REVIEW: Hytera PD782 DMR portable radio

Hytera PD782 DMR digital mobile radio portable ham VA3XPR HT
The Hytera PD782 DMR portable radio.

The Hytera PD782/G is a commercial grade mid-tier DMR portable radio being offered by Hytera Communications, a Chinese manufacturer of communications equipment. This unit packs many features that hams will find valuable, including a colour LCD display, loud crisp audio, solid construction, 1,024 channels and front keypad programmability (aka FPP). This is a good radio for anyone looking for a durable DMR radio and at the time of this review, the ham friendly pricing from an authorized Hytera dealer was $680 USD.

Author’s Rating: 4/5

The Good

The Bad

  • Speaker audio clarity

  • Loud audio output

  • Rugged mil-spec construction

  • External antenna connection capability

  • Colour LCD display

  • Keypad programmable

  • 3-year manufacturers warranty
  • Lack of Bluetooth capability

  • Price
  • The Hytera PD782 comes standard with the following items out of the box:

    • Stubby antenna;
    • Rapid charger;
    • Belt clip;
    • 7.4V, 2,000 mAH Li-ion battery;
    • 3-year manufacturers warranty.

    The Full Review

    The Hytera PD782 & 782G (G for GPS enabled) is a commercial grade mid-tier DMR portable radio being offered by Hytera Communications, a Chinese manufacturer of communications equipment. The PD782 is available for operation in the following bands: UHF1: 400-470MHz, UHF2: 450-520MHz, UHF3: 350-400MHz, UHF5: 806-941MHz, VHF: 136-174MHz. This unit packs many features that hams will find valuable, including a colour LCD display, loud crisp audio, solid construction, 1,024 channels and front keypad programmability (aka FPP) and is similar in quality to other mid-tier radios such as the Motorola XPR 7550. The signature design of Hytera radios is that they have their antennas situated at the top centre of the radio, unlike with most other portable radios, which have their antennas situated on either to the top left or top right of radio. This radio is also available in Europe, the Middle East and Asia as the PD785 & PD785G.

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    The PD782 is quite an easy radio to program and use, as the menu structure of the radio and the programming software are both rather intuitive to use, making them a snap to set-up. To obtain the programming software, one must purchase it directly from an authorized Hytera dealer for $105 USD, however firmware updates can be obtained from a dealer at no charge. Likewise, the programming cable can also be purchase from a Hytera dealer for about $50 USD, or you take your chances and purchase an aftermarket version available on eBay for about $20 USD. Since the radio comes in different models for various regions, users who have North American PD782 will not be able to program it using the programming software from Asia or Europe. Of course, with hams being a resourceful lot, there are documented procedures on how you can mod programming software from one region so that it can program Hytera units in another region.

    One feature that many hams will appreciate about the PD782 is that is has a 4.6 cm x 4.6 cm (1.8 in x 1.8 in) colour LCD display. This makes operating the radio a treat, as the screen can accommodate the required call sign, talkgroup or other details quite nicely. In addition, the PD782 allows the user to switch between day and night modes, make the screen much easier to read during bright or low light conditions.

    Hytera PD782 DMR radio digital mobile ham keypad display colour LCD
    The Hytera PD782 DMR portable radio, showing the cooler LCD display and keypad.

    For any ham users that need a radio that has loud crisp audio, look no further than this bad boy. The PD782 comes standard with 500mW of speaker audio power output and will be heard in almost any noisy environment. Also, the PD782 features a rugged construction and meets mil-spec rating MIL-STD-810 and the water and dust intrusion rating IP67, so this radio is likely to keep on ticking long after most ham portables call it quits. Also, One aspect of the PD782 that cause many hams to rejoice is that it allows for the connection of an external antenna, as it comes standard with a male SMA connection. In addition, for anyone looking to use the radio while driving in areas where hands-free operation is required by law, it is important to note that the PD782 does not support native hands-free operation via Bluetooth, however a Bluetooth adapter can be purchased from Hytera to allow this, plus 3rd party manufactures sell them for the PD782 as well.

    Another feature of the PD782 that many hams will appreciate is its ability to be programmed via the keypad. This feature will allow users to add DMR channels on the go without the need of the programming software, however, it does have its limitations – users will be able to modify existing channel information, such as RX & TX frequency, timeslot, colour code, TX contact or RX group, however they cannot create a new TX contact or RX group on the go and will be restricted to use any of those already created. For many hams, this will be a minor inconvenience, making the radio an excellent choice for any user who travels a lot and wants to have the ability to manually enter DMR repeater information on the go.

    Finally, one aspect of this radio that may impact the purchase decision for many hams is the length of its standard warranty. Unlike many budget DMR units that only include a 1-year warranty or Motorola gear, that includes a 2-year warranty, Hytera offers a 3-year warranty for the PD782, which is similar to the warranty offered by Vertex Standard for the EVX-539. For any hams that are concerned about hardware failures, this is definitely something worth considering when making their DMR radio purchase decision.

    Conclusion

    The Hytera PD782 is a great choice for anyone looking for a rugged mid-tier DMR radio for ham use. This radio packs a number of impressive features and is a wise choice for anyone that needs the ability to program their radio on the go without the need of a computer. That being said, the radio is not cheap, however Hytera delivers a great product for the price and is every bit the quality that you’d expect from other top-tier DMR radio manufactures like Motorola.

    Disclosure: This is the only Hytera radio that the author owns.

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    About Don Trynor, VA3XFT

    Don Trynor, VA3XFT
    Don Trynor is a 16-year veteran of the telecommunications industry and a licensed Canadian ham radio operator since 1988. He is passionate about VHF/UHF repeater communications, especially using digital modes and he has owned and operated a number of ham radio repeater installations over the years, including ones in both the provinces of Ontario (VE3/VA3) and New Brunswick (VE9). Currently, he maintains three UHF DMR repeaters - two in Toronto, ON (VA3XPR-1 & VE3YYZ DMR) and one in Niagara Falls, ON (VA3XPR-2), plus one Yaesu System Fusion repeater in Toronto, ON (VA3XPS) that operates in digital-only mode. In addition to ham radio, Don enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, biking and astronomy.