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  • TYT TH-UV88 Firmware Update

    A few weeks ago we were excited about the release of the TYT TH-UV88 radio. This "Baofeng killer" has taken the ham radio community by storm. With new radios, bugs are ALWAYS expected and the TH-UV88 is no different.

    A few days ago a customer pointed out that they were having trouble with scan not receiving. We tested this with several radios and were able to confirm that there was indeed a problem. We made TYT aware of this and they immediately jumped in to action and had a solution within 24 hours!

    The turnaround time was impressive, but maybe even more impressive is that a radio in this price range has upgradeable firmware!  

    A programming cable and a PC running Windows is needed for installation. The only change in this update is the scan fix, so if scan is not something you need or use, you do not need to install the update.

    Installing the Firmware

    TYT Firmware Update Tool

    1. Download the firmware update and extract the contents of the .zip file into a folder.
    2. Connect the radio to your PC using the programming cable.
    3. With the radio OFF, hold down the PTT button AND the top programmable side key (P1) while turning on the radio. Depending on your radio version the indicator light will be steady green or red to indicate the firmware is ready to update.
    4. Double-click the file named UV88_98_UpData.exe to launch the TYT firmware update tool.
    5. In the update tool, choose UV88 for the Model and 57600 for the Baud Rate. Also select the Port that corresponds to your programming cable.
    6. Click Open and select the file UV88_Eng_BQ1_25_20200430.hex, which was included in the .zip file.
    7. Be sure that you have plenty of battery life before starting the update, and do not power off the radio during the update!
    8. Click the Updata button to perform the firmware update. 
    9. If an error occurs during the update, do not turn off the radio. Instead, close and restart the software, then click the Reset! button in the software. After the reset, try the update again.

  • How to unlock and activate VFO mode on the TYT TH-UV88

    TYT has updated the TH-UV88 radios being shipped to the United States and VFO mode is now disabled out of the box. Normally, pressing the # key on the keypad switches between channel and VFO mode. On the new radios, this doesn't happen. Most likely this is TYTs way to ensure that radios being shipped into the country aren't able to be programmed to transmit outside of the amateur bands, the only frequencies for which they are authorized.

    It is understandable that TYT would want to restrict the radios to amateur frequencies, however it's not clear why they chose to accomplish this by disabling VFO mode. Fortunately there is an easy way to unlock the radios and re-enable VFO mode.

    1. Turn the TH-UV88 radio OFF.
    2. Hold down both the 1 and 7 keys.
    3. While holding down those keys, power the radio ON.
    4. After you hear the voice prompt "seven", release both keys.
    5. VFO mode is now enabled.

    This procedure does not directly switch the radio into VFO mode. It unlocks and restores the ability to switch between channel and VFO modes by pressing the # key.

    TYT TH-UV88 Unlock Sequence
  • Great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R

    Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band Two Way RadioThere's no denying it. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular and prolific handheld two way radios in the world. It's no wonder, really. It's extremely compact, feature packed, and extremely affordable, or, to put it bluntly, it's really, really cheap. A power packed dual bander at a powerfully low price, the UV-5R is without a doubt the preferred choice of many radio operators across the globe.

    Of course, with high popularity comes high demand. With such demand comes the challenge of keeping the UV-5R in stock and available to ship same day to our customers. Usually this is not a problem, but the current worldwide pandemic has created an unusual situation for retailers in general, and it affects our warehouse operations as well.

    Due to the sudden interest in personal preparedness during the coronavirus emergency, we've experienced an uptick in demand for certain makes and models of two way radios by the general public. As such, some of our most popular radios may be in short supply or temporarily out of stock. The Baofeng UV-5R is one of those affected models.

    But there's absolutely no reason to panic, or panic buy. On the contrary, we have plenty of other radios in stock and available that fit the bill. While some may not be at the same price point as the UV-5R, they are certainly capable of powerful, reliable operation on the same bands and frequencies as the Baofeng. Not only that, these models are of equal or higher build specifications for greater ruggedness and better durability, adding greater value for the price!

    For instance, the TYT TH-UV88 is a dual band analog radio that matches the UV-5R in almost every respect, even down to the built-in LED flashlight. Some even call it a potential UV-5R killer. Sure, it costs just a little more than the UV-5R, but it has something the UV-5R doesn't, a more rugged and durable housing. It also has a real one year manufacturer warranty from TYT, something that Baofeng claims to offer, but in most cases makes it all but impossible for the end user to actually redeem.

