Less confusing are the dual band mobiles – only two were launched – the TYT MD-9600 and Retevis RT90. The MD-9600 is sold locally however I’ve not seen anyone selling the RT90 in the UK. Prices are around £280.
Now there are some differences. The MD-9600 has two hardware versions as v1 had a few bugs such as the mic back light staying on. v2 was released with the fixes and the RT90 came out around this time and are to the second specification of hardware. Otherwise the only other different is the badge and model number on the case. To make it better, the code plugs are interchangeable with the dual band handheld radios (TYT MD-2017, Retevis RT82 and Moonraker HT-500D). The only changes required are to set the buttons under the button definition menu in the CPS.
These radios can hold 3000 channels with each zone being able to take two banks of 64 channels. The banks are known as Member A and Member B or VFO A and VFO B (top line is A and bottom line is B).
They can also hold between 10 000 and 100 000 DMR ID’s dependant on the firmware used. There’s 2 versions for the GPS and Non GPS radios – CSV and REC. If using the REC firmware, you will have access to a record function. Also you add contacts (ID’s and call sign/name up to 16 characters) which get added to the contacts section with your talk groups up to a max of 10 000. If you use the CSV firmware, you don’t add contacts into the contacts section. You can upload a CSV file of contact info via the CPS into the radio (this goes into a different memory). You then need to activate the CSV file via the radio menu’s (see http://www.miklor.com/DMR/DMR-ID-DB.php to create a contact CSV file). This file contains the call sign, name and location information.
There is an option with the CPS in regards to zone – basically a single or dual zone. When you change zone you can have VFO A & B on the same zone or be able to change them independently so you can essentially listen to two talk groups or repeaters as the radio will switch back and forth between the two channels – the active one being that with the A or D (analogue or digital) next to it. If you wish to stop the monitoring function, press the ENT button (for 2-3 seconds) to temporarily disable the function.
These are available from around £280 from Moonraker and ML&S. Moonraker also have some cheaper refurbished units at times which are the v1 radios modified to v2.
RETEVIS RT90 AND TYT MD-9600