Review of the Luiton LT-UV Dual Band FM Transceiver
This transceiver was purchased Via EBay from the UK company Moonraker. It cost £79.99. The transceiver appears identical in every way to the more expensive (£99.99 in the UK) TYT UVF-1.
Opening the box
The transceiver comes with:
A charging Pod
A 1500 mah Li-ion battery 7.4v
A cigar lighter lead to connect the charging pod to a 12V supply.
A 230V power supply adaptor for the charger.
Here is the rig sat in the charger
The transceiver is fairly lightweight but does feel well made. The antenna connector is the usual Chinese “reverse SMA” (i.e the antenna socket on the rig is male, the antenna is female)
OK, a big black mark here for the supplier Moonraker, just look at the mains adaptor/power supply
No adaptor of any kind was supplied with this, and of course it is useless in the UK. Luckily I have several suitable PSUs which I could use so its not such a problem. It could however prove very frustrating for someone who doesn’t have a replacement to hand!
My first impression of this transceiver is that the user interface is very quirky. You are not going to be able to just pick this set up and use it. Although if you just want to have a simplex QSO and not use any memory, tone, scanning functions you might just get away with it. To operate this rig you will need the manual, even then it is a struggle! The manual itself is confusing and misleading in places.
Out of the box my rig was configured to cover 144-146 Mhz and 430-440 Mhz i.e amateur bands only. The transceiver is capable of wider coverage coverage but the software I have doesn't appear to allow the user to change this. Not a problem from my point of view but if you wished to monitor for example a PMR 446 channel this would not be possible.
I highly recommend purchasing a programming lead and downloading the software, you will at least be able to set up memory, CTCSS tones, repeater shifts etc. To do this from the keyboard of the rig itself would be very difficult.
The set itself seems to operate well. The receive is quite sensitive, as good on 2 metres as my Yaesu VX150 handie. A call on 2 metres resulted in a QSO with a local station. Tx Audio was said to be clear but rather quiet.
I’m afraid though that the strangeness of this set weighs against it. For example:
▪In order to switch into memory mode you must switch the transceiver off and switch it back on again whilst holding a key down. (using the software it is possible to lock the rig so that it only operates in memory mode)
▪There does not seem to be any way of scanning memory channels- the scan speed is in any case VERY slow (When used in VFO mode)
▪Memory channels are displayed either as a name (which you can set using the software) or a channel number- there does not seem to be a way of displaying the frequency of a memory channel.
▪Although it is claimed this transceiver has a DTMF function it is not accessible from the keypad. As far as I can see any DTMF must be pre programmed into a memory (Again using a PC and software) although I do not use Echolink myself I believe this could be a problem for users.
▪The programming lead and software are not included in the package although I feel they are pretty much essential.
▪The report of Low TX audio is somewhat of a concern, I have since found there is a “Speech Compander” function in the menu. However switching this in brought poor audio reports and strangely appears to make the receive audio muffled. (there does seem to be a remedy for this-see the update below)
It may be that there are ways around some of the problems listed above. I have only been using this transceiver for two days; information on the internet is pretty sparse to date.
It is notable that the TYT version of this transceiver was reviewed both in the UK magazines “Practical Wireless” and “Radcom” neither of which has made much mention of these shortcomings.In other words I'm afraid the magazine reviews were practically useless.
As a cheap dual bander for use in simplex QSOs this transceiver seems adequate. I am however very concerned about the reports of low transmit audio. This in itself could make the rig virtually useless. This was a common problem with the early Chinese rigs and appears to be no better with this rig. It helps to know exactly where the microphone is located and speak directly into that.An external speaker mike may help and that will be my next move
I don't thing Icom, Kenwood or Yaesu have much to worry about yet. The Chinese transceivers may be low priced and the build quality reasonable but the user interface is light years behind the more expensive stuff and the transmitted audio is poor is comparison to my trusty Yaesu VX150 handheld.
Having used this rig for a few weeks now I am getting used to it. I have managed to obtain a copy of the programming software which I believe was intended for dealers and distributors. One of the additional features of the software is the ability to alter some of the TX audio settings. By cranking up a number of settings to maximum I have been able to get satisfactory TX audio from this rig.................so no more comments of "your audio is too quiet"..... hopefully.
Using the software you can program the rig so it is locked in memory mode only-with no VFO function if desired.
If you intend to use this receiver as a scanner-forget it- the quirky way in which it operates mean it is really unsuitable for that.For example.-You put the rig in memory mode, your rig is set at 145.500 and you press scan. Well the rig does scan but the frequency readout will not change. If activity is detected on a channel-lets say 145.600 then the scan will stop at that channel. The rig however will still show 145.500 on the readout, even though you are now receiving a different channel. The readout will remain the same until you interact with the rig-by pressing the ptt for example. All very odd
If you just want a cheap, functional handie then its OK. Just make sure you get a programming lead and obtain the software-you will need it.