TYT UV8000E Review

This is the TYT UV8000E review.

The TYT UV8000E is an update to the UV8000D. This update practically fixes an audio issue with the earlier model, which would occur after long periods of operation. The audio, as some users have reported, would start becoming intermittent.

It is a really nice radio. It’s solid and offers a couple of good-to-have features. Let’s move on to the actual review.

In the box

In the box you will find the usual accessories that come with handheld radios from China, plus some nice extras. I ordered my radio from eBay. The seller was also including a speaker-mic which they inserted in the original box. So, when I opened the package, the box had a “lump”.

tyt uv8000e review
Just received. Note the lump at the top left of the box.

As it turned out, it was not a problem with the contents. Everything was wrapped in plastic bags. The image below is without the speaker-mic which I removed from the box.

tyt uv8000e review
That feeling. Note the TYT verification card.

TYT pays at least some attention to detail. I haven’t seen a silica gel pack in other Chinese manufacturer’s boxes. Not even for radios that are more expensive than this one:

tyt uv8000e review
Proper way to ship electronics.

Ok, now that the radio is out of the plastic sleeve, here’s the back with all the information we need:

tyt uv8000e review
Back of the radio. The sticker.

Here’s what we see printed on the two stickers.

Model: UV8000E

Output Power: 10W

Frequency: 136-174 MHz, 400-520 MHz

Barcode and serial number (blurred for posting)

Upgraded version with cross band repeater function

At this point, I should also not forget to mention that it is FCC and CE approved for usage in the USA and Europe.

Next, the Li-Ion battery. It is labeled at 7.2V (!) – 3600mAh. After using this radio for more than a month, I can confirm the battery outlasts every other HT I have. Even when using it on High power. Not sure why 7.2V is printed on the sticker though. Shouldn’t the nominal voltage be 7.4V, since lithium batteries come in 3.7V multiplied by the number of cells? In this case, 3.7V * 2 = 7.4V. Anyway, it doesn’t really matter, as when the battery drops to a (measured) 7.2V, the radio battery indicator shows only 1 bar out of 3.

tyt uv8000e review
The battery. Enough to cover the HT’s 10W output and more.

The charger is most likely the same as its predecessor model, but also the same as the TYT DM-UVF10 dPMR’s and the TC-8000’s. It makes sense, since all these 4 models basically share the same body.

tyt uv8000e review
Bottom of charger. 13.8V input. 8.6V output at… only 400mA.

I don’t understand why probably all Chinese manufacturers produce such slow-charging cradles. A 3600mAh battery, getting 400mA will charge at approximately 9 hours. Nine. Hours. And that’s without calculating any losses. Not feeling safe for how long your product will last? Ok, give the charger a 1800mA output so that the battery is ready in 2+ hours. 9 hours is just insane.

Actual charging time is around 8 hours. That’s when the battery reaches 8.5V and the charger led turns green to indicate that charging has completed.

Ok, let’s lay everything out on the bench.

tyt uv8000e review
Everything out of the box.

Starting from the top and then going left-to-right, we get:

  • Two antennas, a short one and a long one. The short one is the same that is included with the TYT TH-UV3R 2W HT.
  • Belt clip with the screws we need to attach it.
  • Charger
  • Radio
  • Battery pack
  • Power supply (EU version shown here)
  • 12V car power supply
  • USB cable for programming
  • Manual booklet (shown below)
tyt uv8000e review
The manual. Fairly decent.

Using the radio

One thing I consider a minimum requirement for buying a radio, is having an easy way of navigating through its menus or changing values when needed. I am tired of having to press up and down buttons all the time. This radio covers this by having two knobs at the top, next to the antenna SMA-F socket. The shorter one on the right is for turning it on/off an volume adjustment and the taller one is for changing frequencies, menu navigation, selecting values etc. I really hope all manufacturers design their radios like this, as I consider it the most user-friendly way of interacting with a simplistic interface as that of an HT.

tyt uv8000e review
Antenna, adjustment, turn on/off & volume adjustment. It’s SMA-F, so you need a SMA-M antenna.

