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Reviews For: Leixen VV-898

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Base/Mobile (non hand-held)

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Review Summary For : Leixen VV-898
Reviews: 37MSRP: 150
Tiny dual band vhf/uhf mobile transceiver
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
G8WWD Rating: 2014-09-08
Too much breakthrough Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Firstly, this radio is great value and so tiny that it will easily fit in the smallest of cars. Once you get used to the button functions, it is relatively easy to remember the short and long presses needed to access scanning, 1750Hz toneburst, VFO/Memory, etc. It is sensitive, gets good audio reports, and gives good audio through the small speaker, but IMHO it has one major flaw. Breakthrough! As you drive along, the squelch (even when set on maximum) will break and you will get loud screeching sounds from pager transmitters, digital signals, etc. If I was going to use this rig permanently in the car, I would be fitting a couple of tight band pass filters to it, so that I hopefully didn't suffer the annoying screeching. Of course, it may be coming from D-Star or something else in-band, so a band pass filter would not cure it.
K4TCH Rating: 2014-08-22
Save Your Money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
These small dual band radios just became available on ebay and elsewhere. They are cheap and perform that way. Very difficult operating/programming, not intuitive at all. I had mine for a few hours to evaluate it, and then boxed it back up and returned it to the seller. Radio does work, but you won't like the way it operates. The deviation even on wide is very narrow and you will have to scream to be heard. The DTMF function which is much much louder than the mic audio requires a menu visit, a number entry, and then key the radio to transmit the data. Not good for us US hams in a mobile.
Save your money for a real radio (my opinion)
BG6NIC Rating: 2014-08-21
Nice Radio for the Price Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought one from Radioddity in July 2014.
It came with a programming cable. It's nice for me for the 150usd to get such mobile radio and a cable.

When I scan the memories, it only scans memories in either UHF or VHF bands. And when i programmed it, I found it's not supported by Chirp and the software from I downloaded from the webiste was not good.
But all in all, a pretty good deal for such a cheap mobile transceiver.
ON5HB Rating: 2014-08-13
Works as expected Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I have bought this little radio, and it's very very tiny, off ebay for just 99 Euro.
As expected the it has some problems with nearby strong stations.
But other then that it's working great.
Programming can be done with a Kenwood cable, no need for something special.
I have programmed it with most repeaters, but not done yet.
Sadly it's not supported by Chirp and the software from Leixen is pretty poor.
But all in all, a pretty good deal for such a cheap device.
GW6EWX Rating: 2014-08-12
seems pretty feature packed and value for money Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I am guessing that it depends on where you got your 898 as to your initial experience. Mine wasn't at all good as I made my purchase via an e-bay vendor who clearly didn't know what they were selling. The radio was supplied with a programming cable but no software. When I asked for the software I was pointed to the manufacturers website. Having downloaded the software I discovered that it will not work without credentials to make it work.

So a gem if you have an 898, a cable to programme it and the software but are frustrated by the lack of an account and password try:

Client : ham
Password : 89812345

So once started I can make the following observations.

The radio is feature filled and I suspect was initially created as a taxi (or the like) radio. Some of the features are clearly targeted at that market but could well be useful in other applications.

The user documentation that I have is not particularly clear. This could have something to do with the fact that I put the hobby down for 20 ish years and am re-learning lots but its clear that some of the difficulty stems from translation.

Some issues are rather frustrating and I thank the previous reviewer for explaining the scan issue (VHF /UHF) and I would encourage other users to pass on the gems and snippets as they find them.

At the time of writing I am unable to make any comment on the transmit function as I am currently awaiting the re-issue of my ticket so this is about the user experience as a listener.

In my opinion the rig is hard work without using a computer to program it. That said I haven't found the software that easy to use but I did have the advantage of three of four weeks exposure to Chirp having started with a GT-3 so that did make this a little easier.

Once a few (unpublished) basics are understood the software becomes relatively easy to use though if anyone works out how to do cut and past in the data table please let me know soonest.

I haven't yet got to grips with all the functionality but I can sort of compare it to rigs that I used many years ago. It is:


1) Cheap
2) Small
3) Light
4) Sensitive on receive


1) As user friendly as a cornered rat without the software
2) Hard to understand and set up even with the software
3)Build quality feels cheap but then it is!

So in summary (as a rather impatient user) of 1 week using the rig it was, at first, disappointing but for the price and in the spirit of ham radio I would definitely recommend the VV-898. Further I look forward to other users sharing their experience, no matter how (Seemingly) trivial as I know I have lots to learn

Oh BTW I just acquired an Intek HR5500 so looking for any hints and tips on that one :-)
G3YPQ Rating: 2014-08-09
Leixen Scan update Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Further to earlier remarks, when you scan the memories, it only scans memories in either UHF or VHF bands, and that depends on where you have previously set the VFO. So if you have both VHF and UHF channels programmed in memories, and your VFO is currently residing in the UHF band then when you switch to Memory operation and press scan then the VHF channels are all skipped, and vice-versa. Weird..
VK5GI Rating: 2014-07-12
Very good, once you program it! Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
This rig came onto the market via EBay around June 2014, so this is the first review of this amazing radio. Physically it is tiny. It makes the latest crop of mobiles look like boat anchors. I bought it because I'm a sucker for a bargain, and I needed a very small rig to fit in my Hyundai i30. No problem, you could fit a stack of them in there!
I bought the rig and the programming cable with the disc for $114 US brand new and in the box. It comes with a DTMF numeric keypad mike which is supposed to be an aid in manual programming, but I haven't figured that out yet. Computer-assisted programming is the way to go, carefully and with due regard to the somewhat erratic Chinglish manual. I entered all the vhf and uhf repeater frequencies in South Australia, which was great, except that the rig at the moment only scans EITHER vhf OR uhf frequencies. I am certain that there is way of getting the rig to scan all frequencies, but haven't found it yet so if you have one and know how to do it please let me know ( - remove the nospam). With a through-windscreen antenna, the transceiver works very well indeed. Reception is crisp and clear, as is transmitted audio. A friend who bought one and I exchanged notes over the air, and concluded that this is case of true value for money! OK, it puts out 10 watts or 1 watt, more than enough to hit the repeaters around the Adelaide and near-country areas. Yep, it does get hot if you yak on a bit, but the repeaters here time out after a couple of minutes anyway.
The only criticism I have is with the manual but I guess that will improve with more users. Have a look for them on EBay or the Leixen website. If it's for you, you can't go far wrong at only a hundred-odd bucks.
Kind regards
Norm vk5gi