Recently in News Category
Recently in News Category
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.
May 31, 2016
At first glance, The KG-D901 looks almost identical to the analog KG-UV9D and KG-UV9D Plus multi-banders, with the large, color LCD display first introduced in popular KG-UV8D and now considered a standard fixture in the latest generation of Wouxun portable handheld transceivers. It has the same keypad layout found on both the 8D and 9D models and the same array of buttons on the side. It has the volume and channel knobs, TX/RX LEDs and flashlight typically found on the other Wouxun radios as well.
As soon as you turn it on, however, the similarities end. It may look and feel familiar on the outside, but this is not a typical analog Wouxun radio at all. It's digital. As a Wouxun product, the KG-D901 is something entirely new.
Unlike the 8D and 9D, the D901 is a single band transceiver, in your choice of either a UHF or VHF version. Most of the primary features are expected, and compared to other DMR digital radios, they may not seem particularly unique. However, there is one item on the list that may give the D901 a little extra. It is noted in bold.
- 400-470MHz UHF frequencies (UHF Model)
- 136-174MHz VHF frequencies (VHF Model)
- Analog and Digital Modes
- Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) digital technology
- Direct and Repeater Modes
- 16 memory channel and 2 Zones
- Built-in CTCSS/DCS signaling in analog mode
- Text Messaging (Digital Mode)
- All Calls, Group Calls, Select Calls (Digital Mode)
- Scrambler Function (Analog Mode)
- Digital Encryption
- Microphone Modulation Setting
- IP57 Water Resistant
The KG-D901 has the same SMA Female antenna connector commonly used on other Wouxun handhelds, and there is a plethora of third party antennas available to choose from, so if you like to fine tune your antenna options, such customization is very easy. It also uses the Kenwood K1 audio connector that is so widely used on imported radios today, it is almost considered a standard. This opens up seemingly limitless options for audio accessories and add-ons.
More importantly, the KG-D901 uses the same battery pack as the KG-UV9D, which means other power accessories such as the desktop charger and battery eliminator are compatible as well. This cross-compatability adds greater functionality to both models and makes each a more practical compliment to the other when mixing and matching transceivers.
Here's more good news. Unlike some other digital radios, which may require a different programming cable than their analog counterparts, the KG-D901 is compatible with the existing Wouxun (or Baofeng) serial to USB cable equipped with the now standard Kenwood K1 connector. If you already have one of these cables for another Wouxun handheld, it should work with the KG-D901. If you have the XLT Painless Programming Cable, that's even better, because the KG-D901 has been tested to work with the it, as well (If you don't have the XLT Painless Programming Cable yet, you may want to consider one, especially if you just upgraded your computer to Windows 10).
Of course, the D901 requires its own programming software, and for obvious reasons. It's a different kind of radio, the first Wouxun DMR of its kind. The D901 is not currently compatible with CHIRP, so you will need the Wouxun software. It's a little more involved than most programming software for the analog models, and can be a challenge if you have never programmed a digital radio. It is tested to work in Windows 10 without using Compatibility Mode.
The KG-D901 package includes one KG-D901 single band UHF or VHF two way radio (depending on your version of choice), a 7.4v, 2000mAh battery pack, belt clip, antenna, desktop charger, AC power cord, and wrist strap. The demo models we received did not include a manual, but we expect one to be in the box when the final version of the radio ships from Wouxun.
Update: The Wouxun KG-D901 (UHF version) is FCC Part 90 type accepted for use on business frequencies, so companies and organizations can go digital with this radio as well!
The Wouxun KG-D901 is
May 23, 2016
The KG-UV8E is based on the very popular Wouxun KG-UV8D, the dual band portable handheld radio best known for its large color display, cross band repeat capability and true simultaneous two band reception, all at a very low price point. At the moment of its introduction in 2014, the KG-UV8D was an instant hit, and it is still the handheld of choice among many hams today.
However, the 2 meter and 70cm bands are becoming crowded, and many hams are moving to the 1.25 meter band for some breathing room. The problem? There aren't a lot of 1.25 meter radios out there, and the ones that are available tend to swap the beloved 2 meter band for it. This means amateurs had to choose between a dual bander with either 1.25m VHF and UHF, or 2m VHF and UHF. If you used a handheld for both, you either had to carry two dual band radios, or give up a VHF band altogether.
The solution? Wouxun created a portable handheld that includes all three. It's the KG-UV8E, and it's available now from Buy Two Way Radios!
