SY-UV99 Dynamo Hand Crank Amateur Ham Radio
It’s not often a radio comes around that really intrigues me. I’ve been in the hobby for 25+ years and really a HT is a HT. Sure some are smaller than others, may have larger screens, or digital modes, but rarely is their a true differentiator, with the exception of maybe the VX-7/8 series, or the Kenwood APRS rigs. However my eyebrows were recently perked by a small factory, with a unique offering. The SY-UV99.
Simply looking at the specs of this radio and you will wonder what is so different. Dual band VHF/UHF (2M/70CM Only) with all the standard features one would expect in an analog radio including the customary LED flashlight. You will notice a big difference when you take the radio out of the box. It’s heavy. Not to heavy that you don’t want to carry it around, but solid. It features a metal backplate. Something the Japanese brands have had for as long as I can remember, but this is a first in a Chinese radio.
Another difference is the lack of a desktop charger. Why, you ask? It doesn’t need one. Most Chinese radios omit a charging circuit from the radio, requiring you to drop the radio into a cradle to charge it. With the SY-UV99 you simply plug the DC adapter (8.4V) into the bottom and away you go. One less piece to clutter the desk.
Missing battery? At first I wondered where the battery was? Turns out it is built in. While this will make changing batteries in the field somewhat difficult, it can be done, requires the removal of 4 screws, that shouldn’t be a concern. The differentiator, of all differentiators with this radio is the Dynamo Hand Crank. If you run out of battery, and don’t have access to AC or the 8.4V DC required to charge, simply turn the radio over, and start cranking her up! I’ve seen these cranks on AM/FM radios, but never on a two way Amateur Ham Radio.
If all these extras are not enough for you, a USB male cable is also included. No, not for programming, for charging. Yes, you can use the radio to charge your small personal electronics while in the field. Just plug your existing charging cable into the included adapter and power up. No need to worry about draining the radios battery, if you do just crank'er back up again.