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Reviews Categories | Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held | TYT MD-2017 VHF-UHF DMR Handheld Help

Reviews Summary for TYT MD-2017 VHF-UHF DMR Handheld
TYT MD-2017 VHF-UHF DMR Handheld Reviews: 10 Average rating: 3.1/5 MSRP: $219.00
Description: Double the fun of digital rag chews with the TYT MD-2017 Dual Band DMR Digital Two Way Radio! The MD-2017 takes the clarity and full quieting of digital voice communications to UHF and VHF and puts both bands in one handy talkie you can take anywhere!

The TYT MD-2017 operates in analog and digital modes on 400-480MHz frequencies on UHF and 136-174MHz VHF at up to 5 watts of power. It uses Time-Division Multiple-Access (TDMA) digital technology to double the number of users on a single 12.5kHz channel.

The MD 2017 boasts 3000 channels, 10000 contacts, built-in CTCSS/DCS (analog mode only), single call, group call and all call, remote kill/stun/activate, transmit interrupt, VOX, and lone worker function. It is compatible with MOTOTRBO™ compatible, DMR Tier I and II compatible, is firmware upgradeable and is IP67 waterproof.

The TYT MD-2017 is also equipped with the same large color LCD display found on other models in the MD series. It also has the traditional keypad found on the other digital radios, and there are programmable side keys. However, the MD-2017 adds two additional programmable keys, marked P1 and P2.

The MD-2017 also has a trackball, and it's embedded front and center. This makes the MD-2017 very different indeed.

The Tytera MD-2017 dual band digital radio uses Digital Mobile Radio (DMR) Tier 2 Standard protocol. It is compatible with the popular MOTO TRBO series radios 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 UHF and VHF frequencies for easy migration to digital technology.

Includes one Tytera MD-2017 dual band digital mobile two way radio, dual band antenna, belt clip, AC charger, 2200mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery, owner's manual and one year manufacturer warranty.
Product is in production.
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N0FPE Rating: 1/5 Oct 30, 2017 17:29 Send this review to a friend
A mistake  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have been trying to like the radio but just cant. receive audio is terrible, crackly and muffled. Programming is a nightmare. I have a Motorola 4550 and a 6500 and they are not as hard to program. I have been trying for 4 days to get the damn thing to work on digital with no luck, even have a MD380 codeplug that was converted and loaded just fine and it still will not work. I will more than likely dump this turkey at the next hamfest. A waste of money.
KC2FQ Rating: 3/5 Oct 17, 2017 10:19 Send this review to a friend
Meh  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I was excited about this radio, thinking it could serve as my only HT having both bands and both modes that I want. WRONG! VERY hard to use if you're used to the "big 3" analog Ham radios. Not intuitive or user friendly at all. If you grew up with and are very proficient with commercial, digital radios, you might like it. The hate for the trackball seems pretty universal ... very touchy and quite useless. The other thing making this somewhat useless for most folks is that you won't find much on VHF digital (yet?). I found the Anytone AT-D868UV much more user friendly with its' VFO mode but there are no code plugs for it yet so put on your programmer/spreadsheet hat.
W0WFX Rating: 2/5 Oct 6, 2017 09:31 Send this review to a friend
Mine has been a dud  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
Purchased my MD-2017 when they first came out. Out of the box the radio just never seemed to be as good as my MD-390. Kept the firmware up to date and the radio continued to degrade. Display would be blank on startup. Sometimes it took 3 to 4 tries to get the display to not be blank. UHF analog not great. Never seemed to be able reach repeaters the the 390 could. Used the radio mostly on a hotspot after finding it just did not seem to perform. Today was the last straw. I am careful will my HT's and do not use the antenna for a handle. Took the radio out of the charger and set it on the counter, the antenna just fell off. I now belong to the club of MD-2017 owners with broken antennas. Their 380 and 390 models are far suppeior.
W2MB Rating: 4/5 Aug 24, 2017 11:22 Send this review to a friend
Not bad for the price  Time owned: 3 to 6 months
I have had this dual-band transciever for about 3 weeks. I also own or have owned the following DMR handhelds: TYT MD-380, TYT-MD-390 and a Motorola XPR7550e.

That being said, I find that the MD-2017 performs well for it's price. I found a vendor that sold it with speaker-mike for $169.00 shipped. It is solidly constructed and I have not had any antenna issues or spontaneous reboots. The Blackberry style navigation button can be locked out and unlocked with a long single key press. Also, I like it's ability to store 100,000 contacts via a segregated area of memory that is not within your regular users contacts. The programming software is more polished than that for the 380/390 but it is also more complex due to it's dual-band abilities. The short comings are poor battery life (likely due to 2 simultaneously active receivers instead of one) the operational and visual interface and susceptibility to intermod distortion on the analog frequencies when operated in an environment of mixed strong RF signals. It is not a Motorola, but then again, the entire package costs about the same as a 3yr subscription to Motorola DMR CPS.
AH6DX Rating: 2/5 Aug 9, 2017 10:08 Send this review to a friend
Not great at all  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
1. Receive is awful on FM, my $25 Baofeng is better.

2. The trackball is crazy useless, waay too sensitive!

3. Radio "reboots" at any time with no touch/input from user.

4. Time owned: 3 weeks too long!

5. I'm back to my MD-380 that is simpler, but works great!

7. I would not recommend this radio to anyone at this time.

Review by: Tommy KH6TA
AH6DX Rating: 5/5 Jul 16, 2017 22:56 Send this review to a friend
Mega-featured & works perfect!  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
This radio is so new that it is difficult to get correct information yet, but it is there if you take time to find it. The MD-2017 is not near as simple as the 380/390 and the programming had "glitches" the first try. You can convert an MD-380 code plug, but you must use CPS Ver 1.17! Using 1.16 works about half the time, however, if you write a NEW code plug and pay attention to details you will be very happy with the results! Don't even bother with the manual, it's close to worthless. I still give it a "5" because it works and sounds great! This radio has a nice feel and seems very well-built, nice display!

