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Home Retevis RT95 VHF/UHF Mobile Review


Ham Radio Nerd
Apr 14, 2002
Retevis recently contacted me to review their RT95 VHF/UHF 25 watt mobile radio. Of course, I'm always up for playing with a new (to me) radio, so I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. Here are my initial thoughts after using it for a few weeks.


First, this mobile radio really is pretty small in size, but the screen is large enough to read clearly. Overall dimensions are 4.75" wide x 6.5" deep (including heat sink and main knob) x 1.5" tall. While it is small, I still wish the face plate was detachable like others on the market, but that would probably drive the price up. The mic buttons are backlit and large enough to also read easily. One interesting feature is that you can switch the audio output to the main speaker (radio body or external) and the mic, or both at the same time. Audio output from the main radio unit is nice and LOUD. Unfortunately there is no mic gain function.


One of the best features of this radio is the ability to flip the display upside down to suit mounting in either position so you can hear the speaker. For example, if you want to mount it overhead, keep the display in the normal position. If you want to mount it on the dash, flip the screen to make the speaker face up. In the flipped position, the main body buttons will be upside down (of course), but that really doesn't matter and only takes a minute to get used to.


A nuance I discovered right away is that the 440Mhz frequency range for the U.S. model is wrong, limited to 430-440Mhz. This is easy to correct by unlocking the radio to the full 136-174 MHz and 400-490MHz range by following the simple instructions published by Retevis. While the radio has "dual watch" capabilities to monitor transmissions on either VFO, it is not a dual receive radio. For operators in small towns or rural areas, this may not be an issue, but if you want to use this radio in area where you monitor multiple frequencies, or have a need to duplex, you're out of luck. The top of the radio has a heat warning, and I can confirm that when you get long winded, the radio body gets hot to the touch. The heat sink is beefy, but putting this radio in a well-ventilated location should be considered necessary. Programming the radio with the supplied cable and a current version of CHIRP proved very painless, but make sure you choose the VOX model from the CHIRP radio list.

User Interface
Another really good feature is the 10 programmable buttons: P1 to P6 on the main unit, and PA through PD on the mic can all be set to pretty much whatever function you want. The main P1-P6 buttons can each have two functions set: one by default and another activated when the FUNC button is pressed. That's a total of 16 programmable buttons! The main knob also has a press function that may be needed on several of the programmed functions. For example, while turning on CTCSS or DCS, you press in on the main dial to select the tone or code. While using the radio, a quick press on the main dial changes frequency precision, used while changing frequencies. A long press on the main dial locks the radio from accidental changes.

Power Output
The RT95 is advertised as a 25 watt radio. To test this, I hooked it up to a Bird 43P and a dummy load with 50 watt elements for 100-250Mhz and 400-1000Mhz. With a power supply delivering 13.7 volts as measured by the radio, the following was observed: At 146.52Mhz, the high power setting resulted in 21 watts, medium setting produced 15 watts, and low power setting resulted in 4 watts. Changing to 444.5Mhz resulted in 20 watts, 13 watts, and 4.75 watts at each power setting.

Spectrum Analyzer Results
I hooked up the RT95 to a TinySA Ultra to observe the spectral purity on both bands. On each plot, markers have been placed at the major harmonics. Here's the first plot with a fundamental TX frequency at 146.52:


The results were a little better than I was expecting; both the 2nd and 3rd harmonic are below -50db. Keep in mind that the FCC specs for radios that transmit at these frequencies are -40db down and no more than 25 microwatts. So while the 3rd harmonic of the RT95 on 2 meters is -55db, if transmitting at 20 watts, it is still putting out 60 microwatts, which is well over the FCC requirement.

The spec analyzer plot for a fundamental 444.50Mhz transmissions produce similar results:

The Retevis RT95 is a small but rugged radio that will fit nicely in most vehicles. In my opinion, it is especially suited for offroad vehicles such as Jeeps, UTVs and the like. The loud volume and rotatable display will be appreciated by most. It has plenty of programmable channels and includes all of the basic radio functions you'd expect including scanning. The user programmable buttons are a very nice feature. If the radio had mic gain and true dual RX, it would be even better, but the current $125 price point makes this radio difficult to pass up.

The Retevis RT95 is available on Amazon

Amazon product ASIN B075M9QV8P

Here's a video that covers a few of the features and also demonstrates how the radio protects itself from overheating:


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