Now that I have the physical description out of the way, we can start discussing the question that I'm sure everyone has: "How does it work?"
Operating this radio reminds me of a cross between a Yaesu FT
-8800 and a Wouxun HT
. Button layout, how you access menus, and overall design are like an 8800, while menu nomenclature and how you interact with those settings is similar to a Wouxun. The left VFO will switch between any of the bands that the radio can RX
, including aircraft, 220, etc., while the right VFO will only operate 2m/440. Switching bands is just like the FT
-8800: press in the top frequency dial on the VFO you wish to use and it will change to the next band available.
Changing radio settings also uses a familiar procedure: Press the set button, use the top left dial to scroll through the options, press in on the dial to select that setting, use the top left dial to scroll the various options, then press in and hold the dial until the radio beeps in confirmation and exits the setting. Once you understand the familiar Chinese/English menu nomenclature, it's all really simple. Initial Audio Tests
I've used the radio for several days now and most of the locals I talk to have had a chance to hear it. The typical response is, "WOW! That sounds REALLY good!". Comments like "Loud", and "nice audio" are typical. I even got a comment that it sounds better than my $600+ Icom ID-51 (to be fair, that's a waterproof HT
). All of these tests have been performed at the normal amateur 25Khz FM
bandwidth, although you can also switch to medium (20Khz) and narrow (12.5Khz) bandwidths.
audio can also be turned up REALLY loud, much louder than my Yaesu FRM-350. I usually keep it about 1/3 of the possible volume, which is plenty loud for me. At the loudest setting, distortion does occur, as expected. The RX
audio also sounds pretty good for a built-in speaker, although I need to continue to do some testing as I think I hear some high-pitched artifacts that might be coming from the receiver. I need to keep using it to understand what I hear.
One minor issue that I've already encountered: Both of the volume knobs and the channel knobs introduce a wee bit of scratch into the receiver when you turn them. It's really not a big deal on an FM
mobile, but if you encountered this artifact on an HF
rig, it would drive you crazy. I may try to record the sound so you can hear it for yourself.
More to come...