Sunday, May 12, 2019

Johnson 250-888-2 Mic with a Anytone AT-5888UV-III

Well, the above diagram about covers the topic! Sadly, the results were disappointing. The mic works well if you hold it about 1 in from your lips, but has poor audio at typical desktop distance of about 12 to 16 inches. I'll have to come up with a way to add a little gain to it...
Likely a little pre-amp. Or maybe I'll swap the innards with those from a Turner +2.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Anytone AT-5888UV-III Tri-Band FM Transceiver Review

I picked up this Anytone AT-5888UV-III Tri-Band FM Transceiver about 2 weeks ago. I purchased it on Amazon, but the same unit is available from the seller on eBay too. Note a very similar two band unit exists, but that this is the tri-band "III" unit.
Note this is a amateur radio, or ham radio. As such, in the USA, you need a Amateur Radio License from the FCC to legally transmit with it.

So far I love the thing.

I'm a relatively new ham, so take that into consideration. Most of my experience has been with a Kenwood handheld and a BTech DMR handheld (essentially identical to the popular Anytone AT-D878UV). I'm good technically, but have limited experience evaluating ham radios.

I really wanted a tri-band radio, 2m, 1.25m and 70cm. There were only a couple choices, and this looked like the best option to me. Right now I'm using it with a mag mount mobile antenna on a cookie sheet in my garage, but it will get hooked to a rooftop tri-band Comet CX-333 antenna soon.

A few random comments:

Note this radio is similar in design to the Yaesu FT-8900R, TYT TH-9800 and Alinco DR-638T and I strongly suspect they all come from the same factory.

Everything works and I have been getting very nice signal reports.

I've played with much of the menu system and everything seems to work as it should, but programming through the software is easier. It's also a pretty complicated device and as usual, the manual doesn't always do a great job explaining things. The Bank, Hyper and Limit memories can be confusing and are not really explained in the manual. But the Yaesu FT-8900R manual does provide a little description of these, you may wish to take a look at that manual, from the Yaesu website (the Yaesu buttons and numbers of memories are different, but the concepts are the same).

For a moment I thought I was having some selectivity issues from two repeaters right next to each other in frequency, but that ended up not being true. So far so good.

Note that the radio comes with an updated manual, the older manuals I have found online have some inaccuracies.

The "TV/SQL" button has nothing to do with TV, it is used for memory bank switching and squelch (long press is squelch). Other versions of this radio offered some TV function and had a dedicated TV output but that connector is used for an external speaker with this version of the radio.

I have used the programming software that came with it with good results but it does not have great capability to move channels around. I have also tried the RT Systems software and it works better. Sadly, CHIRP does NOT work with the version (III) of the 5888UV radio.

The fan runs after a couple minutes transmitting and it is a bit louder than I would like. But after using the radio a bit I don't notice it anymore

The unit has speakers on both the top and the bottom. The bottom speaker is the "main" one. You can use the main bottom speaker for all the bands with the top speaker turned off. There is a setting that enables the top/sub and the external speaker together. The second speaker setup kind of strange with some division between UHF and VHF between the speakers. There is also a microphone speaker that can be enabled.

Some tech details:
Claimed output is 50W on 2m, 25W on 1.25m and 40W on 70cm.
Note 1.25m band is only available on the left side of the radio.
The unit also receives 350 - 400MHz on the left side of the radio.

FCC ID sticker:

And here is a copy of the User's Manual: