We've been impressed with the Tytera TYT product line ever since the introduction of their digital DMR handheld radios, the MD-380 and the MD-280. So, When Tytera came to us with the announcement of a new dual band mobile radio, jumped right on it, ordered one in and tested it out. The result is the Tytera TYT TH-7800.
So far, the TH-7800 hasn't disappointed us, and based on the majority of reviews from our customers who have purchased this mobile, they seem to feel the same way.
Compared to other dual band amateur mobiles such as the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A, the TYT TH-7800 appears to be a simple radio. In some ways it seems oddly reminiscent of a mobile Yaesu, and when we showed it at several local hamfests, hams who give it a first look agreed. This may be due, at least in part, to a chassis with rounded edges and the orange backlit detachable display. While it isn't outwardly flashy, there seems to be a lot of functionality packed inside.
The TH-7800 is, indeed, a dual band mobile two way radio. Like many other amateur mobiles in its class, it transmits on the 2 meter VHF (136-174MHz) and 70cm UHF (400-480MHz) bands. With 40 watts on UHF and 50 watts on VHF, the 7800 seems to have the TX on these two bands adequately covered.
Reception is a bit broader. it receives wide band AM and FM on 108-180MHz, 134-174MHz and 350-520MHz. It supports 800 memory channels (809 to be more precise, according to the manual) and allows settings to be configured independently for each individual channel.
As a dual bander with separate A and B sides, The TH-7800 is capable of V+U full duplex operation and V+U simultaneous reception, with independent controls for each (left and right) band. Not surprisingly, it can function as a cross-band repeater.
Tytera TYT TH-7800 Key features
- Dual Band UHF/VHF transmit and receive
- 108-180/134-174MHz/350-520MHz (Receive Only)
- 5/10/20/40W Transmit Power (UHF)
- 5/10/20/50W Transmit Power (VHF)
- 809 Memory Channels
- 8 Group Voice Scrambler
- Repeater Capable
- V+U Full Duplex Operation
- Cross-Band Repeater
- Power Selectable
- Busy Channel Lockout
- CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode
- CTCSS/DCS Tone Scan
- 2-Tone and 5-Tone
- Backlit LCD Display
- Backlit Keypad
- Channel Name Edit and Display
- Channel Scan
- Priority Scan
- Skip Channel
- Dual Watch
- Talk Around
- Auto Power Off
- Timeout Timer
- Keypad Lock
- Audible Button Beeps
- 3.5mm Speaker Port
- Cloning Capable
- PC Programmable (Requires Optional Cable)
- Programmable Buttons
- Built-in Internal Speaker
- Backlit DTMF Hand Microphone
- Cooling Fan
- DTMF Encoding and Decoding
- Remote Front Panel Installation Option
One interesting feature to note is the inclusion of the Auto Range Transponder System, or ARTS. When another radio equipped with ARTS is within communications range, it notifies both radios. This allows everyone within a group to maintain contact. When the radios move out of range, for more than one minute the radio will sense it and inform you that one or more stations are out of range. This is particularly useful in case of an emergency or Man Down situation, such as a search and rescue operation. ARTS is commonly found on Vertex Standard business radios.
As for the quality of transmission, we tested the TH-7800 quite a bit on a local repeater and everyone who heard it seemed to really like how it came through. When we first began to transmit, we received reports about over modulation, however, this was quickly remedied by moving the hand microphone a little farther back from the mouth. It seems the pickup of this mic is a bit more sensitive than the hand mics on some other radios, so, if you traditionally hold the mic up close to you during transmit, you will need to back it off a few inches when using this one. Then it sounds great.
Speaking of audio, one advantage the Tytera TYT TH-7800 has over the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A is the volume control for the speaker. As great and popular as the Wouxun is, the one drawback is the volume adjustment. It isn't very gradual. It is a series of level "steps", and there are fifteen levels. When set to the first level, the audio is so low you can barely hear it. However, when set to the second level, the loudness is increased significantly, much more than one would expect at a second level, and about where one would expect it to be at a level 4 of 5. The volume control on the TH-7800 is more like a real potentiometer, a volume control you would find on just about any other audio device that allows you to adjust the volume very, very gradually, fading the audio in and out. Simply put, you have more control over the volume.
Like the Wouxun mobiles, the Tytera TH-7800 has a detachable front face plate. This allows you to put the main unit in the trunk, under a seat or in another location, and mount the display in your dash or somewhere else in the interior of your vehicle.
Programming the TH-7800
The TH-7800 can be programmed direct from the radio or through a computer via programming software. Although it really is simple to program through the unit itself, If you have more than a few frequencies to program into it or if you are adding more than one repeater, it is highly advisable to get the programming the cable and software. It will make life a lot simpler for you.
