As I recently purchased a new PC I decided to program the TYT TH-UV3R using that – a departure from my Windows XP comfort zone as the new one is a Windows 8 machine. I had heard that the USB prolific serial drivers either didn’t work, wouldn’t work or required a load of hassle to get working so I was a bit perturbed. In the end it was all unfounded (for me anyway). I plugged in the USB prolific serial cable and waited. As Windows 8 didn’t install anything I checked device manager (under control panel) to see what was going on. Com 3 was showing up with an error so I downloaded the prolific serial drivers (Windows 7 as there are no dedicated Windows 8 drivers) and pointed the update driver command to the relevant file, whereupon installation took place. Within a few seconds the error had gone and communication had been established. Result!
The TYT TH-UV3R is a really compact 128 channel pocket sized radio. But don’t be fooled by its size this little radio packs a punch and is brimming with functionality.
By default the TH-UV3R is a dual band (136-174/400-470 MHz) radio, however by using the official TYT programming software full tri-band operation can be opened up (200-260 MHz) plus a decent extension to the UHF upper limit (470-520 MHz). The EU version doesn’t support 2.5kHz spacing, however the US version does. That said, its not always obvious what you’ll get so double check with the vendor prior to purchase to ensure you get what you need.
Just received a pair of TYT TH-UV3R’s from 409Shop. Although the TYT shares the “UV3R” designation with the BaoFeng UV3R, they are actually totally different radios.
The TH-UV3R is an ultra compact VHF/UHF FM transceiver and generally sold as a dual bander (136-174/400-470MHz), however this model is actually a tri-band radio and can be unlocked with the official TYT programming software (available from the downloads section at tyt888.com) to enable 200-260MHz and also extend the UHF range from 470-520MHz.
Power output is a modest 2W on high (touted as 2.5W but we’ll go with the former) and 0.8W low. Features include dual watch, FM radio with presets, scan, VOX, tone scanning, alpha tags amongst others (surprisingly no LED flashlight – now there is a first!). The two things that really attracted me to this model is the scrambler function and price – a real bargain at under $55 direct from Hong Kong.
Available in black, red, green or camo (I chose the latter to be a little different!).
This is a straightforward radio to use and while it has its quirks (and what Chinese radio doesn’t?), so far I’m thoroughly enjoying them.
Last updated 05 October 2013
Before I start this review I will give you a little background into the purchase.
I have been a keen airband listener for nigh on thirty years, having started off on basic analogue rotary tuning radios.
During the mid eighties, companies such as Signal and AOR started to introduce broader coverage receivers and while not perfect by today’s standards, some models incorporated the illusive military airband (225-400 MHz) not found on many units at the time. That was something I was after.
Unfortunately, prices were high and I never invested in a decent scanner until much later on – mores the pity. I ended up buying a brick like Realistic (Radio Shack) Pro-43 during the mid-nineties for about £150.
The Pro-43 wasn’t wideband by any stretch of the imagination, nevertheless it had 200 memories, was a proven performer and had full civil/military airband coverage – that clinched the deal.
As time went by I added a Realistic Pro-2042 base scanner and a Yupiteru MVT-7100 to my modest collection. In addition I had a foray into the world of HF monitoring when I picked up a discounted Radio Shack DX-394 from the now defunct Tandy retail chain.
As the nineties ended, and with military aviation assets dwindling, my interest in airband monitoring also faded somewhat and I all but dropped out of the hobby. A couple of years past and with my scanners in the attic gathering dust, I found myself online looking at the latest state of the art scanners (don‘t ask me why). That’s when I came across the all singing, all dancing Icom IC-R20. Next thing I know, I’m trading in everything and in receipt of one of the finest handheld radios ever made. My love affair with scanning had been rekindled and it wasn’t long before I added a Uniden UBC-3500XLT to my much reduced shack.
A good two years passed. The scanners were in fulltime operation – and not just airband – all sorts of stuff including local PMR, Ham, CB, Trains, Marine, HMP and even hearing aids! But with the dreaded digital age and the more “interesting” segments of the radio spectrum now silent my kit was only being used at the odd airshow. Coincidently, I needed some hard cash for another purchase so unceremoniously sold them – which finally brings me onto the TTI TSC-3000R!
I hadn’t planned on buying another scanner so soon. But I felt naked without one. So I started searching online for something basic, no frills, but with full wideband coverage (150kHz-1309MHz or so). It needed to be small, with good battery life, be 8.33kHz capable and not overly complex to use in the field. There is nothing worse than forgetting how to do something when the manual is at home and you’re not!
I set the budget – a maximum of £120 – and started looking around. To cut a long story short, there aren’t a lot of brand new wideband receivers in that price bracket, in fact just two, namely the Alinco DJ-X3 and the TTI TSC-3000R.
The Alinco model lacks a numeric keypad and the silver paint job looked to me like it would rub off fairly readily, but uses standard batteries (3x AA) which I prefer (usually) and can be programmed by computer, albeit via an outdated serial connector (not too fussed about that aspect either). Online reviews were mixed, so I took a closer look at the Korean designed TSC-3000R.
I’d never heard of the TTI brand and couldn’t really find any useful info, other than the manufacturers website http://www.ttiuk.net/index.php and some online sellers. On the face of it, it looked quite good, had the coverage I was after, and well, for a sub £120 radio, was worth the gamble in my opinion.
I purchased this scanner new from Capital Stores on ebay.co.uk
Prior to its arrival I had mentally lowered my expectations, as having had that lovely Icom whose build quality was exceptional, there was no way the TTI would live up to that. Funnily enough, when the 3000R arrived, I was actually surprised how tidy it looked. Sure the plastic is that hard (albeit durable) shiny black stuff typically used on cheaper consumables, but that said, I was never overly impressed with the much pricier Uniden UBC-3500XLT’s plastic casing, despite it being superb in the memory and alpha numeric department.
TTI use minimalist packaging with no glossy photo style boxes – just a simple brown cardboard affair with outline graphics. Inside everything was laid out logically and safely – boxes within a box approach.