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TYT MD-UV380G Review
3FS TYT UV380G

TYT MD-UV380G review

In March 2019, I purchased a TYT UV380G Dual band DMR/Analogue handheld from Radioddity for $182 AUD delivered.

 

This is the second DMR Radio I’ve purchased after the Baofeng RD-5R. To support my DMR habit, I decided to invest in another Chinese made radio, firstly as a second radio, but also as a comparison from an Amateur Radio Operators point of view in the Australian Environment.

 

Below are a few comments and observations and comparisons about the TYT UV380G Dual band DMR/Analogue handheld. As well, I thought I’d add my code plugs (radio programming files) for the download to get you going should you choose to buy one of these.

Unlock your TYT UV380G Dual band DMR/Analogue handheld

With 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. This will affect your radio if it was shipped after March 2019. If you find your radio displaying 450.00000 MHz and 150.00000 MHz you’ll need to perform the following task. 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.

The TYT UV-380 must be running firmware version 18.03 or higher to unlock using these steps.

 

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

 

If you repeat the process, you’ll lock the radio again.
Once you’ve successfully unlocked the radio, things will work a little better.

 

Source: Buy Two Way Radios

Unlocking the TYT UV380

~ Features ~

The TYT MD-UV380G GPS version is a Dual Band DMR/Analog radio.

Compatible with Mototrbo Ⅱ Dual time slot
Frequency Band:136-174 & 400-480MHz
TDMA digital function
Dual time slot for repeater and point to point
Lone worker
Encryption function
Single/group/all call
Analog and digital combined Dual Standby
Remote kill/stun/activate
Comply with digital protocol ETSI TS 102 361-1,-2,-3
Color LCD display
Transmit interruption
Private/Group call match off = Promiscuous on
Digital and Analog Monitor mode
Voice Record (Option with firmware update)
CTCSS/DCS
Emergency Alarm
VOX
TOT
Talk around
Squelch
Keypad lock
LED Indicator
Password Lock
Clock (with time zone)
Firmware upgradable

This radio has a GPS feature. GPS is not supported on the amateur DMR network and must be disabled or turned off.

~ Codeplug ~

The codeplug below is for VK3 Repeaters. It’ll get you started. Make sure you’ve registered for DMR and swap your ID out with the one in the software.

~ In the box ~

The MD-UV380 radio comes standard with the following items out of the box:

 

  • Dual band whip antenna
  • USB programming cable
  • Desktop charging cradle
  • 120/240V desktop charger power supply
  • 7.4V, 2,000 mAh Li-ion battery
  • Belt clip
  • User manual

~ Likes ~

Out of the box, the TYT MD-UV380G has everything I needed. Unlike some radios, there’s no need to buy any extras with the exception of maybe a hand mic if that’s what you need. It wasn’t high on my priority list. There’s even a CD with programming and drivers in the box.

Programming Software

Before you start programming the radio, download the latest software from the Radioddity site using the link below. It may be on the CD, but chances are there’s a new version. The downloadable file contains the Windows 10 USB driver so download, install and you’re ready to go.

 

TIP: Don’t plug the supplied USB cable in until you’ve loaded the software.

If you’ve programmed ANY DMR radio, the software is intuitive. If this is your first DMR radio, a few Youtube videos will get you going. The key… Zones are repeaters. There are two slots per repeater. Talk groups are like channels within a timeslot. Check VK-DMR programming hints for more.

Operation

The MD-UV380 is a solid well-built radio. It feels like it’ll take a bit of rough and tumble. The keys have a solid durable feel to them. The user programmable function keys add to the flexibility of the unit. The battery life is outstanding and with the 50% duty cycle of DMR it just seems to keep going. The included desktop charging unit is a welcomed inclusion in the box.

Recovered Audio

One of the biggest surprises was the audio quality. The audio is full and loud with excellent frequency response. The radio packs a punch. It’s not thin like some and some local contacts sound terrific. The receiver sensitivity is excellent, and the audio quality is clear, loud, and undistorted. There is no squelch tail either with digital.

The MD UV380 has a bright multicolored LCD display which allows for easy use and programming while on the move.  The radio can store up to 100,000 DMR contacts.  As a sub $200 radio, it’s terrific… and it’s dual band! There’s plenty of ‘How-to’ videos on Youtube if you get stuck, and some will help you program the device if you’re a newbie. It also has promiscuous mode, allowing monitoring of many talkgroups on one slot.

~ Dislikes ~

The most annoying thing about this radio is that there is nothing to tell you about the radio being locked. If you don’t know, the radios locked down to the 150-160 MHz VHF and 450-460 MHz UHF ranges which is not in the amateur bands. You’ll spend time online trying to work out what’s going on and how to fix it. See above if Google has brought you here!

Programming Software

I know I said I like the software, but there are aspects of it I don’t like. The terminology has limited help. I’m still not sure of what all the checkboxes do. The other annoyance is that there is no sort feature for making things order in alphabetical or numerical order. Sure you can export the entries as a CSV file, but if you edit their order, random and unwanted things can happen. Don’t say you weren’t warned. Make sure you keep sequential backups as you go.

The Manual

Once you open the supplied paper manual or download the PDF, it’s pretty clear to see that the money invested in the radio went into the electronics. I found that it will mostly add to the confusion. A quick Google search is the best advice for getting things going or tweaking options within the radio.

The Desktop Charger

Good thing it comes with the radio as it should really be called a desktop stand. There is no charging benefit from it and you have to be accurate when returning the radio. It can look like it’s seated properly but a few hours later you’ll realise you’ve missed the groove! On a positive note, it does make a great shack night light as a reckon they’ve used high-intensity LEDs. I’ve also noticed when charging, the noise increases on 50MHz.

~ Conclusion ~

This is a solid, good performing DMR transceiver which doubles as an FM transceiver on the same band.  It’s a solid well-built device. It may not be the best-looking radio on the market, but what it lacks in looks it makes up for in features. There are even hacked versions of the radio firmware with even more options for the adventurous. For the price, it’s a great way to get started in the world of DMR digital.

openSpot2

Each radio used on the DMR network is programmed with a unique user ID number and
y
ou MUST register your radio for it to work correctly.

 

IDs are personal. You can have one ID on many radios. It’s like a digital callsign. Don’t share it.
ID numbers are managed centrally and may be obtained here.

VK3FS