N7EKB's Tytera Radio Page


This is my page containing all things related to the Tytera radios (analog and DMR) that I have experience with.   The Tytera web site can be found here:   TYT.  

TH-9800 Dual Band Mobile (Notes)

I have a TH-9800 mobile radio installed in the trunk of one of my personal vehicles.   I program the memory channels for this radio using the latest CHIRP open-source radio-programming software.   Feel free to contact me via the e-mail link below if you have comments or corrections.

TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Handheld

I have two of the Tytera MD-2017 radios (S/N 1704A00459 and S/N 1704A00947) and have noticed some significant issues with them.

I purchased my radios with plans to use them to monitor 2M and 70cm ARES repeaters and simplex channels on one band while operating with DMR in the other.   Unfortunately, the radio burps and squawks randomly whenever an analog station is selected. Regardless of squelch setting (tight/normal), the radio will break squelch without the presence of a real signal on the analog frequency selected.   I've tried many different VHF & UHF analog frequencies and both of my two MD-2017 radios seem to have this problem of randomly opening squelch for a non-signal.   Coupled with the volume setting issue below, this means you can't have the radio turned on if anyone is around that doesn't appreciate static noise.

Transmit performance on the VHF band with the stock antenna is also an issue.   I have a 2M repeater 2 miles direct line-of-sight from my home QTH and was quite surprised when I got a signal report saying my transmission was barely readable with lots of path noise using the MD-2017 on high power (5 Watts).   After the bad signal report with the MD-2017, I grabbed my handheld Baofeng UV-5R5 and the same station gave me a full-quieting signal report for the Baofeng.   This problem has been completely resolved by using a replacement Nagoya "NA-701 SMAP" antenna (male SMA connector).  

For both digital or analog frequencies, if the volume knob is turned all the way down and there is a transmission, I can still hear audio on the radio speaker.   So, to add to the annoyance, the analog channel random burps and squawks can be still be heard even at "zero" volume.   DMR stations with extra strong audio can be heard on the radio as if the setting was low-mid volume even though the selector is at "zero" volume.   The only way to silence the radio is to actually turn it off.   This is a real problem when I carry the MD-2017 in places where others don't appreciate any noise coming from the radio.  

My two radios arrived running firmware D003.031, CP V01.13 as reported by the "Utilities/Radio Info/Versions" menu option on the radio.   As of July 7th, I upgraded both radios to firmware D003.033, and CPS V01.16.   The July 7th upgrade went smoothly but I didn't see any real impact to the issues I've noted above.   On July 12th, I upgraded both radios again to the special "CVS" enabled version of the D003.033 firmware.   This version allows the display of user information from the DMR-MARC database!   Thank-you Tytera!   Unfortunately, this means there are two versions of the firmware that both report "D003.033" in the "Utilities/Radio Info/Versions" menu on the radio.   Note to Tytera:  please make the version read something like "D003.033csv" for the CSV flavor of the firmware.   Also, please create a Linux-friendly version of your CPS software that doesn't have an external dependency on an installation of Microsoft Excel on the host computer running the CPS software.  

If you plan to use this radio in DMR-mode-only then you'll probably be happy with it. If you want to use it as a hybrid analog/DMR rig then you should weigh carefully the issues I've highlighted above before investing in the MD-2017!   You may want to wait for the Retevis entry into the dual-band handheld DMR radio market.   Their new Ailunce HD1 dual-band DMR handheld is looking very promising - and NO track-ball!  

I keep my codeplugs for the MD-2017 here:   https://github.com/n7ekb/md2017.