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Recently in Ham Radios Category

Recently in Ham Radios Category

October 6, 2017

Come see us at the 65th Annual Rock Hill Hamfest!

Come see us at the 65th Annual Rock Hill Hamfest!

The The 65th Annual Rock Hill Hamfest will be held Saturday, October 7, 2017 and Buy Two Way Radioswill be there! This year the hamfest will located at New Kirk Baptist Church, 175 Museum Road in Rock Hill, SC from 7 AM to 1 PM ET. General admission is $5 per person and tailgating parking spaces are $5 each.

Activities include door prizes, an ARRL Forum and VE Testing for those who want to obtain an amateur radio license or upgrade an existing one. The Raffle Prize will be a TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio, courtesy of Buy Two Way Radios!

Visit our booth for a first look at some new products and demos of popular handheld and mobile amateur radios. As always, you can ragchew with our sales staff and walk away with some special discounts, deals and maybe even a freebie just for stopping by!

The Rock Hill Hamfest is sponsored by the York County (SC) Amateur Radio Society. For more information visit

August 28, 2017

TYT MD-9600 Firmware Update Available

8/31/2017 Update - Firmware version 3.29 has been released and the download link was added below. Please download the 3.29 firmware and refer to it anywhere 3.28 is mentioned below. The new version fixes a bug where the display would remain lit after the radio was powered off.

Some of the TYT MD-9600 owners reported an issue loading channels into their radio using the programming software. The software was reporting that the data was being written successfully, but some or all channels were not accessible on the radio.

To address this issue, TYT released an updated firmware version (3.28) and an updated version of the programming software (1.18). You can download these updates, along with the firmware loader, at the links below:

If you need help upgrading your software firmware, save the three files above to a location on your PC and read below for detailed instructions.

Upgrading the Programming Software

Upgrading the software is very straightforward. It's the same process as installing most other applications on your PC.

1. Find the file CPS MD9600 Setup v1.18.exe that you downloaded above.
2. Double-click (open) the file.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the updated programming software (v1.18).

Upgrading the Firmware

Upgrading the firmware is not quite as straightforward. You will need to power up the radio near a PC, place it in Firmware Upgrade mode, and then run the Firmware Loader application to install the updated firmware on the radio.

First, let's install the Firmware Loader application:

1. Find the file FirmwareDownloadV3.04_EN.exe that you downloaded above.
2. Double-click (open) the file.
3. Follow the on-screen instructions to install the firmware loader application.
4. Depending on your Windows version and configuration, you may need to run this installer as an Administrator.

Now, let's place the MD-9600 in Firmware Upgrade mode and connect it to the PC.

1. Be sure the radio powers up automatically (without having to press the green power button) when external power is applied to the radio. You can get to this mode by removing external power without first turning off the radio (using the green power button).

2. With the external power source OFF, hold down both the P1 button AND the round, orange button to the left of P1 at the same time. With both buttons held down, turn the external power source ON. When the display starts flashing, you can release the buttons. This indicates you are in Firmware Upgrade mode.


3. Connect your MD-9600 to your PC using the programming cable.

Launch the Firmware Loader application and upgrade the firmware.

1. Open the Firmware Loader application. The installer should have left an icon on your desktop called UpgradeDownload.

2. In the window that opens, click the Open file upgrade button in the User program section. In the file selection screen that opens, find the MD9600-REC-D03.28.bin file that you previously downloaded and then click Open.

3. Confirm the correct file appears in the blank, and then click the Download file of upgrade button to begin the firmware upgrade.


4. A progress bar will appear across the top of the application as the firmware is installed. Do not disconnect the programming cable until this is finished! Once complete you'll see the message "Download upgrade file successful!"

5. Once you see the success message, you can click OK and remove external power from the radio. When you power the radio back up it should function as normal. To confirm the firmware version, you can open the following screen on the radio: Menu -> Utilities -> Radio Info -> Versions.

July 7, 2017

TYT Correcting Production Problems with MD-2017 Programming Cable

With our first batch of TYT MD-2017's, we had a few customers call complaining of issues programming the radio. After some back and forth, we identified the issue as being a poor solder within the radio connector on the programming cable. Customers with this issue were not able read their radios from the programming software.

