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Recently in News Category

Recently in News Category

October 17, 2017

TYT MD-2017 Price Reduction!

MD-2017-unboxing.jpgGreat news for DMR fans! TYT just announced a price reduction on the MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Radio to only $159 effective immediately!

Originally priced at $219, the TYT MD-2017 arrived this summer and quickly became of most popular handheld amateur radios of the year. Now, this dramatic $60 price drop will likely place make the MD-2017 the best overall value, as well.

We were just notified by TYT of the price reduction and we've already adjusted our pricing. There's never been a better time to buy two way radios, and a now it's a great time to go DMR!

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 rockhillhamfest.ycars.org.

August 29, 2017

Part 95 Reform effective September 2017

Well, the wait is over. It's finally about to happen. Part 95 reform will officially become effective September 2017.

Earlier this year we reported on a final consideration by the FCC to completely reform the Part 95 rules on Personal Radio Services. The decision passed unanimously during the FCC's monthly open commission meeting May 18th, and upon its passage, many of the publications incorporated in the new rules were to take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.

The question was, when would it be published?

We discussed this in episode 113 of the Two Way Radio Show Podcast, and as promised, we continued to follow up on it since. We've been keeping tabs on it throughout the summer, checking the Federal Register daily for any indication of any notice of a publication online.

Now it's here. Personal Radio Service Reform was published in the Federal Register this morning, August 29, 2017. As many of these rules become effective 30 days after publication, this means those rules will become official on September 28.

As stated in the Federal Register, "Effective September 28, 2017. The incorporation by reference of certain publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the Federal Register as of September 28, 2017."

What does this mean for users of two way radios on the Personal Radio Services? A lot. For one, it's a big win for users of lower power FRS/GMRS radios, particularly the millions who do not have a GMRS license and were previously using those radios "illegally". Now, users of consumer FRS/GMRS radios or walkie talkies operating at 2 watts or less are licensed by rule, meaning that these radios can be used without applying for or purchasing a license to use them. In effect, Anyone can purchase one of these radios and use it legally.

This is a big win for consumers who rely on these radios for personal, business and recreational activities These radios are now considered FRS only, and they can essentially be used by anyone in the US who needs or wants one.

This is also a win for licensed GMRS users, who have long complained about the illegal use and interference by unlicensed users of low powered combo FRS/GMRS or "bubble pack" radios on GMRS channels and repeaters. The new rules provide them with more exclusivity on the GMRS and a more serious attempt by the FCC to prevent the GMRS from degenerating into a service many feared would become "the next CB".

There are many changes intended to benefit other Personal Radio Services as well, including CB. Read this summary of key changes to Part 95 for details.

June 21, 2017

The TYT MD-2017 is here!

MD-2017-2.jpgThe rollout of the first dual band DMR handheld radio from TYT is without a doubt one of the most exciting and highly anticipated events of 2017 in the world of digital two way radios. We receive numerous e-mails, messages, phone calls and comments on our blog, Facebook page and YouTube channel from DMR radio enthusiasts everywhere every day, and all of them asking that same burning question: when will the MD-2017 arrive?

Well, the wait is officially over. The TYT MD-2017 is here!

We received part of our shipment yesterday June 20 and some our initial pre-orders were fulfilled at that time. The rest of them arrived today June 21, and all pre-orders are leaving our warehouse today. If you pre-ordered an MD-2017, your radio is now on its way. If you haven't pre-ordered, we are pleased to announce the TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio is now available for purchase for immediate shipment while our supplies last.

In addition, we now have the winner in our Two Way Radio Show TYT MD-2017 Guess the Date contest! This contest, first announced in episode #111 of the The Two Way Radio Show Podcast, asked contestants to guess when the MD-2017 would arrive at our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios. The prize was a FREE MD-2017 radio! The runner up will receive a swag bag and a Two Way Radio Show T-Shirt.

We received a very large number of entries, making this the biggest contest in the six year history of our podcast. The winners are being notified and will be announced in episode #114 of the Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

If you haven't yet heard about the new MD-2017, you can get a first look at it up close in our extremely popular TYT MD-2017 unboxing video. You can hear a discussion about this brand new first-of-a-kind dual bander in episode #111 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

Of course, if you have any other questions about the new TYT MD-2017, available accessories or any of our other products at Buy Two Way Radios, feel free to contact us.

June 7, 2017

New software converts MD-380 codeplug for TYT MD-2017

MD-2017 software-88.jpgThe TYT MD-2017 is one of the most eagerly awaited new radios of the year in the DMR community, and with good reason. It isn't just another digital radio. It's a dual band portable handheld DMR transceiver, the first of its kind.

Many hams using DMR who are fans of the popular single band TYT MD-380 are already planning to upgrade to the new dual band model. TYT manufactures both radios, so it's only natural to wonder if a code plug for the MD-380 will also work in the MD-2017, and if not, if there is a way to convert an existing MD-380 codeplug into one the MD-2017 can use.

