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Reviews For: TYT MD380

Category: Transceivers: VHF/UHF+ Amateur Hand-held

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Review Summary For : TYT MD380
Reviews: 37MSRP: 175
DMR/MotoTrbo Digital Handheld
Product is in production
More Info: http://
# last 180 days Avg. Rating last 180 days Total reviews Avg. overall rating
KK4WEY Rating: 2019-03-07
Great Affordable DMR HT Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I purchased this radio second hand and have been pleased with the performance and audio reports.
KS3J Rating: 2019-01-17
Excellent DMR radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I had been wanting one of these for a while so I could try out DMR, and my wife ordered me one for Christmas. My area has no DMR repeaters within 50 miles, something I hope will change as the technology grows more mature. But using a Zumspot hotspot, I was on the air pretty quickly.

The lack of front panel programmability for this radio is a bit of a problem. If you're not traveling with a laptop, you'll be a bit stuck. You can tune a repeater but you'll have to know what talkgroups it's capable of, though it helps to have them all in your "contacts" list.

The power/volume control can be a bit unnerving at first. It turns the radio on normally, but as you adjust the volume, there's a bargraph that appears on the screen that supposedly shows you where the volume is set, but it doesn't always track the knob. The volume level does, though, so I just ignore the screen. When you turn the radio off, the screen stays lit after the switch clicks off, and says "Powering down."

The antenna connector is an SMA, but it's the opposite gender from that found on most Chinese radios. The radio has a female SMA. The supplied antenna is a dummy load, but with a nicely designed Nagoya or Diamond antenna the radio does quite well on transmit and receive, in both digital and analog modes.

I'm not a fan of the user interface, but as a new-to-DMR ham I've been quite pleased with the radio. I bought a spare battery so I can keep one fully charged. The charger is a bit more sturdy and robust than typical Chinese radio chargers, and the status light is VERY bright and visible.
WD9GNG Rating: 2019-01-15
Very Nice DMR Radio Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
I bought the MD-380 because it is a true Superhet compared to the Direct Conversion on most other Chinese radios. This was important to me since I live around a major metropolis.

For under $100 on Amazon I am very impressed with the quality and battery life when used at 1 watt with a hotspot.

Audio is a little low compared to others that I hear but the quality is excellent!

Good radio for the price and a cheap way to get into DMR!!!

Earlier 5-star review posted by WD9GNG on 2019-01-06

New to DMR and this little hand-held has been great!
4X1ST Rating: 2018-11-23
Excellent DMR handheld Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I've owned the MD380 for almost 18 months.

It sees daily use, and needs charging maybe once a week. The set obviously performs better with the longer antenna supplied, but the short whip is fine if you're using a hotspot, or are within a few km of a repeater.

I use the TYTOOLZ firmware and find this offers all the options I need.

Like all DMR radios, programming is "interesting" until you get a handle on the concepts, but afterwards is pretty straightforward to edit. The supplied CPS software is ok, but I've recently changed to the G6AMU CPS which allows much more flexibility in terms of sorting entries, copying configs, editing and so on.

The only downside is the limited memory for the user database, even using the custom firmwares. But if you can live without seeing the name and QTH of everyone you talk to, then that's not a problem.

Finally these devices are becoming cheaper as newer dual band radios have come on the market. But there is a reason why the 380's are one of the most common rigs you'll hear on DMR - they're well built, reliable (with the exceptio n of the occasional "white screen" bug, which is quite fixable), good intermod performance, and great value for money.

I've considered moving to an Anytone 868, but don't have any VHF DMR repeater in range (nor a whole lot of local 2m FM activity), so there's no real reason to abandon the 380.
WB4SLI Rating: 2018-08-22
unstable firmware Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
don't waste your time. had 2. 1st went to white screen of death at 1st power up. 2nd kept resetting. look at other brands. it is very cheap. this is not a keeper by any stretch of the imagination/
AD0VJ Rating: 2018-07-04
1 year Report-ok but far from good Time Owned: more than 12 months.
I have had a pair of TYT MD380 VHF for about 14 months and while I think these radios have their place, I am not sure if it is a radio that an amateur ought to be using.

With the stock antenna, it is a stretch to hit a repeater 3 miles out. I can clearly hear the repeater for perhaps 5 miles. TYT to TYT about 11/2 miles is the max.

Programming can be 'fun' even for those with extensive experience. The lack of direct frequency entry makes them useless unless set up for the area you are (don't travel without your laptop and programming cord or plan on spending a couple days preprogramming every possible repeater you might need in beforehand)... again, not sure if built for an amateur with the current factory supplied firmware...

Lastly, in the beginning, battery life was amazing. Now, with perhaps 50 charges on each battery, I am getting about 8 hours of monitoring including perhaps 20 minutes of rag chewing before the battery indicator loses a bar--lose a bar and say goodbye to reliably getting out.

Would I buy them again? NO.
I looked at several analog and DMR HTs before settling on the MD380s due to price and the fact that they were properly set up for DMR repeaters (unlike the Baofengs at that time). So like all things radio, they were a compromise due to budget. So knowing what I do now, I wouldn't.
K3MRK Rating: 2018-07-03
Good while it lasted Time Owned: 6 to 12 months.
I purchased a TYT MD380 VHF in the fall of 2017. I didnt know you couldnt load the callsign database on the VHF model. I spent about 6 hours with a friend trying to program the radio and could not communicate. So I figured I'd order the UHF and try again. About 2 weeks later, I had a UHF 380 in hand. This led me to the discovery that the programming cable I received with my VHF radio was no good. I could now program both radios. I attempted to get the cable replaced, but gave up after someone from Tytera said they would email me with the info to replace the cable and never heard from her again.
The UHF radio worked pretty well for about 6 months. Good audio reports, fairly easy to program and I was really enjoying it. Then one night I was using it on an analog channel and the audio went bad. Very low volume and extreme distortion. Tried headphones, different channels, Digital, nothing changed. Unuseable.
I contacted the vendor I bought both radios from and was told only a 90 day warranty. The audio amp is a TDA2822. So I replaced it hoping that was the problem. It wasnt. So I've got a decent paperweight. I keep telling myself it's only a $100 radio. I'm debating whether I'll replace it with another TYT or get a better radio with a warranty. To summarize, it's a decent cheap radio as long as it works. If it goes bad, dont expect any support after 90 days. I still have my $69 Radioddity dual band going strong.
W4DXL Rating: 2018-03-23
Good Value Time Owned: more than 12 months.
This is not my first DMR radio. I also have a CS-700. Both of these are great radios at a very reasonable price. No issues at all. Battery life is great transmit and receive quality is as good as any of the DMR radios. With the low price point and high quality I see a lot of MD380's out there.
SV2BWM Rating: 2018-01-31
Value for money... Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Great DMR handheld radio! Still value for $ counts...

WB9RAA Rating: 2017-11-12
Great for $85 Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
Wow works super great. Only two minor observances; 1) Belt clip is on battery not radio, so buying an extra battery get you to buy another $3 belt clip! 2) When radio is on once the screen saver times out there is no sign of life, unless the audio great thru the squelch. A ficker of the led once every few seconds would be nice. People do nice firmware hack, so maybe some one will add this. The DMR modes can hit repeaters much further than normal voice. I can easily hit repeaters 16 miles away with the longer rubber duck ant, with 4 watts. Programming software is a bit clunky. I decided to write my own app to edit the .RDT file !