Keypad / display

The keypad is properly laid-out (“0” at the bottom) and the keys are backlit. They are slightly hard to press and they are clicky, but a bit rubbery to the feel. But the keypad is nowhere near as good as the Baofeng UV-82‘s, which, in my opinion, has the best keypad on a handheld.

tyt uv8000e review
UV8000E keypad (left) vs Baofeng UV-82 keypad (right). Notice the black speck on the TYT’s screen.

To get into the menu, you need to press the “F” key (top-left). When you do, “Menu” appears on the screen and you can cycle through the menu options either with the rotary knob at the top, or with the up and down keys. Alternatively, you can just type the menu number, if you know it. For example, “F” + 2 + 5 displays the battery voltage.

To modify the values of any setting, you press “F”, modify the value (knob or arrow keys) and press “F” again to store it. You can cancel the action by pressing the “U/V” key (top-right). You can also use this key to exit the menu and change between top and bottom VFO display.

To indicate which VFO is active, an arrow is displayed next to the name/frequency area. This is OK for this small screen. However, to indicate which VFO is actually receiving, a really, REALLY small arrow is shown right below the channel number area at the far right of the screen. This is hard to see at a glance:

tyt uv8000e review
Display receiving at the top VFO. The indication you have is the tiny arrow at the far right of the screen. The black dust speck is probably here to stay.

To lock the radio keypad, you need to press and hold the asterisk key (bottom-left, marked with “Lock”). On the screen you get a “LOCK ?” message. Keep pressing for 3 seconds to lock it. Reverse the procedure to unlock it. When the keypad is locked, the rotary knob at the top also does not register any turns. The side keys however (PTT, MONI, alert), along with the volume knob, still function as expected.

tyt uv8000e review
Left-side keys. From top to bottom: PTT, MONI (monitor) and alert key (orange).

Speaker-mic port

The speaker-mic port is on the right side and it’s the standard 2-pin Kenwood type. It fits the programming cable nicely, although make sure to press all the way in.

tyt uv8000e review
Right-side connection port. Standard 2-pin Kenwood type.
tyt uv8000e review
USB programming cable comes with the radio. It fits nice and snug.

Switching between memory/VFO setting modes key

To switch between memory/VFO setting modes, you need to press the hash key (bottom-right, marked with “T-R”).

This key also doubles as offset-reverse. Meaning, when in channel mode, if you are on a duplex channel, you can press and hold this button to switch between the two frequencies. So, if the radio is receiving on, say, 145.750 and transmitting on 145.150, it will start receiving on 145.150 and transmitting on 145.750 after the change. You will also get an “R” on the screen, indicating that the currently selected channel is on “reverse” mode.

Battery installation/removal

To remove the battery, you need to push the latch at the back of the radio, right above the belt clip. The battery is then released and you can slide it out. To put the battery back, just slide it in until you hear a solid click. This was kind of stiff at first, but it’s broken-in now.

tyt uv8000e review
Battery release latch right above the belt clip.
tyt uv8000e review
Releasing the battery.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross-band repeater function

The radio supports cross-band repeater. To use it, you first need to enable it through the software. The CD that comes with the radio includes software that it outdated and does not work. You can download the software that works with the radio here.

At the time of writing of this review, CHIRP does not support this radio.

tyt uv8000e review
Enable “Cross-band setting” to be able to use the feature.

Double-click the “Optional Function” on the left. On the window that will appear, check the “Cross-band setting” option. Perform a write to the radio so that the option is saved and you are good to go.

Now, whenever you want to use the radio as a cross-band repeater, you just need to turn the feature on. There are no other settings you need to perform. After you turn it on, it will just enter the repeater mode, with whatever frequency you have selected in A and B VFOs. You can also use the feature in channel mode.

To turn the cross-band repeater, go to menu item #11 “TURN” and set that to “ON”.

tyt uv8000e review
Menu setting #11 “TURN” to… turn the cross-band repeater function to “ON”.

The feature seems to be working flawlessly, although take care to always use it at the lowest power setting because the radio will get warm.

A thing I didn’t like is that, when you have the radio set to repeater mode, there is no indication on the display that the repeater is active. Even when the repeater receives and transmits, the green led turns on, as if it was just receiving normally. Also, since it supports such a function, the radio is still a dual-watch radio, instead of providing full-duplex functionality.

