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March 27, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
March 8, 2017
Come visit Buy Two Way Radios this weekend at the 2017 Charlotte Hamfest!
The Charlotte Hamfest is an annual event hosted by The Mecklenburg Amateur Radio Society (MARS). This year's event will be held March 10 and 11, 2017 in Concord, North Carolina. Activities include hourly prizes, forums, VEC amateur radio license testing and industry vendors, including Buy Two Way Radios!
If you are in the Charlotte, NC area this weekend, we encourage you to check out the hamfest. We'll be in booth #32. Come by and meet our staff and hosts of The Two Way Radio Show to talk about ham radio and two way radios in general.
The 2017 Charlotte Hamfest will be held Friday, March 10 from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM ET and Saturday, March 11 from 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM ET. The hamfest will be located at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center, 4571 Hwy 49 North, Concord, North Carolina 28025. The arena is just minutes away from Interstate 85 and the Charlotte Motor Speedway. Admission is only $7 per person in advance and $10 at the door. Children 12 and under are free when accompanied by an adult and there is plenty of free parking.
For more information about the 2017 Charlotte Hamfest, visit their web site at www.charlottehamfest.org.
January 27, 2017
The TYT MD-380 is one of the most popular DMR radios on the market and one of our best selling digital handheld models at Buy Two Way Radios. Considering this, we are not at all surprised to receive inquiries about replacement parts for it. As an authorized TYT dealer for the US, Buy Two Way Radios now carries a selection of spare parts for the TYT MD-380 two way radios.
If you need a specific part for your MD-380, such as a channel knob or accessory port cover, the specific item may be purchased individually. If multiple parts are needed, an entire kit of replacement parts is also available. This kit consists of all MD-380 parts currently sold on our web site at a substantial savings.
Of course, if you need another spare or replacement part for your radio, give us a call at 1-800-584-1445 or enter our live chat and ask.
January 26, 2017
The new Kenwood TK-3230DX is almost the same as the old TK-3230 and uses the same KNB-46L 2000 mAh lithium-ion battery pack. So naturally one would assume both radios use the same charger as well. However, the two chargers are slightly different. The original TK-3230 uses the KSC-37, and the DX uses the KSC-37S. The question is, are they interchangeable with the radios?
There were only two differences we could find between the two chargers. The old KSC37 charger draws 1.0A and the new KSC37S draws 0.8A. This slight difference does not seem to affect charging of either radio. Both output the same 1.05 amps to the radio/battery.
We also noticed the two plastic tabs between the contacts in the pocket of the KSC37 were eliminated in the KSC37S, and this change allows both radios to sit more firmly in the new charger. Other than those two minor changes, there seemed to be no indication the changes prevent the use of old and new chargers with old and new radios in a mixed fleet.
Can both chargers be used to charge the DX? If not, is there another reason, other than the slight differences mentioned above, that would prevent this, even though both radios fit in both chargers and use the same battery?
We asked officials at Kenwood these very questions. The official answer? The changes are purely cosmetic. Both the KSC-37 and KSC-37S chargers are indeed cross-compatible with the TK-3230 and TK-3230DX radios and may be used with either one.
January 20, 2017
When Midland first announced the introduction of the MXT100 in early 2015, it was met with much anticipation. After all, This wasn't just another GMRS two way radio, it was a GMRS mobile radio, the first to enter the market in years, and a micro mobile at that. When the MXT100 finally arrived in the late autumn, it quickly became a popular item at Buy Two Way Radios and was generally well received.
Yet, some reviews were mixed. Many users liked the overall design and performance of this tiny mobile, but also wanted the addition of weather channels for use in off-road or recreational vehicles. Some GMRS operators needed repeater capability to truly maximize its use as a mobile. Many thought it lacked the higher wattage generally expected from a typical mobile radio.
Midland heard the feedback, listened, and took notes.
Now, Midland is introducing not one, not two, but three new mobiles in the MXT series, and all for the GMRS.
MXT105 - This model is the next generation of the now retired MXT100, and effectively replaces it. The 105 is essentially the same as the original, with 5 watts of power, 15 GMRS channels, 142 CTCSS/DCS codes, channel scan, adjustable squelch, signal strength meter, monitor function, keypad lock and 3.5mm external speaker jack. It also keeps the built-in internal speaker and the front panel backlit LCD display with 5 levels of adjustable brightness.
One of the best features of the old 100 was Display Flip, which allowed the unit to be installed upside down with an option to flip the readout on the screen around to keep it readable. The MXT105 kept this feature, as well as the flip frame detachable mount to accommodate either horizontal or vertical mounting on or under the dash.
In addition to the GMRS functionality of its predecessor, the MXT105 adds 10 NOAA weather channels and weather scan to the mix. It does all this at a lower price point than the original, taking the MXT series to a new level. The entire package includes a detachable hand microphone with a coiled cord, 12V power cable with vehicle adapter, flip frame detachable mount, microphone hanger, mounting hardware and a mobile magnetic mount antenna with 19 feet of cable. Price: $99.99.
