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Product Review
 
 
 

VV-898P    (10W) Transceiver
VV-898SP   (25W) Transceiver
 
Portable Battery Powered

Back Pack Radio
 
by: John  'Miklor'
November 2015

 
  

VHF/UHF Mobile Transceiver
 
136-174MHz / 400-480MHz
FM Broadcast  87.5-108MHz

 
 
Leixen has introduced a unique design addition the VHF/UHF transceiver market. It's a full featured tri-power 25/10/5W battery powered transceiver. It is also available in a more conservative dual power 10/5W version. The self contained design could easily start a trend among transceivers.

The radio can store up to 199 channels as well as up to 30 FM broadcast channels.
 
 
In the Box
 
Included with the 25W radio (VV-898SP) are:
-   Microphone with a 16 button keypad and volume control buttons
-   Chrome metal microphone clip
-   Metal radio mounting bracket with screws
-   DC power cable with connector
-   User manual
-   USB Programming cable (optional)
-   Back Pack case with batteries, fan, etc.
-   Battery Charger
 
 
 
Back Pack Enclosure
 

The VV898SP Back Pack consists of two main pieces.
-  The 25W transceiver
-  The Back Pack case with internal battery supply.  
 
 
Let's look inside the Case
 
The enclosure holds six Lithium batteries that provide 12.4V at 12000mAh. The radio draws approx 4Ah on transmit, so the Back Pack will give many hours of operation before a recharge is required.

Note:
-  The 25W version has 6 batteries (12.4V @ 12000mAh)
-  The 10W version has 3 batteries (12.4V @  6000mAh)

One of the programmable key options is Power Selection, so running on Low (5W) or Mid (10W) will extend the battery life even further.

 

click to enlarge
 
The side of the case has 2 switches and two jacks.
-   Power On/Off
-   Cooling Fan On/Off
-   Speaker Jack
-   Charging Port (for use with included 12V charger)
 

click to enlarge

Radio Removal
The radio can be removed for standalone operation. A mounting bracket and power cord are provided.  It is held in place and aligned by two T8 Torx screws. There is an added speaker feed coming from the rear of the radio to connect the jack on the side of the case. Reinstalling the radio once removed can be a bit of a challenge.
 
Note: I replaced the tiny case screws (3x6mm) with 3x10mm (.50 pitch)   The longer screws make reassembly much easier.
 
 
The Transceiver
Now,  let's take a look at the heart of the unit, and that's the VHF/UHF transceiver.


Click to enlarge
 
There is a solid chassis cover and aluminum heat sink, which is assisted by the cooling fan in the rear of the case. The antenna termination is an SO-239.


Transmitter
 

- Power: The VV898SP has 3 power level settings, 25W / 10W / 5W. Using a 13.6V Power Supply, the VV898SP holds true to its 25W power rating. As expected, the internal 12.4V batteries produced slightly reduced power.

 
Note: The Back Pack is also available using the original VV898 (10W).

- Precaution:
The radio is shown using a mobile style antenna. When using this radio in the field, use proper RF practices. I would avoid running the radio in the high power position with the antenna directly next to your body. My recommendation would be at least a foot or more away.
 
- Microphone: On the air audio reports are very good. 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 very clear and undistorted, even at full volume. If you like the full rich sound of a larger speaker, there is an external 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
 

Manual programming takes a little to get used to, but is pretty straight forward once you program in a few channels. A Programming guide can be found at Program_Guide with a Menu Definition summary available at Menu_Definitions.
 
Software is available at Miklor.com VV898P_Software
 
The VV-898 has been added to the CHIRP Software compatibility list.
 
 
Programming Cable
 

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
 
 
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.
 
 
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.
 
 
Conclusion
 

The radio is ideal for field operation, vacation travel pack, picnic table, or a quick temporary vehicle installation. It fits a niche market as a 25W self contained Dual Band radio. Cosmetically, it's very basic, but the performance is very good.
 
Programming, specifications, etc can be found HERE

Available from  Amazon Amazon  and Aliexpress
 
 

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