MD-9600 working fine

The TYT MD-9600 is up and running with the latest Hoosier DMR code plug (I used the one for the MD-2017 dual band handheld; the code plugs are interchangeable).  I’ve just got it sitting on my desk in the office, hooked up to my old 23W power supply, and connected to a Slim Jim J-pole that’s just hanging in the window.  So not a fabulous receiving setup, but I did get a really good signal back from the Parrot when I tested it earlier. I haven’t been able to raise the W9AMT VHF DMR repeater yet, but I think I need to use 1) a better antenna that’s 2) mounted up a little higher to get line of sight on that repeater. That’s been a constant problem from here with the hand-held transceiver, and generally having trouble reaching both the UHF and VHF DMR repeaters here is why I invested in the MD-9600. (Cue Tim Allen shouting, “MORE POWER!”)

I like this radio.  It seems like a robust unit, the mic is better than the one that came with my Tytera TH-9800, and if I had a complaint about the radio in and of itself, it would be that the radio doesn’t have a detachable control head.  Which is OK, because I’m going to put it in my go-box anyway, but it would be nice to see TYT/Tytera come out with one of these in the same case as the analog TH-9800.  Then I’d consider putting one in the Escape.  Given that I’m sure this radio has the same guts in it that they use for more expensive commercial DMR radios, I doubt that will happen.  But a ham can dream.

Which brings me back to my major bitch about this radio, hinted at in the previous post.  If you’re going to put this much thought and care into building a DMR radio, why in hell would you ship it with a cheap-ass USB programming cable that was probably bought from the cheapest cable maker in Shenzhen, and which broke before it was even used the first time?  Just because the thing said “TYT” on it isn’t good enough.  Just ship a decent generic USB cable and be done with it.

Otherwise, I have no complaints; I got the radio from Grapevine, down in Texas, and I couldn’t be happier about the service; Jason kept everyone advised about the status of their preorders, and he was even shipping radios out while Harvey was wreaking chaos down in the southern half of the state.  It’s not his fault that the cable that shipped with the radio was sub-standard, and I didn’t even bother him with it once I realized I could use a generic cable.  I look forward to buying more DMR stuff from Jason in the future.

With any luck, I’ll be able to get on the roof this weekend and swap out my 6M ground pole with the dual-band J-pole I’ve had sitting on the window sill in the shack for the last four years.  I’m not doing any 6M FM right now and I’d really like to string up a dipole for that band anyway, so it’s time to make that swap.