The Wouxun KG-UV8E has all the same features of the KG-UV8D along with the feature upgrades of the KG-UV8D Plus. In fact, for all intents and purposes, it is a UV8D Plus, with the addition of one extra band for full transmit and receive on 1.25 meters from 222Mhz to 225Mhz.
The Wouxun KG-UV8E supports the following bands and frequency ranges:
|RX Only||RX and TX|
With an apparent over saturation of dual band amateur radios covering the 2 meter and 70cm bands already on the market globally, coupled with an increase in activity on the limited frequencies within those two bands, more and more amateurs are searching for some other space on the radio spectrum they are licensed to use, but isn't quite as crowded. The obvious choice? It's the 1.25 meter band, or as more commonly, if not inaccurately called, the 220MHz band (the frequencies licensed for ham use are actually between 222Mhz and 225MHz). Underused for years and all but forgotten, 220MHz is coming back to life, and in a big way.
The advantages of the 1.25 meter band are obvious and easy to list:
- Accessible to all licensed amateur radio operators
- Still considered VHF, just below UHF
- Between 1.25m, 2m and 70cm, 1.25m is considered the band with the best propagation
- repeaters are available, but are not as crowded
- Not as active, so it is quieter, with less interference
Wouxun intends to change all that and give amateurs what they want and need, one handheld radio to access the three higher frequency bands all technician, general and extra class amateurs are licensed to use, and to maximize the entire experience with a range of capabilities and features one would only expect from a handheld transceiver costing much more. They may just do it with the KG-UV8E.
But don't just take our word for it. Take a look at the Wouxun KG-UV8E and tell us what you think.
Take a look at the Wouxun KG-UV8E product sheet for full specs.
April 27, 2016
Tytera announced plans this week to change the brand name on their line of two way radios from Tytera to TYT next month. According to an official spokesperson from Tytera, starting May 2016 the company will begin to replace the Tytera brand on their entire product line with the name TYT.
Products such as the MD-280, the extremely popular MD-380, the mobile TH-7800 and the new waterproof MD-390 digital radio will be re-branded as TYT. The new label will likely appear this summer as existing Tytera inventory is exhausted and products are replenished. New Tytera products due this summer will likely carry the TYT brand at launch.
Details are sketchy, but according to TYT the name change is due to a complaint from rival radio manufacturer Hytera. This is possibly related to the similarities between the two names.
The company said all products manufactured by Tytera will be affected by the change. Buy Two Way Radios is an authorized Tytera dealer.
March 17, 2016
Tytera shook the world of digital radio in 2015 with the introduction of the MD-380, a portable handheld capable of both DMR and analog operation at an analog radio price.
Digital radios were outrageously expensive, and were priced out of the hands of many.
Then the MD-380 came along. It changed everything. For the first time, DMR was truly available to the masses, so to speak. Amateur radio operators on a Baofeng budget could experiment within the digital realm without spending hundreds of dollars on digital equipment, and because the UHF version was Part 90 type accepted for commercial use, small businesses could afford to keep up with their competitors and migrate to digital without the exhorbitant cost. The MD-380 was a game changer, and turned Tytera into a respected brand in the DMR marketplace almost overnight.
Now they are about to do it again. Get ready for the Tytera TYT MD-9600 Digital Mobile Radio!
Yes, that's right, the long-awaited announcement is here. Tytera has introduced a new mobile two way radio capable of operation in both digital and analog modes.
According to Tytera, the MD-9600 operates on 400-480MHz frequencies at up to 45 watts (UHF model) or 136-174MHz VHF at up to 50 watts (VHF model). As a DMR radio, It uses Time Division Multiple Access(TDMA) technology and is compatible with MotoTRBO Tier I and II.
The TYT MD 9600 boasts 1000 channels and 250 zones with 16 channels for each zone. Features include Private Call, Group Call, All Call, a lone worker mode, ANI function, encryption, short text messages, CTCSS/DCS encode and decode, power save mode, low power alarm, an emergency alarm and VOX capability. The console features a color LCD display and four programmable function keys. The hand mic also has four programmable keys, in addition to the two built-in LEDs and full DTMF keypad.
The MD-9600 is also quite versatile. it's not only PC programmable, it's firmware upgradeable as well, a flexibility most other portable and mobile transceivers lack.
The expected release date is sometime in 2016. No price point has yet been set or announced, but as soon as we have pricing, the MD-9600 will be available for pre-order at Buy Two Way Radios. For more specs, download the Tytera MD-9600 product sheet.