Size comparison

Here are some photos of the radio compared to some popular Baofeng radios on the market. You can click on the thumbnails to view the larger images.

tyt uv8000e review
TYT UV8000E vs Baofeng UV-5R.
tyt uv8000e review
TYT UV8000E vs Baofeng UV-B5.
tyt uv8000e review
TYT UV8000E vs Baofeng UV-82.
tyt uv8000e review
TYT UV8000E vs Baofeng UV-3R+

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see, it is not a small radio. But it fits nicely in the hand:

tyt uv8000e review
A bit tall and chunky, but still very nice fit in the hand.

Conclusion

The TYT UV8000E is a solid, reliable and efficient piece of equipment. I’ve been using it for over a month now, anywhere from casual repeater chatting from home, to SOTA activations and it has not let me down yet. I’ve dropped it on rocks, on marble floors and, apart from some minor dents on the plastic enclosure, it works flawlessly. That speck of dust appeared after the last time I dropped it. Not sure what it is, but apart from some annoyance to the eye, it does not affect the operation of the radio. It’s certainly a step (or two) up from your average Baofeng radio.

Here’s a playlist of videos I’ve made on the radio on HamRadioReviews YouTube channel. Feel free to subscribe to the channel to stay up to date on all the recent uploads! More videos on this particular radio coming soon.

If you have any questions on this radio, leave a comment below and I will do my best to respond in a timely manner, 73!

 

Radio GearPage.

65 Comments

  1. Jim K5KTF

    I have been using the D model for about 6 months now and am still impressed with it overall. Mine didnt come with a USB cable, but unlike other chicom’s, I didnt need it. I have all my memories EASILY programmed by hand. One thing you didnt mention was the charger has a standard barrel connector, so it will take a variety of 12VDC inputs (like from the 12VDC-out Belkin UPS and car adapters). After 6 months, the only problem is my “8” key has quit for some reason, minor nuisance and hopefully not indicative of things to come (i.e. more keys failing). Battery life appears to be excellent, as I charged it about a month ago, used it at 2 events and 3 weekly nets (not really heavy TX usage) and it is still at 7.8v, One thing my wife noticed was if she held it in her left hand and TX’d, her wedding ring was touching a charging contact and caused pain in her hand (RF burn?). All in all, if they “upgraded” the E model, then I would expect it to be even better. Thanks for the review! 73 de K5KTF

    1. hamradioreviews

      Hello Jim. Yes, there is some information I left out. I am planning on creating a page for the radio, so that I upload all information I have on it, updates on the usage, how some things work, etc. This is something I will add. I agree on the battery life, this thing is excellent. I have it on RX only with some TX here and there and I charge the battery every 5-6 days. Whereas with other radios I get 2-3 days tops. Thank you for your feedback, 73 de SV2RMK!

  2. Thanks for the review. I’m new to ham radio and bought this radio primarily because it has a 10W output. However, I have a few things that are not right. Not sure if it’s just my lack of knowledge or if there is a problem with the radio.

    First and arguably most important: the radio won’t respond to the PC program via the USB serial cable. Device Manager says the adapter is working but the radio won’t respond to anything. Is there a “program mode” I am missing that the radio needs to be set to in order to up/download?

    Also, the display contrast gets really faint when I am in certain configuration parameters. For example, the display when Parameter 21 and 22 are selected is barely visible.

    Finally, I cannot set a repeater offset. The manual mentions nothing about an automatically set offset. I think offset is the reason I can’t hit our local repeaters (verified my CTCSS is set properly) but any time I try to edit settings 32 and 33 (shift direction and shift frequency) the device just says, “Error.” I can enter into and change any other parameter I’ve wanted to so far.

    It’s great as a listening radio; the sound quality is great! I just can’t get out…

    1. hamradioreviews

      Glad you liked the review.
      No, there is no program mode on the radio. You just plug the cable to the radio and USB and turn it on. Have you checked you have set the correct COM port in the software? Check out this screenshot. You can check which COM port is the correct one in the Device Manager of your Windows installation.

      If the port is correct, do you have another radio to try with the same cable? The cable is generic, so it will work with a number of radios from China. You can use CHIRP to test it.

      Menu parameters 21 and 22 are “AUTOLK” and “VOICE”, respectively on my unit. Not sure why the display contrast is faint only on these settings. There is probably some sort of defect here.

