So I mounted my Wouxun kg-uv920P-A in my car with the ability to hot swap it out and take it into the house to use as a base station. Unfortunately my inner sloth got the better of me (I got lazy) and I ordered a new mobile to keep in the house. So I picked up the TYT TH-9000 UHF model for $160.00.
My initial thoughts:
- The manual is worse than Wouxun or Baofeng, there are instructions for features where the process does not produce the described result
- The user interface is just as bad, except the LCD does not display certain letters very well so it leaves you to guess at what it's trying to say
- The software is a bit better, allowing you to get an idea of the settings but you still need to keep the Engrish manual nearby to get a description of some of the features since they do not match the same naming convention as a lot of other radios
- The head unit is built extremely well, like a tank even, and it is fairly compact
- The mic feels a bit cheap and the functions on the mic are easier to perform from the head unit
- The "P" buttons (P1-P5) have different functions, they are not labeled, and their functionality can be customized from the computer software
Now on to the functionality:
- The transmit power is nice, not many mobile units I have seen provide more than 40W so with 45W this radio is rather unique
- Once you figure out the interface (still keeping the manual handy) you can navigate the settings fairly easily
- The backlighting is bright, and I mean bright, but it can be turned down and comes in 3 colors: blue (too blue, hard to read), orange, and purple (weird right? but it is probably the easiest to read)
- Transmitting on this unit is nice, I was able to pick up the signal on my mobile crystal clear at 4.7 miles away
- The receive is where the real problem comes in (for me):
- There are documented reports of the squelch not behaving correctly when not using CTC or DCS (DPL) codes, it appears even on the lowest setting it is cutting out signals the have even the slightest chop or static
- The recommendation is to set a CTC or DCS for your channels and turn the squelch off, the radio has a setting to listen only to transmissions with these codes and cut out the carrier so you don't get the constant static noise
- This seems to work great and my mobile unit comes through just fine, but without doing this little trick my Wouxun mobile has static from just 1.7 miles away
- From the same locations I can transmit on my Wouxun KG-UV6D HT to the Wouxun mobile at my house and hear less static on the mobile at the house than when I use my Wouxun mobile to the TYT at the house
- The receive does not seem to be as sensitive as others I have used
- There is a repeater 31 miles away that I can hit with my Wouxun mobile and hear others on it, when I attempt to key up the repeater with the TYT I can not hear anything back
- I have checked the offset and CTC codes, and they match, I also programmed the Wouxun for the reverse of the same channel so they could talk simplex on the repeater channels and could confirm the Wouxun was communicating with the TYT
For me, this unit doesn't meet my needs. Since I live in an area where there are few repeaters in range, I am constantly scanning GMRS frequencies with open CTC and DCS codes. With this unit I either must listen to the constant static or not be able to scan properly.
For someone who primarily uses the same channels with the same CTC or DCS codes this unit would work great and at a great price! The product quality seems to be very good and it has nice features. I would recommend getting the programming cable (mine came with one) and software (free to download from TYT) as the UI is rather confusing and the manual is little help.
Overall I would rate this unit a 3.5 out of 5 (mainly due to the squelch issues).