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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DISCLAIMER: DO NOT DO THIS UNLESS YOU KNOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING AND ARE LICENSED TO DO SO. It is not legal to transmit on some of the frequencies unlocked by this procedure. You must be licensed to transmit with this radio for GMRS anywhere in the US. Understand the laws, understand you will probably void your radios warranty, understand you do this at your own risk entirely. If you are unsure about what you are doing or what frequencies you are legal to use and at what wattage STOP. The FCC will cite you and can confiscate your equipment if you break the law, and as you should already be aware, ignorance of the law is no excuse.

These instructions are for updating the firmware to the latest firmware and programming the TYT TH-8600 radio.

To start go to the TYT website and download the latest firmware and the associated firmware update program. You will also need to download the current TYT programming software, this will also load the TYT programming cable drivers. When you do, Windows will throw a large number of warnings, notes and cautions at you. This software is not signed and will set off Windows warnings and anti-virus warnings. If you are not comfortable using this software then you’ll probably want to look into RT Systems.

This radio is not supported by CHIRP, but it is supported by RT Systems radio programming software. If you decide to use the RT systems software it will only work with their programming cable. It will not work with the TYT programming cable.

Last warning. Read the warning above again. And oh by the way, it is entirely possible to brick the radio in the process of updating the firmware.

To start, unplug the radio from the power source for two minutes.

While holding down the PTT switch apply power. The screen will flash twice then remain blank.

Use the TYT firmware update program to apply the latest firmware to the radio. The radio should (may) “tone” and restart once the firmware has loaded.

Once the firmware has loaded, power the radio down and unplug from the power supply. While holding down the A/B, Lock and power switch reapply power. This will put the radio in programming mode. On some TH-8600 it is not necessary to remove power.

Begin by downloading the current radio configuration from the radio to the TYT programming software. Once downloaded save a copy to a protected location.

Now that you have the current configuration downloaded you can program channels, frequency range and soft key configurations.

When inputting Channel information if you use the “Channel” tab you can select “TX Inh”. This will block transmission on that particular channel. It is strongly recommended that you select Tx Inh if you are programming listen only channels.

If you are unlocking frequencies for VHF Listen Only. Click on the “Frequency” tab, this will open a new window, in the window type “P” (without quotes). This will open a password window. The password is “8600TH” (again, without quotes).

NOTE: When programming the soft keys (Basic tab), keep in mind that per FCC reg you cannot create a situation where a frequency can be programmed that the radio is not certified for using external controls. So be cautious about selecting functions.

NOTE: This radio was Part 95 certified in 2018, and as a general rule, radios that are approved for Part 95 type acceptance are not allowed to be capable of transmitting on other bands and frequencies.

Once you have entered your channels, soft key configurations, etc save a copy in a protected location.

Before uploading the new configuration to the radio check the power level settings for each channel to be sure that you haven’t programmed a 5W (L) GMRS channel at 25W (H)

Now you can write the configuration back to the radio. If you watch the screen you will see each line as its written. Once complete verify the radio configuration. If you make any changes to the configuration using the settings menu on the radio, make sure you download the now changed configuration back to the TYT programing software. And, as before, save a copy in a protected location.

HINT: “A protected location” means don’t write it to just the HDD. SD cards make a very inexpensive and simple method of saving things in a protected location. If you do, make sure its clearly labeled or you may end up overwriting your config files with family photo’s.

Last warning. Before attempting any of these instructions, read the disclaimer and warnings. Short of running in circles waving my arms and yelling “Danger Will Robinson Danger” I’ve done my best to warn you. Proceed at your own risk.

If you have questions on this process feel free to PM me.

Thanks
Nate
 

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Hi WWARt! I know this is an old thread but I'm wondering if you may be able to help me out. We joined a group of riders last year that use the TH-8600s so we bought one for our rig to communicate with them. They are on a private channel. We bought our radios from the same guy they did and he was supposed to program them to the same channel, but he did not. If they type in the channel manually, we can hear each other, but if they go to the channel that is named (same freq) we can't hear them. Is there a way for me to program the radio myself to the private channel without having to send the radios back? (preferably using the handset) Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Let me do some research on that. There should be, but I don't recall using the mic to program. Mine doesn't have the keypad mic so I never bothered learning that aspect.
Nate
 

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WOW! I wasn't expecting a response. Thank you so much, Nate!!! I'm not afraid of doing it via computer but there is more than one radio that needs programmed so it would be nice to be able to do it on site. If it's not possible by the mic, would you mind holding my hand through it? I don't want to brick them. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
NP. The easiest possible way is download the programming from one then upload to the others. It takes about 5 minutes start to finish. If your doing it with a laptop you might find it easier to than via the mic since you can just carry it to each system.

Ques: When they program the channel manually, what parameters are they entering? There are several options for "Tone Mode" and "Squelch Mode". If either of these are set differently between radios in your programming you will not be able to hear each other even though you are on the same freq.

Just my .02 worth. I'll still go back thru the program by mic to refresh on that.

Nate
 

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NP. The easiest possible way is download the programming from one then upload to the others. It takes about 5 minutes start to finish. If your doing it with a laptop you might find it easier to than via the mic since you can just carry it to each system.

Ques: When they program the channel manually, what parameters are they entering? There are several options for "Tone Mode" and "Squelch Mode". If either of these are set differently between radios in your programming you will not be able to hear each other even though you are on the same freq.

Just my .02 worth. I'll still go back thru the program by mic to refresh on that.

Nate
Hi Nate,

Sorry...I didn't catch this reply sooner. I just popped back to see if I'd missed the mic directions and saw this. I have no idea what they did for programming. I don't want to brick anyone's radio so I haven't hooked them to a computer. I need to go back and refresh my memory on everything (let's be real...my memory is crap so I need to relearn everything) and plug the radio into my laptop to see.

Thank you,
Kim
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Roger that. You can read the programming off the radio without risk. Save it as a .CSV then repeat with the other radio and compare. Not invasive and minimal risk of bricking the radio.

Nate
 
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