic 1:40
We tell you about a proposal by the FCC to completely reform the Part 95 rules for Personal Radio Services, including the FRS, GMRS, CB, and more. We'll tell you what those proposed changes are, when the FCC may rule on them, and speculate on how the new rules may affect the consumer two way radio market.

Commercial Break 26:44
buytwowayradios.com 1:00

Product Review 27:40
We review the new Midland MXT115 MicroMobile GMRS 2-Way Radio.

Questions and Answers 36:15
Questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

TYT MD-2017 Update 40:55
We give you a status update on the new TYT MD-2017 dual band DMR digital handheld two way radio.

Wrap up and Close 45:28
Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

© 2017 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


[ Download MP3 ]

April 28, 2017

FCC considers reform of Part 95 rules for personal radio services

New-Channel-Allotment-For-FRS-and-GMRS.pngIn June 2010, the FCC proposed sweeping changes to personal radio services, including the GMRS. WT Docket No. 10-119 included proposals such as lowering power limits of GMRS radios to 2 watts, changing the allowance for GMRS repeaters and, most notably, eliminating the license requirement for GMRS and license by rule. Now, after 7 long years, the FCC has finally moved to consider a ruling on these proposed changes, and more. The ruling didn't limit these changes to the GMRS, but affected FRS, CB, MURS, and other personal radio services. In effect, the FCC isn't merely wanting to change Part 95 rules, they are planning to reform them.

This Report and Order is a major re-write of the Part 95 Rules. It was apparently reorganized to make it more consistent and easier to read, and eliminating "Q&A" style structuring of some rules in the document. According to the FCC, the rules are being overhauled "to modernize them, remove outdated requirements, and reorganize them to make it easier to find information." In re-writing the rules, the commission hopes to make them "consistent, clear and concise".

Whether or not the FCC actually achieves this objective remains to be seen. The new Part 95 is still a long read, and at 114 pages, the full Report and Order, which includes the new Part 95 rules, is even longer. However, the changes are significant. For users of FRS, GMRS, and CB radios, here is a summary of key changes to those services.

Family Radio Service (FRS)
FRS would now have 22 channels. All 22 channels that today's combination FRS/GMRS radios use will become part of FRS. All FRS channels are also allotted to the GMRS channels on a shared basis.

FRS would now have higher wattage. Previously, FRS was limited to one-half of one watt. The new rules allow FRS radios to transmit at up to 2 watts of power. According to the FCC's new rules, "Each FRS transmitter type must be designed such that the effective radiated power (ERP) on channels 8 through 14 does not exceed 0.5 Watts and the ERP on channels 1 through 7 and 15 through 22 does not exceed 2.0 Watts."

FRS radios may transmit digital data Previously, FRS transmissions were limited to voice conversations. Now, these units may also transmit and receive digital data as well. This includes location information or brief text messages to and from other FRS or GMRS stations. The FCC states " Digital data transmissions must be initiated by a manual action of the operator, except that a FRS unit receiving an interrogation request may automatically respond with its location."

FRS will be allowed to be combined with Part 15 devices. This would permit combination with technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

FRS license by rule is still the rule, but different. Many current combination FRS/GMRS handheld two way radios will be reclassified as FRS and not require an individual license to operate on any of 22 the channels. In effect, if the currently classified FRS/GMRS radio transmits below 2 watts, it's officially an FRS radio and doesn't require a license to operate. Both individuals and businesses now seem to explicitly authorized for use on the FRS.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
GMRS would have 30 channels. The GMRS is allotted 30 total channels consisting of 16 main channels and 14 interstitial channels. The GMRS operators may use their GMRS station for two-way plain language voice communications with other GMRS stations and with FRS units for personal or business activities.

GMRS can still be used with repeaters. The rules allow for use of GMRS with repeaters on specified channels. GMRS repeater, base and fixed stations may be operated by remote control.

GMRS radios may transmit digital data. As with FRS, digital location information, requests for location information, and brief text messages to another specific unit is now allowed to be transmitted over GMRS. Previously this was allowed to Garmin through a special waiver.

