The AT-779 UV is a bit confusing. I have owned many Anytone radios for many years, and I find them to be responsive to customer requests (provided they get those requests there in China). I bought an AT-779UV a few months ago and it was configured for GMRS operation, where I wanted to use it. Channels 1-22 were as expected, along with repeater offset channels 23-30. Also, the U.S. weather channels were programmed into the last 7 channels (ch. 494-500). No TX outside of the GMRS frequencies, and not all menu options were available via the menu. Notably, the option to switch from Narrow band audio to Wide band audio was not available, nor was the option to add/change a sub audible tone.
This is fine for many users, but I bought this radio specifically to install in my wife’s car, and only want to have our repeater frequency programmed in, to make life simple for her. I had to download the programming software from Anytone.net (navigate to their download center) in order to switch the audio bandwidth from narrow to wide and add the required tone.
The second issue I ran into was that you cannot delete GMRS channels, and I did not want to have 30 channels programmed into the radio, since I only need one channel in there. This required me to download the other piece of software on Anytone’s site labeled AT-779UV SetO(V2.0). This software allows you to change the configuration of the radio (as does the power on button sequence) and I had to change to a frequency configuration (400-470/136-174) in order to be able to delete unneeded channels and just program the repeater frequency needed. It is now a one channel radio that I needed, but I suspect some will say it is now not valid under Part 95E, even though I am only running one GMRS repeater frequency in the radio... whatever. I tried to do it the way it was meant to, but that doesn’t work for my situation. It is exactly the same as running under the GMRS configuration...minus the additional GMRS channels.
Some time later, I received an email from the seller indicating a new firmware version was available for the AT-779UV, along with a link to the download. I will include the email text below. I performed the firmware update and now other menu options (including the selection from Narrow to Wide and tone) are available in the GMRS-only configuration. A nice upgrade. It does seem this upgrade does eliminate the power up button sequence to select different configurations (I don’t care, as stated previously, doing that wipes your memories), and the other software mentioned gives you that access anyway, so if that function is eliminated with the new firmware, it doesn’t impact me.
As far as the radio in concerned, I like it very much. I was first licensed for GMRS in 2003 (let it expire in 2013, and got another license when the price dropped from $90 to $70 a few years ago), and I have run a lot of commercial radios over the years. While these Chinese radios are not of the same overall build quality, the Anytone radios are quite good. I have several Anytone radios for amateur use and they have worked well, and Anytone has put out firmware updates to correct issues or add features. I tried the Midland MXT-275 for my wife’s car, but the narrowband audio was too low for our repeater use. The AT-779UV is nearly the same size as the MXT-275, and honestly easier to use for her needs, with only having one channel in the radio.
The transmit output measures about 19 watts out with one of those Amazon-sold Surecom SWR/power meters, and I have a Tram 1174 antenna on the trunk lip. Previously ran a Laird ETRA 4503 phantom antenna on there, and it did ok for a 4” antenna, but the 1174 helps out with the challenging terrain around here. It is literally like a roller coaster ride with all the hills and valleys. so the 10” Tram (trimmed for 467/462) fills in some of the dips and valleys better. Because the terrain is so rolling and varied, the AT-779UV/Tram 1174 combo works nearly as well as my 50 watt capable mobile/Comet CA 2X4SR combo in my truck. As always, your mileage may vary...literally.
here is the email text from the seller regarding the firmware. I tried to attach to the post, but the link was apparently not available.
Hi, thanks for you purchase AT-779UUV. The purpose of this email is to let our customers know more about AT-779UV.
1. The factory default setting of the radio is GMRS band and the GMRS band cannot programmable, but it is also a dual band radio, you can operate it on VHF and UHF if the GMRS band cannot meet your needs. You can to do this as below:
a. Hold 【V/M】 key and power on the radio until enter the band selection.
b. Press 【up/down】 key to choose the mode (dual band), then repower radio.
2. The function of GMRS band is NO.17-30, other function was locked, you can upgrade the radio to get more function (excluding function NO.7-10/14）
How to upgrade this radio?
a. Please download the upgrade firmware at 【 https://hnt.s3.us-east-2.amazonaws.com/779UV+upgrade+20210427.zip 】 (includ prgramming software, model name is AT779UV_Setup_2.01)
b. Running the software 【QXCodePro_Update_Setup_1.05】 as an administrator. If your computer firewall or security software warns of risks, please allow this software to run.
c. Connect PC cable and radio.
d. Hold 【MON】+【FUN】 key and power on radio, release the key when red light flashes.
e. Hit 【open update file】, choose right comport 【at779_UV_500_v2_30_1_VOX 2021_4_27.spi】, speed set 【115200】. choose 【Duplex】. (Please check attachment).
f. Hit 【wirte】, upgrade compelete. Thank you for checking our email during your busy schedule, we hope it can give you help. If you have other problem, please feel free to contact us.
Have a good day.