Design - 9.2/10
Features - 9/10
Performance - 8.6/10
Price - 9/10
The TYT UV8000E is very similar to the D model that preceded it. Like the D, the E model transmits and receives on amateur UHF and VHF bands. Similar to most Chinese radios, both will transmit and receive on frequencies above and below those allocated for amateur use. Just like some radios, both TYT models include an FM broadcast receiver. The E model adds cross-band repeater functionality, which is off by default.
The TYT UV8000E
The included programming cable is additionally compatible with Windows 10, which does not support some earlier programming cables. The E model has orange keys instead of blue and includes a UV8000E badge below the right corner of the display.
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The box contains all the usual things, and a pocket sized CD with USB cable drivers and programming software is provided. As is often the case, the CD is intended for use with various radios. None of the programs were labeled for use by the UV8000E. More on that below.
The included belt clip is attached with two Phillips head screws. One screw should be started before attempting to insert the second screw. Removing the battery should also make attachment easier. The strong spring makes attaching both screws at once much more difficult.
Range & Features
You can program all HAM, UHF and VHF frequencies on this device. You can also program Marine, MURS, and GMRS. This device works great as Cross–Band repeater, which is the best part about owning this device. You can be connected to TRAM outdoor antenna and have a coverage of miles and miles, which is pretty awesome. When taken to the mountains, you can use it cross-band to communicate from the bottom of a canyon where there is no signal to repeaters 40 miles away thereby extending coverage amazingly.
I used the UV8000E to communicate with people on a repeater that is about 30 miles away from my point of testing, and it worked flawlessly. The E model produced 4.3 watts in low power and 8 watts in high power in VHF mode (146.52 MHz).
This device is one of my favorites. I prefer this over the more expensive BaoFengs and Motorolas that I own. You can use the keypad for programming this too. You can handle all cross band functions such as power and CTSS from the keypad as well.
I even like this Better than the Baofeng high power HTs already owned and would be fine if this were my only HT. Straight forward keypad programming allows direct freq entering and change of cross band function plus others such as power, CTSS etc. There is a knob which you can use to change the frequency, which is a nice touch! There is the ability to change from Frequency Mode to Channel Name mode without having to power off-on, which I have talked about before as well.
A Side View
The package with accessories is complete. The charging base is very stable and is not tippy, which is a good thing. You can purchase an extra battery for it too.
One of the things to note about using cross-band is that in high power mode the radio gets warm if there is a lot of traffic. I don’t think that it affects the reliability of this radio, however a radio is something you have on your body and you should not have it heat up too much. There were reports of a certain batch of these radios having issues, but they are all alright now, as per TYT. I tend to set the cross band power down to the low setting while using it, and it seems to work as fine without any issues on doing that. Your mileage may vary on this one.
The UV8000E software supports features better than any other walkie talkie software I have used, including CHIRP. In addition to the spreadsheet like channel configuration page, the software includes multiple customization screens. One of them relates to the cross-band repeater function. This function is off by default. I do not recommend turning it on until you have become more familiar with that operation.
One of the biggest problems that I faced is that the software on the disk was not for the model “E” radio. It came for the model “D”, where as the “E” has the cross-band repeat function and is required to activate the ability to turn cross band ON or OFF from the keypad. I used radioddity.com to find the correct software for this radio. The issue with Windows 10 is that some USB cable chipsets are not compatible with the latest drivers automatically updated by Windows 10.
NOTE: always make an initial backup of configuration settings in case the radio accidentally gets “soft bricked” in the future.
You will need to download the correct software from the manufacturers’ website and then use it. It is certainly problematic if you don’t know your way around the internet with download related things, and need software on the disk that should just work with the radio.
So you have the following options:
1. You could buy an after-market software that is going to cost you another $50. The programming tool will be very good and will have good support too. But you will need to figure out the new programming software too.
2. You can also use the downloaded & decompressed TYT “8000E” version of the software. The decompressed 8000E software (as well as USB cable that comes with the radio) does work and you can enter all the frequency parameters. However, once entered you can not change memory location it’s entered in. You can not insert or cleanly edit the data you entered. You will need to start over, erase or write over the memory location. The only good thing is that you can have up to 90 channels programmed without any issues. However, the software could have been better. This is frustrating to use.
3. Use CHIRP to program this device.
To summarise, the radio packs in neat hardware, something that you can simply not find a fault in. This radio is an excellent HAM HT radio, and is worth every buck you spend on it. The software is, however, a downer, but it works fairly well and that compensates for it. The cross band function is what has me down, and that alone makes this a purchase worth the money.