sexta-feira, 16 de dezembro de 2016

Retevis RT8 (EN)

Isto foi um artigo de opinião que coloquei há uns tempos na página da Retevis no Facebook sobre o Retevis RT8. Enquanto não o consigo rever e ajustar aqui ao estaminé, fica aqui a versão original. Podem usar o botão do Google Translate ali à direita para o converter para Português para já:

RT8, the evolution of Retevis RT3.
Waterproof, GPS and a bulkier radio for a higher price tag makes it worth the upgrade? Maybe, you be the judge.
Among a lot of things, the RT8 features the same 5w, 1000 channels, 16ch selector, 2 tiers support, similar firmware and screen than the younger brother but when you take it out of the box, you notice something different about it. The radio is a bit bulkier, fits good on your hand reminding me of the weight of a icom ic92 give or take. It doesn't look as much as a toy radio as some radios on the market, with small little details like the name tag on the side to ID your radio on a field day. The other is the communication port as a small screw in, not your usual "lift" port, to protect the port from dust/moist.
You get two antennas just like the RT3 but in direct comparison, I've noticed that the RT8 is a bit less sensitive that the first. RT3 opens, mainly on analog, the squelch a bit more frequently with the equivalent antenna and the same conditions.
The firmware is exactly the same except the part, obviously, of the GPS options. Sadly, this is where the problems begin. It's easy to see your location on the screen sure but it's not that easy to send location packets from this radio to the DMR network. This is still a work in progress, more details below.
Retevis launched the RT8 with a 2200mAh battery vs the 2000mAh of the RT3, although without using the GPS, i couldn't tell the difference between them. It can need a few more charge cycles to show up but for now that's my feeling. With the same usage, i didn't notice any improvement.
I didn't test the waterproof part, because first the radio wasn't mine and second I've seen tests that show some radios that in the end are splash-proof and not waterproof. I couldn't risk it just to find out. Even the iPhone7 was suppose to be IP67 and they don't state it as clearly waterproof "waterproof" (1 meter for 30m), even announcing somewhere (i remember to read this) for people not to try it.
For good and bad, the firmware of the RT8 is supported by Travis Goodspeed custom development and is being evolved as possible since this is a relative new radio. Some of the things, like the location packets are being worked on both ends, SysOps and custom firmware. Retevis should check it out because they have implemented some fixes/functionalities that are worth seeing and ship with the radio.
As for the rest, since the radio is just like RT3 big brother, there's not many things to point out. So, if you don't like the touch of the RT3, wanted it a bit bulkier and at least splash-proof, maybe with a bit more battery, that has GPS built-in and there's hope that will work just like APRS on a DStar radio, if you can afford the difference in the price tag, go ahead. If you just want a DMR radio to start with and don't mind having a radio that it's just like any other baofeng/tyt/retevis radio in terms of touch, save some money and buy the RT3. It's a tremendous radio for the price and with Travis firmware it makes wonders.

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