My first impression of my new TYT MD-380 (and Steve, KA4RSZ, felt the same way), was the solid, sturdy feel of the thing. Not at all what you’d expect from an $88 plastic cased electronic device of any sort. We were both quite impressed, and the reason has become clearer as I’ve learned more. This radio or its kin, were built for non-ham, heavy-duty use by folks like security guards and retail store personnel, not dainty and refined hams such as ourselves.
Reading the User’s Manual has been fun, and incidentally makes the bizarre Icom manuals seem lucid. Filled with handy tips, I love where it cautions me on page one “Do not transmit too long, for the radio may heat and hurt the user.” Also advising “if the radio appears smelly or smoke, please shut off…” Great tips for us all.
On page six it is reassuring to be told “wearing the radio in your waist will not make you feel uncomfortable.” I just love Chinglish!
Signing off for now, de k4wk, www.hamdon.com. Thanks for listening; you’re in the log.