TYT MD-2017 review

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Equipment Reviews' started by W1CLG, Aug 22, 2018.

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  1. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I got a TYT MD-2017, and I decided since I could not find a review for it here, I would make one. Of course, this review is only my opinion, but I will explain how I came to my opinion, and you can choose whether you believe the same or not.

    I was able to download the programming software without trouble, code plugs are available online for my area.
    Dual band is a good feature, even though there are few VHF DMR repeaters in my area, I find it useful to be able to speak on the local analog VHF as well.
    It is rugged, it is advertised as being waterproof, but you won't see me calling CQ at the bottom of a lake any time soon.
    I like it's size, it fills your hand and then some, without being a brick like the old Motorola XTS-5000's.
    The belt clip is rugged, has a good spring, and will stay attached to the belt and radio. The clip is attached to the radio, not the battery, which is different, but I like that I can have multiple batteries and not having to worry about having multiple belt clips or switching the belt clips to different batteries (again thinking of the Motorola XTS-5000 I am familiar with in public safety settings).
    The buttons are programmable for many different functions, it is easy to customize with the features important to you.
    I also like that the accessory port has a screw, to make sure accessories stay attached. This is also helpful for waterproofing when there are no accessories attached.
    High powered UHF, I forget the number, but it puts out more power on UHF than most HTs if I remember correctly.

    The manual is not super helpful, I have read many manuals, and I can usually find specific things, but this manual was not helpful.
    The programming software allows you to transfer some things like contacts and scan lists, but merging channels between two code plugs is difficult to impossible.
    You cannot re-arrange channels once you put them into the code plug, this is bad because I cannot put a new ham repeater next to all my other ham repeaters, so I have channels 1-25 as analog ham repeaters, then a whole bunch of DMR channels, then number 120 is an analog ham. This can be overcome by working in zones, but still.
    So far, it seems that all tones and voice announcements are "all or nothing", meaning I have them all on or off, this stinks if you are going through trying to find the right channel, and you turn off the voice announcement because you are tired of hearing it; then you have it off when you sit down and accidentally change the channel.
    I hate the trackball on the front panel, I just cannot seem to use it well. Luckily, the programmable buttons can take on the same function as the trackball, therefore I do not have to use it.
    4 Watts out on VHF, why not the standard 5?

    I like it, I think the good outweighs the bad for the most part. Honestly, most of the things in the cons column are of little significance. For instance, I can still hit the repeater closest to my house (30 miles away, and with no obstacles in between) with four watts, so it works. Also, my signal reports have been good, and the receiver is good as well.
  2. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I forgot to mention
    1) it has talkaround, I have not tried it so I do not know if it goes simplex on the output or if it reverses transmit and receive frequencies. I think the former would be more helpful than the latter in case of repeater failure.
    2) it has VOX, and it works. The adjustable mic gain is great because it allows me to use VOX with a headset on my lawn mower, one unfortunate thing is that the gain is only adjustable using computer programming, so it takes a few tries to get it right.
  3. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I also forgot to say some specifics about programming.

    When you program it with a computer you have some really nice options
    1) You can choose whether the radio is able to be programmed without a computer.
    2) You can, in the computer programming software, set a passcode for programming from the radio, so that only people with the passcode can program the radio from the computer.
    3) You can, in the computer programming software, set a passcode for programming from a computer, so that only people with the passcode can program the radio using a computer.
    4) You can set a lock on the radio, so that it can only be used by someone who punches in the proper passcode. I believe the lock can be set from the radio or the computer, and the radio locks when it is turned off and turned on again, and there is a way to lock the radio without turning it off. I have not tried it but I assume the latter may let you listen to the two stations you have up, but you have to unlock the radio in order to transmit or change the channel.
    5) you can program the keypad to lock after a certain time, and the screen to go dark after a certain time, the keypad lock it tells you on the screen how to unlock it, it is designed so that you do not accidentally push buttons.

    You can receive two channels at once, and quickly switch to which one you want to transmit on, to do this, when you set up the zones (on the computer), you will see four columns of channels: available A, added A, available B, added B. Initially, all channels appear in the each available column, and the A and B are your two receivers. You can add whatever channels to each receiver, same or different, and you can listen to any two channels in your zone, if and only if, one channel was put in receiver A, and the other channel was put in receiver B.

    If you need any help with this radio, you can email me, and I may be able to help you. I am very new to DMR itself, but I have spent a great deal of time learning the ins and outs of this particular radio.
  4. KB1PVH

    KB1PVH XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    W1CLG likes this.
  5. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you for the information, I will be trying it out soon.
  6. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thank you, KB1PVH,

    I tried that program, and it worked. I could not save the channels and import them into the radio software, but I could open up one code plug, then import channels, contacts, and other information from a second code plug. Then save the first code plug with all the channels and use the radio software to program all the channels into the radio.
    KB1PVH likes this.
  7. K3NXU

    K3NXU Ham Member QRZ Page

  8. K3NXU

    K3NXU Ham Member QRZ Page

  9. W1CLG

    W1CLG Ham Member QRZ Page

    I forgot to mention that, because on the first day I programmed it to do the trackball functions using up and down and the P1 and P2 key. Go to "button assignments" in the programming software. The up down keys should be assined to something involving "horizontal", and the P1 P2 keys for something labelled, "Vertical" (Completely backwards, I know, but that's how I am able to change the channel with the side up/down keys, and switch between frequencies A and B with the P1 key.) I hope this helps

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