June 4, 2022 at 5:24 pm #2373
So, you’ve bought a TYT, and don’t know what to do with it.
I think I can help with some of that. First up it helps to understand that TYT may well stand for, “Take Your Time.”
I’ll start with the TH-8600.
Right out of the box, at first blush, this radio can be an incredibly frustrating experience. Prone to tinker and tweak, before we read, the first thing we try to do is put it in VFO mode, and start programming a repeater so we can play with it. Next stop …
“ARRRGH! The *&%^$ thing won’t go into VFO mode! It’s gotta be busted!”
You’re half right. Locked, yes. But broken, no. So don’t get mad and chuck it across the room, or it soon will be. It’s remarkably durable, but not smoking-mad-ham proof.
These are shipped in a locked-down mode in order to comply with FCC regulations. You can tweak that however you want after you buy them, but they can’t ship them unlocked. So … how do you unlock the flippin’ thing?!
Good question, and an easy (but stunningly difficult to find on-line) answer.
Do this. Power off the radio. Now, press and hold the [LO] + [A/B] buttons, and power-on the radio. When it boots to display screen, let go of the buttons … and have fun. It’s just that simple.
The [FUN] key on the mic is a [Function] key.
You will need to use the mic buttons for some programming and adjusting operations.
The manual is almost as readable as backwards Chinese Arithmetic — written in cuneiform. The English used by the translator was more of an estimate than accurate. Just think like an ESL student, and try not to overthink it. That will help. Remember that conjunctions and adverbs and adjectives are a little lean in translated Chinese. Stay flexible in your thinking. This ain’t a Yaesu manual. But … it didn’t cost like one, either.
Once you get the hang of the intentions of the manual and the method of programming, it will get a lot easier, so try not to force it into a familiar mold. It won’t auto-adjust, so you will have to.
Once you get it up and running, and get used to how it operates, I highly recommend turning off the “beep” functions. If you don’t it’ll drive you tail-feather shaking quackers when you’re driving as the squelch pickets in and out.
Although this rig will function quite well in VFO mode, I really don’t recommend it. It’s a lot easier to program and then channelize it.
The mic gain and deviation on these is set right up against the edge, so you might want to back off the mic a little bit. Our ears will thank you for it.
This little beastie is somewhat waterproof, but that only works if all the seals are in place and snugged. Don’t lose the rubber O-ring on the mic plug, and remember to shut and re-screw the programming port.
If you are going to top-dash mount this or any radio, be sure to design and install a heat shield for it. Direct sunlight generates an amazing amount of heat, and you can easily fry the rig by keying it when the case is already broiling at 200~300F.
25 watts is normally quite adequate, but if you’re running it into a seriously compromised antenna/radiator with a trashy SWR, don’t be surprised if you cook it. It will protect itself to some degree, but operator headspace can kill most any rig.
Remember that high or low temperature extremes can very easily effect the CTCSS oscillator in any rig. It’s a tough little rig, but it is still made of fairly delicate electronics. If you plan to abuse the devil out of it because it was inexpensive, go ahead and buy its replacement now.
My last comment on this one is, when you load the provided software, note that once installed there is a tiny icon on the menu bar with ch-en written on it. Remember where that is. If you inadvertently click it, the whole shooting match suddenly converts to Chinese. Click it again to shift back.
That’s about it. Post questions below. Next post … the TYT TH-UV88!June 7, 2022 at 5:40 am #2389George HanekeKeymaster
Good job! But I really need the UV88 tips.June 8, 2022 at 3:25 pm #2538
As George has so indelicately reminded me … I got squirreled.
Hints, tips and tricks for the TYT TH-UV88.
EDIT! A quick heads-up. In order for the UV88 to receive out-of-band, ie NOAA WX / 162.550 You must unlock it. There are also two base parameters in the programming software which must be altered. Both areas require altering the maximum RX frequency to 174.000. (no higher) As an assistance to yourselves, I DO NOT recommend setting the TX limits out of the Amateur Radio Bands.
First up, this radio also may (or may not) have been shipped in a locked-down mode. However, the solution to this one is actually included in the owners manual.
In order to enable VFO mode:
Press and hold + while powering on the radio.