TYT has confirmed the issue, and are immediately working to correct the problem. We are told that all of our future shipments will have the updated cable, so if you order a radio or a cable from this point forward you won't have to worry about this issue.

This issue affected a very small number of customers (less than 3%), so we appreciate TYT's willingness to make the fix a priority.

The TYT MD-9600 Is Shipping Soon!

We (finally) have some good news to share about the MD-9600 from TYT. Anthony Roque, Sales Manager here at Buy Two Way Radios and co-host of The Two Way Radio Show, received a very positive update last night from TYT. Our demo unit of the much anticipated MD-9600 will be shipping out very soon!! This is not a test. I repeat, this is not a test. Assuming the demo units work as expected, TYT plans to start mass production at the end of this month.

For those of you that are not aware, things have been a little bumpy for this model since it was first announced in March, 2016. Initially slated for release last summer, this radio has seen delay, after delay, after delay. Well finally the end is in sight, which should be a relief to all of you with pre-orders.

With this announcement, TYT also confirmed a couple of changes from the initial announcement. The biggest and most exciting change is that the MD-9600 will be a dual band (UHF/VHF) radio instead of a separate version for each band. Unfortunately along with this there was a price increase. (Don't worry, if you've pre-ordered at the original price we will honor it!)

We are once again excited about this radio! Once it is received, Anthony plans to immediately load his code plug in to the radio and begin testing. Rick will also be posting a blog and a quick unboxing video as well.

We want to thank all that have been patient on this model. I know it has been very frustrating. Going on a year and a half since the announcement, we were starting to think we would see a unicorn ride in on a T-rex before this radio arrived.... Stand by!!

July 15, 2016

What to do if CHIRP does not list your radio

CHIRP is a free, open source application created by a team of volunteer amateur radio operators. The software is used to program a wide variety of different makes and models of two way radios with a computer.

When programming certain models of two way radios purchased from Buy Two Way Radios, some of our customers, particularly those who are ham radio operators, prefer CHIRP in lieu of the programming software provided by the radio manufacturer. This preference for CHIRP is largely due to a couple of reasons. CHIRP is often easier to understand and use than the original programming software from the manufacturers of certain radios, particularly those in China. The use of CHIRP also often minimizes or even eliminates the need to install and use a different programming application for each individual product when using a mix of of different radios.

CHIRP supports an impressively wide selection of radios, but not all of them. The list is expanding over time. When a new product is introduced to the market, depending on its popularity and relevance, The CHIRP project team may add support for the new model in a future version or build of the software.

We often receive calls from customers who request tutorials, tech support or other instruction for CHIRP. Although we do include CHIRP as a free add-on with a few select programming cables, we do not support it ourselves, as it isn't ours. It was created by a community of ham radio operators, and relies on the community to support it. We merely provide the application as a courtesy to our customers who may need or want it.

As of June 2016, CHIRP supports the following radios we currently sell or previously carried:
If your radio is currently listed in CHIRP, you should be good to go. If your radio is not listed, download the latest daily build of CHIRP.

If the latest build of CHIRP does not list your radio, CHIRP does not currently support it. The CHIRP programming team does accept requests for support of new radios. You can submit a request to the CHIRP project and ask them to add the radio to a future version or build of CHIRP.

February 3, 2016

The new Wouxun KG-UV8D Plus is here!

KG-UV8D-Plus.pngThe KG-UV8D is one of the most popular Wouxun handheld transceivers on the market, and with good reason. It has a crisp, color LCD display that dwarfs the screen of other analog radios in its class, it's loaded with powerful features found on high end amateur radios, and it's very reasonably priced. Not only that, on a local ragchew, it's just plain fun. Now, Wouxun has released a new iteration of the 8D to market that adds even more to the mix: The KG-UV8D Plus.

It's not the first time Wouxun added a plus to its line. They did it quite recently with a significant update to the its barely year old KG-UV9D, when they introduced the KG-UV9D Plus, and in a Limited Edition, no less. The upgrade was apparently in response to hams who liked the 7 band 9D but lamented the omission of the cross band repeat feature first introduced into the UV8D.