      For setting repeater offset, I suppose you are already in VFO mode, right? Nonetheless, it still doesn’t make much sense. Seems like you should try resetting the device to factory defaults. To do that, press and hold the “F” key while you are turning the radio on. Screen will ask “RESET?”. Press “F” to accept or “U/V” to cancel. See if this solved any of the issues you are having.

  3. Thanks for the info. I am rather new to the hobby and wasn’t completely familiar with the standard procedure for programming a repeater (go into VFO mode, set everything up and THEN commit to a memory slot, not save a frequency and then attempt to “edit” the existing memory slot as I was doing.) So… my bad on that one. I can now hit a repeater 20 mi away, even on low power with the short antenna, no problem!

    I was playing around with CHIRP a bit but they don’t appear to have support for the UV8000E yet. I did find some info on how specific drivers sometimes have to be tracked down for various implementations (read: bootlegs) of the USB-to-serial chip used in the cables. I will have to play some more with that. I installed a driver that didn’t give the “unable to start” error but still was unable to communicate. I know there are more versions out there.

    Perhaps the “selectively light screen” issue will be resolved in the future with new firmware. If I can get the programming cable to work that would circumvent that problem anyway. I am, overall, satisfied with the radio and it does seem robustly built for a Chinese knock-off!

    Thanks again for the reply… DesTrip

    1. hamradioreviews

      Glad I could help. You can try one last thing. It might sound silly, but make sure the pins of the cable are all the way into the radio. It is a bit stiff and the first time I tried it I also thought something was wrong. Pressed a bit harder and it was OK.

  4. That was the other problem! I read one post on another forum saying to make sure the pins were in all the way. I thought they were, but gave it an extra hard squeeze and found that a solid “click” must be felt before the plug is 100% in place. Then I was able to use the cable. One of my PCs (Win 7 x64) wouldn’t work right with the cable (“device won’t start” error in Device Mgr) so after some research I was directed a download of version 3.3.2.102 of the Prolific serial chip driver (an older version that is known to work better with certain USB cables including, apparently, the one that comes with this radio.) Thought I’d put that out there too for anyone else having issues.

        1. hamradioreviews

          Ok, this sounds like a CTCSS or DCS tone is active and different on both radios. On the TYT, go to menu item #29 “C-CTC”. Press “F”, than press asterisk key (“* LOCK”) repeatedly until “OFF” is displayed. “F” again to save the setting. The radio now will not transmit with a tone. You will now hear audio on the receiving radio when you transmit. Note that you will most likely need to set a CTCSS tone to access a repeater. Check the repeater’s information for which tone to set. Usually, only transmitting tone (“T-CTC” in TYT’s menu) is enough. Let me know if this worked.

  5. Jared Baker

    I’m having the same Comm issues other are seeing.. unable to read from radio, or write to it. Win7Pro 64 bit. Driver for the COM port is good, though I never see the radio in device manager, just the usb cable adapter… I’ve seen indication that maybe another driver is needed? Rollback, updated? Using the driver from the CD that came with the radio and the util from the link above. Any help is much appreciated!!!

  6. hamradioreviews

    You will not see the radio in the device manager, just your cable. If you have setup your COM # correctly in the software, try pushing the cable firmly into the radio. It is a bit tight, so there is a strong chance it is not all the way in.

  7. Jared Baker

    I didn’t think so… com port shows up when I connect the radio and I’m positive the cable is all the way in… sux when things don’t just work like they’re supposed to! Thanks for your help!

  8. I am having an issue. When the radio is on and monitoring, the first time I try to transmit, I have to push the PTT, release and push a second time before the radio will transmit. If I continue to transmit it will work fine until I let it sit and monitor. Is there some kind of “wake up” setting I can change?

      1. It is not on scan. I have gone through the menus in the software and can’t find anything obvious. There are some options that I do not know what they are or how they work or battery saver etc. What other functions are active when in receive mode by default?

  9. I hae a question hope someone can help i have this handy and when i plug in a external microphone and i press it to talk on a chan that is bussy it wont start transmitting .
    Bclo is turned off so is crossband function and setting in the settings and when i move to a chan with no activity it starts transmitting .
    No idea why i turned the repeater function off doesnt make a difference what am i missing here ?
    When i push the ppt button on the handy itself it transmits even on a bussy channel i am lost here lmao .

