TYT UV-MD390 GPS (Waterproof, Dual Band)
This radio is the dual band version of the tried and true MD390 that has been our daily work radio for the past 3 years. The MD-390 is the radio that I have used daily for three years under demanding real world field conditions. The dual band feature is popular with users who need to communicate with other companions on FRS radios while in the field.
The reason for this is it surpasses any other radio I have used for line of sight distance (when paired with a properly tuned antenna) and outstanding audio. Because I have to use numerous frequencies, I also appreciate the zone feature that contains channels for different demographics. One other major reason for using this over the 8200 model, is the potential ability to find a partner who, (if carrying the same model and is set-up properly) has disappeared into a tree well.
The inclusion of the GPS is not to take the place of a navigation device. It's main function would be to send out the GPS co-ordinates of the radio to another DMR radio when the alarm is activated. It could also function as a backup GPS if the user also has a paper map for reference. We have tested a pair of these and found the GPS co-ordinates to be accurate to within 3 meters. They use the BeiDou Navigation Satellite System and DMS format for the co-ordinates. These units have some promise because you can query any other unit to find its location. Or if a unit sends out an alarm, it will send the location out with it. This could come in handy for lost individuals, or to locate someone who fell into a tree well while skiing if you also have the ability, in the field, to transpose those co-ordinates onto a map or into a navigation device. (See the video at bottom of page for more information).
One of the main problems we face with our radios is water repellency. So when we saw that this model had an IPX67 rating, we grabbed one to test in the field.
These are a rugged well made unit with very good audio performance and advanced features, it is targeted to Professional Guides, SAR, and advanced mountaineering groups. The Tytera UV MD390 digital radio uses Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier 2 Standard protocol. It is compatible with the popular MOTO TRBO series Tier I and II using standard encryption, as well as other makes and models of DMR supported radios. It is also compatible with any existing analog two-way radio operating on the supported VHF frequencies.
A DMR radio has a number of advantages over an analog only radio, one of which is battery life when operating on digital mode. These radios support both digital and analog operation, so they can be used in the field with both types of networks.
Contents of package: Tytera UV MD390 VHF digital mobile two way radio, stock antennas, belt clip, AC charger, 2200mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, owner's manual, programming cable, and one year manufacturer warranty. It comes with 2 stock OEM antennas that are only suitable for light duty use at frequencies at or below 155MHz (see video for more details). For proper performance through the full range of VHF frequencies, and to avoid damage to the radio, the correct Smiley antennas should be purchased along with the radio.
Note: The MD-390 is dust and waterproof only when the accessory port is properly covered and sealed. The radio is not fully waterproof when a headset or other accessory is connected.
Battery Capacity Test:
Battery capacity test of the TYT MD-390's stock battery:
- Weight: 94G
- Rated Capacity: 2200mAh
- Discharge load: .25A
- Voltage Cut-off: 6.4V
- Actual capacity as tested: 1862mAh
- Watt Hours: 13.9
- Time to cutoff: 7hrs 15min
- 5-5-90 duty cycle estimate, 5W power setting (.04625A discharge rate): 38.9hrs
In Dec 2017 we received a note from a guide who felt our criticism of the Icom F1000t was unjustified. He pointed out that he 'trusted' Icom, and therefore, implicity trusted the quality of the antenna that we criticised in spite of the fact he had not had the opportunity to subject the antenna to a proper bench or field test. He was under the misimpression that Chinese manufactured radios do not carry certification, and therefore are not suitable for use by members of a professional organization. We bench tested his antennas for him, and he was so shocked at the results he binned all but one of them. We also clarified a few salient points to shed some light on some prevalent urban myths this communication from him seems to support:
Indeed, many radios from China have for years been sneaking into North America by flying under the radar via mail orders direct from China (yes, Amazon sellers can ship directly from China). But when a North American radio dealer buys a shipment of radios from China, the MOQ (Minimum Order Quantity) is typically 100 pieces. If you are stocking 3 models, that is 300 radios. They do not fly under the radar via your local post office, they arrive at a specified border clearing point for clearance. If any one of those models does not have FCC certification, they are sent back to their origin, and the buyer is out of luck. Not many dealers are willing to risk $10,000 or more as a gamble in the hope they can sneak an uncertified radio through the back door. Another fact that is not widely known about how to assess the compliance of radios that have been approved in the USA for use in Canada. One of the reasons so many Canadian dealers have been able to sell the US Type approved models relates to a clause under Canadian Legislation which states:
"FCC Standards - Industry Canada wants to reduce the burden on manufacturers and importers and to expedite the process of certification in Canada. As a result, the Department will accept reports that show equipment complies with the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) standards."
It is often said "Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one". That sentiment seems to reign prolifically on many amateur radio user forums, especially when it comes to Trolls casting shade on offshore radios. Before you consider feeding the Troll, consider the fact that many of us in North America forget that most countries in Central and S.E. Asia, and many others in other parts of the world, as well as people in possession of MARS/CAP status, are not restricted by the same laws that we are. Hopefully this can help shed some light on what is agreeably a very confusing topic which is more so by virtue of being jurisdictionally dependant withal.
All the radios on our website carry FCC Type approval.
For more information on the FCC documentation, including the certification and test reports for the model on this page, click this link. To download your own copy of any of the reports listed there right click on it and choose "save attachment as". If the link is not working feel free to send us an email requesting a copy of the report.
Real Rescue Heros!
Check out Chris Kellas and his MD-390 w/ IPX6 antenna in this video at 1:05: