Sunday, November 23, 2014

TYT Electronics Co. TYT-800 | Analogue 'Dual Band' Handheld

The TYT-800 'Dual Band' (note the inverted commas) is a cheap, compact Chinese transceiver that joins the many variants on the market. Not a bad little radio really considering I paid £15 delivered off eBay and now they don't appear on there for under £37. I say dual band as that is what is advertised but they are not dual band. You either get VHF or UHF. This was a little disappointing but hey ho.


Features:

  • TX/RX 400-470MHz 
  • 199 memory channels.
  • CTCSS/DCS tones and codes.
  • VOX
  • Time out timer.
  • Voltage and power display.
  • Emergency alarm.
  • Channel display.
  • Scan function.
  • High and low power select.
  • Key pad lock.
  • Channel spacings: 5,10,12.5,20,25,35,50Hz.
  • Emergency alarm.
  • Computer programmable.

There's not much on Youtube or the net in terms of reviews and info for this radio. Google just throws up sellers which are Chinese and the info on their websites isn't that great. As I said, I ordered mine for £15 delivered which was a bargain. The box contained the usual belt clip, wrist strap, antenna and of course battery and radio. I assembled the pieces and switched on. It features a bright, pale blue backlight which is great in low light and the screen is very clear despite its size. It was set on a frequency used in Manchester by a Mosque. I knew this Mosque was at least 6 or 7 miles away from my home QTH meaning the radio actually worked in RX. RX audio is pretty clear and just as good as the Baofeng radios.

The antenna is very flimsy with a concealed coil at the base and a shrouded center core of coax acting as the rubber duck. This is an advantage if the radio is in your pocket as it flexes easily but a harsh bend on it would probably snap it in two.
Like the other Chinese radios, the antenna is the SMA femal type so Baofeng antennas are compatible which would probably better suit this model. The radio seems pretty well built and solid with a good strong belt clip and rubber keypad. PTT switch quality is also very good. There is no novely flashlight LED on the top which is nice and it has been replaced by an orange panic button. It doesn't sound an alarm when pressed but just keeps TX open like some of the better quality radios (Icom and Motorola to name a couple) making it handy for use on doors, in pubs or in shops.


I had a flick through the manual and decided that it was useless unless you're fluent in Chinglish. The manual says the radio is dual band but there is no where in there that tells you how to switch between bands and the radio does not have the function to do so. I concluded that it was just UHF. The manual says this radio supports repeater operation. Now you can set the CTCSS codes no problem but the repeater shift function is useless. I set my RX frequency to 433.3500 for my local repeater and put in a + shift but this set the TX frequency to  443.350 so looks like I won't be using this for repeaters. It is ok for simplex though or just receiving. There is no 6.25k step option so programming to the UK analogue PMR frequencies isn't possible.

I'm happy with this radio for the price I paid. I'd be disappointed if I'd spent £37 on this when the Baofeng GT-3 is a similar price and the UV-5R is available for even cheaper. Range is ok and just what you'd expect for UHF 5w. Handy for UHF receiving, 70cm simplex or just another addition to the kit. I'll see if I can programme this radio via PC and post an update as and when.

Thanks for reading!

73's, Lewis M3HHY.
Manchester, UK.