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TYT

  • 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
    F3001
    Part 90 UHF
    VHF
    Business
    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!

  • TWRS-147 - New Smartphone Controlled Mobile Amateur Radio

    Two Way Radio Show
    We talk about a new Bluetooth enabled, smartphone controlled and programmable mobile amateur radio from VGC. We also tell you about a TYT radio that rivals the Baofeng UV-5R in features, performance, and price and take some of your comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:11

    The new VGC VR-N7500 Mobile Amateur Radio 1:31
    We tell you about the new VGC VR-N7500 50W Dual Band Mobile Radio With APP Programming. We tell you about some of its cool smartphone controlled and programmable features, what we liked and didn't like about it, and whether or not this could be the next generation ham radio. Want to see it up close and in action? watch our new VR-N7500 YouTube video!

    The TYT TH-UV88 Dual Band Radio 34:03
    We tell you about the TYT TH-UV88 Dual Band Analog Radio and speculate whether or not it could become a serious competitor of the ever popular Baofeng UV-5R.

    Questions and Answers 48:13
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Check out and join the new and improved forum! It's free!

    Wrap up and Close 53:38
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. If we read your comment about this episode on a future episode, we may send you a free Two Way Radio Show t-shirt! Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2020 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • TWRS-144 - Two Way Radio Holiday Gift Guide 2019

    Two Way Radio Show
    We give you our recommended picks of two way radios that make great holiday gifts for young and old. We’ll also take some of your comments and questions from our blog and our forum.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:11

    Discussion Topic 1:30
    We discuss our recommended picks of two way radios that make great holiday gifts. We’ll break them down by category, give you our top choices, and tell you which radios we think offer the best overall value for the price. For details on some of the radios mentioned, read our article Two Way Radio Holiday Gift Guide 2019.

    Questions and Answers 1:03:32
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum. Check out and join the new and improved forum! It's free!

    Wrap up and Close 1:06:27
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. If we read your comment about this episode on a future episode, we may send you a free Two Way Radio Show t-shirt! Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2019 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • TWRS-123 - TYT MD-UV380 DMR Radio Smackdown

    Two Way Radio Show
    We put the new TYT MD-UV380 in a three way match up against the popular TYT MD-380 and the MD-2017. We'll also tell you about updates to the Wouxun KG-D901 DMR radio and give you an update on the status of the proposed tariffs on Chinese transceivers.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:38

    Discussion Topic 1:56
    We talk about the new TYT MD-UV380 Dual Band DMR digital two way radio and put it in a three way match up against the popular TYT MD-380 and what is widely considered the first dual band DMR handheld on the market, the MD-2017. We'll compare the features of these three radios, respond to some of your comments and questions about the UV380 and tell you which model we think offers the best value for the price.

    Wouxun KG-D901 Update 17:58
    Response to a question about updates to the Wouxun KG-D901 DMR radio

    Status of Chinese tariffs on Transceivers 21:13
    We give you an update on the status of the proposed tariffs on Chinese transceivers

    Linking GMRS Repeaters 23:36
    We talk about an article in National Communications Magazine about connecting GMRS repeaters across the Internet. Could this be the next big thing for GMRS?

    Questions and Answers 30:53
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 38:52
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2018 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


  • TWRS-122 - New Two Way Radios For 2018

    Two Way Radio Show
    We tell you about some new two way radios for 2018. We also review the Motorola SL-300 Portable Two Way Radio.

    Intro :00
    Billboard 1:18

    Discussion Topic 1:35
    We discuss some of the latest in the world of Two Way Radios for 2018. We'll tell you about a new model in the Kenwood business radio line, some surprising news and a great deal from Midland, a new Limited Edition radio kit from Wouxun and a new DMR radio from TYT.

    Product Review 28:19
    We review the Motorola SL300 Portable Two Way Radio.

    Questions and Answers 35:46
    Comments and questions from readers of our Two Way Radio Blog and members of the Two Way Radio Forum.

    Wrap up and Close 39:10
    Send in your comments and questions for Danny, Anthony and Rick to show[at]buytwowayradios.com. Feedback on this and other topics will be read by the hosts and included in future episodes of the show. Visit us at www.twowayradioshow.com!

    © 2018 Cricket Ventures, LLC. All rights reserved.


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