Topsung TS-689, a 10 Watt tri-band

Hand held radios, I wouldn’t know what to do without them. For a while I had the feeling that not much spectacular developments were to expect. That proved not to be true. There are some trends in our little radio world standing out lately:

  • more output power
  • more bands
  • independent VFO’s
  • cross-band capability
  • Digital Voice (DMR, dPMR)

One of the brands trying to hitch a ride on some of these trends is the not-so-well-known brand Topsung. Their latest offering is a hand held covering three bands, delivering up to 10 Watts output and a 2500mAh battery to power it all. DTMF, ANI, CTCSS, DCS and a scrambler are standard features.

Personally I don’t find anything above 5 Watts output very useful, as range depends more on antenna quality and terrain than raw power. Pumping out 10 Watts close to your face might not be smart either.

Also, the third band (350 – 400 MHz) is pointless and illegal almost anywhere in the world. I’m sure my friends in the USA would prefer 1.25 meters, and we Europeans would kill for 4 meters or 23cm.

TopsungFactory specifications:
Frequency range 136-174MHz / 350-400MHz / 400-470MHz
RF power 10W / 5W / 1W
Number of channels 200
Power supply DC 7.4V
Battery pack 2500 mAh (Li-ion)
Frequency stability ± 2.5 PPM
Operating temperature -20°C~ +60°C
Antenna impedance 50Ω
Dimensions (W × H × D) 64 mm x120 mm x34 mm
Weight 288g (with belt clip and antenna)

Price: US $58 – &78 / piece.
Manufacturer: Shenzhen Topsung Lighting Co., Limited

9 comments on “Topsung TS-689, a 10 Watt tri-band

  1. Agreed, Hans. 350-400MHz is useless. I would like to see a 1.25-meter mostly, but 33cm or 23cm would work also. The 33cm band is getting more popular here in the U.S.

  2. It’s a bit of a stretch calling it three bands. More like an extended bandwidth (on UHF) dual band model. And 10w from something that small, give me a break!
    The PA is probably 50% efficient, so you would be looking at roughly 20w drawn from the battery and imagine the heat dissipation and EMR exposure that would exceed all limits. Just a stupid idea,

  3. Exactly the middle band can be removed totally. Sounds like an ok radio. My Baofeng has lasted quite a while. I would not go higher that 5 watts. Your right about the 10 watts. It’s still an HT, not a mobile with a better antenna. Thanks for the review. I don’t see them on ebay yet ?

  4. They want $85 for a sample unit, money upfront.

    I think that Baofeng and Intek have nothing to worry about at that price point. It lacks worldwide suppliers, dealers and warranty back up.

  5. There is a triband handheld that does 2m, 1.25m, and 70 cm, the Vero UV-X5, also marketed as a TYT. I’ve got one, for use when I hop across the pond. Only slightly more expensive than the UV-X4 and about the same size. You need a dual-band antenna for 2m and 70 cm, and a separate one for 1.25m, as the supplied antenna doesn’t seem that efficient on any band. It gets through battteries quite quickly on 2W, low power at 800 mW is only 4 dB down and makes the batteries last a bit longer. It seems sensitive enough and audio reports are good. It’s a good idea to take the battery out when the rig is not in use to reduce standby current drain, which is quite high and doesn’t seem to give any advantage – the memories don’t die or anything annoying like that.

    There’s hardly anyone on 1.25m, but for us European types it’s a novelty, and, like I said, the tribander isn’t much more expensive than a dual-bander. You can also use it for FRS/GMRS in Canada, and it works on PMR446 in Europe, although as it has a detachable antenna it’s not type-approved. I’ve used it mostly as an FRS/GMRS radio – unlike the US, it doesn’t have to be fixed-antenna, low power in Canada.

  6. They’re a complete shower, this lot.

    I asked them for a sample unit (which I would pay for) thinking that they might offer me one from their stock at a reasonable price, their stated price was $58 to $78 from China.

    They sent an email back saying, yes all the glitches are ironed out and they would be glad to sell me one at $85, to which I declined. I’ve mentioned that you can get BF-F8HP for $62 local stock, dealer warranty and free shipping. Also for EU & UK the KT-980HP is available for £60, again with local tax paid, dealer warranty and free shipping. If I want cheap and cheerful, the Tonfa UV-985 is $37 from Aliexpress.

    They came back again this morning (after about a week) and asked me how I liked the price and for only $90 it is now available on Aliexpress. Somehow I was able to decline their appetising offer.

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