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Leixen VV-898E .................. pg 16
 
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Dual Band VHF-UHF Transceiver Leixen VV-898E

Leixen VV898E

I purchased this radio mid December, 2019 as my first mobile transceiver. It is sold by Radioddity and fulfilled by Amazon.
Description: LEIXEN VV-898E Dual Band Mobile Transceiver Amateur Ham Radio Car Radio Two Way Radio, 5W/10W/25W. Programming cable plus car power cable included in the package.

Great Radio But Can Be Challenging

The Great Part 1: Receiver Sensitivity. - It's receiver sensitivity is superior to other Chinese HT's and mobile units ... and many of the "Big 3" brands too. It is spec'd 0.18 micro volts sensitivity versus others at 0.25 or 0.35 or 0.45 micro volts for a readable signal. My experience suggests that its sensitivity is not only correctly reported, but may even be more sensitive than that ... the main reason I bought this radio.

The Great Part 2: Size. - It's smaller than it looks, fits in the palm of your hand. Can be mounted almost anywhere ... even a coat pocket!

Not-So-Great Part 1: Receiver Selectivity - This is a direct conversion, SDR architecture receiver, without any RF filtering, so it is vulnerable to inter-modulation or desensitizing (deafness) due to nearby strong high frequency RF radiation.

Not-So-Great Part 2: Transmit Audio Level - Transmit audio is low with the stock microphone. Much higher and acceptable audio level can be achieved with the "Maxtop AMM300-K30-6PIN, Mobile Microphone" from Amazon - Kenwood compatible. (kudo's KB9VBR). Play the video below to compare the two microphones.

Challenging Part: Channel Programming

It is programmed as two radios in one package. One is 'Memory Bank A' and the other is 'Memory Bank B.' The trick to programming is found on page 15 of the owner's manual. Whatever you program with VFO-A, will be stored in Memory Bank A. Whatever you program with VFO-B, will be stored in Memory Bank B. I chose to manually program VHF in Memory Bank A and UHF in Memory Bank B. A bonus is its ability to scan one Memory Bank while monitoring a single channel on the other Memory Bank, with dual watch mode (Menu 7). However, the screen does not show you which Memory Bank is receiving the signal. Quirky.

Programing this radio, with its current firmware v1.08, is problematic IF you're expecting to use 3rd party software like CHIRP. Using non-factory software often renders the radio with jumbled channel assignments, random or empty or unexpected frequencies in some channels. There are workarounds but manual programming is the safest way to set up simplex, repeater channels and set features. However, a few features can ONLY be addressed through software, like its clock and calendar. Calendar in a radio? Quirky.

Would I reccommend it?

YES! It's not perfect, but for saving some $$, portable and mobile use including motorcycles and bicycles, it's great but ONLY if the buyer is willing to read the owner's manual, accept some behavior quirks AND has the patience to read and follow the manual.