MXT115 - The 115 has most of the same basic features found on the MXT105 and adds more power to take it to a full 15 watts. It has 15 GMRS channels, 10 NOAA weather channels and weather alert. Additional features include 5 selectable call tones, roger beep, tone alert and a USB charger port for charging other devices such as a handheld radio or cell phone. It does not include the Display Flip feature of the MXT105 but the display can be backlit in one of 8 selectable colors. The best part, it's repeater capable, with 8 GMRS repeater channels pre-programmed and ready to go. The package includes a hand microphone, 12V power cable with vehicle adapter, flip frame detachable mount, mounting hardware, microphone hanger and mobile mag mount antenna with a 19 foot cable. Price: $149.99.
MXT400 - This powerful micromobile transmits at a full 40 watts on the GMRS and is the top of the MXT line. It doesn't have the weather channels included in the other models, but it does have the 8 repeater channels. It also has some features found on many business and amateur mobile two way radios, such as a voice compander, power and transmit LEDs, talk around function, and a timeout timer. The MXT400 comes with a hand microphone, 12V hard wire cord, flip frame detachable mount, microphone hanger and mounting hardware. Antenna not included. Price: $249.99.
January 1, 2017
For fans of the original 3230, don't worry. Kenwood didn't really take their iconic ProTalk away. The new TK-3230 DX is almost exactly the same as the original TK-3230, only different. It's better.
These two radios essentially share the same model number, so the striking similarities between them are not surprising at all. Of course, the radios are essentially the same in both form and function.
Like it's predecessor, the TK-3230DX maxes out at 1.5 watts with a 0.5W minimum of user selectable power. Kenwood claims it has a maximum range of up to 5 miles or 250,000 square feet in open areas with no obstructions. Depending on your specific setting and situation, your mileage may vary.
Like the original, the DX weights only 5.5 ounces, surpassed only by the ProTalk LT PKT-23 as one of smallest and lightest Kenwood handheld business radios currently available. It's compact footprint puts the DX head-to-head with other tiny UHF business radios such as the Motorola CLS1410, CLP1040 and the Hytera HYT TC-310.
All the popular features of the old 3230 are in the DX too, such as 6 modifiable pre-set channels, FleetSync® PTT ID and caller ID display, channel scan, built-in VOX functionality, Privacy Talk voice scrambling, the compander, 10-call alert tone, busy channel lockout, and, yes, even the famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) Super Lock. The DX also has individual call, direct call and group call selective calling features. Add in the 7 segmeng backlit LCD display, and you've got a next gen Kenwood made just like the original.
But with all these similarities, there are some important differences. The original TK-3230 had 56 built-in frequencies. The TK-3230DX gives you an additional 35 for a total of 99 pre-stored selectable frequencies. The original TK-3230 had 39 QT and 83 DQT privacy codes for a total of 122 codes. The TK-3230 DX added 85 more digital codes, for a grand total of 207 privacy codes.
But that's not all. In addition to the extra codes, the TK-3230DX also has the capability to choose a different QT or DQT code for each individual channel. This feature alone adds important flexibility and control over business communications.
Kenwood also updated the face of the radio. The DX still sports the 4 digit, 7-segment backlit LCD display, but the buttons are slightly different and the front speaker grille is a new design. It's all for the better, though. The DX looks and feels a little more comfortable to grip.
It still has the power. The DX uses the same KNB-46L battery pack, with 2000mAh for up to 18 hours of uptime when the battery saver is on.
As for accessories, it's share and share alike. The TK-3230 DX has the same standard Kenwood (K1) two pin audio connector as the old 3230, so all of the earpieces, headsets and speaker mics with a K1 connector will work just fine. It even uses the same KBH-14 belt clip.
There is one exception, the drop-in desktop charger. The TK-3230 used a KSC-37 fast charger. The TK-3230DX uses a different charger, the KSC-37S. It's also a rapid charger, capable of charging the battery pack in only 2.5 hours, so when it comes to charging time, the DX is still on par.
The Kenwood ProTalk® TK-3230DX is here and available now at Buy Two Way Radios.
TK-3230/TK-3230DX Comparison Chart
|Kenwood ProTalk® TK-3230/TK-3230DX Comparison|
|Privacy Codes||39 QT/83 DQT||39 QT/168 DQT|
|Power On Tone||✔||✔|
|Key Lock/Super Lock||✔||✔|
|10-Call Alert Tone||✔||✔|
|Assign Privacy Code to Channel||✔|
|Busy Channel Lockout||✔||✔|
|Backlit LCD Display||✔||✔|
|Keystroke Tone Signal||✔||✔|
|Mil-STD||MIL 810C, D, E, F||MIL 810C, D, E, F, G|
|2-pin Audio Connector (K1)||✔||✔|
|Lithium-ion Battery||KNB-46L 2000 mAh||KNB-46L 2000 mAh|
|Battery Power||Up to 18 hours||Up to 18 hours|
December 5, 2016
Details are still sketchy, but TYT has released a few specs on this new handheld. Key features of the TYT MD-2017:
- Dual band
- Dual display
- Dual standby
- Complies with ETSI TS 102 360-1, -2, -3
- Uses Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA)
- Compatible with MotoTRBO Tier 1 and II
- GPS capable
- Lone worker function
- Encryption function
- Analog and Digital Modes
- SIngle Call, Group Call and All Call
- Remote Kill/Stun/Activate
- IP67 Waterproof.