We wondered about this as well. Sales Manager Anthony Roque from Buy Two Way Radios and the Two Way Radio Show Podcast, a ham who is active on DMR, has been working very hard with TYT for a long time now to design the MD-2017 programming software with the ability to allow our customers to take their codeplug from their MD-380 and use it in the MD-2017.

FINALLY, it is done. We just received the software this morning and Anthony is currently testing it with his radios. His initial assessment? According to Anthony, "So far so good ...as of right now it can be done." Of course, he will continue testing it throughout the day for bugs, but so far, it seems to be working. If all goes well, we plan to release it this afternoon at Buy Two Way Radios and update this article with a link to the download.

Update: The TYT MD-2017 software is now available!

There is one caveat. The software allows the MD-380 codeplug to work in the MD-2017. However, once the codeplug is uploaded to the MD-2017, it cannot be exported from the 2017 and loaded back into the MD-380.

TYT also released a new firmware update for the MD-2017 to accommodate the code plug conversion and fix a few bugs. The new firmware resolves the following:
  • Resolved an audio issue in repeater mode, when the same frequency is on both A and B sides and one is on time slot 1 and the other is on time slot 2
  • Under the Zone setting, the same channel can now be assigned for both A and B sides
  • The MD-2017 can open and use the data from the MD-380
  • In Digital Mode, the Monitor function can monitor the conversations in different group and single calls
TYT assured us the new firmware would be included with the radio when it arrives. We expect to receive the MD-2017 in our warehouse within the next two weeks.

Buy Two Way Radios is an authorized dealer for TYT in the USA.

Want to know more about the new TYT MD-2017? Check out our other resources!
TYT MD-2017 unboxing video
Two Way Radio Show Podcast #111 - The New TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Radio
New dual band DMR digital radio coming from TYT


May 18, 2017

FCC ruling on Part 95 reform


In 2010, the FCC proposed changing Part 95 rules on Personal Radio Services, including the FRS, GMRS and CB. The commission introduced WT Docket No. 10-119 and solicited comments from the public. The commission issued a proposed Report and Order April 27, 2017 to reform Part 95. After nearly seven years, the FCC brought the proposal up for consideration and a possible ruling at their monthly Open Commission Meeting on the morning of May 18, 2017.

Consideration of the Report and Order for Part 95 reform was the third item on the meeting agenda. Nese Guendelsberger, Acting Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, introduced the proposed report and order to the commission.

FCC Mobility Division Deputy Chief Tom Derenge presented the proposal. "We did a thorough review of all Part 95 rules because many are decades old and contained outdated requirements and are inconsistent with current uses of the services", Derenge stated.

Commissioner Michael O'Rielly attempted to answer the long standing question as to why it took so long to rule on the proposal. "Seven years later and no one has a great reason for the delay", O'Rielly said, and then added "though it's clearly not the fault of the staff."

After a very short consideration, the Part 95 Reform Report and Order was unanimously approved by the commissioners. For details, read the official FCC press release.

According to the FCC, rules usually become effective 30 days after they are published in the Federal Register.

For a review of key changes to the new Part 95 rules, read FCC considers reform of Part 95 rules for personal radio services. We discuss the proposal in depth in Episode 112 of The Two Way Radio Show Podcast.

May 17, 2017

Motorola extends the warranty on business two way radios

Motorola-CLS1410.jpgMotorola announced an extension of their warranty on all Motorola business two way radios. All business radio series previously covered for one year will now be covered for by a two year replacement warranty. According to the company, the new warranty also applies to all models already sold and currently in use.

Radios affected by the new two year warranty include all CLS, CLP, DLR, DTR, RDX (also known as RD), and RM series. All manufacturer branded Motorola business two way radio accessories are still covered by the standard one year replacement warranty.

The new two year warranty is now in effect.

Questions? contact us at 1-800-584-1445 from 8 AM to 6 PM weekdays, send us an e-mail or enter our live chat at www.buytwowyradios.com.

April 28, 2017

FCC considers reform of Part 95 rules for personal radio services

New-Channel-Allotment-For-FRS-and-GMRS.pngIn June 2010, the FCC proposed sweeping changes to personal radio services, including the GMRS. WT Docket No. 10-119 included proposals such as lowering power limits of GMRS radios to 2 watts, changing the allowance for GMRS repeaters and, most notably, eliminating the license requirement for GMRS and license by rule. Now, after 7 long years, the FCC has finally moved to consider a ruling on these proposed changes, and more. The ruling didn't limit these changes to the GMRS, but affected FRS, CB, MURS, and other personal radio services. In effect, the FCC isn't merely wanting to change Part 95 rules, they are planning to reform them.

This Report and Order is a major re-write of the Part 95 Rules. It was apparently reorganized to make it more consistent and easier to read, and eliminating "Q&A" style structuring of some rules in the document. According to the FCC, the rules are being overhauled "to modernize them, remove outdated requirements, and reorganize them to make it easier to find information." In re-writing the rules, the commission hopes to make them "consistent, clear and concise".

