Saturday, March 16, 2013

V689U Chinese Digital Radio

I noticed the teaser for this radio on 409shop's website when I was looking up the current prices for the UV-3R radios. I've actually seen a different radio on Alibaba recently too but my inquiries are ignored or responded to by telling me that radio isn't ready yet.
According to these links:
It's similar to, or it is actually this radio made by Kirisun:
I'm not sure though because the Frequency list here doesn't seem very useful for Amateur Radio needs. Another link that I've been to lists it as 400-470Mhz which would be useful and fairly standard actually for Chinese radios. It can do analog FM and digital modulation. All the details I can find on the digital is that it is 4FSK and it can create two 6.25Khz channels in a 12.5Khz frequency space which kinda sounds like TDMA?
It'd be cute if these were firmware reprogrammable and you could do codec2 on whatever chip is inside. I have a feeling it's the same old awful IMBE/AMBE type chips that you can only get through DVSI, like on D-Star. Of course this is coming from China, I guess it's possible they've reverse engineered those codecs and put them on a chip that can be reprogrammed to codec2 one day. That would make this radio more valuable. I just read on the hamgear link that they will be software updateable. So you can add more features, but no idea if that would include the codec or not. I'm guessing not, but we can always hope so.

Word is the pricing is going to be $200. A lot more expensive than other Chinese radios but you have the digital price premium to pay. (And the DVSI tax if it does use the DVSI chips)


  1. In the mean time I did get some answers, but there are still a few mysteries to solve.

    So far it seems that these radios use DMR tier 1. I will try to get some samples for a review.

    Hans / PD0AC

  2. Most of these Chinese use a SB3500 and AMBE3000R based reference design that has been floating around China for a while.
    The AMBE3000R is Rom Based version of the AMBE3000F ( Flashed based )
    Yes they are software upgradeable but that's for the onboard Microcontroller not the vocoder
    so in other words No codec 2 on these radio's

    The radios I have tested so far are all Tier 2 , Tier 1 is pretty useless it's license free 446Mhz for Europe
    so far I am impressed better Voice quality and cheaper than a ID-31A
    once people start playing with them and there is some ham accessible development platforms for DMR
    ( which is just a matter of time ) some very interesting things will happen