- Firmware upgradeable
August 5, 2016
Last year we broke the news about a new portable DMR radio, the KG-D901. We announced it on our blog, covered it in Episode 99 of the Two Way Radio Show Podcast, and gave the world a first look at it in our Wouxun KG-D901 preview video.
Yes, it was certainly news, but it wasn't just about the radio itself. What made this newsworthy was the fact it was the first DMR from Wouxun, and it was an announcement of their plan to enter the digital radio market. Now their entrance is official. The Wouxun KG-D901 DMR Digital Two Way Radio has arrived!
There is just one thing to note. At the time of this publication, the Wouxun KG-D901 is currently available in a very limited quantity, so if you want to be one of the first to have it, you may want to get it now.
August 3, 2016
If your business or organization is waiting for the right moment to migrate from analog to digital, your moment may have arrived. Vertex Standard just launched the new EVX-261 DMR digital portable two way radio, and it is certainly one handheld to consider.
Touted by the manufacturer as the "perfect entry radio", the EVX-261 is the latest offering in Vertex Standard's eVerge Series, a line of digital radios designed to make the digital/analog mix more affordable without sacrificing basic features or quality.
The EVX-261 seems to meet those parameters. Of course, the audio quality is great, which is something of a given, since this is primarily a digital radio, and crystal clear voice reception is a natural part of the digital experience to begin with. Other functions such as All Call, Group Call and Individual Call have also become a standard on digital two way radios, as are basic privacy and security features.
Even its analog capabilities are somewhat expected. Most DMR radios on the market today are capable of both digital and analog operation, and many can operate in a mixed mode. The EVX-261 is no exception. It includes analog features supported by many other business radios in its class, including 2-tone and 5-tone encode/decode, DTMF, MDC1200® ANI encode, and CTCSS/DCS capability, so if you have a mixed fleet of digital and analog radios in your operation, the EVX-261 will fit right in.
In addition, the EVX-261 features a Transmit Interrupt, allowing the user to circumvent or interrupt a transmission in progress to receive a message of a higher priority. It also operates in Direct Mode, allowing you to double call capacity by using a single frequency for two paths of communication.
These are all good features, to be sure, and as digital radios go, the EVX-261 does meet general expectations. Yet there is something about this radio that makes it worth serious consideration, and it's not just the price.
What sets this radio apart from other entry level business digital DMR radios on the market is the battery system. That's right, the battery system.
The Vertex Standard Universal Battery System, also known as the UNI battery, is a standardized battery and charger system for Vertex Standard radios. Introduced in 2014, the UNI system allows the same battery and charger to be used with any series and model of Vertex Standard business radio, providing cross-compatibility with power options across the entire line.
In other words, if you have an existing fleet of analog Vertex Standard two way radios equipped with UNI batteries and chargers, and you add an EVX-261 to the mix, you won't need to add a different set of power accessories to accommodate it. The EVX-261 will fit right in. How many other two way radios, digital or analog, can do the same thing?
Considering this, the EVX-261 may be a good deal after all. Compatibility with DMR, MOTOTRBO, and other analog business radios aside, as well as the features and functionality of many other business radios in its tier, The EVX-261 holds its own as expected. When factoring in cross-compatibility with accessories, especially power options, the Vertex Standard EVX-261 may very well have the edge.
It's certainly something to consider.
For full specifications, download the Vertex Standard EVX-261 product sheet.
July 8, 2016
The application fee for a GMRS license is about to become more expensive. The FCC announced July 7, 2016 an order to adopt an amendment to its schedule of application fees for the processing of license applications and other filings. Included among the fee changes is a five dollar increase to the current application fee for a General Mobile Radio Service license. The already hefty fee for a GMRS license application will increase from $65 to $70.
Also known as Section 8 application fees, The Schedule of Application Fees contains the Schedule of Charges for a number of categories and includes the procedures for the modification and collection of the fees. The FCC is required to review these fees every two years and adjust them based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
According to the order released July 7, They had no choice in the matter. FCC had to do it.
"The methodology and timing of adjustments to application fees are prescribed by statute
at 47 U.S.C. Â§ 158(b). Because our action implementing the statute leaves us no discretion, prior notice and comment is unnecessary pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Â§ 553(b)(3)(B). This Order is also exempt from the requirements of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. Â§ 601 et seq., pursuant to 5 U.S.C. Â§ 601(2). Copies of this Order will be sent to Congress and the Comptroller General in compliance with the Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. Â§ 801 et seq."
If you plan to apply for a GMRS license, you may want to think about doing it now.