|Ailunce HD1 prototype. |
Image courtesy of @l_Steven59_l
Although TYT is the first manufacturer to come out with a dual band DMR radio, it definitely will not be the only one for long.
Ailunce (part of Retevis) is working on a radio called the Ailunce HD1 which is expected to be released around mid June 2017. With the release of this radio, the TYT MD-2017 may have to drop its price to compete, so if you can wait a couple of months, you may save yourself a good amount of money.
If we look at the trend with earlier Chinese-made DMR radios such as the TYT MD-380, we see that the price started off high but decreased as more similar radios came onto the market. Especially since TYT is forcing retailers to sell the radio at a fixed price right now, the prices should come down significantly once there is some competition.
Not counting the Baofeng DM-5R and other "fake" DMR radios (see this post), the release of the Ailunce HD1 will bring the number of dual band DMR radios on the market to two, and inevitably more will follow.
The TYT MD-2017 is waterproof, works on repeater as a proper DMR radio and covers UHF and VHF. Comparing this to the specs of the HD1, there are many similarities:
|Another photo of the Ailunce HD1 prototype|
Some of the important Ailunce HD1 specifications:
- Dual band: 136-174 and 400-480 MHz
- True-2-slot：Provide 2-slot communication which allows for 2 talk paths on 1 frequency. (I clarified with Ailunce, this means that it has DCDM, allowing two users to talk on a simplex channel at the same time. The MD-2017 also has this.)
- DMR Tier 2 (Tier 2 is the standard that the amateur DMR networks use, so this is what you want)
- Storage for approximately 100,000 contacts
- Display the Caller ID, Name, City, State, etc.
- 10W Output power (this is quite a lot for a handheld, but there will be three levels with 10W as the highest setting. MD-2017 only has 5W)
- 3200mAh Battery capacity (pretty large. You need it though if you're using 10W. The MD-2017 only has a 2200mAh battery.)
- IP67 Waterproof and dustproof (like the MD-2017)
- Battery percentage shown on screen (Not just 3 bars, but an actual percentage)
|One of the official marketing images for the Ailunce HD1|
So it looks like the Ailunce HD1 will be a good competitor to the TYT MD-2017. It might be worth waiting until this radio comes out before deciding on which to buy if you were looking to buy a dual band DMR radio. At the very least you can expect the price of the MD-2017 to drop after some time.
Update: There is also the Radioddity GD-77. This radio is a dual band DMR radio and works properly on both timeslots. It is not waterproof, unlike the MD-2017. It is being sold at a much lower price than the MD-2017. Currently only $87 USD. Definitely worth considering at that price.
There is also a copy of the MD-2017 called the Retevis RT82. This is currently being sold at around the same price (As of August 2017). The casing is slightly different but the features and functionality are all the same.
If you know of any other new dual band DMR radios that are due to be released soon, please leave a comment.
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