First look: Tytera TYT MD-390 DMR HT
The Tytera TYT MD-390, the successor of the popular Tytera TYT MD-380 DMR HT, has arrived. Jason Johnston, KC5HWB, unboxes the upgraded DMR HT in the latest episode of his show, Ham Radio 2.0: LIVE! From The Hamshack.
“I think I’m the first one to have them listed online, but that won’t last long,” says Johnston.
Like the MD380, the TYT MD390 is 400-470MHz, features 1000 channels, and is DMR Tier 1 and 2 compatible. New to the MD390 is an IP67 dust/water ingress protection rating (immersion up to 1m).
The radio is currently available in the Grapevine Amateur Radio online store for $179.99. Johnston says MD390 is priced similarly to the MD380 when it first came out. “I expect it will probably drop in three to six months,” he says.
In the video, Johnston does a thorough job reviewing the features of the radio. He compares the MD-380 vs. the MD-390 and talks about how he’s been using the radio around the Dallas-Fort Worth area for the past few days since the first units arrived.
Johnston says the radio feels heavier and much more sturdy than the MD-380 it replaces. He also praises its strong audio. “It sounds just as good as the MD-380, maybe even a little bit better,” he says.
If you’ve followed his show, you’ve noticed that he has really stepped up his game in terms of video production. Great job, Jason!
The Popular Chinese Tytera MD380 DMR hand-held has recently been reverse engineered and may now become the target of experimental modification for other proprietary digital modes such as D-Star, TETRA etc. See here:
Ironically, the hacking of this Chinese radio will only lead to Tytera selling more radios! This is because (ironically) the Tytera radio was probably reverse-engineered in the first-place. The Tytera radio looks like a close copy of another Chinese radio, the Hytera DMR (notice the similarity in product names), see here:
Of-course it may be that Tytera and Hytera are in some hidden way – related. It seems that happens some times in China.
And it doesn’t stop there… Some speculate the Hytera Chinese DMR radios themselves are reverse-engineered from either the New Zealand-based Tait Communications DMR handhelds and/or have ripped-off copies of Etherstack’s Intellectual-Property (IP) DMR stack.
An interesting crumb trail indeed. Who knows where it actually leads?
So far, I have steered clear of all these digital radios. It looks like there will be a standards war (much like VHS, Betamax and Video 8) so I’ll just wait and wait. Tytera may well be a “copy” radio although I am not sure.
TYT (Tytera) was sued by AnyTone in 2014 for copying one of their radios.
I think there is good chance DMR will win any “standards” fight in the ham world, as long as there are radios in the $100-$200 range. Dstar is Icom’s proprietary Ham protocol, and not even compatible w/ Icom’s commercial digital offering, iDAS. “Fusion” is Yaesu’s baby, and frankly I don’t know how Yaesu plays into Mother Motorola’s hands since Moto bought a huge chunk of Vertex a few years ago. As for P25, the royalties on the codec are ridiculous. I know a few wealthy hams (and a couple of Hams who work for Motorola) who have built out P25 repeaters in the ham bands, but you need an ASTRO, APX, Thales, or Harris radio, & a $300.00 per year Client Programming Software subscription. I haven’t heard of *any* shop churning out P25, iDAS, Dstar, NXDN, or Fusion radios at the price point these DMR radios are being offered
While DStar hasn’t been widely adopted, the standard and specification are open and available. The specification was the result of a NTT solicitation for a digital standard for voice and data for Amateur Radio. Icon was the sole respondent to agree to commercialize the product.
If memory serves (always a question), Motorola divested itself of Vertex a couple of years ago. That said, I’ve heard rumors of bad blood between Yaesu and the Kenwood/Icom axis, with the suggestion that any standard either suggested would be unacceptable to Yaesu. Hence, Fusion. That’s unfortunate. I’d have liked to see some agreement, standardization, and lower-cost digital radios long ago.
DMR is not a bad approach; I’m willing to see how it matures. I just wish some of the misinformation about other standards would cease.
In essence, there may be little to choose between the digital formats when they are used in the way that they were intended, that is, as a means for contacting people all over the world through the local repeater. I wonder if it becomes an alternative to HF. In the UK, there would appear to be more DMR repeaters than C4FM. Not sure about D-Star. However (and it’s a big however), one needs to look at the equipment that the companies supply. DMR sets can be programmed to do many things, but they are, to a greater or lesser extent, one horse ponies. The Yaesu digital offerings are capable of a wider range of facilities. They are also easier to use – there is no need to programme them before you start to operate. This is important if you are supporting the emergency services as I do, as the frequencies chosen may have to change at the last minute, which would mean reprogramming in the field. It is the flexibility of the equipment that caused me to go the Yaesu way for most of my operation. I also find DMR very complex. I have decided to buy the 390G, as I will not be beaten by it, despite this being my second attempt!
how does the gps system work on the tty390