2015 marked the real beginning of the Chinese branded DMR digital ham radio. TYT was a leader with the MD-380, which has garnered quite the user base, and for us folks in Canada is also certified by Industry Canada with IC: 10337A-MD380. TYT has followed up with the, new for 2016, TYT Tytera MD-390. Both radios look almost identical side by side, so whats different?
Well, the first difference is the case, the MD-390 being a tad larger. Why you ask? It is constructed to IP67 standards for water resistance. Along with the new case design comes new batteries, and battery eliminators.
A GPS is also a factory option on this radio for sending and receiving position reports. A feature that some radio amateurs enjoy using.
The firmware has been updated, and so has the price.
Bottom line, if you plan on using the radio out in the elements the MD-390 is the one to go with, however if the water resistant casing is not an issue for you, save yourself a few bucks and go with the MD-380, while they are still around!
Or take a look at the new Wouxun KG-D901. This new entry from Wouxun has one up on the MD-380 in that it is IP66 weatherproof, meaning it is sealed from dust, and can handle the harshest of rain, snow, or hail storms. The Wouxun KG-D901 also does not require special programming cables like the MD-380/390, and unlike the new TYT MD-2017, the Wouxun uses standard speaker mics. Wouxun is also known for very high quality radios, with exceptional build quality, and superior dealer support. This new addition from Wouxun, the D901, is our new top pick for DMR amateur ham radio.
Does $200 seem like a lot for a new mode that you are unsure about? Baofeng has finally done DMR correct, and are now marketing a great entry level DMR rig that sells for sub $100! You have to watch to ensure you purchase the correct model. Fleetwood Digital only sells the latest DM-5R models (RD-5R), the V3, which is designed for Tier II, TRBO DMR repeaters. Baofeng also has a new DM-1801 which is packaged in a larger, more robust case, and has upgraded LCD, and speaker audio. This newer model is also compatible with Tier 2 TRBO Repeaters. Check out our blog post on the Baofeng DM-5R for more info.
Industry Canada source:
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- Tags: Baofeng, Digital Ham Radio, DM-5R, DMR, Ham Radio, KG-D901, MD-380, MD-390, RD-5R, TYT, Tytera, Wouxun