Blame Anytone. (Sunday Rant Time.)

Yup, Blame Anytone.  What have they done now?

They are responsible for flooding the market with cheap boring CB/10m Export radios that do nothing to enhance our hobby in anyway other than make it easy to buy their cheap junk. Nowadays it seems all the majors have had to buy from Qixiang in order to get a product to market at a reasonable price so they can try to make some money from the short lived CB boom this sunspot cycle. The cycle wasn’t very good and has not lasted very long so SSB CB/export radio sales will be heading downhill for the next 8 or 9 years while the sun turns its active sunspot regions away from the earth.  Anytone have made a mark. They came out of nowhere really, with the AT-5555 in all its derivatives, multi coloured display, backlighting, menu features nobody needs or wants, so so performance, 30w PEP, a built in menu system and the ability to program the frequencies with the aid of a computer. No where in the world is this radio legal on a CB band. So tell me please, why did they insist on having banks of 40 channels ala CB with all the missing CB frequencies still missing?. What a waste of space. Why could they not have just programmed it with 1 mhz bands and selectable steps. One would think that would have been a lot easier to achieve than messing about with 40ch bands. But no, they all displayed a lovely big number to indicate the channel you were on as well as frequency. Fat lot of good the channel display does you outside the conventional 40ch CB bands on which these radios are not legal for. So why include it? The user PC  programmable frequencies are only useful for the UK FM frequencies. And that is not all, …yes there is more yet..move the clarifier around then change channel and voila! the original channel now is set with the clarified offset. Ch 38 is now something else! How messed up was that? And we still kept buying them!

Every radio they produced has had receive problems reportedly due to some incorrect component values in the AGC section. All of them have a noisy receiver. Most of them have pretty good transmit audio with the standard mic and the Stryker 995 and lincoln 2’s especially so. Why couldn’t they have spent a few more dollars and cleaned up the receiver and simplified the menu system.

We had the AT5555 in half a dozen versions (version 6 last I heard) and variants, followed by the cree 8900, then stryker got into the act with the 955 that was a step in the right direction but once again flawed by the receiver, a stupid menu system, and insufficient cooling.  The AT-6666’s will all die a natural death due to the fancy but totally useless heatsink they built into the radio to go with the other problems mentioned above. The much heralded Lincoln 2 arrived on the scene but did nothing to enhance presidents reputation. The AGC problem was finally fixed but it was a difficult job involving smd soldering or a trip back to President. Qixiang remained mute on the subject. Version one was followed quickly by version 2 and finally version 3 but once bitten twice shy; I stayed away after the lincoln 1 experience. It still had 40ch and no other enhancements other than 6 memories that one couldn’t scroll off without changing the memory to the frequency you left so in my mind it wasn’t really a memory. Even the magnum 257 memory system worked better than that. The last rattle out of the box from Anytone was the AT5555N. Nice looking radio, but after president getting the AGC sorted in their radios Anytone couldn’t see fit to do the same to their radios so despite the lovely big display it did not do enough as a radio to entice too many buyers once the glamour died down. So now we have a lot of companies offering what is essentially a rebadged AT-5555. Sometimes I wonder if they really have made them or just fishing for a big order so they can get them made. I have had my Anytone experience. I am over it.

Lets hope the new radios from some of the other companies still producing 10m SSB radios can bring out something that works well. I have said it before and I will say it again…If Icom or Yaesu or Kenwood were motivated and brought out a small 10-12m SSB 50w pep radio that didn’t get too hot, had a removable head, all the IF DSP, memories and other features they have to include then there would be no further need for anyone to have to buy another anytone SSB 10 meter radio. Even if it hit the market place at around the 400 USD mark we would still buy it. I saw a Yaesu 857D for sale NIB from a dealer on the net the other day for US$450. They must be making them in China too now! Prices are coming down! Blame Anytone!

Disclaimer: I bear no resentment to Qixiang (Anytone parent company), Anytone or any of their employees. This is purely a rant about the products and is strictly a personal view which may or may not be shared by the reader. The opinions expressed within are personal and not necessarily those of the management.


About David Donaldson

64 and Live in Jakarta, Indonesia. like to ride my bikes.
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6 Responses to Blame Anytone. (Sunday Rant Time.)

  1. pez says:

    Thanks for the info and blog posts as always. A question for you – what are the Manufacturers doing at the moment? All we see is basic AM/FM radios being produced / re-badged over and over again – nothing new – same old boring stuff! Does the world really need any more AM/FM CB radios to choose from??? NO!

    Where are the SSB radios!? Why hasn’t President or Qixiang produced a “real” 12-10m radio? (One with features like an OPTIMA for example, one that is a worthy and cost effective HAM radio too!)). The Maxlog M8900 is about as close as anyone has got to this so far, and it is a rare mystery… Why are the manufactures still stuck in 1980 with there “ideas” on features, firmware and layout??? We need new SSB radios. We need them to be re-defined / re-designed – re-thought out! We don’t need 10Khz steps as a default. Ending in a 5 or O and still jumping in 10KHz is crap! We need 1, 5, 10 Khz select-able, with VFO style tuning. We don’t need echo. We don’t need Channel numbers by default (like the Lincoln 2 has =- such a shame!). WE DONT NEED A CH9 SWITCH!…

    I am someone who puts their money where their mouth is. I actually BUY these radios, and even some of the ones that really annoy me (with the “features” we don’t need, as mentioned above)!

