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Review: TYT TH-9800

I was at first hesitant about purchasing a “Chinese” mobile, but I have great experiences with Baofeng and and TYT in the past, so I sprung for the TH-9800 from the folks at TYT.

I picked it up on eBay for just under $200.

For starters, this is a quad band transceiver. 10, 6, 2 Meters and 7o CM 50 watts on 6 and 2 meters, 40 watts an 10 meters and 70 CM.

This is the first quad band mobile transceiver in China market. 26-33MHz(RX/TX)(AM band RX) 47-54MHz(RX/TX)(AM band RX) 136-174MHz(RX/TX) 400-480MHz(RX/TX) 108-136(AM band RX only) 320-399.000(RX only) 750-950(RX only and cellular blocked).

Many say it say it’s a clone of a popular Yaesu mobile, and while that could be true, it offers some things that the Yaesu just doesn’t do.

Feature Overview:

 ■Quad Band Operation:29/50/144/430MHz  ■V+U Full Duplex Operation
 ■V+U/V+V/U+U Dual Band Operation  ■Wide/Narrow Band(25kHz/12.5kHz)
 ■DTMF-ANI/5 Tone-ANI function  ■CTCSS Encode/Decode
 ■COMP function  ■Cross-Band Repeat
 ■DCS Encode/Decode  ■809 Memory channels
 ■2 tone/5 tone ■ AM Mode for Aeronautical Band(108-135.995MHz)
 ■Automatic power off ■ Display brightness setting
 ■Scrambler  ■6 Hyper Memory(store complete radio configuration)

As a 2m/70cm it functions wonderfully. Great sound quality on Rx and I am told I sound great simplex or off of the repeater. The layout of interface is easy to understand, the menus are also easy to work. The mic is very useful and fully functional. The USB port in the back makes programming easy with applications like CHIRP.

Since there is little activity on the 6m and 10m bands in my area, I have not fully tested the communications abilities of this unit. Again, for 2m, and 70m – it’s an awesome radio.

Currently, I have it connected in my bed room with a power supply from eFuel. The antenna I am using is a quad band Chinese mobile mag mount, sitting a couple feet off the ground on a bucket. I know, I know…but it works well for where it’s at. I plan on attempting to convert it over to a base station antenna if that’s even possible. I’m looking at a few conversion kits at the moment.

Back to the radio…

Build Quality

I have read a ton of negative reviews regarding the quality of the hardware. I haven’t had that experience. I’ve been using the device for about 3 weeks and so far nothing has broken, and the radio performs like a champ. It doesn’t feel cheap and is very solid.

Power

This a problem for me, although not a deal breaker. 50 watts. That is the advertised performance on 2m. I have gotten nothing over 40. To me, I would feel better as a consumer if it was advertised as a 40 watt radio. No disappointment when you put it up on the ole watt meter. Perhaps a bit of false advertising, or the sellers lack of knowledge on eBay?

Sound Quality

The sound quality is quad good, and almost has a little too much base in it – but folks report that I sound good and am full quieting. Everyone I have contacted also sounds very well. Again, none of the usual complaints of horrible sounds, switching noises when scanning, etc. The beep it makes when it locks to a channel is annoying and yes you CANNOT turn it off – but I’m used to it by now.

Or I haven’t been able to figure out how to turn it off. 😉

Final Thoughts

Being brought up using Yaesu and Kenwood products, I never understood why they were so expensive.

These Chinese manufacturers are doing a great job offering handhelds and mobiles at fair prices. My experiences, so far have been positive.

Updates to follow.

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