Whether or not the FCC actually achieves this objective remains to be seen. The new Part 95 is still a long read, and at 114 pages, the full Report and Order, which includes the new Part 95 rules, is even longer. However, the changes are significant. For users of FRS, GMRS, and CB radios, here is a summary of key changes to those services.

Family Radio Service (FRS)
FRS would now have 22 channels. All 22 channels that today's combination FRS/GMRS radios use will become part of FRS. All FRS channels are also allotted to the GMRS channels on a shared basis.

FRS would now have higher wattage. Previously, FRS was limited to one-half of one watt. The new rules allow FRS radios to transmit at up to 2 watts of power. According to the FCC's new rules, "Each FRS transmitter type must be designed such that the effective radiated power (ERP) on channels 8 through 14 does not exceed 0.5 Watts and the ERP on channels 1 through 7 and 15 through 22 does not exceed 2.0 Watts."

FRS radios may transmit digital data Previously, FRS transmissions were limited to voice conversations. Now, these units may also transmit and receive digital data as well. This includes location information or brief text messages to and from other FRS or GMRS stations. The FCC states " Digital data transmissions must be initiated by a manual action of the operator, except that a FRS unit receiving an interrogation request may automatically respond with its location."

FRS will be allowed to be combined with Part 15 devices. This would permit combination with technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

FRS license by rule is still the rule, but different. Many current combination FRS/GMRS handheld two way radios will be reclassified as FRS and not require an individual license to operate on any of 22 the channels. In effect, if the currently classified FRS/GMRS radio transmits below 2 watts, it's officially an FRS radio and doesn't require a license to operate. Both individuals and businesses now seem to explicitly authorized for use on the FRS.

General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)
GMRS would have 30 channels. The GMRS is allotted 30 total channels consisting of 16 main channels and 14 interstitial channels. The GMRS operators may use their GMRS station for two-way plain language voice communications with other GMRS stations and with FRS units for personal or business activities.

GMRS can still be used with repeaters. The rules allow for use of GMRS with repeaters on specified channels. GMRS repeater, base and fixed stations may be operated by remote control.

GMRS radios may transmit digital data. As with FRS, digital location information, requests for location information, and brief text messages to another specific unit is now allowed to be transmitted over GMRS. Previously this was allowed to Garmin through a special waiver.

GMRS still requires a license but for a longer term. Previously, a GMRS license was valid for 5 years. Licenses are now valid for 10 years. As for current FRS/GMRS radios, If it transmits above 2 watts, it's a GMRS radio and needs a license. Current repeater capable FRS/GMRS radios will be classified as GMRS and require a license. A license is still issued for use by individuals and their immediate families. Immediate family members are the licensee's spouse, children, grandchildren, stepchildren, parents, grandparents, stepparents, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and in-laws. Non-individuals are grandfathered in.

Citizen's Band Radio Service (CBRS)
"Citizens Band Radio Service" would be officially named "CB Radio Service". Cordless microphones are allowed on CB. The restriction of long-range communications for CB has been eliminated, however the power limit was not increased. The CB serial number no longer required to be engraved into the transmitter chassis. Manufacturers are no longer required to include the FCC rules with CB radios.

Other notable changes affecting all of these services
  • Voice obscuring features would be prohibited across the entire PRS.
  • Continued use of existing radios that include scrambling features are not prohibited.
  • 18 months after adoption, no person shall be permitted to manufacture, import, sell, or offer for sale any equipment that incorporates voice scrambling or obscuring for any of the PRS regardless of previous certification.
  • Radios combining multiple services will no longer be approved. This includes FRS and GMRS (although GMRS is compatible with FRS).
Note: The reform is under tentative consideration by the FCC at its open meeting scheduled for May 18, 2017. From the FCC: "The issues... and the Commission's ultimate resolution of those issues remain under consideration and subject to change. This document does not constitute any official action by the Commission."

What do you think of the new Part 95 rules? Enter your comments below.

March 27, 2017

Guess and win a TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR radio!

This contest is now closed for entries. The radios arrived, we have a winner and the winner will be announced in episode #114!
Contest update: The MD-2017 is here!

MD-2017.jpgGuess the actual arrival date for a chance to win a new TYT MD-2017 radio or Two Way Radio Show T-Shirt! Send us your best guess of the date when you think the MD-2017 will arrive at our warehouse at Buy Two Way Radios and if your guess is correct or the closest within seven (7) days of the arrival date, you could win a FREE TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR digital Two Way Radio. The winner with the second closest guess will get a FREE Two Way Radio Show T-shirt, valued at $10. If multiple correct entries are received, a drawing will be held among all correct entries to determine the winners.

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 show@buytwowayradios.com 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.
Note: Decisions of the judges are final.

March 8, 2017

Come visit us at the 2017 Charlotte Hamfest!

Charlotte Hamfest.jpgCome 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.