If you really want to program the radio directly on the fly, the chart below will help you navigate and understand the menu. It consists of 42 items. Default settings are bold.
|Menu #||Name||Menu Item||Description||Option|
|01||(APO)||Auto Power Off||Turns off radio after set time||OFF/0.5H/1H/2H|
|02||ARS||Auto Repeater Shift||Enables/disables the ARS feature||ON/OFF|
|03||ARTS||Auto Range Transponder System||Selects the ARTS beep mode||IN RING/ALWAYS|
|04||BEEP||Beep when key is pressed||Enable/Disable Beep||BEP.ON/BEP.OFF|
|05||CLK.SFT||Clock Frequency Shift||Shifting of CPU clock frequency||SFT.ON/SFT.OFF|
|06||DIMMER||Display Dimmer||Set display brightness level||DIM.OFF/1/2/3/4|
|07||DCS.COD||Set DCS Code||Sets the 104 DCS code||023|
|08||DCS.N/R||Set DCS Code||Selects Normal or Inverted |
|TRX N/TX R/RX R/TRX R|
|09||DSP.MOD||Memory Channel Display Mode||Selects memory channel display mode||DSP.FRQ/DSP.NAM|
|10||DTMF D||DTMF Autodialer |
|Sets DTMF Autodialer |
|11||DTMF S||DTMF Autodialer |
|Sets DTMF autodialer |
|12||DTMF W||DTMF Autodialer |
|Loading of DTMF |
|16 autodialer memories |
|13||HYPER||Hyper Memory||Enable/disable automatic writing |
feature of Hyper Memory
|14||KEY.MOD||Key Functions||Selects key functions for |
"right" band function switches
|15||LOCK||Key/Button Lock Feature||Enable/disable Key/Button lock feature||MANUAL/AUTO|
|16||LOCKT||PTT Lock Feature||Enable/disable the PTT lock feature||OFF/BAND R/BAND L/BOTH|
|17||MUTE||Mute Audio||Select the audio mute mode||OFF/TX/RX/TX and RX|
|18||NAME||Channel Name||Stores name for memory channel||Enter name|
|19||PG P1||Set P1 Button||Program the mic P1 button||BAND|
|20||PG P2||Set P2 Button||Program the mic P2 button||VFO/MR|
|21||PG P3||Set P3 Button||Program the mic P3 button||TONE|
|22||PG P4||Set P4 Button||Program the mic P4 button||LOW|
|23||RF SQL||RF SQL Level||Adjust RF SQL threshold level||OFF/S-2/S-5/S-9/S-FULL|
|24||RPT.MOD||Repeater Shift Direction||Set repeater shift direction||RPT.OFF/RPT.-/RPT.+|
|25||SCAN||Scan-Resume Mode||Sets scan-resume mode||TIME/BUSY|
|26||SCAN M||Scan Mode||Sets memory scan mode||MEM/MSM|
|27||SHIFT||Offset Repeater Shift||Sets offset frequency of |
the repeater shift
|0.00~99.5 MHz |
600 KHz (UHF), 600 Hz (VHF)
Shift can be set independently
for each band
|28||STEP||Synthesizer Steps||Sets synthesizer steps||2.5-100 KHz |
|29||SPK||Squelch Mode||Sets squelch mode||SQ/CTC/TON/C+T and C/T |
|30||TONE F||CTCSS Tone Frequency||Sets CTCSS tone frequency||50 standard CTCSS tones |
|31||TONE M||CTCSS/DCS Encode/Decode Mode||Sets the encode/decode mode||OFF/ENC/ENC.DEC/DCS |
|32||TOT||Time-Out Timer||Sets the time-out timer||OFF/1~30 min. |
|33||TALKAR||Talk Around||Swaps RX/TX frequencies |
to toggle simplex
and repeater operation
|34-35||WID.NAR||Mic Gain and Deviation||Select bandwidth to reduce |
mic gain (and deviation)
|35||X-RPT||Cross-Band Repeater||Enable/disable cross-band repeater||OFF|
|36||AM||AM Mode||Enable/disable AM Mode||ON/OFF|
|37||AUT.AM||Automatic AM Mode||Enable/disable automatic AM mode||ON/OFF|
|38||2TONE||2-Tone memory channel||Assign 2-Tone autodialer |
|39||5TONE||5-Tone memory channel||Assign 5-Tone autodialer |
|40||SCR||Scramble||Enable/disable scramble feature||ON/OFF|
|41||COMP||Compander||Enable/disable voice compander||ON/OFF|
|42||HSD.TYP||Tone Squelch||Enable/disable tone squelch||OFF/2 Tone/5 Tone/DTMF|
The TH-7800 matches up very well to the Wouxun KG-UV920P-A in price. At only $199, this radio seems like a great value compared to $259 for the Wouxun.
For $199.99 you get the radio, the mic, the mounting brackets and hardware, power cords, extension cord, and owner's manual. The TH-7800 is available from Buy Two Way Radios.