GMRS still requires a license but for a longer term. Previously, a GMRS license was valid for 5 years. Licenses are now valid for 10 years. As for current FRS/GMRS radios, If it transmits above 2 watts, it's a GMRS radio and needs a license. Current repeater capable FRS/GMRS radios will be classified as GMRS and require a license. A license is still issued for use by individuals and their immediate families. Immediate family members are the licensee's spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and in-laws. Non-individuals are grandfathered in.

Citizen's Band Radio Service (CBRS)
"Citizens Band Radio Service" would be officially named "CB Radio Service". Cordless microphones are allowed on CB. The restriction of long-range communications for CB has been eliminated, however the power limit was not increased. The CB serial number no longer required to be engraved into the transmitter chassis. Manufacturers are no longer required to include the FCC rules with CB radios.

Other notable changes affecting all of these services
  • Voice obscuring features would be prohibited across the entire PRS.
  • Continued use of existing radios that include scrambling features are not prohibited.
  • 18 months after adoption, no person shall be permitted to manufacture, import, sell, or offer for sale any equipment that incorporates voice scrambling or obscuring for any of the PRS regardless of previous certification.
  • Radios combining multiple services will no longer be approved. This includes FRS and GMRS (although GMRS is compatible with FRS).
Note: The reform is under tentative consideration by the FCC at its open meeting scheduled for May 18, 2017. From the FCC: "The issues... and the Commission's ultimate resolution of those issues remain under consideration and subject to change. This document does not constitute any official action by the Commission."

What do you think of the new Part 95 rules? Enter your comments below.

March 27, 2017

Guess and win a TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR radio!

This contest is now closed for entries. The radios arrived, we have a winner and the winner will be announced in episode #114!
Contest update: The MD-2017 is here!

MD-2017.jpgGuess the actual arrival date for a chance to win a new TYT MD-2017 radio or Two Way Radio Show T-Shirt! Send us your best guess of the date when you think the MD-2017 will arrive at our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios and if your guess is correct or the closest within seven (7) days of the arrival date, you could win a FREE TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR digital Two Way Radio. The winner with the second closest guess will get a FREE Two Way Radio Show T-shirt, valued at $10. If multiple correct entries are received, a drawing will be held among all correct entries to determine the winners.

Why are we doing this?
In 2016 TYT announced the MD-9600, their first digital mobile radio. This was big news, and anticipation was high. TYT kept delaying the release, and now, over a year later, we are still waiting for the MD-9600 to show up on the dock at our warehouse.

A few months ago we announced a new dual band digital handheld two way radio coming from TYT, the MD-2017. In episode #111 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast, we discussed some of the features of the MD-2017 and a speculated on a possible arrival date based on the limited specs available from the manufacturer. Bacause of our experience with the MD-9600, naturally we are a bit hesitant to mention a firm date for the arrival of the MD-2017.

So during the show (about 6:30 into the episode), we came up with an idea. Rather than set expectations with speculative dates that TYT may or may not ever meet, why not have some fun with it and make it into a contest? So we did!

Official Contest Rules
  • 1. One entry per person.
  • 2. Enter the date you think the MD-2017 will arrive at our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios. Note: this is not the date TYT says it will ship to the US, but the date we actually receive it.
  • 3. E-mail your entry to show@buytwowayradios.com or post it in the comments for Episode #111 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.
  • 4. Entry must include Full name, a valid e-mail address and call sign to verify single entry per person rule. Entries without all three items for verification will be considered invalid.
  • 5. The entry with the date closest to arrival within seven days wins an MD-2017 radio.
  • 6. The entry second closest to the arrival date wins a T-Shirt.
  • 7. If multiple entries are received with the same date, the winners will be determined by random drawing of all correct entries.
  • 8. Due to international restrictions, the contest is open to residents of the US only.
  • 9. Winners will be announced on The Two Way Radio Show Podcast and notified by e-mail after close of contest.
  • 10. Contest ends April 21, 2017 at 11:59 PM EDT or when the radio arrives at Buy Two Way Radios from TYT, whichever comes first.
Note: Decisions of the judges are final.