This review written by Tommy KH6TA
WB2RCB Rating: 4/5 Jul 16, 2017 07:19 Send this review to a friend
A few small issues that can be overcome  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have had my MD-2017 for about a month and so far very pleased with its operation. Mine is S/N 1704A00701 with Firmware Version D003.031 and CP Version V01.16. I used codeplug information from my MD-380 UHF & VHF radios and it was quite easy to get the 2017 up and running on both bands using the new software. Once installed, and after a few minor changes, everything worked as planned. I use the radio mainly with my Shark RF Openspot when I'm at home since I have no DMR repeater's within 75 mile's of my QTH. Works well on the road with my portable Go-Box and the Shark.

Issues that other users have noted (squelch problems) are not noticeable on mine. I have one of the six programmable buttons set to silence either of the channels that are not in use which stops the radio from going back and forth between them which can be annoying.

However, I do agree about the stock antenna performance. Since I owned both the VHF & UHF versions of the MD-380, I had purchased for both the Smiley 5/8 Slim Duck antennas and now use them with the 2017 on the Analog channel's with great results. Yes it's a bit of a hassle to change them but, they work and work well. I do use the stock antenna when operating at home with the Shark RF Openspot.

The other issue reported by some is the Trackball. While it is somewhat sensitive it does what is intended and takes a little time to get used to. I have taken advantage of the six programmable buttons and my Trackball is only used as a quick alternative.

All in all I think the 2017 is a good dual-band DMR/Analog hand-held and with future Firmware upgrades, it can only get better.
N7EKB Rating: 1/5 Jul 3, 2017 11:17 Send this review to a friend
Serious Issues with MD-2017  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I have two of the Tytera MD-2017 radios (S/N 1704A00459 and S/N 1704A00947) and have noticed some serious flaws with them.

I purchased my radios with plans to use them to monitor 2M and 70cm ARES repeaters and simplex channels on one band while operating with DMR in the other. Unfortunately, the radio burps and squawks randomly whenever an analog station is selected. Regardless of squelch setting (tight/normal), the radio will break squelch without the presence of a real signal on the analog frequency selected. I've tried many different VHF & UHF analog frequencies and both of my two MD-2017 radios seem to have this problem of randomly opening squelch for a non-signal.

Transmit performance on the VHF band with the stock antenna is also an issue. I have a 2M repeater 2 miles direct line-of-sight from my QTH and was quite surprised when I got a signal report saying my transmission was barely readable with lots of path noise using the MD-2017 on high power (5 Watts). After the bad signal report with the MD-2017, I grabbed my handheld Baofeng UV-5R5 and the same station gave me a full-quieting signal report for the Baofeng.

For both digital or analog frequencies, if the volume knob is turned all the way down and there is a transmission, I can still hear audio on the radio speaker. So, to add to the annoyance, the analog channel random burps and squawks can be still be heard even at "zero" volume. DMR stations with extra strong audio can be heard on the radio as if the setting was low-mid volume even though the selector is at "zero" volume. The only way to silence the radio is to actually turn it off. This is a real problem when I carry the MD-2017 in places where others don't appreciate any noise coming from the radio.

My two radios arrived running firmware D003.031, CP V01.13 as reported by the "version info" menu option.

If you plan to use this radio in DMR-mode-only then you'll probably be happy with it. If you want to use it as a hybrid analog/DMR rig then you should weigh carefully the issues I've highlighted above before investing in the MD-2017! I don't know enough about this radio yet to know whether a firmware update could fix the above issues. I will certainly update this review if any fixes come my way.
W1RZ Rating: 5/5 Jul 2, 2017 09:20 Send this review to a friend
Impressed  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
I purchased this radio with some reservations about the track ball. On first use I found it to be recessed more than I thought it would be, but it will take some getting used to. I do not use the track ball as you would expect to use a track ball on a notebook pc. I increment the ball one step at a time and it works well. Try to go more and there can be issues. I immediately programmed two side buttons to select channels in a zone. I have not used the buttons; the track ball is more convenient.

There will be a trick to structuring the code plug to keep stuff organized. Keeping track of an additional band is tricky. I have a MD 390 and the software and workings of the MD 2017 are very similar.

The side plug for accessories and programing (Motorola type) is a little more cumbersome to use in my opinion. There are pros and cons.

Software works well. The MD390 plug loaded in fine to the MD-2017 programing software. You cannot load that software back into the 390 once it is loaded into the new program for the 2017. That is good to get started in the programing and get you on the air with the radio.

The charger is a dead ringer for the 390. I have just used the 390 charger for now. Too bad the batteries are different shapes.

Lots of shortcut buttons you can program. That is going to be a heyday for the firmware guys. There is a total of 6 buttons you can configure with short and long presses.

Great build and “feel” quality, just like the 390…almost the same size.

I would recommend the radio at its price and performance.

KB8ASO Rating: 4/5 Jun 26, 2017 16:20 Send this review to a friend
First impressions  Time owned: 0 to 3 months
Fit and finish are very good. The unit feels substantial and has a good heft to it. The new mic connector is a much better design than the old double pin Kenwood connector, but will cause experimenters trouble as this connector is not something commonly available. The jury is still out on the built in track ball as to reliability. Programming software CPS Ver. 1.16 will accept MD-380 code plugs so you can get on the air right away. VHF coverage is the biggest reason for me to buy the new radio as all the local weather nets are on 2 Meters analog. It is nice to only need one radio for both bands and digital/analog modes. Giving the radio a 4 as I have only had it for less than a week.

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