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AnyTone AT-5888UV VHF/UHF Mobile Review

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,034
1,335
283
I originally ordered the new Chinese AnyTone AT-5888UV in the fall of 2012 direct from China only to have the units pulled back from delivery due to some type of problem that was discovered. When Ed at importcommunications.com announced that he was going to carry them and take pre-orders, I got on the list. I recently received the radio and have had some time to play with it.

The AnyTone T-5888UV is a 50 watt VHF, 40 watt UHF mobile radio that is currently selling for about $275. The price tag seems a bit high considering that a Kenwood TM-V71A is only about $100 more, although the radio does come with a programming cable and software. Here is a pic of everything in the box:

2504-1360722927-05ac6ba82c6bb2183cd0d732c41eb0c8.jpg


The radio has a fairly wide frequency range, but not as wide as some others:

RX
108-180MHz (AM/FM)
220-260MHz
350-399.995MHz
400-490MHz

TX
136-174MHz
400-490MHz

It seems to me that they leaned on the user interface and ergonomics of the Yaesu FT-8800 when they designed this radio. As you can see from the face, there are a lot of similarities:

2510-1360723014-b0a2cbc870f8f766835d08389dcbf72e.jpg


Here's a shot of the complete radio from the top where the large internal speaker is located:

2509-1360723014-d8e632c93ed3be9d908848233d826b8c.jpg


The radio body really is fairly small and as you can see, the whole top is a big heat sink. The back of the radio also features a large heat sink with an attached cooling fan similar to the Yaesu FT-8800:

2506-1360722927-7560c6b7f8fffeafe4ea4bc5710f69a0.jpg
 
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Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,034
1,335
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Continuing on with some more pictures and physical characteristics...

The face of the radio is detachable and is slightly thicker than the similar Yaesu FT-8800:

2513-1360723131-c98fa11ca0b47982234d2252cdeffad0.jpg


The back of the face has a small, flat ribbon cable with RJ-45's attached to mate it to the main body. This cable is replaced with an included, straight through CAT 5 cable if you want to remote mount the face:

2514-1360723131-2813e32ac089dba261085a0ae1af2156.jpg


This pic gives you a good reference for the overall size of the remote mountable face:

2515-1360723131-c6c0ec2749ed34ef9166dc56ff04e56e.jpg


Here is how the face attaches to the main body:

2516-1360723170-378119384938c028d1910bd569944d24.jpg



When the radio face is mounted to the body, everything is nice and flush. In this picture you can see the face release, as well as the USB port for programming.

2507-1360722927-809346efe8869b64c191afb7736813a8.jpg


The right side of the face is where the mic connects. There is no connection to the body for the mic.

2508-1360723014-34e109c386532f94fb1ebf3530f490be.jpg


Speaking of the mic, here is a close-up:

2512-1360723131-c26001644de1dc12262075e294320407.jpg


This mic is actually fairly interesting and I'll spend some time detailing its features in a later post. In the meantime, here is a pic of the frequency/channel Up/Down and lock buttons on the mic:

2511-1360723014-ab164bd850ef698423f3f1d20a3d4029.jpg


Lastly, the radio features some interesting accessory ports on the back side. The top port is a "TV/AV" port which, as best as I can tell sends the display and audio out to a TV monitor. There is also an external speaker and external power jack. When connected to a switched ignition accessory circuit, the external power jack turns the radio on and off in conjunction with your vehicle.

2505-1360722927-64fa15460fd3ae9b94981ca139c68798.jpg
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,034
1,335
283
Basic Operation

Now that I have the physical description out of the way, we can start discussing the question that I'm sure everyone has: "How does it work?"

Operating this radio reminds me of a cross between a Yaesu FT-8800 and a Wouxun HT. Button layout, how you access menus, and overall design are like an 8800, while menu nomenclature and how you interact with those settings is similar to a Wouxun. The left VFO will switch between any of the bands that the radio can RX, including aircraft, 220, etc., while the right VFO will only operate 2m/440. Switching bands is just like the FT-8800: press in the top frequency dial on the VFO you wish to use and it will change to the next band available.

Changing radio settings also uses a familiar procedure: Press the set button, use the top left dial to scroll through the options, press in on the dial to select that setting, use the top left dial to scroll the various options, then press in and hold the dial until the radio beeps in confirmation and exits the setting. Once you understand the familiar Chinese/English menu nomenclature, it's all really simple.

Initial Audio Tests

I've used the radio for several days now and most of the locals I talk to have had a chance to hear it. The typical response is, "WOW! That sounds REALLY good!". Comments like "Loud", and "nice audio" are typical. I even got a comment that it sounds better than my $600+ Icom ID-51 (to be fair, that's a waterproof HT). All of these tests have been performed at the normal amateur 25Khz FM bandwidth, although you can also switch to medium (20Khz) and narrow (12.5Khz) bandwidths.

The RX audio can also be turned up REALLY loud, much louder than my Yaesu FRM-350. I usually keep it about 1/3 of the possible volume, which is plenty loud for me. At the loudest setting, distortion does occur, as expected. The RX audio also sounds pretty good for a built-in speaker, although I need to continue to do some testing as I think I hear some high-pitched artifacts that might be coming from the receiver. I need to keep using it to understand what I hear.

One minor issue that I've already encountered: Both of the volume knobs and the channel knobs introduce a wee bit of scratch into the receiver when you turn them. It's really not a big deal on an FM mobile, but if you encountered this artifact on an HF or SSB rig, it would drive you crazy. I may try to record the sound so you can hear it for yourself.

More to come...
 
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FatHam

Well-Known Member
Staff member
Apr 15, 2011
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Basic Operation

Initial Audio Tests

I even got a comment that it sounds better than my $600+ Icom ID-51 (to be fair, that's a waterproof HT).

Would you be upset if I said I think it sounds better than your FT-350 too?

Like I said on the air, the audio is "Kenwood strong".
 

Rb30

43WR30
Nov 26, 2009
165
10
28
Question for you Mole

What is the output @ 477mhz, does the sensitivity roll off at that frequency. I am interested as this radio would make a great mobile rig for Australia if it performs well on our UHF cb frequencies
 

Se7en

Well-Known Member
Jun 27, 2010
4,576
219
73
Ca
There is an optional face bracket that you can order. It does not come with the radio. Honestly, I'd probably just use some industrial strength velcro :)

What's the diameter of the face front to back ? It looks like it's 4" :what:
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,034
1,335
283
Question for you Mole

What is the output @ 477mhz, does the sensitivity roll off at that frequency. I am interested as this radio would make a great mobile rig for Australia if it performs well on our UHF cb frequencies

I will check and post the results.
 

Moleculo

Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
9,034
1,335
283
Would you be upset if I said I think it sounds better than your FT-350 too?

Like I said on the air, the audio is "Kenwood strong".


Naw, I don't get upset - everything I have is pretty much for evaluation purposes :LOL: Some stuff just sticks around longer than others.
 

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