    Are we the only few who are frustrated by this? Are we the only ones who want these companies to create new, REAL, not “CB inspired” radios, for the year 2015 and beyond? After all, it is ONLY firmware and buttons we are talking about. (some receiver problems aside)… The radio’s generally perform well enough, but they are simply “toys” with the crap software that seems to be “cut and paste” between every new model, time and time again…..

    If there are more who feel like me, then we need to speak up and tell these companies what we want – which is NOT the same as they have made before!

    Thanks again for the blog.

    • dd182003 says:

      Thank you. Unfortunately it is the sidebanders who feel this way about the radios we are seeing for sale. I might be wrong but the basic design is still the same. The location of parts on the board is still very similar! No DSP No IF shift, only a few memories and modes. As the cost of SDR comes down we may see something interesting but I doubt if it will come from a mainstream manufacturer. More like a hobby thing. Stick a 27mhz band pass on it and you have a CB radio!!
      The new albrecht 5890 radios might be interesting but once again still locked into 40ch bands other than in the 10m mode. What would it take to have the “10m” mode extended to the entire 24.8 to 29.7 bandwidth of the radio I don’t know. I shouldn’t be much more than substituting 24.8 for 28.000 in the program. But they reckon it would cost them 3 grand USD to do it. Really?. I doubt it . On again off again huracan 2 might work but still have yet to see a feature list from goodwill so means it is not very far along!
      Galaxy are still plugging along with their designs and selling OK in the US. Ranger keep adding a few more finals and a bit of a facelift to the 2950/70 series of radios but the design is much as it was when it first came out. I would love to be able to have an option to fit a better specked filter into a CB, a final PA set up that was not running at 100% to give the advertised power. Forced air cooling so you couldn’t cook your dinner on the heat sink. But no..what do we get? coloured lights and make up your own roger beep noises. That’s what the manufacturers think their customers want. And we prove them right by buying that shit. Well I am not going to buy another one. I hope they end up with a warehouse of unsold shit to remind them that the customer is still king !!!

      • CodeParc says:

        Thank you for this blog. The most mentioned criticisms are the reason why I’m still without a radio which fits good enough to my needs. One of my wishes would be a dimmable display which can also be switched off, no matter what color it has. The Yaesu FT-891 has a display adjustment function for contrast and brightness, but cannot be switched off. The Yeticom Optima misses both functions too, like many others, but is a far better radio compared to the Albrecht AE 5890 EU. I also don’t need echo, TOT, composed roger beep, 40 or 80 channel grid, complete color spectrum for the backlight of the display, overheated power amplifiers because of undersized heat sinks and missing fans, and too small control buttons that would at best suffice for the hands of a three-year-old child, like the AnyTone AT6666. It is a pity that the industry seems to have no idea what consumers really want. We should bombard them with letters of complaint!

  2. Good morning, I understand your dissatisfaction regarding this avalanche of Chinese coming transceivers, everything you mentioned in your post is the honest truth, there is nothing to contest. I just can not understand the reason and the reason of large companies aimed at CB thread does not have invested over the years and left this gap in the open market for the advancement of technology coming from the East. Some experts on the subject say it was because of the shortage of STD components on the market, forcing the search for solutions using the available components on the market, forcing the heavy use of SMD in the projects (nothing against this type of assembly, already HF transceivers that mutos the uitlizam long ago, but Qixiang sinned, and in quality). By contrast, companies such as Cobra, Unidem and Midland, surrendered the base models produced by Qixiang, where only adopted external layouts, in order to maintain their identity to the market.

    Congratulations on posting was very frank and hopefully serve as a warning to the Great segment companies, reflect on the choice made, and not to repent with a shot in the foot.

  3. John says:

    Yes we need continuous tuning as an option. All mode HF+6 +10,11,12 meter and no channel system just give it continuous tuning. Give it incredible adjacent channel rejection, very sensitive and precise receive and squelch that is linear. Give it either bjt final transistors or fet’s that are actually designed for rf generation not motor control or voltage regulator transistors forced in to rf service! Give us a face plate/ control head that can actually be serviced so pot’s that are easy to place and switches that are easy to replace with off the shelf parts.The alternative is to do away with the face totally and use your laptop, desktop, tablet or phone to control all functions! I want DSP for tx and rx audio and maybe an eq that is user selectable. I ant audio that is rich from 800hz to 6000mhz. I do not want clumsy menu system and do not want so many switches and buttons that it is cluttered and hard to use while driving as the Stryker 955!

  4. John says:

    I do not expect Uniden, Cobra, Galaxy to design their own product completely or to go back to the 1980’s and 1990’s. I do think they need to have a far more active role though in the control layout, feature software, and they need to actually go through the design and trail it before rubber stamping a re-badged Chinese product. A lot of car companies use other companies engines or transmission but they usually tweaked especially transmissions for them. If you look at what we are asking for it is not much and most of it is software driven and does not need a lot of new expensive components compared to what is already under the tins.Even adding things like DSP and IF Shift or user definable EQ on tx and rx is not a big deal most opamps have eq function and compression built into them if you use them or not. The single biggest issues is the user interface on the control head/faceplate and the physical dimensions of the unit.

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