    Then there's a great selection from Wouxun. These are powerful dual band radios with exceptional features and capabilities, some of which are not available at all on the Baofeng UV-5R. Does the UV-5R have a full color LCD display? No? Well, it's a standard feature on many Wouxun models. Can the bands be freely set in the UV-5R for VHF TX and UHF RX or UHF TX and VHF RX on the same channel? Well, you can do it on the Wouxun KG-UV6D. Does the UV-5R have cross band repeat capability? The Wouxun KG-UV8D does, and so do several other Wouxun models, including the KG-UV8E, and it's a tri-bander!

    Yes, the Baofeng UV-5R is Part 90 type accepted for business use, and some of the other models mentioned are not. But some of them are. And if you need a radio specifically for business use, why settle for a cheap little transceiver when you can get much more durability, and in turn, greater ROI with more rugged Part 90 type accepted radios specifically designed for business use? Icom, Motorola and other manufacturers offer many models that fit the bill. And, if you really need to buy on price alone, Why not consider the Olympia P324? This is a great little radio for business applications. It's Part 90 type accepted, and it's an incredibly inexpensive buy. Note: at the time this article was written, it's also on sale!

    We could go on and on, but you get the point. Why be disappointed that the UV-5R is out of stock, when there are so many other great radios to choose from that are also a bargain, and are better radios, to boot?

    So the UV-5R is out of stock? No problem. Just upgrade. Considering all this, when you upgrade your purchase from a UV-5R to another model, you aren't settling for less, you're getting something more. It's a win-win for you. And that's a smarter buy.

    Here are some great alternatives to the Baofeng UV-5R:

    Manufacturer Model Type Acceptance Bands Service
    Baofeng UV-82 Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    Icom F4001
    Part 90 UHF
    Motorola VX-261 Part 90 UHF or VHF Business
    Olympia P324 Part 90 UHF Business
    TYT TH-UV88 Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    Wouxun KG-UV6D Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV6D PRO Part 90 UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV7D Part 90* UHF/VHF Business
    KG-UV899 Part 15 UHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8D Plus Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV8E Part 15B Tri-Band Amateur
    KG-UV9D Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9D PLUS LE Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur
    KG-UV9P Part 15B UHF/VHF Amateur

    *The 2M/70cm version has been approved by the FCC. Type accepted for Part 90, FCC ID WVTWOUXUN07. The 2M/1.25M and 2M/6M versions are for amateur use only.

    Want to learn more about the TYT-TH-UV88? Listen to an in-depth discussion about this powerful and inexpensive alternative to the UV-5R in Episode 149 of The Two Way Radio Show podcast!

  • Radio 101 - How to Reset the TYT TH-9800​

    The TYT TH-9800 is a powerful quad band mobile amateur radio with flexible options, and is generally considered a good value for the price. One example of this flexibility is the reset option. Most mobile radios allow the user to perform a reset, but it is often limited to one or two reset options. The TH-9800 offers four.

    In this episode of Radio 101, Rick shows you how to choose a reset option and perform the reset quickly to bring your TH-9800 back online.

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

  • How to unlock TYT DMR radios

    Locked TYT MD-2017With the recent uncertainty surrounding the FCC and import radios, TYT has made a decision to ship all of their radios locked down to the 150-160 MHz VHF and 450-460 MHz UHF ranges.

    They actually made these changes a few months ago, and at first "unlocking" the radios to allow use outside of these limited ranges required special unlock software. With the most recent firmware release, however, TYT has made the unlock process much more simple. All of their models can now be unlocked by holding down a key combination while powering on the radios. In this article, we'll show how to unlock the TYT MD-9600 mobile radio, and the MD-380, MD-390, MD-UV380 and MD-2017 handheld radios.

    Is your radio locked?

    Radios that are locked will display frequencies outside of the 150-160 MHz and 450-460 MHz range as 150.000 or 450.000 when the radio is in frequency mode. For example, if the channel on a locked radio is programmed for 147.300, the display will show 150.000. Once unlocked, the radio will show the correct frequency. A locked radio that has been programmed to frequencies outside of the locked range does not need to be reprogrammed. After being unlocked, the radio will work properly.

    A radio will always remember that it has been unlocked, even if the battery or power supply is removed.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-9600

    The TYT MD-9600 must be running firmware version 6.09 or higher to unlock using these steps. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Power the radio on.
    • Remove all power to the radio. Note, you must remove vehicle or power supply power - you can't just turn off the radio with the power button.
    • Hold down the P1 and P2 buttons on the front of the radio.
    • Power up the radio while holding these buttons until the power on tone sounds.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    The TYT MD-2017 must be running firmware version 4.06 or higher to unlock using these steps. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Turn the radio OFF.
    • On the side of the radio, hold down the top (blue) button and the UP arrow key.
    • Turn the radio ON while holding down these buttons.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Unlocking the TYT MD-380, MD-390, and MD-UV380

    The TYT MD-380 or MD-390 must be running firmware version 14.07 or higher to unlock using these steps. The MD-UV380 requires version 18.03 or higher. Prior versions will need special unlock software.

