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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held) | BTECH UV-25X2 Help

Reviews Summary for BTECH UV-25X2
Reviews: 1 Average rating: 4.0/5 MSRP: $$114.89
Product is in production.
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K7XRL Rating: 4/5 Mar 25, 2017 11:29 Send this review to a friend
Improvement over previous version  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This newer radio addresses most the problems the older versions had. Programming was very easy using CHIRP.

There are still a couple of (very minor) firmware bugs that I noticed. In the instruction manual on the section describing the display icons (pg 15), it shows that when a channel is "locked out" in the programming so that it cannot transmit, the little arrow in the upper left of the display is only supposed to point down. The arrow does not change for channels locked out using CHIRP to program them. If you have the channel set to an alphanumeric name, there is no indication that the channel is blocked from transmitting. If the locked out channel is set to a frequency display, attempting to transmit changes the display to a series of question marks [???.????] to indicate that the channel is locked out. It is possible that these icons are used to indicate remote stun or remote kill functions, but I am not set up to test those features. Why would you lock out transmitting on a channel? In case you want to monitor other radio services where you are not allowed to transmit, like NOAA weather service channels, for example.

The other bug is most likely a translation error in the manual from Chinese to English. When you have dual, triple, or quad watch enabled to monitor multiple channels at once, the radio will switch the transmitting channel to the channel that most recently received a signal for a user configurable time in seconds. The manual states that if you change this value to "off", the radio will switch back to the channel you selected before it received a signal on a different channel. This is incorrect. With the setting (Menu item #52) set to "off" the radio will remain on the last channel where it received a signal. To have it revert to your selected channel immediately, set this menu item to 1 (second).

The only mechanical gripe I have is that the rotary encoder for changing channels on the radio likes to be operated slowly. If you twist it fast like you are trying to spin a top, it skips back to previous positions. Rotate it a little slower so that you can count individual clicks and it works fine. If you need to make huge changes in frequency or channels, you should be using the keypad on the mic anyway.

Now for the good.

This radio looks great. The older versions were really plain, but this one has some nice styling. The screen is large and it has plenty of color customization options for the background color, text color, and the menu and signal bars at the top and bottom can be configured separately from the main display. It was easy using CHIRP to program my callsign to appear in the bottom signal bar.

The signal meter is helpful in choosing the best repeater in an area with multiple repeaters. While transmitting, you can choose to display power output or microphone audio output. This can help you to adjust the mic gain to keep it in the middle of the range. (Adjustable mic gain, nice!)

The squelch seemed to be better adjusted from the factory than prior versions. It comes set at 5 of ten possible levels, and I found that 6 worked well for the repeaters at my home location.

Another new addition is the TRRS jack on the back panel. This jack has 4 conductors (don't try to plug a regular 3 conductor speaker or headphone into this jack, it won't work). This jack allows for a speaker, microphone and PTT. While it might seem silly to connect a headset to a mobile radio, the real potential here is for connecting the radio to a phone to use for APRS (packet) operation. Rumor has it that a special phone interface cable is in the works. Perhaps the neatest aspect to this is that with the 2.5K frequency steps, you can program in channels for operating ARISS for Doppler shift, and connect to your phone running APRSdroid and work the space station digipeater. This capability alone makes this radio a heck of a good deal for amateur use pending the release of the interface cable. For those who can't wait, you can probably use a Wolphilink Android interface and roll your own cable.

The FM broadcast band radio is a nice feature. Most vehicles will already have an FM radio, but when installing this radio in an ATV or something like that, it is nice to have the added feature.

The speaker audio is good for a radio this size. It is plenty loud enough to be heard over road noise inside a vehicle.

All in all this radio is a win. Everything I didn't like about the previous version has been fixed, and new features have been added. I am looking forward to the APRS cable when it's released.

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