This time, Wouxun is giving the KG-UV8D a Plus. Well, several, actually, in the form of several upgrades to existing functions and some brand new ones (or rather, new to the 8D).

Voice Compander
The KG-UV8D Plus now supports companding, which is a form of compression to improve the signal to noise ratio for clear audio.

Non-Standard CTCSS/DCS
Most radios typically follow a standard set of CTCSS and DCS codes, and radios such as the KG-UV8D have this pre-set list to choose from in the menu of the radio. The KG-UV8D Plus allows you to manually enter non-standard CTCSS and DCS codes into the radio.

The KG-UV8D Plus is now equipped with a voice scrambler. Since this radio is only approved for use as an amateur radio in the US, and hams are not allowed to scramble their signals, this is not a feature most operators will likely use. However, every country has its own regulations, so the addition of a scrambler may be useful in other parts of the world.

Backlight Adjustment
One of the most useful upgrades to the KG-UV8D Plus is the ability to adjust the timing and intensity of the backlight for the LCD display. This is the same upgrade incorporated into the KG-UV9D Plus and is a long time coming. This feature should be in every two way radio with a display.

FM Radio Frequency Storage and Retrieval
The KG-UV8D Plus now allows you to store up to 20 preset frequencies into the built-in commercial FM radio. Some operators do use the FM radio to hear their favorite local commercial radio stations and will likely find this to be a very handy feature.

Editable Power-On Message
Well, technically, it isn't really editable, since you can't seem to create your own. However, you can choose which power-on message displays when you turn the radio on. Your choice is either the Wouxun logo graphic bitmap or a graphic representation of your battery level and voltage.

With these additions and improvements, The KG-UV8D Plus really does a one up on the original UV8D, plus it does all this without upping the price significantly when you get it from Buy Two Way Radios.

The KG-UV8D Plus currently sells for $119.99, only $10 more than original KG-UV8D with the 2600 mAh high capacity battery upgrade, and you get the bigger battery, too.

Now, that's a PLUS.

December 21, 2015

New Tytera TYT TH-7800 Mobile Radio

Tytera-TYT-TH-7800.jpgWe'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
  • FM Radio
  • Power Selectable
  • Companding
  • 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
  • Reset

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
DCS coding
09 DSP.MOD Memory Channel Display Mode Selects memory channel display mode DSP.FRQ/DSP.NAM
10 DTMF D DTMF Autodialer
Delay Time
Sets DTMF Autodialer
Delay Time
50/250450/750/1000 MS
11 DTMF S DTMF Autodialer
Sending Speed
Sets DTMF autodialer
sending speed
50/75/100 MS
12 DTMF W DTMF Autodialer
Loading of DTMF
autodialer memories
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
12.5 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.
6 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
memory channel
39 5TONE 5-Tone memory channel Assign 5-Tone autodialer
memory channel
40 SCR Scramble Enable/disable scramble feature ON/OFF
41 COMPCompander 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.

December 3, 2015

A closer look at the Leixen VV-898

Leixen-VV-898.jpgOne look at the Leixen VV-898 and you can tell it isn't just another mobile radio. It's less than half the size of a conventional mobile two way radio and at just over 11 ounces, it's also lightweight, but don't let its tiny footprint fool you. This little radio packs a punch on both UHF and VHF bands with only 10W of operation. It's a solid solution for densely packed dashes. You can even install the VV-898 without drilling any holes. All things considered, the VV-898 is a great choice for those who want a small and discreet radio on the road or in vehicles in which installation of a full size mobile is difficult or out of the question.

Sure, it's easy to put in your vehicle, but what can you do with it, and what can it do? Is it difficult to program? is it easy to operate? Let's take a closer look.

The Leixen VV-898 - what is it good for?
For starters, this little radio is handy for hams who cruise around town while on the local nets or a ragchew in the 2 meter (144-148MHz) or 70cm (420-450MHz) amateur radio bands. But that's not all it does. The Leixen VV-898 is also Part 90 type accepted as a full fledged business radio, which means businesses can also it as mobile transceiver or even a base station radio when connected to an AC power source and mounted to a wall or desk. The typical mobile business radio can cost hundreds each. Investing in the VV-898 for an entire mobile fleet can save a company a lot of money on two way communications. Type accepted for business use? Really? If you don't believe me, look it up. FCC ID: 2AC2Z-898UV.