  10. loizos

    hi. i have the same problem.i have windows 10 on my computer and still get the message : “please check all connection and communication port settings” when i try to read radio from programm. at dive manager cable is ok and at communication port programm shows me com 3.

  11. ‘ When the radio is on and monitoring, the first time I try to transmit, I have to push the PTT, release and push a second time before the radio will transmit.’

    My impression from your problem is that you are experiencing a delay caused by the battery saver function. I know it will cut off the beginning of a Rx, but perhaps there is also a delay in Tx.

    This may not solve your problem, but it may be worth a try. Anyway, I find it annoying to get Rx’s cut off at the beginning so I shut it off. I find the battery life sufficient that I don’t need to rely on the saver.

    It should be menu option 19 Rx-Sav. I’d be interested to know if this works.

  12. John Helt -- KM4WFN

    Channel scanning question. Thank you very much for all of this helpful information. I have successfully programmed in several local repeaters and have communicated with them. I would like to scan through the programmed channels. When in VFO, if I press F+1+F it will begin scanning through the frequencies, beginning at whichever was last set. However, if I try to do the same when in the programmed channel mode, I press F+1+F and it immediatly says “Error”. The manual seems to indicate that this should work, but I must be doing something wrong.

  13. John Helt -- KM4WFN

    Well, I just found an answer for my own question. In the programming software there is an option for Scan ADD or Scan DEL for each channel location. These are currently all on DEL. I will try changing them to ADD

  14. Craig

    Jim,

    According to TYT, the only difference between the TH-UV8000D V4 model (which is the current model) and the TH-UV8000E model is the label on the radio, the cover of the manual, and the box packaging. Everything inside the plastic radio case is the same as the UV8000D V4.

    The improvements claimed by the seller for the one-off 8000E model relate to the older original 8000D V1, V2, and V3 models, so if you want an improved 8000E model you can either modify your 8000E label, or look at the brand new UV8200 model (which has 256 memories and IP67 waterproof status, but loses the cross-band repeat function and has a slightly smaller battery).

    Of course I like having the extra memories (AZ has over 350 repeaters) and the waterproof capabilities, but I never like losing any feature in an upgraded model (which TYT claims the TH-UV8200 is).

    Craig – N7LB

    1. hamradioreviews

      Hello. A lot of factors can determine the range of a radio. Obstacles like buildings, hills and mountains may limit the range significantly. Furthermore, a good antenna will help, whereas a bad antenna will make things worse. I have made contacts from a summit as far as 170km away, with a beam antenna. But… I was more than 1km above sea level.

      1. John

        Using the longer antenna provided with the radio, I have made contacts with repeaters over 50 miles distant. Keep in mind that they are high on hills. But the 10w transmit power on this HT is impressive. The down side is you cannot easily switch back to a lower power on channels you have configured via software.

  15. Rich

    Hi I’m looking for some help!!
    I’m a bit of a novice to these radios and I bought some as they seem easy to program.
    I did so using the software and all seemed well. However for some reason they transmit properly. Whenever I transmit nothing is received on the other radios. And vice versa. But then try again and it works.
    It’s almost like you have to wake the radio up. But that only works when I’m very close proximity. As soon as you go more than a few feet away there’s nothing.
    Any help Muchly appreciated!

  16. Good morning,

    I recently returned this model due to an intermittent Receive problem. The RX light would come on, but there was no accompanying audio (a second radio in another room verified there was indeed audio). I’ve just programmed the replacement radio, and it does the same thing. Squelch at zero and the longer antenna was no help – and shouldn’t be – I’m within 3 miles of the repeater. Is this a ghost of the 8000D, or am I missing something in the programming? Thanks.

  17. Al,

    According to the TYT factory reps, the only difference between the TH-UV8000D V4 model (which is the current model) and the TH-UV8000E model – is the label on the radio, the cover of the manual, and the retail box packaging. Everything inside the plastic radio case is the same as the UV8000D V4.

    The improvements claimed by the one Chinese based seller for the 8000E model relate to the older, original 8000D V1, V2, and V3 models. In other words, if you get a TH-UV8000D V4 model – or – the TH-UV8000E model, you’re buying the exact same radio with a different label and packaging. If you live in the U.S., think Chevy vs. GMC – they are both basically the same truck with a different badge on the hood.

