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Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Dual band DMR radios: Ailunce HD1 and TYT MD-2017

Ailunce HD1 prototype.
Image courtesy of @l_Steven59_l
A dual band DMR radio is something that has been on many people's wish lists for quite a while now. The first dual band DMR radio to be released is the TYT MD-2017, but should you buy it now? My opinion is maybe not.

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)
According to a representative I spoke to at Ailunce, they expect to release the HD1 around mid June 2017. It has also been shown in a few videos online, and a few people have been sent prototypes (like in the photos) for testing and development to help remove any bugs before the official release, so the radio is definitely at a late stage in its development.

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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  1. did you see the last posts here: ?
    a few interesting infos...

    1. I hadn't actually seen that before, thanks for telling me about it. Looks like the RT82 is just the same as the MD-2017

  2. Retevis also have their badged MD2017 this is the Retevis RT82 but they are not pushing it as they are concentrating on the HD1

    1. I had not actually heard about that one until Claudio told me about it in the comment before yours, so thanks for pointing that out. Hopefully the price will be a bit more competitive once there are two companies selling the radio.

  3. This is an E mail I received this week
    I am yolanda,Work in Retevis.
    We have a new radio Retevis RT82,it is same with MD2017 except for the appearance. We cooperate with TYT and Baofengtech. So you will find there will be three different brand radios with similar functions in the market. The software was written by the same software company. Because we have less investment on this model and it is also a dual band dmr radio like HD1,so RT82 is not the model we focus on and we didn't advertise it. We just sell it when it is available.
    Ailunce HD1 is different, it is the first radio we R&D by ourselves mainly for hams. We collect the advice from hams and feedback to our engineers,step by step. We want to R&D one radio that is unique, and more suitable for hams, not just appearance. That is our goal.
    RT82 and HD1 all have their own advantages. I will post some RT82 information on the FB in future. You can make a comparsion between RT82 and HD1.We will provide the best service for all of our products.
    Thanks for your attention to Retevis.

  4. Encrypcion of HD1 not is compatible with nothing !


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