    • Turn the radio OFF.
    • Hold down side buttons 1 and 2.
    • Turn the radio ON while holding down these buttons.
    • No notification/confirmation is provided, but the radio is now unlocked.

    Unlocking the TYT MD-2017

    Why did TYT do this?

    Great question, and one that we can't get a clear answer to. Based on our understanding of the FCC rules, TYT should be able to ship the radios as long as their supported range is within what is allowed on the grant from the FCC. For the MD-2017, for example, the grant shows 136-174 MHz and 406.1-480 MHz. I can only assume that this has been done out of an overabundance of caution. It would be understandable if they were unsure about how the FCC will be enforcing the rules, and don't want to take any risks at all. In the meantime, unfortunately, customers are confused and left with products that look to be defective, although they are actually operating as designed.

  • TYT Radio FCC ID and Type Acceptance Chart

    TYT MD-380 DMR Digital Two Way RadioAs a result of the recent FCC enforcement advisory on import radios and the subsequent discussions on the topic in episodes TWRS-128 and TWRS-129 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast, we checked the FCC IDs on all affected products in our warehouse to ensure full compliance. As a result, we posted our Wouxun Radio FCC ID and Type Acceptance Reference Chart to assure our Wouxun customers the products we sell meet FCC requirements. Since we are also an authorized US dealer for TYT, we decided to create one for TYT radios as well.

    The following chart lists the TYT radios on our web site with FCC IDs and FCC type acceptance.

    TYT Radio FCC ID and Type Acceptance Chart
    Model Radio Type FCC ID FCC Standard Approved Frequency Range
    MD-380 (UHF) Commercial PODMD-380 Part 90 400-480MHz RX/TX
    MD-380 (VHF) Commercial PODMD-380​V Part 90 136-174MHz RX/TX
    MD-390 (UHF) Commercial PODMD-38 Part 90 400-480MHz RX/TX
    MD-390 (VHF) Commercial PODMD-380​V Part 90 136-174MHz RX/TX
    MD-UV380 Commercial POD-MDUV380 Part 90/22 136-174/406.1-480MHz RX/TX
    MD-2017 Commercial POD-DMR2 Part 90/22 136-174/406.1-480MHz RX/TX
    MD-9600 Commercial POD-DMR3 Part 90 136-174/400-480MHz RX/TX
    TH-7800 Amateur 136-174/400-480MHz TX/RX
    TH-9800 Amateur PODTH-9800 Part 15B 28-29.7/50-54/144-148/420-450MHz RX/TX

    Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us or leave a comment below.

  • Introducing TYT DMR digital radio bundles!

    Not long ago, amateur radio hobbyists traditionally operated in analog mode. Then the digital age arrived, and it opened up a whole new mode of operation for hams. Initially, few amateurs experimented with digital technology. Of course, there was a learning curve, but it was primarily due to cost. Going digital was expensive.

    Then, everything changed. The growing popularity of the DMR standard and the introduction of low priced import DMR radios lowered the barrier to entry. Digital radio on the amateur bands began to thrive. Now, more amateur enthusiasts are going digital, either on the side or all the way.

    Yet for many hams, the world of DMR is still unfamiliar territory, and for some, the migration from analog to digital operation can be a challenge. There are questions. How do I get started in digital radio? What equipment do I need? How much does a basic setup cost? How can I get into DMR at minimal cost?

    Well, just in case you were wondering, we're glad you asked, because we now have the answer:

    DMR Digital Radio Bundles!

    Buy Two Way Radios just created digital radio starter kits exclusively for hams, and at very affordable prices. These bundle kits are made for the ham who wants to go digital but either doesn't know where to begin or simply wants to avoid the hassle of shopping around and just Get On The Air. Two bundles are currently available.

    TYT-MD-9600 Base Station KitTYT MD-9600 DMR Digital Ham Radio Base Station Kit
    The Digital DMR Ham Radio Base Station Kit takes the popular TYT MD-9600 dual bander and turns it into a bona fide digital base station. The complete bundle contains everything needed for desktop operation in your ham shack, including the TYT MD-9600 Dual Band Base/Mobile DMR Radio, a TH-1380 30A Switching Power Supply, a Tram 1185 dual band UHF/VHF mag mount antenna, an MD-9600 programming cable, and software. This bundle was briefly offered as part of a promotion in 2017 and was incredibly popular. Due to popular demand, we decided to make it a permanent bundle and offer it at a substantial discount. Price: $339.99.