Key features - what can it do?
Okay, so it's somewhat versatile and can be used in more than one radio service. But what can it do? Plenty. Although it may be light in weight, it is not light on features.

  • Dual Band UHF/VHF transmit and receive
  • 200-260MHz/87.5-108MHz (Receive Only)
  • 4W/10W Transmit Power
  • 199 Channels
  • Voice Scramble - Configurable per channel
  • Emergency Alarm
  • Channel Scan
  • Skip Channel
  • Dual Watch
  • Companding - Configurable per channel
  • Busy Channel Lockout
  • CTCSS/DCS Codes
  • Backlit LCD Display
  • Backlit Keypad
  • User Customizable Power-On Display Message
  • Power Save Feature (Auto Power Off)
  • Timeout Timer
  • VOX
  • Keypad Lock
  • English Voice Prompts
  • Wireless Frequency Change (Wireless Cloning Capable)
  • PC Programmable
  • Built-in Speaker
  • DTMF Code
  • Supports 2.5k Step
  • Reset
  • Individual Call
  • Group Call
  • Remote TX/TX Inhibition
  • Adjustable Squelch
  • Adjustable Display Font Size (No kidding!)
  • PTT ID - Send a code that IDs your transceiver
  • Roger Beep Enable/Disable
  • Reverse - Swaps out the offset frequency for simplex operation
  • Tail Elimination
  • Talk around
  • Wideband/Narrowband operation

Programming the VV-898 - how difficult is it?
As with many mobile two way radios, the VV-898 can be programmed in one of two ways, either direct from the console and/or keypad, or through a computer via programming software. Let's take a quick look at both.

Direct from the radio
At first glance, programming the radio directly through the console seems complicated and foreboding, but not because there are a lot of buttons, knobs and dials, but because there aren't. In fact, there are no knobs or dials on this radio at all. There are only 9 buttons on the face of the radio itself, four of which are function keys, and a rather plain looking keypad on the hand microphone consisting of sixteen keys, four of which are labeled with the letters A, B, C, and D, respectively. Although the keys are marked, there is nothing intuitive at all about them in regards to actually programming the radio. In addition, the user manual, at only 55 pages, seems rather basic, providing the essentials of operation without much detail. In other words, the simplicity in design of the radio itself and within the pages of its user guide may give the user a sense it is a complicated device to program.

However, it isn't complicated at all. You just need to read the manual before you start, and not necessarily in page order. That is the key. You will also need to use the buttons on the console and the keypad on the hand microphone combined to do it efficiently. It takes longer at first, but once you understand the sequence needed to enter a frequency, assign it to a channel and save it to the radio, the entire procedure makes sense. I personally think setting up frequencies and channels on the VV-898 is easier than programming a Baofeng UV-5R, but then, so are many other radios.

The menu consists of 50 items. Default settings are bold.

Menu # Menu Item Description Option
01 Auto Power Off (APO) Turns off radio after set time 10 mins to 16 hours/OFF
02 APRO Sets compander and voice scrambler
on per channel basis
03 Busy Channel Lockout Disables TX on active channel ON/OFF
04 Key Beep Beep when key is pressed ON/OFF
05 Channel Save Save frequency as memory channel default channel is 001
06 DTMF Function Dual Tone Multi-Frequency settings
Individual Call
Group Call
Code Transmission Mode
Remote RX/TX Inhibition
ID Code 1000