    This is very similar to what Baofeng has done for years. The UV-5R, UV-5RA, UV-5RC, etc. are all the same radio with different cosmetic packaging.

    As to your receive issue, I think it’s your programming that’s the issue. It’s quite possible that you have the PL tone (aka CTCSS) turned on for both transmit and receive (it’s a common mistake).

    While someone else is transmitting, hold down the squelch button. If you now hear the conversation, you have identified the problem. Remove the tone from the receive side of your programming (which isn’t needed 99% of the time anyway), and you should be fine.

  18. No problem, hopefully that fixes your issue, Al.

    Just got in another TYT factory shipment today and we finally have the 30amp power supplies and the new IP67 waterproof TH-UV8200 handheld models in stock (to go with the always popular TH-8600 waterproof mobiles and the TH-UV8000D V4 cross-band units).

    Also got in the new TH-8600 RT Systems software earlier this week, which is (as usual) outstanding – and makes my programming for the ARRL NV Convention this weekend in Las Vegas a lot easier.

    Now if I can just get the finished software for the new TH-UV8200 handheld before Saturday I’ll be all set. If you are in the Las Vegas area this weekend, be sure to stop by our booth (F6) and say hello!

    73,

    Craig – N7LB

  19. LB

    do you have menu 10 ani turned on? it appears i have found a bug. with the setting enabled. i lose all receive, if i hit monitor i can hear the receive, hitting the ptt will allow the radio to receive for roughly 5-7 seconds before it disables again…

      1. LB

        actually after playing with this for 10 hours it seems i didn’t know what i was doing with DTMF. after you enable ani, the radio now requires a DTMF decode code to open sql. This can be set via the software in the DTMF Decode section. thus to make it work you need to program a PTT ID, with a BOT setting on your other radio then after it transmits the PTT ID, it will then open sql and work as designed.

        Hamradiosreviews. couple cool features on the cross band repeat

        you indicated there is no indication of repeat mode. this is not true. if you watch the led’s closely during repeat mode, it will go green, then yellow (red and green leds are both on in repeat mode) thus yellow indicates repeat mode.

        Another EXTREMELY cool feature. is you can remotely control the repeater function!!! By programing in the DTMF stun codes for the radio. you can remotely stun the tx which in repeat mode, stops the unit from repeating!!!, you can them simply renable it again with the same codes!.

        I think that is an awesome undocumented feature!

        still would like to know what “Super Save” and “Vol Inhibit Tx” are.

  20. Railroader

    Nice to read all the reviews before I purchase this radio. I see some comments regarding the programming feature, apart from the port issue’s I do wonder if you need to have your volume turned all the way up like the Baofeng UV-5RE. This was a issue I was having until I found out by mistake that the volume was a major problem. Since then no problems at all.

  21. LB

    no need to up the volume at all. one click and it will program

    for the guys having the issue with the 2 pushes to activate the transmit. the issue is caused by the cross band repeater feature being enabled menu 11 turn. turn it off and the ptt works fine for repeater channels. oddly its only when there is a split program in the channel, simplex works fine even when cross band is enabled

  22. Anny one else having the problem of the external mic not wanting to transmit when channel busy ?.
    And no its not the bussy lockout thats disabled i cant find out what it is .
    Asked before maby someone new knows .

  23. Al Cash

    Gentlemen (and Ladies),

    Trivial issue, for sure, but if it’s supposed to work… My two TYT 8000E radios do not illuminate the display whilst receiving. I’ve set Menu #7 to “Auto” but it has no affect. I’ve tried “On”, but then it stays on. What am I missing? Thanks!

    1. LB

      only green light on top of radio lights on receive, there is no option i can find either on radio or in software for display light up on receive . auto simply kills the display after 3 seconds of inactivity

    2. hamradioreviews

      You are not missing anything. Unfortunately, that’s how it works. If the display backlight is off when it receives, it does not turn on. You can only set the time it stays on through the software.

  24. vado07

    Hi, I have one and I work very well, I’m happy with it, but I have a little doubt that I do not know how to solve it.
    When I push PTT open the repeater, but I do not hear the tail of the same repeater, in other radios if the RX led is turned on, but in this I have not solved, I know that the tail of this repeater is minimal, but it responds.
    Thank you very much

Leave a Reply