    TYT Digital Ham Shack Mega BundleTYT Digital Ham Shack Mega Bundle
    The TYT Digital Ham Shack Mega Bundle is exactly what the name implies. Many hams would like to go all digital, but some have questions about which products to pair. this is the same bundle as the base station kit, but with the addition of an MD-UV380 dual band DMR portable handheld. Simply put, it's basically an instant DMR ham shack kit. The complete Mega bundle includes a TYT MD-9600 Dual Band Base/Mobile DMR Radio, a TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR Digital Handheld Radio, a TYT-TH-1380 30A Switching Power Supply, a Tram 1185 Dual Band Magnet Antenna, programming cables for both radios, and software for each model. As the product description says, "Why settle for half a ham shack when you can go digital all the way? With the TYT Digital Ham Shack Mega Bundle, you can!" it's also a great deal. Price: $449.99

    No doubt both of these kits offer popular ham radios at very good buys. But it's not just about saving money. These are great kits for a new ham who just wants to get started in DMR and for an old ham who wants to upgrade from analog to digital radio and experiment with something new. They are also good, economical way for an amateur radio club to offer DMR training and events to its members, such as digital operations on field days.

    Want to know more about these DMR bundles? Give us a call or leave us a comment below!

  • Get a FREE antenna when you buy a TYT MD-9600!

    Note: This promotion expired July 31, 2018 and is no longer available.

    Free Tram 1185 Antenna With Purchase of a TYT MD-9600 Radio!We're still celebrating our all new Buy Two Way Radios website with another freebie offer, and this one is a real DMR deal. From now until July 31, 2018, Get a FREE antenna when you buy a TYT-MD-9600 Dual Band DMR Digital Mobile Radio!

    The TYT MD-9600 is one of the hottest new DMR radios around, and the firstdual band digital mobile radio on the market. Now it's also a great buy, because For a limited time, you can get a FREE mobile magnet mount antenna with the purchase of a TYT MD-9600!

    The Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna is our best selling antennas and pairs well with most dual band amateur radios, including the MD-9600. It is tuned for 144-148 and 440-450MHz amateur radio frequencies with 2.5 dBd gain on UHF and Unity gain VHF. It comes with a 3 1/4" magnet mount and a 12 ft premium 95% tinned copper shield RG58 A/U cable with a UHF male (PL-259) connector.

    Tram 1185 Amateur Dual-Band Magnet Antenna sells for $19.99, but for a limited time, this item is included FREE with the purchase of an TYT MD-9600!

    No promo code is necessary. Your free antenna with mag mount will automatically be added to your order at the time of purchase. Remember, this is a limited time offer, and it's only available until July 31, 2018 or until we run out of antennas and/or radios. No rain checks.

  • Baofeng and TYT BOGO Battery offers!

    Note: This promotion expired July 31, 2018 and is no longer available.

    Buy 1 Baofeng battery, get 1 FREE!
    Our Web Site Redesign Promotion Event is not yet over. Here are a couple of Baofeng and TYT BOGO battery offers (Buy One, Get One Free), and you'll only find them at Buy Two Way Radios!

    These BOGO offers are valid through July 31, 2018 or until we run out of batteries, whichever comes first. We only have a limited supply of each, so if you want to stock up on spare battery packs for your radio, the time to do it is now.

  • FREE Baofeng UV-5R with purchase of a TYT MD-2017!

    Note: This promotion expired December 10, 2017 and is no longer available.

    md-2017 and uv-5r.jpg

    For ONE WEEK ONLY, get a FREE Baofeng UV-5R Dual Band UHF/VHF Radio when you buy a TYT MD-2017!

    You read that correctly. For every TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio you purchase during the week of December 4-10, 2017, we'll give you a Baofeng UV-5R radio, FREE!

    The Baofeng UV-5R is one of the most popular dual band analog two way radios on the market, and it's no wonder. The UV-5R is extremely compact, loaded with features and is readily available at a very low cost. It's one of the most universally recognizable radios in the world, used actively by small businesses and ham radio operators who want maximum capabilities at minimal cost.

    This offer is good on a TYT MD-2017 or a TYT MD-2017 with GPS purchased from Buy Two Way Radios. Every MD-2017 you buy gets you a free Baofeng UV-5R. Buy one, get one. Buy ten, get ten. The only limit is the number of radios we have in stock, and we stocked up for this one.

    You don't need to input a promo code, either. It's all automatic. Order your MD-2017 radios and at checkout, you'll get your free UV-5R radios to match, one to one. It's really that simple, and it's a really great deal. Don't miss out on it!

    Note: although we prepared for this promo, supplies of the MD-2017 and Baofeng UV-5R radios are limited. Also, this thing is timed. This free radio offer is valid from December 4 through December 10, 2017 only or while supplies last. When it's done, it's done. No rain checks. If you want in on this deal, you may want to do it now.

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