I have now had my AnyTone AT-D878UV for 7 days and I am as happy with it as the the 868. On the surface there is only a couple of visible differences with the 868 and 878, firstly the 878 now has a blue button on top instead of orange, secondly the dark screen. The only other thing I notice was power up time is slightly longer.
The roaming feature in the 878 works but seems to take over at regular intervals no matter what channel you are on, even if I am monitoring an analogue channel it will all of a sudden start roaming the digital channels programmed for roaming. It would be much better to be able to tag existing channels for roaming and only work while you are on one of those roaming channels rather than creating a new bunch of channels and have them take over the radio all the time. Hopefully AnyTone can develop this feature further, for the time being I will pass. AnyTone has a good track record of fixing and upgrading features to make them more usable, so I’m not too concerned with roaming just yet. I am confident it will improve.
Analogue APRS works well when outside, much to be expected with a hand held radio. I walked outside when I turned the GPS on and it locked reasonably quickly where as others have commented on it taking a long time the first time it is turned on. I can now see the benefits of also having digital APRS if you still want to send your location whilst indoors.
I was able to use my existing 868 Codeplug by exporting the entire CSV file and then importing it back into the 878 software, so that is a real bonus for anyone upgrading. Of course all the existing accessories are compatible which is another advantage when upgrading.
A week with the AnyTone AT-D878UV and I would be more than happy to recommend to anyone that wants to send APRS, the roaming feature will I trust be developed to be more usable so that is no reason to discount this awesome radio. Anyone in Australia interested in the AnyTone AT-D878UV or the AT-D868UV should check out South Eastern Communications