This radio finally steps out of the mold of CB radios we have seen coming our way for the past years. Although the board is similar it has been redesigned using all SMD components so is very neat and spaced out. Very few wires cluttering the insides. What makes it so different? Well apart from the pretty colours; It shines up like a christmas tree in the dark…it has a PC function. With the progrm and cable we can program this radio from our PC’s. Although the radio came with 6 banks of 40 channels covering from 26.5 to 28.3 you can use the program to put in whatever frequencies you want up to 60 per band. Neat..Hell yes.
I did not like this radio too much at first..it does have some weird habits that take getting used to. It is fiddly and arrived with the Beep on that just drove me nuts while I searched the manual for the buttons to push to get rid of the beeps everytime you pressed or moved something! It also has a strange habit of remembering where you moved the multifunction clarifier to and returning to it instead of the channel that should be in that spot. However the PC program made it all come right. I could program in the entire freeband from 27405 to 27705 in 5khz steps. Beautiful. No more messing around with the clarifier. You have the choice of programming in different frequencies for TX and RX so you have some fixed split frequencies ready to go as well. 60 channels s a lot of inputting and it all has to be done by hand. Once you get what you want you can save it and go about devising another set which you can save under another name. Unreal.
It doesn’t have a mic gain. Bad. I am sure we will be able to reroute the mic gain pot in the radio to the front panel and drop one of the echo controls.
The clarifier has four modes. it also tunes down to 10hz but can only tune within a 10khz area. Don’t think that you can go marching up and down the band in 1khz steps because you can’t…(Well yes you can if you used the PC and input them all like that!)
It also has some rather neat functions in the transmit mode. You can set the radio up to show, volts or SWR or TX frequency or time left (if you have the Time out TX function engaged) I have shown that in several photos below.
So how does it work on air..Is this going to be another Cobra 200GTL fiasco? Thankfully not. Despite having 2 IRF520 mosfet trannies in the PA section the power has been kept down to 21w PEP on SSB so it is hardly stressed. The tx audio is OK but a tad thin..nothing that can’t be fixed with a power mic or some tweaking. The audio is clear and does not appear to suffer from the warble that most of the expanded 10m radios have. Receive audio is OK…par with most other sets though it did seem a bit more susceptible to splatter. It arrived about 20hz off frequency and did not appear to drift very much if at all.
This set is one of the first off the productionline and it is pretty good. it looks good, works well and doesn’t cost the earth. And you can program it how you like it. get rid of the frequencies you never use and fill it up with what you want. That’s what I did. Started with the NZ 40 channels and still had 20 left so stuck in some of the calling frequencies in 26mhz as well…26.285 etc etc. Then I went to B band and put in the 40ch US CB frequencies…followed by the 5 alpha frequencies and the Aussi CB marine band. Then I put in the Freeband from 27405 in 5khz steps. Band C. Band D was for the 10m band starting at 28305 in 5khz steps. Then the 10m FM band and a bunch of repeater frequencies in 29mhz. And I still have a band I need to fill up! I did not include anything in 25mhz. I have never used it. But I do have the radio I want…this week. next week I can change it all again.
You will need the instruction book nearby for a while as you start with this radio but soon it all becomes 2nd nature…..
As a radio it does not have anything to set it apart from anything else and in some areas it probably falls short. But as a concept that enables the user to design the radio frequencies around what he wants it is rather cool and visually nothing else on the market has this many coloured lights outside of christmas. The back lit front panel glows away happily in the dark…. good Stuff….Most people will be attracted to this radio and while it won’t let them down it just might confuse the heck out them for a while. We have some in stock. Send me an email and we can talk price. dealer enquiries welcome for outside Europe.
The photo above is from the manufacturer and shows just what they can put on to the front panel. Pictures below of the ones I took.
The SWR read out in Transmit. I don’t think it is too accurate. The radio can stop transmitting when the SWR reaches a predetermined level. ..good…
The picture below shows the Volts in on transmit. A nice touch….
The neat SMD mother board….