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Product Review
 
 
 

VV-898    (10W) Transceiver
VV-898S   (25W) Transceiver

 
aka  Jetstream JT270M
 
  
Compact 10W / 25W
VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
 
136-174MHz / 400-470MHz
FM Broadcast  87.5-108MHz

 
 
A more recent addition to the Mobile VHF/UHF Radio market is the Leixen VV-898 (10W) and 898S (25W). They are full featured Dual Band transceivers that pack a lot into small packages. The most intriguing feature about them is their size. 120 x 90 x 40mm  (4.7 x 3.5 x1.6”).  But don’t let the small size fool you. This is definitely not a handheld repackaged in a small case.
 
Its unique size qualifies it for operation where neither a handheld nor mobile quite fits the application. It is ideal for mounting in small cars, Go Boxes, bicycle, etc. Any place where good performance is desired but space is limited. Have you ever tried to mount an HT in a car?  I have and quickly gave up on the idea. I currently have the radio mounted on top of my PC with Velcro Strips.
 
The radio can store up to 199 channels as well as up to 30 FM broadcast channels.
 
 
In the Box
 
Included with the radio are:
- Microphone with a 16 button keypad and volume control buttons
- Chrome metal microphone clip
- Metal mounting bracket with screws
- DC power cable with connector
- User manual
- USB Programming cable (optional)
 
 
Enclosure
 

The frame is rugged, with a solid cover and a hefty aluminum heat sink. This is more than adequate to handle the transmitter’s power. A solid metal mounting bracket is also included in the package. I’ve seen the VV-898 advertised with both BNC and SO-239 antenna connectors. The radio I am reviewing came with a SO-239, which is actually my choice of the two.


Transmitter
 

- Power:  My first test was with the optional Leixen YW-1230 AC/DC12VDC 3A power adapter and the VV898 showed 9.5W into a Telewave 44A wattmeter. The second test was with my 13.6VDC regulated power supply. This more accurately simulates a mobile installation. The radio clocked in at 12W output on VHF.
 
The VV898S power tests were run with my 13.6VDC supply.
 
VV898P Hi Mid Lo
VHF 24 13 3
UHF 23 15 8
 
On the air testing produced good transmit audio quality reports.
 
- Microphone: The RJ-45 microphone jack has the same pin output as the Kenwood. 
Pin Diagram
 
- Steps: The frequency steps range from 2.5 to 25 kHz, so you should be able to program any frequency desired.
 
 
Receiver
 

The receiver sensitivity is on par with any mobile I’ve used in the past. The receiver audio is a bit high pitched, but the quality is very clear and undistorted, even at full volume. If you like the full rich sound of a larger speaker, there is a speaker jack in the rear. 
 
 
Extra Features
 

The radio contains several features found only in commercial radios. Features such as Group Calling, Talk Around, Wireless Field Programming, Wireless Frequency Changing, Reverse, and Audio Scrambling.
Note: The use of an audio scrambler is not be allowed in some countries. Check your country's regulations before using.
 
 
Programming
 

As with any new transceiver, manually programming takes a little to get used to, but is pretty straight forward once you program in a few channels. A Manual Programming guide can be found at Program_Guide with a Menu Definition summary available at Menu_Definitions.
 
Although the radio is not shipped with software, it is easily obtained and downloaded from the manufacturer’s website or at Miklor.com VV898_Software. 
 
The software requires a user name and password for access.
VV-898 -   User = “ham”   Password = “89812345”
JT270M -  User =  "jet"     Password = "12345678"
 
The software is very basic and straight forward and I was able to get my 20 initial channels of interest programmed in about 15 minutes.
 
Recently, both the VV-898 and JT270M have been added to the CHIRP Software compatibility list.
 
 
Programming Cable
 

The cable supplied is a 1m (39") USB to Serial RJ-45 type. The cable I received uses a genuine Prolific chipset and requires no special drivers. It will load the current required driver directly from the internet.

Note: In some cases, this cable is optional. Some vendors are supplying cables that require a backdated Prolific driver. If this is the case, Prolific Driver 3.2.0.0 can be found at  DRIVER
 
 
AC Power Adapter
 

One of the available options is the YV-1230 power adapter. The output is 12V at 3A and powers the radio nicely for desktop operation. The unit is available for about $13 USD.
DC Power Cords
 

Additional fused DC power cords are also available for about $11 USD.


Front Panel Operation
 

The buttons are clearly marked and backlit for easy viewing. There are 3 programmable buttons (P1, P2, P3) each of which selects 2 of 15 available options.
  

Click to enlarge
Channels can be assigned to the scan group, however, the scan rate is only 5 channels per second. If you are looking to scan a large number of frequencies, this could take some time.
 
Up to seven Alpha Numeric characters (upper and lower case) can be displayed to identify each channel.
 
As with most transceivers, scanning in the VFO mode allowed me to scan on a per band basis (either VHF or UHF). In the Channel mode, the scan would select any channel in the group regardless of band.
 
 
Size Comparison

Click to Enlarge
 
US FCC Part 90
 

Note: On Sept 2, 2014, the VV898 was granted Part 90 approval for technical and RF compliance. Part 90 Authorization  

  
RF Safety
 
RF energy at any power level should not be taken for granted. RFSafetySolutions.com  explains the effects of RF on the human body. An excellent tutorial for beginners and old timers alike.
 
 
Pros
 

Small compact size
Lightweight and durable enclosure
Excellent sensitivity as well as transmit and receiver audio quality.
 
 
Cons
 
Small amounts of receiver interference in metro areas
Programming manually isn't all that bad, but software highly recommended.
 
 
Conclusion
 

It's nice to see a company finally thinking 'Outside the Box'. I consider this a “Cross Over” transceiver. Great for a Go Box, boat or small vehicle. Much smaller than the average mobile rig, but definitely not to be confused with a handheld.  It fits a niche market, and for the price and features, it is well worth the money.

 
Programming, specifications, etc can be found at  Miklor VV898
 
Available from  MTCAmazon eBay,  and  Aliexpress.
 
 

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