Anytone Radio Setup

The Anytone AT-D878UV series is my favorite radio for (most) paragliding usecases. It’s relatively easy to use once set up, has loud speakers and a very long battery life, and has not only a GPS but also a bluetooth chip, not only for connecting to a helmet or pair of headphones, but also so you can use a wireless PTT device (say, mounted on a brake toggle).

It is, however, not waterproof, so please don’t use this radio for SIV days. Even a quick spray of water can cause it to malfunction (ask how I know...)

There are two generations: v1 and v2. The main differences between them are (a) APRS receive support on the second-generation model (the first-generation one can only broadcast) and (b) increased memory size. Unless your use APRS to broadcast their location, or unless you want to use APRS weather, it’s unlikely that the differences matter much to the average pilot.

Both radios are sold with and without Bluetooth; the ones that do are listed as “Plus” models. The only difference between them is the inclusion of the PTT unit and the bluetooth card (which can be bought separately).

This guide was written for the v1 radio. Most of it should apply to the v2 radio, but I don’t have one to test, so I make no guarantees about applicability to them.

Initial Setup

Note: AnyTone radios come with lots of different software setups, which vary depending on which store you buy them from. As a result, some of these steps may be unecessary for your radio, or you may need to perform other steps for a full unlock. These steps were tested on a new v1 radio purchased from Bridgecom Systems (thanks to M. R. for lending it to me), but I can’t guarantee that they will work for you.

Install the battery and antenna and turn the unit on. It will prompt you to set the time zone, time, and date; you can do this using the up/down keys to set the highlighted value and the P1 key to change which value is highlighted. This isn’t a super important step; enabling GPS later will allow the radio to set its own time zone and time.

You’ll now need to unlock the radio in order to allow for full programmability.

All the steps here rely on software that only runs on Windows. If you don’t have a machine running Windows around, a VM with USB passthrough mode should work; sadly I don’t believe that the software for this radio works with anything else.

Band change

By default, most Anytone radios sold in the US are locked to disallow transmission outside the US ham bands out of the box. This renders them incapable of transmitting on USHPA frequencies and incompatible with the codeplug provided here, so we’ll need to unlock it. Please note that this will allow your radio to transmit on bands that you may not be legally permitted to use, so please be careful when setting frequencies!

Download AT Options, unzip it, and run the exe file inside. Turn on the radio and plug it into your computer. Under “Com Port”, select the port your radio is plugged into; if the radio is the only device plugged into a USB port it should be the only one available. Click “Read”; you’ll see “PC READ” on the radio for a second or two as it pulls the radio’s data onto the computer; you should see the radio type serial number, and frequency mode pop up. Change the frequency mode to Mode 0, then click Write to write these settings to the radio.


Note: Some older guides mention the ability to perform a band change by holding the PTT and 1 keys while turning on the radio. This option appears to be disabled out of the box on newer radios, but enabling the “Band Select” and “Full Test Mode” checkboxes in AT options and then writing them to the radio will re-enable it. Note that going into test mode will probably wipe your radio, so back it up first!

Loading a Configuration

Download, install, and run the latest programming software for the radio here (make sure to select v1 or v2 depending on which you have). Under Set > Set Coms, select the port you used above, then read the current setting from your radio (Program > Read From Radio).

We will now load a prepared configuration. I’ve uploaded a codeplug with a reasonable set of defaults here; download the file and then open it (File > Open) in the Anytone software. The codeplug contains a list of frequencies including ones commonly used at Bay Area flying sites, USHPA frequencies, repeaters in the Bay Area and several other useful frequencies such as NOAA weather; the non-flying site frequencies are largely taken from the radio configuration from Miki Lustig’s fantastic ham radio class.

Enable the GPS, Bluetooth, and APRS features (also check the APRS RX box if using a v2 Anytone) under Tools > Options.



When preflighting, press the Bluetooth PTT button before turning on the radio; the radio will automatically connect to the PTT. If you turn the radio on first, it will not automatically connect when the PTT remote turns on; you’ll have to go into the menus to connect them manually (or just reboot the radio, which is usually faster).

I suggest turning on the PTT sound, so you know when you start transmitting. The PTT remote has a slight delay and, depending where you put the radio and the remote (esp. if your body is between them) can ocassionally fail to pick up the PTT signal.

The keymap for the codeplug is:

  • Press P1 to switch between the two channels.

  • Press and hold P1 to switch between dual channel and single channel mode.

  • Press P2 to switch between preset frequency mode (to use one of the frequencies stored in memory) and VFO mode (to manually enter frequencies using the keypad).

  • The button immediately below PTT checks battery.

  • The button two buttons below PTT disables squelch (useful for listening to very weak conversations).

  • To lock the radio, press and hold *. To unlock, press the green menu key, then hit *.