07 Dual Watch monitor dual frequencies ON/OFF
09 Decode Code Choose CTCSS/DCS Code NONE/Code #
11 Encode Code Choose CTCSS/DCS Code NONE/Code #
12 FM Radio built-in broadcast receiver ON/OFF
13 FM Dual Watch Listen to FM radio and RX simultaneously ON/OFF
14 FM Scan Scan FM radio channels ON/OFF
15 FM SQL Sets squelch for FM radio scan 0-9/5
16 Font Size Adjust display font SMAL/BIG
17 Key Lock Function Lock transceiver controls ON/K/K+S/ALL/OFF
18 Keypad Function Sets DTMF Keypad ON/OFF
19 Backlight Sets display backlight OFF/KEY/CONT
20 Set Channel Name Display Display channel name ON/OFF
21 Channel Name Display Choose name or number ON/OFF
22 Edit Channel Name Create name for channel Name***
23 Set Opening Display Set power on display text ALL/SYS/User/Time
24-29 Custom Keys Set Define Programmable keys
P1, P3, P3, M
30 High/Low Power Set Sets transmit power LOW/HIGH
31 PTT ID Sends code to identify
your transceiver
32 Roger Sends a "Roger Beep" ON/OFF
33 Reverse Swaps RX/TX frequencies for
to toggle simplex
and repeater operation
34-35 Offset Frequency Sets offset frequency
36 Save Battery Sets sleep mode option ON/OFF
37-39 Scan Menus Sets scan modes TO/CO
40 Squelch Level Sets Squelch Level 0-9/2
41 Step Adjusts frequency step 2.5/5/6.25/10/12.5
42 Tail Elimination noise burst at end of transmit ON/OFF
43 Talk Around Enables Talk Around ON/OFF
44 Timeout Timer sets TX timeout 10-120 seconds/30
45 TX Stop Enables/disables transmitter OFF/ON
46-49 VOX Sets Voice Operated Transmit features ON/OFF
50 Wide/Narrow Bandwidth Set Sets channel bandwidth WIDE/NARROW

Programming with software
The VV-898 programming software is a lot more intuitive, of course, and generally easier than manually programming through the physical interface of the radio itself. Although the VV-898 does have a nice feature set, its full capabilities become more noticeable once you run the software. It's not complicated, but the software is more comprehensive and offers more programming options than you may expect from such tiny, simple looking radio. Considering its size and price, the VV-898 can do quite a lot more than just transmit and receive.

The USB programming cable is proprietary to this radio, so it isn't like you can mix and match them like you can with, say, Baofeng and Wouxun handheld transceivers. The programming software is also specific to the radio. However, the software is available as a free download, and for the most part it is self-explanatory, so unless you have never programmed a two way radio before, it should not be difficult to master. The USB cable driver needs to be installed, the programming software is available for Windows PCs only, and you do need a username and password to run the program, but once it's all set up, you are ready to program the radio. Oh, yes, in case you need it, the username is ham (all lower case) and the password is 89812345.

Operation - is it easy?
Once programmed, the VV-898 is fairly simple to operate. To turn it on, simply hold the power button down for a second or two, and release. Use the CHA+ and CHA- buttons on the console (or the * and # buttons on the hand mic) to change channels, adjust volume with the VOX+ and VOL- buttons on the console (or the UP and DN buttons on the side and top of the hand mic), and of course, the PTT on the mic to transmit, and your pretty much good to go. There are three buttons on the console that are user programmable to your needs. The A, B, C, and D buttons on the hand mic are preset for functions according the the chart below:

Button Operation
A Call
B VFO/MR Switch
C A/B Mode Switch
D VFO Band Switch

The Leixen VV-898 seems like a plain, low power, unimpressive little radio, but it really does have a lot to offer. Is it a 125W PEP powerhouse Icom mobile or a feature rich Wouxun KG-UV920P-A? Of course not! Considering its small size, weight and unassuming looks, when you take a closer look at the Leixen VV-898, in some ways it seems even better.

July 15, 2015

Tytera MD-380 DMR Digital Radio Accessories

The Tytera MD-280 and MD-380 DMR digital radios support both analog and digital operation with many options, but what about accessories? Are existing audio accessories and other components compatible with these radios or do they require a unique set of their own?

In this video, Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios displays all of the accessories included in the Tytera MD-380 Digital Ham Radio DMR Starter Kit - HT as well as a plethora of other compatible accessories available for both models.
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July 8, 2015

How to add a contact to the Tytera MD-380 DMR digital radio

The Tytera MD-380 video series continues with another quick tutorial. In this video, Danny Feemster from Buy Two Way Radios shows you how to add a contact to contact list directly from the keypad of the Tytera MD-380 DMR Digital Two Way Radio.
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