In order to enable/re-enable channelized mode:
Press and hold  while powering on the radio.
After programming, I typically run mine in channelized mode to eliminate inadvertent butt-buttons.
The factory antenna provided with this radio is quite workable, and in the active tactical environment beats the devil out of something more cumbersome, but it is — as all HT antennas are — a compromise between functionality and gain. I recommend keeping a TRAM/Diamond/Browning/etc. extended length dual band antenna on hand. These things are relatively dirt simple, and I’ve seen no particular benefit or drawback between one brand and the other. I use the TRAM #10125. It works. Your mileage may vary due to personal quirks and investment bias. Use whatever blows your skirt up.
Even though the factory charger is effective and reasonably quick, I consider a spare battery pack as indispensable. I use the extended capacity (LB-75L) battery as a back up. If Richard can’t get one of these, try https://www.buytwowayradios.com/tyt-tyt-batt-uv88-hc-kit.html . Be sure to get the charger that comes with it. They are not interchangeable.
I personally think it’s better to give Richard first crack at it. The local vendor you ignore is the one which may not always be there when you need them.
The UV88 has a lanyard loop on the top rear. I recommend using it.
I recommend setting the screen lamp for auto-off and the shortest possible duration. Your battery life will thank you.
Sadly, you will need a Windows based computer to run the programming software. The same comments above about the program and the manual apply here. Take Your Time, and have patience.
I need to understand what I know about this a little better before I start offering advice. Let me see if I can successfully brick one of mine first.
Otherwise, I wouldn’t play with it quite yet. I’ll do another post when I’ve done the makey-learn thing.
Okey dokey. If you have further questions, please list them below.
P.S. The Roger Beep;
Yeah. This thing has a Roger Beep. it’s pretty much mandatory for hams to curl their lips and wrinkle their noses at roger beeps … but … in secret cockles of your heart … you know they’re just plain cool. Anyone alive and impressionable during the Apollo years knows the exact tone and duration of those famous beeps. HOWEVER! They probably aren’t really welcome on the local repeaters. Use your best judgement … *(beeep)*!
Dit, dit.August 29, 2022 at 3:12 pm #37273
I got an interesting email from David, (SV0SGS) this morning. Long story short, after programming using the supplied software, his TH-8600 began doing strange things in weird and unexpected ways. That brought me back to reality and the fact I have been sorely remiss in updating this thread. Ergo, see below.
What to do if your TYT TH-8600 starts doing bizarre things after a programming session
Sorry! Re-programming from your existing programming file isn’t going to fix it nor help. The problem is your programming file has become corrupted, and no matter how many sweet nothings you whisper into its ear, it ain’t gonna change.
How to fix it.
Sadly, this is going to involve some unpleasant aspects. But here we go.
1) Delete your programming file from the computer. It’s seriously busted and is going to stay that way. You cannot save it.
2) Do a complete factory reset on the radio. Yes. You will and must lose all your programmed channels and settings. This is necessary and cannot be avoided.
3) THIS STEP IS CRITICAL! After the radio has been reset, and is as dumb as a newly minted rock, redo the unlock procedure (for U.S. radios) listed above in the first post in this subject, then plug it into the computer, and then read the radio back into the program.
4) This will become the un-corrupted basis for your new programming file. (You might want to save it now for later use.)
5) Rebuild your programmed channels, and all of the rest of the applicable parameters available in the programming windows. Including the VFO parameters. That means ALL programming options. (When you write the file back into the radio, it will overwrite everything in the radio.)
6) SAVE THIS DEFAULT FILE NOW — MARKED AS RESCUE! It will become your default backup, so you don’t have to do this all over again.
7) RTFM, and then function check and test ALL controls on the face of the radio and the microphone. If you wish to avoid unnecessary redos, frustrations and FUBARS, don’t forget nor neglect the Read The Fine Manual before testing. What you think is a recurrent problem may just be no more than a misunderstood feature or function. PEBCAKs and Operator Headspace issues are self generated. If any button performs unexpected functions … (Sigh!) … go back to step one, and do it all over again.
Okey dokey. That’s it for now. More solutions later as I stumble across the problems.
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