Tuesday, 3 November 2015

TYT MD-380 Review

Since using my DMR radios on a more regular basis I was intrigued to hear so many operators using the TYT MD-380 and so I decided I would buy one. I am glad I did, it really is a very good radio and, for the money, represents very good value.

The first thing I noticed when I took it out of the box was the sturdy construction, it really feels well made and substantial  in the hand. The battery fixes to the radio firmly and feels very good in the hand, despite the shape. The radio comes with a pair of SMA male antennas - a longer one and a stubby one for use when carrying on a belt clip. Both antennas work well and there is no heating up of the handset on reasonably long overs. The display is clear and well back lit, giving clear indication of the channel or talkgroup, as well as power settings etcetera in use.

Receive audio is nothing short of amazing. Crisp and clear audio, with just a slight hint of bass in the tone makes for an enjoyable listening experience. Transmit audio is reported as being very good, in comparison with my Hytera PD365, reports are that it has a slight treble effect.

Used in conjunction with my DV4 Mini dongle, the error correction is superb - by far the best of my three handhelds for performance with the dongle.

A slight disappointment is the length of time it takes to charge - the charge time is approximately six hours, so a second battery might be needed for continous use. The back light has either a time out setting or continously,  the problem is that when the back light times out the display is blank and will only come back in again once a button is pressed - this might cause issues if the display is required whilst monitoring.

The speaker/mic connection is the standard Kenwood type (as on Baofeng models) and accessories are easily connected. The buttons on the radio are particularly responsive, especially the PTT, which has a soft feel as opposed to a click switch.

My conclusions are that it is a very competitively priced radio, and represents good value for money and is also a good introduction to DMR. Build quality is very good and prolonged use is comfortable due to the ergonomic design. It has limitations with regard to charge time but I am finding it hard to say anything negative about it. Suffice to say, I'm quite impressed and would have no reservations in recommending this radio to anybody.

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