I have finally received my MD-390 from GigaParts after a weeks worth of waiting, being shipped from Las Vegas.
A few mentions before we get started with this review:
Normally GigaParts is a company that caters to our Amateur Radio Community and has a decent reputation. But in my book, they are no better than Walmart.
Upon receiving my MD-390 and opening it’s pristine shipping box from UPS, I had to dig through these static electrically charged packing peanuts that seemed to be attracted to my arm and other parts of my body in various ways.
After dealing with those pesky packing horrors, i finally dug out the illustrious white TyT box my radio was contained in. Right there, reveled to me was a red flag.
This box is all that contained my radio from GigaParts and it looks like someone gave this box with radio a good curb stomping. I knew then I was in for a challenge. I carefully opened this dilapidated box and the radio was not wrapped in it’s normal plastic coverings. On top of that TyT included a high gain antenna, which was split into 2 pieces and every cord and accessory was stroomed about this crushed box. Rubber duck, cables and battery seemed to be okay.
Since it was 09:00PM EST, I figured I would just begin to program this “New,” radio and thought, “Ehh, it’s just a box.” However it was not just the box.
Come to find out, this radio would not even boot up. It WAS BRICKED!!
So long story short and 4 hours later, I got this radio un-bricked and loaded with factory firmware as well as code plugs for my openspot and a local DMR repeater.
Bottom Line: I never expected that GigaParts would ship a product to a customer without quality checking any item that goes out it’s door, let alone send some customer a second hand radio or a demo model (assuming) that was bricked, without stating that in there adverts on their web site. I had similar quality control issues with GigaParts in past experiences and none this bad. If I unfortunately, don’t see any worthwhile restitution for this egregious disappointment, will not be purchasing from GigaParts any time soon and recommendation to others not to do so either.
Advert for the product:
The actual radio review: On the side of having customer service issues with this radio, I must say it has been a work horse at this time. This chinglish hytera knockoff holds up quite well to minor abuse. Power / volume pot and channel selector pot are robust as well as the screen. Buttons have a good feel and haptic feedback via a slight “plasticky,” detent. This radio’s antenna connector leaves much to be desired. Even when tightened down as much as possible without breaking it off, this radio’s antenna connection [reverse SMA Female?] is a bit wiggly. I would recommend not applying any undue pressure to it while in use. I may apply some delrin washers under the antenna in order to take up some slop and make a better plastic connection to this radio’s case. It would be good to pack a dual band option into this radio, but at this time, it’s just VHF OR UHF.
Software / firmware / addons are VERY well supported. Throughout the ham community this radio is very widely supported and gained interest / usability. With that, it goes to show that constant upgrades to firmware are being developed to make this a ham friendly radio. My suggested software installation was developed by KG5RKI. I highly suggest his product to get full usability from your radio. With his software also comes with USERDB integration and ability to download DMR-MARC’s entire database in a CSV file. this will allow popups on MD-390 to show caller name, callsign and DMR id. Sometimes even some other information is provided.
Code plug creation, i would highly suggest the software from TYT. It is robust enough for programming. Download copy for TYT MD380/390 from here. If you are around Syracuse, send me an email or contact and I can send you my code plug.
My conclusion using this radio is it is very good and without issues thus far. I will do another review around 6 months and give additional details about it’s usability and upkeep.
For preparation in receiving my new TyT MD-390, I have been watching a number of you tube videos. Take a look and learn!